Philly’s Anderson Monarchs Taking Trip of a Lifetime

Members of the 2014 Taney Little League-Anderson Monarchs teams pose for a photo with their team bus in front of the Baseball Hall of Fame on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014, in Cooperstown, N.Y. Pitcher Mo'ne Davis is fourth from left.

Members of the 2014 Taney Little League-Anderson Monarchs teams pose for a photo with their team bus in front of the Baseball Hall of Fame on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014, in Cooperstown, N.Y. Pitcher Mo’ne Davis is fourth from left.

This summer, a group of Philly 13-year-olds — including phenom Mo’ne Davis — will board a nearly 70-year-old bus and embark on a three-week trip through history. Starting in Washington, D.C., the Anderson Monarchs — a Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and Philadelphia Youth Organization-sponsored baseball team — will hit cities including Richmond, Atlanta, Birmingham, Selma, Memphis, Little Rock and New York as they learn about the Civil Rights movement and play baseball.

This trip, lauded in Frank Bruni’s most recent New York Times column, will be the fourth the Monarchs have taken, said coach Steve Bandura, a Parks and Recreation employee who founded the team in 1989. Past summer tours have focused on the legacy of Jackie Robinson and on baseball’s Negro Leagues. The bus the team uses is from 1947, the year in which Robinson, while a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers, broke baseball’s color barrier. When deciding on the focus of the trip, Bandura first chooses the educational itinerary, then gets in touch with local teams to organize the ballgames. Along the way, the group attends Major League ballgames as well. And on this trip, the Monarchs will play a game at Wofford College, where one of their former players, Demetrius Jennings, attends and plays Division 1 baseball. Read more »

What They’re Saying About Cornelius Randolph

The surely-they’re-rebuilding-now Phillies picked 10th in the MLB draft Monday night and came away with Cornelius Randolph, said to be the best high school hitter in the country. Here’s what else they’re saying about him. Read more »

Sunday Funday at Lo Spiedo

Sunday Funday in honor of the Phillies

Sunday Funday in honor of the Phillies

Today, Sunday, April 26, Lo Spiedo is hosting a Sunday Funday as the Phillies take on the Brewers.

The restaurant, which is only a short walk from Citizen’s Bank Park, will be open from 11am-7pm, selling $4 hometown beers and food specials.

They’ll also have cornole set up on the patio, which I guess might sound fun for people for whom “beer and cornhole” doesn’t conjure up images of Kappa Sigma fraternity boys.

Lo Speido [official]

I Went to the Mets Opener in Phillies Gear — and I Wasn’t Even Heckled

Phillies bunting

Phillies pitcher Aaron Harang attempts a sacrifice bunt in the third inning of Monday’s Phillies-Mets game. It was successful! (Photo: Dan McQuade)

I last attended a Mets game in New York in 2006. It was an 88-degree Saturday in August. A Jon Lieber error led to three Mets runs in the sixth, giving New York a 4-3 win. Tom Glavine got the win. Billy Wagner got the save. The Phillies scored all their runs in the first-inning on a three-run Ryan Howard homer.

I wore my Phillies Randy Wolf jersey and was taunted by fans throughout the game. Quite a few fans of the Mets — who were, at the time, a dozen games up in the NL East — were heavily invested in making sure I knew they didn’t like the Phillies. I was shouted at. I learned I sucked. I was called an asshole. It was nothing major. Much of it was good-natured. But it was there.

On Monday, I went to the Mets home opener at shiny new Citi Field wearing a bright red Phillies vest and red pinstripe Philadelphia sneakers. It was a record crowd for a Mets game: 43,947. And yet I heard nary a peep. The Mets haven’t made the playoffs since 2006. The Phillies haven’t been to the postseason since 2011 — and they aren’t getting back there anytime soon, either. Phillies fans have realized this. Mets fans have some hope for this year — Monday was a huge crowd, and the game last night drew a huge TV audience — but they’re certainly not worried about the Phillies. Read more »

Phillies Host Red Sox in 2015 Opener

COLE-HAMELS-Lynne-sladky-ap-940x540

We are done waiting ’till next year: It is next year. It’s Opening Day in Major League Baseball, and the Phillies start the season with a home interleague game against the Boston Red Sox. Cole Hamels starts for the Phils.

So what kind of day is it going to be? What kind of year is it going to be?

MLB.com:

The Phillies, on the other hand, have been upfront that they view this as a rebuilding season.

Club president Pat Gillick candidly said on multiple occasions that he doesn’t expect the Phillies to contend in 2015 or ’16. “I don’t think it’s in the cards. I think somewhere around 2017 or 2018,” he said.

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Phillies Get a Lesson in Inclusivity at Spring Training Camp

Major League Baseball's Ambassador of Inclusion, Billy Bean.

Major League Baseball’s Ambassador of Inclusion, Billy Bean.

When former professional baseball player Billy Bean was appointed Major League Baseball’s Ambassador for Inclusion last July, the Phillies were among the first teams to invite the openly gay speaker to share his message of inclusivity. According to MLB.com, he showed up this afternoon to speak to members of the Phillies’ Major and Minor League teams on embracing all forms of acceptance.

“There’s a message of complete acceptance. It doesn’t mean that it’s specifically to LGBT people like myself. It’s for women. It’s for every race, every religion,” Bean said.

Bean has been invited to speak to 14 teams, but Philadelphia is the first camp where he spoke to both Major and Minor League Players. When he was finished, he played ball with teammates in the outfield, giving them a chance to answer questions in a one-on-one setting. “Today is a win for the Phillies,” Bean said. “The world didn’t stop spinning.”

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Werth, Utley Compete to be “Face of MLB”

It’s been awhile since Jayson Werth and his beautiful, beautiful beard belonged to Philadelphia — his was one high-priced contract for a World Series vet that Ruben Amaro Jr. managed to avoid signing the last few years. Still, he was part of that ’08 championship team, and even if he plays for a division rival — the Washington Nationals — there’s some lingering love for him here.

So it feels like the folks at MLB.com were being a bit mean, perhaps, by pitting Werth against still-here Chase Utley in the first round of its “Face of the MLB” contest:

face of mlb
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Five Great Philly Artifacts in the Baseball Hall of Fame

Mo'ne Davis will donate to the National Baseball Hall of Fame the jersey she wore in pitching a shutout at the Little League World Series.

Mo’ne Davis will donate to the National Baseball Hall of Fame the jersey she wore in pitching a shutout at the Little League World Series.

Mo’ne Davis appears at the National Baseball Hall of Fame today to donate they jersey she wore when she pitched a shutout at the Little League World Series — making history as one of the few girls to compete in the tournament. The hall will preserve her jersey in “perpetuity” — giving Davis a bit of baseball immortality while she’s still an adolescent.

We gave the National Baseball Hall of Fame a call and asked what other significant Philly-related items will be joined by Davis’s jersey. Matt Kelly compiled the text; Milo Stewart Jr. took the photos:

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