Mike Schmidt and George Brett threw out the first balls at yesterday's home opener at Citizens Bank Park. It was a pretty unique and special moment. Schmidty also used his trip back to the ball park to talk about Philadelphia fans and reflected a bit on what he would have done differently in his playing days.
[Photo Gallery: Opening Day 2013 in Philly]
From John Gonzalez's story yesterday on Michael Jack, which you should read in its entirety:
“All of us players went through periods where we failed in clutch
situations and got booed,” Schmidt said. “In that regard, it’s a tough
town to be in. If you didn’t understand the passion the Philly sports
fans have for their teams –- like I do now –- if I could go through it
now, versus when I was a young ball player, I’d be a lot better at
handling it. I’d have a totally different perspective on it. I wouldn’t
think that I individually, personally, could change the personality of
the city with a comment in the media or something on the field. I
wouldn’t feel that I had to prove something every at-bat. I would sort
of flow with it more, have some fun with it. That’s sort of like a
63-year-old brain talking to a 25-year-old ballplayer.”
He seems to have a much better understanding of Philly fans after years away from the game. And he has regrets, can't be so sensitive playing in this town, etc. Go read the whole thing and watch him talk in the below video.