Phanatic Around Town
Best road trip of the spring is on tap for Tuesday, a game in Dunedin against the Blue Jays. Trip is 3 miles. Phillies will take BP at Bright House Field and then board the busses at 11:30 a.m. for the short journey.
1210 WPHT’s Dom Giordano will be broadcasting live from the Tiki Bar, 9 a.m. to 12 noon on Tuesday. Radio stations from the Philly market will be here almost the entire month. John Brazer, Director, Publicity, has the chore of lining up guests for the stations.
Phillie Phanatic received a key to the City of Clearwater from Mayor George N. Creketos this morning at Pier 60 on the Beach. An appearance at the Marine Museum preceded the key presentation.
On Sunday, the Phanatic stopped at Lenny’s Restaurant and rode the Jolly Trolley on the beach.
SS Al Monchak, who played 19 games with the Phillies in 1940, turns 95 today. He joins RHP Fred Schmidt, 96 and 2B Moon Mullen, also 95, as the oldest Phillies Alumni. In terms of the oldest living baseball players, Schmidt ranks #4, Mullen and Monchak, tied at 9th.
Other Alumni birthdays this week include Cookie Rojas, 73, on March 6; Dick Allen, 70, on March 8, and Terry Mulholland, 56 on March 9.
When traded to St. Louis Scott Rolen was quoted as saying he was in baseball heaven. In all deference to Scott, baseball heaven is spring training at Bright House Field, especially when you can down a fresh strawberry shortcake while watching a ball game.
Players and staff were able to pitch-in painting the massive new mural celebrating the history of Phillies baseball on Friday and fans got a chance during Saturday’s game.
The 3,750-square foot mural will be displayed on the side of a building near the Walnut Street Bridge. Unveiling will be during the Toyota Alumni Weekend in August.
Spring Training Memories
Billy DeMars (CH, 1969-81)
“It was 1947 with the Dodgers minor leaguers and we trained at the Pensacola (Florida) 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 or 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 the uniform and with 350 or 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.”
More Alumni spring training memories can be found at www.phillies.com/alumni.