A truly significant moment in Major League Baseball history occurred 67 years ago today when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier on April 15, 1947. The Phillies, along with Major League Baseball, will pay tribute to this milestone with a “Jackie Robinson Salute” at Citizens Bank Park prior to today’s 7:05 p.m. game against the Braves. Here are some highlights for our Jackie Robinson Salute:
The entire Phillies team will wear #42 in honor of Jackie.
A life-size, hand-carved and painted wooden statue of Jackie Robinson will be on display in the Left Field Plaza of Ashburn Alley for fans to take photos. The statue, which weighs over 250 pounds and stands over 6 feet tall, was created by sculptor Brian Birrer and took over 900 hours to transform from over 50 pieces of Walnut, Pine and Basswood.
Mahlon Duckett, second baseman and the only surviving player from the historic Philadelphia Stars, will be honored on the field. The Philadelphia Stars was in existence from 1934 to 1952 and won the 1934 Negro National League pennant. Phillies players will help pay tribute to this living legend on-field.
Members of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, who made history at the same time Jackie Robinson broke the “color line” in Major League Baseball, will be the honor guard for the game.
The national anthem will be sung by Chrystal E. Williams, mezzo-soprano and Academy of Vocal Arts Resident Artist.
In addition, fans can watch the Phillies’ “I am 42″ video tribute to Jackie Robinson, which will be played on PhanaVision.
Fans will also receive a Jackie Robinson print (photo at the top of this post) with quotes from manager Ryne Sandberg and Phillies players on Jackie Robinson and his impact on them on the back.
We couldn’t choose one so here are a few Phillies players expressing what Jackie meant to them on this day:
He’s used to his role behind the plate and catching strikes from the likes of Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels. But last night, Carlos Ruiz was doing a pretty good job of throwing them himself as he hosted the Philadelphia Futures Get in the Game bowling event held at North Bowl in Northern Liberties. All proceeds from the evening support Philadelphia Futures’ academic enrichment and college guidance activities for students. The player and coaching staff came out in full force with outstanding representation at the fundraiser as well. Gotta support Chooch, right? Especially when it’s for a great cause.
For more info on what the Phillies are up to when they’re off the field and making a difference, check out phillies.com/community!
In celebration of 10 years of baseball at Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies have a number of events and initiatives planned, including “Citizens Bank Park Saturdays” with the first held just last night featuring some very special reunions.
Fifty, (that’s right 50!) former Ballgirls, representing the rosters from 2004-2014, returned last night to celebrate 10 years of guarding foul territory and representing the Phillies organization in the community. The ladies gathered at the Left Field Gate to sign autographs for happy fans during pregame and then danced it out with the Phanatic during the 5th to Pharrell’s “Happy.”
Can We Build It?
Yes they did. The Ballpark Project Team, who designed and constructed Citizens Bank Park, returned to be recognized prior to the game and throw some first balls as well. Among those honored were: John Stranix, Project Manager; Jack Donnelly, CEO L.F. Driscoll Co.; Joe Spear Populous; and Pradeep Patel, Ewing Cole. Some other cool guys posed for photos with them as well.
Welcome Back Rheal!
Former Phillies pitcher Rheal Cormier, who not only has a very cool name but also recorded the first win at Citizens Bank Park on April 15, 2004 (as well as the last win at Jack Russell Stadium on March 26, 2003 and the last win at Veterans Stadium on September 27, 2003) returned to CBP last night. He threw a ceremonial first ball as well as signed autographs for fans.
The Phillies plan to bring back alumni, all of which have made historic contributions to the club, throughout the season for each Saturday home game as part of Citizens Bank Park Saturdays. Be on the lookout for more alumni schedule announcement throughout the entire season!
Us too. We all know that Fridays are always a good time but tomorrow is extra awesome. And we’re not just talking about the great weather forecast. Let’s also discuss our first Friday game of the season and all that’s in store…besides the Marlins heading into town for the first weekend series of 2014, of course.
#PhilliesSocial Nights Begin
The first #PhilliesSocial Night is tomorrow! Get excited!!! In honor of the evening, Phillies pitcher Jake Diekman is leading off the series of social media-focused nights (there are six dates in all) with a Twitter Chat tomorrow at 12:30 pm on @Phillies. Make sure you’re a follower and get your questions ready! Also, give him a follow on Twitter too, @JakeDiekman!
Fans who purchase tickets as part of #PhilliesSocial get some pretty cool perks. Not only do they get a great ticket price with a concession credit on their ticket aka a Power Ticket but they also score an @Phillies t-shirt (they’re blue this year!) AND get to stand in their own private viewing area during BP. Diekman and a few other Phillies players may have some surprises for those very social fans too! There are also special Phillies trivia questions with cool prizes to the first fan who answers correctly. This goes on throughout the game and there are many fun prizes to be won. (P.S. You have to be in attendance of the #PhilliesSocial game to be eligible to win!)
Interested in coming to our #PhilliesSocial games? Grab your tickets here.
Asian Pacific Celebration
The Phillies will host our 11th annual Asian Pacific Celebration at the ballpark tomorrow as well. Beginning at 5:45 p.m., you can see gate performances by Philadelphia Suns, FISDU, Platinum Dream Events and the Bhutanese American Organization-Philadelphia Dance Club. The performances continue on-field with the Filipino Intercultural Society of Drexel University, Hoh Daiko Drummers, performing traditional Japanese-style drumming, and the Philadelphia Suns, performing traditional Chinese lion dancing! There will also be great food and music throughout the evening all in honor of the Asian community.
You’ll also get to see the always adorable Mei Mei dancers (pictured above) perform with the Phanatic during the 5th inning! And then the Platinum Dream Events performers will return to dance on the dugout in the 7th.
Tickets are still available for tomorrow’s game and this weekend – buy a couple for you and a friend here.
So TGIF your way over to CBP tomorrow for great baseball and cool theme nights!
Of course we are open! Now that our Modell’s Sporting Goods Opening Day is officially in the books we’re gearing up for our Opening Week games and all the 2014 games to be played at Citizens Bank Park.
I’m Lovin’ It on Wednesday
First up is McDonald’s Opening Night (April 9!) featuring a navy PHILLIES t-shirt for fans 15 and over. Check out this artist’s rendering right over here.
Also, the national anthem will be sung by St. Dorothy’s Choir hailing from Springfield, Pa.
Want a magnet that also tells you things?
Then Thursday’s game, that’s also April 10th, is for you! The xpedx 2014 magnet schedule will be given to each and every fan who enters the gates of Citizens Bank Park which will not only hold things up when placed onto something metal but will also tell you the game, TV and promotional schedules for the Fightin’ Phils – quite the multitasking magnet.
Holy Family University will be in the house that night and the Havertones are singing the anthem. Here are the Havertones singing in 2013 for a bit of a preview.
Right-hander Kyle Kendrick will host his Kendrick’s Krew group during pregame on Thursday with the T-21 Club of the Delaware Valley. In 2013, he launched his charitable ticket program where he purchases game tickets, t-shirts and meets with children living with autism and down syndrome. Pretty cool, right?
Want to come to the games? Awesome. You can buy them at phillies.com, call 215-463-1000 or head to the First Base Ticket Windows to buy in person.
SIDE NOTE: Both the Wednesday and Thursday games start at 7:05 pm with gates at 5:05 pm (Ashburn Alley) and all gates at 5:35 pm.
Can’t come to the games? That makes us sad. But we still want you to be in the know so watch each night’s broadcast on The Comcast Network or listen on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT and SportsRadio 94WIP. Habla espanol? We’re also broadcasting the game in Spanish on SAP and WTTM 1680AM.
Hope to see you at the games this week!
The Official Modell’s Sporting Goods Opening Day Lineup of amazing phandom has been announced!
It’s pretty epic, and full of phandom events, so you should probably call out sick from work/school/all other non-Phillies related life involvement now.
We Like, We Like To Party
Get here early to take full advantage of the CB Way Party festivities. Tons of entertainment on the stage including a performance by Go Go Gadjet, food, drinks and more! It starts at noon for fans who especially like to party before their Opening Day game.
All gates open at 12:35pm but feel free to hang out and party for awhile.
Walk This Way
This leadoff walk is extra special on our Opening Day. Fans who haven’t entered the ballpark yet can line up on 10th Street to cheer on the Phillies as they make their way into the ballpark. Get your high fives on with your favorite Phillies, why don’t ya?
If you’re already in the ballpark, don’t fret! You’ll have already received your Citizens Bank Park banner, compliments of Modell’s Sporting Goods – so that’s already a win.
Then you can head to your seats and get ready for a must-see pregame show, including the grand entrance of the 2014 Phillies squad via a Phillies-red carpet, performances by the Philadelphia Boys Choir and Men’s Chorale of “Philadelphia Pride” and “America the Beautiful,” and the unfurling of an awe-inspiring American flag by Pennsylvania Army and Air National Guard members as well as Philadelphia Police and Fire Department personnel carrying the state flags along the infield. It’s truly a beautiful site.
This is The Voice!
Jacquie Lee. Our hometown girl (she’s from Colt’s Neck, NJ – so a Jersey girl!) who became America’s sweetheart during her time on Team Xtina and the top-rated NBC show, The Voice, will be performing the national anthem on-field at CBP! You definitely don’t want to miss it.
Might As Well Jump
Or leap? The Leap Frogs, the United States Navy Parachute Team, will deliver the first balls via jumping out of a plane and parachuting into the ballpark.
Seriously, so cool to see!
Once the first pitches are thrown, including by a SURPRISE Phillies alumnus and Modell’s Sporting Goods rep, the Phillies will take on the Brewers at 3:05 p.m.
What’s the Phanatic Say?
Find out during a performance on-field during the 5th inning. It may or may not look a little something like this…only live!
7th Inning Stretching
While we stretch we’re also going to be supremely entertained by Julia Udine, who plays Christine in Phantom of the Opera, as she sings God Bless America.
Lots of stuff but all phandom you definitely need to know. Also, it has to be said, everything is weather permitting – so let’s all start doing our anti-rain combined with our anti-wind dances now.
See you at the Home Opener on Monday! We can’t wait!!
But seriously, we know you do. Especially a surprise that also involves a fan’s favorite player. Right?
The crazy monsoon rain last weekend washed away game 2 of the Phillies vs. Pirates On Deck Series on Saturday but we were able to get game 1 in on Friday night and all the player surprises for fans all over Citizens Bank Park! Here are just a few of our personal favs.
The Phillies are loving social media more and more. We’re always trying to think of ways to reach fans on a more personal level. And so the #SelfieStation came to be.
Phillies centerfielder Ben Revere has a blast posing for selfies with some very excited fans on the Budweiser Rooftop before the game. Say cheese!
Well, he has been known to post a few selfies of his own so he’s a bit of a pro…
Watch the Tramcar please.
(Can you hear that recording in your head? Just think – those Wildwood and Jersey Shore days are on their way!)
So, who needs a lift to the game? How about from Phillies outfielder, Domonic Brown?
Fans arriving at the game were treated to some All-Star service, indeed! Don’t worry – he’s a licensed driver and all arrived to the game safely…and smiling.
Excuse me, Bartender?
Be nice to your bartender, especially when it’s Ryan Howard.
Fans couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw Howard behind the Diamond Club bar serving drinks and meeting fans.
Now that’s a perfect pour – well done, Ryan!
The On Deck player-fan interactions and experiences were just a small way for us to show how much we value our fans – and want to get them as close to their team as they possibly can! Did you come to the game on Friday?
P.S. Tickets for Saturday’s game can be exchanged for a future 2014 regular season game and for comparable level…meaning if you are holding a 100 level ticket, you’re going to get a 100 level ticket for the game you choose (obviously based on availability). The Home Opener is excluded from games you can choose as well. Ticket exchanges can be done in person at the Citizens Bank Park Advance Ticket Windows, Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm and Saturday from 10am-2pm. You can also mail them in along with your requested game date to: Philadelphia Phillies Ticket Office, One Citizens Bank Way, Philadelphia, Pa. 19148.
After JRoll’s grand slam on Opening Day in Texas, fans flooded social media with major love. And he was very appreciative of the kinds words.
Thanks to you all!! Now on to the next—
Jimmy Rollins (@JimmyRollins11) April 01, 2014
Jake Diekman extremely happy to share his Opening Day experience with his fam.
And J.P. Crawford just made us hungry.
In the midst of the Phillies vs. Pirates On Deck Exhibition Series this weekend, we’re also hosting the first-ever R U Game? Talent Search Finals on Sunday at noon! We highlighted 7 of the finalists last week and are completing the group with our final 8 this week.
John Paul Cappiello
This well-rounded musician has performed professionally for over twenty years, singing everything from classical and opera to musical theater to original rock and pop music. He has performed as a Tenor soloist in Mozart’s Requiem with the Chamber Soloists of Philadelphia in addition to rock performances on the legendary stage of NYC’s CBGB club and recording several albums of original music. John Paul is expected to release a new album this summer which is a collaboration with a childhood friend.
A classically-trained opera singer with 25 years of experience, Chris has performed with various Central Pennsylvania symphonies. He listened to a Pavarotti album and was immediately inspired to become an opera singer which has brought him all the way to the R U Game? Talent Search finals!
This trio has only been singing together for a year but they have been performers all their lives. Lex, Rickie and Allonie are truly talented with backgrounds ranging from theater, rap/emcee experience to salsa music. Currently in the studio working on their first EP, they are hoping to break into the music scene and the R U Game? Talent Search is just another step to stardom.
Handline was a soloist in her family, as no one else sings, and has been singing since she could speak. Her choir teacher encouraged her talents and from there she performed in theater, pageants and regional choirs. Currently studying law at Temple University with an anticipated graduation in May, she also records music on the side.
Nicole may have started as a dancer and earned a degree from the University of Washington but she has also dabbled in acting with roles in movies including Tower Heist. A former military member, she has sung with various Army and veteran programs. She opened a performing arts school in North Jersey teaching dance, drama and vocals. Nicole, a single mom of three, is currently working on her second degree in nutrition and works as her own boss in a fitness company.
As a child, Krasting’s parents would entertain him by playing Broadway music records, specifically Oklahoma and The King and I. His first chance to perform in a semi-professional theater was at age 12 when he played the role of Kurt in The Sound of Music. Krasting’s love of music continued through adulthood as he is currently a music teacher in South Jersey.
Cyrus got his singing chops from his mom, who was an aspiring country singer before he was born. She encouraged him to sing and perform, which led him to LA where he discovered a love of musical theater. Now a New Jersey resident, Cyrus has most recently starred in a production of Les Miserables as Jean Valjean and aspires to follow in the footsteps of Hugh Jackman and master both the theater and film worlds.
Brandon has performed the national anthem previously for minor affiliates of the New York Yankees and New York Mets but hopes to be called up to the majors and sing for the Phillies this time around.
And the Judge’s have their scores…
In addition to the amazing 15 finalists performing on Sunday, we’re ecstatic to have such a diverse group of judges.
Multi-Grammy award winning songwriter, musician and multi-platinum producer as well as longtime collaborator and member of The Roots, with live performances on NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
International recording artist, signature voice of the Grammy-nominated group Sister Sledge with smash hits including “We Are Family” and “He’s the Greatest Dancer,” entrepreneur, philanthropist and Philadelphia native.
Multi-platinum record producer, has worked with artists Sting, Jay-Z and Eve, as well as Philadelphia philanthropist.
WXPN music director and afternoon host with over 20 years of radio experience.
Choral director/music teacher in the Wissahickon School District with over 33 years of teaching experience and sister of Phillies broadcaster and 2008 World Series Champion, Jamie Moyer.
We’re so excited that our Fightin’ Phils have come home…and they are too!
They’re excited to board the plane…
domonicbrown – We are coming home #philly
Had fun during the flight…
JakeDiekman – Plane Selfie! Can you spot @jdefratus?! #PhillyBound
And, of course, happy to see those city lights…
Americans love talent shows. We do. We love a great voice to entertain us, amaze us and sometimes even move us. Now, the Phillies are always looking for talented performances at Citizens Bank Park. But this time we wanted to see if fans could deliver a superior national anthem performance on-field.
And so the “Phillies R U Game? Talent Search” was created! After seeing hundreds of fans in the Preliminary Auditions, our judges selected 15 finalists to move onto the Final Audition Round, to be held on Sunday, March 30, 2014 as part of Paint The Town Red. We’re going to highlight seven of our finalists in this week’s post (Don’t worry – we’ll have the other eight in next week’s entry!) to give you some insight on the amazingly talented vocal stars competing for the grand prize to sing the anthem at the April 30th game against the New York Mets.
Friends first and musicians second. Marisa Curcio, Samantha Goldberg, Kyle Blackburn and Andrew Stack are Phil’s Harmonix. This quartet made up of freshman currently attending the Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, just met last semester but became close almost instantly. While practicing for a test just days before the preliminary audition, the three future music teachers and one opera singer hopeful decided they liked how they sounded together and would try out as Phil’s Harmonix. If they win, the April 30th game would be their first public appearance together.
His love of singing and a good competition led Tim Bolognone right to the R U Game? Talent Search finals. Tim, a ministry major and music minor in college, did a little bit of everything – operas, musicals, choral performances and even sang in a barbershop quartet. After college, he returned to Philadelphia with his wife, Allyson, and joined local choirs Singing City and Mendelssohn Club in addition to leading worship at Grace City Church, located in Northeast Philly. His resume is impressive, with performances in NBC’s Clash of the Choirs in 2007 in Patti LaBelle’s choir and a runner up in the Philadelphia Eagles anthem contest in 2009 under his belt, but he’s ready to win it all this time around.
A songbird since the age of three, Marley Alig has been studying voice since 14 and has performed the national anthem at various sporting events, including a Reading Royals ice hockey game – but she’s ready to move into the big leagues. Singing runs in the family for Marley as her great aunt previously performed at The Metropolitan Opera in New York City and her mom in various high school musicals. Although she has performed with jazz groups here and there, she’s a purist at heart and likes her national anthem done in classic style and sang how it was written. Marley is currently a student at Temple University, Fox School of Business working on a degree in marketing and resides in South Philadelphia.
A Jersey girl born and raised and longtime Phillies fan, Kelly LaVigna has sang professionally for years but hopes to fulfill a life-long dream to sing the national anthem at a Phillies game through the RU Game? Talent Search competition. Proud mom to her beautiful seven-year-old daughter, Lauren, Kelly is also co-owner of Route 9 Entertainment and the lead singer in various groups including her own solo act. With past performances as a studio demo singer for artists Brandy and Monica, multi-time winner at The Apollo Theater’s Amateur Night as well as live performances at many Atlantic City casinos, local venues and private parties, she’s ready to premiere on-field at Citizens Bank Park.
Jenna Bramble, a Phillies fan since she was three months old, learned how to sing the national anthem at the age of 10. From that point on, she has dreamed of singing it at a Phillies game and hopes to get her chance through the Phillies R U Game? Talent Search. While she doesn’t sing professionally, the former wedding singer and karaoke bar enthusiast does enjoy performing for friends and family and most of all – for fun. Jenna has performed the anthem and God Bless America at a major league ballpark before – for the Washington Nationals in 2008 – but we won’t hold that against her! (Kidding!!) She is a public relations manager for the tech start-up, Taxi Magic App, and lives with her husband, Frank, and their dog, Chase Mutley (pictured above), in Edgewater Park, NJ.
Valerie Martin has enthusiasm that is seriously contagious. A performer from the start, she began singing in church at the age of three and never stopped. A fan of Patti LaBelle, Aretha Franklin, Beyonce and Kelly Clarkson, Valerie looks up to women with outrageously powerful vocals for her inspiration. Her day job may be at Ballard Spahr, but she loves performing with her husband in their band, which they’ve been a part of for over 28 years, at local Philadelphia venues, weddings, restaurants, backyards and anywhere else she can showcase her talent! Valerie hopes to win it all at the inaugural Phillies R U Game? Talent Search this year.
Singing and making up songs since she could talk, Liz Kretschmer, of Newtown Square, Pa., is a natural at the art of vocal performance. Coming from an artistic family of ballet dancers, artists and videographers, Liz writes, records and produces her own songs in an effort to follow her dreams. Her background extends to performances in Opera Philadelphia’s production of Nabucco, in an acting role, as well as part of the Pennsylvania Academy of Performing Arts’ Concordia. Liz dedicates all of her performances to her true inspiration – her mom (pictured above on the right), who recently became ill, but inspires her daughter to follow her passion to the fullest of her capabilities.
Our 2013 Draft Pick, J.P. Crawford reminded us that we really love this game too.
Couldn't have asked for a better day on the field. Man I love this game🙌—
jp crawford (@jp_crawford) March 20, 2014
That’s all this week. We’ll have the other half of our wonderful Phillies R U Game? Talent Search finalists for you next week. Enjoy the first weekend of the spring!
One of the most rewarding things about being affiliated with a Major League Baseball team is the opportunity to be a part of the lives of our fans. Whether it’s helping a parent make a memory with their son or daughter at his or her first game, the Phanatic visiting an auditorium packed with elementary students as part of the Be A Phanatic About Reading Program or a grandparent listening to the Phillies game with their grandchild while playing cards, it’s all gravy for us. But when we can give back to a member of the military – well, that’s really the best thing ever.
This morning, the Phillies, along with the Liberty USO, made a surprise delivery to a local military hero. Sergeant Joe “Joey” Andreacchio, a two-time veteran from Iraq and Afghanistan, just returned from his latest nine-month tour of Afghanistan. He has earned several accolades including most recently the Army Commendation Medal.
Andreacchio was born and raised in Upper Darby, PA and is a sergeant with the 333rd Engineering Company in Reading, PA – US Army Reserve. Besides his incredible job as a soldier, protecting our freedom, he is also a life-long Phillies fan and Sunday season ticket holder. So, the Phillies approached Joey’s family and girlfriend, Corrie Gorman, to organize a very special welcome home including special visitors and a very special message from a certain southpaw currently residing down south.
Phun Phact: Andreacchio lives with his girlfriend, Corrie Gorman, in Ewing, NJ, whom he met on June 6, 2010, before a Sunday Phillies game. (Phillies Dating Service: Matchmaking like pros. Find your match this summer!)
And now we present the top moments from this morning’s event!
But the best part may have been when a Phillie who actively supports the military through his foundation called in.
Yes, the one and only Cole Hamels Face-timed with Sergeant Andreacchio from Bright House Field.
Here’s video of the interaction, with a special appearance by a certain first baseman.
All in all, it was a pretty cool morning for us. If you want to check out more photos from the special ticket delivery, you can do it here!
If you’re a Phillies fan then you probably know that Doc Halladay joined the Twitter universe this week. If you didn’t know, you may be living under a rock – so give him a follow.
Also, check out some tweets from the past week showing a different side of Roy:
Lookin’ good Doc!