Mother Nature Moves In
Day began for the big club with a pair of meetings. First was a media training session at 8 a.m. in the clubhouse. 45 minutes later, B.A.T. (Baseball Assistance Team) made its annual spring training visit.
Tigers are in Clearwater for a 1 o’clock game this afternoon, pending mother nature. Showers are predicted today, rain tonight and tomorrow. Field has been covered since yesterday afternoon. But, every effort will be made to play today’s game.
Back on the road tomorrow, going east and south. Yep, the old split-squad routine.
Rollins, Utley, Howard, Werth are headed east for Lakeland (Tigers) on 8:45 a.m. buses. Victorino, Polanco, Ibanez, Dobbs, Happ are on the 8:15 bus heading south for Port Charlotte (Rays).
Five minor league pitchers are being brought over tomorrow from Carpenter Complex for the trips.
A daily feature–spring training memories by Phillies Alumni, who were asked three questions: (1) Memories of their very first spring training; (2) What they liked the most about spring training, and (3) What did they like the least.
Billy DeMars (CH, 1969-81)
“1947 with the Dodgers minor leaguers and we trained at the Pensacola, FL, air base. They had a large complex of baseball fields. We lived in barracks and there were a ton of players. Back then the Dodgers had something like 26 minor league clubs, which amounted to 350-400 players. Every day they would blow a bugle at 6 a.m. We’d pile out of bed and get in lines. We lined up for everything, breakfast, lunch, dinner, meetings and heading to the workouts. I remember the first day, Wade Mathews would ride in a Jeep and blow a whistle every 15 minutes. That meant we had to jog around the fields. I don’t remember my number but we all had a paper number attached to the back of our jeseys and with 350-400 players there were high numbers. My first spring with the Phillies was 1969 at Jack Russell Stadium. As a hitting coach, I loved working with the players in the cages. It never seemed like work. There was nothing I disliked about spring training. I just loved the game and was glad to be part of it.”
Next post: tomorrow