Since this is a new project, perhaps a little bit of background is in order.
My love of sports started so far back that I can’t even remember a time when it wasn’t an interest in my life. I grew up in south Jersey, right across the river from Philadelphia. My earliest sports memories are listening to the Phillies on the radio as I lay in bed at night. I can still remember listening to By Samm, Richie Ashburn, Bill Campbell, and later, Harry Kalas. I was a Phillies fan through the 60′s, including the infamous ’64 season — blowing a 6 game lead with 12 to play.
I was pretty naive when I was a young sports fan. I clearly recall trying to listen to a game in the waiting room of the hospital while my parents visited my grandmother. I didn’t catch the game, but I did hear the score. The opposing team scored two, three, four runs, I don’t remember and the Phils scored one. So while the announcer said something like, “Pirates 3, Phillies 1″ what I heard was, “Phillies won.” The truth can be a very sad thing.
I played right field in Little League, and I wanted to be the next Johnny Callison. I wasn’t. I know he had a great arm and bat, but I don’t think many people remember his consistency. If my memory serves me correctly (and it very well may not) he had a very impressive consecutive game streak going at one point in his career. I remember listing to the game that broke the streak when he had to sit out due to a case of the measles!
My fondest memories of the Phillies involve my dad. We would watch games on a Saturday afternoon, and once each season we would take a trip across the river to Connie Mack Stadium. That was always the best day of my summer. We always sat on the first base side somewhere in the upper deck. Those of you who remember Connie Mack Stadium probably recall that some of those seats were right behind a big steel support. I didn’t care. I was at a big league game. Dad taught me how to keep score at those games, a skill that is probably more often handed down from father to son than the fathers trade.
That’s enough for now. I’ll share more memories soon. I would love to hear your comments.