Here's Walenda's walk across the Vet in 1972
The Phillies have always had zany promotions to welcome Opening Day in the past. Not so zany since they've moved to Citizen's Bank Park though in the last 7 seasons, with this one starting up the 8th season for the Phillies at CBP. In years past at Veteran's Stadium though, the Opening Day promos were as zany as could be.
If you're old enough, you'll remember, "Kite Man". A guy outfitted in a flying kite suit convinced Phillies management to let him fly down from the highest heights of the Vet and glide into the playing field to welcome the Opening Day of the season with a 'flutter' so to speak. It also was kind of a daredevil type of circus act. It served the purpose of help spreading the message that the Phillies were back in town, and maybe you should come out and see them.
This was a more recent antic, but even as far back as 1972, saw the Phillies open the season with Karl Walenda, who was a great tightrope walker, walk across the Vet from the 700 level. Everyone loved to watch tightrope walkers in the 1970's and 1980's. The "Great Walenda's" are still in business today, it's a family that still does tightrope walking. Karl passed away in 1978 from a fall on a tightrope walk he did in Puerto Rico, after he fell it was discovered that the guide wires were misplaced which caused his unbalance to make him fall, he was 73 years old but that didn't contribute to the cause of the fall.
DeBella and Local Religious Figures to Bless Opening Day Baseballs
All this said, local rock radio icon, John DeBella, will do an Opening Day antic this year that is a little more tame but equally enjoying to hear about. DeBella and three local religious figures will bless the baseballs that the Phillies use on Opening Day in a 8:30am morning ceremony at Citizens Bank Park. You can take part in this and bear witness to this as well! It's the 4th Annual edition of this "Blessing" event now, but it's getting more attention every year.
WMGK 102.9, Philly's classic rock station, is the sponsor of this event. They will also be hosting a big tailgate party at the Jetro Parking lot, (Darien Street across from the back of the Linc) there will be a band called 'Final Vinyl' and free food. WMGK personality Ray Koob will be hosting that. The station will be giving 500 free stays in Atlantic City as prizes also. So check it out and have some fun.
It's Blessing The Balls of Opening Day with John DeBella. Here's the station announcement here for you to read.
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