Come February 18, the Phillies will launch their 70th consecutive spring training in Clearwater, FL.
Their first spring camp took place at Clearwater Athletic Field. More about how they landed in Clearwater in 1947 and information on that old ballpark will be coming in future blogs. Sorry to keep you in suspense.
Thanks to baseball author and historian, Rich Westcott, for sharing the photo of Clearwater Athletic Field.
Kids in Town
Two more days of the annual Phillies Prospect Education Program remain at Citizens Bank Park.
Participating this year are OF Nick Williams, C Andrew Knapp, RHS Nick Thompson, RHR Edubray Ramos, RHR Jimmy Cordero, OF Tyler Goeddel, RHS Mark Appel, RHS Ricardo Pinto and RHS Alec Asher.
They’ve met and heard from Andy MacPhail, Matt Klentak, other Phillies executives, the communications department and the clubhouse crew. All but Asher got their first glimpse of the place where. Thursday will be a media training day.
Free Agent Phillies
Sixteen former Phillies are among the free agents looking to land a spot on someone’s roster:
Jimmy Rollins, Domonic Brown, John Mayberry Jr., Delmon Young, Marlon Byrd, Jeff Francoeur, Grady Sizemore, Shane Victorino, Chad Billingsley, Joe Blanton, Aaron Harang, Cliff Lee, Randy Wolf, Antonio Bastardo, Cesar Jimenez and Jerome Williams.
Behind the Scenes is the final chapter of my new book coming out April 1 (no foolin’).
Who handles National Anthem singers at the Phillies? Who is Video Dan and what does he do? Who sees every pitch of every game on a TV monitor? What’s the life of the bullpen guard in Clearwater? Who oversees the Citizens Bank Park landscaping? Who takes care of uniforms, hotels, transportation and player ticket requests? What’s the favorite Philadelphia food of visiting players? How does Scott Franzke prepare for a broadcast? What’s Dan Baker’s daily game routine? Where does the Phanatic live? Who is the general manager of facilities for Spectra and what does she do?
Plus a day in the life of the Reading Fightin’ Phils manager, what goes on in extended spring training, the Phillies rehab program, roles of an amateur scout and pro scout and a visit to Bull’s BBQ.
The Fightin’ Phillies: 100 Years of Philadelphia Baseball from the Whiz Kids to the Misfits is the title of the book to be published by Triumph Books (triumphbooks.com). Thanks to Larry Andersen who penned the foreword. It is very humorous, as you well might imagine.