Results tagged ‘ 2011 ’

“Number 31…”

Big thanks to my brother-in-law for shooting my Dan Baker introduction during the Phantasy Camp reunion. And an even bigger thanks to my personal cheering section!

Phillies Phantasy Camp 2011 Reunion - 9/15/11

Another big thanks to Lynne, wife of fellow camper Sam Daley, for shooting my introduction from her vantage point.

2011 Phillies Phantasy Camp Reunion Night

I was only ever on a Major League Baseball field once in my life. Standing on the concrete field they called “turf” at Veterans Stadium for photo day in 1989 was one thing. This was completely different. Just like every other moment I’ve had during this Phantasy Camp experience, you could not get that goofy grin of mine off my face during this reunion. The grass was perfect, the dirt was clean, the Fall-like weather was awakening, and Dan Baker’s voice boomed down from the heavens. This was a religious baseball experience.

On that photo day in 1989, my dad was by my side. Without a doubt, he was with me again on a Major League field.

And he would have the same goofy grin.

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Phillies Phantasy Camp 2011 Reunion - 9/15/11

Getting changed in the…

Phillies Phantasy Camp 2011 Reunion - 9/15/11

That’s why there weren’t any urinals.

Phillies Phantasy Camp 2011 Reunion - 9/15/11

Going High.

Phillies Phantasy Camp 2011 Reunion - 9/15/11

“Yes, I promise not to break from the group and run around the field… OK, I can’t really promise that.”

Phillies Phantasy Camp 2011 Reunion - 9/15/11 (Scott Palmer)

Hey there Scott.

Phillies Phantasy Camp 2011 Reunion - 9/15/11

Phillies Phantasy Camp 2011 Reunion - 9/15/11

My number was retired across from the visiting team’s clubhouse. They think of everything.

Phillies Phantasy Camp 2011 Reunion - 9/15/11 (Phillie Phanatic Lady Gaga egg)

“Calcified Clay? Check. Phillie Phanatic ‘Lady Gaga egg’? Check.”

I immediately recognized this from Opening Day…

REUTERS / Tim Shaffer

REUTERS / Tim Shaffer

Phillies Phantasy Camp 2011 Reunion - 9/15/11

Phillies Phantasy Camp 2011 Reunion - 9/15/11

Phillies Phantasy Camp 2011 Reunion - 9/15/11

Phillies Phantasy Camp 2011 Reunion - 9/15/11

Really Bryan? Control yourself.

Phillies Phantasy Camp 2011 Reunion - 9/15/11

Phillies Phantasy Camp 2011 Reunion - 9/15/11

Phillies Phantasy Camp 2011 Reunion - 9/15/11

“Bryan Sargent just ousted Placido Polanco as mayor of third base.”

Phillies Phantasy Camp 2011 Reunion - 9/15/11 (Florida Marlins dugout)

The Marlins are underwhelmed.

Phillies Phantasy Camp 2011 Reunion - 9/15/11

Hello there.

Phillies Phantasy Camp 2011 Reunion - 9/15/11

“I welcome you to Citizens Bank Park.”

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Phillies Phantasy Camp 2011 Reunion - 9/15/11

Phillies Phantasy Camp 2011 Reunion - 9/15/11

Phillies Phantasy Camp 2011 Reunion - 9/15/11

Phillies Phantasy Camp 2011 Reunion - 9/15/11

Phillies Phantasy Camp 2011 Reunion - 9/15/11

Phillies Phantasy Camp 2011 Reunion - 9/15/11

Phillies Phantasy Camp 2011 Reunion - 9/15/11

Phillies Phantasy Camp 2011 Reunion - 9/15/11

Phillies Phantasy Camp 2011 Reunion - 9/15/11

Let’s Try This One Again

The 2011 Phillies Phantasy Camp reunion will finally be happening tomorrow before the 7:35 game against the Florida Marlins. Ms. Irene wreaked havoc a couple weeks ago, rescheduling not only this reunion, but my “VIP Batting Practice Day”, which is still to be determined.

With the incredible run this year’s team has been on lately (and really, this entire season), I started thinking the hurricane’s disruption would be a blessing in disguise. As the days went by, the chance of now seeing the Phillies clinch their 5th National League East Championship in a row was a strong possibility. But no, the Houston A(AA)stros have unexpected taken two straight from the Fightins, thus eliminating the opportunity to see our boys celebrate on the field.

So, if you find yourself going to Citizens Bank Park tomorrow night, come early and take a gander at us Phantasy Campers as we are introduced on to the field before the start of the game (roughly 7 PM). If anyone cares, you will find me lined up along the first base line. Please keep your D batteries at home.

As usual, a full recap with pictures will follow.

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The other day I received an email from ESF to push the upcoming 2012 Phillies Phantasy Camp. No need to try and sell it to me!

I did find something interesting about this email however…

Yes. That would be the one and only Gary Matthews on that list. Sarge was not apart of last year’s Legends group.

I believe he and I will need to have a frank discussion about nickname copyrights next year…

New Phillies Phantasy Camp Video: “Camaraderie”

Another 2011 Phillies Phantasy Camp video is up for everyone’s viewing pleasure…

Yep, there I am, starting at the 1:34 mark:

Batting Stance Guy at the 2011 FSL All-Star Game

This weekend, Bright House Field, home of the Clearwater Threshers, Phillies Spring Training games, and MOST importantly, site of Major League Baseball’s best Phantasy Camp, will be hosting the 50th annual Florida State League (FSL) All-Star Game.

In addition to all the usual activities that surround an All-Star weekend, one piece of entertainment will be supplied by none other than Gar Ryness a.k.a. Batting Stance Guy.

If you aren’t familiar with him yet, well, that’s inexcusable.

Here is his first compilation video of past and present Phillies players, done in late 2008. Check out that Garry Maddox!

His YouTube channel is the perfect time waster.

Not in front of a computer or smartphone? Waste it the old-fashioned way… read the book! Or if you are in Clearwater, go see him, and future baseball stars in action.

Opening Day


Three states. Four trains. Just over four hours. 

It took awhile, but we made it to Citizens Bank Park on Friday afternoon for the Phillies’ first game of the 2011 season against the Houston Astros. And, as an extra, added bonus, we would be sitting with fellow Campers and having a reunion/after-party at the park’s Diamond Club.

Unfortunately, because of the Eagles-like weather, it seemed a lot of folks made some last minute cancellations, based on the number of empty seats around us.

One person that did fill his seat in our section was Phillies great, Larry Christenson. What struck me about this was that at Game 6 of the NLCS last season, Christenson again, sat only a couple rows in front of us, in a completely different part of the ballpark. One more time Larry and I’m going to start think you are stalking me.

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(On a side note, Larry was the starting pitcher of my first ever Phillies game at Veterans Stadium in 1982. I have no idea if they won or lost… it doesn’t matter.)

I had every intention of taking a lot of pictures to document the day. After snapping a few of the opening ceremonies, I decided to pack the camera away. The weather was brutal. My hands were best suited inside the pockets of my down jacket. They did make an appearance to clap for each of Roy Halladay’s six strikeouts.

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The weather didn’t improve, ex-Phillie Brett Myers was out-pitching Halladay, the Phillies’ bats continued right where they left off at the end of ’10, and by the seventh inning, they were losing 4-0. The in the Diamond Club after the game couldn’t come soon enough.

The golden orb in the sky, struggling to make an appearance, finally broke through the cloud in the ninth inning. Then, this happened:


Sam, a friend who I met at Camp, sitting next to me, took this video. After his fantastic video of DeSean Jackson’s miracle punt return last December, Sam knows when to film that Decisive Moment.

Thank you John Mayberry Jr. We can run to the warmth of the Diamond Club now. I can finally have a cold beer and bask in the glow of the Phillies first win of the season.

Three of my former Driller teammates, Nick, Lee, and Connie, were in attendance. We shared laughs. We reminisced. And in only three months, our hits went farther and our plays more dramatic. I can’t imagine what they will be like by next January.

Later, ex-Phillie and Phantasy Camp Legend Tommy Greene made an appearance at the Diamond Club. Greene was the first Legend I spotted when I arrived at the hotel back in January. Sitting poolside, I caught sight Tommy ordering a round of beers from across the tiki bar… so yes, this was just like Camp all over again.

During the reunion, I had the pleasure of finally meeting the only female player at the Camp, Martha Eyerly. The Drillers never had the opportunity to play against her team, so this was the first time I got to speak to Martha. She mentioned how she also wanted to keep a diary/blog of her time down in Clearwater. I, for one, would love to read a 2012 Martha Eyerly Phillies Phantasy Camp Diary, especially if it involves her throwing out Mickey Morandini at first base during the Legends game again.

We decided to make our exit and Sam generously gave my wife and I a ride back as far as Jersey City. We spent the car ride catching up and discussing our possible return to Phantasy Camp for 2012.

Based just on the relationships made in that short time, you can probably count me in.

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As always, my dad was on my mind this day. The one and only time he and I attended a game at Citizens Bank Park was back during the park’s inaugural season of 2004. It was in July, but the weather was unseasonably cool and overcast. We sat in the nosebleeds, directly above where we were sitting today. The walk up to our seats was eerily familiar. I was convinced it wasn’t just the weather that created a certain coldness and dreamlike loneliness for me. There was definitely something off.

But just like that game in 2004, the sun eventually came out for us. And the Phillies won.

And all was right with the world again.

Here Comes The Sun (Hopefully)

Here’s to none of us seeing this image later today for Opening Day. Let’s get it in guys! 
To all my fellow Phantasy Campers, I will see you soon…

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Vote for The Transplanted Phan!

Gerald Ford throws out the first ball at the 1976 All-Star Game.

My brother blog, The Transplanted Phan, has made the The Phield. For two years, The Phield has set up an NCAA basketball-style bracket with Phillies blogs going head-to-head. You, the reader, vote.

I’m hoping to play the role of the Richmond Spiders in 1991, taking the 15 seed, and upset the number 2 seed, Phuture Phillies. So I’m asking all the readers of this blog to write in to The Phield and vote for The Transplanted Phan. Just email thephield@gmail.com and mention The Transplanted Phan as the winner in the First Round in the Salisbury Region. Voting ends at 5 PM on Thursday.

Thanks!

Opening Day Tickets

…have arrived. Apart from the obvious excitement of going to the first game of the 2011 season, afterwards there will be a special Phillies Phantasy Camp alumni event. I’m very eager to see a lot of my fellow Campers from this past January. 

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Thoughts of Spring

Every single February, the sights and sounds of players returning to their respective Spring Training homes to prepare for the upcoming season of baseball is pure bliss. It means that one day, very very soon, we will break free of winter’s icy clutches. We’ll be able to break out the shorts, head to the ballpark, eat some deliciously unhealthy food, and bask in the glow of the greatest game in the world. Eventually, we’ll tire of the oppressively hot and humid days and eagerly await the crispness of fall and hopefully… for our team to be playing in such weather. Then we do it all again. Beautiful.

For Phillies fans, especially me, this particular Spring Training is very special. Even after four straight divisional championships, two World Series appearances and one Ring, anticipation for the 2011 campaign could not be any higher. Unless you’ve been living under three feet of snow this winter, you know exactly why.
(Oh, a lot of us have been under three feet of snow… ok, sorry)
We got Cliff Lee back.
But in addition to all the hope I feel as a fan for my team to make another serious run for the World Series, what is really putting the goosebump factor off the charts is the plethora of photographs and videos of these players at the Carpenter Complex; the same Carpenter Complex me and roughly 140 other Phantasy Campers were at only a month ago…
Phillies players stretching and having catches in the outfield of Schmidt Field… just as we did  the very first morning.
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Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, and Roy Oswalt throwing off the pitching mounds… the same ones I threw off of in front of Legends Mitch Williams and Dickie Noles.
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Charlie Manuel and Cliff Lee making their way to the fields from the walkway in back of Bright House Field… the same path us Campers took each and every day.
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(photos by Yong Kim)
I can still feel those fields under my cleats. I can still smell the dirt, grass, and leather. I can still hear the snap of gloves, the crack of bats, and the rustling of the palm trees.
No matter what happens this upcoming season, I will always remember the 2011 Spring Training. I think every Phantasy Camper will…
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This winter, the MLB Network has been running a special focusing on the 20 greatest baseball games ever played in the last 50 years. Yesterday, they broadcast the most recent edition, #14 on their coveted list: Game 6 of the 1993 World Series.
For an hour and a half, hosts Bob Costas and Tom Verducci broke down the game with Mitch Williams, and the ultimate hero, Joe Carter. It was a fantastic analysis of the game, even though I knew how it would ultimately end. What really got me were the replays of each inning, and watching all these Phantasy Camp Legends on the field at the same time, playing in one of the most famous games in baseball history. Eight Phillies on that field were on the same field as me one month ago… Eisenreich, Stocker, Morandini, Hollins, Andersen, Williams, Kruk, Thompson… and who came in for Milt later in the game? 
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This was the first time I had seen these guys in action from there heydays since I left Camp. What an absolute treat. I have watched video upon video of that ’93 crew, but now it took on a whole different light. I shared the diamond with them. I hung out with them. I played against them. I was made fun of by them!

If you told me when I was 17 years old that I would be doing everything I experienced with THOSE guys, I would have told you how insane you sounded.

Well, it wasn’t a dream. It was real… it will always be real.

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I want to thank the MLBlog Phabulous Phillies Phun for posting this picture of Legend Kevin Stocker in one of the franchise stores for his Emerald City Smoothie company, which he spoke about the night of our Bull Session during Camp. Smooooth…
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