129th Opener

Just think, Friday’s season opener is the 129th in the history of the Phillies. Not many teams can match that.

For the record, the first game was May 1, 1883, a 4-3 loss to the Providence Grays at Recreation Park which was located at 24th and Columbia Avenues.  Attendance was estimated at 1,200.

Since then, 1,880 players have worn the Phillies uniform and 128 million fans have attended games in Philadelphia.  Opening day record: 57-69 plus two ties (1923 at Brooklyn, 5-5, 14 innings and 1924 vs. Boston, 6-6, 11 innings.).

Friday’s opener marks only the third time in Houston Astros history that they have started a season against the Phillies.  Most logical reasoning is that they are in the NL Central.  This weekend is Houston’s only visit to Philly.

Phillies are 2-0 vs. Houston, winning 2-0 behind Chris Short on 4/12/65, the very first regular season game in the Astrodome (Astros had played the Yankees in an exhibition game prior to April 12).  Dick Allen hit the Dome’s first home run during the season. The other Phillies win came 4/5/93, also in the Astrodome.  Terry Mulholland was the winner in a 3-1 decision.

Other opening day notes
**Phillies are 1-1 in openers played on April 1st (no foolin’), a 3-0 Curt Schilling win in LA in 1997 and a 7-2 setback at the hands of the Braves in 2002.

**Roy Halladay is bidding to win back-to-back season openers.  The last Phillies pitcher to do that was Art Mahaffey, 1962-63.  Halladay was the winner in an 11-1 romp at Washington a year ago, his first start for the Fightins’.

**As far as Citizens Bank Park season openers, the Phillies are 1-4.

**Hall of Famer Robin Roberts has the most opening day wins for the Phillies, five and most losses, six.

Dallas Green is entering his 55th year in the game, one more than Pat Gillick.  Ruben certainly has two qualified senior advisors . . . Phillies minor leaguers continue spring training at the Carpenter Complex through Saturday . . . Season openers for Lehigh Valley, Reading, Clearwater and Lakewood are April 7 . . . LV, Reading and Lakewood leave Clearwater following morning workouts on Sunday . . . Group of players will remain at the Complex as part of extended spring training.  Games against other extended spring training camps will take place April 11 through June 7 . . . Two short-season clubs start their seasons this summer, Williamsport (June 17) and Gulf Coast League Phillies (June 21) . . . A fan wanted to know where he could follow the player cuts in the minor league camp.  Best bet is phuturephillies.com.

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