The 2021 experience at Citizens Bank Park
The Phillies are getting ready to officially welcome a limited number of fans back to baseball at Citizens Bank Park.
Guests can expect enhanced safety guidelines and protocols when attending Phillies home games, created in conjunction with Major League Baseball, the City of Philadelphia and the state of Pennsylvania.
“We are very excited to welcome our fans back to baseball,” said Phillies Director of Operations/Security Sal DeAngelis. “Our goal has always been to provide a fun – and safe – experience for all who come to our ballpark. With this, fans should be mindful of new protocols and procedures at Citizens Bank Park for the 2021 season.”
Guests should plan their trip to the ballpark accordingly by visiting phillies.com/fanhealth.
Here are need-to-know protocols at Citizens Bank Park:
- Face coverings: All attendees age 2 years and older must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth at all times on ballpark property, other than when actively eating or drinking at their ticketed seats.
- New bag and backpack policy: To expedite entry, guests are prohibited from bringing bags and backpacks to the ballpark. Only single compartment purses, medical bags and diaper bags will be permitted. Approved bags can be no larger than 16″ x 16″ x 8″ and will be subject to inspection upon entry in accordance with Major League Baseball security regulations. Guests may discard or return the prohibited items to their vehicle, as well as store them in a new BinBox locker on Citizens Bank Way ($10 fee).
- Clean Team and hand sanitizer stations: All areas of the ballpark accessed by fans will be cleaned and disinfected before, during and after each game by a newly created “Clean Team” utilizing processes and products approved by the CDC and EPA specifically for use against COVID-19. Fans may also use hundreds of touchless hand sanitizing stations, which will be widely available at the ballpark.
- Cashless points of sale: The Phillies have enabled contactless and cashless payments across all points of sale locations, so guests can purchase concessions and merchandise using this safer cashless method.
- Social distancing: Fans must practice social distancing of at least 6 feet inside and outside of Citizens Bank Park. Fans are asked to be aware of visual markers, as well as verbal cues from game day staff, throughout the ballpark to help maintain a safe environment.
- Mobile ticketing: As announced earlier, ticketing will now be 100 percent mobile through the MLB Ballpark App to create a more secure and safer entry for fans, with seating in assigned “pods.” All fans should have their mobile ticket ready to scan when approaching the ballpark gate. The MLB Ballpark App can be found at https://www.mlb.com/phillies/apps/ballpark.
- Easier parking and gate entry and no tailgating: To decrease higher-traffic areas, each game ticket will now include the entrance gate that allows quick and easy access into the ballpark. Parking passes are also accessible through the MLB Ballpark App. Fans should also be aware that tailgating will not be permitted at this time. ••
8,800 fans for first 19 home games
The Phillies are getting ready to safely welcome a limited number of fans back to baseball for the first 19 regular season home games at Citizens Bank Park, which includes series against the Atlanta Braves (April 1, 3-4), New York Mets (April 5-7; April 30-May 2), St. Louis Cardinals (April 16-18), San Francisco Giants (April 19-21) and Milwaukee Brewers (May 3-6).
This “soft opening” of Phillies baseball is in collaboration with the city of Philadelphia and state of Pennsylvania as well as dependent on a continuation of declining COVID-19 cases in the region.
The limited return of fans also includes the addition of health and safety protocols for all Phillies home games. Among the protocols:
- With capacity limits for outdoor events, 8,800 fans will be permitted at each Phillies home game.
- To allow for socially distant seating, fans will be seated in pods of two, three or four people, with limited pods available for five to six people.
- All attendees age 2 and older must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth at all times on ballpark property, other than when actively eating or drinking at their ticketed seats.
- All areas of the ballpark accessed by fans will be cleaned and disinfected before, during and after each game by a newly created “Clean Team” utilizing processes and products approved by the CDC and EPA specifically for use against COVID-19. Hand sanitizing stations will also be widely available.
“We have been diligently working with our city and state officials to finalize health and safety protocols at Citizens Bank Park. With these important measures now in place, we are excited to safely welcome a limited number of our fans back to the ballpark experience,” said Phillies executive vice president David Buck. “The unmatched energy our fans bring to the game has undoubtedly been missed, and we can’t wait to hear their cheers once again come Opening Day.”
The opportunity to attend the Phillies’ first 19 regular season home games at Citizens Bank Park was offered initially to season ticket holders. The public also has the chance to purchase tickets, available online only at Phillies.com. All tickets will be mobile.
Tickets for the remaining 62 regular season home games will go on sale in early April. The number of tickets sold for these games may increase or decrease as health conditions evolve. The Phillies will continue to consult with, and take direction from, local and state officials throughout the season.
Fans are encouraged to visit Phillies.com or follow @phillies on social media for news and updates, including ticket availability for future games. ••
Season and group sales: 215-463-5000
Individual game sales: 215-463-1000
Located at the First Base Gate Entrance on Pattison Avenue. For all home games, additional ticket windows are open on Citizens Bank Way.
Monday through Sunday: The Left Field and Third Base Gates open two hours prior to game time to provide access to Ashburn Alley and Pass and Stow. Other gates open 1½ hours prior to game time. ••
Getting to the ballpark
Citizens Bank Park is located in the heart of the Sports Complex in South Philadelphia at One Citizens Bank Way, Philadelphia, PA 19148.
For the latest traffic information for Pennsylvania and New Jersey, dial 511 or visit 511pa.com or 511nj.org. ••
Dombrowski in charge of organization
After Matt Klentak resigned as Phillis general manager following the 2020 season, the team hired longtime major league executive Dave Dombrowski as the club’s first president of baseball operations.
Dombrowski previously headed up the baseball operations departments for the Montreal Expos (1988-91), Florida Marlins (1991-2001), Detroit Tigers (2001-15) and Boston Red Sox (2015-19), constructing world championship teams in both Florida (1997) and Boston (2018). He also won two American League pennants with Detroit (2006, 2012).
Dombrowski, 64, is the only general manager in major league history to take three different teams to the World Series and is one of five to have won a World Series title with two different teams.
Owner John Middletown called the hiring “a great day for the Philadelphia Phillies.”
Middleton continued, “David Dombrowski is one of the most accomplished executives this great game has ever seen, and we are thrilled to welcome him to Philadelphia. Between David and Joe Girardi, we now have two of the best people in place to set us on the path back to where we want to be, and that is the postseason and contending for world championships.”
Among numerous other honors, Dombrowski is a two-time Baseball America Executive of the Year (2006, 2018) – the only executive to have ever won the award twice – and was a co-recipient of The Sporting News Executive of the Year award (2011).
Meanwhile, former major leaguer Sam Fuld is the Phillies’ new general manager. Additionally, Jorge Velandia has been promoted to assistant general manager and Terry Ryan to special assistant to the general manager.
Fuld, 39, has been with the Phillies since November 2017, most recently as the director of integrative baseball performance, in which he oversaw athletic training, strength and conditioning and nutrition. Fuld spent his first two years with the Phillies as the major league player information coordinator, working closely with the coaching staff to integrate advanced metrics into the team. He also worked as an outfield instructor for the major league club.
A former major league outfielder, Fuld played parts of eight seasons (2007; 2009-15) for four teams: the Chicago Cubs, Tampa Bay Rays, Oakland A’s and Minnesota Twins. In 2009, he led all National League rookies with a .409 on-base percentage and finished fourth with a .299 batting average. ••
Anderson expected to be part of rotation
The Phillies signed right-handed pitcher Chase Anderson to a one-year contract in the offseason. He is expected to be part of the starting rotation that will also include Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, Zach Eflin and Matt Moore.
Anderson, 33, made 10 appearances (seven starts) for the Toronto Blue Jays during the shortened 2020 season. In 33⅔ innings pitched, Anderson had 38 strikeouts.
On Jan. 30, 2016, Anderson and current Phillies infielder Jean Segura were traded for one another as part of a multi-player deal between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Milwaukee.
A native of Wichita Falls, Texas, Anderson is 54-42 with a 4.06 ERA in 176 career games (167 starts) over seven major league seasons with Arizona (2014-15), Milwaukee (2016-19) and Toronto (2020). As a starting pitcher, he has posted a career 3.98 ERA.
Anderson was originally selected by the Diamondbacks in the ninth round of the 2009 MLB Draft out of the University of Oklahoma. ••
Gregorius back for 2nd year with Phils
The Phillies in the offseason re-signed shortstop Didi Gregorius to a two-year contract.
Gregorius, 31, was the only Phillie to play in all 60 games of the shortened 2020 season and hit .284 with 10 home runs and a team-leading 40 RBI. He also led the team in hits (61) and struck out only 28 times.
In 64 plate appearances with runners in scoring position last season, Gregorius hit .345. He clubbed two grand slams in 2020.
Gregorius has spent parts of nine major league seasons with the Cincinnati Reds (2012), Arizona Diamondbacks (2013-14), New York Yankees (2015-19) and the Phillies (2020). He has a .265 career batting average with 120 home runs and 457 RBI.
In 39 career games at Citizens Bank Park, Gregorius has batted .306. He has appeared in 887 games at shortstop, where he boasts a .978 fielding percentage, the fifth-best among players with at least 800 games played at the position since 2012.
A native of the Netherlands, Gregorius was originally signed by Cincinnati as an amateur free agent in August 2007. He joined the Phillies in December 2019 on a one-year contract. ••
Realmuto back for 5 more years
In a major offseason decision, the Phillies re-signed catcher J.T. Realmuto to a five-year contract, taking him through 2025.
During the shortened 2020 season, Realmuto, 30, batted .266 with 11 home runs and 32 RBI in 47 games. Following the season, he was selected to the All-MLB Second Team.
In 2019, his first season with the Phillies, Realmuto hit .275 and reached career highs with 36 doubles, 25 home runs and 83 RBI in 145 games en route to winning his first Gold Glove Award.
The 2019 season also saw Realmuto throw out a career-high 37 runners attempting to steal, which led all major league catchers and was the most by any Phillies catcher since 1993 (Darren Daulton).
Originally selected in the third round of the June 2010 draft by the Marlins, Realmuto was traded to the Phillies on Feb. 7, 2019, in exchange for catcher Jorge Alfaro and pitchers Sixto Sánchez and Will Stewart. ••
Moore back in the majors with Phils
The Phillies signed left-handed starter Matt Moore in the offseason to a one-year contract. He is expected to be part of the rotation.
Moore, 31, last pitched in the majors in 2019 for the Detroit Tigers, where he made two starts and tossed 10 scoreless innings with nine strikeouts to one walk. Last season, he pitched professionally for Fukuoka in the Japan Pacific League. He appeared in 15 games and posted a 2.65 ERA (25 ER, 85 IP) with 98 strikeouts to 26 walks.
From 2012-13, Moore made 58 starts for the Tampa Bay Rays and went 28-15 with a 3.57 ERA (130 ER, 327⅔ IP) on his way to being named an American League all-star in 2013, when he went 17-4 with a 3.29 ERA in 27 starts.
In 2011, he won the Spink Award as Topps Minor League Player of the Year and was also named the MiLB.com Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. He represented the United States in the MLB Futures Game that year and following the season he was named the second-best prospect in minor league baseball by Baseball America.
Originally drafted by the Rays in the eighth round of the June 2007 draft out of high school in New Mexico, Moore has appeared in 181 games (151 starts) over his nine-year career. He has pitched for the Rays (2011-16), San Francisco Giants (2016-17), Texas Rangers (2018) and Tigers (2019). In five postseason appearances (three starts) for the Rays and Giants, Moore has a 3.33 ERA with 25 strikeouts in 24⅓ innings pitched. ••
Phils hire director of mental performance
The Phillies are expanding the team’s Mental Performance department in a continued effort to support players and staff throughout all levels of the organization.
The department will be led by Ceci Craft, who has been hired as director of mental performance. Additionally, Hannah Huesman has been elevated to mental performance coordinator. Rounding out the department are returning members Manuel Antuna, Frances Cardenas and Geoff Miller, all of whom will serve as mental performance coaches.
In her new role with the Phillies, Craft will work closely with manager Joe Girardi and his coaching staff to provide mental performance training for major league players. Prior to joining the Phillies, Craft spent six years as the major league mental performance coach for the Cleveland Indians, where she worked with players and staff at the major league and triple-A levels of the organization. Before and after her time with Cleveland, Craft spent a combined seven years as a mental performance coach for the U.S. Army, supporting the Special Operations Soldiers at Fort Bragg. Most recently, she led a team of 14 cognitive performance coaches overseeing mental training design, implementation and measurement for the Army Special Operations population.
“I am honored to join the Phillies. It was clear in my initial conversations with Sam Fuld, Joe Girardi and Dave Dombrowski that this is a club that values the mental performance aspect of the game and their players’ development in this area,” Craft said. “I have seen firsthand the benefits of mental performance training with soldiers and athletes, and I’m excited to work alongside a strong staff that will support the mental performance development of our players at every level.”
“I’m incredibly excited to see the positive influence that Ceci will have on our players, coaches and staff. Her past experiences in baseball and the military make her particularly well-suited to optimize mental performance in high-pressure environments like the one that we compete in,” said Fuld, the team’s general manager. “Ceci is viewed throughout the industry as a leader in her field, and as we went through the interview process, it became clear why. Her intellect, empathy and enthusiasm immediately stood out to us, and we feel lucky to add her to our team. She and the rest of the department are poised to make a tremendous impact in our organization.”
Craft’s educational background is in applied sport science with a focus in sport psychology from the University of Bangor, Wales. She attended Bates College for her undergraduate studies, majoring in psychology and minoring in Spanish. Craft is also a Certified Mental Performance Consultant.
Huesman joined the Phillies in January 2018 as the team’s minor league mental skills coach. She brings eight years of mental skills experience to her new position and will work closely with Craft on creating and executing plans with players and the coaching staff. Huesman received a bachelor’s degree in health and human performance from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and a master’s degree in kinesiology from the University of Tennessee. She is also a Certified Mental Performance Consultant.
“I am so grateful for the opportunity to work closely with Ceci on major and minor league initiatives,” Huesman said. “She has been a mentor of mine from afar for the last five years. Now that we will have the opportunity to work together, I couldn’t be more excited.”
“Hannah has established herself as an invaluable member of the Phillies organization, and we’re thrilled to promote her within the Mental Performance department,” Fuld said. “Hannah brings energy and commitment to her work in a way that raises the bar for everyone around her, and she has shown a strong ability to collaborate and connect with players and staff alike. We’re eager to see Hannah continue to grow her skillset and influence as she takes on this new, well-earned role.” ••
Late Phils’ CEO Montgomery to be honored
The late Phillies president and CEO David Montgomery will be honored in July with the Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award.
Due to the ongoing safety concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 Hall of Fame Weekend ceremonies will take place as indoor television events, adhering to all of the required New York state guidelines.
The Hall of Fame’s 2021 induction ceremony will take place live on MLB Network on Sunday, July 25, beginning at 1:30 p.m., honoring the members of the Class of 2020: Derek Jeter, Marvin Miller, Ted Simmons and Larry Walker.
The awards presentation, which will be broadcast on MLB Network prior to the induction ceremony on July 25, will honor Montgomery and the following people: 2021 Ford C. Frick Award winner for broadcasting excellence, Al Michaels, and the 2020 Frick Award winner, Ken Harrelson; and the 2021 Baseball Writers’ Association of America Career Excellence Award winner, Dick Kaegel, and the 2020 BBWAA Career Excellence Award winner, Nick Cafardo.
Montgomery is the fifth recipient of the John Jordan “Buck” O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award. He worked his way up from the Phillies sales office to become executive vice president and chief operating officer before acquiring an ownership stake in the team. He later served as president and CEO and then assumed the role of chairman in 2015.
Under his leadership as president and CEO, the team enjoyed one of the longest sustained periods of success in franchise history from 2007-11, winning five consecutive National League East titles, two NL pennants and the World Series in 2008.
He also spearheaded the construction of Citizens Bank Park, which opened in 2004. He advanced many community service efforts for the Phillies, including helping raise more than $19 million for the ALS Association of Greater Philadelphia.
Montgomery passed away in 2019 at age 72 due to cancer.
Last year, both the induction ceremony and awards presentation were canceled due to the pandemic.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York remains open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A comprehensive health and safety plan for the museum was developed and has been implemented in accordance with guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and New York state, and reviewed by a certified industrial hygiene technician, to ensure cleanliness, physical distancing and reduced contact for visitors and staff. More information about visiting the Hall of Fame can be found at https://baseballhall.org/reopening. ••
Historical book published on Phillies’ minor leagues
Life in the Minors, 5th Annual Phillies Minor League Digest, is a historical book that details the franchise’s minor leagues from the first affiliate in Hazleton to the current structure.
The 355-page book, filled with more than 170 photos, many of historic significance, is available now in both color and black and white on Amazon. A portion of the proceeds will go to Phillies Charities Inc.
Steve Potter, a retired Pfizer executive, first published an annual Minor League Digest following the 2016 season, detailing a recap of the Phillies minor leagues and players. Without minor league baseball in 2020, Potter and Larry (Baron) Shenk, a retired Phillies executive, combined to produce a book capturing the history of 115 Phillies minor league affiliates. The foreword is written by Tom McCarthy, who began his broadcasting career as the voice of the Trenton Thunder. Jim Peyton is the editor.
The book also features interviews with Phillies legends about their time spent in the minors, including stories from Dick Allen, Larry Andersen, Bob Boone, Larry Bowa, Greg Luzinski, Charlie Manuel, Mickey Morandini, Jimmy Rollins, Mike Schmidt, Bobby Wine and Rick Wise. Adam Haseley and multiple current Phillies minor league players also share their experiences in the game.
Plus, there are stories from Frank Coppenbarger and Scott Palmer, who each played one game in the minors even though they weren’t professional ballplayers.
“My career concluded with the Phillies, but I intermingled with many of their legends when I was a minor leaguer,” said Pat Gillick, Hall of Fame executive whose playing career is featured in the book. “My first manager was Billy DeMars. In every league I played, the Phillies had a team.
“Managers like Paul Owens, Andy Seminick, Frank Lucchesi. I played against guys like Pat Corrales, Lee Elia, Norm Gigon, Ray Culp, John Herrnstein, Dick Allen, Dennis Bennett, Danny Cater. This is really a unique book. No other book to my knowledge covers the minor league history of any team.”
The manuscript details every minor league team in Phillies history, from Appleton (Wisconsin) to Huron (South Dakota), Magic Valley (Idaho), Reading and Walla Walla (Washington). Among the many team names are the Mountaineers, Peaches, Manufacturers, Muckdogs, Papermakers, Johnnies, Red Barons, Threshers, Blue Jays, Marlins and Padres.
Additional stories are included from other minor league personnel, including managers, coaches, executives and broadcasters.
Continuing photo contributions to the annual digests were made by Cheryl Pursell (Lehigh Valley), George Youngs Jr. (Reading), Michael Dill (Jersey Shore) and Mark Wylie (Clearwater). ••