Phillies' new detectors don't uncover weapons of mass frustration

Posted: July 22, 2014

I DANCED WITH you on Broad Street in 2008, I've suffered with you ever since.

I worried last night when the Phillies put three walk-through metal detectors at the rightfield gate to test a security system that will be at all gates in all major-league ballparks next season.

Fans entering the ballpark through the rightfield gate now must pass through a metal detector before tickets are scanned, and first they have to remove cellphones, cameras and other large metal items.

I worried that Phillies fans were bringing enough bad attitude to the ballpark these days to break the detectors' sensors.

I was wrong. For two hours right up until game time, the lines were much longer at Bull's BBQ than at the metal detectors. No knives. No guns. No weapons of mass frustration. Nothing but cool detector humor.

"I'm a police officer in Mahanoy City [Schuylkill County]," said Michael Dissinger, who smiled and pointed at a pocket of his jeans. "My badge set it off."

Frank Damico, of Robbinsville, N.J., said: "The guy at the detector was amazing. I walked through, set the detector off, and he says, 'Knee replacement?' And he was right!"

Dana Schilling, visiting from Sacramento, Calif., was decked out in Giants colors, including big strands of orange-and-black metallic beads. The detector went nuts.

"I always set that thing off," Schilling confided. "Jewelry sets it off. Underwire bras set it off."

Asked if the security guard had asked her to remove the cause of the alarm, Schilling said: "No. I hope it doesn't ever get to that. That would be invasive."

Jerry Frelon of Turnersville, N.J., said: "I like this kind of security better than the patting down they used to do here. You could put something in your sock and the guy patting you down would never feel it. And some people are sensitive to patting down. They don't like it."

Rob Thomas, of Chalfont, Bucks County, said the metal detector made certain sensitive parts of his body tingle.

"I almost asked if I could keep going through it, back and forth, back and forth," he said, laughing so hard with three buddies that he could hardly get the words out.

Terry Rathman, a Reading native visiting from Gastonia, N.C., said: "When I walked through the detector, I almost asked when the plane was going to take off. But I didn't."

At least fans don't have to remove their shoes or belts.

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