Remembering The Past

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Officials from the City of Clearwater and the Phillies dedicated a Florida heritage marker on Saturday morning at the site of where Clearwater Athletic Field once stood.  The ballpark served as the major league spring training camp for the Brooklyn Robins/Dodgers (1923-1932; 1936-41), Cleveland Indians (1942-1946) and Phillies (1947-54). The marker is the first in the state of Florida to honor a spring training site.  Plans are in the works to have a similar dedication for Jack Russell Stadium.

More New Faces?
Matt Klentak has shown he’s not hesitant to bring in new players.  As 29 other spring training camps head for the finish line, players will become available one way or another.  Some will be out of options or may have an opt-out clause in their contract.  Rule 5 players may become available if they cannot stick with a major league club and large contracts may free a player or two.

By finishing last the Phillies have had the first crack at players placed on waivers.  That remains for the first 30 days of the season.

Matt, his assistants along with Mike Ondo, Director of Professional Scouting and his staff of 12 scouts, are having conference calls to review needs of other clubs and players that may become available. Best guess an outfielder is on the top of the Phillies list.

One of those scouts is Del Unser.  To learn about his life as a pro scout, check out a feature on Del at http://www.phillies.com/alumni.

Phil-Ins
ICYMI: Last week’s St. Patrick’s Day crowd was a Bright House Field record, 11,222.  Was on a 5:40 flight that morning to Tampa and the plane was filled with Phillies fans wearing red and green gear . . . Andres Blanco caught in a minor league game last Friday.  He’s being looked at as the emergency catcher . . . Pat Gillick, who began his Hall of Fame career as a scout, is spending a lot of time scouting the top amateur players.  The Phillies have the first overall selection in the June draft . . . Next three games are at night. First two are long bus rides, Kissimmee and Orlando . . . Final five in consensus votes for the Toyota Wall of Fame are Jim Fregosi, Jim Konstanty, Jim Thome, Manny Trillo and Scott Rolen. Those names have been submitted to a 15-member Special Wall of Fame Selection Committee. Winner should be announced soon.

Lens Gem

A fan snaps a photo Saturday in Clearwater.
Courtesy of Phillies photographer Miles Kennedy.

Spring Training Memories
Dickie Noles (RHP, 1979-1981; 1990)
“First spring training was in 1976 and stayed at the Best Western right besides LUMS restaurant now Lenny’s. There was a lot to like about spring training, the beginning of a new year, a time to start getting ready for the season, seeing my teammates, the weather, really the whole atmosphere. What didn’t I like, nothing, really.”

Opening Day Phun Fact
May 1, 1883–The Phillies lose their initial opener, 4-3, to Providence at Recreation Park, 24th and Columbia Avenues, when the Grays score four runs in the eighth to overcome a 3-0 deficit.  Attendance: 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).

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