Lacking much in the way of compelling blog topics lately, I’ve decided to borrow an idea from Jenn at Phillies Phollowers, and take a look back at the past. Hope you don’t mind, Jenn!
For this first installment, I’ve unearthed a Phillies magazine/program from 1973. The cover is appropriately pop-art-ish:
And look at that bargain price – only 50 cents!
Paging through, it’s interesting to note the various advertisements for tobacco products (Salem/Camel/Winston, Dutch Master/El Producto, Kent/Newport/True, Marlboro) and alcohol (Seagram’s whiskey, Jacquin’s vodka, Cutty Sark, Schmidt’s beer). In contrast, a more recent copy of the magazine/program contained a single ad for Bud Light.
Going to a Phillies game back then was affordable family entertainment, based on these prices:
A family of four would have paid only $17 for box seats! Today, $17 won’t even get one person into the ballpark – the lowest priced seats are $20. Using an online inflation calculator, one can see that the ticket prices have increased much more drastically than just inflation alone would explain. I suppose part of that can be explained by the fact that the Phillies of the early 70’s were not very good, averaging just over 18,000 fans per game, whereas the current Phillies have made it to the playoffs three straight seasons, and averaged over 40,000 fans per game the past two seasons. Good old “supply and demand”.
Another interesting feature is the “Phillies Family Album,” a collection of obviously staged photos on the last few pages. Here’s a sample:
In case it’s hard to see, they are:
Susie and Billy Wilson (what are they looking at? certainly not the camera);
Rosemary and Jim Lonborg (probably hoping that seagull doesn’t poop on them);
Terry and Kay Harmon (bet she’s wondering why the other two wives got first billing and she didn’t).
The Phillies’ rotation that year included Steve Carlton, Wayne Twitchell, Ken Brett, Jim Lonborg, and Dick Ruthven. Position players included Bob Boone, Willie Montanez, Denny Doyle, Larry Bowa, Greg Luzinski, Del Unser, Bill Robinson, and in his first full season, Mike Schmidt.
I’d never seen a photo of Schmidt without his mustache before – it looks a little odd!
Neither Schmidt nor the Phillies fared too well in 1973. Schmidt ended the season with a .196 batting average, and the Phillies finished last in the six-team NL East with a 71-91 record.
In upcoming posts, I’ll take a look at 1974, 1975, 1978, and 1979. Not sure why there is a two year gap – these all came from my husband’s formative years, so I’ll have to ask him what happened to 1976 and 1977.
Today marks the one-year anniversary of this blog. Last year, in a fit of extreme boredom, I decided to unleash my random thoughts upon the unsuspecting MLBlogs community. My very first blog was actually rather cringe-worthy (wherein I mostly complained about the month of February), so I won’t force you to read it again by reposting it here. 🙂
Since then, I’ve electronically “met” a lot of great baseball fans, not only of the Phillies, but other teams as well, even the dreaded Yankees (sorry Jane!). I’m looking forward to another year of great blogging, and I hope you are too!