Wearing Green

Start of another weekend in Clearwater.  Phillies in Bradenton Friday to face the Pirates, home Saturday with the Blue Jays and in Dunedin on Sunday to meet the Jays again.

TV schedule: Saturday, the Comcast Network and MLB.TV; Monday (Tigers at Bright House Field), TCN, ESPN and MLB.TV.

Saturday morning, MLB Security Department will speak with the minor league players at 7:30 and the big league club an hour later.  Monday morning, the players association will meet with the big leaguers at 8:30 a.m.  Generally, that meeting lasts long enough to wipe out batting practice.

Two minor leaguers are with the Phillies in Bradenton on Friday, OF Brent Clevlen (6) and INF Miguel Abreu (11).

St. Patrick’s Day
Phillies will wear green jerseys and hats on Saturday, a tradition that was started by Tug McGraw after he joined the Phillies in the mid 1970s.

But, thanks to Bob Warrington, a baseball historian and memorabilia collector, the Phillies actually wore green for the first time in 1899.  Bob sent a microfilm copy of an article that appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer on March 17, 1899.  Notice the different style of writing.

“CHARLOTTE, NC—In fitting commemoration of the day, the Phillies burst upon the startled natives this morning in their new sweaters trimmed with green. The collar is of a hue the like of which has never been seen this side of Ireland, and then, to accentuate it, there is a band of green running all the way round.  Altogether white and emerald make a striking combination.

“The boys gave two performances to-day.  All hands had breakfasted by 8 o’clock and at 9:30 they were on their way to the ground.  There their usual routine play was gone through, with batting to the fielders, the batteries warming up, and the infielders practicing on prospective double plays.

“The regulars, who did so much work yesterday were naturally sore to-day, but none of them appeared to mind that, knowing that in two or three days more of the present weather their aches and pains will have practically disappeared.”

Spring Training Memories
Tim McCarver (C, 1970-72; 1975-80)
“Let’s see, had to be 1960 in St. Petersburg in the Cardinals minor league camp. I don’t remember my uniform number other than it was under three digits. Some weren’t. My roomie was Geoff Long, a pitcher who later became a first baseman.

“I remember that in 1963 I was in the big league camp and I was awful. I was pressing. Heck, I missed catching some pitches by six inches. There was stress early in my career not knowing where I would be playing that season. It seemed like you were always trying to impress someone. As an older major leaguer, there was less pressure and you kind of developed a confident work ethic.

“What didn’t I like? Catching. (Laughter.) It was my job but all the catching in spring training got old. Then there was the small talk the first couple of days every spring. I remember in 1971 or 1972 or whenever, I came to Clearwater and passed out business cards: ‘I drove down’; ‘My weight is fine’; ‘I’m staying on the beach’; ‘The family is fine’; “I had a nice winter.’” (Laughter)

For more Alumni memories visit www.phillies.com/alumni.

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