Thursday, April 5, 2012

It's Opening Day! Do you have Phillies Phever?

It's Opening Day for the five-time defending National League East champion Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies, looking to shrug off their loss to the eventual World Champion St. Louis Cardinals in last year's first round1, will be in Pittsburgh this afternoon to face the Pirates.

To mark the occasion, here is a collection of Phillies ephemera.2 It's best viewed while listening to "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" by McFadden & Whitehead.3

Above: A large-sized 1980 Topps photo card of Michael Jack Schmidt. It's well-worn from being taped, tacked and glued to various doors, walls and bulletin boards over the years.

Above: An advertisement for Oscar Mayer wieners from an official 1953 Phillies score card. The hot dogs offered at Philadelphia's Shibe Park were "made only from selected meats; extra lean beef, tender veal, succulent pork."

Above: This advertisement for Phillies Franks4, from an early 1980s Philadelphia Flyers game-day program, is disappointing one aspect. The correct phrase -- as Tug McGraw would surely know -- is "Ya Gotta Believe!" not "You Gotta Believe!"

Above: This photograph of the Phillies' dugout during the 1980 World Series is from "Champions of the World," a special magazine that appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer after the Phillies' triumph. Pictured are (from left):
  • 1. This is Randy Lerch, Warren Brusstar and Kevin Saucier. I'm almost positive they were the same person.
  • 2. Pete Rose Sr.
  • 3. Not a clue
  • 4. Former York Revolution player Pete Rose Jr.
  • 5. Bob Boone
  • 6. I'm pretty sure that's a young Bob Dernier, who got a cup of coffee in 1980

Above: Another photo from "Champions of the World." This one shows the 2-3 putout that remains the greatest next-to-last out in World Series history.

Above: My son, Ashar, and I at his first Phillies game, in 2006.

1. The Phillies' loss to St. Louis in that series might have been my fault. In retrospect, I think this Papergreat post following Game 1 of that series was a jinx. In addition, I discussed the notion of the Sports Illustrated Jinx and whether it might apply to the Phillies. Obviously, it did. So while I plan on plenty of baseball posts this summer, you'll hear nothing from me on the Phillies once the playoffs begin. Not that I'm superstitious.
2. None of this is likely to interest you if you are a New York Mets fan.
3. McFadden & Whitehead made a Phillies-specific version of their hit song in 1980. I remember first hearing it when it was played on the record player in my fourth-grade classroom in Clayton, New Jersey.
4. Note that the pictured hot dogs are Medford Phillies Franks. In 1994, Medford was bought by Hatfield Quality Meats, which now produces Phillies Franks.

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