Friday, May 12, 2017

Highlights from the 2017 Phillies Phestival (Part 1) #StrikeOutALS

2017 Chachi Phillies Phestival #10
2017 Chachi Phillies Phestival #4
2017 Chachi Phillies Phestival #1
On Thursday afternoon, we attended our first Phillies Phestival at Citizens Bank Park.  This annual event, which the Phillies have held every year since 1984, features games, giveaways, photo opportunities and autograph tables with all proceeds benefitting research into striking out ALS.  The Phillies raised $656,600 at the Phestival, adding to their $17 million total raised since 1984.

Before we entered the left field gate right before 4pm and again as we were leaving right after 6pm, my wife Jenna summed up my exact thoughts by saying, "I can't believe you've never done that before."

Armed with nine autograph tickets, we split into two groups with Jenna and Ben in search of a Maikel Franco autograph (Ben's favorite player) and Doug and me in search of as many autographs as possible.  Doug came away with over 20 autographs, Ben ultimately got to meet Franco and I came away with a lot of great memories and some terrific pictures.  I made a limited edition Chachi card set to commemorate the day, and I'll split the set into two separate posts starting with this one.

2017 Chachi Phillies
Phestival #2
2017 Chachi Phillies Phestival #3
2017 Chachi Phillies Phestival #5
2017 Chachi Phillies
Phestival #6
2017 Chachi Phillies
Phestival #7
2017 Chachi Phillies
Phestival #8
2017 Chachi Phillies
Phestival #9
Some highlights and random thoughts:
  • When Ben met John Kruk he informed Kruk he'd rather be getting an autograph from Franco, his favorite player.  Kruk actually tried to get a ticket for Ben, was unsuccessful, and told him to stop back later . . .
  • . . . Which Ben did, securing an autograph and a picture with his favorite player!
  • The newly acquired Ty Kelly had nothing for anyone to sign.  Paired up with Larry Bowa, Kelly signed a Phillies team card for Doug.
  • Doug informed Bowa he'd be making the big leagues one day to which Bowa responded with a fist pump and told him to "Get it."  Bowa was happy to hear that Doug's best position was third base.
  • Jerad Eickhoff seemed a little punchy, photobombing our picture with Andres Blanco.
  • Mickey Morandini and Tommy Joseph both told Doug they really liked his hair.
  • Daniel Nava was very impressed when Doug referred to him as Mr. Nava.  "First kid to do that all day," he mentioned.
2017 Topps Now #23
  • Doug's favorite new autographed card is the dual signature Topps Now card of Howie Kendrick and Joseph.  Honestly, the kid can't stop looking at it and remarking, "This is so cool."
  • We bought a number of $20 grab bags and the boys scored autographed hats from Nick Williams, Dylan Cozens, Vince Velasquez and Jeremy Hellickson.  We also received two of the special edition Greg Luzinski bobble heads.
  • Special photo cards were created for Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, Jr., and Nick Pivetta, given that those pitchers were omitted from the first series team issued set.  I grabbed a Leiter, Jr. card but totally missed out on the Eflin and Pivetta cards.  Rookie mistake!  Next year, I'll look closer at the tables of those players not in the photo card set.  (Thanks to Rick and Steve for confirming the existence of these extra cards.)
  • Team president Andy MacPhail was walking around personally thanking each of the players for their time at this event.  We had the chance to meet MacPhail towards the end of the event. He was extremely gracious and struck up a small conversation with Doug about his Little League season.
What a fantastic event and we'll be back next year!


Section 36 said...

I agree. How have you never been to that event before? Sounds like an incredible time.

Jim said...

Yet another reason I should finish up work on my time machine soon. I imagine the 2008-2011 events were way more crowded but it would have been cool to be there.

Steve F. said...

Great photos and a nice haul of autographs. I love the story about Kruk getting your son a Franco ticket!

The lines were easily 50% shorter all around than last year and probably 75% shorter than the glory years. It wouldn't have been difficult to have gotten to every single autograph booth this year. For the sake of ALS funding, I hope it picks up more. But for the sake of collecting, I was perfectly happy with the smaller crowd size! The 2009-11 events sold out in somewhere between minutes and a couple days, IIRC (so set your time machine to the day tickets went on sale!). My recollection is that 2008 had tickets available up until the event, but that changed after they won it all. For one thing, it is a lot cheaper to complete a World Series Champs signed piece getting them at the ALS event than it is paying fees like the $199 Ryan Howard was getting at the Philly Show in 2012 or so.