This Phillies snowman obviously enjoyed the winter of winters. Check out his smile. Now Phillies fans are the ones smiling because it’s time to PLAY BALL!

Yes, we’re down to 0 on the countdown to opening day which is this afternoon in Texas. In Phillies history, one player wore 0, OF-1B Al Oliver in 1984.

Time for a commercial: there’s a chapter in my new book (If These Walls Could Talk, Triumph Books, May 1 publication date) about uniform numbers. Actually, Phillies first wore numbers on their jerseys starting in 1932.

New utility infielder Jayson Nix is wearing #7. The chapter on uniform numbers includes a story on how Bobby Wine lost #7 to Dick Stuart. Chapter also has other stories about uniform numbers and who assigns them. End of commercial.

New Faces
Opening day roster contains the following who didn’t wear a Phillies uniform last year: Burnett, RHernandez, Lincoln, Manship, Hollands, Nieves, Nix, Byrd and Gwynn Jr.

Minor League Camp
Closed for now.

Extended spring training at Carpenter Complex begins Thursday. A week from today, they start games against the Yankees, Pirates and Blue Jays until the Gulf Coast League season begins in June.

Potential exists that Cole and others rehabbing in Clearwater will participate in those games.

Four Phillies minor league teams start their respective seasons on Thursday. Daily reports on the minor league games will be included in this blog.

Opening Day Fun Fact
May 1, 1883–Phillies lose their initial opener, 4-3, to Providence at Recreation Park, 24th and Columbia Avenues in Philadelphia, when the Grays scored four runs in eighth to overcome a 3-0 deficit. Attendance is an estimated 1,200. Future Hall of Famer Charles (Old Hoss) Radbourne is the winner, the first of 48 victories for him that season. John Coleman is the loser, the first of his 48 defeats (13 wins).

Alumni Birthdays
Today: OF John Herrnstein (76) . . . Tuesday: OF-1B Willie Montanez (66), RHP Tommy Qualters (79) . . . Wednesday: RHP Jon Lieber (44), OF Pete Incaviglia (50), INF Tommy Barrett (54) . . . Friday: OF Eric Valent (37), 3B Scott Rolen (39), 2B Tom Herr (58), RHP Eddie Watt (73), C Al Kenders (77), INF Don Hasenmayer (87); Jim Fregosi would have turned 72 . . . Saturday: LHP Ryan Karp (44), C Jimmie Schaffer (78) . . . Sunday: RHP Tommy Greene (47), INF Wayne Graham (78).

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