For the fifth consecutive season, we’re opening at home. Weather seems to be fine for Sunday night’s Modell’s Sporting Goods Opening Night, an 8:05 national telecast on ESPN2.
There’s nothing like the season opener in baseball. Other sports can’t come close. Footballers will beg for the NFL, but what’s so exciting about seeing the first penalty flag dropped. Besides, football shouldn’t begin until late September.
Sunday night’s pre-game show has a lot in it. Come out early. For those who don’t have a ticket, the ceremonies will be on W. B. Mason Behind the Pinstripes Show on myphl17 in the Philadelphia TV market. For those scattered around the country and the glove, the ceremonies will be live on this website. Coverage for each will begin at 7:30.
Dating back to 1883, the Phillies are 56-68-2 in opening day. The 2? Tie games (1923 and 1924). Don’t know the circumstances. Perhaps someone out there can inform us.
From 1985 through 1992, we lost eight straight openers. Thank goodness there weren’t bloggers in those years. Longest winning streak, 6, 1914-18. Only coverage was newspapers back then.
Following World Series appearances: we’re 4-1, losing in 1981.
My favorite opening day?
It would be 1963, the year before I joined the Phillies. I was a sports reporter at the Wilmington (DE) News-Journal and was assigned to cover the first game at Connie Mack Stadium. I had never been to an opener and I was pumped. Heck, here I am, standing on the field before batting practice. Was I dreaming?
Pete Rose was a rookie with the Reds. Being a huge baseball fan, I knew all about Pete. I introduced myself at the batting cage and said something like, “I hope we are both around the game a long time.” Not the most brilliant comment. As I recall, he nodded affirmatively. Guess he was being polite.
What is your favorite opening day memory? Sunday night doesn’t count.
Delta charter carried 90 persons (players, staff, wives, kids, one grandchild) home Wednesday night. We touched down at 8:20 p.m. 20 minutes later, we were still taxing, which promoted Shane Victorino to text the man in charge, Frank Coppenbarger, “What are we doing? Driving to the park?”
Once at Citizens Bank Park, three buses unloaded, starting an early Easter Egg-style hunt for cars. Cars were parked on two levels of the Plaza Parking garage. Those armed with alarms cheated. Will alarms work for a real Easter Egg hunt?
Within 30 minutes, the equipment truck arrived with the luggage. “Rollins….Manuel….Franzke….Ciccotti….Giles,” barked the handlers. It then became a zig-zag scramble to get to your luggage. While lugging it to your car, dodge ball took over as you had to avoid collisions with people, kids and cars. Having to visit the men’s room badly, made it even more adventurous.
Happy to report no injuries and no lost luggage. Oh, I made it to the men’s room. What an informative ending to a blog!