Yes, it definitely is a year round job…
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!