Tag Archives: Philadelphia Phillies

The Weekly Smile-Welcome Back #26

“The Man” himself, former Philadelphia Philly, Chase Utley made a very welcome return trip to Citizen Bank Park last night. This was his first appearance at the Philadelphia stadium since he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers last August. When he walked out on the field for his first at bat, the fans eagerly gave him a standing ovation and cheered for a full two minutes before they settled down enough for the pitcher to throw out the first pitch. The players from both teams joined in on the applause as well. It truly warmed my heart to see such a good guy honored this way. You must be something pretty special for the opposing team and their fan base to welcome you that way.

imageChase, (he’s such a “regular guy” that it’s hard to refer to him as “Mr Utley”) was a staple in our home from the time he debuted with the Phillies in 2003. Mr D, who was 8 years old at the time and already a few years into little league, idolized  Chase from the start. ” Watch this guy hit,” he would say or “Did you see that amazing play Chase made?!” There was just something really special about him and when Mr D started playing high school baseball and was able to choose his number, he always wore #26 just like his idol.

imageThe more I saw of the Phillies’ second baseman the bigger fan I became too. He was so much fun to watch! You could see how much he loved the game and was always giving 110% every play, every game. He gave just that much to his team and the fans too, leading by example, training hard, showing up for every practice prepared and ready to go and treating the fans (especially the kids) with humility and grace. In interviews he was always gracious and humble, owning up to any mistakes and lauding his teammates on their accomplishments.

When the rumors started last season, that the Phillies were considering trading Chase, I thought “No! Say it ain’t so!” He was, by far, the most popular well loved player on the team leading the Phillies twice to the playoffs and the World Series Championship in 2008. I don’t pretend to understand what goes on in the minds of managers and team owners but for some reason they decided it was time for Chase to move on. His leaving made me really sad, (Miss Dee was totally beside herself swearing to never attend another game) and made the Phillies games much less fun to watch. At the time, Chase, who is a native of Los Angeles, told the press that he was sad to leave and had hoped to finish out his career in Philadelphia but if he had to be traded he was glad it was to the Dodgers, the team he had cheered on as a kid. He also took out a full page newspaper ad the following week thanking the Phillies and the fans for the years of love and support.

Class act, that #26.

That’s why when the crowd was cheering on Chase Utley last night and while he was tipping his hat to the crowd looking overwhelmed and a little embarrassed, probably anxious to just start the game,  I was in my living room smiling and clapping just as loud.

Play ball!


imageThe Weekly Smile is brought to you courtesy of Trent’s World. Make sure to stop by and check out the rest of the “smiles” and maybe even share one of your own!

The Weekly Smile – Phanaticly Speaking

We had an especially exciting day at school yesterday. Thanks to the fifth graders and their mad reading skills, our school won a visit from the one and only Phillie Phanatic!

“WHO??” you may ask.

The Phillie Phanatic is the official mascot for the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team and he is quite a character! Wikipedia refers to the Phanatic as one of the most recognizable mascots. He’s been with the team since 1978  and according to his bio, this 6″6′  furry green bi-ped hails originally from the Galápagos Islands. When he is not busy cheering on the Phillies, the Phanatic enjoys dancing, playing pranks and watching his favorite movie which is, of course, “Rocky!”

The students greeting the Phanatic!

The students greeting the Phanatic!

The students were humming with anticipation as we gathered in the gym to meet the Phanatic. We were greeted by his “Squad”  from the Phillies and were told that he was running a little late so they asked our principle, a very enthusiastic lady and a rather good sport, to read a book to the children while they waited for their guest to show up. Well, of course, as she was reading to the children, the Phanatic snuck in behind her and started doing silly dance moves! The kids pointed and laughed but the principle played right along and pretended that she didn’t understand why they were laughing. Eventually, the Phanatic revealed himself and gave the her a big phuzzy Phanatic kiss!

Our Principle receiving a Phanatic smooch!

Our Principle receiving a Phanatic smooch!

The Phanatic’s Squad  talked more about the importance of reading everyday and then they congratulated the fifth grade students on their achievement. The class was then asked to come up and have their photo taken with the Phanatic. Finally, the big green guy himself led us all in a group dance-along to the song “Happy.” He even pulled several teachers and staff members out to dance with him. He sure has some great moves!!

When ever we go to a Phillies game, one of my favorite parts is when the Phanatic makes his appearance. I can’t believe some of the mischief he gets up to!  He usually rides a four wheeler out on to the field before the games and our neighbor, Doug, who works part-time for the Phillies, happens to be the guy in charge of opening the gate to let the Phanatic on and off the field. I always wished that I could do that job for one night just so I could get a close up view of the big green dude’s crazy antics.

Now, all of us at the school can say that we did get to see the Philly Phanatic up close and personal and it was all thanks to the magic of reading!! If you would like some more information about this fun, educational, literacy program visit the Phillies web site and check out “Phanatic About Reading!”

imageThe Weekly Smile is brought to you courtesy of Trent’s World. Stop by and collect a few more smiles or perhaps share one of you own!