Results tagged ‘ Sarge's Phillies Phantasy Camp Diary ’

Thank You… Again!

The MLBlogs Leaders for February 2011 were announced, and incredibly, I moved in to the Top 20, landing at the #19 slot. Last month, I was mistakenly placed at the number one spot, but was quickly revised, still keeping me in the Top 25. 

Thank you to everyone again for continuing to stop by and taking the time to read and comment on my blog. I truly appreciate it!
And congrats to everyone who made the list, including my Phillies brethren!

The MLBPAA 2011 Baseball for Kids Legends Game

A selection of 2011 Phillies Phantasy Camp Legends will be taking part in a charity game this Sunday, March 13th, at Bright House Field in Clearwater, FL. Click HERE to purchase tickets.

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2011 Phillies Phantasy Camp recaps

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In honor of the Phillies’ first Grapefruit League game against the New York Yankees at Bright House Field today, I’ve made a handy-dandy link list for each day of the 2011 Phantasy Camp.

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…

*NEW* MLBlogosphere ranking… and thoughts on this Phantasy Camp Diary

Due to an unfortunate error, my unheralded rise to “MLBlogosphere Immortality” was indeed, miscalculated. According to the revised numbers, I am now sitting at #24 on the current list MLBlogosphere leaders. But, just as I was when I found out I even made the Top 100 the first time, I am still over the moon.

Even with the little boost in viewership with the help of others in the world wide web, I still shook my head in disbelief. So did others. Unfortunately, my #1 ranking did not sit so well with some fellow MLBloggers.
Every writer on MLBlogs maintains their blog for various reasons… from the professional all the way down to the pure love and joy of just talking about their favorite team. As anyone who has read my diary can attest, I write my blog for many personal reasons. I do not write this blog or take these photographs to compete for a number. Yes, I want to share my thoughts and stories with as many people as humanly possible. Who doesn’t? This is why we blog.
I do not get thousands upon thousands of hits per day on my blog. However, at least once a day, I get a beautiful email or fantastic comment that makes so incredibly proud of what I am doing. These are moments that can’t be quantified with rankings…
The numerous campers, umpires, and Phillies fans and autograph seekers in Clearwater who would stop me and tell me how much they loved the blog, it’s sentiment, and how much it resonated with them, even before I began the full daily recaps…
The folks who couldn’t tell you the difference between a baseball and a football, absolutely moved by the writing and the emotions of the blog…
The husband and wife who printed up and bound my diary and which now holds a spot on their bedroom nightstand…
Family, friends, and strangers who are now seriously contemplating signing up to attend not only a baseball or sports fantasy camp, but to have a similar dream-making experience…
The married couple who found inspiration through my blog to attend Phantasy Camp next year as a way to overcome their own personal tragedy…
The father who reads the diary along with his 8-year old son…
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There is a very good chance I may not be among next month’s MLBlogs leaders. I’ll probably be dropping from #24 to #1,024. 
And I do not care.
My goal with this diary was to document to the best of my ability my emotional trip, have as much fun as humanly possible, all while paying tribute to my father. If my story touched a few people along the way, all the better. Mission accomplished.
I want to thank EVERYONE for their continued support and readership. The 2011 Phillies Phantasy Camp is over, but this diary is not. There are many more stories to be told. 

Pitchers and catchers are reporting. Spring is around the corner. Opening Day will soon follow.
Life is beautiful.

Crossing Broad

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The great Philadelphia sports blog Crossing Broad, is now featuring a relatively shorter recap of my Phantasy Camp Diary (just as they did for my Orientation back in November). Thank you to Kyle for the opportunity to showcase the blog, and for this incredible tag line:
“If you read one thing on this site this week, make it Bryan’s account of his dream coming true. I dare you not to get a lump in your throat.”

#1 in the MLBlogosphere!

One of my goals for this blog was to crack the Top 100 of the monthly MLBlogs leaders, at least just once. Well, I cracked it alright…

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Congrats to everyone on the list, especially to my Phillies cohorts: Phillies Phollowers, The Phanatic Addict, Phillies Red Pinstripes, Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts, Philling You In, Phillies Insider, and Todd Zolecki over at The Zo Zone.
Thank you to everyone! 
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