May 2008

Phillies Ballgirls Rock the Vote

With All-Star voting in full swing, I figured it would be a great opportunity for the ballgirls to do a little voting.  So here are the Phillies Ballgirls’ votes for the 2008 Phillies Baseball Superlatives.  Enjoy!

Best Companion on a Deserted Island: Jimmy Rollins

 
rollins.JPG“Things can get a little boring out there on a desert island, and Jimmy has quite a way of keeping things interesting. He is always joking around and is quite charismatic. Plus he has his own record company so he can keep me entertained with his rap game.” Justine
Honorable Mention: Cole Hamels
We figure his wife Heidi could give him some great tips for “Surviving” on an island!
(Sorry Cole, I’m sure you’ve heard that one before…)

Best All-Around: Tie between Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley
“Jimmy is always staying positive, an outgoing team leader.  Even if his baseball skills fade (let’s hope they don’t) he will still be right up there, the heart of the team.” Alison
“Chase is never in a long slump, always stays positive, has a good arm, a good bat… what more can I say?” Christy G.

Class Clown: The Phillie Phanatic

phanatic.JPG 
“I love the belly circle.  It gets me every time… seriously!  I can’t help myself when the Phanatic circles his belly!  I just crack up!” Christy O.
Honorable Mention: Brett Myers
“Have to give it to him…the prank he pulled on Kyle was classic!” Debbie

Most Likely to Succeed: Chase Utley

utley.JPG 
“Chase Utley because it seems that he improves every season (especially his defense) and he is extremely consistent at the plate.” Sam

Mr. Congeniality: Jamie Moyer

moyer.JPG 
“The definition of congeniality is the capability to get along well with anyone. It’s obvious that Jamie has this quality simply because of his years of service in Major League Baseball. On top of that, he is the first and last player to sign autographs down at the park every single day. He makes sure everyone gets one; it just shows that he really understands that the game is just as much about the fans as it is the players.” Teresa

Best Dressed: Jimmy Rollins 
“I would have said Cole, but he showed up to an interview wearing a turtleneck sweater… that was pretty bad. Jimmy is always looking his best.” Katie
Honorable Mention: Phoebe Phanatic
“Her Chanel look is a timeless classic.” Elena

Best Smile: So Taguchi
“Next time you’re at a game, check out So’s headshot. His smile is infectious.” Teresa
“He’s got one of those smiles that when he smiles you smile and you don’t even realize you’re doing it.” Gina

Most Fun to Watch: Chase Utley
“Whether he is at bat or on the field… you know something good is going to happen.” Irena

Best Arm: Shane Victorino
“He gives up his body on defense and has an arm like a cannon!” Lindsay

Best Bat: Chase Utley 
“Ryan Howard’s swing is pretty incredible, but what I admire about Chase is how short his swing is. He generates so much power from such a short path; that is the ultimate goal for any hitter.” Teresa

Best Playmaker: Jimmy Rollins
“A playmaker to me is someone who can change the momentum of the game in one play or one swing of the bat, so my vote goes to Jimmy Rollins.  It’s apparent that he can set the tone for the whole team.” Sam

Best New Addition to the Team: Brad Lidge

lidge.JPG 
“So far, so good! He’s unhittable!” Lauren

Most Improved: Pat Burrell
“Hands down Pat gets my vote. I don’t know if it has to do with the fact that his contract expires this year, but Pat looks like a new player. Not only is he crushing the ball at the plate, he is making some stellar plays in the outfield. Who would have thought people would be mentioning his name and whispering the words MVP after it?” Justine

Don’t forget to vote your favorite Phillies player into the 2008 All-Star game.  Fill out a ballot next time you are at the ballpark or vote online at www.phillies.com.

 

 

 

Baseball 101: Baseball for Female Fans

Some people think that being a female baseball fan just means that you enjoy wearing pink baseball caps, think Chase Utley is really cute, and spend most baseball games staring at the players’ butts.  Fortunately, the Philadelphia Phillies recognize that many women have a passion for baseball that goes far beyond girly clothes or tight uniforms.

This past Wednesday the Phillies held their fourth Baseball 101 Clinic & Luncheon, giving 130 women the incredible opportunity to learn everything baseball from the Phillies coaches themselves.  The ladies discovered how to grip a curveball like Cole Hamels from pitching coach Rich Dubee, how to swing like Chase Utley from Phillies hitting coach Milt Thompson, and how to run the bases like Jimmy Rollins from first-base coach Davey Lopes.  They threw in the bullpen, hit in the batting cages, and ran around the base paths of Citizens Bank Park.

One of the attendees was Phillies Ballgirl Debbie, who brought her mother and sister along with her.  Naturally, I had to harass her and ask her about her experience.

What was your favorite part of the day?
I’ve been on the field many times so to be able to have my Mom and sister experience that was pretty exciting.  I loved seeing Rich Dubee and Mick Billmeyer’s faces when I fired a pitch off the mound in the bullpen…not sure they expected that from me. (I think I may have a contract in the works!)  I also loved getting the chance to learn the skill of base running from one of the best, Davey Lopes…and getting to run around the bases, which by the way was AWESOME.  Seeing my Mom do it was so funny, thank goodness we stretched before we started!  
 
What was the funniest moment?
Well other than my Mom falling after attempting a lunge stretch, I would have to say when Greg Dobbs came into a room full of women and said…”I’m scared.”  Great opening line…he is quite the comedian!!
 
How did you, your mom, and your sister do in the batting cages?
Well, Milt Thompson gave my mom props for her hitting talent.  I have to admit, I’ve never been nervous about hitting off a tee, but when you have Milt Thompson staring at you, critiquing your every move, it’s definitely intimidating…my knees where shaking! 
 
Was it what you expected?
It was more than I expected!  I have so much respect for the Phillies organization for recognizing women and giving them the opportunity to learn the game of baseball from professionals.  If anyone is looking to get their mom a birthday present, belated Mother’s Day present, or a present just for being her, The Baseball 101 Clinic is definitely worth every penny….especially considering all the money goes to the Phillies Charities!!
 

After all of their hard work on the field, the women took some time to relax during a buffet lunch.  Then they reconvened for the unique opportunity to hear from all sorts of “baseball professionals,” including NBC 10 Sports Anchor John Clark, sports analyst Michael Barkan, Phillies Utility Player (and my favorite Phillie) Greg Dobbs, Director of Baseball Administration, Susan Ingersoll Papaneri (who started working for the Phillies in the 70s as a member of the Hot Pants Patrol… but you didn’t hear that from me), Jen Utley of the Phillies’ Wives Program, and ME… Phillies Ballgirl and blogger.     

Now it’s not every day that I sit on panel as cameras flash at me, and have 100 women watching me and asking me questions.  Oh, and did I mention that one of the women was my boss??!!  No pressure.

Their questions were the ones I hear most often:

How do I become a ballgirl?  Go to the Phillies website, under the Community section, next September or October and fill out an application.  Of the total applicants (last year there were over 600) the Phillies will choose about 100 (based on their softball background and resume) to come to Citizen’s Bank Park for a tryout.  The tryout involves hitting, fielding, and an American Idol-style interview in front of a panel.  From the tryout the Phillies will choose about 20 women to come back for a formal interview.  Then they usually take around 10 women.  It’s an extensive process, but so worth it… even just to get to be on the field for a tryout!

How come when the opposing team hits a home run and a fan catches it and throws the ball back, you run out, get it, and give it to a little kid?  Because when I come back with the ball there are about 40 of the cutest kids you’ve ever seen standing there with their gloves out saying, “Can I have the ball please, please, please, please???”  Who could resist that?  Besides, no one will boo them for taking it!

Have you ever been hit with a ball? No.  (Although I really don’t want to jinx that…)  We go through at least three games of training before we are on the field alone, which means we can usually judge the ball pretty well.  It always gets a little interesting when you have a player coming from one direction, a ball coming from another, and the fence on one side.  We definitely do some crazy acrobatics from time to time. 

I had a great time being “grilled” by such passionate Phillies fans, and I definitely learned some things from Jen Utley and Susan Ingersoll Papaneri.  My mom has already informed me that she wants to attend the next one, which will be held August 26th, with sign ups starting at 9 a.m. on Monday, May 19th. http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/phi/ticketing/clinic.jsp

Oh, and for the record, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a pink Phillies hat… or appreciating a good-looking baseball player!!

Teacher Appreciation Night

In honor of Friday night’s Teacher Appreciation festivities, I decided to dedicate this week’s blog to the fabulous teachers that have helped us all grow, motivated us to achieve our goals, and taught us to never settle for anything less than excellence.

I have been lucky enough to have some wonderful teachers in my time in the Tredyffrin- Easttown School District.  There was Mrs. Chatigny, my kindergarten teacher who spent countless time helping me tie my “Jams” (yes, I was a child of the ’80s) and once spent an entire afternoon trying to figure out who used the plastic safety scissors to cut a big chunk out of their hair (it was me).  She was a wonderful, nurturing teacher who taught us all of the fundamentals that the rest of our educations would build on.  She also taught us that taking two deep breaths makes any situation seem much more bearable.  That seems to come in particularly handy whenever the Phillies play the Mets…

I really had too many great teachers to mention… there was Mr. Allison who managed to make writing in cursive fun, and once called into a radio station to make us all laugh; Mrs. Kovacs who made every student feel like they were the most important person in the world; Mr. Dinkins, whose tough grading but insightful feedback made me want to be a writer; and Mr. Butler, who genuinely seemed to care about his students inside and outside of the classroom, and actually kept me paying attention in chemistry class (instead of flirting with the guy sitting next to me).

I also bugged my ballgirl colleagues to find out who their favorite teachers were.  Their answers are below.

Justine

The best teacher I ever had I was fortunate enough to have twice! My favorite teacher was Mrs. Scott, my 9th and 11th grade English teacher at Villa Joseph Marie.

Mrs. Scott was one of the smartest women I have ever met.  Someone once told her that she was too smart to teach in high school because she would never be able to teach down to their level, and that she was better off teaching in college.  She then made it her goal to prove that person wrong and dedicated her life to bringing her knowledge to high school students.

At times she could be one of those teachers that you feared, but at the same time she was one of those teachers that you loved!  She had a great sense of humor, and with two kids of her own in college she easily related to our teenage lifestyles.

Mrs. Scott not only taught us the correct MLA format, or the right way to do research for a 10-page paper, but she taught us lessons to get us through life.  Lessons that each one of us appreciated.

She is and will continue to be a teacher I will never forget.  Thank You, Mrs. Scott! :)

Irena

My favorite teacher was my third grade teacher Mrs. Childress.  She used to read us Ramona every day for an hour (if we were good) and introduced me to my favorite book as a child, Chocolate Covered Ants.  She never yelled at us and was a super sweet woman!

Teresa

The best teacher I ever had was my sports law professor, Scott Rosner.  He was one of the few teachers I’ve had that instilled a sense of camaraderie with their students.  Instead of talking down to us, he opened up his personality to us and made us feel more like colleagues than students.  He managed to find the delicate balance between discipline and fun; a balance that certainly cannot be easy to achieve.  Since I love sports, I eagerly signed up for his class hoping to learn a thing or two I didn’t already know about the business of sports.  What I left with was not only a further interest in sports, but also a humble respect for his vast knowledge and dedication to the field.  Though his class only lasted one semester, its impact will stay with me as I look to further my career in sports!

As For Our Own Fabulous Teachers…
It would be remiss of me to write this blog and not mention the fact that several of our ballgirls are amazing teachers themselves.  In honor of their big night at the ballpark, I asked them all about the benefits being a teacher!

Elena (Physical Education)

The best thing about being a teacher is that I can make a difference in a student’s life.  And making them laugh is my favorite thing to do. 

So far, the best moment has been hearing kids say they want to switch into my gym class!

Christy G. (High School Art)

The best thing about being a teacher is knowing you are making a difference in your students’ lives.  I just took a group of 20 students across the globe to teach them–what an experience!! Worth every minute.

My best moment as a teacher was when a student chose me as her favorite teacher of her entire school career!  They had a banquet for us and I cried!
 
Katie (Health & Physical Education, 7th & 8th grade)

The best thing about being a teacher is the impact you have on your students.  Your students look up to you and it’s your job to be a positive influence on them.  Since I am a health and physical education teacher, it’s important that my students understand how vital good nutrition and physical activity is.  I try and make all of my lessons as fun and interesting as possible so that my students can enjoy and understand how to stay healthy and active.

It’s hard to narrow my best moment as a teacher since this is my first year teaching.  The best moments happen every day when my students enter my classroom.  They always seem eager and excited to learn, and it really gives me a good feeling inside.  I try to make every activity we do in phys. ed. class fun even for those who aren’t very athletic.  I teach them that sportsmanship is more important than how many goals you score or points you earn for your team.  When those students get excited to play games that they aren’t very talented in and they give 100%, it makes me feel really good as a teacher.

Christy O. (Elementary School)

Ok, for me, the best thing about being a teacher is how you get to see your kids (students) grow and make progress from the first day in September to the end of the school year. 
 
And one of the best “teaching” moments for me was actually during my student teaching in Philly… I was teaching 5th grade math and we were working on “estimating distances.”  I asked the class to estimate how many miles our school was from the Eagles’ and Phillies’ stadiums.  The class gave me answers like, “50 miles, 100 miles!”  Then, when I showed them on MapQuest that the school was only 3 miles away from the stadiums, they were all amazed!  They had no idea that they lived so close to the stadiums.  This is sort of a silly story, but it always reminds me just how powerful the role of a teacher really is… teachers are responsible for opening doors for kids and helping them to experience new and exciting things!

Lauren (High School Art)

My favorite part of being a teacher is learning from my students as they learn from me.  I teach high school art, and many students are already skilled artists, and their work or ideas may inspire me to attempt something that I haven’t tried before.  I also love just talking with my students and learning about their backgrounds, and hearing their opinions on everything from movies and music to their world views.  They are constantly opening my eyes to new thoughts and ideas.

Laura (Elementary School)

The best part about being a teacher is the interactions you have with children all day every day.  They are so funny, full of life and enthusiastic it makes me feel like a kid again (and they also keep me on my toes).  It’s also a very rewarding experience to make a difference in the life of a child each day and know that you had a positive influence in their lives.  The best moment is when a struggling student has that “Aha” moment showing that they really understand the concept you are working on.

Lindsay (Elementary School)

My favorite moments as a teacher come simply from being close to my students.  Nothing compares to receiving a hug from a 5th grader because they are happy to be at school.  It’s the smile in the morning, or high five, or “look, I did my homework” that makes me feel good about being a teacher.  Did I mention that fifth graders are really funny?  I laugh a lot!

To read about the teachers the Phillies will be honoring during their 8th annual Teacher Appreciation Night, visit: http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/phi/community/phi_community_teachers.jsp

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