Our life on the backfields
It’s been a couple months now without the opportunity to watch daily baseball at Carpenter Complex. For most that’s not a chance even afforded or perhaps desired due to work commitments and/or interest. When my wife Barb and I retired five years ago it was our mission to do so ... as corny as it seems we possess an actual love of the game and a desire to watch, listen, learn and enjoy the player development aspects of pro baseball we had not been privileged or able to do during our work day lives.
It was our intent to just sit quietly by each day and observe. We are not outgoing people, both generally unassuming in nature, we are inquisitive though and idealistic 🤔. Initially our interactions with the team started with correspondence with then Player Development Director Joe Jordan sending notes and ideas about the nutritional program development. To our surprise and delight Mr. Jordan answered 😳. We met Joe for the first time in person at the 2015 Fall Instructs at Spectrum Field and continued to correspond and interact up until he left the club. Every time he saw us at the Complex or at an affiliate’s stadium he’d say hello and we’d chat a bit. A really good fella.
Our first “adopted” class of new draftees/signees was the 2016 group, I watched and listened to the draft and upon each selection would send a note to the new Phillie welcoming them as a Phillies fan. We got to meet most of the fellas later that season or in Fall Instructs and have had the privilege of getting to know them a bit and often times their families also. That’s a routine that’s continued with each subsequent yearly draft/signing group.
We’ve had the privilege of chatting with Phillies legends, coaches, player development leadership, front office leaders, players, scouts, baseball writers, broadcasters, agents and fellow fans on the backfields over the past five years ... it’s cool that many know who we are by name ... was never our intent that would happen but are happy that it did.
Our routine hasn’t wavered since our first day there ... we arrive, sit quietly as best we can and observe ... we do take a lot of pictures and videos and write about what we see - that part evolved as well - so did the annual minor league digests - now four editions strong.
It may seem silly to some but we truly get a kick out of watching daily practices and games - how young players are taught, the different drills, the individual skill sets and personalities, the way the group interacts, the jubilations we witness when doing well and the disappointments when not ... we enjoy the role of cheerleader and reaching out to say good job or that tomorrow’s another day ... it’s everything we thought it would be when we retired and more ... it’s been great.😎
Over the years my team correspondence has expanded and our observations have taken us beyond the backfields annually to the affiliates as well during the summer ... but it’s the life on the backfields we enjoy the most and now miss deeply ...
As Memorial Day is upon us and we remember the members of the military who made the ultimate sacrifice and truly appreciate them as the heroes that they were I also selfishly reminisce about a daily life of just a couple months ago that seems so far removed ... we truly miss being the quiet observer on the backfields of the Complex ... perhaps someday we’ll be able to resume doing so ...
Till then but certainly when that day comes ... Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️
Original FB post - 5/25/2020