This Day in History: The Phanatic comes to Philly

                                            

He's furry. He's green. He's chubby. And he's awesome. On April 25, 1978, the Phillie Phanatic made his debut appearance at The Vet when the the Philadelphia Phillies played the Chicago Cubs. 

During the winter after the 1977 season, Dennis Lehman, who thought that the Phillies needed a mascot similar to San Diego's Famous Chicken, created the Phanatic with help from Harrison/Erickson of New York City (now known as Acme Mascots which had ties with Jim Henson's Muppets) and the team's marketing and promotions department. The Phanatic was named for the fanatical fans of the team.

                                            

The Phanatic replaced "Philadelphia Phil" and "Philadelphia Phillis," a pair of siblings dressed in 18th century garb to invoke the city's revolutionary spirit from 1776. Phil and Phillis were in the team logo from 1976 through 1978.

                                            

The Phanatic stands at 6'6" tall and is 300 pounds. It seems his love of Philly soft pretzels, cheesesteaks and Tastykakes has attributed to his 90" waist. But his size does not slow him down. He spends his time during the Phillies games dancing, greeting fans, mocking the visiting teams' players, shooting hot dogs into the stands, and riding around the field bringing smiles to the fans seated in the packed stadium. It's hard to say who loves him more -- the kids or the adults.

                                            

 

                                            

 

April 25, 2011 | E-mail | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

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Seventy Sixers!

Last night, a couple of us went down to the Wells Fargo center to welcome Game 3 of the first round playoff series to Philadelphia.  Heading into last night’s match, the Sixers trailed 2-0…

  

Despite the outcome, just being in the arena and in the playoff atmosphere really got us amped up over the 76ers and after digging into our archives found some great memorabilia, articles and photos around the office.  Enjoy!

 

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Caption:  Cover of 1970 Game program (that cost 75 cents). 

 

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Caption:  Darryl Dawkins wearing a killer “Dr Dunk” tee shirt.   This photo is from the 79-80 yearbook.

 

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This is an ad for Ticketron out of a 1970 game program boasting the “convenience” of their locations.  Ticketron was purchased by Ticketmaster in 1991.

 

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Ticket from 1993 with Sixers rookie starting center Shawn Bradley on the front.  The ticket is from November 5th, 1993, when the 76ers Sixers topped the Washington Bullets 94-82.  Bradley had six points.   You may also know Shawn Bradley from his work in Space Jam.

April 22, 2011 | E-mail | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

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Let's Talk Sox

On April 21, 1900, the Chicago White Sox played their first game. At a small ballpark located at 39th & Princeton, the White Sox took on the club from Milwaukee, losing 5 - 4.  To commemorate this monumental day in the history of the team from the South Side, here are some miscellaneous White Sox facts and images for you to enjoy.

  • Comiskey Park, the legendary home of the White Sox has hosted 3 All Star Games - 1933 (American League 4 - National League 2), 1950 (National League 4 - American League 3), 1983 (American League 13 - National League 3)
  • The White Sox have had three Cy Young award winners: Early Wynn (1959), LaMarr Hoyt (1983) and Jack McDowell (1993)
  • The most worn uniform numbers in White Sox history are 35 & 36.  Both have been worn 52 times.
  • The White Sox were the first team to put names on the backs of their jerseys, doing so in 1960.
  • The team's HR leader at Old Comiskey Park is Bill Melton with 88.  For opposing teams Babe Ruth holds the record with 45 HRs.
  • At U.S. Cellular Field, the home tem HR leader is Frank Thomas with 261.
  • The White Sox 1990 94 - 68 record was the largest one year turn around for the club.  They finished the 1989 season with a 69 - 92 record.
  • Minnie Minoso broke the Sox color barrier in 1951.  The White Sox reitred Minnie's # 9 in 1983.

 

From our archives, here are some of our favorite White Sox images.


The 1959 AL Champion White Sox


A game worn White Sox jersey from 1945

 


Eddie Cicotte and Buck Weaver c. 1915.  Both men were key figures in the 1919 Black Sox scandal.


Directions to Comiskey Park c. 1963

 

1960 cover of Baseball Sports Review

Page from the White Sox 1963 Yearbook

 

1971 Season Ticket Information


White Sox merchandise c. 1984


Go - Go Sox!

 

April 21, 2011 | E-mail | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

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Happy 50th Birthday, Donnie Baseball

                                            

Donald Arthur Mattingly was born on April 20, 1961 in Evansville, Indiana. He was 21 years old when he debuted for the New York Yankees on September 8, 1982. Don, nicknamed "Donnie Baseball" and "The Hit Man," played his entire 14-year baseball career for the New York Yankees as their star left-handed first baseman. Mattingly was considered one of Major League Baseball's best first basemen throughout the 1980s, winning the Gold Glove Award nine times for this fielding and a spot on the American League All-Star team each year from 1984-1989.

                                            

Mattingly finished his career with 2,153 hits, 222 home runs, 1,099 RBI, and a .307 lifetime average. He is commonly referred to as the best Yankee player to have never played in a World Series.  On August 31, 1997, the New York Yankees retired his number 23 and dedicated his plaque for Monument Park at Yankee Staduim.

After his playing career, Mattingly served as a hitting coach for the New York Yankees from 2004-2006, then their bench coach in 2007. In 2008, Mattingly left the Yankees and joined manager Joe Torre with the Los Angeles Dodgers to serve as the team's hitting coach. He remained the Dodger's hitting coach until the 2010 off-season at which time it was announced he would replace the retiring Torre as the next manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

                                            

April 20, 2011 | E-mail | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

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What's in a name?

April 19, 1960 marked the date that baseball uniforms would change in a way that would even further identify the individual player. Read a little about history of numbers and names from:

NUMBERS AND NAMES

          The first attempt to identify individual players with numbers affixed to their uniforms occurred with the Cleveland club in 1916. In this early experiment, the numbers were attached to the sleeve, not the back. For reasons unknown, the idea faded away and was not seen again (except briefly by the Cardinals in 1923) until 1929 when the New York Yankees (possibly inspired by earlier trials in the Minor Leagues) boldly took the field with large numbers on their backs, an idea that initially did not escape ridicule. Since teams and batting orders were relatively stable and not likely to change (especially the infamous "murderers row”), the first number sets reflected their position in the batting order — hence, Ruth #3, Gehrig #4, etc. Obviously, if the numbering system were to presevere, this system was eventually incompatible with roster changes in ensuing seasons. In any case, the new system met approval by the fans and this time it was here to stay. By 1932, all major league teams were “numbered”. In 1952, the Brooklyn Dodgers repeated the numbers on the FRONT of their home jersey and many other teams soon copied this idea. The sixties saw numbers appearing on the sleeves and by the seventies, even the trousers could not escape number identification by some clubs.

          Another feature which was probably inspired by increasing TV coverage, was the display of the player’s last name on the back of the uniform. The Chicago White Sox were the pioneers of this idea in 1960. Acceptance was not instantaneous, partly because of the fear of lost revenues from lower scorecard sales, but the fans liked it and almost every team today has adopted the practice. The most notable holdout being the traditionbound New York Yankees (ironically, the same Yankees who introduced numbers on the back in 1929).

Jerseys Before Numbers

 

Jerseys Before Names

 

Jerseys with Name and Number

 

 What do you think: Do the Yankees have the right idea in sticking to tradition or should all teams include a player name? Let us know!

April 19, 2011 | E-mail | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

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