December 2008

Happy Holidays from the Phillies Ballgirls!

Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza, Festivus, or something else altogether, the holidays are a wonderful time to spend time with family and to rekindle old traditions.
For me those traditions involve squeezing into a pew with my big, goofy family for a Christmas Eve candlelight service, then staying up until the wee hours of the morning on Christmas Eve, watching It’s a Wonderful Life and wrapping Christmas presents.  For Lauren, they entail a trip to Colorado and the Hanukkah fairy, and for Gina, they involve the most incredible sounding dinner ever!  Wherever the holidays take you, all of the ballgirls would like to wish you health, happiness, and hope for an amazing 2009!

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Read more about the ballgirls holiday traditions and wishes below!

Lauren
I definitely had a unique holiday tradition that not a lot of other people had.  Since I celebrate Hanukkah, I always looked forward to getting gifts from the Hanukkah Fairy!  He came each night of Hanukkah during dinner, and my brother and I never noticed!  My family lit the candles, sang the prayers, and ate a home-cooked dinner together each of the eight nights of Hanukkah.  Before dinner, our gifts for the night were nowhere to be found, but after dinner, we’d rush into the living room and on the fireplace would be several wrapped presents, and tiny knickknacks and candy in our “Hanukkah stockings” (like Christmas stockings, except they were blue with a white star of David on them!).  He got me some pretty nice gifts.  I got a lot of cool art supplies, some good candy, and one year, a dollhouse that my Dad and I built together.

Since Hanukkah rarely falls on the same date as Christmas, my family would travel every year during the holidays and go skiing.  On Christmas Eve, we usually end up at one of our favorite restaurants in a town in Colorado, and it feels like any other night!
 
My wish for the New Year is that everyone I love stays happy and healthy, although it would be nice to see the Phillies win another World Championship!

Sam
Every Christmas Eve my family and I go out to dinner and then come home and change into our PJs. After everyone is settled my mom and dad let my brother and I pick one present to open. (My brother always opens socks.)

On Christmas morning, my mom turns on all the Christmas lights and calls us down for breakfast and presents! We open our presents under the tree and then the stockings are always last. My brother and I then have to open up the presents that Santa had left my dogs. (I still don’t understand why Santa wraps the presents he gives to our dogs). After all the presents have been opened we just hang around the house all day and then get ready for dinner with the rest of my family.

As you can see Christmas is a huge ordeal full of tradition in my family and I am grateful that each year my parents make sure my brother and I have the best Christmas possible. I understand that not many people are as fortunate so each Christmas I always wish that everyone has at least one present to open on Christmas morning, and this year I will also be wishing for another World Series Championship!

Teresa
The holiday season is my favorite because it means that I get to be reunited with my family and friends. From the Jackson 5 Christmas album to White Christmas, our family has its holiday traditions and favorites. My mom usually decorates the house with the same decorations every year. She takes it VERY seriously; my favorite is her 12 Days of Christmas clock… and yes, every hour, on the hour, it sings a different Christmas song.  Hurley (my dog) still hasn’t figured out what that noise is! 
On Christmas Eve, we gather around the tree and wait for Mom to throw us a different present from each other.  Then, the gag gifts come… I get picked on the most when it comes to those. I’ve gotten my fair share of whoopee cushions and other unmentionables! 

On Christmas Day I’m usually the one to wake everyone up at an ungodly hour to open our presents from Santa! Then we head to mass, watch some football, and finish off with a great Christmas dinner complete with plum pudding and Christmas crackers (Irish traditional favorites). Then Dad usually puts on some Irish Christmas music to round it out, to which we sing along. I can’t wait to visit everyone at home to wish them all a Happy Christmas! To all Phils phans, enjoy your holiday season and have a very happy new year!

Debbie
My Christmas is jam packed with family parties, from the 20th through the 26th.  My husband’s mother’s side of the family party is on the 20th, then my Dad’s family on the 24th, my Mom’s family on the 25th, then my husbands father’s side of the family on the 26th!!!  And extra special party added this year on the 27th will be the First Annual Ballgirl Christmas party…which I am very excited to host…I mean, after all we’ve been through, I couldn’t see me not celebrating the holiday’s with them all, they’re practically family!!!  Can’t wait.
My one wish for this year would have to be…..for this economy to straighten up, for us to get back on our feet, for the people who lost jobs-to find something even better, for my family’s health, wealth, and happiness, and I wouldn’t be representing the Phillies if I didn’t wish for another “Perfect Season.”  Happy Holiday’s Phillies Phans, may this coming year bring you nothing but the best

Laura
After experiencing this entire past season and the World Series championship I can only wish for another World Series victory in Philly for the upcoming baseball season. We have waited so long for this to happen! I have been filled with so many memories from this year that I would love to experience it all over again!

Katie
I LOVE Christmas time! My family has this Christmas tradition every year. On Christmas Eve, we eat dinner as a family then go to church. When we come back from church, my brothers and sister open gifts that we give each other. We do a pollyanna every year and have so much fun buying each other gifts. On Christmas day, we all used to sit at the top of the stairs until my parents got the video camera ready. It was so hard waiting for them to get ready for us to come down! When we got downstairs we had to open our gifts one by one so that we can see what everyone got. After we open our presents, I would help my mom make our dinner. The whole day is so special and I am happy that we can still have our family traditions.

My Christmas Wish: I wish for another World Series title next season :)

Alison
One holiday tradition I had growing up was that we weren’t allowed to open any presents until after church on Christmas Day! As a kid, it was torture having all those presents under the tree and not being able to open them immediately! In the end, it taught us patience, but it wasn’t always easy!

My holiday wish this year is for no one to be hungry during the holidays.  The Phillies collected canned goods at the Holiday Sale last weekend, so thanks to everyone who brought food! Every little bit helps!

Christy G.
Besides the playoffs – Christmas is my favorite time of the year. Christmas Eve I love to sit in the family room with the fireplace on as we watch Christmas movies or home videos with my family. We stay up pretty late before having our hot tea with honey and go to bed.  To this day on Christmas morning my father still takes the video camera out and makes us wait on the stairs before coming down to the tree to open presents. I’m very excited but very sad at the same time… Now that I am engaged I know that this holiday tradition will be over soon. I know I will see my family on this Holiday every year but it will be hard to transition to my new lifestyle. In a few years I am sure I will start my own tradition and have my family over my house for the holidays. So I do look forward to that and keep that in the back of my mind…that a new an exciting journey of my life is about to begin. I wish everyone a very safe and happy holiday season. ?

Irena
Every year, I go over to my parent’s house on Christmas Eve. When I was a child, we would open our gifts Christmas morning like every other family. However, that tradition has changed because I have 4 nieces and 3 nephews that celebrate Christmas at their homes on Christmas morning. So, now we celebrate on Christmas Eve.

Our entire family gathers at my parents’ home and we have dinner, then we hang out until midnight, which my younger nieces and nephews love because they get to stay up so late! We all gather around the tree and open our gifts. The kids start first because they have so many gifts to open! So, all of the gifts are technically opened on Christmas day but just a little earlier in the morning.

After a good night’s sleep, my parents and I drive to Brooklyn to visit my grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins. This year the trip will be a bit different because my grandfather passed away in July and it will be our first Christmas without him. So, my wish this year is that we not only enjoy celebrating the holiday, but also my grandfather’s life.

Lindsay
Being the youngest of three children, I was usually the one who would be carrying out each of our Christmas traditions.  As a self-proclaimed Christmas Brat, I was the one to place the angel on the tree and the one to lay Baby Jesus in his manger on Christmas morning.  However, my favorite tradition is one in which my entire family participates.  Each year, my dad will sit us down on Christmas Eve to read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.  The book itself is a giant coloring book almost 30 years old with its pages colored by my family throughout the years.  Some are done more skillfully than others (my personal favorite is a page where Santa’s suit is a very masculine pink as opposed to the typical red) but all pages are cherished year after year.

Christy O.
I LOVE Christmas!  Every year on Christmas Eve my family and I go to the candle light service at church.  Then, we come home and eat lots of Christmas cookies and of course watch A Christmas Story on TV (you know, the one where everyone says, “You’ll shoot your eye out!”).  After the movie and way too many cookies, we usually go to bed and then get up early for presents and a BIG breakfast. 
 
My one wish for Christmas this year is that I hope everyone has the opportunity to spend lots of time with their families and friends.  Christmas is a perfect time to appreciate everyone who touches your life.  Happy Holidays!

Gina
Christmas is definitely the best holiday.  At my house, my mom cooks dinner and all of my sisters come over.  We normally have lobster and filet mignon for our main course.  I have three sisters, Kelly, Angela, and Monica and we are all pretty evenly staggered in age. 

Growing up Christmas time was when my mom thought it was cute to dress us all the same.  So the past few years, now that everyone is older, we decided that it would be funny if we still all wore the same thing.  Last year we wore matching ugly Christmas sweaters and pink slippers.  This year my mom got even more into than last.  She ordered us these mistle toe headbands and red and white striped leggings. 

My two older sisters are nurses, and this year they have to work on Christmas Eve, which is normally when we have our dinner….I know, such a bummer.   But instead of having dinner Christmas eve, this year we are having it Dec. 20th!  I don’t mind it at all though, this is my favorite season!!  I love when my entire family is together; it really is like one big party at the Papili house. 

On Christmas day my dad takes all the girls to church at St. Elizabeth’s where I went to grade school.  After church we go and visit the moms and dads of my father’s friends that he grew up with.  When we finish that we stop by my uncle Louis and aunt Dolly’s for some coffee, and then we are off to Mom-mom and Pops where my dad cooks everyone breakfast!  I hope everyone enjoys there holiday as much as I will.  Have a safe and wonderful Christmas!

Ballgirl Tryouts 2009

So we have been a little slow with our blog posts…definitely not because we don’t have a lot going on…Below is a blog about tryouts for the 2009 ballgirl team.

 

When I tried out to be a Phillies Ballgirl in 2006 I never thought I had a chance. The night before the tryouts I almost chickened out and slept in, but I figured this would be my only opportunity to be on the field at Citizen’s Bank Park, so I made up my mind to go, not worry about not making the team, and enjoy every minute of the experience.
 
I had a blast at tryouts. I loved being on the field, chatting with the other girls, and getting a behind-the-scenes tour of the ballpark. Because I was confident I would never make the team, there was no pressure. I spent much of the morning talking to another ballgirl candidate named Lindsay and feeling totally awestruck by the view from the field.

Our tryouts consisted of hitting, fielding, throwing, a written test, and an on-camera interview in front of a panel. My favorite part of the process was the interviews. Scott Palmer asked me why I wanted to be a ballgirl, and when I explained that I used to listen to Harry Kalas on Summer evenings in my Phillies t-shirt, he said, “Well it’s a little known fact, that Harry actually does his broadcasts in a Phillies t-shirt.” I responded with, “Well I hope he’s wearing something else too!”

Little did I know that a little over a month later I would get a call saying I was selected to be a ballgirl for the 2007 season. I was so excited!! (Especially when I found out Lindsay would be a ballgirl too…) Two years later, I still can’t believe I was so lucky.

Last week, the Phillies held tryouts for the 2009 season. Of 1600 girls, 120 were selected to come to the tryouts, and some of our veteran ballgirls were there to help. Here are their opinions of the 2009 hopefuls, and their reflections on their own tryouts!

Irena
I was at tryouts this year and it was fun. Some of the prospective ballgirls would come up and ask a bunch of questions. I tried to remember all of the questions I had the year before and answer as many as I could. I can remember being in their position last year and you do get very nervous waiting to do your fielding, hitting, and live interview tryouts–especially since this year’s three interviewers were all local TV personalities!

Lauren
It was exciting this year being on the other side of tryouts. Last year, I was so nervous and excited at the prospect of being a ballgirl. This year it was more relaxing, and I got to really look at the talent and get to know some of the girls. I was extremely impressed with the quality of play this year. I watched some of the girls in the batting cages and they were really smoking the ball. A lot of these girls are experienced D1 softball players, and would make a great addition to our charity softball team! I also spoke to several girls who were very personable, and I enjoyed getting to know them and answering their questions. It reminded me of how many questions I had the previous year (a LOT).
 

Christy G.
Tryouts were one of my most memorable moments as a ballgirl. When we came out of the dugout and onto the field, I got instant butterflies–not because I was nervous to tryout, but because it was an overwhelming feeling to just be on the field. When we started to throw around with other girls we did not know, I felt like I was right from the movie A League of Their Own. I really do think they could make a fun movie on our lives as ballgirls! It’s really fun to see other girls trying out because you get to see their faces and it reminds you of the way you felt when you were in their shoes. In a way each tryout lets us relive those moments!

Teresa
For the 2009 squad tryouts, I was in the cages helping to evaluate the candidates on their softball skills. This was my role last year as well, but I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised at the increase in talent this year! It’s refreshing to see girls that can really play come and try out for our team. I would definitely say that the level of competition has risen for this coming year, as our popularity has grown. I’m hoping that this means we can look forward to a new squad that can play even better than we did!

Gina
I thought the tryouts went well. The girls were all very nice, and most of them played college softball. It was exciting because that could mean we would win more of our charity softball games this year.  It was cool that Don Bell interviewed the girls in the second group. I was happy to see even more girls tryout than last year; it made me happy to be a part of the development of the Ballgirl program.

Debbie
I was able to make tryouts and was trying my best to help the girls keep their nerves from getting to them…but once they saw the quiz they knew this was no joke! The girls I saw were all very talented and each one stood out in their own way. I walked around to a few groups and gave them the opportunity to ask me whatever questions they had. I also made sure they knew that this job opportunity may be one of the most fun and interesting things you do, but it also involves a great deal of responsibility. The girls who made it to try outs sure gave us a run for our money and I look forward to meeting the lucky few that are chosen. They all should be proud; there was a reason they were chosen out of 1500 resumes, but it was up to them to show they can be that much more!

Sam
I was really impressed with the group of girls that tried out this year. This group was filled with a lot of talent and it’s definitely going to be a though decision. I know a lot of girls were nervous about the media interview and I can relate with them because that was the part of the tryout process that I was most nervous for. I think the girls were also surprised about how difficult the Phillies quiz was, but it did test the girls on useful information about the Phillies history and present success. From what I saw, the 2009 ballgirl squad will be great ambassadors for the Phillies.

Alison
Tryouts were very exciting and brought back memories of my own tryouts! The excited and slightly nervous feeling was in the air.  All of the girls that tried out were amazing–outgoing, athletic, great personalities, the works! I was happy to be there to answer the questions that the girls had about the job and about our experiences throughout the past year. It reminded me how lucky I feel to have this job. I am confident that the 2009 ballgirls will be wonderful role models and great Phillies representatives.

Justine
My job at the tryouts was to have each girl come in a get sized for the uniform. I would give them my little spiel about what each item was, and they would try them on and give me their size.
It was hard for me to get a full impression on any of the girls, but I enjoyed some of the small talk that was presented. Each girl was filled with such excitement to be a part of the tryouts.
The funniest part of the tryouts came not even from any of the girls trying out, but rather from the groups of tours that were getting shown the ballpark that day. At the tryouts we had the World Series trophy nicely displayed, and to our surprise about 10 groups of tours kept coming through the tryout area. Once they spotted the trophy a little boy started arguing with Alison after asking if this was the “real” World Series trophy. Alison of course told him that it was and he yelled to the crowded tour “She’s lying! This isn’t the real World Series trophy. It’s just a fake!”

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Ok so we might be a little late with this blog entry but better late then never.  We hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one saying thanks for a PHILLIES WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP this year!  As we continue to celebrate the Phillies victory, the ballgirls had the distinct privilege of participating in the 6 ABC Thanksgiving Parade, and taking the trophy with us!  After spending a beautiful morning with Scott Palmer, the Phanatic, and the best fans in the world, we all went our separate ways to refuel and spend time with our families.  Here’s how some of the ballgirls spent their Thanksgivings!

Justine
For the past 20 years of my life Thanksgiving has always been spent at my Grammie and Pop Pops. Not once did we celebrate it anywhere else. Each year we have a buffet style lunch filled with Turkey, deviled eggs, ham, cranberry sauce, my mom’s homemade pumpkin pie, and endless amounts of other goodies. It gets quite crowded at times with my massive Italian family. My grandparent’s house plays guest to 17 grandkids, 9 of their own children (plus spouses of course), and even some of my grandparent’s brothers and sisters, along with their kids my second cousins. Even though it’s a large crowd there is always room for more!

Alison
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays! It’s about being thankful for what you have and I love spending time with family and loved ones to appreciate all of the reasons that we are blessed. The only tradition I have for Thanksgiving is spending time with my family (and my mom’s famous mashed sweet potatoes)!  The dinner location may change from year to year, but the cozy feeling is always the same.

Irena
What I love about Thanksgiving is that I get to spend time with my family.  My brothers are 10 and 15 years older than me so I don’t get to see them as often as I would like, since they have their own families to be with.  When we can finally get together it’s great.  This year I’m having a night after Thanksgiving Dessert Bash, so I’m really looking forward to that too.

Lauren
Thanksgiving at my house is pretty typical.  Big turkey, potatoes, family, good times…. the only tradition that I’d say is specific to only my family is eating this rice that is a family recipe.  Everyone I tell this to thinks it is strange that we eat rice at Thanksgiving.  But it is amazing!  It’s white rice that is cooked with margarine, french onion soup, and beef consume.  It is delightful!
 
Christy G.
I love turkey day!! Our usual tradition is to watch the parade and eat snacks before the big turkey is ready. After we eat dinner, we pick a few home videos to watch and embarrass each other.
However, this Thanksgiving is going to be a bit different in a good way. I will wake up really early to be a part of the Phillies float in this year’s ABC 6 parade. Also this year I will be spending most of my Thanksgiving with my new family to be! Now that I am engaged it’s going to be interesting how we are going to juggle all the holidays.

Teresa
My tradition for Thanksgiving for the last 5 years has been to fly home to see my family, and then come right back to Philadelphia to get back to work. My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is just being with my family. I NEVER get to see them, so I’m not picky when it comes to activities. I love being at the table and cracking jokes with all my sisters and brother. This year, my brother’s new wife will probably join us so I’m looking forward to that! We usually go out to the cinema before dinner and then after dinner, we all go for a long walk with our dog Hurley. The best part about it all is that I get to spend some much-needed time with everyone, even my dog. :) I hear they’re currently having a heat wave in California so I’m hoping I can work on my tan too!

Gina
My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is dinner at my Mom’s house.  I have three sisters Kelly, Angela, and Monica.  My mom cooks, just the traditional Thanksgiving meal, Turkey, LOTS of stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, Pillsbury Crescent rolls.  Before the meal is the best part, because everyone relaxes and we all sit and talk in our living room.  It’s actually humorous because it’s almost guaranteed that someone cries pre-meal when we go around the table and say what we are thankful for.  Gobble Gobble!

Debbie
My favorite Thanksgiving tradition (other than getting to spend time with family and enjoying such wonderful food) would have to be going out the night before.  I’m not going to lie, I really do give thanks, but the night before Thanksgiving is the biggest party day of the year, who wouldn’t consider this their favorite tradition!  I love being able to go out during the week, like I’m back in college or something…knowing that I do not have to get up super early for work!  Who wouldn’t be thankful for extra time to sleep, I know after this past Fall Classic I am in dire need of some extra z’s! 

Janita
My Favorite Thanksgiving holiday tradition would have to be The Family “Roast” when we all sit down to eat!  For some reason my family all loves to make jokes and pick on each other and Thanksgiving dinner is the best time for this to happen!  It is all in good fun and you end up laughing so hard that you don’t eat your food because you are crying!  My family members are a bunch of comedians in their former lives so Thanksgiving dinner is HILARIOUS!

Sam
My favorite thanksgiving tradition has to be going to the Thanksgiving football game. My friends and I wake up early and grab breakfast and then head over to the game. Everyone from town goes and it’s a great place to catch up with people you haven’t seen since high school. Then the rest of the day is reserved for food and football!

Christy O.
Thanksgiving is probably my second favorite holiday (4th of July is definitely my 1st!).  The  tradition that I enjoy the most is of course sitting around the table with my family.  At our Thanksgiving we still have the “adult” table and the “kids” table.  But now it’s sort of funny because all of the cousins are over 21, so it’s not really a “kids” table, but we still refer to it as that!

 

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