Reading Phillies spend a day in Cooperstown

By Connor O’Gara

The Reading Phillies got a little taste of the ultimate goal.

On Monday afternoon, the Double-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies got to spend a rare off-day touring the Hall of Fame and were treated to a private showing of several historic Phillies artifacts in the Bullpen Theater.

“When they told us we were doing this, we were pretty excited,” said Phillies infielder Darin Ruf. “On your journey to the Major Leagues, it’s a wonderful place to stop and look around for a while.”

The Reading Phillies have been the Double-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies since 1967. (Milo Stewart, Jr./National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)

Before the Phillies got the full tour of the Museum, they got to see and hear back stories about various artifacts that live in Philadelphia lore.

From Hall of Fame pitcher Steve Carlton’s 300th win jersey to Major League Baseball’s first official hat with attached ear warmers as worn by Eric Bruntlett in the 2008 World Series, the Double-A squad saw a wide array of Phillies’ history.

“That’s all of our dreams,” Ruf said. “If we just made it to the Major Leagues, that’s one thing. Obviously, if we could have a piece of our legacy in here, it would top it all off for all of us.”

Reading manager Dusty Wathan, whose squad will travel to Binghamton for a three-game set following their day in Cooperstown, said it’s important for his players to understand the magnitude of the opportunity.

“I think it’s just really important for players to know the history of the game and where they stand in the game,” Wathan said. “To be able to see the best of the best and especially at a place like this, for guys from all over the world, to be able to come to Cooperstown is a special thing.”

1 Comment

I’ve visited the Hall Of Fame twice and both times were special beyond words. I’m so glad the Reading Phillies got to see this. They’ll never forget it. I sure wish I could’ve been there to see Richie Ashburn, Jim Bunning, Mike Schmidt, and Ernie Banks inducted into this great Hall.

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