Back home Thursday to face the Rays on national TV, ESPN and MLB Network.
Thursday’s also the day for players and staff to bring personal luggage, bikes, strollers and golf clubs for the equipment truck that gets packed Friday morning for the ride north. Phillies have a night game in Tampa on Friday against the Yankees.
Friday is also the day players and staff automobiles are loaded on transports. The team leaves for Philly after Sunday’s game in Orlando.
In other words, Phase Three of every spring (let’s get the regular season started) is rapidly approaching.
Minor leaguers on the 7:45 a.m. bus today (Twins, Ft. Myers) include infielders Miguel Abreu and Albert Cartwright, catcher Jeff Lanning, pitchers Frank Gailey, Justin Friend, Tyler Knigge and Juan Sosa. Minor league camp also ends on Sunday.
Spring Training Memories
“I signed in 2000 and went right to Batavia. So my first spring camp was the following year and I was invited to the major league camp which was at Jack Russell Stadium. My number was 80. A bunch of lockers were in the middle of the room and that’s where I was, along with the other rookies. Stayed at the Econo Lodge but didn’t have a roommate. When I walked in the clubhouse there were so many of the players I had watched on TV 4-5 months ago. It was a very cool experience. My stay in the big league camp wasn’t that long. I was among those in the first cut.”
Opening Day Memories
Larry Christenson (RHP, 1973-83)
“April 6, 1973, at Shea Stadium in New York, Steve Carlton vs. Tom Seaver. I was 19 years old and the youngest player in the majors. Willie Mays was in the Mets dugout as a player and at the end of a great career. Seaver struck out 8 and beat Carlton in a very close game. I was on the front step as close to home plate as possible and remember the explosive fastballs from each of them on a cool dark night lit by the lights at Shea. I was scheduled to pitch in game 2 against Koosman on Saturday night but got rained out. They held me back until a game against the Mets, Friday, April 13. I won my debut, pitching a complete game.”
For more Alumni memories of opening day, check out www.phillies.com.