My dad was born in Brooklyn in May of 1936. He was the third of four boys born to Antonio and Theresa Lorenzo. They lived in the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn, an Italian neighborhood at the time. Brooklyn has always been a melting pot with immigrants from all over the globe settling in to start their new lives in America. With all the nationalities bringing their own traditions and customs to the borough the one uniting factor at the time was the Brooklyn Dodgers. Following America’s Pastime helped many acclimate to their new home. My dad and his family were no different. [Read more…]
There is not a bad seat in the house to watch this rebuilding team. Order up some authentic South Philly concessions; they’ll be better than the baseball on the field, as you enjoy the block party atmosphere of Ashburn Alley.
I usually wait to purchase baseball tickets until game day but when the Phillies 2017 promotions schedule was released I knew if I wanted good seats for the August 12th Wall of Fame night against the Mets I had to act fast. Thanks to StubHub I was able to find first row tickets in the Terrace Deck on February 10th; now the only thing to find out was who would be inducted into the Wall of Fame. [Read more…]
When I moved from Brooklyn to Pennsylvania in 2007 I could purchase Phillies tickets day of the game at Citizens Bank Park. Practically any game I wanted to attend, mostly when the Mets were in town, I could plan on finding a good seat at face value. I took advantage of this when Reaghan was little; she was 5 during the 2007 season. We went to a few games, sat on the Field Level and enjoyed watching what would become a championship team. Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Cole Hamels and Jimmy Rolllins would lead the Phillies to five consecutive National League East titles. In 2008 they defeated the Tampa Bay Rays to win their first World Series title in twenty-eight years. The days of walking up to the box office and buying a ticket were over. Throughout the Phillies run of division titles Citizens Bank Park was the place to be, selling out 257 consecutive games from 2009-2012. For once Philadelphia wasn’t an Eagles town, the city fell in love with those Phillies teams. [Read more…]
Being the new guy at the office can be scary. Since beginning my professional career in 2004 I’ve been the new guy on three occasions and each time baseball has been a way to bond with new colleagues. I recall some heated Yankees Mets debates during the 2006 season as both teams won their divisions and I wish I could forget the 2007 Mets Phillies battle, ending in a Mets collapse, for the National League East after moving to Pennsylvania.
Since transitioning into my current role in 2012 the Phillies have been a topic of discussion around the proverbial water cooler. After winning five consecutive National League titles they have devolved into a team in full rebuild mode. The team’s current roster includes only 2 members, Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz, from their 2011 102-win team, with both assuming part-time roles. The nadir of their rebuild was last season’s 99-lose campaign which included trades of future Phillie Wall of Famers Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Cole Hamels.
The Phillies outlook was bleak heading into the 2016 season, however it did not preclude four of my coworkers and I from scheduling a Business Persons special for the Blue Jays game on June 16th. Citizens Bank Park offers great site lines and concessions regardless of the Phillies record which heading into June was .500. An added bonus was the pitching match-up between former Phillie J.A. Happ, a Blue Jay offseason acquisition, and emerging Phillies ace Aaron Nola. Unfortunately the game did not live up to the pregame excitement, with the Blue Jays hitting 5 home runs on their way to a 13-2 win. The game will live in Phillies infamy, not because of the final score, but because Center fielder Odubel Herrera forgot the number of outs in the 8th inning after catching a fly ball. Phillies manager Pete MacKanin ended the night with a postgame team meeting to address the team’s lack of execution in the field.
My take away from the night was the number of Blue Jays fans in attendance. Despite the 8 hour drive south Jays fans migrated to Citizens Bank Park for the 1993 World Series rematch. I met a few who were headed down to Baltimore after the game for the Blue Jays weekend series against the Orioles at Camden Yards. My coworkers could sense my jealousy. Having traveled to a few road ballparks to watch the Mets; I can attest to the excitement of watching your favorite team win outside their home ballpark.
When you start a website with your old college roommate from Houston it’s tough to get together to watch a ballgame. Fortunately Ballpark Nerd CTO Zach Daenzer has Leadership Training in Baltimore this week and made it up North a few days early for a visit. We brought along Ballpark Nerd in Training Griffin to Citizens Bank Park for a match-up between the Milwaukee Brewers and Philadelphia Phillies.
Taking a 4 year old to a Ballpark can be a challenge. Last season Griffin and I attended an October doubleheader at Citizens Bank. It felt like we had the Ballpark to ourselves. Griffin made it through the first game and six innings of the second before I called it a night. After attending those games I felt that a combination of a sunny day, with some Crab Fries, ice cream and the Phillies Hot Wheels cars I bought would keep him occupied throughout 9 innings.
The Phillies were coming off a Friday night win to snap a 7 game losing streak. Brewers SS Jonathan Villar opened the scoring with a lead off home run in the first, but the Phillies would soon take the lead on 2nd inning home runs by Tommy Joseph and Cesar Hernandez. With the score 3-1 the Brewers chipped away to tie it up at 3 through the 8th inning. Phillies bullpen stalwart Hector Neris would surrender a tie breaking solo home run to Domingo Santana in the 8th. Dan O’Connor favorite Scooter Gennett would add a 2 RBI single in the 9th to put the game out of reach. Brewer 6 Phillies 3 in front of 25,177 fans.
I am sad to report that during the game Griffin ran down why the Phillie Phanatic is a better mascot than Mr. Met and why Citzens Bank Park is nicer than Citi Field. Being a Mets fan this was pretty funny. Apparently he likes the landscaping in Center Field, the opportunity to eat Crab Fries and it’s easier to move around the Ballpark. We are headed to Citi Field in a few weeks. I can’t wait to try and sway him to the Orange and Blue. And yes, that is a Phillies hat I am wearing. I am not going to be the guy who wears paraphernalia from a team who is not playing.