A home opener is always a special date on the calendar for any baseball fan. Apparently, it’s pretty significant for ballplayers as well.
Jim Thome is thrilled that he’ll be part of another home opener as a Phillie today against the Miami Marlins.
“That first game at home is always pretty special,” Thome said. “I remember what it was like back when I was part of the home opener when I joined the club [in 2003].”
Thome received a massive ovation when he was introduced before the Phillies played the Pittsburgh Pirates that day at Veterans Stadium.
For those who missed it, Thome was treated then like Cliff Lee is these days. The hulking slugger signed a massive deal to play for the Phillies and the fans loved him.
“I’m really looking forward to playing at Citizens Bank Park again,” Thome said. “I have great memories.”
Thome hit the first home run at the yard, in an exhibition game, and he slammed the 400th home run of his career at Citizens Bank Park.
Jimmy Rollins has started more home openers at Citizens Bank Park than any other Phillie. J-Roll has been the shortstop during eight of a possible eight home openers.
“Opening Day in Philadelphia is always a special thing,” Rollins said. “It’s always a great day. I’m very happy to be part of another one. It’s fun that it’s such a big deal.”
Phillies rookies Joe Savery and Freddy Galvis will experience the pomp and circumstance for the first time.
“I’ve learned to just take in all of the firsts and enjoy it,” Savery said. “Being up [in the major leagues] is more than I ever imagined. That experience [Opening Day at Citizens Bank Park] is going to be amazing.”
The Phillies began the season with a 1-0 win last week in Pittsburgh. The team dropped the next two games to the Pirates, including yesterday’s 5-4 loss after a walk-off RBI by Andrew McCutchen.