My Glory Days as a Phillies Girl
When I was still a teenager, with my second fairly serious/regular boyfriend Danny, I received advice from him that just flabbergasted me at the time. He was very smart, (Penn, Ivy League – Wharton as a matter of fact) and he, like me, was working his way through college. Coming up with money for things was always a challenge, and Danny was shrewd enough to search for clever ways to earn money – all legally I should add, which is ironic because we first met at a regular low paying department store job.
One day we were talking about our lack of funds and he stopped discussing for a moment to study my face, and then look me up and down. A light bulb went off in him – he announced that I should parlay my looks for a lucrative job. At the time, I was both naive and skeptical that jobs like that even existed, and I was still stuck in my low self esteem mentality from my ugly duckling stage of pre-teens and early teens. Still, I was very willing to give that a shot with his guidance and in short order I got a promotions job at a radio station, (as a Boss Chick -don’t even ask) and for a temp and modeling agency called SuperGirls. (I still have my name badges for both in my memorabilia box!) Both paid very well. Here are some portraits of my face at that time in case you haven’t seen them on Facebook- I post them in wonder because I never even realized I was pretty at the time!
Danny loved baseball (and my green eyes); and we found ourselves at a Phillies baseball game during a date. He looked at the girls around us there who wore hot pants; they were part of a squad of girls called the Hot Pants Patrol, (also known as Phillies Girls and check out the Wiki page at that previous hot link!!!!) who worked various jobs at the games, and as he surveyed the scene, he told me I was better looking than most of the girls, and with that and my long legs, I should go for that job.
I didn’t act on that suggestion until I met another Phillies Girl in college. She hated the Hot Pants moniker, even though that’s what she wore. At any rate, she found out about my love for baseball, and told me she would let me know when auditions for Phillies Girls were taking place. She assured me that I would make it, and once I rose through the ranks, I would be making a lot of money.
She gave me a bit of advice: to let the audition people see that I was a true baseball fan by throwing in some facts and statistics. That part was easy. I sailed through the first round, the second round, and unbelievably got to the last round with the general manager.
I got word shortly after that I was hired for the 1976 season, and fitted for several hot pants outfits. The Phillies baseball team back then was a team of budding superstars – an exciting team, and they ended up winning the World Series in 1980 while I was still working for them. It was a great era to work for an exciting team.
The job started fairly lowly – ushering the upper deck seats. Our boss, who we referred to as “Barracuda,” was strict about uniforms looking perfect, good grooming, and demanded a sweet, compliant mannerism as well as timeliness. Once late, and you would be banished to the upper decks forever. I stuck out that first season, but it wasn’t as fun as I had hoped, nor did it provide the money I expected. (Double headers! Rain Delays! Drunk people!)
I made sure that first season that I was never late, never missed a game, and I schmoozed Barracuda pretty good, often asking her about her child, which even with her sour demeanor, she secretly loved. By my second baseball season, I got placed in the corporate boxes where I was eye candy for company people who rented them complete with food and drinks. I would make sure they had everything they needed; if they needed a program or a Phillies cap, I went out and purchased one for them – that kind of thing. I did not have to serve them at all, I just had to talk to them, smile a lot, and be very pleasant, asking occasionally if anyone needed anything, and representing the team well. I always received a huge tip at the end. Before I knew it, I was getting a ton of plum assignments in those boxes for important people, and the people coming courtesy of various companies wanted to take their photo with me. Imagine that!
The next season, I was promoted once again to working field boxes, which is the most visible place a Phillies Girl could be. It was there where you got to perform with the Phillies Phanatic mascot occasionally, and where you could end up on the big screen or on TV. As the season was long, and we worked every home game, this fun stuff broke up the monotony. Here I am in an example, from the main Philadelphia newspaper at the time.
The bad part of this assignment was that you had to be a waitress for food and drinks but the tips were huge and so I wasn’t complaining due to the great money I was making. It was a high profile placement, and I got noticed by players who slipped notes to me, and I was romantically pursued by the Phillies Phanatic, the guy IN the mascot costume, who was quite a little celebrity in his own right in those days. (Dave Raymond) I was right down there at the visiting dugout through the World Series in 1980.
While in the field boxes, having been in the newspaper and on camera a bunch, and in a million stranger’s personal photos, the promotions team, headed at that time by an announcer Chris Wheeler (“Wheels”) noticed me too. I got placed on the Phillies Girls Promotions Team. This was the best placement of all. We had various assignments around the city and within the games to represent the team in the best light possible. I worked at bank openings, store sales, various giveaways, charity promotions, and the like. It was not only fun, it paid very well. Here I am at some random giveaway in Center City Philly. And another one at a charity event where I didn’t have to wear my uniform, with superstar Mike Schmidt, who was a friend.
I have tons more photos with the players like the one above.
Being kind of high profile with a successful team in a city like Philadelphia, I got all kinds of perks during my era on the promotions team, such as a gold card to Elan, the hottest club in town, and loads of invitations to fun events.
(And my favorite anecdote was the time I worked a playoff game and sitting there in my section was my elementary/jr.high crush who never gave me the time of day but knew me through high school. When I told him who I was, he was in awe, and even wanted his photo snapped with me. Ah, sweet justice.)
**I must note here that although there were lots of temptations to be a “bad” girl, I kept my values intact, and almost always had a significant other during the entire time. I led a very regular life aside from this, first as a college and then grad student, and then as a government investigator as my first job out of graduate school.
Every year as baseball season begins, I remember my seasons in the baseball business with a great baseball organization in the Phillies. (I left in 1981 when I moved to Houston.) I feel so fortunate to have had this experience that helped me work my way through college and graduate school. I finally developed some self-confidence and poise thanks to this role. Thank you Danny for that great idea! (Footnote on him: He grew up to be rich and successful and I know this because we are peripherally connected.)
Of course I have a thousand war stories of players, of things that happened while I was in this role, lots of dates requested, and some particularly interesting parties and charity events I spent with some of the baseball superstars of the day. But I will save all those war stories for another day, perhaps for that memoir I will write one day. Go Phillies! You will always be my team. And Go Astros, my adopted team.
You must have fun memories of watching the Phillies.
I am not into the extra curricular activities that were part of the game.
Nothing against the usherettes but the main focus is the game and the stadium appearance.
Veterans Stadium was a beautiful venue in its day.
Hopefully this photo appears. Should not have too many pixels.
Veterans Stadium in the mid 1970s.
Did you know a Marie V? Between 1979 and 1981?
Awesome!! I was privileged to work in the Phillies Executive Dining Room for 20+ years. I loved every minute of it.
Hi Arlene, great story. I thought I should share my story with you. I am 62 years old now and I can remember my dad would take my two brothers and I to a couple Phillies games a year and always sat in the deluxe box seats. They were the seats just behind each dugout with the aluminum rails. I was about 13 years old. Pretty girls like yourself would show us to our seats. It was at those games that I became a leg man. All my brothers cared about was the game. All I cared about was the pretty girls in the boots. I have been married for 37 years to a girl I have been with since we were 16 years old. She also has been blessed with nice legs. A priority with me since those Phillies games. Sorry if it’s a bit long. Had to tell you.
Hi Frank, thank you for writing in and reading! I was known as Legs by a few boyfriends who were also leg men.
As a matter of fact, I heard from one, and he wanted to know if my legs held up. The answer is in this blog you will enjoy
Wow! Impressive! I was at sooo many of those games…my brother was an usher there during those years. ( I’m also a huge fan) and BTW you are GORG! You looked like Jennifer Aniston!
Thank you for sharing your memories and pictures. This is an awesome story. Lifelong fan of the Phillies. I remember going to the Vet as a kid and hitting my teenage years in the late 70’s and 80’s. Yes, I enjoyed the Hot Pants Patrol and the ballgirls. I love the pictures you have shared. Mike Schmidt is my all time favorite player. I met Mike and several other of the Phillies from that era. Two of the nicest guys I’ve met were Greg Luzinski and the late Tug McGraw. I even tried on Tug’s 1980 World Series ring. Schmitty was very nice also. The one person I wished to have met was Harry Kalas. Thank you for bringing back memories.
Hi Brian, thanks for visiting and reading and commenting. He was a very nice guy. Tug was also, and the thorn in my side was Bob Boone. Bad guy. I met Richie Ashburn but not Harry Kalas. They were great days though and as my title reads, my Glory Days.
I too was on the “Hot Pants Patrol” 1979- 198? Had a great time and made some great money!
Great hearing from you. I am trying to gather us, and have a Facebook group for us, but it is hard to capture everyone.
Read your blog and it brought back great memories. I also was a member from 1977 – 1981. Had a blast and met great friends.
Joan (Joanie) Fiorella Wellborn
P.S. I also moved to Texas (Southlake)
outside of Dallas.
My wife was a member of the inaugural group of the Hot Pants patrol in 1971. I have been trying to find a group photo of the inaugural group, but nobody seems to have one.
THanks for writing, I was not in that group and they never did take yearly group photos of us. I will someday start a nostalgia group of former Phillies girls on Facebook and maybe we can reminisce together there.
Great article of you and the girls and the phillies! I’ve lost contact with my two girl-friends The were there in the seventies! Can you help me find their whereabouts! My name is Bill Bradley and I played with the Eagles 69-77. They got married and so do I but we stare friends for the longest. As time goes on we lost touch! If you can help me track them down it would be a hoot! Their names were Maryann Zaul(Saul) and Debbie Pageant! Thanks Bill #28
Thanks Bill, for visiting, reading, and writing to me. I remember Debbie Pageant and possibly Maryann, although there were a few Maryanns.
I would love to do a reunion one day, but I live in Houston for many years, so it would be difficult to organize from here. I am glad we have our Wiki page and I hope someday it will happen. I am not in touch with any of the girls due to moving away in 1981 to Texas, before the age of Internet.
Best regards, and you can always search Linkedin, Google and Facebook to find them!