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Watch: Jim Thome's Phillies Wall of Fame induction speech

Watch: Jim Thome's Phillies Wall of Fame induction speech

A little nostalgia was a welcome break from the grim reality of Friday night's matchup between the 53-63 Phillies and the 56-59 Colorado Rockies.

The ceremony for Jim Thome's induction into the Phillies Wall of Fame provided plenty of that, with generations of great players on hand to honor Thome, or as Charlie Manuel called him, "The Thominator."

Manuel, who Thome said "taught me everything about the game" in the slugger's early years in Cleveland, delivered his heartfelt speech with that classic West Virginian accent Phillies fans tried for years to decipher. The other members of the Wall of Fame stood behind Manuel, including Steve Carlton, who apparently wears his sunglasses at night.

You can watch the full ceremony above. Here are some highlights from it:

• According to Manuel, "Overnight, [Thome] changed the way that people look at the Phillies." That's a pretty smart observation; people actually started to take the Phillies seriously when they landed Thome (see story). Still, as speaker after speaker kept reminding us, he never won a title. 

• Out of a handful of video tributes on the big screen, Chase Utley's and Jimmy Rollins' were two of the most personal. Rollins thanked Thome for his role in turning the Phillies into a contender, while Utley had a short message expressing how honored he felt being able to play with his childhood hero. 

• Plenty of former Phillies who played alongside Thome were in attendance. Bobby Abreu unveiled Thome's plaque in Ashburn Alley, while Pat Burrell helped Thome put on his honorary jersey (though the big man probably didn't need any assistance). 

• One of the best moments in Thome's gracious speech was when he said, "I always heard horror stories about the Philly media, but they treated me fairly and I respect you guys for that." Not the most glowing compliment, but we'll take it. 

• The individual video tributes kicked off with a few words from the great Nick Punto. That's when everyone knew this was going to be a special night.

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.

*

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

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Joel Embiid hangs with Steph Curry, talks about being 'tired of The Process' nickname

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Unanimous Media

Joel Embiid hangs with Steph Curry, talks about being 'tired of The Process' nickname

Joel Embiid was kind enough to grace Steph Curry with at least five minutes of his time when the Sixers traveled out to the Bay Area for their game against the Golden State Warriors back in January.

Joel joined Steph on his series called "5 Minutes From Home" in which the duo sit in the back seat of a car and chat on the way to Mrs. Curry's restaurant. Curiously, the clip lasts over 8 minutes.

Somehow, the two of them didn't mention their sneakers.

There's not a ton of new ground covered in their chat -- Joel talks about his journey onto the basketball court again -- but they do discuss Embiid's desire for a new nickname.

"The Process is never gonna be over. You gotta win a championship. When you win a championship, it starts over."

"I do like [the Process nickname]. Mainly because of the history of how we got here. That's why I like it. I'm actually thinking about creating something else. I'm tired of 'The Process.'"

Any suggestions, Sixers fans?

Embiid and Curry finish their trip with a meal at Steph's wife's restaurant.

The waitress jokes that the burrata appetizer they eat will be the key to the players dropping 50 points in the game the following night.

Almost. Steph went off for 41 but the Sixers got the win.