So Long February
First seven spring games alternate between Clearwater and the road. Today at home, tomorrow in Tampa, Sunday back home, at Port Charlotte on Monday and home again on Tuesday, which, by the way, is a 6:35 p.m. game. Today, we say good-bye to an 0-2 February.
Phillies TV trio will work today and Sunday. Jamie always worked on a four-day rotation.
The Yankees’ Tanaka, the rather expensive pitcher from Japan, makes his American debut against the Phillies tomorrow. Well, seven years ago, the Phillies were the first American team Matsuzaka, another high-priced Japanese pitcher, faced. That was the Red Sox at Bright House Field. Something like 65 Japanese media covered that game.
Karl posted a couple of comments yesterday, pointing out a mathematical error when I wrote Jack Russell Stadium opened in 1955 with a win and closed 59 years later with a loss to the Yankees. JRS’s last spring training game was 2003, which is 48 years later. Bad calculator or bad fingers or both.
His other comment was about Chuck Klein once wearing #32. The Hall of Famer wore six other numbers while with the Phillies, 1, 3, 8, 26, 29 and 36. So Chuck was part of three retired uniform numbers.
Opening Day Countdown
31 more days and the Phillies season begins, this year in Arlington, TX, against the Rangers.
Garry Maddox holds the record for the most years wearing this number, 12. Gary Wagner is next, five seasons. Among others are Danny Litwhiler (1942) Ken Brett (1973) and Randy Ready (1994-95). Most recent, Erik Kratz (2011-12-13). Currently, Brad Lincoln.
Spring Training Fun Fact
According to broadandpattison.com, the Phillies opened spring training in Southern Pines, NC, on this date in 1913. Is there a Northern Pines, NC?