Last night I attended my first Phillies home game at Citizens Bank Park, and it was a delight. My younger son and I donned San Francisco caps to cheer on the visiting Giants, who crushed the Fightin’ Phils 9-2 with some unexpected and welcome power from AAA call-ups Brett Pill and Roger Kieschnick.
We had excellent seats, 13 rows up from the field and behind third base, where we got a good look at Phillies call-up Cody Asche and the Gigantes’ Pablo Sandoval, who hobbled off the field after bruising a heel during a mid-game at bat.
The crowd was full of families and was well-behaved, although there were sporadic smatterings of boos as well as sarcastic applause whenever the Phillies did anything right in the game, which was infequently. The most unintentionally hilarious moment came in the top of the seventh inning when Brandon Crawford became the second Giant to homer off Phils’ reliever J.C. Ramirez. “You suck, Martinez,” a young adult Phillies rooter yelled out from the row behind us. “It’s Ramirez,” a nearby fan said, correcting him. “Ramirez … whatever,” the frustrated fan continued.
This night was also my first in-person look at the Phillie Phanatic, and he (she? it?) was side-splitting funny. Just before the start of the game, the Phanatic did a routine with a stone-faced usher, removing the usher’s cap, polishing his bald head and eventually planting a fuzzy-muzzled kiss on the guy. The Phanatic also did an Elvis impersonation and cantered about the Phillies’ dugout roof, trying to hex Giants’ starter Chad Gaudin, who was “unphazed.”
All in all, it was a great night at the park. I’ll be going back eagerly.