Employee Honor Roll

Almost every time I tell someone I have spent eight seasons with the Reading Phillies, he or she always seems amazed.  The next question is usually, “when are you going to get a full-time job with them?”  What most people don’t realize is that the Reading Phillies have a very low turnover rate; which just goes to show what a great organization it is to work for.

At the end of each season, the Reading Phillies announce the newest inductees into the Employee Honor Roll.  Members of the honor roll are employees who have worked with the Reading Phillies for 10 years.  Each employee that makes the honor roll receives a plaque during a special pre-game presentation and his or her name is added to the board just inside the employee entrance.

In my experience, one of the best aspects of an organization like the Reading Phillies is the atmosphere.  This atmosphere can be attributed in large part to the relationships that form between the fans and the employees.  One of my favorite things about returning to Baseballtown each season is seeing the fans that I have come to know over the years.  The season ticket holders that return every year want to know how the off-season went and what everyone expects to happen during the season.  There’s the couple that always wears Reading Phillies gear, usually matching, and the gentleman who always asks for “two slices of cheese please” even thought I haven’t sold a slice of pizza in two seasons.  If a long time employee does not show up for a few games, everyone, fans and employees alike, want to know where they are and if everything is ok.

There are even great relationships that form between employees.  I have been asked numerous times by the ushers what my plans are as far as finding a job or even just what I might have planned for a week off.  I have met a number of great people and created an infinite number of wonderful memories over the past eight seasons.  Although each season also comes with its fair share of hard experiences, the good memories and friends are what make me come back each year, and what continues to add new names to the Employee Honor Roll at the end of each season.

Mascot Mania

Have you ever seen a turtle playing the tambourine? Have you ever heard a duck sing?  While this may sound like the tagline for a new children’s movie, in reality it is what takes place every Saturday night in Baseballtown.  Every Saturday night during the season, the Reading Phillies Mascot Band performs live on the Weston Center Winning Smiles stage.  With Quack on lead vocals and guitar, Change-Up on percussion, Screwball on drums, Blooper on guitar, and Bucky on bass, the group never fails to entertain its young fans.

One of the most entertaining aspects of any sporting event is watching the mascot(s). People running around in fur costumes that come in all shapes and sizes for the sole purpose of entertaining the crowds.  There are animal mascots, human mascots, and mascots that are neither animal or human.  The job of a mascot is to move through the crowds during a game and interact with the fans.  Even if their team is losing, they must remain excited and entertaining for the spectators.

The Reading Phillies have six main mascots that appear each game.  They are Blooper the Hound Dog, Bucky the Beaver, Quack the Rubber Duck, Change-Up the Turtle, Screwball, and the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor.  Throughout each game, these mascots do everything from dancing on the dugouts to signing autographs for young fans to throwing hot dogs into the crowd while riding an ostrich.  There are some days when fans may find it more entertaining to watch the mascots than the actual game.

I think the one thing about mascots that always catches me off guard is the fact that while the majority of young fans adore them, there are always a few who are absolutely terrified of them.  In the past eight seasons, I have seen a number of children start screaming, or crying, or trying to run away when they see a mascot.  Even if they are being held or are sitting in a stroller, the children will do whatever they can to escape.  I have also overheard numerous parents telling their children that there is no need to be scared, the large red creature with the baseball head only wants to say hi and get a high-five.  Needless to say, the situation does not usually get any better.

In the end, the mascots provide excellent entertainment for the younger baseball fans and will continue to create memories for many more seasons in Baseballtown.