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!