June 6, 2015 |
Dick Allen, the former Phillie and seven-time all-star, looked at the plush baseball field at FDR Park with pride and a little envy. "It means a lot to see this," Allen said, speaking at the new field near the sports complex. "When I was young, I would have loved to have had a chance like this, but more importantly I am really pleased for the youth and our city. " The Phillies MLB Urban Youth Academy, a project that had been years in the making, officially opened Thursday. The new field is an addition to the existing Ashburn Baseball Field and two girls' softball fields.
June 4, 2015 |
Chris Jones has smiled more this season. He's hit more, too. That's not a coincidence, according to Bishop Eustace Prep baseball coach Sam Tropiano. "He's still serious," Tropiano said of Jones. "But this year, he's having fun with the game. He's enjoying it a little more. " Jones, a senior shortstop, is among the more focused and intense athletes in South Jersey. He's a four-year starter for one of the state's premier baseball programs. Jones is batting .459 with 14 doubles and 10 home runs.
February 27, 2015 |
Gloucester Catholic point guard Fran Kinsey is a senior. To Rams coach Todd Powers, Kinsey also is a senior citizen. "I call him the 'old man,' " Powers said. "He never comes out of the game, but sometimes in practice I'll take him out and tell him to sit down and take a rest with the coaches. "I'll tell him he looks like he's playing in a men's league out there. " Kinsey really isn't that old. It just seems that way to Powers and others around the Gloucester Catholic program.
February 24, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Freddy Galvis slightly pulled at the neck of his shirt yesterday morning to show off the battle scar of an athlete who already has put in his time before camp officially opens. Sunburn. The new Phillies shortstop arrived in Clearwater on Friday, when temperatures were hovering in the 30s. Galvis had spent the week fielding ground balls on an all-dirt baseball field in his hometown of Punto Fijo, Venezuela. "The field is like that," Galvis said, pointing to a bunch of rocks decorating the tunnel that leads to the Phillies' batting cages at Bright House Field.
October 5, 2014 |
Albie Crosby stomped his right heel into the dirt, and a cloud of dust rose from the ground. The Imhotep Charter football coach gave his whistle a few quick blasts. Practice was set to begin, and the dust, which seems to haze over the team's practices, had arrived. The Public League's top team practices in the outfield of a West Oak Lane baseball field, a short walk from the school. The Lonnie Young Recreation Center field does not have goalposts. The team practices kicks by launching balls over the high fence down the third-base line.
August 22, 2014
WHILE the nation has embraced the Taney Dragons as an overnight sensation, we know better. This team is really 20 years in the making. It's the result of efforts by generations of parents and coaches committed to the importance of teamwork, as opposed to cutthroat competition, and to the idea that anyone who wants to play can get a chance to play. Even girls. When the league was founded in 1994, about 250 kids participated. Most of them came from a mile radius around the Markward Recreation Center, near 24th and South streets.
August 12, 2013 |
On deep-summer evenings, Hunting Park becomes a meadow of crimson, squads of boys in their practice uniforms grunting drills to the fanfare of coaches' whistles. The youngest players, playing football before they read, are so small the jerseys dust their knees. Platoons of cheerleaders polish their knife kicks, hip shakes, arm thrusts. In unison, "Defense! C'mon, boys, let's do your best!" Behold the mighty North Philadelphia Aztecs, 400 strong, ages 5 to 15, eight teams, 32 coaches, an empire of city football.
August 7, 2013 |
Major League Baseball, including bumbling uncle Bud Selig, deserves to be congratulated for pursuing the Biogenesis investigation that has resulted in the suspensions of 14 players for the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Fully awake after a long nap during the height of baseball's drug boom, the game even managed to ferret out abuse by a member of the Phillies bullpen, which is a little depressing. The local team isn't even very good when it cheats. Antonio Bastardo made himself good enough to stay in the big leagues, however, and that was the general idea.
May 30, 2013 |
WHEN IT came time to lead Frankford High's baseball team yesterday, Kidanny Cumba slapped together a 2-for-2 performance. Like pretty much always, Cumba starred at shortstop and in the batter's box as the Pioneers, completing quite the amazing, turn-things-around run, claimed their third consecutive Public League championship with a 9-2 success over Franklin Towne Charter. And then, in the dugout, maybe 5 minutes into assorted displays of emotion, the 5-8, 155-pound senior took the lead in making sure Edwin "Tito" Rohena would be properly feted.
April 29, 2013 |
When Devin Smeltzer finds himself in a tough spot on the pitching mound, the Bishop Eustace Prep School junior reaches back for some more velocity for his fastball. Or he'll put some extra edge on his curveball. Or he'll summon the knuckleball that he throws only in special situations. But Smeltzer, 17, who is one of the state's best high school baseball players for one of the state's best teams, has a unique perspective on his most challenging moments in the competitive arena.