Last weekend I was able to take a quick weekend trip with my Mom to see the Phillies open up Spring Training play in Clearwater.
It's always great to get out of the cold Northeast and get some sun while watching real live baseball.
We spent the early parts of each morning over at the Minor League complex watching the prospects practice and each afternoon at the bigger fields watching the games.
While many people seemed upset to not see all the "regulars" like Chase and Polly, I was excited to see some of the "kids" play - like Tuffy Gosewisch, Tyson Gillies, Freddy Galvis, etc...(Side note - holy crap is Tyson fast!!! He runs like crazy on and off the field. Love it!!)
I've added a Spring Training photo album over there on the side. I will update it with photos from this Spring Training, as well as spring trainings from years past.
Tyson Gillies was kind enough to stop for an older couple who was there watching practice and sign something for them. While he was signing, the man said to him, "You stay out of trouble this year." Gillies laughed and assured that he would. He then also signed a ball I had as I told him how I enjoy reading his and his teammate's twitter feeds. (you can follow Tyson too @TysonGillies21)
By the time the single and double A guys took the field to stretch, there was hardly ANYONE left at the complex spectator wise. It was really peaceful and we were just able to just sit back and enjoy the sun and the baseball.
As they split up into squads after warm ups, one of the coaches, noticing my camera, laughed and said to me "Oh you don't want to take photos of these guys, they'll break your camera with their looks." ha.
Everyone left the one field except for two or three people, one of which was 2010 #1 draft pick Jesse Biddle, who was doing some long tossing in the outfield. Since he only graduated last June from high school, this was his first Spring Training and he looked like he was having a good time. Check out the smile!
This past weekend I took a whirlwind trip down to Clearwater, Florida to take in 2 days of Phillies Spring Training workouts. I left right after work on Friday afternoon and arrived in Tampa right around midnight. My mom had been down since Tuesday, so she picked me up and our baseball weekend started.
I had never been to Spring Training during February before - we used to always go for a week or so in March and see a bunch of games - so I was excited to see something different, just workouts/practice, especially since Saturday was the official 1st full team workout.
It was hard to sleep Friday night - I finally passed out around 4 am....with the alarm set for 6:45 so we would have enough time to grab breakfast at Lenny's before heading over to the Carpenter Complex.
It wasn't a problem to get up when the early alarm went off - real live baseball was just a few hours away. We got a table at Lenny's without a wait (a rarity!), enjoyed our danish basket, eggs and bacon, and then headed over to the complex.
There were already a bunch of people sitting on the bleachers, waiting patiently for the team to emerge from the Bright House Field clubhouse. Practice was scheduled to start around 10, but Charlie was giving his annual pre-season speech that day, so it wasn't till around 10:15 that the team made their way over.
Seriously, I was so excited to be in Florida, in the sun, and watching baseball activities. Got a few comments re: my shirt as well, which of course is a genius Zoo With Roy joint.
So July came and went. I can't believe that we are already halfway through August!!! Only like, 7 weeks of the regular season left, and division races are pretty freaking close in 5 out of 6 divisions of the MLB. Pretty exciting.
This is the 1st weekend in about 2 months I have not attended a Phillies game in person. It was kind of weird to not be at a ballpark for a few hours. At the same time it was kind of nice to actually have nothing on the agenda and just relax and get some stuff done around the house - like actually unpack our CDs (we moved over 2 years ago).
Anyway - as I wait for the 3rd and final game in this Phillies/Mets series to happen tonight, I figured I'd throw up a few more photos and what not from my July Phillies adventures. Enjoy!
PHILLIES PHOTO DAY - JULY 24, 2010
This was the first year I actually had tickets for Photo day! I was really excited - no 100 degree + heat index was going to keep me away from possibly getting photos with some Phillies players. Mr. ChickPhilA was in San Diego at ComiCon, so I took my mom with me, who was also really excited.
I didn't know what to expect when we got there - it actually wasn't as crazy as I thought it would be. We got there when gates opened and went right down onto the field, found a good spot near the Southwest sign in left center and waited. And waited. And waited. In the meantime, I did buy a Phillies yearbook from the roaming vendors - free leftover Charlie Manuel bat with purchase!! yes please!!
Finally, the broadcast team started making the rounds. I was really kind of excited for this - to see LA and Scott in particular. LA and Sarge were playing by the rules - not coming over to the rope to take photos with people, but they were looking ever so stylish. So was the Phanatic's Mom - with her Chanel outfit:
I was actually able to get a photo with Scott, though - I was pretty excited to meet him:
Most of the players were stopping for pics, but I was so excited just to shake their hand, say a few words...any my mom kept forgetting to snap photos during it ha ha. I was able to get a few good close shots of the guys though. Chase, Jayson, Ryan, Chooch:
There were a few people that I actually did get to take photos with. Chad Durbin, Vance Worley (had a funny convo. with him actually - it was towards the end of the photo time, and most people had already filtered out. No one knew who he was, it was kind of funny. When he came around I said to him, "It's a bit different here than in Reading, huh?" He laughed and said, "Oh man, you have no idea, this is unreal." Later that day, of course, he would make his MLB debut and pitch a scoreless inning for the Phills, then be sent down to AAA - it was neat to have that moment with him on such a momentous day for him). Last but not least - I was able to chat with and get a photo with Charlie - tooo coooool!!! That made the whole standing out in the sun all afternoon totally worth it.
So my 1st Phillies photo day was a success. Hope to go again next year (and not be so "starstruck" perhaps...).
Later on - More photos from our Baseball road trip to Chicago!
Our second Road Trip of the month happened last weekend when Mr. ChickPhilA and I headed out to Chicago to take in some Cubs/Phillies games at famed Wrigley Field.
We flew out realllly early on Friday morning - seriously, we arrived in Chicago at 7:30 AM - checked into our hotel (Chicago's Essex Inn- a nicely updated old hotel right on Michigan Ave - nice mid-century vibe and way cheaper than the Hilton next door!! And walking distance to the "L"), and headed straight up to Wrigleyville.
When we got off the Red line at Addison, we were greeted by a gazillion bars, ticket vendors, and souvenir shops. Instantly I was jealous of this mecca of things to do around the stadium, compared to the parking lots that surround Citizen's Bank Park.
After walking around the neighborhood for a bit (because I read the map on my phone wrong) - we finally stopped to have some breakfast at an awesome diner just down the street from the stadium. For some reason, I found it hilarious that you could get a pitcher of beer to go with your breakfast before heading to the game.
After breakfast we heading to the stadium. When I saw the marquee out front, I couldn't help but think of the Perfect Strangers opening credits. Ha. Balky.
Who's happy to be here - WE ARE!
Anyway - the Phillies lost the game and it was hot as hell, but my first Wrigley experience was definitely a win. Check out some more photos below - the whole set can be found on my Flickr page.
One of the best decisions Mr. ChickPhilA and I made this past weekend was to go to the Phillies game on Saturday night.
While I don't particularly like watching the Phillies get no hit/perfect gamed - Saturday's game was incredible, since Roy was pitching just as good as the youngster on the Reds. The ballpark had playoff energy. Chooch was back. And it all ended with the good guys winning their third game in walkoff fashion in a row in extra innings.
Had a different view of the filed this time, as we were sitting in the 200 level out near the foul pole. It was nice to be covered, since there was that chance of rain all day/night. And I got some new views in the camera lens, which is always nice.
Jimmy takes a swing in the 1st.
Anyway - check out the rest of the photo album here, or click on the link there on the right hand side.
Actually enjoying the ESPY's right now....sad people in funny outfits made me laugh a lot. Still, can't wait until baseball starts back up tomorrow.
This weekend is another Road Trip for me and Mr. ChickPhilA - going to Chicago to visit friends, see some bands (yay Old 97's @ Navy Pier!!), and of course, take in some Phillies games at Wrigley. I've never been to Wrigley before, so I am super excited. Anyone have any "must sees" at the park or around Chicago? Let me know!!
Hard to believe this was already over a week ago!! What a beautiful day for baseball at Citizen's Bank Park it was last Monday, April12 for the Phillies home opener. I was kind of surprised at how few people were actually in their seats for the pre-game ceremony, but the place filled up and got rocking when the actual game started.
Mr. ChickPhilA couldn't make it to the game with me today, so it was the 1st game of the season that my Mom came with me instead. I left work around noon and headed over to check out all the pre-game festivities. I don't understand the appeal of Mr. Greengenes, but I do like free Turkey Hill ice cream. And I did run into someone wearing an I Want to Go to the Zoo With Roy Halladay shirt, so that was cool.
This guy, he LOVES bad renditions of Muse songs by cover bands while drinking beer outside of a Phillies game.
Oh, you have an SUV? Can you open the back? Then you can join our tailgate club.
More photos after the jump!