The Phillies: Beer and Baseball

The Phillies start their title defense as they play host tonight to the vis­it­ing Atlanta Braves in the sea­son open­er at Cit­i­zen’s Bank Park. Helen and I did­n’t get tick­ets to tonight’s game, so we decid­ed to catch the first of two On Deck pre­sea­son matchups against last year’s World Series run­ners-up, the Tam­pa Bay Rays.

It was an amaz­ing, if blus­tery, night. We sat under the over­hang in sec­tion 137 and watched Pat Bur­rell warm up on his old left field stomp­ing grounds. It was an emo­tion­al moment for Helen and me. We both felt that we real­ly got to “know” Pat in his last sea­son as a Phillie, and sup­port­ed him in our cus­tom­ary seats in sec­tion 143 with rau­cous cheers. We did the same for him last Fri­day, even though he now wears a Rays uniform.

The Phillies hon­ored Pat’s career with a pre-game mon­tage that start­ed when he signed with the team in 1998 right up until he spoke at last fal­l’s World Series cel­e­bra­tion. It was chock full of great mem­o­ries, both good and bad. Pat walked out of the dugout and doffed his cap at the Phillies faith­ful. Pat may not have the great­est rep­u­ta­tion, but on the field, he’s a true class act.

On a lighter note, I was able to enjoy one of three new addi­tions to the Cit­i­zen’s Bank Park beer selec­tion, pair­ing a Troegs Sun­shine Pils with one of Hat­field­’s finest processed meat prod­ucts. Deli­cious! I fig­ure if you’re either pay­ing near­ly dou­ble for Bud­weis­er swill, or you can get one of Penn­syl­va­ni­a’s finest craft brews for $6.75. I fig­ure it’s a great ratio­nale for choos­ing the good stuff when you’re out at the ballpark!

My Phillies Moment on WHYY

The World Series Trophy
Orig­i­nal­ly uploaded by J T. Ramsay

As a new base­ball sea­son approach­es (Helen and I are head­ed to the ball­park this Fri­day, as well as twice next week), I just hap­pened to find a record­ed snip­pet I gave to WHYY out­side of John­ny Bren­da’s on WHYY’s Unob­struct­ed View blog.

If I sound like a com­plete doo­fus, it’s prob­a­bly because I was over­come with joy when the Phillies won, and sad that Helen was in sun­ny San Diego on busi­ness. (Trust me: she was sad, too. After all, she changed her trav­el plans so we could go to World Series Game 4 togeth­er. We’ll nev­er for­get Blastin’ Joe Blan­ton slam­ming a homer over the left field wall in Cit­i­zen’s Bank Park.)

It feels like it was only yes­ter­day that I was lit­er­al­ly rac­ing down Frank­ford Avenue as I ran from Mem­phis Tap­room to cel­e­brate with friends at Frank­ford and Girard. I can’t wait for the Phillies to begin their 2009 cam­paign to defend their well-deserved World Cham­pi­on title.

Let’s go, Phils!

The World Series Trophy

The World Series Trophy
Orig­i­nal­ly uploaded by J T. Ramsay

I final­ly down­loaded my pic­tures from my moment with the 2008 Phillies World Cham­pi­onship tro­phy on the 44th Fl. of the Com­cast Cen­ter. It’s hard to artic­u­late how thrilled I was to be in its pres­ence. It’s not some­thing I’ll soon forget.

Helen and I are going to three games the first week of April. I can’t wait to see all of our friends in Sec. 143 in Cit­i­zens Bank Park for anoth­er awe­some sea­son of Phillies base­ball. It’s going to be strange not yack­ing at Pat this year, but I’m sure we’ll have plen­ty to say to Raul Ibanez over the course of the season.