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With less than two weeks until the first day of the 2017 Phantasy Camp experience, campers were excited to get into the batting tunnels and take a few last swings before heading to Florida.
It was another great night with more than 35 campers coming out to Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday night to join Phantasy Camp Staff members and their fellow campers for the final scheduled Batting Practice Session of the season.
Campers stepped-in and took one swing after another, using all three batting tunnels at the park. It was great to see Rookies and Veterans who first met each other at the opening BP Session back in October now catching up with one another, and trading stories about the upcoming trip.
The 2017 Staff is excited to get down to Florida and get on the field – See you all in Clearwater!
Click here to view the full gallery: January batting Practice
Over thirty-five Phillies Phantasy Campers came out this week for our third batting practice at Citizens Bank Park. The feeling of excitement was in the air with camp just over a month away! Everyone’s energy was even more focused on working on their swing and getting any new information about our time in Florida. Overall, it was a great night and we’re looking forward to our final batting practice next month.
For the full gallery, click here: December Batting Practice
We had a successful Orientation last week at Citizens Bank Park. Starting in the Media Room, Players, General Managers and Phans all came to pickup their camp materials and information. Everyone got a chance to see old friends, have a tour of the facilities, including the Phillies Clubhouse, and get a chance to talk with Phantasy Camp Commissioner, Mickey Morandini.
Even the Phillie Phanatic got in on the action!
It isn’t too late to sign-up! If you are interested or know someone who is, please give us a call at 610-520-3400 today!
This week, Phillies Phantasy campers had a great time at the second of four batting practices this winter. A great time was had by all as campers spent time practicing their swing and catching up with friends. Everyone was excited for the chance to practice in the batting cages at Citizens Bank Park!
Check out the full gallery here: November Batting Practice
We had a strong start to our series of batting practices at Citizen’s Bank Park. On a nice evening in October the air was filled with cracks of the bat as Phantasy Campers came out to work on their swing. The building was full of great energy and excitement as Veterans and Rookies alike exchanged hitting tips, told stories from their Phantasy Camp experience, and enjoyed hanging out down in the official Philadelphia Phillies batting cages. A big thanks to everyone who came out to this great event!
Check out the entire gallery here: October Batting Practice
On a beautiful day in September, Phantasy Campers met up in Wilmington, DE for an evening of baseball. After putting their gear down in the dugout, players walked onto the field of Frawley Stadium, home of the Wilmington Blue Rocks minor league baseball team, to get loose. Everyone was split into two teams and after each team got a chance to meet and get reacquainted with each other the scrimmage began. It didn’t take long for most to look like they were in mid-season form. With a couple cracks of the bat and a few flashes of the leather it was clear that this was going to be a great day of baseball.
In-between innings, conversations about past and future Phantasy camps could be heard. Vets shared stories and wisdom as rookies eagerly asked questions about the upcoming camp. Regardless of the experience with Phantasy Camp, everyone’s spirits were high and laughter could be heard throughout the evening.
After the game ended, everyone made their way up into the Diamond Club for some post game hot dogs and hamburgers. It was easy to see how everyone was getting excited for camp in January as the conversations and stories continued. Overall, a good time was had by all and even if there was a little ice and Advil in the future for some, any day on the baseball field is a good day.
Click here for the entire gallery: Batting Practice in Wilmington
8/21/16 : A Day at the Park – Phantasy Camp Reunion
Written By – Steve Potter
Yesterday was one of the more memorable experiences of my baseball life. As part of the Phantasy Camp experience from last January, we (my sons Dan, Nolan and son-in-law Matt) were invited to attend a full day at Citizens Bank Park experiencing on-the-field and behind-the-scenes activities of the stadium operations. There were about 25 of us who plan on also attending the 2017 camp experience that got to take part.
Our day started arriving at the ballpark at 9:30 AM and being greeted by Mike T. and Joanne, both of whom work for ESF, which is the partner company for the Phillies youth baseball camps and Phantasy Camp. We entered thru the executive office entrance of the stadium. My son in laws dad Mercer, a lifelong friend of mine and a baseball teammate for over 40 years, also got to come along and enjoy the day with us – glad that he could! I gave Mike a copy of my 2008 book on the Phillies, he said he would read it on his vacation.
One of the greatest by-products of team sports is team spirit and friendship. Phantasy Camp is no different. When fellow teammates arrived we shook hands and did the “bro hugs” greetings associated with the bonds formed from a week of team competition and partnership. Many campers become lifelong friends and keep in touch throughout the year. Our team, “Team Schmitty” had seven guys participating in the day-long event and another three that came later for the game against the Cardinals. My son Dan drove from the Washington DC area for the CBP experience and the Bergers’ drove all the way from Palm Harbor, FL to experience the day!
We were led down an elevator to the auxiliary locker rooms, they are locker spaces given to front office personnel who work for the team who want to shower and change before they depart work for the day. It is in a hall corridor just around the entrance to the home team dugout and the indoor batting cages. We changed into our Phillies batting jerseys and uniforms — actually they changed, I came fully dressed already as I was pumped to go!
The Phillies had a breakfast spread out for us, various juices, water, muffins, fruits, etc. We had about an hour before we would take the field and cages so it gave us a chance to catch up with fellow campers and staffers on what we have been doing the past six months or so. At 10:30 we went to the field to do stretches and exercises in right field. Even with an empty stadium, being on the field in a Phillies uniform was a very cool experience. We formed lines and followed camp instructor Joe thru calisthenics and jogging to get loose. With 90-degree heat, it didn’t take much.
When you go to Phantasy Camp your team is assigned a team rep whose job is to support the team and its coaches with coordination and assistance in baseball activities like batting practice. They are the BP pitchers, the activities directors, the support system, etc. In essence they are vital to the success of the camp. Our team’s rep is a fellow named Joe Moore who is excellent at all the things he is charged with doing. Our group, which included six of us, was led by Joe to the indoor cages situated underneath the Diamond Club for our initial batting practice. Joe threw to us for about an hour as we each took our hacks in the very same cages as players like the ‘Big Piece’ do daily. That wasn’t lost on me as I stood in the left-handers batting box to take swings — pretty cool!
We then went back on the field for batting practice out there and to shag fly balls hit by our other campers. Joe once again would throw to us, three rounds each in the on-field cage set up at home plate. I wandered over to first base to take grounders, I wear #15 in honor of my all time favorite player, Richie (Dick) Allen and pretended in my mind I was in pre-game drills just like he would have been back in the day.
Yet another cool experience as I looked up to the scoreboard and they had a “Welcome Phantasy Camper” display shown. Living a dream my friends!
In the batting cages was pumped and excited and actually had three good rounds of hitting highlighted by a nice line drive down the right field line in doubles territory. My son’s tried their best to jack home runs but were equally humbled by how a big league field plays, I was a proud papa though as each hit good rounds as well. We finished our baseball playing experience for the day with more indoor cage hitting if we wanted or could just absorb more time on the field, was up to us. Great time!
After showering and changing out of our uniforms we were treated to lunch ( steak sandwiches, hoagies, hot dogs, salads) and chilled for about an hour or so till we would take a behind the scenes ball park tour. As I went to the locker room I saw Harry Kalas’s son Kane in the hallway coming in to practice the national anthem he would sing before the game. He was wearing the white shoes just like his pop would, I briefly said hello and wished him well.
Our tour was led by Jon Joaquin along with Bryan Clayton who are front office directors in the Phillies management chain. Jon is the director of Youth Baseball Development and Chris is the director of Entertainment. They gave us a great tour starting with the offices and working our way to the Hall of Fame Club, Video command center, Diamond Club, Ashburn Alley, etc. I gave both Jon and Chris one of my website cards, they said they would read. Two very nice and gracious young men, both emphasized the Phillies family work like atmosphere from the top down and albeit their days were usually long that they both enjoyed their jobs and the team spirt the organization embodies. Jon spoke how each front office employee got World Series rings in 2008 and how when Harry Kalas was inducted in the baseball hall of fame the front office went to Cooperstown and enjoyed the event with him. It sounds like a job and group I would love to be part of. I am happy for folks who enjoy their work, it is a blessing.
After the tour we got to watch the Phillies take BP on the field. My son in law Matt was amazed out how the pitchers taking BP were bombing the bleachers with taters, especially Vince Velasquez.
We then went back to the locker room and changed into our game jerseys and were joined by our campers who came for the game introductions, my wife and daughter Kristen joined us as they would also be introduced on the field as Phantasy Phans. I saw and spoke to Tom McCarthy before he made his way to the media elevator prior to the game, also spoke with Mickey Morandini about kids I have seen this summer in the system, particularly Dylan Cozens. Saw one of my idols Paul Hagen, the hall of fame writer. We chatted about a kid I saw in Williamsport, Darick Hall. I think he has a good future ahead of him also and told Paul to watch for him, he laughed and said he would. These guys must think I’m nuts . Scotty Palmer was there also and we chatted for a bit. Lastly saw Big Ben Rivera who was in the house with his family to watch the game.
We were led onto the field where we were introduced individually with our pictures on Phanavision. Really cool! As we left the field a man yelled “Can I have your autograph?” It was my buddy Dennis Petrucci from Avondale who was there for the game.
We settled into our seats up in the 310 section but had one more surprise. Matt, my son in law, joined the Phanatic in the bottom of the 7th inning on top of the Phillies dugout for a dance to Glory Days by the Boss! His kids, my grandkids, were shocked to see their dad do that as we kept it a surprise till it happened.
On top of all this the Phillies won! Great great day! I am most proud and thankful to be able to share the experience with my wife and kids, it is truly what made it special. Thanks to the Phillies and ESF for such a blessed and wonderful day, one this old man will not forget.
The official Phantasy Camp Reunion night has been set for Saturday, August 20th when the Philadelphia Phillies take on the St. Louis Cardinals at 7:05 p.m. Prior to the game, all 2016 Phantasy Campers will be able to participate in an on-field ceremony where a special Phantasy Camp Tribute video will be played and each participant’s name will be announced by Dan Baker.
The Phillies and ESF are happy to offer each Phantasy Camper two complimentary tickets for the game.
If you need additional tickets, they may be purchased with a special $8 per ticket discount. You can order additional tickets in a reserved Phantasy Camp section, which spans Pavilion Deck sections 306-310. If you would like to attend and have not already ordered your tickets, you may do so by completing and submitting the attached form to Missy Cameron in the Phillies Sales Office.
Don’t miss your chance to reunite with camp friends and spend and spend a fun night at the ballpark. Plus, it’s Harry Kalas Statue giveaway night! We hope to see you there.