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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

4/29/21 : Camp end is near ... as is season’s start

Either today or tomorrow the fellas will get their team assignments for the upcoming minor league seasons. All four ( Lehigh Valley, Reading, Jersey Shore & Clearwater ) full season teams will begin league play on May 4th.

After they exit some who’ve been in minor league camp will continue to train in what’s known as “Extended Spring Training” with a few new arrivals expected as well.

While we have somewhat educated guesses as to whom goes where it’s a courtesy and tradition that we do not attempt to project each roster. The teams themselves are expected to announce the names in the next few days.

It’s been an odd spring for sure ... due to the pandemic there were no fans allowed within the complex or stadium to watch practices or games. That didn’t stop some from coming to peer from beyond the fences or thru the gates however ... we got used to that early in both big league and minor league camps. Without a doubt the most dedicated grand pop award this year goes to Ron Miller who for practically the entire camp was at the complex or stadium with binoculars in tow seeing what he could see from beyond the boundaries. He became the new Mayor of Carpenter Complex ... at least the exterior perimeters anyway albeit the alligator who took up residence alongside the Rheam Wilson Trail may also be in the running for the title 🤓.

Usually we get to meet quite a few of the players family members during camp ... this year was limited but indeed there were a few new acquaintances made over the course of the month. It’s always cool for us to get to know the folks who provide the ongoing support for these young folks as they pursue their dream, it’s truly evident how prideful they are in the accomplishments of their loved ones ... as they should be. To be a professional baseball player is quite a distinction, it’s a skill set that the majority of the world does not possess and albeit there will be numerous critics of their play most of that will come from people who have no comparable talent in playing the game themselves. What we try to do on this page is to attempt to not get caught up in the negative criticism but rather to acknowledge the people and the glory of the opportunity to play the game at such a high level. That’s been our mantra from day one.

I’d like to thank my training camp buddies for letting me hang out with them the past few months and the Phillies for accommodating us the last few weeks of camp with media access within the stadium. Jim Peyton and Mark Wylie will continue to cover the Threshers this coming season as credentialed media, I’m sure they will do a great job as is their norm. Mark’s photos are outstanding as you all can see, he spends countless hours both taking them and editing to perfection. Mark has become a rock star with the players and their families who seek out photos of game action where they are involved. He is tireless in his efforts, great job Mark ! Jim’s been writing about the Phillies minor leagues now on Phuture Phillies since 2013 and provides a forum for fan chatter that’s both unique and entertaining. He too works diligently and deserves kudos for his efforts.

As for me I’ll continue to watch from a fan’s view, either in the stands or elsewhere ... I’ve renewed my subscription to MiLB TV and will watch or listen to at least portions of each of the Lehigh Valley, Reading and Jersey Shore contests each game night. Occasionally I’ll get over to BayCare Ballpark to take in a Thresher’s game. My plan is to continue the “Minor League Roundup” articles each night that summarizes and provides highlights of game action I’ve seen or heard. I’ll also write feature articles during the summer and hopefully will be able to cover the GCL action at the Complex if and when it begins. And there’s the Sixth Annual Phillies Minor League Digest to accumulate as well 😎.

Hopefully as the baseball season progresses we can get back to normalcy and that personal interactions can once again become our routine. Till then we will live by the parameters provisioned to keep us all as safe as possible. It’s all part of it.

Baseball is my passion ... life is our journey. Looking forward to a great and eventful minor league season !

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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