Spring training is over. The Phillies flew home on a United Airlines charter last evening. Lehigh Valley, Reading and Lakewood clubs fly north tomorrow. Clearwater Threshers head south by about 400 feet tomorrow from the Carpenter Complex to Bright House Field.
Minor leaguers who didn’t make one of the four season-opening rosters have a few days off before extended spring training begins at Carpenter Complex. Injured players on rehab assignments will take an Easter Day break but resume on Monday in the large indoor batting cage/weight room center at Carpenter Complex. The Threshers’ front office staff who’ve been working daily since spring training began have a half-day spring break today before back to their second floor offices in a quieter Bright House Field on Monday. The third floor, which accommodates the staff from Philadelphia for spring training, is now empty and remains that way until next February.
The Phillies finished 12-17-2, not the best record by far. Other clubs have poorer records. Bottom line, the games were exhibition games and now 30 teams start the real season, 0-0.
Five years ago, the Phillies won a club-record 21 spring games, had a rotation of Halladay-Lee-Hamels-Oswalt-Blandon, were forecast to win their third world championship, won the East for the fifth straight year but saw high hopes end with a 1-0 loss to St. Louis in the deciding Game 7 of the National League Division Series. Since then, Utley, Howard, Oswalt, Halladay and Lee suffered career-changing injuries and the Phillies began a descent.
Bleakness is forecast for this year’s club. Time will tell. In 1993, the Phillies were picked to finish last for a second straight season but their season lasted until Game 6 in the World Series.
Play of rookie Odubel Herrera, the Rule 5 draftee . . . work ethic of Ryan Howard, extra hitting in the cage early yesterday morning on the last day . . . Cole Hamels . . . Jon Papelbon . . . Freddy Galvis . . . Chase Utley’s bat . . . David Buchanan . . . Awesome weather . . . Strawberry shortcake at Bright House Field.
The apparent career-ending injury to Cliff Lee . . . pendinig surgery on Mario Hollands’ left elbow . . . Domonic Brown’s injury . . . struggles by Phillippe Aumont, Miguel Gonzalez, Jerome Williams . . . Sunburn . . . Strawberry shortcake at Bright House Field.
Most spring training wins are 21 in 2011 as mentioned above. Most losses, 21, in 2004.
9 of this springs 16 Clearwater games were sold old.
Final attendance was 127,479, third best in Florida behind the Yankees and Red Sox.
Cole will have a media session following this afternoon’s Phillies batting practice as the Phillies take on the Pirates in the On Deck Series. How fast will the media pop a question about being trade rumors?
Papelbon, wearing Ruiz’ #51 jersey, gave up four runs yesterday. Does that ERA belong to Chooch?
Thanks to Chris and Steve for pointing out my error in Thursday’s blog. I wrote that Monday’s season opener is historic in nature as it is the first opening day against an American League team. Phillies began 2014 in Texas against the Rangers. Poor reporting on my part.
Roslyn, PA, native Don Hasenmayer, who turns 88 tomorrow. As an 18-year old infielder, he made his major league debut with the Phillies on May 2, 1945. He also played for thembriefly the following season and served his country during World War II. Don is a regular every year at Alumni Weekend.
Opening Day Memories
“Getting my first hit off Ken Holtzman, something I will never forget.”
“There are two special memories: my first opener as the Phillies manager in 1980 and then receiving our World Series rings the following year.”
“I was pinch-hitting against the Cubs and hit a scorcher up the middle that looked like a sure hit but Sandberg made an unbelievable diving stop and nailed me at first base.”
“1972, a nervous rookie in Chicago, in front of my family. Hit a home run off Fergie Jenkins and we won, 4-2.”
“I made the Cubs opening day lineup at third base in Cincinnati. Going to home plate and seeing Johnny Bench behind the plate was a thrill.”
“First game of the 1974 season, I hit a game-winning, two-run home run with one out in the last of the ninth inning to beat the Mets and Tug McGraw, 5-4.”
“My very first opening day with the Cardinals was not a fond memory….I was on the bench.”
It is rare that a player will hit two home runs in a spring training game. A few years ago, Chase Utley did it for the Phillies. Now, he’s done it in each of his last two Grapefruit League games, including yesterday.
He missed the first 10 games because of a January sprained ankle. He’s caught up, quickly. As the late Harry Kalas once said, “Chase you are the man.”
Phillies 69th consecutive spring training in Clearwater comes to an end this afternoon with the Rays at Bright House Field.
Buses will leave about an hour after the last out for the Tampa airport and a charter flight back to Phillies. Pirates 7:05 on Friday night and 1:05 on Saturday afternoon in the On Deck Series at Citizens Bank Park.
Red Sox and Phillies open the season, 3:05 on Monday afternoon. It is historic in nature…the first time the Phillies have started a season against an American League team.
Phillie Phanatic will appear on Good Morning America on Friday morning between 8 and 9. Show is featuring “mascot madness” as opening day approaches.
Chad Billingsley will make his third minor league start this afternoon at Carpenter Complex. He’s doing well and could be in the rotation around the middle of this month. That’s the hope anyway.
Fred wants to know if Odubel Herrera is related to Pancho Herrera who played for the Phillies in 1958; 1960-61. Don’t believe so. Odubel was born in Venezuela while Pancho is from Cuba.
Bobby Abreu, Aaron Rowand, Dave Dellucci and Roy Oswalt will be playing in the Hall of Fame Classic held annually on Memorial Day weekend in Cooperstown. Sounds like a fun weekend.
Check out a really cool image of the Phillies during spring training 100 years ago in St. Petersburg’s Coffee Pot Park at http://www.phillies.com/alumni. Thanks to Rich Westcott for sharing the black and white photo.
1915 Phun Fact
Fred Luderus (lu-DARE-us) was the Phillies captain in 1915. He led the club in hitting during the season (.315) and World Series (.438) and hit the Phillies first World Series home run. He played 11 seasons with the Phillies (1910-1920), 1,298 games at first base, the most in franchise history. Fred’s record won’t last long as Ryan Howard begins this season with 1,278 games at that position.
Final Spring Training Memory
Chris Wheeler (PR, 1972-82; broadcaster 1983-2013)
“My first trip to Clearwater was in February, 1972, first spring training and staying at the Ft. Harrison Hotel. Everyone lived there including the players. It was a tremendous bonding experience with the media present every afternoon in the ‘cheese room.’
“The first looks at the Complex and Jack Russell Stadium were almost a spiritual experience to a baseball nut who had only heard about those shrines through newspapers, photos and occasional black and white video.
“My most memorable experience was sitting with Larry Shenk in the hotel coffee shop for breakfast when he told me we were trading Rick Wise for Steve Carlton. We both knew it was going to be an unpopular move. It was. The rest is Phillies and baseball history. My first exhibition game also was memorable. Shortly before the game Larry said he PA announcer didn’t show up and asked me, ‘Have you ever done the PA and if I would do it today?’ I had never done any such work but I instantly replied, yes. Except for two years when I was part of the TV team, I’ve been the PA announcer for every Clearwater home game since then.
“What do I like about spring training? Everything. Even back in the days when you worked long hours in PR. Now I have a chance to be around baseball, play golf and enjoy one of the prettiest locations in the country. What do I dislike about spring training? Easy. The day we leave town. It always goes too fast.”
The four-man rotation is set: Cole Hamels today, Jerome Williams tomorrow, Aaron Harang on Friday night and David Buchanan on Saturday afternoon. The Phillies 133rd season begins at 3 p.m. on Monday, the American League Boston Red Sox. Cole gets the nod for the opener.
While that is set, the 25-man roster is still a work in progress. Domonic Brown was put on the DL effective March 27. He could be activated in the middle of April.
Phillies have a charter flight to Philadelphia after Thursday’s game. On Deck Series with the Pirates is 7:05 on Friday night and 1:05 on Saturday afternoon.
Lehigh Valley coach Mickey Morandini will start the season as the Reading hitting coach, filling in Frank Cacciatore who is away for personal reasons.
WPHT’s Rich Zeoli will broadcast live from the Tiki Bar today and tomorrow, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Final minor league games at Carpenter Complex are at 1 p.m. on Friday, two Class A clubs, Phillies and Blue Jays. Four minor league teams open their respective season on April 9.
Joe Blanton, attempting a comeback with the Royals, has agreed to go to AAA Omaha. Ryan Madson is still in camp with KC.
Mike Adams is going to AAA with the Dodgers who signed Freddy Garcia to a minor league contract.
Reid Brignac, Kevin Fransden and David Herndon have been released.
Roberto Hernandez made the Astros staff.
1,956 players have worn a Phillies uniform since the franchise was established in 1883. The Cubs (1,985) and Cardinals (2,039) have had more players.
Spring Training Memories
Curt Simmons (LHP (1947-1950; 1952-1960)
“Major League Baseball had a rule you had to be on the big league roster if you got a big bonus which I did in 1947 after graduating from high school. I went to spring training for the first time in 1948 in Clearwater. Heck, it was my first time in Florida. Stayed at the Fort Harrison Hotel. Not sure about a roommate but I do remember Cy Perkins, a coach, roomed with me the first night. I remember it well because his snoring kept me up all night. My uniform number was 28 right from the start. We practiced and played games at Athletic Field. It had a small clubhouse. You dressed quickly so you could go out on the field. I was just 18 and really didn’t know many people or what to expect. George Earnshaw was a roving pitching instructor. He’d line up all the pitchers for a race. I usually won because I was in good shape and could run. Took the train to Clearwater, something like 24 hours to get there. Clearwater was a small town then, mostly orange groves.”
Hard to believe Wednesday is April 1. No foolin’. April means baseball is back and income tax is due. The beauty and the beast.
For the Phillies, April 1 is the second-last Clearwater game with the Braves coming to town. The Rays on Thursday, April 2, and then “outta here”.
Pirates mauled the Phillies on Monday in Bradenton and both benches emptied but no punches were thrown. This Friday and Saturday the two teams meet in the On Deck Series at Citizens Bank Park. Will bad blood continue?
Spring Training Awards
Before Wednesday’s game, the Phillies will present three annual awards:
**Bill Giles, for player in minor league camp that stood out, catcher Andrew Knapp.
**Larry Rojas, for the most impressive Hispanic player in the minor league camp, infielder Grenny Cumana.
**John Vukovich, for a member of the instructional staff that demonstrates loyalty, dedication, competitiveness, knowledge and terrific work ethic, Steve Schrenk, a former pitcher who has been a member of the Phillies instructional staff since 2004.
Monday’s Best Tweet
From Todd Zolecki: “PSA: Phillies fans driving to Bradenton this morning. Lots of speed traps on the way, especially on 41 South.”
On The Air
For the second straight day, new voices are broadcasting today’s Phillies game on the internet as LA and Franzke have returned to Philly.
The voices are Jon Schaeffer, Director of New Media and a broadcaster for the Iron Pigs, and Kirsten Karbach who is entering her third year as the broadcaster for the Clearwater Threshers.
Phillies are hosting a What’s New at the Ballpark Preview party for the media and some season ticket holders today in the Hall of Fame Club to reveal what’s new at Citizens Bank Park for 2015. Heard a new burger is on board.
LA and Franzke are the hosts, two party animals.
To Dan Goroff, who began working for the Phillies in 1987 and worked his way up to the Director of the Ticket Department, who is retiring after today. Berks County’s gift to the Phillies was a loyal and dedicated employee who spent the first half of every home game in his office watching on TV before getting to see the final innings in the Executive Suite on the Press Box Level.
Claims he’s going to polish his golf game which currently is more fitting for the comedy channel than the golf channel. Well, that’s what I’ve heard.
Spring Training Phun Fact
Twenty years ago in spring training Richie Ashburn received the long-awaited call that he was going into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Spring Training Memories
Bobby Shantz (LHP, 1964)
“Geez, that was a long time ago. I signed in 1948 and was sent to Lincoln, NE, where I won 18 games. So my first camp was the next year and it was the big league camp. The A’s trained in West Palm Beach. We stayed in a hotel in downtown and ate there too. My roommate was Alex Kellner. Next year I was married and we rented a small house. My first uniform number was 30 and that’s what I wore all of my six years with the A’s. Met Mr. Mack (manager Connie Mack) that spring. He was quiet and I don’t remember him talking to me very much. I always loved spring training. Heck, it got us out of the crappy winter weather in the north into sunshine in Florida. Spring training then meant getting in shape, although Robin Roberts, Richie Ashburn, Curt Simmons, Stan Lopata, and I worked out all winter in Conshohocken. There was nothing I disliked about spring training.”
Rookie manager Pat Moran led the Phillies to their first National League pennant in 1915 finishing seven games ahead of the defending World Champion Boston Braves. The 39-year-old former catcher was baseball’s first manager since the turn of the century to win a championship without prior experience. Photo: Bob Warrington collection.
**Bags are stacking up in the storage room at Bright House Network Field. Equipment truck will take equipment, personal luggage, golf clubs, bicycles and back to Philly starting Tuesday morning. Game day equipment will go on Thursday’s team charter.
**Departing this morning were two huge transport trucks carrying vehicles of the players and staff.
**Boarding the 9:30 a.m. bus today for a trip south to Bradenton was RHP Zach Elfin who was acquired in the Jimmy Rollins deal. He’ll start against the Pirates. Eflin’s slated to be part of a very promising young rotation at Reading.
**Minor league games at Carpenter Complex this afternoon feature the AAA and AA Phillies against the same for the Yankees. Tuesday, same organizations but the two games will be Class A teams.
**Phillies final Florida road game is Tuesday, a three-mile journey to Dunedin.
**Final Florida games are Wednesday (Braves) and Thursday (Rays) in Clearwater.
**Sunday morning camp cuts left the Phillies with 36 players: 17 pitchers, three catchers, eight infielders and eight outfielders. Deadline for filing the 25-man opening day roster is 3 p.m. Sunday.
*With Ben Davis moving from the pre- and post-game shows on Comcast SportsNet to the TV booth, Ricky Bottalico returns to do half of those shows. Tommy Greene and Marlon Anderson will split the other half.
**Four years ago on March 28, the Sports Illustrated cover featured the Phillies outstanding rotation Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels and Joe Blandon.
Citizens Bank Park
While the Phillies team on the field is getting ready for the season, another team is back north getting Citizens Bank Park ready.
Carolyn DiGiuseppe is the General Manager, Facilities, for Global Spectrum. She oversees the maintenance of the ballpark. Her team is busy:
**Electricians are re-lamping sport lights, street lights and parking lot lights. In addition, work continues on the power hook-up for the metal detectors which are now required at all ballpark entrances.
**Plumbers continue to turn on water which was turned off during the winterization.
**Cleaning staff is everywhere, including cleaning all windows.
**Inspections of elevators and escalators have been completed.
**Ballpark signage repairs are being made.
**Sherwin Williams clock will be refaced this week.
**Ashburn Alley bleachers are being reinstalled.
100 years ago the Phillies lost their first World Series, 4-1, to the Boston Red Sox. Because of interleague play, the Phillies and Red Sox are opening the season against each other for the first time a week from today.
Spring Training Memories
Dick Ruthven (RHP, 1973-1975; 1978-1983)
“I was drafted in January of 1973, signed and a few weeks later was in spring training with the major league club in Clearwater. Dressed in ‘rookie row’, a tiny row of tiny lockers. My number was 59 or something like that. Stayed with LC (Larry Christenson) on the beach. I remember the first time we worked out at the complex I saw a pitcher warming up with the name Wallace on the back. I recognized him right away. I had played against him in Virginia when I was 11. I liked spring training. You were spoiled being a pitcher because you got off early when it wasn’t your turn to start and could go golfing, fishing or the beach. Bull and Boonie would get home about 5 and I had already spent most of the day on the beach. I wasn’t crazy about the bus rides and being from the west coast, I wasn’t used to the humidity.”
Minor league camp number increased to 153 when INF Chase d’Arnaud and OF Darin Mastroianni were reassigned to the Carpenter Complex after Wednesday’s game. That leaves 42 players in the major league camp with seven more games in Florida after today.
Games continue daily at Carpenter Complex through April 3. Two games every day at 1 p.m. with the exception of this Saturday when games begin at 10 a.m. Staff then meets to begin assigning players to four minor league teams and probably cut some players. Lehigh Valley, Reading and Lakewood fly north on April 4. Clearwater Threshers walk 400 feet from the complex to their clubhouse at Bright House Field that same day. Players that don’t make those four rosters will remain at Carpenter Complex in extended spring training. SS J.P. Crawford is sidelined for 4-6 weeks with an oblique strain.
Phillies will fly north after the Thursday, April 2, game to face the Pirates in the annual On Deck Series. Those games at Citizens Bank Park are Friday, April 3 (7:05 p.m.) and Saturday, April 4 (1:05 p.m.).
MLB Network with Harold Reynolds will be in camp on Friday for interviews.
WIP’s Josh Innes and Tony Brown will be on the air live from the Tiki Bar Friday at 1 p.m., which is game time against the Yankees.
Saturday is a long bus ride south to Naples for a game with the Twins. Long as in 2 hours, 45 minutes. Back home Sunday afternoon against the Tigers. Then in Bradenton vs. the Pirates on Monday.
Home plate looks as if it ground but it isn’t. Rather it is artificial turf that looks like ground. The two mounds at the far end are made of ground and clay. Green grass is real. Twelve high, patio-like chairs are available for each team. Six red umbrellas, sponsored by Budwiser, provide some shade.
One person, security’s Rand Stollmack, is in charge of the bullpen. His day for a game day begins at 9:30 a.m. and ends about 30 minutes after the last out. Most game day employees receive a break, which allows for some food or beverages. Rand doesn’t get a break. How about lunch? Pointing to a small blue cooler, “I bring my own lunch.” Today’s menu? “Peanut butter and jelly sandwich.”
Spring Training Phun Fact
The Carpenter Complex clubhouse was named the Paul Owens Training Facility in 2012 in honor of the man whose vision led to the building of the complex which opened in 1967.
Spring Training Memories
Brett Myers (RHP, 2002-2009)
“First minor league camp was 15 years ago at Carpenter Field. Stayed in the Econ-O-Lodge and roomed with Russ Jacobson, a catcher. My memory of my first day was like the first day of school, excited and nervous. Minor league spring training wasn’t the easiest work days back then so there wasn’t much to like about it. You spend all day at the field. When games started we had to do pitching charts and the radar gun and sometimes didn’t get home until 6 p.m. and then had to wake up and do it all over again. It was Groundhog Day. I guess the best thing was when it was over and the season started. Big league spring training was fun because it was like a mini-vacation for our families. The days weren’t as long and we were able to spend time with teammates and our families. Loved when the regular season games started, especially the home games. The support we got from fans in Philly made every season feel like it was going to be a winning one.”
Back on February 9, Frank Coppenbarger, Director Team Travel and Clubhouse Services, circulated an e-mail that the equipment truck would leave for Clearwater on February 13. That was a signal that spring training was right around the corner.
Well, he e-mailed again on Monday: “The equipment truck to Citizens Bank Park will leave on Tuesday, March 31.” That’s a signal that the season is right around the corner.
Nine more days in Florida.
OF Adolfo Phillips, RHP Humberto Robinson, LHP Bruce Chen, and C Carlos Ruiz are Panamanians that have played for the Phillies. 22-year-old right-hander Severino Gonzalez will be #5 when he makes it to the majors. He handled himself well on Monday, three scoreless innings against the Braves, four hits, no walks, two strikeouts. He’s scheduled to pitch at Lehigh Valley this season.
RHP Aaron Harang stayed back in Clearwater on Monday to pitch in a minor league game at Carpenter Complex. He threw 75 pitches during a five-inning outing in which he gave up six hits, three runs.
RHP Chad Billingsley will pitch in a minor league game at Carpenter on Thursday. Phillies Class AAA and AA teams will be playing the same levels from the Yankees at Carpenter Complex at 1 p.m. There is no admission charge.
Or, you can drive to Dunedin where the Phillies play the Blue Jays tomorrow.
Spring Training Phun Fact
Phillies defeated New York Yankees, 5-1, in first game played at Bright House Network Field, March 4, 2004. SS Jimmy Rollins hit the first home run.
Spring Training Memories
Tom McCarthy (Broadcaster, 2001-2005; 2007-)
“I remember my first big league spring training like it was yesterday. It was 2001. I had no idea of where I was going or where I was staying. I wound up staying at the old Adams Mark on Clearwater Beach. That night I watched the sunset for first time and thinking it was the most spectacular thing I have ever a seen.
“I had this oversized recorder that was the width and length of a school notebook binder to do a feature segments of the radio pre-game show called, ‘Growing Up With Baseball’. My first interview was with Larry Bowa. When I was done, he thanked me and welcomed me aboard. He said: ‘Thanks Mac, let me know if you need anything.’
“I must have done six features that day. I didn’t want anyone to think I was there fooling around. And, I thought it was the greatest thing to hang in the press box that day with Wheels, Harry, LA and Scott (Graham). I was part of their team and they made me feel so welcome.”
Off To Disney
Severino Gonzalez, a 22-year-old Panamanian right-handed pitcher, climbed aboard the Phillies 8 a.m. bus this morning. Destination: Disney World. No, he’s not going vacationing. The Braves hold spring training there and Gonzalez is starting for the Phillies. Aaron Harang, today’s scheduled starter, remained in Clearwater to get his work in a Class A minor league game at Carpenter Complex this afternoon. So, Gonzalez made the trip and will be pitching on ESPN TV.
On Friday, another pitcher from Carpenter Complex will be on the mound for the Phillies (the Yankees at Bright House Field). Say hello to 21-year-old Aaron Nola, last year’s #1 selection in the draft.
A look to the future.
Five Phillies are out of options meaning they need to clear waivers before they can be sent back to the minors: Cesar Hernandez, Freddy Galvis, Justin De Fratus, Andy Oliver and Phillippe Aumont. Galvis and De Fratus are sure shots to make the club. Oliver is a rule 5 selection.
Something like 135 players are out of options throughout baseball camps this spring.
My 2 Cents
Media opinions on trading Cole are all over the place.
We are wrong for not trading him earlier. We should trade him now before he gets hurt. We should wait until the trading deadline to deal him. We should lower our demands. We should stick to our demands. We should pay a portion of his salary.
If a trade does happen, I suppose we will be wrong for not getting a better deal.
Spring Training Phun Fact
ICYMI: Molitor and Sandberg yesterday became the first Hall of Famers to manage against each other on the major league level. They threw out the first ball in tandem. The ball from the first pitch of the game was signed by both and is on its way to Cooperstown.
Spring Training Memories
Scott Franzke (Broadcaster 2006-)
“My first spring training memory came during my junior year at SMU. Two buddies and I decided to make spring training our spring break so we started driving from Dallas to Florida after the last class on Friday. We were non-stop with three of us taking turns. We got to Winter Haven where the Red Sox trained. The game was sold out so we wound up buying standing room. We spent two-three days in Florida, staying in the cheapest motels we could find and then drove back to Dallas.
“As far as my first big league camp, 2002 with the Rangers, their last spring in Port Charlotte. I did the pre- and post-game show on KRLD radio and was a fill-in play-by-play announcer. My first broadcast ever was the Phillies and Rangers. Vincente Padilla started for the Phillies.
“What do I like about spring training? Since living in Philadelphia, the warm weather is definitely appealing. What don’t I like? This may sound strange, Clearwater Beach traffic.”
100 Years Ago
Phillies players would often sneak away from spring training in Coffee Pot Park to the orange groves to supplement their meager lunches. Bert Adams, George Chalmers and Oscar Dugey are having fun in one of the groves. Photo: Bob Warrington collection.
From the lens of Miles Kennedy, the Phillies talented photographer:
Panoramic view of Saturday’s Alumni Day at Bright House Field.
Daulton and Bowa hug, two greatest Phillies to wear #10.
“You’re outtta here!” Looks as if retired umpire Jerry Crawford has ejected Larry Andersen.
“The skipper wants to see you.”
That’s basically the message one of the Phillies coaches delivers to a player when cutting the camp squad. C Tommy Joseph was the last player to get that message on Saturday, leaving the camp with 44 players. Limit is 25 by opening day in two weeks.
3B Maikel Franco had six singles before being optioned to Carpenter Complex on Friday. He homered in his first game there on Saturday for AAA club.
SS J.P. Crawford hit his first homer yesterday for AA club.
Phillies face Braves in Disney World, 1 p.m. Tuesday, ESPN TV. Busses at 8 a.m.
Young pitching prospects are being brought over from Carpenter Complex this week. Severino Gonzalez will start Tuesday against the Braves and Aaron Nola, Friday vs. Yankees at Bright House Field.
Two Phillies and Pirates Class A clubs will have games at 1 tomorrow afternoon at Carpenter Complex. Free admission. Aaron Harang will pitch one of the games.
Sunday’s Best Tweet @FranzkeLA
Franzke: “He speaks English, Spanish, Dutch and Papiamento.”
LA: “I get those in my olives.”
Spring Training Fun Fact
Pat Burrell had the last hit at Veterans Stadium and the last spring training hit at Jack Russell Memorial Stadium.
Spring Training Memories
Brandon Duckworth (RHP, 2001-2003)
“It would have been 1998 at Carpenter Field. Stayed at the Hampton Inn and roomed with Ryan Branyan. Have no idea what was my uniform number. I was really excited that first day, knowing that pro ball had finally arrived. I knew nobody but was looking forward to the challenge. Always glad to get to spring training and get out of the cold weather. Anxious to seeing teammates again and meeting new teammates. What didn’t I like? Well, in the big league camp, you were on the bottom of the totem pole as a rookie. So, you got to take all the 3-hour bus rides. Often, I never got in a game.”
Alumni Day, a new idea in spring training a year ago, is back for a second run. This Saturday many former Phillies players will be at Bright House Field, a 1:05 p.m. game against the Toronto Blue Jays, who just signed 38-year-old Randy Wolf. No, Randy won’t be at Alumni Day.
Gates open at 10:30 a.m. Some of the Alumni will swing into action at 11:30 a.m. until 12:15 p.m. There will be multiple autograph stations and greeters at the west gate entrances. Don’t be surprised if an Alumnus driving a golf cart shows up to pick up fans from the parking lot and drive them to the ballpark. That’s in the plans unless the Alumni driver gets lost.
At 12:45 p.m. over 40 Alumni will be introduced on the field, including those former players currently in uniform in the big league and minor league camps. That group will not appear at autograph stations because of their daily workout schedule.
There’ll be a few more surprises before and during the game.
Please be aware the list of names is subject to change.
2015 Alumni Day Roster
Dallas Green, Charlie Manuel
Billy DeMars, Carlos Arroyo, Roly deArmas
Larry Andersen, Chris Brock, Don Carman, Brandon Duckworth, Scott Eyre, Paul Fletcher, Aaron Fultz, Tom Gordon, Dave LaPoint, Dickie Noles, Robert Person, Shane Rawley, Steve Schrenk, Rich Surhoff
Darren Daulton, Mike Compton, Bill Nahorodny
Larry Bowa, Dick Allen, Dave Cash, Juan Samuel, Ron Clark, Ivan DeJesus, Denny Doyle, Pedro Feliz, Greg Legg, Pete Mackanin, Mickey Morandini, Tomas Perez, Desi Relaford, Ryne Sandberg, Andy Tracy
Greg Luzinski, Rob Ducey, Tony Longmire, Gary Matthews, Jason Michaels, John Morris, Matt Stairs
Jerry Crawford, Philadelphia native who’s retired and living in St. Petersburg.