Time to play ball.
Grapefruit League opener is Saturday, the Yankees at Bright House Field. 1:05 p.m. First three games are against the Yankees, Sunday in Tampa and Monday in Clearwater again.
Gates open at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday. Phillies are in the midst of BP at that time. The enemy gets BP at 11:15 a.m. Infield: Phillies, 12:15 p.m.; Yankees, 12:30 p.m.
Just like opening day at Citizens Bank Park, Saturday’s opener will be special. Three jumpers from US SOCOM will parachute into the park with the first ball. The US Coast Guard will provide a fly over following the Anthem sung by Lisa Casalino. MacDill AFB will provide the color guard. Newly elected Clearwater George Cretekos will throw out the first ball along with 7-year-old Jacob Breault.
Oh, Phillies baseball wouldn’t be the same without Phillie Phanatic and he/she/it will be there. Phanatic needs spring training, too, you know.
From the time the gates open until the sixth inning on Saturday, fans can contribute to a large mural of Phillies history. It will be set up by Section 120. Paint brushes will be supplied.
The Mural is co-sponsored by the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program and the Phillies. The mural will tower nearly eight stories high, located on the side of a building at 200 South 24th Street at the base of the Walnut Street Bridge along the banks of the Schuylkill River.
Unveiling is being planned for Friday, August 10, during Toyota Alumni Weekend. Time is tentatively set for 12 noon. Many of the Phillies Alumni featured on the mural will be there.
**Full camp of 167 minor leaguers will work out for the first time on Sunday. The 10 a.m. workout is open to the public.
**Souvenir store at Bright House Field will be open on Sunday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
**John Brazer, Director, Publicity, and broadcaster Tom McCarthy, will have post-game radio show Sunday from Tampa on WBCB out of Levittown, PA (www.wbcb1490.com).
**WPHT 1210’s Dom Giordano will broadcast live from Bright House Field on Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m. until noon.
**A year ago, Phillies were 21-14 in spring training, drawing a record 157,201 at Bright House Field.
Spring Training Memories
Darren Daulton (C, 1983; 1985-97)
“I fell in love with Clearwater the first spring, 1981. I don’t remember my uniform number. Heck, it might have been 125! I think Ken Dowell was my roommate. I was scared to death that first day but fit right in because everyone else in the clubhouse was scared. I enjoyed being able to work my rear end off while looking at palm trees. I thought I was in paradise. Conversely, I disliked looking at palm trees while working my rear end off.”
More Alumni memories of spring training can be found at www.phillies.com/alumni.