As the Grapefruit League season comes to a close, we wanted to reflect a bit on Spring Training. The Phillies have been quite busy with workouts, lineup changes and rehabbing injuries. Spring Training provides a great escape for fans looking to take a weekend getaway to sunny (most of the time) Clearwater, Florida and watch our Phils shine.
This year, 8 ballgirls were able to make a trip as fans to Brighthouse Field for a weekend of sun, fun and baseball. Unfortunately, the weather was not exactly cooperative, but we still had a great time.
For those of us unable to make it, there were still events and other things to do at home in the Philadelphia area. Enjoy hearing a bit about what we did last week!
Kami: I can sum up my very first spring training experience in one statistic: 0-3. Not only was it the Phillies’ win/loss record for the duration of my trip, but it was also the number of games I attended, even though I had tickets for all three! Unfortunately for me, I spent several hours in the Clearwater emergency room which caused me to miss Friday night’s game against the Orioles. Doctor’s orders to stay indoors kept me away from Saturday’s away game in Lakeland versus the Tigers. I did, however, actually make it to Sunday’s game but there was a rain delay and a few of us (me included) had to catch a flight back to Philly! Despite it all, I had a good time. One of my favorite Phillies training memories will be remembering the time 8 of us ballgirls huddled under a tarp serving as a makeshift tent in the outfield at Brighthouse Field while being barraged with thunder and torrential rain from all sides. Another was my very first Lenny’s Diner experience with Mike the balloon man. Lenny’s is a Phillies-centric diner a few short miles from Brighthouse Field. It’s so popular with Phillies fans that the wait on a normal day is over an hour! Though I may have come home with a different souvenir than I anticipated (a hospital bracelet), I’m pretty sure only true fans wear their Phillies hats in their hospital beds!
Katie: This past week, some of the ballgirls traveled to Clearwater, FL to enjoy some nice
weather, the beach, team bonding, and Phillies baseball! It had been a few months since I saw live baseball and once I stepped into Brighthouse Field, I felt like I was in a familiar place even though I had never been to Spring Training before. We still cheered the Phillies even through their losses. I was very excited to go and sad to leave. We all really enjoyed each other’s company and hope we can arrange another trip like it again! I loved going to Spring Training because it gave me an excuse to travel with my friends and watch baseball near the beach! I am definitely ready for the 2010 season to start!
Bonnie: One would think that eight girls staying in the beautiful city of Clearwater, FL for a weekend would want to spend their days soaking up as much sun as possible. Well, that’s not the case when you put together eight Phillies ballgirls in Clearwater for a weekend during Spring Training. I’ve been to Spring Training before, but I have never experienced such a memorable weekend as I did this year when eight of us ballgirls headed down with all of our Phillies gear determined to catch some rays…if we could catch them in the stands of a baseball game! It’s not every day that you get to hang out with a group of girls that can talk baseball like the best of ’em and are willing to stand out in the pouring rain for hours in hopes to see the Phillies play. The one goal I had for the weekend that probably drove everyone crazy was to determine our “Phillies Spring Training 2010” song. I didn’t want to force the matter, but I love when there’s that one song that reminds you of a past adventure. Some runners up for the weekend were Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” and the classic piano ditty “Heart and Soul.” I know…I was really reaching for a tune that would be a hit with everyone, but we couldn’t come to an agreement. So I now would like to take this opportunity to announce that the official song of the trip (thank you, Tori, for your nomination) is Kris Allen’s “Live Like We’re Dying.” A couple other highlights of the weekend were our family minivan rental that Lindsay and I drove with pride and Perrin getting stuck in the van door. We’re just glad that we only had to make one ER stop! I think all of us would have to admit that we’re more excited than ever for the regular season to get going!
Brittany: Well I have never been to Clearwater, FL, so I can’t lie and say I went to Spring training, because I didn’t. I would have loved to gone but I didn’t really have the moolah for it because I had gone on a cruise the week before all the other girls went down. So I’m sure all the other girls just pretended I was there with them. But I have been keeping up to date with the games. By the way I was really feelin the Phil’s green jerseys on St. Patty’s Day.
Victoria: Ahhh Spring Training…..Obviously Spring Training is bound to be an experience of a life time when you have 8 ballgirls, beautiful weather, a pretty sweet mini van and of course the PHILLIES. This by far was the best Spring Training yet, the weather was beautiful with the exception of a little rain on Sunday (which didn’t stop us!). I made it to Friday’s home night game vs. Baltimore as well as Saturdays game vs. Detroit. The team is looking really good this year and I’m so excited for open day!! Besides being able to be fans for the weekend spending time with some of the ballgirls was awesome. Friendships really developed and unforgettable memories were made. I wouldn’t go back and change a thing…….Spring Training 2011, LOOK OUT :)
Becca: For Spring Training this year I was not in sunny Clearwater. Instead, I was in windy, rainy, cold Philadelphia! I was quite jealous of the nice tans and fun stories the girls had, so I’m definitely making it my goal to attend next year! I did however work the Franklin Institute’s Annual Spring Training Day with Jess and had a blast! Dan Baker, the Phanstormers, the Phanatic, Jess and myself spent the day with tons of Phillies fans who ventured out in the rain to participate in some baseball related trivia and games. It was great to see so many people come out and share their excitement and enthusiasm for the upcoming season. I met one particular fan (a fellow Becca) decked out in her Phillies gear that expressed to me how much she loves her Phils and hopes to be a Ballgirl herself one day! Look out for her Phillies fans, you might be seeing another Becca in the near future!
Bridgette: Let me start off by saying how envious I am of the ladies who were lucky enough to make it to this year’s spring training! Judging by their photos and stories, they definitely had a great time. While I wasn’t able to join them in Clearwater, I was however a hop, skip, and a jump away visiting a friend at the University of Miami. My favorite part of the trip would hands down have to be spending hours soaking up the sun (after lathering up with lotion of course) on Miami’s beautiful beaches. Throughout my whole life I’ve only ever been to one beach outside of New Jersey (just so happened to be in Clearwater!) so it was refreshing to experience something new. Talk is already being generated about a trip to next year’s spring training, which I would definitely love to be apart of. I have also been participating in some spring training of my own. If you recall my New Year’s resolution blog entry, I’m taking part in the Broad Street Run on May 2nd this year (along with Kristina!), and have been training to reach my goal of finishing ten miles. With much inspiration from the Phils and the Rocky soundtrack on my mp3 player, I’m crankin’ out the miles and can’t wait until the day of the race!
Lindsay: This was my first trip to Clearwater for Spring Training and it lived up to all the hype! Besides the fact it was sunny and warm for a change, I loved getting to catch a bit of March baseball and see some of the new Phillies. On Saturday I got a chance to see our newest Ace, Halladay, pitch a couple innings against the Tigers. It was the most beautiful day for a baseball game! Sunday we attended “Not So” Brighthouse Field (Perrin’s words) and set up a tarp in the outfield to survive the torrential downpours. Lucky enough, I was able to find the gift store and buy a couple new items of Phillies Merchandise in the meantime. Overall, our trip was a great way to build new friendships and start the season off right!!
McKenzie: I have never been to spring training, but a bunch of the girls were lucky enough to go this year. I would definitely love to go not only because of the beautiful Florida weather, but because you get to see the team in a different environment, and meet fans from all over the country. I think Clearwater is the perfect place for spring training, and don’t think it would be a good idea for it to be in Philly. The players I’m sure want a change of pace and really enjoy the whole environment of living in Florida for a few winter months! As for my OWN spring training.. I have been trying to go to the gym more often in preparation for the ballgirls softball season.. our opponents better watch out!!!
Kristina: The thing that makes spring training so exciting is the anticipation. Phil’s fans have been waiting anxiously since October to see their favorite team in uniform again. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend Phillies Spring Training this year although I have gone to the two previous. Two years ago I went to Brighthouse Field and last year I saw the Phils play the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium in West Palm Beach. Sitting in the stands, in warm weather, watching a great baseball game in March, it doesn’t get much better than that! Even though I wasn’t able to physically attend a game I definitely have been thoroughly following my favorite team. I believe that their spring training so far has been extremely positive and I can’t wait until they come back to Philadelphia and play at the bank!
Katelyn: My first trip to Clearwater, Florida for Spring Training was an experience of a lifetime! When Katie mentioned the idea of the Ballgirls making a trip down to sunny Florida to catch some Spring Training games, I knew right away that I wanted to go. Of course the first thing the girls and I wanted to do was go to the beach. It was a beautiful day! I was thankful to be able to relax in such an enjoyable beach. That night Katie, Victoria and I were lucky enough to get tickets to the Phillies game. We had fun even though the Phillies didn’t score a single run. That night the girls and I were entertained when Victoria and Perrin decided to have a pushup contest. I was very impressed, especially when they each had successfully completed 40 pushups in the time allowed. The next day the girls and I went on an adventure in our rented minivan to Lakeland, Florida to see the Phillies play the Tigers. The Phillies weren’t playing their best again, but at least they were getting some more hits and the weather was perfect. After the game was finished, the girls and I played a competitive game of catch phrase in the parking lot. That evening we decided to go to a nice dinner. We enjoyed some of the best food in Clearwater in a beautiful atmosphere. Ever since I arrived in Clearwater, I had been hearing about Lenny’s diner, the best place to go for breakfast for anyone who is a Phillies Phan. So Sunday morning we were able to eat there, and it was a lot of fun!
The food was delicious and we met a man named Mark who was making balloon hats for everyone! Each Ballgirl received her own balloon hat. As soon as we were leaving Lenny’s it started to rain so we made sure to buy some ponchos for the Phillies game that day. By the time the game was supposed to start, there was a torrential downpour! The ponchos helped a little, but we still got soaked. We tried to be as innovative as possible by making a fort with a tarp. After the rain cleared, we had the opportunity to make our way down to the beach one last time to see a spectacular sunset. I have been a fan of sunsets for years, and this one was particularly wonderful. My experience in Clearwater was amazing because I was able to spend time with 7 of the Ballgirls, eat some yummy food, and get to see my favorite team play baseball! Watching them play reminded me just how excited I am for the regular season to start. Go Phillies!
Perrin: This year was my first time visiting the Phillies in Clearwater for Spring Training and who better to share the experience with then my fellow ballgirls! I met up with Lindsay and Patti at Philly Int’l Airport on Friday night and we all flew into Tampa thus beginning our weekend adventure. From the hospital to fast food, it was certainly an interesting first night in Clearwater. We were notified with alarming news that Kami was in the ER for an unexpected medical condition. This is not the news you want to hear when you’re just walking off the plane, but at least she was discharged that night. On Saturday we traveled to the Detroit Tigers’ stadium in Lakeland to see our Phillies on a gorgeous sunny day. Unfortunately they did not win, in fact they did not score a single run the entire game, but at least we all got some nice tanning (and burning) in.Sunday began with a fantastic breakfast at the infamous Lenny’s Diner in Clearwater. I’m not sure what was better, the food and atmosphere, or the awesome balloon hats we had custom made at our table (Thanks Mark!). As we enjoyed our meal it was evident the skies were becoming increasingly dark and dreary with an impending storm on the way. We made our best efforts to attend the afternoon game at(not so) Bright House Field despite no cooperation from Mother Nature. In light of the torrential downpour, we used our survival skills to pitch a makeshift fort to protect ourselves. Even with high spirits and good company we ultimately made the decision to leave the game – cold, wet, and defeated. Once we got into dry clothes we heard the game had started after a two hour rain delay – big bummer. Unfortunately it was too late to make it back to the game with our flight lingering in the coming hours. Instead we opted to enjoy the rest of our time togetherplaying some board games and remembering the silly moments from our trip. Overall I had a fantastic time with some great people. I hope all future ballgirls can make a trip down to Clearwater and perhaps they will actually make it to a home game!
Being a Phillies Ballgirl sure does come with some really nice perks. One of our favorites is the fact that we each get our own trading card to give out to fans at games and appearances. There are many things that go into the selection and design of each card. We all went through the photo process, followed by the selection process and finally they are off to the printers and arrive in boxes with our names on them. The design for this year is great and we all hope you’ll enjoy trying to collect all 17!
Personally, I went through my photos a couple times, narrowed it down to a top 5 and sent it out via email to my most trusted friends. The worst part was that I forgot to include my favorite one! Although they all put in their votes, I ended up choosing the one I liked, so nobody has seen it yet! Like McKenzie, I used a photo with a bat this year, since my 2009 card was only a headshot. I think it came out exactly as I pictured it when we were doing the photos. My signature however, never comes out the way I planned. I’ve just accepted the fact that it looks like “LDY.” The other ballgirls make fun of me for it, but I guess that’s going to have to be my trademark.
Enjoy hearing how the girls picked their cards and a preview of each! Go Phils!
Kami: I would like to preface this post by saying that if I could title this blog post, it would be entitled “I love you Mom, but you’re wrong.” When I got my photo CD, I sorted through the 50 or so pictures by myself at first so I could laugh at the really embarrassing and totally unprepared pictures – totaling roughly 75% of the CD. After going through them a couple times, I chose about 5 or 6 that I personally liked. I sent these to a few of my friends for their opinions and expected to just choose the majority vote, but naturally each person had a different favorite. Finally, after a few more days of indecisiveness, I sat down with my best friend whose judgment I unequivocally trust and told her to just pick one. She picked a photo that I had skipped over and not chosen the first time. I ended up loving it. After I finalized my choice, I showed the picture CD to my mom, who proclaimed that she “hated” the photo I chose. However, now that she’s seen the final product, she has since changed her mind…so, I love you Mom, but you were wrong.
Katie: Every year, the ballgirls are anxious to see what our trading cards will look like. And,
every year it’s pretty humbling to have at least 2,500 to hand out to fans, family, and friends. I have to admit, I still have some from last year to hand out. So, I’m excited to get started on giving out the 2010 set. It’s pretty neat to see my Phillies Ballgirl trading card next to my little league softball trading card that I’ve kept since I was 8. It reminds me of the hopes I had to be involved in professional baseball/softball. To me, the trading cards show that hard work pays off and going after your dreams is within reach.
Brittany: Who would have thought that picking one picture was so hard to do?! After looking through the hundreds of pictures I narrowed down to my favorite 20, then I narrowed it down to my top 3.. I’m pretty sure I just needed one but since I am the world’s most indecisive person, a panel of judges was necessary. The panel consisted of my roommates and of course, my parents (all who were the first to receive my trading card). Finally after a week of debating we finally came to a decision… The one with my eyes closed, jk jk; even though there were a lot with my eyes closed I did not pick that one. You’ll just have to wait and see which one I picked. Anyway, I was so excited that they finally arrived! Once I had them in my hand, I thought it was dream.. like why is my face on a trading card that just so happens to have the word “phillies” on it?? I think this is when it really hit me, that I am a Phillies Ballgirl, like a real Phillies Ballgirl, this is not a last minute Halloween costume, this is the real deal here! I then realized I need some sweet signature too.. but let’s be serious, that’s not happening. It took me long enough to decide which “B” I would use and how I should curve the “y”. Sometimes I write so fast I write my name with 3 t’s, and I’ve only known how to spell my name since I was like what 4 years old; so, don’t be surprised if you get anything signed by a Britttany or a Britty, because really it’s just me, Ballgirl Brittany, forgetting how to spell my own name. And if you just so happen to forget who I am, just remember, I’m the ballgirl with the longest word on her trading card: supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
Bridgette: As if being a Phillies Ballgirl wasn’t already the coolest thing ever, receiving our very own baseball cards just made the it even more exciting! Following our photo shoot in January, I enlisted the help of some close friends and family to help decide upon a photo, then waited anxiously until they finally arrived this past week. I was super excited to see how they came out and immediately called up my number one fan, my mom, to share the news. She of course was the first to receive a card, followed by some friends at school- I’ve even made my way onto a few fridges around campus. I’m still getting used to the whole autograph thing, but I’m sure with a little practice I’ll be a pro in no time.
Becca: Of course I am beyond excited to get my trading card, I feel like it’s a Ballgirl right of passage! I have two very important people lined up to receive my first trading cards, my Mom and my brother. My Mom deserves one of the firsts, for regularly shuttling me to softball practices and attending all of my games. One will also be sent express mail, to my brother in Baltimore, in return for constantly beating up on me, and making me the tough athlete I am. I guess I better start practicing my autograph….who am I kidding…we all know I already have :/
Katelyn: Having my own trading card is very exciting, but it wasn’t the easiest process! After the photo shoot, I had over 60 photos to choose from. I took the CD with the pictures on it to my Aunt and Uncle’s house where they printed out every picture so they could see each picture side by side. Each of them chose their favorites. After they gave me their choices, I brought the printed pictures home and the rest of my family and friends gave me their opinions. Everybody had a different favorite, including myself! Finally, after days of close consideration, I finally made my decision. I was thrilled when I saw my trading card! It was surreal to see myself on it. My first impression was that I really loved the font on the card. It was so different and cool looking. I gave my first card to my father. He didn’t make me sign it, but the rest of my family did! I signed “Katelyn” just like I normally would. I thought that was perfectly fine, but my brother told me I had to perfect my signature, so I guess that’s something I’ll be working on!
Kristina: What is more awesome then having your own trading card? The day of the card photo shoot I was nervous because I knew how much important the card is! When I got the proofs, I could not decide between what picture I wanted to appear on my trading card. So what I did was chose the top 3 pictures and sent them to close family and friends to have them vote on their favorite. They did a great job because I think the card turned out great! I was so excited to receive my box; I gave them out to any family or friends that I came into contact with. I can’t wait to start bringing the cards to appearances and hand them out to fans there.
Patti: I was really excited when I first saw my photos for the trading card, but then I remembered I had to pick just one! Some were easy to veto right off the bat because I had my eyes closed or was laughing or my hair was out of control or Lindsay was in them. I rallied some of my most critical friends and family members to help me choose the final picture. It was interesting to see who chose which picture and I got some unexpected response which was fun. In the end I decided to choose a headshot instead of a posed picture because it looked more natural. I am really happy with how the card turned out! The hardest part about passing out my cards is answering people’s requests to write something “witty” or “inspirational” on command. It’s a lot pressure! So over the next couple of weeks my goal is to come up with a catch phrase that will be my go-to phrase when I find myself in an creative dry spell. Suggestions welcome…
Perrin: I always look forward to seeing how my trading card turns out every year. Considering we have to sign and handout hundreds of these things every season I sure hope I look good. This year I decided to go with the classic bat on shoulder pose and I think it turned out pretty decent. I feel lucky to say I have had my face and “stats” on a baseball card twice now and that’s pretty sweet. The first ones to receive my card will be my family as usual. I would like to say the reason they are the first recipients is because I love them so much and they’re my biggest fans. Though that is probably true the real reason is because I know that even if I look hideous they will always lie and say I look beautiful!
Fehran: They’re here!! Getting our trading cards is fun, awkward, exciting, and weird all rolled into one. It’s fun and exciting because it means we’re getting closer to the start of the season and we have our very own collector’s items to give out to fans when we’re at events. What’s awkward and weird about it is seeing your face on a professionally designed piece of merchandise, just like the pros. It takes some getting used to, but I LOVE our trading cards. Because our trading cards are such an integral part of what we do, the picture selection process is key. I like to start with a quick-browse view of every photo. Then, I go through the entire package again, this time at a slower pace, examining in more detail. At this point, I start moving the ‘Likes’ into a separate folder to create a short list of potential candidates. Once I have the short list of ‘Likes’, I create a another sub-folder to filter the ‘Super Likes’. Once the ‘Super Likes’ are chosen, I sleep on it, wake up the next morning, and after a well balanced breakfast and coffee, I make my decision. And, bam, there it is, my trading card!
McKenzie: Since this is my second year as a ballgirl, I definitely wanted to switch up the look of my card a little. We can either do a close up head shot, or pick a pose with a bat or glove. Last year, I did a head shot, so I wanted to use a prop in my new card. Of course I had to take votes from friends and family on which new picture to use! I was so excited to get the new ones, and I’m really happy with how it turned out! I gave my first cards to a group of high school kids who were at a math and science event I was involved in. Then I also sent a big batch home to my parents in Connecticut!
Emily: For some reason choosing my picture for my trading card turned into a huge fiasco! I was able to narrow my 85 pictures down to two, which seemed to only complicate the process even more because I was getting completely different opinions from my family and friends…and it wasn’t just that some people liked one picture over the other. While some really didn’t like the one picture it was loved by others and vice-versa which made me self-conscious about both of the pictures! Finally I decided to ignore everyone and pick one that I liked…which wasn’t even one of the two that we had originally narrowed down. Next time I have to do something like that I’m not going to ask anyone’s opinion! Now that the trading cards are finally all printed I’m really happy with the way that they came out and I’m glad I chose the picture that I did. I now feel like an official Ballgirl because I have my trading cards and I also got my warm-up this week! I’m really excited for when I get to give out my trading cards to tons of Phillies fans…it’s going to be so much fun!
Bonnie: I can honestly say that I have never had my own trading card before, and I’m not gonna lie…it’s pretty cool. It would be even cooler if each card came with a piece of gum like the cards I collected as a kid, but I’m definitely not complaining. After getting my cards last week, I found out that people are very curious about how this whole trading card thing works. So I thought I’d answer some of the top questions people have been asking me in case anyone out there is dying with curiosity…1. How much is a card worth on Ebay? Answer: I actually searched for the going price of a Phillies Ballgirl card on Ebay, but nothing turned up. I’m thinking the supply and demand rule could definitely be a factor since they’re hard to find. 2. How do you collect all 17 cards? A: Your best bet is to come to enough games that you meet all of us and have us give you one ourselves. 3. Did we get a say in the picture they used on the card? A: Definitely. I’d like to play it cool here and act like I didn’t really care how the pic looked, but in total honesty, it was a group effort at my house picking the best photo. We have to live with these cards for a year, so the decision wasn’t taken lightly. Anyhow, this whole experience was a lot of fun, and now I’m just enjoying spring training and waiting until the regular season starts!
One of the biggest questions I get asked when I’m working events and games concerns what we do in the off-season. Here’s the answer: we do many events per week, throughout the entire year. People are typically impressed to find out ballgirls are working all year, not just April – October. To prove it to you, I asked the girls to give me a rundown of the events we have done in the last month or so. You’ll see they are very different and located all over the Greater Philadelphia region. Sometimes we are working to teach younger girls about softball, sometimes we are working to raise money for charity and sometimes we get together just to relax with the other girls. Overall, we are definitely keeping busy in 2010!
Phillies “I Pitch for Dairy” Pep Rally sponsored by Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association – Fountain Woods Elementary School
Emily: A few weeks ago, Bonnie, Kristina and I got to go to the Phillies “Dairy Day” Pep Rally at Fountain Woods Elementary School. The event was basically to promote drinking milk and eating healthy, and also to recognize Phillies “Red goes Green” efforts in recycling. In response to the “I Pitch for Dairy” challenge which was to collect bottle caps from 8-ounce bottles of milk, the students and faculty of Fountain Woods Elementary collected several
thousands of bottle caps to help the cause! Along with the Phillies Phanatic and Scott Palmer, the Phillies Director of Public Affairs, the three of us Ballgirls got nearly 1,000 young kids excited about drinking milk and staying healthy. At the end of the event the kids really got moving when they turned on some dance music! It was a lot of fun doing “The Twist” and the Macarena along with all of the kids who flooded into the aisle. It was a lot of fun! Bonnie also added that the school had collected a ******** 5,212 milk bottle caps! The most important thing she remembered from the speech was that milkshakes are good for you. What a relief! She also wasn’t sure if the students or their principal had more fun after doing a dive head first under the Phanatic!
First Day of Ticket Sales – Citizens Bank Park
Victoria: Bright and early on Thursday morning Lindsay, Bridgette and myself were at CBP welcoming fans with complimentary rally towels, pockets schedules and of course, breakfast. We had the opportunity to not only speak to many fans about which games they were purchasing tickets for and why but also to strut our stuff in new Phillies Comfy Throws!I personally found this event exciting because it really allowed us to interact with the fans. Hearing all the different stories about who skipped school and who called out “sick” from work for the opportunity to stand in line to buy tickets made us all very excited for the upcoming season.
Breast Cancer Bowl for a Cure -Brooklawn, NJ
Lindsay: Tori, Bridgette, Patti and I attended this wonderful event to raise money for breast
cancer research. We were welcomed with open arms into an event in its 4th year by all who attended. We were happy to help support a wonderful cause and breast cancer survivor Gloria! We also assisted with the raffle, where many won exciting and themed gift baskets. The prizes were all different and the Phillies Fan Pack was definitely getting a lot of bidders! We were happy to be there and help raise over $10,000 for breast cancer research. [And see a lot of people dressed in their Phillies gear too!]
Phillies Harmony Phan Club – Berwyn PA
Victoria: Emily and I were able to spend some time at the Devereux Whitlock center in Berwyn, Pa helping mentally and physically disabled children play baseball. This event was especially meaningful to me since I work for Devereux. Working with Autistic children has it’s challenges but Emily and I can both agree that seeing the smiles on their faces after they were they had the opportunity to hit the baseballs made it all worth wild. I myself got a surprise visit from one of the kids I work with. Ryan, his younger brother Kile and younger sister Catherine came to join in on the fun. Being able to help Ryan as he ran the bases after hitting a line drive up the middle was everything I imagined giving back to the community and being a Phillies ballgirl would be like.
Placido Polanco Signing – Citizens Bank Park
Patti: If you came to the Majestic store on Jan 30th for the Placido Polanco signing chances are you were greeted with a handful of ballgirls! Accompanied by Amanda, Fehran, Lindsay, Bridgette, Kristina, Tori, and Bonnie, I participated in my first player signing! You may have seen some of us outside with the Phanatic greeting eager fans, handing out schedules and chatting with folks as they patiently waited in line, collecting tickets, and of course available for a quick snapshot with some future ballgirls and diehard fans. I personally got to meet a lot of fans that impressed me with their ballgirl statistics and memories of the memorabilia they brought to have signed. It was really great talking with everyone as the lined zigzagged it’s way through the store and having a chance to hear their exciting stories about what being a Phillies fan means to them (and even sharing a few of my own)! Polanco was really professional and appreciative of the fan support while managing to get through the 2 hour line without the onset of a hand cramp! If you didn’t have a chance to make it out to the signing I recommend keeping a watchful eye for the next opportunity to meet a Phillies player to sign your sweet Phillies gear, chat with some friendly ballgirls, meet some phanatical fans like yourself, and get belly-bumped and high-fived by the Phillie Phanatic … all in a day’s work!
MLK Day at the African American Museum in Philadelphia
Becca: The Ballgirls were very busy on MLK day this year! While some were building a new library for Richard Allen Preparatory School, Fehran, Victoria, Brittany and myself were at the African American Museum in Philadelphia. We spent the day mingling with fans, taking photographs, and of course accompanying the Phanatic! Coach Milt Thompson was also present with his family and spoke some words of encouragement to the young fans who came out that day.
TYA Little League Signups – Towamencin, PA
McKenzie: This year I attended the TYA Little League signups in Towamencin, PA. I also worked this last year.. it was my very first event as a ballgirl! This is a particularly fun event because we get to meet a ton of little boy and girls who are there to be signed up for t-ball and Little League. A lot of the kids are really young, and get so excited because we gave out the miniature phanatics! Along with baseball and softball signups, all of the kids are invited to buy tickets to a Phillies game, where they will get to be in a parade around the warning track before the game! It’s such a neat experience for the kids (and parents!) that they have so many sign up.. this year they had to split it up into two games because there were over 1,400 kids that signed up last season!
Radio Affiliates Lunch – Citizens Bank Park
McKenzie: The Phillies hosted a Radio Affiliates lunch at Citizens Bank Park this year, and had over 100 people attend! The guests were from radio stations that broadcast the Phillies, as well as minor league announcers, and even some fans. They all were able to do a self-guided tour of the stadium, including stops at the locker room and going into the Phillies dugout! After their tour, they were welcome for a delicious lunch in the Diamond Club. To top it off.. they got to sit in on a press conference filmed for Comcast featuring Charlie Manual, Placido Polanco, and Ruben Amaro Jr.! Larry Anderson was also there to choose audience members to ask questions to the special guests, and as always, to be very entertaining!
Ballgirl Rock Climbing – Philadelphia, PA
Katie: Since the 2010 ballgirl squad is just starting our new season, we decided to have a team-building event to get to chat with each other a little more. We strapped into harnesses and went indoor rock climbing! A few of us had prior experiences with rock climbing and it showed! We were able to pick right up on how to rock climb. The girls looked like pros! Many of us reached the top of the walls. It was nice to get to try different levels of difficulty after we got the hang of it. A few others are terribly scared of heights and didn’t get too far up the walls without saying “Please let me down” to the people belaying (Ok, who am I kidding, that was only me!). All of us were able to challenge ourselves with the support of our teammates. It was great to get to meet, encourage, and enjoy sports with each other. We really appreciated our time together and we’re hoping to have another team building event soon! What kind of team building do you do with your team?
Garry Maddox Celebrity Bowling Event – Stratford, NJ
Katelyn: On January 26th, most of the ballgirls and I attended the Garry Maddox Celebrity Bowling event in Stratford, New Jersey. It was the first time a lot of the rookie ballgirls got to meet each other which was great! The event benefited The Infinite Possibilities Foundation and the Youth Golf and Academics Program. While everyone was bowling, there was also the option to bid on a silent auction! Some of the celebrities that attended included Chase Utley, Larry Anderson, Brian Schneider, Darren Daulton, and of course Garry Maddox. It was wonderful to see everyone come out to support such great charities!
DVD Premiere – Pitman, NJ
Kristina: On January 31, Amanda, Bridgette, Fehran, and I attended the 2009 “Legends of the Fall” DVD premiere at the Broadway theatre in Pitman, New Jersey. Guests anxiously piled in to this cozy local theatre holding their popcorn and rally towels to relive the Phillies’ 2009 exciting season. Fans also had the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win two opening day seats for when the Phillies face the Washington Nationals on April 12th at 3:05 at Citizens Bank Park. After watching the DVD, the fans were also given the opportunity to ask questions about the movie.
Richard Allen Preparatory Charter School – Philadelphia PA
Amanda: On MLK Day, Katie, Kami, Kristina, Bonnie and myself visited Richard
Allen Preparatory Charter School in South Philly to help build a library for the school. Together, IKEA representatives and staff, volunteers from the community, school staff and the Phillies Ballgirls helped to put together furniture from IKEA for the new library. Once everything was completed, school staff held an official ribbon cutting ceremony to introduce the new library! The new libary was complete with newly painted yellow and lime green walls, books, tables, chairs, lamps, rugs, curtains, new iMac computers and more!
Newtown Square Petticoat League Softball Clinic
Kami: This past weekend, the ballgirls held a clinic in Newtown Square for young softball players between the ages of 8 to 12. The clinic, hosted in the indoor facilities at the Flanigan Center, was sponsored by the Newtown Square Petticoat League and was a huge success. About 75 enthusiastic girls and 10 ballgirls were in attendance for the 2 hour clinic. After some interesting introductions (where we learned Bonnie has what she calls “weird feet”) and warm-ups, we split the girls up by age into various stations. The girls received instruction in hitting, throwing, base-running and fielding from the 2 or 3 ballgirls manning each individual station. After an hour of stations, both the girls and ballgirls reconvened for some “dizzy bat” relay races, Phils trivia and giveaways.
This clinic marked one of the first times that the majority of the ballgirls, both rookies and veterans, worked together. As a rookie, I can say it was definitely a great experience being able to help young girls develop their skills as future softball players (and for some, maybe even ballgirls)!
Special thanks to our ballgirl organizers: veterans Katie and Perrin for keeping the clinic running smoothly. A major thank you as well to Joe Giles and all of the Newtown Square Petticoat League girls and their parents for having us at their wonderful facility and loaning us supplies.
If you’d like to see us out in your community, email MDevicaris@phillies.com!