Batting Practice at Brighthouse

Lookie who I saw..and I got Dallas Green’s Autograph!…

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Derrick Mitchell Finishing Strong

Derrick Mitchell
Derrick Mitchell

Phillies and the Akron Aeros started tonight, the R-Phils were looking at fighting New Britain for the final playoff berth.

Every game is important, every player is important.

One player had an amazing night tonight, even though he went 1-4. Derrick Mitchell came up to the plate in the first inning and hit a two run RBI single. Then, he stole second base, his 18th stolen base of the year. When he came up in the ninth, he hit into a fielder’s choice, but it did drive in another run.

That was his third RBI in the game and his seventh RBI in the last three games. When you look at his play tonight, it’s kind of stunning, he drove in three of the R-Phils’ four runs.

Sadly, the R-Phils fell to the Aeros 6-4.

It’s also worth mentioning that after tonight’s play, Mitchell has moved into 4th place in the Eastern League with 76 RBIs.

Just to give his play this season something to be compared to:

Mitchell would be 2nd on the Philadelphia Phillies for home runs with 18, only behind Ryan Howard’s 27 home runs.

Mitchell has 76 RBIs, just behind Hunter Pence’s 77 (His combined total between the Astros and Phillies)

Mitchell even has one more stolen base at 18 than Shane Victorino’s 17.

AND there’s still seven games left in the season…

Not too bad for a kid from Paw Paw, Michigan…

Even with tonight’s loss (New Britain lost as well tonight) the R-Phils still are only one half game from a play off berth.

Baseball Betsy and Ross are hoping to travel to Binghamton this weekend to cheer on the R-Phils. Let’s hope they can finish as strong as Mitchell is playing.

Pence-ive About Harry the K

Betsy and the Harry Kalas Statue
Betsy and the Harry Kalas Statue

Once or twice a year, Ross takes me on the pilgrimage to Philly. Now, we live west of Harrisburg…normally a good two hours down the Turnpike to Citizens Bank Park. Since it was such a gorgeous day AND the American Idol tour had their concert in the Wachovia Center, we decided that we’d forgo the Turnpike and take a trip down Route 30.

It was a pleasant trip…you see things when you take a “less beaten” path. Like:

Payphone in a cornfield
Payphone in a cornfield

Yes, folks this is Amish country. Speaking of which, we were delayed a few minutes as we were caught behind an Amish buggy for about 3 miles. 🙂 (I could mention that a few years ago our car was actually sideswiped by an Amish buggy, but that’s a story for another day.)

Eventually we arrived in Philly and were there just after the gates opened. FIRST thing we did was head to the new statue of Harry Kalas.

It was dedicated (albeit delayed) Tuesday. I personally think it was an amazing likeness. So well done. Since were were some of the first there, the people taking pictures all took turns and I was lucky enough to get some very nice pictures (like the one at the top of the page) and the bonus is that there is no one else in the picture.

Harry Kalas Statue
Harry Kalas Statue
Intricate Detail of the Harry Kalas Statue
Intricate Detail of the Harry Kalas Statue
Plaque at Harry Kalas Statue
Plaque at Harry Kalas Statue

Of course we had to head to Harry the K’s restaurant for dinner. Where else would we eat after visiting the icon’s statue?

The Phils were taking batting practice. We were sitting just inside the patio at Harry the K’s and had to keep our heads up as Hunter Pence shelled the patio with long bombs. Almost half a dozen hit within a few feet of the patio, it was almost as if Pence was laying siege to Harry’s.

I had a cheesesteak, a pretty good one. Had I not had a Campo’s or Tony Luke’s steak the last few times I was at the park, it would have been the best I’d ever had.

After dinner, we wandered out to:

Ashbury Alley Sign
Ashbury Alley Sign

I made it a point to see John Kruk’s newly dedicated plaque.

John Kruk's Plaque
John Kruk’s Plaque

We stopped by the bullpen to watch Cliff Lee warm up. I was surprised to see the normally clean-shaven Lee sporting facial hair…could it be that he’s getting a head start on his play-off beard?

Cliff Lee warming up in the bullpen
Cliff Lee warming up in the bullpen

We wandered out to our seats in Pence-ylvania, in the 200 level in right field. Just before ascending the stairs our eyes caught sight of a shirt I JUST HAD TO HAVE….

Good Game, Let's go eat!
Good Game, Let’s go eat!

I also saw one of the strangest items…a Chase Utley hand puppet. The dolls, ok, I can see a little one sleeping with Chase Utley (!?!) but a hand puppet? I mean really, to use the puppet you had to put your hand…WHERE!?!

The Chase Utley Puppet--you put your hand WHERE?!?!?!
The Chase Utley Puppet–you put your hand WHERE?!?!?!

Ross and I took our seats and watched the players take the field. Michael Schwimer was just called up to the Phils from Lehigh Valley and he was given the honor of wearing the “rookie backpack and boa”. Schwimer wears Hello Kitty well.

Schwimmer wears the Hello Kitty rookie back pack
Schwimmer wears the Hello Kitty rookie back pack
Michael Schwimmer
Michael Schwimmer

Our seats were just above Ross’ new favorite player, Hunter Pence.

Hunter Pence
Hunter Pence

The game was amazing. Jimmy Rollins started off by hitting a homer on the very first pitch. Arizona came back in the 2nd to tie it 2-2. It stayed tied until Wilson Valdez hit a double to drive in 2 RBIs and the Phils were off to the races. The final was 9-2…

Citizens Bank Park at Sunset from our seats
Citizens Bank Park at Sunset from our seats

As the sun set over Citizens Bank Park. I was so happy to be there and I just smiled to myself and thought…
I LOVE BASEBALL.