April 2011

If you could ask the Ballgirls one question…

Last week, we asked our Facebook fans if they had any questions they’d like to ask all of the ballgirls. We get a lot of questions around how to become a ballgirl and what we actually do when we aren’t on the sidelines at games, so we were curious what our Facebook fans wanted to hear. Ian Johnston commented with a great question that we were really excited to answer. Thanks, Ian, for inspiring this blog post, and we hope you’ll come down and say hi at your next Phillies game!
 
Ian’s Q: What is it you like most about being around the field and players during the season?
 
Moira:  I absolutely love everything about being around the field and players during the season, but my very favorite part is how much I feel apart of the game. It feels like I’m an additional field player every time the ball is hit and I get ready to jump up and out of the way. It’s almost like I’m pretending to be a Phillie for a few hours!
 
Tori:  The thing I like most about being on the field and being around the team is the energy, not only do the players have a very positive energy to them but so do the fans.

Kristina:  My favorite part of being on the field is being able to witness the energy the crowd creates at Citizens Bank Park, it’s one of a kind!

Becca:  One of my favorite things about being on the field is the ability to make young fans so happy by doing such simple things. Posing for a picture with them, signing a trading card or giving them a foul ball brings such a smile to their face that I can’t help but grin from ear to ear as well. As far as being around the players goes, I am always blown away by the talent an athleticism I get to witness up close and personal. All the ballgirls are athletes themselves so we can appreciate what hard work and dedication it takes to perform at the level they do day in and day out. It’s a really cool experience to be so immersed in it. I often find myself wanting to jump in on the action and play, but of course I have to stop myself because fielding a foul ball is out of the question! Thanks for the question Ian!

Emily:  The fans!  I love the energy and heart that Phillies fans bring to every game.  When I’m on the field I get to interact with amazing people—I absolutely love giving foul baseballs to little Phillies fans.  And of course nothing can compare to being on the field among the best team in baseball!

Sammy:  Growing up as a huge Phillies fan I went to a bunch of games with friends and family but were never able to experience the game in the same way I have been able to the past few weeks.  Being able to stand on the field and look out to see a sea of red around me is a sight I will never forget.  I love being a part of one of the most enthusiastic fan bases in professional sports!

Bridgette:  Hey Ian! What I like most about being around the field/players is the pure excitement of the game. Working for the Phillies has only increased my love for the team so I love to watch the game just as much as everyone else in the stands. I really enjoy getting to know the different groups of people who sit next to us at each game, and celebrating with them when the Phils do well is even better. For example, I was on the third baseline for last Wednesday’s game against the Padres, and when Polanco hit the three-run home run to tie the game up the fans and I went nuts! 

Bonnie:  I definitely love that every game and event we go to is a new adventure. You never know what to expect when you step onto the field or go to a special appearance at a little league home opener or a charity event. Each event brings new fans to meet and more memories to make. I try to be at every possible event that I can because I don’t want to miss one moment of this incredible experience!

Mo:  Since I have yet to be on the field I cannot comment on the excitement that comes from stepping out there the first time. I have done an event that a player attended and it’s surereal. When you see people who are so talented on tv you never think you’ll see them in person.When you do, you feel in awe of their achievements but happy to know they are good people too!

Patti:  This is a great question! What I like most about being on the field and around the players is all of the energy from the phans surrounding them. I love being on the field and looking up and seeing 45,000 phans on their feet cheering and chanting players’ names. It is very awe inspiring and powerful, and it gets even more intense during playoffs…almost there!

Jamie:  Just being on the field at Citizens Bank Park and being a part of the Phillies organization has been the coolest thing for me.  I’m a Phillies fan first, and seeing that my chances of playing in the major leagues has long ago passed me by, this is closer than I would have ever imagined to be.  Being on the field, beside the players, in the element that I have admired for years, as the greatest baseball players in the world is an amazing opportunity. In my eyes, I am still just a huge Phillies fan, but having the opportunity to be associated with the Phillies organization, I am given the opportunity to enhance fans’ experience by giving a kid a foul ball or personalizing one of our trading cards and seeing their faces light up.  That experience for me is unlike any other I’ve experienced as a fan, and that’s something that will never get old.

Phillies Ballgirl Rookie Training

If you’ve been at the park recently you may have noticed a few extra girls on the sidelines and that’s because we are currently training the rookies! We get lots of questions about what it takes to be a Phillies Ballgirl so this week we hear from a few rooks who are currently going through the training process. Also, here is some slang terms/things you need to know in regards to being on the field as a BG, which is short for ballgirl of course!

 Jacket Run: When there is a pitching change and the ballgirl runs to the bullpen, gets the pitchers jacket, and brings it to the dugout so they have it to keep their arm warm between innings.

 Chair: Our not so comfortable seat for the game. Although our view is great, those chairs get old after about 2/3 innings.   

 Training Game #: Rookies go through a total of four training games. In the first game they just sit and observe a veteran. In the second game they go in at the top of the 8th. In the third game they go in at the top of the 5th and in the fourth game they go in at the top of the 2nd.

Leanne:  On-field training was definitely one of the most exciting parts of being a ballgirl so far.  Being able to interact with the young fans, especially, was so incredibly fun.  On my first day of being on the field, the first foul ball I saw was a screaming line drive down the 3rd base line.  It was quite the welcoming, considering it was only the sixth pitch of the inning.  Thankfully, I reacted in time to get myself and my chair out of the way (just in case the ball was fair), but I realized how fast it can happen and that the best thing to do in that situation is to move as quickly as you can out of the way.  Once my heart stopped racing, I did get the opportunity to field another foul ball and was able to give it to a little boy in the stands.  When I got home that day, I got to see a replay of the foul ball and seeing how excited and proud the little boy was to be holding a baseball that the Phillies played with was incredibly rewarding.

Training with the veterans was so helpful.  Each girl has a different opinion or preference when it comes to certain things like how to track the ball off the bat the best, which way to move when you’re getting out of the way, and even how to sit most comfortably in our not-so-comfortable little chairs.  But, nothing beats the experience of learning on the field.  Making the transition from a fan of the game to now becoming an almost active part of the game and the experience for other fans is truly exhilarating.  I really enjoy talking with fans in between innings and hearing about their day or night.  For some of them this is the first game they’ve ever been to, for others they come regularly, but each is equally excited to see the Phillies play which makes Philadelphia fans so special.  By my final night of training, I had beat all of the nerves that were present in my first game and I now feel comfortable and confident that my training has paid off and I’ll be ready to work a game by myself.  I know now that our on-field job requires a lot of attention and knowledge of the game of baseball and I’m thankful to all of the veteran girls that trained me – it was awesome to have you guys there supporting me and the other rookies training and even directing us when needed!!

Moira:  Well I’m not even sure if I can describe what it was like training on the field for the first time.  I will begin by saying that I will never take the fences down the first and third baselines so lightly.  Those fences mean SERIOUS BUSINESS!  After sitting beside a veteran with just the fence separating us for an entire game, I felt confident and prepared to finally sit in the best seat of the house and do my job.  Little did I know that as soon as I stepped across that fence and onto the field, my stomach would become filled with butterflies. It was such an overwhelming feeling of “I can not believe my dream of being a Phillies Ballgirl came true” and “Moira, you better not mess up”.  After doing about four jacket runs in two innings, my heart began to beat at a more normal pace and as the innings passed, I felt more and more at ease in my new position.  Having the best seat/view of the stadium comes with a little nerves, but I can not wait to be back out there on my own! 

 Genevieve:  I had the pleasure of training for two Astros and two Mets games.  I was so incredibly excited for training that I could hardly concentrate during the day and kept staring at the clock as the minutes passed.  Once we got to walk out on the field I still had this sense of, I shouldn’t be allowed out here and at any minute I would wake up from some sort of dream.  My first game being on the field was Lee’s first debut on the mound and to see all of our fans give him a standing ovation as he was announced and for his first at bat was an amazing feeling.  I got the chills! (It was also the game where Patti made that amazing catch down the 3rd base line… I know you know what I am talking about!) It is indescribable being able to look up into the stands and see the passion and excitement that comes from our fans.  Everyone who works at Citizens Bank Park is so welcoming and so nice that it now feels like my second home when I am working. I can’t even count the amount of jacket runs we had to do during those 2 series but I had butterflies being able to sprint across centerfield and over to the bullpen.  Again, I thought, this has to be a dream.  I didn’t get many foul balls, but my first one came from Ben Francisco right before his homerun against the Mets and I made sure to give the baseball to one of my little friends I made during the game. By the time my 4th training game came around I felt my nerves calm (special thanks to Katelyn) and could not wait to get out there.  It is definitely the BEST seat in the house by far and I still feel so lucky that I get to be a part of this amazing organization!

 Sam:  I was counting down the days until I was able to hold down the line and my first day of training was a day I will never forget. It was such a long day and I was too stoked to even eat. Finally I got on the field and I was bursting with excitement! (As was my trainer for the night, Emily!) I’ve gone extra innings, had several jacket runs, and a couple of ground balls. I also experienced freezing cold weather, and getting rained on, but all of it is so worth it!! All of my trainers were awesome and taught me really good tips! I can’t wait to start on my own. Let’s Go phillies!!!

Macy’s Phillies Ballgirls Fashion Show Designs

We aren’t always graceful and our height may be a petite 5’2″ (speaking from personal experience), so the Macy’s Ballgirl Fashion Show was the first modeling experience for many of us. Top local designers in the area were selected to create a new ballgirl uniform. Check out all the great outifts, and get the details on each designer’s inspiration. Which one would you have voted for? We wish we could keep them all, but we’re excited to showcase the winning design later this season!

Emily:  Jessica’s design was inspired by the Phillies red pinstripe uniform and the unique role that the Ballgirls play in the Phillies organization as ambassadors for the Phillies. The dress is sporty yet feminine, and was selected for the Ballgirls new 2011 look!

Jamie:  My designer made use of the retro Phillies colors of light blue and maroon.  The design was unique, stylish and versatile in order to accomodate the many activities of a Phillies ballgirl.  
Tori:  Karen (my wonderful designer) and myself both described my uniform as being “sporty chic.”  My design was a comfortable lightweight, racer-back jersey with elastic waist shorts which focused on the alternate uniform colors.  Karen also designed red and white warm-up pants with a bold white warm-up jacket with my name on the back, this would be for the chillier events in the beginning and end of the season.  There was just enough detail on each article to really bring the whole uniform together.  Her design was very ideal for what the ballgirls do in the community.
Moira:  My designer, Kelsey, was inspired to create the perfect combination of cute and sporty.  The skort and jacket contribute to the versatility of the ensemble. The design is comfortable to wear, yet still provides a feminine and fun look!
Katelyn:  My designer Katie Todorow did an amazing job designing my new Ballgirl uniform!  She used special fabrics that work great in all weather conditions.  She kept the outfit sporty and cute and most importantly– it was so comfortable!  I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.  Katie was so wonderful to work with and I loved everything about her design!
Becca:  Aleksandra Svetlichnaya’s clothing line S V E T is bold, shocking, and outrageous! So, it’s no surprise that she brought these elements and a
touch of girly glam into her design. She created a functional piece
with some flashy rhinestone accents and her runway presentation was a
“sparkling” hit!
Kristina:  Pamela Martin’s ballgirl uniform design was centered around the idea of “going green”.  Every piece of Pamela’s outfit was purchased at the thrift store and was assembled from a couple articles of clothing.  This design includes shorts, a short sleeve top, and a jacket all in retro Phillies colors.  
Gen:  My designer, whose whole family are die hard Phillies phans and season ticket holders, specializes in outerwear and bags, so to go along with the 1940’s theme, Jess made an AWESOME jacket with the coolest patches I have ever seen.  She included the Phillies, and Macy’s logo along with a Charlie Manuel patch and the Phanatic in a fighter jet!  My one piece was a complete blast from the past with a bit of funk thrown into.  I made sure to get into character from my hair, all the way down to my red converse shoes!  It was a lot of preparation ( I blame my hair since I have so much of it and that almost took 2 hours!) but in the end, it was all worth it and a total blast!
Brittany:  My designer’s name is Michele and her design was inspired by the movie “A league of their Own”.  Instead of going along with the same outfit from the movie, she decided to modernize it and make a romper.  She also made awesome embroidery patches that were accented by colored swarovski crystals!!
Bonnie:  Jeanne Douglass’ main goal was to make an outfit that would be comfortable in any weather and still look fashionable. My favorite part was the water repellant jacket with removable hood. She also made a fitted tank and blue cropped yoga pants with a fold over waistband to display the Macy’s logo on the back. Her sporty, fashionable design blew all of us away!

Opening Day 2011-Phillies Ballgirl Style

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And no, we’re not talking about Christmas. Although, we can understand your confusion due to the recent forecast involving snow! We’re talking about baseball season people! It’s officially here and we couldn’t be happier. How was Opening Day for you? Were you at the park? Watching online at the office while you were supposed to be doing work? Checking score updates during class? Below the girls talk about their Opening Day experiences.

Jamie:  This was actually the first Opening Day that I have attended, and I couldn’t have scripted one any better than this. The forecast had been gloomy all week, but it didn’t seem to damper anyone’s spirits, including mine. I had the opportunity to work one of the On-Deck series games, so I had a little bit of practice before my first official game as a ballgirl. But nothing could match the atmosphere surrounding Citizens Bank Park on that Friday afternoon. It was just as I would have imagined it to be for Opening Day. The parking lots were packed with fans by the time I arrived at the ballpark, everyone wearing their Phillies’ best. I was especially excited because I would have the opportunity to be announced and be on the field for the first time for the national anthem and starting line-ups. When it was time to go down to the field, I could barely contain my excitement. I just tried to take it all in, my first Opening Day, from the best view in the place. I could hardly believe it. After the opening ceremonies were over, we took to our Green Team duties and before we knew it, it was the 7th inning and the Phillies still hadn’t scored a run. With all the talk of injuries and offensive uncertainties leading up to the start of the season, it was a bit nerve-racking. But then, after allowing three runs in the top of the 7th, the Phillies followed up and put themselves on the board with two. They were still down 4-2 in the bottom of the ninth and even though my duties as a ballgirl were finished for the day, as a fan, I just couldn’t bring myself to leave.

The Phillies put together hit after hit, and came back to win in the bottom of the ninth, 5-4. It was an amazing finish to Opening Day, and an amazing start to the 2011 season!

 

Sammy:  No rainy/snowy weather or cold temperatures could bring down my spirits for one of the most anticipated moments of life. Stepping into the ballpark to the smells of hot dogs and cheesesteaks and seeing the crowded concourse brought me back to the place I’ve grown to love, but this time with an even greater connection. I was walking into Citizens Bank Park as not only a fan, but an employee. I was so excited for the baseball season to start up again and to be a part of the amazing Phillies organization. My first time stepping on the field was incredibly exciting but also nerve-wracking. The second game of the series, Kristina and I were rushed to a spot of the field where we would soon learn that we would be helping to present the Cy Young Award to Roy Halladay and the Golden Glove Award to Shane Victorino.

It was such an honor being able to share the moment with two outstanding players and all of the passionate Phans in the stands! I will never forget this moment or the roar of the crowd around me as they proudly cheered on their team!

Emily:  Being that my designer, Jessica, won the Macy’s Design Challenge, I had to arrive at the park at 8AM the morning after the fashion show (which also happened to be Opening Day) for a couple news interviews about the event. As I was running into the building to avoid getting soaked from all of the rain, I was shocked to see all of the tents that were pitched right outside of the ticket offices…no one seemed to be phased by the rain at all! Everyone was in high spirits for the game that wasn’t set to start for another 5 hours.

It was definitely interesting to come as early as I did to see all of the Phillies employees scrambling to get the park ready to kick off the season. When I walked onto the concourse for an interview with CBS3, the weather was not pleasant. There was a mix of rain and snow, and it was freezing! Luckily our interview was short and sweet. The next interview that we had with FOX29 was really cool. Besides the fact that we were kept nice and warm in a suite, we got a chance to meet the Leap Frogs, who are a group of men from the U.S. Navy Parachute Team. They normally parachute into the ballpark on Opening Day, but I don’t think the weather permitted for that to happen this year unfortunately.

Finally after spending a little time preparing for our Green Team volunteer group, it was game time. Spending time working on the concourse with all of the enthusiastic Phillies fans was a blast! And what better way to end the day then with a walk-off win in the ninth?!

Besides the less than perfect weather conditions, Opening Day was an amazing way to start off the season!

Bonnie:  I wasn’t necessarily hoping for snow on Opening Day, but I must admit that it did keep the day exciting. No one really knew what to expect.

I had the privilege of being on the third baseline, and it was an incredible experience. My two favorite memories from the day: 1.

Watching a tame crowd jump to their feet in the final inning as the Phillies bats rallied to win it in the bottom of the ninth. 2. Meeting great Phillies fans who were fighting the cold weather to be in the stands. Opening Day was definitely a day I will never forget!

Jess:  I can’t believe Opening Day has come and gone already! Since I was still away at school last year, I didn’t get to experience Opening Day so I was pumped that I got to work it this year. The atmosphere around the stadium was amazing. Everyone from babies to senior citizens were giddy about the game. Although the game was a slow one for the most part, the boys managed to pull through (especially Valdez and Mayberry) and give our fans what they want. This season is already proving to be an interesting one, and I can’t wait to see how well our boys play and see all our great fans!

Tori:  A lot of people say Opening Day is like Christmas, but with the actual SNOW on the ground this year, it really added to that Christmas like feeling. I have the amazing opportunity of being on the field for this game. Although I was a little nervous at first on how I was going to stay warm, once I got to the park and saw that the weather didn’t put a damper anyone’s spirits in the slightest I was ready to go! From the jets flying over the stadium during the National Anthem, to Mayberry’s walk-off, I had chills the entire time, and I’m not talking 43 degree weather chills, I’m talking this-is-totally-amazing-best-experience-ever chills :) One of my favorite thing about the Phillies is that they never give up, the game isn’t over till that final 27th out is made. But the best part about this game was the fans didn’t give up either, despite the unfavorable weather, the fans were there cheering the guys on the entire time.

 Leanne:  Being part of the Phillies Organization for Opening Day was one of the coolest experiences. I got to work Green Team that night, and even though it wasn’t my first night working (I had worked the two exhibition games as well), there was a different level of excitement for Friday night’s game. We had an incredible, awesome group of volunteers for Green Team (a huge thanks to everyone who was there that night!). But since I was working Green Team, I did miss two awesome parts about opening night: the Air Force F-15 fly over and Lady Pha Pha’s appearance. Thanks to youtube and loyal fans who have cameras on hand all game, I’ve been able to see some videos of Lady Pha Pha’s performance, but I really wish I could have caught it live.

Despite missing those however, the Phils put on an awe-inspiring show themselves stringing together singles in the bottom of the 9th to top the Astros and take the “W” for opening night!! After now sweeping the Astros in our first home stand, I hope any naysayers who were concerned that injuries would plague the Phillies have a renewed “phaith” in our boys!

Top 5 things Phillies fans should do in Clearwater

It’s very obvious that most Phillies fans travel down to Clearwater, Florida in February and March to watch the Phillies’ Spring Training games……but what is there to do when your not at a game???  Clearwater Beach is about a 15 minute drive from Bright House Field and offers a great relaxing day at the beach or an amazing sunset which a few of us took advantage of.  
 
Universal Studios and Adventure Island are located about 90 minutes from Clearwater, so if you have a whole day to kill you can head on over there to the new Harry Poter exhibit.  
 As far as your dining options go, Lenny’s diner is a well known Phillies fan diner.   So whether you’re looking for a home-cooked breakfast or some tickets to the spring training game that day, Lenny’s is definitely your place!  However, beware of the wait……call ahead!!!  If you’re looking for a nice evening out to dinner we suggest Island Way Grill, they offer seating both indoors and out with a beautiful view of the marina.  The menu options range from fresh seafood to Asian inspired dishes.  Reservations are highly recommend for both indoor and outdoor seating.  But perhaps the best activity to take part in while in Clearwater, Florida is attending a game at Bright House Field
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Our guest writer for today is Victoria. 

Happy Opening Day and more…

First we need to apologize for our lack of posting lately.  We had a few internet issues but we are now up and running. 

Happy Opening Day!!!  Bonnie and Victoria will be “Down the Lines” today so make sure you look for them. 

Special congrats to Jessica Mintz and her model Emily for winning the Macy’s Phillies Ballgirls Design Challenge.  There was a great turnout at Macy’s last night and we all had a great time.  Thanks to Macy’s, the designers and our ballgirls!

Ballgirl Phillies Spring Training Trip

Spring training.  Where do I start? It was a bit of a challenge to get used to 30 degree weather when we just had 4 days of sun and 85 degrees.  The only thing keeping me focused is knowing that opening day is right around the corner! 

This was my 5th trip to Clearwater, but my 1st Spring Training experience.  My college team played in Clearwater every year but we were always so busy playing that I never got to catch a Phillies game.  This year, I was the only rookie to head down to Florida with some of the retired ballgirls and the vets!  As a rookie, I think this was a great trip because it is one of the times that all the ballgirls can hang out and get to know each other.  We all have our own lives and jobs or we are running off to class and during the season we are all working different games so this one trip is a break from reality and a nice mini vacation.  We all love baseball, so why not take a trip down to see our Phillies in action?  I have never met a group of girls who were more organized with planning a trip then these girls, special thanks to Lindsay. She planned out the days where we headed to the games and ordered the tickets, and she sent out flight information and booked the car rental.  Perrin, Lindsay, Becca, Katelyn, and Bonnie were a bit adventurous and headed to Disney to do some site seeing while Patti, Tori, Brittany and myself relaxed on the beach.  I had a great time getting to know each girl and asking them about their rookie experiences and I found myself paying more attention to detail at each game so I am ready to go once the season begins.  We had a bunch of funny moments during the trip including some of the girls running into the hanging tree worms, and guessing what kind of  flavored Harry Potter Jelly Bean Katelyn was giving us.  If you have not heard of these delectable treats, they come in flavors of dirt, grass, sausage, rotten egg and so on.

Needless to say, they were not that tasty and I would not recommend eating them before a meal… or after for that matter!  The girls also filled me in on last year’s trip and when Bonnie tried to jump over a stream of water when it was raining but she failed.  We made sure we got a photo of the re-enactment. All in all, this trip was amazing and is only the beginning of my memories as a ballgirl.  With opening day just a couple days away I know that there will be many more memories created along the way.


- Gen

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