Results tagged ‘ Phantasy Camp ’

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.

The Ring Goes *BLING*

Today I received an email from a wonderful guy who I met at Phantasy Camp last January. Him and his brother, who were also first-time campers, played on the championship-winning Red Barons team, coached by Legends Juan Samuel and Ricky Jordan. 

He was finally given his ring:
ring.jpg
That’s it. I am NOT going down next year for fun. I will be ALL business. 
I want this ring.
So to all my fellow, returning Drillers… we take no prisoners.

“Let’s Play Two”

Former Chicago Cub and Hall-of-Famer Ernie Banks once famously said, “It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame… let’s play two!”

I’ve taken that to heart.
SPPC.jpg
Phillies Phantasy Camp 2012, here I come.
The story continues…

KAV Trio “Clearwater Morning”

c


I loved watching the 2010 Phillies Yearbook DVD, “Great Expectations”, every morning on the bus ride going to the Bright House Complex, but I think this should be put in to the rotation…

“Outta’ Here”, released in Philadelphia on the 4th of July 2010, is the debut recording by the KAV trio, featuring Anthony Viscounte on vibraphone and marimba, Mark Amentt on bass, Sean J. Kennedy on drumset and percussion, with guest artist Paul Vasquez on guitar. This collective effort pays tribute to former Philadelphia Phillies announcer Harry Kalas. The seven compositions on this disc span a variety of genres and depict a special aspect of the Philadelphia Phillies, Kalas, and the special 2008 World Series Championship run.

“Clearwater Morning” 
The unofficial start of spring occurs as pitchers and catchers report to Clearwater, Florida for the start of Spring Training. Good weather and good times are on the horizon as baseball’s return is just around the corner. Whether it is an early morning breakfast at Lenny’s Diner or a grouper sandwich at the ballpark, Phillies phans come in waves to the Carpenter Complex to get their first glimpse at the new team. Based on the traditional “Gaelic Beannacht”, “Clearwater Morning” depicts the peace and happiness of what is to come: family and friends, hot dogs and burgers on the grill, summers at the shore, and baseball at the ballpark. As a new season gets set to begin, we all have hope and optimism about what is to come in the future.

The Musicians:

Anthony Viscoutne, vibraphone and marimba
Mark Amentt, bass
Sean J. Kennedy, drumset and percussion
Paul Vasquez, guitar

Recorded live Jauary 10, 2010 at Kennedy Percussion Studio in Ambler PA
Guitar and percussion overdubs recorded at DMAS Digitial Mission Studio in Madison, NJ January 25, 2010

Available at iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby, etc…


Check out songs from the album on their YouTube page.

Phantasy Camp Videos

Now on the homepage of the Phillies Phantasy Camp website, there are two, three and a half minute videos produced by MilkBoy Communications that give a great look in to The Experience.

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.

DSC_0772.jpg

(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.

DSC_1513.jpg

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.

—————-

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…

610x.jpg

Opening Day Memories

It’s the most/wonderful time/of the year…

Phillies.com recently spoke with former players and asked them about their favorite Opening Day memories. Below are the moments from the Phantasy Camp Legends.


Marty Bystrom (RHP, 1980-84): “Watching Mike Ryan catch a ball dropped from a helicopter hovering above Veterans Stadium.”

Jim Eisenreich (OF, 1993-96): “1993, my first season with the Phillies. We opened the season in Houston and I was not in the lineup but since my teammate who was going to start overslept, I was inserted in right field. I remember making a catch down the right field line-it was actually a foul ball-but heard some fan comments about not being bad for an ‘old guy.’ We won the game which was the most important part of the day.”

Tommy Greene (RHP, 1990-95): “One of my best memories of opening day happened in 1993 at the Astrodome in Houston. I arrived at the Astrodome early because of the excitement of the season starting and getting ready early for BP. As soon as I got dressed, I went down to the field, which was a hike at the Astrodome. I was by myself out in front of the dugout watching the Astros’ BP when Jim Fregosi stuck his head out from the tunnel and said ‘Tommy, I need to talk to you upstairs!’ First thought in my mind was that I had been sent down or traded but I thought that I had probably one of the best springs of anybody and why would they send me down. All these thoughts were going through my head all the way up the stairs and back to the clubhouse. When I arrived back to the clubhouse I noticed that everyone else had arrived and for some reason everyone was seating in the chairs facing the center of the clubhouse where a chair was placed. Jim then instructed me to sit down in the chair and I looked at everyone and then back at him and said ‘I am not going to sit there in that chair because I don’t trust anyone in this room and that no one was going to put me in that chair.’ I said that because everyone knew April 6th was my birthday. He finally got me to sit down with some encouraging from Lee Thomas and instructed the clubhouse guys to open the main door. A young lady that was dressed as a nurse entered the room, did a dance for me, bent down a whispered in my ear and said, ‘Happy Birthday from your family at home!’ Everyone got the biggest kick out of that and said I had the best family in the world. I think it really loosened us up and jump started the season. Everyone came down to the field laughing. Best part, we started the season real good.”

Greg Luzinski (OF, 1970-80): “Hitting a home run in the 1980 home opener against the Expos at the Vet. Little did we know at the time what was in store for us that October.”

Mickey Morandini (2B, 1990-97; 2000): “Has to be seeing Mike Ryan catch a ball dropped from a helicopter. I know I couldn’t have done that.”

Kevin Stocker (SS, 1993-97): “My most memorable moment wasn’t on opening day but my very first game in the big leagues. We beat the Dodgers in 20 innings at the Vet.”

Legends… but for the wrong reasons?

As anyone who is a frequent visitor to Bleacher Report can attest to, they sure do love their lists. Who doesn’t love a good best-of/worst-of ranking? Movies, music, books, TV shows, and especially baseball players…

These lists are meant more to spur debate and for pure entertainment. (It always amuses me how a publication like NME constantly revises their Best Albums, Best Bands, etc. How do The Smiths improve one year, then degrade the next? Fascinating).
Bleacher Report recently released a list: Philadelphia Phillies Worst Players at Each Position Since 1980. This one definitely piqued my interest as there probably would be many-a-mention of players that took the field for the Phillies during the formative years of my Phandom. There were definitely some no-doubters on there, but to my surprise, there were plenty of Phantasy Camp Legends on this list.
Mike Lieberthal! (my coach!) 
Juan Samuel! (twice for 2B and honorable mention for CF)
Tyler Green! (honorable mention)
Ricky Bottalico! (honorable mention)
Admittedly, the author claims it’s a very biased list and it’s more about the “most despised players”. The problem all of these guys had was that they were on very less-than-stellar teams. It’s much easier to point out the negatives of a player(s) when the team is losing. If these current Phillies teams weren’t making the playoffs or winning a World Series, a bunch of the players could easily have a different light shone on them. 
With seven All-Star appearances among every one of these players listed, I’m going to have to disagree with Mr. Spaulding with his choices. I bet a visit to Phantasy Camp would alter his decisions.
But hey, this is exactly the reaction he is looking for, right? What Difference Does It Make?  

Ya Gotta Believe it’s St. Patrick’s Day

“Ninety percent I’ll spend on good times, women and Irish Whiskey. The other ten percent I’ll probably waste.”


It wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s Day without paying tribute to a pitcher who not only has the unique distinction of being beloved by BOTH the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets, but who made this day the most important holiday of the year. That of course, would be Frank Edwin “Tug” McGraw Jr.

So let’s raise a glass.

Here’s to the Amazin’
Here’s to the Believin’
Here’s to the Smokin’
Here’s to the Screwballin’
Here’s to the Glove Slappin’
Here’s to the Baseball Bunchin’
Here’s to the Phightin’
Here’s to the Jumpin’
Here’s to the Soarin’
Here’s to the Laughin’
Here’s to the Survivin’
Here’s to the Inspirin’

Tug,
Philadelphia, New York, and everywhere in between will always love you.

“Is solas na bhflaitheas tareis antsail seo agat”

———————-

During the Phantasy Camp awards banquet, I was proud to have my teammate, Duke McLaughlin, win the “Tug McGraw Inspiration Award”. Before the award was presented, Legend Warren Brusstar spoke about the award and what it meant to him. During Tug’s illness, Brusstar acted as caregiver, and currently, his wife Jennifer is the CEO of The Tug McGraw Foundation.

For more information about The Tug McGraw Foundation, please visit their website:

“‘Ya Gotta Believe’– The Tug McGraw Foundation was established in 2003 to enhance the quality of life of children and adults with brain tumors and in 2009 expanded programs to include Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, (PTSD), and Trauma Brain Injury, (TBI). We collaborate and partner with other organizations so that we can accelerate new treatments and cures to improve quality of life in areas of physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual impact of those debilitating conditions.”  

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.