Manuel Signs Autographs, Says Farewell To Fans

Manuel Signs Autographs, Says Farewell To Fans

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MEDIA, Pa. -

Charlie Manuel may have been kicked out of the Phillies' dugout, but he still has a place in the hearts of Phillies' fans.

"Oh my gosh! I love him! I'm so sad to see him go I almost cried," exclaimed a near tears Ellen O'Donnell.

Debbie Lepre and her daughter Jessica met Charlie on the field of Citizens Bank Park five years ago. They came to Granite Run Mall so Jessica could get her picture with the Phillies fired skipper signed and say a final goodbye.

"I think he really motivated players and gave them the drive to keep their heads up and keep playing," said Jessica.

More than 400 people showed up for the autograph signing and to say thanks for the memories.

"To thank him for all he's done in Philly is really a blessing," said Kyle Toomey.

After eight-and-a-half seasons, the 69-year-old skipper was fired Friday, the same night the team should have been celebrating his 1,000th win. 

Maureen Tucholski and her son turned in their Phillies stripes for Indians jerseys -- where Manuel managed before Philadelphia -- because of the organization's decision.

"I think its classless what they did to Charlie. He's been great for the city and team. My husband's an Indians, fan and I'm converted as of last night."

After the signing Manuel said, "I'll always be a Phillie."

During his tenure, he took the team to the playoffs five straight years. Robin Moyer was there for the 2008 World Series win.

"He always had time for the fans," said Moyer. That was one thing. When he won the World series, he said, 'Yo! Philadelphia. This one is for you baby!!!'"

Even after his firing, Manuel's still rooting for the Phillies.

"Keep going to the ballpark, keep watching the Phillies play. Keep up with them because they will get better and win again."

And his fans, they're pulling for him as well even if he decides to change those Phillies stripes.

"I hope he goes to the American League and takes one himself. Sweet revenge but not against us," Moyer said laughing.

Manuel says he's going to go down to Florida for a while to sort things out. He says he's considering an offer to stay with the Phillies organization, but also noted he's still got a couple more years of managing left in him.

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