Last year, "Meet the Phillies" was one of my favorite events. (I guess I always say that, don?t I?) It really was fun though! Not only was it one of my first official events as a ballgirl, it was the first opportunity I had to meet the Phillies players!
Filmed down at the Constitution Center, Michael Barkann and Leslie Gudel interviewed a few of the Phillies stars in front of a small audience. As ballgirls it was our job to greet the guests and mingle with the fans. We were chatting away with a few of the best fans in the world, when Tom (the Phanatic?s best friend) came up to a group of us with a strange request. He mentioned that the Phanatic had a Ben Franklin costume (it was the Constitution Center after all) that he was having a little trouble getting into. He asked if one of us would mind helping out our favorite feathered friend get dressed. Being a serious phan of the Phanatic, I happily volunteered. I met the Phanatic in the green room (how appropriate) and waited with him for his big moment to go on camera.
Then, the door opened. To my shock and amazement in walked Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Cole Hamels, Charlie Manuel, and Harry Kalas! Each of them came right up to me and shook my hand. ?Hi, I?m Ryan, Jimmy, Cole, ?? Jimmy asked me if I was the Phillies model. I laughed. Then blushed. Then pledged to God that I would give all of my income to starving children in Rwanda if I could just avoid making a total fool of myself in front of these people.
I think I mostly succeeded, although Mr. Hamels seemed a little scared of me when I congratulated him on his recent wedding? I?m not a stalker, I just really like Survivor!
It was great getting to be a fly on the wall and listening in on their conversations. Jimmy was teasing Cole about his California good looks and told me that his new nickname would have to be something like, ?Great View? or ?Great Scenery.? Then Jimmy started talking about the leg injury Rueben Amaro Jr., suffered while playing basketball with one of his girls. Ryan agreed that he needed a ?more macho? excuse for his injury? like saving someone from a burning building or something.
Well, being the generous people that they are, this year the Phillies decided that instead of letting us ballgirls have all the fun, they?d spread the love and give some local children a thrilling experience. Instead of filming "Meet the Phillies" at the Constitution Center, they filmed it at Citizens Bank Park last Saturday, and they let little local fans be the audience.
At Kids Phest little Phillies got to come down to the park and play games, get autographs, draw their favorite Phillies players, play in the batting cages, get balloon animals, tour the park, sample goodies from Turkey Hill, and even get their faces painted!
I spent the day as ?Briefcase #1 and #2? in the Deal or No Deal room.
There phans played for gamed-used bases, autographed caps and balls, Phillies/Mets tickets, alternate jerseys, and the ultimate prize? a once in a lifetime chance to spend a true day with the Phillies. One girl won our ?$1,000,000 prize,? so she will get to watch the Phightin? Phillies for free, hangout in the broadcast booth with Hall of Fame broadcaster Harry Kalas, work as an honorary grounds crew member, and dance on the dugout with the Phanatic!
Let me tell you? these kids came to play!! Hopefully, in addition to their prizes, they also walked away with some really great memories and some stories to tell for years to come.