Citizens Bank Park

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by RoBoNC on April 21, 2008

The Philadelphia Phillies is one of the five oldest teams in baseball tied with the San Francisco Giants. The team was first formed in 1883 and was originally known as the Quakers. The following year they added the nickname the "Phillies" and used both names concurrently until 1889. The Phillies attempted to give themselves a new nickname "Blue Jays" in 1943, but it was short lived lasting only two years. Phillies is just a shortened version of Philadelphians. The Phillies is another example of a team that has struggled over the years. Since 1883, the team has won only World Series in 1980 and in 2007 they became the first team in any major sport to record 10,000 losses.

The Philadelphia Phillies in their long career have called five different ballparks home. Starting in 1883 until 1886, they played in Recreation Park, where a historical marker stands today located in a run-down section of the city. The Baker Bowl or National League Park was home from 1887-1938. It was demolished in 1950 and now a car wash, convenience store and gas station reside on the same spot. The Phillies left in mid season and moved five blocks up to Shibe Park or later renamed Connie Mack Stadium. Connie Mack is considered the greatest manager of all time and holds the record for most wins (3,731), losses (3,948), and games managed (7,755) all spanning 51 years, most of those with the Philadelphia Athletics. The Phillies had to share Shibe Park with Connie Mack's Philadelphia Athletics. The next year in 1954 the Philadelphia Athletics moved to Kansas City and the stadium was theirs until 1970. A church now resides on Shibe Park. In 1971, Veterans Stadium was built to house both the Phillies and the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles. Both teams played there until 2003 when a new sports complex was being built to house each team separately. A parking lot for the new complex and a marker is all that is left of Veterans Stadium.

The Sports Complex consists of the Wachovia Center which houses the Flyers of the NHL and 76ers of the NBA; Lincoln Financial Field, home to the Eagles of the NFL; and Citizens Bank Park where the Phillies call home. The Sports Complex is located south of the city directly next to Interstate 95. Citizens Bank Park has some similar designs to Camden Yards in Baltimore. Like Camden Yards' Eutaw Street, the Phillies have Ashburn Alley which runs the length of the outfield. Ashburn Alley has shops and restaurants and it opens 2 1/2 hours before game time giving fans plenty of time to eat while watching batting practice. Some of the restaurants include Bull's BBQ, Peace of Pizza, and my favorite Rick's Steaks. Geno's and Pat's Steaks are two famous cheese steaks shops located across the street from each other. Rick is the grandson of Pat's, who opened up his own restaurant amid a family feud. (Read my Historic Philadelphia journal for more info on Geno's and Pat's King of Steaks.) Because of the unique food choices such as original cheese steaks, the Food Network awarded Citizens Bank Park with the Best Ballpark Food in a survey done in 2007.

Having the best food of any ballpark is not the only accomplishment the Phillies can boast. They also have the “best mascot” as voted by Sports Illustrated and Sports Illustrated for Kids. The Phillie Phanatic is a large furry green creature designed in the spirit of Jim Henson’s Muppets. The mascot has a large beak with a tongue that sticks out and can be seen at Phillies games taunting the visiting team.

Tickets range from $16-$50 and parking is around $10. Because of the location of the ballpark away from the center of the city, there is plenty of room to park. However, be aware if there are two different games going on at the same time as parking could fill up quickly. The ballpark is also served by the Broad Street Subway station as well bus service through SEPTA.

Games Watched: May 11, 2006 vs. NY Mets W 2-0 (Called after 5 innings for rain)
Citizens Bank Park
One Citizens Bank Way
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19148
(215) 463-1000

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