February 2012

Happy 100th

Happy Birthday to Edith Houghton, who turned 100 years young on February 12.  Ms. Houghton was a female baseball star in the 1920s-1930s in Philadelphia and New York.  Returning from World War II she contacted Phillies president Bob Carpenter seeking a job as a scout.

Carpenter finally agreed and Ms. Houghton scouted for the Phillies from 1946-52, signing 15 players, none of whom made it to the majors.  A member of the Naval reserves, her career as a scout ended when her unit was activated during the Korean War.

She’s been living in Florida for a long time and follows the Phillies as best she can on TV.

As a special birthday present, we’ve sent her her very own pinstriped jersey, HOUGHTON 100.

**Equipment truck arrived from Citizens Bank Park and was unloaded at Bright House Field this morning by Frank Coppenbarger and his merry crew.  Let’s hope the bats brought south weren’t the ones that went silent last October.  New year, new wood.

**Ruben, Charlie and their respective staffs will meet at 10 a.m. Friday at Bright House.  They’ll review every player in camp and discuss the daily workouts which are organized by Rich Dubee. Two days later pitchers and catchers work out for the first time.

**Communications Department has arranged for media meetings with Papelbon on Saturday and Howard on the 22nd.  Rather than having those two do multiple interviews, they will meet the media en mass in the lunch room.  It is the most convenient way for both the individual players and media.

**The Pope lives on.  Geoff Owens, grandson of Paul Owens, and his wife, Diana, became parents of a boy earlier this month.  They named him Paul Francis Owens III.

**Speaking of the Pope, the City of Clearwater and the Phillies will unveil a bronze bust of Paul Owens at the Carpenter Complex on February 22, 5:30 p.m.  Paul was the master mind in designing the complex back in 1967.

**Since there is no official workout scheduled for this coming Saturday, fans can try something different.  The Florida State Fair in Tampa will hold a lawn mower race this weekend.  Guess you could say the fair is on the cutting edge of exciting entertainment.

Happy Birthdays

A couple of more recent posted comments……..

**Paul Miller asked for a response to the Nationals’ “Take Back The Park” campaign.

Well, that really is up to the Nationals.  Don’t believe I have anything to offer other than Phillies fans are very supportive whereever the team is playing.  It just goes to show the passion of Phillies fans.

**Thanks to Phillies historian Dennis Orlandini for reminding everyone that the oldest living Phillie, RHP Freddy Schmidt, turns 96 today (February 9).  Among all former big league players, Freddy is the fourth oldest.

Today is also the birth date of another Phillies Alumnus, INF Moon Mullin.  He’s 95.  Next month, SS Alex Monchak also turns 95.

Then, there’s Edith Houghton, the first female scout to be hired by a major league team.  The Phillies hired her in the late 1940s.  On February 12, Edith will be celebrating her 100th birthday.  We’ll be sending a Phillies jersey (Houghton, 100) as a birthday gift.  For more information on Edith, check out the following publication: Phillies: An Extraordinary Tradition.

Special Happy Birthdays to this unique trio. 

**Phillies Wall of Fame voting is underway on phillies.com.  Fans can vote up until 5 p.m. on March 14.  Lenny Dykstra has been removed from the ballot for obvious reasons.

**Congratulations to Alumnus Rheal Cormier on his induction into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.  Honor will take place on June 23.

**Phillies radio broadcasts can now be heard on FM, too.  WPHT 1210 will be the AM outlet; 94WIP, the new FM outlet.  Games can also be heard on MLB.com, including all spring training games.

New Playing Field

Well, there is a green field at Citizens Bank Park again.  Following the Winter Classic, the grass needed to be replaced.  For the record, it is the third turf for the ballpark which is entering its ninth season.

Mike Boekholder, the head groundskeeper, is overseeing the nine-day project that includes ripping up the old Kentucky bluegrass turf and replacing it with Riviera Bermuda grass over-seeded with perennial ryegrass for the spring.  The blend will better handle Philadelphia’s weather extremes.  It was grown at Collins Wharf Sod Farm in Eden, MD.

Rolls of turf were stored outside the ballpark, brought to the field and rolled into place.  100,000 square feet of turf came in 600 rolls.

Mother Nature certainly has helped with the warmer than usual winter.  A year ago,
Philadelphia was clobbered with a ton of snow, literally. The lack of snow was welcomed by Boekholder and his crew.

The new turf has two months to settle before the April 2-3 On-Deck Series with the Pirates.

**Hunter Pence was the subject of photo shoot for the April cover Philadelphia Magazine on Tuesday.

**The Magazine is also doing a story on the 1993 National League champion Phillies.  Publication date is to be determined.

**Phillies equipment truck departs for Bright House Field on Feb. 12.  Phillies clubhouse is a ghost room now.  Every locker is completely empty, even name plates which are traveling south.

**A week later, pitchers and catchers will work out for the first time.

**An exhibition game against Florida State University at Bright House Field is scheduled for February 29.

Alumni Birthdays
February 2: RHP Warren Brusstar (1977-82), 60 . . . February 3: OF Bake McBride (1977-81), 63; LHP Mike Wallace (1973-74), 61 . . . February 4: LHP Dan Plesac (2002-03), 50; C Chris Coste (2006-09), 39 . . . February 5: RHP Chris Brock (2000-01), 42.

(Phillies Insider will take a break until Feb. 9)