Here it is…
Walking into the park today, this is who greeted us:
It made me smile as did the fact that Jesse Biddle continues to improve with each and every outing. Today, he blew me away along with 12 of the Palm Beach Cardinals.
Jesse was simply amazing. He had command and was just “dealing”.
I like this picture, Jesse seems to have a smile on his face, like he knows how well things were going.
He ended his seven innings of work with 12 strike outs, 4 hits and only 1 walk.
I have video of his 11th and 12th strike outs. THIS is the 11th and THIS is the 12th, both were in Jesse’s 7th and final inning. When interviewed after the game in THIS article, Jesse said it was his best inning.
Brody Colvin came in and worked the 8th.
Tyler Knigge came in at the 9th and struck out the final Cardinal to end the game. You can watch it HERE. The Threshers took down the Cardinals 3-0.
The cherry on the sundae of my Sunday was that I was selected as the “Gus Goodsport” fan of the game and won an authentic Threshers practice hat, with a retail value of $28!
Tonight I witnessed something I’ve never seen before. A home town player being cruelly taunted, heckled and just chewed out by SEASON TICKET HOLDERS.
I know the ticket holders and they are some of the most faithful and loyal of fans, my only guess is that they are not fans of watching rehabbing, older major leaguers and would rather watch the young “kids”. I don’t know but it was brutal.
This is just a sample of what was shouted at Jim Thome:
“Need help holding the bat up, OLD MAN?”
“Why don’t you just retire already?”
Thome looked back at the hecklers which prompted:
“If you can’t take it why don’t you just LEAVE!”
Thome managed to smack a ball and he ran as best he could to first. The 2ndbaseman made an error and it allowed Thome to make it safely. To which the head heckler shouted:
“Way to make it to first on an ERROR, FAT BOY!”
I was kinda embarrassed. It was beyond the usual ribbing you might give an opposing player, let alone one of your own. I was really taken aback by the viciousness of it all.
For the record, Mario Hollands who was called up from Lakewood, had five hitless innings but was pulled based on his pitch count. He was relieved by Brody Colvin and the game closed out by Hector Neris. The Threshers went on to win 5-1.
I hope Thome had some extra padding around his ego.
Last night was the fan fest at Brighthouse Field for the Clearwater Threshers. It was also a night where the Tiki Bar was open. Good times to be had for all.
Players and season ticket holders were treated to free food and entertainment by the amazing Greg West.
After a while, it was time to introduce the team.
This is where I get to my “Circle of Life” comment. Jesse Biddle, the young pitcher on the right of the second picture in the blue in white checked shirt, I saw him pitch his very first professional game in Williamsport.
Back in 2010, my husband Ross had read about Biddle being one of the up and coming prospects in the Phillies’ farm system. We watched the papers every day and the day he was due to pitch his first game, we made the over 2 hour trip to Williamsport to Historic Bowman Field to see him. We even braved driving through Little League World Series traffic to do it, (If I remember correctly.)
In digging through the 40,000 pictures I have on file, I found my pictures from that day. For some reason that escapes me now, they were wearing green uniforms (it may have been “Green Night” celebrating recycling and I think we were given CFL lightbulbs as the give-away). I happened to talk to Jesse after the team was announced tonight and he seemed genuinely surprised that someone would driven that far just to see him pitch. He was a really nice guy and I’m really looking forward to seeing him progress this summer.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, watching a player work his way up is the best part of baseball. Seeing players play in their first game or season then the next level and the next, year after year. We also saw Joe Savery pitch his first game in Williamsport and now he’s on the Phillies 25 man roster. Its like a circle of life and it moves us all…