Camp continued on the fields today but there’s also stuff happening off the field.
Friday night is the annual Phan Fest at Bright House Field. Saturday night, Karen and Jamie Moyer are receiving he humanitarian award from the Clearwater For Youth organization at their annual banquet. They certainly deserve the award.
All players are undergoing eye exams split over today and tomorrow. Sunday Mickey Morandini comes in as a guest instructor for a couple of weeks. He’ll spend time in both the majors and minor camps.
Just think, there’ll be no baseball games this weekend. That won’t happen again until after the World Series in October.
Daily feature here are spring training memories from our Alumni. They were asked three questions (1) First spring training and their remembrances; (2) What they liked the most about spring training, and (3) What they liked the least.
Dallas Green (RHP, 1960-64; 1967; MGR, 1979-81)
“1956, Bob Conley, Don Cardwell, Chris Short and I were invited to a mini-camp before the big league camp opened in Clearwater. We stayed at the West Coast Hotel, three to a room. We weren’t allowed to have cars so we walked everywhere. Short and I road the train from Wilmington, DE. We were kept around to throw BP, Hamner, Jones, Ennis, Ashburn and those guys. We were young, wild, could throw hard and we were trying to impress everyone. The vets hated us, didn’t want to face us. Later, I was sent to Bennettsville, SC, where the Phillies low minor league players trained. I wore 177 or 176. The next year, I was drafted by the Army at the start of spring training. I thought my career was over before it started. Took a bus back to Philly for a physical exam. The following day, we were lined up to get on a bus for boot camp in South Carolina. Four of us were called out of line and taken into a little room. They told me I had failed my physical because of a hernia. So, back on the bus for spring training. During the early days, you were always trying to impress someone. I was nervous, scared but excited to be rubbing elbows with Roberts and Simmons. In ’56, the younger players used the old clubhouse at Athletic Field, the field we called Iwo Jima. We weren’t allowed at Jack Russell Stadium. That old clubhouse was awful. You almost had to dress and shower in shifts. The hardest part was being sent down and having to pack and move. You might go from Clearwater to Plant City and then to Bennettsville or Leesburg.”
Next post: Monday, March 1. Taking a short break.