Aaron Nola’s First Phillies Spring Training Game

Last summer, I had the privilege of witnessing Aaron Nola’s first professional game when he took the mound for our Clearwater Threshers.  It was a rainy, stormy night…and you can read about it HERE.

It was a solid start for the pitcher out of LSU who had just completed the College World Series. I thought that he may have been a bit tired, since he had pitched the entire college season and was starting basically a second season pitching for the Threshers. I remember that he did “Okay” but thought that fatigue might be a factor in his performance last season.

Paramount in my mind yesterday, was getting a chance to see Nola pitch in a game with a fresh arm. Only then, could I get a more accurate feel for the kind of pitcher he is.

It had been announced he would start but when I got to the bullpen, Jonathan Papelbon was warming up. I was disappointed because my only reason for going to the game was to see Nola. I very nearly left as the weather was turning for the worse. The temperature was dropping and living in Florida, I knew this meant a storm was coming.

However, my perseverance was rewarded as Nola started warming up in the bullpen.

Aaron Nola warming up in the bullpen.
Aaron Nola warming up in the bullpen.

 

I was excited to see him pitch. He looked much more relaxed and frankly, more powerful than he did in his short stint with the Threshers last summer.

I was impressed.

Aaron Nola
Aaron Nola
Aaron Nola
Aaron Nola

He went into the game to face the dreaded Yankees, including Alex Rodriguez. After the game, A-Rod was quoted as saying, “Good arm, power slider, power change-up. I think he has a bright future.”

After his performance:  3IP, 5H, 4K, 0W, I think A-Rod might be onto something.

 

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Reggie Jackson was in the house!

Today is one of those days, one of those days I will remember the rest of my life. Today I met Hall of Famer, Reggie Jackson.

Today was the first day of the fall instructional league and the Phillies were playing the New York Yankees. I looked over and there was a gentleman wearing Yankees garb and it was Reggie Jackson, Mr. October himself!

I waited for a moment when he wasn’t talking to anyone and kindly asked for his autograph he was happy to oblige. It’s one of those moments that you can never forget, meeting a Hall of Famer like that, especially when you were expecting to. I didn’t have a ball with me but luckily, my good friend Charlie had an extra. So now, I have the autograph of one of the greatest players of the game!

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