Citizens Bank Park

A first look at the old Vet Stadium Liberty Bell now outside of Citizens Bank Park

A first look at the old Vet Stadium Liberty Bell now outside of Citizens Bank Park

It was 15 years ago today that Veterans Stadium went crumbling to the ground. But a piece of Vet Stadium history has risen from the ashes for a second life at Citizens Bank Park.

The giant 19-foot Liberty Bell that stood high atop Vet Stadium has been refurbished from storage and placed near the Pattison Avenue and 11th street entrance of the ballpark, next to the new Pass and Stow area that will feature a beer garden and some great new food options. The Pass and Stow name is in homage to John Pass and John Stow who re-cast the original Liberty Bell in 1753. Their names can be found on the original, slightly more famous bell with a crack in it across from Independence Hall.

With opening day just a week away, fans passing the ballpark on Thursday got their first glimpse of the bell’s new placement. The bell was installed today.

It’s hard to miss and will surely make a nice new photo opportunity for Phillies fans and out-of-towners looking to capture a memory.

The bell you see today was actually the "second and final bell that was displayed at Veterans Stadium," according to the Phillies. It was installed on the Vet's catwalk prior to the 1983 season and remained there before being removed prior to the Vet's implosion in 2004. It is made of steel and aluminum, weighs more than 5,000 pounds and contains over 300 light bulbs.

The new (old) bell outside the ballpark will make a nice complement to the bell inside the park that lights up and rings whenever a Phillies player hits a home run. In a nice twist, this season the Phillies' team Twitter hashtag will be #RingTheBell. Brett Brown likely approves.

As you can see from the short video of the bell above, the weather in South Philly today was wet and dreary. The forecast for opening day next Thursday when the Phils host the Atlanta Braves is much better, with no rain currently in the forecast and highs in the upper-50s. Not exactly hittin’ weather, but not bad for the first day of baseball either.

We can't wait.

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Here's a look at the Vet going down 15 years ago today. Miss that dirty old place.

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Aaron Nola can't wait to get a taste of that Citizens Bank Park electricity

Aaron Nola can't wait to get a taste of that Citizens Bank Park electricity

SARASOTA, Fla. — The sold-out crowd of 10,276 at Spectrum Field on Saturday gave Aaron Nola a taste of what to expect on March 28 when he makes his second consecutive opening day start.

The difference for Nola this time around, aside from the incredible hype surrounding this Phillies team, is that he won't be opening on the road.

What's Nola expecting the atmosphere to be like for that 3:05 p.m. game against the Braves?

"Oh, crazy," he said. "Packed house. I haven't opened up in Philly since I've been here. It was a packed house with Bryce yesterday and I'm pretty sure with the hype already, it's gonna be a packed house."

That will be the case at least 81 times this season. Phillies fans came out in droves on Saturday and made the hour trip to Sarasota on Sunday to watch Nola make his second start of the spring against the Orioles.

Nola struck out six over three innings, exiting after a hit began the fourth. He was a bit wild in the first inning, cutting his fastball more than he intended, but he had the curveball working and hit a groove in the second and third innings.

"I think it's gonna take a few more outings, but I'm getting close, I feel like," Nola said.

Monday's game in Clearwater against the Rays will be another capacity crowd, with Bryce Harper expected to make his first start as a Phillie in right field. 

And in a few short weeks, the results of Harper's at-bats and Nola's starts will actually matter.

"All we've heard is how great it is with the atmosphere," Nola said. "Jimmy Rollins, Cole Hamels, all those guys, Chooch, Howie, Kyle Kendrick the other day. I would see it on TV, too."

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Ticket prices soar after Bryce Harper to Phillies news

Ticket prices soar after Bryce Harper to Phillies news

If you’re looking to head to Phillies opening day on March 28 for Bryce Harper’s debut, you might want to start shelling out some … stupid money. 

Ticket prices, which were originally selling for about $80 earlier this afternoon, just after the Harper news broke, have simply ballooned, going for the cheapest of $99, if you want to head to the upper deck.

For prime Harper viewing in right field, you’ll have to drop at least $116, and all the way up to $350. It’s slightly cheaper for the left side of the outfield, but not by much. These prices are as of 4 p.m. on Thursday, so, things could drastically change. 

Lucky for fans, this isn’t in the range of the number that Harper signed for, but it’s still pretty expensive. We think it’s worth the price to see the newest Phillies megastar in action at our home in Citizens Bank Park.

Not only that, it looks like some fans based in Washington have shelled out some pretty prices to either heckle or cheer on their former player … or maybe they’re just Phillies fans who got a head start on booking their prime Bryce viewing.

So, uh, Bryce … willing to lend some of that new cash you got?

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