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Former Phillies manager Charlie Manuel out of ICU, talking to family after stroke

Charlie Manuel, the former championship manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, has reached some very encouraging milestones in his recovery from a stroke suffered last weekend. To start, he was moved out of the ICU on Sunday, a huge step for stroke patients.

Todd Zolecki, Phillies beat writer for MLB.com, reported that Manuel has been awake and talking. He spent Sunday watching the Phillies' series finale against the St. Louis Cardinals, reading the numerous texts that had been sent to his phone and listening to recorded messages from some of his former players, including Chase Utley, Brad Lidge, Jimmy Rollins and others.

On Tuesday, Manuel delivered his own message on social media thanking his supporters and caretakers.

Manuel, 79, had the stroke Saturday while he was in the middle of a medical procedure. Doctors immediately removed the blood clot, but the next 24 hours were crucial for his recovery, as his wife, Missy, told the Phillies.

There is no one quite like Charlie Manuel in Phillies lore. A West Virginia native, his laid-back and genial personality was an odd fit with Philadelphia's gruff and gritty exterior, especially since the Phillies hadn't been to the playoffs in 12 years when he began managing the team in 2005.

But that was only at first. It didn't take long for Manuel and his easy, likable charm to win over Phillies fans.

Former manager Charlie Manuel is recovering from a stroke suffered during a medical procedure. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Former manager Charlie Manuel is recovering from a stroke suffered during a medical procedure. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

In 2007, Manuel's third year with the team, he led the Phillies to their first playoff appearance since 1993. Just one year later, he and the Phillies forever etched their names in Philadelphia history when they won the the franchise's second World Series trophy and first since 1980. If the win itself didn't transform Manuel into a Philly folk hero, his speech at the end of the 2008 World Series parade certainly did, when he uttered the words "this is for Philadelphia" and heard tens of thousands of fans ecstatically answer back.

Manuel was inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame in 2014, just one year after the team fired him (replacing him with Ryne Sandberg), and has continued to work with them ever since. Only Chase Utley and Jason Kelce hold similar spots in Philadelphia fans' hearts, so it's no wonder that Manuel's wife believes the constant stream of love and support they've gotten from Phillies fans over the past few days has genuinely helped him heal.