Feb 14, 2020

Opening Day’s At Phillies Phantasy Camp – Part 2

As Frontier airlines flight 2375 touched down in Tampa Florida it was time to

experience the sights, sounds, and smells of the the big leagues. Day 1 starts with a

welcome reception at the beautiful Clearwater Marriot hotel filled with welcome bags,

personalized luggage tags, and the feeling that you finally made it. (Not to the MLB

but that feeling that your room is ready and it’s before 4pm). Opening day is your

chance to board the Academy bus outside the hotel and take a trip down to Spectrum

field for Rookie workouts. What happens here? Baseball fundamentals 101. A few hours

at the facilities to take warm up’s, stretch, field ground balls, shag a few in the

outfield, and finally get some swings in the cages. You are working out so the

veterans and coaches can scout you and place you on your respective teams. I have to

say the workouts where fun and gives you the opportunity to size up the competition

(in a friendly way of course) ages range from 30 all the way up to the mid 80’s. The

rookie workouts are over and now back to the hotel to shower and get ready for the

welcome dinner upstairs in the ballroom. One of the coolest experiences of Phillies

Phantasy Camp is all the people from all walks of life that you meet and become close

friends with in only a few short days of knowing each other. Another benefit is the

access to Phillies Legends your entire trip. It’s not a meet and greet, it’s

conversations with the legends from eating breakfast and dinner together, them

coaching you during all your games, and even telling you stories from their glory

days as if they knew you their entire lives. (Super Cool). Shout out to my Legends

John Kruk and Dave Hollins. Could we have been any luckier? During the next three

days you play two 6 inning games per day. Each day starts with a breakfast at the

hotel followed by bus transportation to Spectrum Field. Let me just saw the welcome

on day 1 at the field was spectacular (The Locker Room Introduction). As you walk

into the Phillies official locker room you are greeted but the Phantasy Camp legends

clapping and smiling as you look for your name on that beautiful, clean, crisp pin

strip jersey with your name stitched on the upper back. (If you remember that scene

from Titanic where Jack is waiting for Rose at the very end on the spiraling

staircase. Died and went to heaven came to mind). Day after day you play one game and

then break for catered lunch upstairs on the concourse. Once lunch is over it’s back

to the locker room to get changed and play another grueling (for some) 6 inning game.

The games are fun and competitive and the weather we were blessed with this past

January of 2020 was perfect. Everyday Sunny and in the 70’s! Everyday gamer awards

are given out to players who make a spectacular play ( Not to brag but I received

one HEHE). In addition their is a star in each game who gets interviewed by the

Phillies own Greg murphy just like the real deal. Greg Murphy was fantastic as the

emcee the entire camp and again (Not to brag but Pops and I were interviewed by Murph

on the same day). Phillies Phantasy Camp is about Baseball, Friends, and memories. In

part 3 I will speak about the odds and ends that go on, Kangaroo Court and the

success of Phillies Phantasy Camp and the amazing job done by ESF.