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January 19, 2003

Goodbye To The Vet

It's a sad day in Philly history as the Eagles play the Bucs in the last game ever at Veterans Stadium. Most of you have heard the horror stories: Santa Claus being booed, three year-olds booting a grounder in a pregame father-son game (and being heckled for it), horrible turf, etc., but there is a good side to the stadium (and Philly sports as well). Philly fans are among the most knowledgeable sports fans on the planet, but the blue-collar fan will largely be closed out of live games in the new stadium (due to expensive seat licences), and that's a shame.

I saw many baseball games in the Vet growing up, from my first big-league game in 1972 (the year the stadium opened) sitting five rows from the top of the stadium in the infamous 700 section on ball day to ladies' nights with my mom to visits as an adult. Once that first year, there was a July 4th fireworks show, and people in my section were asked to watch from the field. As I sat near first base, where my boyhood hero Guillermo Montanez had snapped down so many fly balls with his hot-dog flair, I was in heaven. We'll always have the memories...


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