THIS WILL BE the fourth year that the Phillies are holding their holiday/winter sale at the Majestic store at Citizens Bank Park.
But it will be anything but business as usual in the wake of their title. First and foremost, the World Series trophy will be present, just one of the many stops it will make during the offseason. Listen, they've even got a trophy czar, Jamie Trout, whose primary role is coordinator of marketing programs.
"Dave Buck, our senior VP of marketing, basically said, 'We have a little project for you,' " Trout explained by phone last night, en route to a private unveiling of the team's DVD, "The Perfect Season." "I guess that's how I was anointed. It's been coming and going pretty much every day since the beginning of December for various events."
That has kept Trout preoccupied with playing chaparone while helping to lay out a route that will take it all over the region. "This will be an enhanced winter tour as a result of this trophy," he said. "The idea is to have as many people see it as possible."
Unlike the Stanley Cup, which pays a visit to the winning city before heading to the Hockey Hall of Fame, this trophy will reside at Citizens Bank Park. That's where fans will find it as they come in for the holiday sale, which will run 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. tomorrow and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Scott Brandreth, director of merchandising, said the Phanatic will be dressed as Santa and offering that big lap for kids to settle into from 11 to 2 Saturday and 11 to 1 Sunday. Later on Saturday, around 5, he'll head back to the park on a fire truck and, as Brandreth said, do "that Clark Griswold thing" and plug in the Christmas tree.
Tickets for the return of the Sixers to the Spectrum go on sale Monday at 10 a.m. If you're one of the first 500 to show up at the Spectrum that morning, you get to tour the former Sixers locker room and meet a couple of franchise alumni. Maybe you can talk them into a game of H-O-R-S-E. The real game? That's Friday, March 13, vs. the Bulls. *
- Paul Vigna