Baseball season is here!
The unofficial kickoff of Philadelphia Phillies baseball takes place in Clearwater, Florida, and no, it’s not pitchers and catchers reporting.
Every year, the Phillies host what they call “Phantasy Camp.” This camp is a 5-day experience at the team’s facilities in Florida, where the fans get to live their big-league dreams. Over the course of the week, fans get to play full baseball games, learn from the Phillies’ legends, and so much more.
On Wednesday, January 17th, the 2024 edition of Phantasy Camp began.
Phantasy Camp Packages
Starting in 2024, the Phillies offered four different packages that fans could purchase.
The four different plans you can purchase are the Player, General Manager, Super Phan, and Baseball Ops deal, which vary in cost.
The most popular of the bunch is the player experience, which gives you hands-on training by Phillies legends, as well as multiple games a day, a custom Phillies jersey, and many more amazing perks.
You must be 30 or older to qualify, and it is all in good fun. While there might be scouts in attendance, they are certainly not looking for any new talent.
An example of that is shown in the following tweet, where WIP’s Joe DeCamara got a chance to shine back in 2019.
Phantasy Camp does a great job of incorporating Phillies legends into the action.
There are roughly 33 former Phillies who are active and are either coaching, playing, or hanging out at Phantasy Camp.
Some of the people involved include Larry Bowa, Charlie Manuel, Chase Utley, Jayson Werth, and of course, John Kruk.
All eras of Phillies baseball are represented, giving multiple generations of fans a chance to relive their favorite Phillies memories with those who helped create them.
I recently spoke with Brandon Duckworth, one of the team legends who helps out every year at Phantasy Camp. Brandon joked and said if you are going to come play, you better be in some good shape because these pros get the most out of you. When you play a game against the former greats of the Phillies’ past, they will certainly be playing to win.
At the conclusion of the camp, there is a cocktail party and awards banquet for the participants.
The ceremony is used to highlight the best of the previous few days, while also awarding players for their efforts on and off the field.
One of the awards that is given out is the “Rheal Cormier Person of the Year” Award. This award was named after Rheal, a former Phillies pitcher in the early 2000s. Cormier was very active with Phantasy Camp, serving as an advisor for many years.
He unfortunately passed in 2021 after a battle with cancer. The Phillies then changed the award to honor him. When speaking with Brandon Duckworth about camp, he spoke about Rheal and the award. Cormier took the former Phillies starting pitcher under his wing when Brandon was first called up to the big leagues.
They had a special connection and friendship and it meant the world to both Brandon and Rheal’s family that the Phillies would honor his friend in this manner. Another example of the Phillies’ organization getting it right, and proving why they are first-class both on and off the field.
For more information on Phantasy Camp and to register for 2025, feel free to check out their website “philliesphantasycamp.com.”
By all accounts, Phantasy Camp sounds like a great way to get the baseball season started. Once this wraps up, we will be just a couple of weeks away from the start of Spring Training.
We are almost there Phillies fans! Buckle up, because I have a feeling the 2024 season will be a special one.
Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)