Results tagged ‘ Phillies ’

Further Proof of a Lack of Proofreading

In my last entry, I pointed out a pair of recent gaffes that could easily have been averted. Well, over the weekend, I found two more.

1) You may recall last year’s “Natinals” uniform screw-up. By complete chance, I stumbled across an additional spelling failure involving the beleaguered Washington franchise. A blog entry from last May describes the “Teddy Rossevelt” bobbleheads that were on sale in the Nationals gift shop. Recalling that I had purchased one of these very same bobbleheads last September during our own visit to Nationals Park, I couldn’t remember noticing anything wrong on the box.

Never fear, I save all the boxes from my bobbleheads. Why? I don’t know, maybe in case I have to pack them all up someday to move or something. Nonetheless, the box was up in my attic with the other boxes, so I retrieved it to check out the name.

At first glance, the label appeared to be spelled correctly. Then I noticed, that this being Washington, a cover-up had been attempted. There was another label underneath! I decided to document it before totally destroying the evidence:

roosevelt.JPGAfter a bit of careful work with my trusty Girl Scout pocketknife (incredibly dull after decades of non-use), the truth was revealed:

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No wonder poor Teddy never wins any of the Presidents Races. He’s probably having some sort of identity crisis.

2) While I happily went through the weekend believing the Phillies were in Houston beating up on the Astros, little did I know they were also doing a number on one of America’s wealthiest families:

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Thank goodness the Philadelphia Inquirer set me straight!

Better known as the family that gave us the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, I’m pretty sure the Astors have never played baseball.

My Spring Training Adventure – Part 3

Before I get into my coverage of our final two games, you may recall me mentioning in my last entry that I thought Ed Smith Stadium looks like a motel. Well, I dug through my old photo albums, and found a photo from our visit in March 2000. At the time, it was the spring home of the Reds. Since then, the Reds have relocated to Arizona for Spring Training, and Ed Smith is now home to the Orioles. Here it is:

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Unless it’s been refurbished in the past 10 years, this is what the exterior of the part behind home plate looks like. All those railings and doors look just like a motel to me.

 

March 16 – Day 6

After yet another mouth-watering breakfast at the Inn at the Bay, we made our way to Bright House Field for today’s Phillies-Tigers game. If I haven’t already mentioned it, the Inn at the Bay serves the most awesome breakfasts. We’ve stayed there five times, and we’ve almost never had the same breakfast twice. They are so filling, most days we don’t even need lunch!

Once again, we arrived when the gates opened. New Tiger Johnny Damon signed some autographs (for Phillies fans!) during batting practice. I’m still not too happy with Johnny over that stolen-base-thing last October:

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Cole Hamels was on the mound for the Phillies, going five innings with 2 hits, 1 run, and 4 stikeouts. He was looking pretty good this day:

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Detroit’s Justin Verlander didn’t have such a great day, giving up home runs to Domonic Brown and Ryan Howard. Overall, he went 3 1/3 innings, with 4 runs on 3 hits:

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Speaking of Howard’s homer (his first of the spring), it came on the swing immediately following this shot:

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During a pitching change, Johnny Damon, Adam Everett, and Brandon Inge discuss the fly ball that got lost in the sun and just dropped into the Bermuda Triangle of turf between all three of them for a hit. They all appear to have sunglasses – guys, weren’t you using them?

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Phil Coke came on in relief of Verlander, and proceeded to give up Domonic Brown’s second homer of the day, a two-run shot. Phil’s pants look like they have enough extra fabric at the bottom for a whole ‘nuther pair:

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Domonic Brown had a great day at the plate, going 3-for-3 with two homers and an RBI single. As thanks, he got reassigned to the minor league camp after the game:

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New Phillie Danys Baez came on to pitch a scoreless inning in relief:

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Greg Dobbs, playing third in place of the injured Placido Polanco, makes contact. Dobbs went 1-for-3 and scored a run:

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Jimmy Rollins stops to sign some autographs on his way to the clubhouse. This may have been a mistake, as he was stuck there for the next 10 minutes while fans continued to flock down the aisle. Jimmy is actually one of the most fan-friendly Phillies, so he didn’t seem to mind:

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Something I hadn’t seen before was a post-game batting practice. After the final out, the cage was wheeled back on the field, and Raul Ibanez, Carlos Ruiz, and Shane Victorino took additional BP. Shane seemed to be working on his bunting. Afterwards, Raul Ibanez and his son walk to the clubhouse with Charlie Manuel:

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On the way out, we stopped for a photo of me in front of the entrance to the ballpark. Since I’m always the one taking the pictures, we need visual proof I was actually on this vacation:

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March 17 – Day 7

St. Patrick’s Day dawned rather gray and dreary. On our way to the ballpark, it even rained a little bit. This had me concerned, because our “seats” for today were on the berm, the grassy area beyond the outfield fence. I wasn’t looking forward to sitting on soggy sod.

Not to fear though. By gametime, the skies had cleared and it turned into a sunny, pleasant afternoon for our final day in Florida.

During Phillies BP, Charlie Manuel had a chance to check out the mini-sized Charlie Manuel bat that will be given out to kids on July 6:

manuel bat.JPGRandy Winn and Brian Schneider are loitering behind the batting cage. Something has made Winn grin, though Schneider looks like he just ate a bug:

winn schneider.JPGThis trio of trouble is yukking it up at the expense of their fellow fielder, who just muffed a grounder during pre-game warmups:

trouble trio.JPGMark Texiera and Alex Rodriguez wait their turns in the batting cage. Just what is that huge wad hiding in A-Rod’s cheek? Gum? Sunflower seeds? Some chew? His ego?

tex arod.jpgPhillies broadcaster Chris Wheeler was on hand to sign copies of his book, “View From The Booth.” Yes, I bought one. There are some who don’t really like Wheels as a broadcaster, but I’ll be interested to read his take on things:

wheels.JPGJust before the game started, I met up with Confession of a She-Fan‘s Jane Heller and got interviewed by her on the She-Fan Cam. Click here to read Jane’s coverage of the game, and see the video clip.

In between BP and game time, the Phillies changed from their usual red and white uniforms to their bright green St. Patty’s day jerseys. Joe Blanton took to the mound for the Phillies. Blanton had a Blanton-like outing, going 5 innings, scattering 7 hits and giving up 2 runs:

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The last time my husband and I came to Spring Training, in 2007, we saw the Phillies host the Yankees on St. Patrick’s Day, and Andy Pettitte started for the Yankees. Three years later, we are seeing the Phillies host the Yankees on St. Patrick’s Day, and Andy Pettitte is starting for the Yankees. Deja vu!

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Randy Winn scores for the Yankees, as the throw to Carlos Ruiz is late:

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Ryan Howard tosses the ball to first to get the out:

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The Flyin’ Hawaiian can’t fly quite far enough, as this ball got past Shane Victorino for an extra-base hit:

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The Phillie O’Phanatic get a bit, um, friendly with the third-base umpire. The mind shudders to imagine the offspring that would result from such an unholy union:

irish phanatic.JPGThe luck of the Irish was with Jayson Werth as he lauched a three-run homer, which sealed the outcome of the game in favor of the Phillies:

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Final score: Phillies 6, Yankees 2

Later that evening, we met up for dinner with Jane and her husband Michael, as it turned out that they were staying just three blocks away from us in St. Petersburg. We all enjoyed a delicious meal, and great conversation. The time flew by, and since we all had flights home the next day, finally had to bid each other good night.

Our flight home was much better than the first – no turbulence, and my husband and I actually got to sit next to each other this time.

(all photos by me, except the one of me, which was taken by my husband)

My Spring Training Adventure – Part 2

March 14 – Day 4

The Phillies had a road game today against the Orioles in Sarasota. We opted not to make the drive to Ed Smith Stadium, having been there once a number of years ago. It is not a picturesque ballpark. In fact, the exterior somewhat resembles a motel. I’ll have to dig out a photo from those pre-digital days, and scan it in for tomorrow.

Instead, we decided to take in a Blue Jays – Braves game in Dunedin, with a stop by the Phillies’ Carpenter Complex beforehand to check out some of the minor-league training camp action.

Brandon Duckworth, last with the Phillies in 2003, has returned to the organization on a minor-league contract after stints with Houston and Kansas City. As noted in Larry Shenk’s Phillies Insider blog, and evident in this photo, all the minor-leaguers wear their socks knee-high. No baggy “pajama” pants for these guys!

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Two minor-league shortstops work on fielding drills on one of the four practice fields in the complex:

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Minor-league pitchers wait between the batting cages to take their turn at a bunting drill:

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Prospect Anthony Hewitt, the Phils’ top pick in 2008, awaits his turn in the batting cage (is it just me, or do his feet look really big?):

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After checking out the workouts for about an hour, we made the approximately 10 minute drive to Dunedin, spring home of the Blue Jays. Sometimes going to a game in which I have no rooting interest is a nice break – I can relax and enjoy the game action without getting worked up about the outcome.

Brandon Morrow was on the hill for Toronto. Not a great day for him – he gave up six hits and four earned runs in three innings of work:

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Braves top prospect Jason Heyward makes contact early in the game. He had a good day, going 2 for 4 and scoring a run:

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Kris Medlen started the game for the Braves, pitching two shutout innings:

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The Blue Jays watch from the dugout as Aaron Hill makes contact:

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The Jays’ Jose Bautista was nearly caught in a rundown, but somehow managed to elude the tag of Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman to make it back safely to first:

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Some people will do just about anything to get a foul ball. Even the umpire seems to be watching the kid, and not the game:

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Blue Jays outfielder Chris Lubanski is out at second. Lubanski is a non-roster invitee to the Jays camp, having been signed to a minor-league deal after spending the past 6 seasons in the Royals organization. I’ve always kind of followed his progress, as he is a local guy from my area. Having signed right out of high school, he’s still pretty young, only 24:

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The Jays ended up dropping this game to the Braves, 8-5. After the game we enjoyed a refreshing postgame brew at the Dunedin Brewery, before enjoying Mexican food for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants when we are in Florida, Casa Tina.

 

March 15 – Day 5

From St. Petersburg, Bradenton is an easy drive of 40 minutes or so south over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. The Pirates were hosting the Phillies today, so we made the drive and got there just before the gates opened.

I parked myself in a prime spot right by the end of the Phillies dugout near the backstop. My husband is left to wander around the ballpark carrying my extra stuff while I’m clicking away at all the activity on the field.

The Phillies came out to stretch while the Pirates were finishing up their portion of batting practice. One anonymous Phillie decided to stick out from the crowd during this drill:

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As the players were walking in and out of the dugout, they were mere feet away from me (and everyone else). Most of them seemed to try to not even look up and make eye contact. New Phillie Brian Schneider did come over and sign some autographs for the fans, as did coach Davey Lopes and manager Charlie Manuel – thanks guys! Jayson Werth signed one or two autographs, no more, but I did manage to catch a glimpse of his stylin’ shades:

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ESPN’s Dick Vitale and the Schwab were on hand. Dick seemed to be getting a lesson on gloves from Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins. Dick then came over to the dugout and signed autographs for anybody who wanted one:

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Zach Duke was on the mound for the Pirates. Duke gave up one run and two hits in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out four, but also walked three:

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Roy Halladay pitched for the Phils. He gave up three hits and one run (his first of the spring) in five innings. He struck out six, and walked two:

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John Mayberry, Jr., making a start in center field, connects on this pitch to drive in a run with a sacrifice fly:

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Ryan Howard “admires” (not) his mile-high pop-up:

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Placido Polanco is helped off the field after injuring his knee. He stumbled near the mound while tracking down a wind-blown pop-up. Thankfully, the injury was not serious, as Polanco is now back in action after a few days of rest:

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Lastings Milledge is forced out at second, as Jimmy Rollins throws to first to try for the double play (the throw was not in time):

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The Pirate Parrot appears to be using a Phillies fan as a footrest. Yo, Parrot, what’s up with that?

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Chase Utley chases down a fly ball in the infield on a very windy day. He made the catch, though it wasn’t particularly graceful:

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The Phils came out on top in this game, winning 5-1. Another Phillies victory on another sunny, though windy, day!

On our way out of McKechnie Field, we stopped for a quick photo op at the large AT&T advertisement with a cutout where Zach Duke’s head would be. How do I look?

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Afterwards, we took a scenic detour to check out the beaches on Anna Maria Island before heading back to St. Pete. We even stopped to stick our feet into the sparkling Gulf waters, but that water is not very warm in March! That explained why we didn’t see anybody actually swimming.

Next up, the third (and final) installment, covering our last two games in Clearwater before we reluctantly had to head home.

(all photos by me)

My Spring Training Adventure – Part 1

I’ve finally had a chance to sit down and sort through the many (and I mean MANY) photos that I took during last week’s Florida trip. To make writing about it a less daunting task, I think I will break it apart into at least two, maybe even three, entries.

March 11 – Day 1

Since I’d neglected to go online and print out our boarding passes until very late the previous night, my husband and I were near the back of the line for boarding our Southwest flight from Philadelphia to Tampa. While waiting to board our plane, we realized that the Philadelphia Union soccer team was on our flight with us. Whereas MLB teams have their own charter flights, MLS teams (at least this one) fly on Southwest.

By the time hubby and I got on board, there were no seats left next to each other. So I ended up two rows ahead of him, in the middle seat between two of said soccer players. While soccer players are not exactly behemoths, they are by no means small people. The two I was sandwiched between were both over six feet tall.

OK, so this was going to be a bit cozy.

As there was a very large storm system apparently covering the entire eastern seaboard, we had the bumpiest flight I’ve ever experienced. I am not a fan of flying, especially during turbulence, and most especially when my husband is not next to me so I can squeeze the bejeesus out of his knee. Our approach to Tampa was particularly rough, and since I decided it would be inappropriate to grab the knees of total strangers, I made do with clutching the back of the seat in front of me. After we’d landed, we found out there had actually been tornado warnings in the Tampa Bay area just prior to our arrival. Yikes!

Outside-9838.jpgWe picked up our rental car and proceeded without incident to our lodging for the week, the Inn at the Bay Bed & Breakfast in St. Petersburg. If you’re ever staying in the Tampa/St. Pete area, I highly recommend it. After checking in, we went for a walk around downtown St. Pete, checking out the empty Al Lang Field, former spring home of the Tampa Bay Rays. It must still be used for something, as the field was nice and green and obviously still being maintained. We made it back to the Inn just in time, as it then started to rain. Later on, we enjoyed an ice cream dinner at Cold Stone Creamery (we’d had a really late lunch and weren’t very hungry).

March 12 – Day 2

The Phillies had split squad games today, one in Lakeland against the Tigers and one in Port Charlotte against the Rays. We toyed with the idea of driving to Port Charlotte, but the weather forecast was not very promising. Eventually, we decided not to risk driving an hour and a half, paying for parking and tickets, and getting rained out.

Good thing, too, as both games did end up getting rained out. In fact, it rained just about the entire day.

We opted instead to drive to Bright House Field to do our shopping in the team store on a non-game day, to avoid waiting in the long line that usually forms at games. We also stopped for lunch at the renowned Lenny’s, and left very full.

March 13 – Day 3

Our first game action! Yay! The Phillies were hosting the Twins today at Bright House Field. We arrived nice and early to be there when the gates opened. Here are some of the better pictures from the day.

Former Phillie Clay Condrey stops by to say “hi” during batting practice:

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J.C. Romero peeks out of the clubhouse to check things out during the Twins’ BP. Looks like he’s still eating his dessert:

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After March, Bright House Field is home to the Phillies single-A affiliate, the Clearwater Threshers. Thresher mascot Phinley was on hand pre-game:

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Catching the ceremonial first pitch from former Phillie, and current announcer, Larry Andersen, was another former Phil, Desi Relaford. It was bubble-blowing time:

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Prior to the game, Shane Victorino tips his cap to the crowd:

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J.A. Happ was on the mound for the Phillies. He pitched four shutout innings, allowing only one hit, and needed just 49 pitches to do so:

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The Twins countered with Carl Pavano, who threw three shutout innings without allowing a hit:

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There’s just a wee bit of a height difference between Jimmy Rollins and Justin Morneau:

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The Phils’ resident caveman, oops, I mean Jayson Werth, makes contact:

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Jose Contreras pitched a shutout inning in relief. How does he stretch his fingers apart like that?

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Gotta keep this ball away from me! Twins reliever Pat Neshek has one of the oddest looking pitching motions around:

neshek.jpgFinal score: Phillies 5, Twins 4

And finally, what better way to cap off a Phils win on a beautiful day at the ballpark, than with a beautiful sunset
?

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That’s it for tonight – Part 2 coming soon!

(all photos by me except for Inn at the Bay)

Spring Phever, and I’m Phreaking Out!

Only three days to go until the hubby and I are headed to sunny Florida! I’ve been looking forward to this for the past, oh, two months or so, and now…

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OMG, only three days to go!… and I have once again procrastinated for the past month, telling myself I had plenty of time to get things organized and ready for my trip. And once again, the trip has snuck up on me, leaving me feeling totally stressed at the realization of everything I still need to do before Thursday morning.

When will I ever learn?

Thankfully, those of you reading this don’t have to deal with me in person the next few days, because I’m liable to be cranky and unpleasant. But once we’ve checked into our room, and I have my first refreshing adult beverage in hand, all worries will be forgotten (or at least pushed into the dark recesses of my mind for a few days).

Tickets are in hand for three Phillies games at Bright House Field – Phils vs Twins (3/13), Phils vs Tigers (3/16), and Phils vs Yankees (3/17). We also have tickets to see the Phillies play the Pirates in Bradenton on 3/15.

I’m really looking forward to the chance to use my new “toy”, which I just got last week:

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The Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L lens with Image Stabilization. I had a chance to try this amazing lens last year at a photo workshop held at a Lehigh Valley IronPigs game. Let me tell you, the difference between photos taken with my old lens and with this one was obvious – even my husband, who has no camera sense, could tell the difference.

I’m also looking forward to the chance to meet Jane Heller of Confessions of a She-Fan fame. Jane will also be at the 3/17 Phillies vs Yankees game. She’ll probably have her She-Fan Cam with her, so I hope I’m having a good hair day that day!

Topps? How About T-oops!

Ever wonder how the makers of baseball cards have shots of players with their new teams all ready before the season has even started (and spring training has barely started)?

Well, in the dark ages they used to take head shots of players with their heads tilted up, obscuring the logo on the cap, specifically to simplify the process of airbrushing out the offending team colors and adding the new ones.

Now, with the wonders of Photoshop, Cliff Lee can appear on a Topps Opening Day card, in game action, wearing a Seattle Mariners uniform.

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One little problem, though.

The black HK patch that the Phillies wore last season to honor the late Harry Kalas is still visible on Lee’s left side, just above the Mariners logo.

Wow, I didn’t realize Harry was so beloved that even Seattle wanted to honor him! ;-)

A Weighty Matter

As various media outlets in the Philadelphia region have noted recently, manager Charlie Manuel has slimmed down considerably since he began a diet and exercise program during the 2009 season. This photo from thefightins.com shows the dramatic change in Charlie’s appearance:

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Charlie says that his weight loss is due to NutriSystem, but after seeing this photo on the Phillies’ website recently, I think I know what really happened:

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Charlie transferred his weight to bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer.

I’m sure the weights listed in the Phillies yearbooks should be taken with a grain of salt (or maybe not, doesn’t salt make one retain water?). Anyway, while Charlie’s weight was gradually shrinking, Mick’s seems to have been growing, from 225 to 275 pounds.

Mick, ask Charlie about the NutriSystem!

Mid-Seventies Phlashback – Man-Perm Alert!

Another slow day baseball-wise, so I’m continuing my fond (or not-so-fond, whichever the case may be) look back in time. I’ve decided to combine 1974 and 1975 into one entry, to speed things along.

By 1974, the price of the Phillies magazine/program had gone up by a whole dime, from 50 cents to 60 cents. Instead of the fun pop-art cover of 1973, we now have something that looks like it could have been created by the semi-talented child of a member of the Phillies’ front office:

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Another change from 1973 is the appearance of an advertisement on the front of the magazine. Really, they couldn’t have squeezed this one inside somewhere? I hope the team squeezed mega-bucks out of Gino’s for such prime placement.

Ticket prices for the field boxes have also gone up slightly from 1973, though the terrace and loge boxes actually went down in price. Other seating options remained the same:
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Gone is the Phillies Family Album with its delightfully corny photos. Darn! But looking at the player photos is still fun. Mike Schmidt has now decided to grow the mustache that we all are so familiar with:

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Judging by this picture, no one told Jim Lonborg it was photo day. He looks like he has a very bad case of bed-head:

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According to the accompanying text, Lonborg suffered one of those classic freak injuries, breaking his toe by stubbing it against a hotel bed in Pittsburgh. A good attorney should be able to find a lawsuit in there somewhere. :-)

The ’74 Phillies were an improvement over the previous season – they finished in third place in the NL East with a 80-82 record. Four of the five primary starters remained the same from 1973, the only change being Ron Schueler in place of Ken Brett. Seven of the eight position players also remained unchanged, with Dave Cash taking over second base from Denny Doyle.

Things continued to look up in 1975. The Phillies would go 86-76 to finish second in the division. Ticket prices remained unchanged, as well as the price of the magazine/program, which was graced by improved artwork:

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The cover still contains advertising, this time for the brand-spankin’ new AMC Pacer, everyone’s favorite “fishbowl” car. Lauded at the time as a “car of the future,” it is, in my opinion, one of the ugliest vehicles ever.

1975 saw the arrival of some new faces, such as outfielders Garry Maddox and Jay Johnstone, catcher Johnny Oates, and relief pitcher Tug McGraw. Dick Allen returned to the Phils after a five-year hiatus with several other teams.

1975 also saw the arrival of the regrettable man-perm to the Phillies. This look was sported by not one, not two, but three members of the squad:

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I wonder if they ever look back upon this, and think to themselves, “What was I thinking?”

Bad hairdos aside, things would continue to improve for the Phillies, who would win the NL East the next three seasons (1976-1978). Due to unknown reasons, there were no programs from 1976 or 1977 in my husband’s trove of stuff. So next time I’ll jump ahead to 1978.

Phlashback to 1973

Lacking much in the way of compelling blog topics lately, I’ve decided to borrow an idea from Jenn at Phillies Phollowers, and take a look back at the past. Hope you don’t mind, Jenn!

For this first installment, I’ve unearthed a Phillies magazine/program from 1973. The cover is appropriately pop-art-ish:

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And look at that bargain price – only 50 cents!

Paging through, it’s interesting to note the various advertisements for tobacco products (Salem/Camel/Winston, Dutch Master/El Producto, Kent/Newport/True, Marlboro) and alcohol (Seagram’s whiskey, Jacquin’s vodka, Cutty Sark, Schmidt’s beer). In contrast, a more recent copy of the magazine/program contained a single ad for Bud Light.

Going to a Phillies game back then was affordable family entertainment, based on these prices:
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A family of four would have paid only $17 for box seats! Today, $17 won’t even get one person into the ballpark – the lowest priced seats are $20. Using an online inflation calculator, one can see that the ticket prices have increased much more drastically than just inflation alone would explain. I suppose part of that can be explained by the fact that the Phillies of the early 70’s were not very good, averaging just over 18,000 fans per game, whereas the current Phillies have made it to the playoffs three straight seasons, and averaged over 40,000 fans per game the past two seasons. Good old “supply and demand”.

Another interesting feature is the “Phillies Family Album,” a collection of obviously staged photos on the last few pages. Here’s a sample:

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In case it’s hard to see, they are:
Susie and Billy Wilson (what are they looking at? certainly not the camera);
Rosemary and Jim Lonborg (probably hoping that seagull doesn’t poop on them);
Terry and Kay Harmon (bet she’s wondering why the other two wives got first billing and she didn’t).

The Phillies’ rotation that year included Steve Carlton, Wayne Twitchell, Ken Brett, Jim Lonborg, and Dick Ruthven. Position players included Bob Boone, Willie Montanez, Denny Doyle, Larry Bowa, Greg Luzinski, Del Unser, Bill Robinson, and in his first full season, Mike Schmidt.
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I’d never seen a photo of Schmidt without his mustache before – it looks a little odd!

Neither Schmidt nor the Phillies fared too well in 1973. Schmidt ended the season with a .196 batting average, and the Phillies finished last in the six-team NL East with a 71-91 record.

In upcoming posts, I’ll take a look at 1974, 1975, 1978, and 1979. Not sure why there is a two year gap – these all came from my husband’s formative years, so I’ll have to ask him what happened to 1976 and 1977.

Happy Blogiversary!

cupcake1.jpgToday marks the one-year anniversary of this blog. Last year, in a fit of extreme boredom, I decided to unleash my random thoughts upon the unsuspecting MLBlogs community. My very first blog was actually rather cringe-worthy (wherein I mostly complained about the month of February), so I won’t force you to read it again by reposting it here. :-)

Since then, I’ve electronically “met” a lot of great baseball fans, not only of the Phillies, but other teams as well, even the dreaded Yankees (sorry Jane!). I’m looking forward to another year of great blogging, and I hope you are too!

Adventures in Online Ticket Purchasing

As I mentioned in my last post, the hubby and I are headed to Clearwater in March for some Spring Training! I had anxiously been counting the days until today, when single-game tickets went on sale this morning at 9 am. Since one of the games on our agenda is the March 17th Phillies vs. Yankees game, I needed to be ready to order the moment the tickets went on sale.

The games against the Yankees are always tough to get, because, well, it’s the Yankees. And of course, they are the current World Champs (as if I could forget that). And the 17th is
St. Patrick’s Day, when the Phillies look like this:

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Kind of like a team of Christmas elves.

Therefore, of the three games I wanted to purchase, this one was the priority, the one to order first. So I made sure I was all caffeined up, at my computer, credit card in hand, well ahead of 9:00. I decided to at least go as far in the purchasing process as possible ahead of time, so I clicked on the ticket icon and a new window opened up, telling me that only a certain number of customers are allowed access at one time, to make for a more “pleasant” purchasing experience. Hmph. In the meantine, a timer kept counting down until the next time it would refresh. I decided to let it keep going, and a few minutes before 9, I had access!

I entered the quantity, selected the seating location, and got taken to the next screen – the frustrating one with the jumble of letters and numbers you’re supposed to enter before being allowed to actually buy the tickets. After agonizing over whether or not the “W” was capital or lowercase, I had my finger poised to click the moment the clock hit 9:00.

Nine o’clock came, I clicked, and was immediately told that there were no seats available in the level I’d chosen, BUT there were berm tickets available. What!?!? How could the berm be all that was left ALREADY?? Beggars can’t be choosers, so I accepted that option and continued on to the other two games.

The whole time I’m going through this process, the little clock at the top of the page kept ticking away the miniscule amount of time they allow for completing the purchase, or else the tickets are “released”. After all three games were ready to be purchased, I continued to the next step, where I could log in if I was a returning customer, or create a new account. Aack!! What to do?

I’d purchased Spring Training tickets before, but that was three years ago. I didn’t think my account would still be active, and even if it was, what password might I have used? So I chose “create new account”. After entering all the required information and submitting, it told me my email address was already in use! Try again!

By now I only had about 45 seconds left. I tried to go through the process again, using my other email address, but as I was cursing and hyperventilating, time ran out. “Sorry”, the browser told me. A string of profanity that would fry your ears issued forth.

I quickly went back through the whole process, cryptic letter combinations and all, and decided to try what my husband had suggested – my “usual” password. It worked! Hallelujah! I was finally able to exhale, my morning’s work completed.

Only 56 days and counting…

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