Mankowski played for six years in the majors, appearing in games for the Detroit Tigers and New York Mets between 1975 and 1982. He came up with the Tigers and spent the majority of his career in Detroit. He was the team’s primary third baseman in 1977 and 1978. His statistics from those two seasons are very similar, with a batting average of .276 and then .275 and seven total home runs. The Tigers traded him to the Mets at the end of the 1979 season. He briefly played for the Mets in 1980, but spent most of his time at AAA. He spent all of 1981 in the minors, then resurfaced for 13 games with the Mets in 1982 to end his big-league run. In 269 games, Mankowski hit .264 with eight home runs.
The heroics Mankowski mentioned actually occurred on April 7, 1978 at Tiger Stadium against the Toronto Blue Jays. He slammed a three-run home run in the bottom of the fourth inning off Blue Jays starter Dave Lemanczyk to break a 2-2 tie and send Detroit on to a 6-2 win.
Mankowski portrayed Roy Hobbs’ teammate, and Gotham Knight third baseman, Hank Benz in the 1984 Robert Redford movie The Natural.
We featured Ben Oglivie in 2018.
Phil Mankowski – career stats