Roster Countdown Continues

Countdown to opening day roster continues. Three cuts yesterday lowered the camp number to 40, of which there are 15 healthy hurlers. Eight players are expected to begin the season on the DL, which means there are 32 still in camp that could make the 25-man roster.

Phillies ended 0-4 vs. the Pirates in Florida yesterday. Two games against the Pirates this Friday and Saturday in the Citizens Bank Park On-Deck series. The two don’t meet in the regular season until the July 4 weekend (in Pittsburgh). Cross-state rivals have four games in Philly in September.

Tomorrow, the short trip to Dunedin for their sixth game against the Blue Jays, who hold a 4-1 edge. Final Clearwater game is Thursday afternoon, also against Toronto.

Meanwhile, the Yankees AAA and AA clubs will play the Phillies at Carpenter Complex tomorrow.

Spring Training Memories
Art Mahaffey (RHP, 1960-65)
“My first spring training camp was in Clearwater in 1957.  I played in Mattoon (IL) in 1956 right out of high school. I think my uniform number was 28, which was the same number I wore my entire career. I remember staying at the Fort Harrison Hotel, but the first year it could have been at a small hotel a few blocks north of the Fort Harrison. I don’t remember the name of it. Chris Short was my first roommate. The memory of the first spring training day was walking into the clubhouse, putting on a Phillies uniform, meeting all the other players, and then walking out on the field and pretending to be a big leaguer. I liked everything about spring training. I was 18 years old and had never been to Florida. Clearwater was a beautiful little resort town and it was a thrill to be there and to be wearing a uniform that said PHILLIES on it. Every day was better than the day before. There wasn’t anything I didn’t like about spring training.”

Countdown to Opening Day
8 days until the Phillies and Rangers begin the season in Globe Life Park, Arlington, TX.

Close race among four players: Tony Taylor, 11 seasons; Bob Boone, nine; Shane Victorino, seven and Juan Samuel, six. Hall of Famer Chuck Klein wore the number in his final season 70 years ago.

Opening Day Fun Fact
April 19, 1890—RHP Kid Gleason (5-foot-7) tosses Phillies first Opening Day shutout, 4-0, over the Giants in New York.

Early Bird Special
I’ll be signing my new book, If These Walls Could Talk, on Wednesday (March 26) at Bright House Field from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Official publication date by Triumph Books is May 1. That’s when it will be available on-line and in book stores. Thanks to Larry Bowa for writing the foreword.

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