Back-to-Back Home Games
Clearwater Chamber of Commerce day for baseball, lots of sunshine, warm and breezy. Same forecast for the rest of the week. Florida had its warmest winter since 1949-50.
Back-to-back home games start today. Trip to Lakeland on Friday, home on Saturday and a split squad on Sunday. First camp cuts could come early next week.
**94 WIP’s morning show (Angelo, Al, Rhea, & Joe) are broadcasting live from the Tiki Bar from 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. today, tomorrow and Friday. Entire crew gets to see the sun rise which is pretty cool at Bright House Field.
**Suite clients from Citizens Bank Park arrive today and will be here through Sunday.
Spring Training Memories
Dallas Green (RHP, 1960-64; 1967; MGR, 1979-81)
“It was 1956. Bob Conley, Don Cardwell, Chris Short and I were invited to a mini-camp before the big league camp opened in Clearwater. Short and I rode the train from Wilmington, Delaware. We stayed at the West Coast Hotel, three to a room. We weren’t allowed to have cars so we walked everywhere.
“We were kept around to throw BP TO 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, South Carolina where the Phillies low minor league players trained. I wore No. 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. I 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.”
More Alumni memories can be found at www.phillies.com/alumni.