Saturday, June 23, 2018

Highlights from the 2018 Phillies Phestival (Part 1) #StrikeOutALS

2018 Chachi Phillies Phestival #1
2018 Chachi Phillies Phestival #2
2018 Chachi Phillies Phestival #3
I still can't believe we had never attended this event until last year.  On Thursday afternoon, Jenna and our two sons attended the annual Phillies Phestival benefiting the ALS Association.  For those of you not familiar with this event, it's the Phillies' signature charity event featuring an afternoon of player autograph stations, a silent auction, mystery grab bags for sale featuring signed memorabilia and everything else Citizens Bank Park has to offer.  The Phillies raised over $725,000 during the afternoon, passing the $18 million mark in terms of money raised for the charity since 1984.

We have a close family friend currently battling ALS, and I've recently become more involved with the Association.  My employer was a table sponsor at the event, giving us the opportunity to arrive early and have our pictures taken with Cesar Hernandez and coach Jose David Flores.  As I did last year, I've made a set of special edition cards to commemorate our day, and I'll break the set into two separate posts.

Here are my best memories from the event:
  • We hustled.  We learned from last year that you go as quickly as you can to each autograph station, saving the other fun stuff for last after the players stop signing.  There were 20 total autograph stations and we hit 14, breaking into groups of two about 45 minutes into the event.  Had we broken up earlier, we probably could have hit more but it was fun to stick together for the beginning.  For the record, we missed the tables of Nick Williams/Andrew Knapp, Scott Kingery/Dylan Cozens, Rhys Hoskins, Charlie Manuel, Gabe Kapler/coach Rob Thomson and Tommy Hunter/coach Rick Kranitz.  No offense to the last table mentioned, but my autograph-seeking son flat out opted to pass on their table.
  •  As was the case last year, everyone was exceedingly pleasant.  I stood in line by myself for the 1993 Alumni table, adding autographs of Kevin Stocker, Tommy Greene, Larry Andersen, John Kruk, Larry Bowa and Mickey Morandini.  Somewhat predictably, that bunch spent the time I was in line cracking jokes and discussing their plans for the evening.
  • Thanks to fellow collectors Steve F. and Rick for the texts with table updates and leads on potential new photo cards.  The only new photo cards seemingly available from the event is a new card of J.P. Crawford in the style of the 2017 team-issued update set and a new Phillies Alumni photo card for former manager Charlie Manuel.  I've updated the 2017 Phillies Team Issue Update post here, and I'll have a comprehensive post on the Alumni Cards out soon.
    2018 Chachi Phillies Phestival #4
    2018 Chachi Phillies Phestival #5
    2018 Chachi Phillies Phestival #6
    2018 Chachi Phillies Phestival #7
    2018 Chachi Phillies Phestival #8
  • Relatively new additions Austin Davis, Mitch Walding and Dylan Cozens had nothing available to sign.  My hope was that the Phillies would produce special photo cards for the trio but they were sitting at their stations with nothing but Sharpies in front of them.
  • Our oldest son Doug was on a mission to get as many autographs as possible in the two-hour signing period and by his count, he came away with 35 different autographed cards!  Credit needs to go to our youngest son Ben who helped his older brother with his mission, at one point telling Victor Arano that his name was Doug so that Arano would personalize the autograph for his brother.  Ben does not show the same zeal for autograph collecting as his brother, but I was beyond proud of him for being helpful.
  • Doug and I were the last two people in line to get Jake Arrieta's autograph.  He was actually unbuttoning his jersey as we walked in, getting ready to leave the room.  He saw Doug round the corner, put his jersey back on and posed for a picture with Doug.  Great memory.
  • Our luck with the mystery grab bags wasn't great, but I'm fine with that as everything went towards a great cause.  We came away with autographed baseballs from Luis Garcia (x 2) and Adam Morgan and an autographed hat from Hector Neris, as well as 3 Mike Schmidt bobble heads and a mini Harry Kalas statue.
Phillies Phestival Memory Lane
2017 Part 1 and Part 2
2018 Part 1 and Part 2

1 comment:

Steve F. said...

Nice pictures and another successful haul! By the way, these last two years have been relatively uncrowded. Hopefully the Phillies will soon be so successful that we will have to start complaining that they selling too many tickets to the ALS Phestival. But I have enjoyed the lack of crowds for these two years.

My son got a picture with Rhys at the Philly Show in Valley Forge back in December, so I had him take a picture of me with Rhys at this event. I of course had to do a lot of explaining both to Rhys and to the people working the stand as to why I was making him take the photo rather than be in it!