The Phillies Phantastic Auction is always fun. Sure, the auction items are a bit out of my price range, but I still have a good time looking over the offerings and fantasizing about what it would be like to, say, feed giraffes with Andrew McCutchen.
For the second year in a row, many of the offerings at the Phantastic Auction were virtual, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t plenty of exciting items up for grabs. There were baseball lessons with star players, valuable pieces of memorabilia, and all sorts of fun experiences at Citizen’s Bank Park. And, as tends to be the case with these things, there were some pretty bizarre items available as well.
Now that the auction is officially closed (so that this neither comes across as a sponsored post nor an attempt to discourage people from donating to Phillies charities), I’ve decided to do a ranking of the five coolest and the five strangest Phantastic Auction items. Shout-out to The Good Phight’s former managing editor Liz Roscher, whose Phillies “Anti-Gift Guide” inspired this post.
The Strangest Items
5. Phillies Alumni Aaron Rowand Crashes Your Virtual Business Meeting
“Imagine the look on your coworkers’ faces when Gold Glove Winner and MLB All-Star Aaron Rowand surprisingly joins your business meeting.”
Aaron Rowand was amazing for the Phillies in 2007, but fourteen years later, I’m not sure I could pick him out of a lineup. “Imagine the look on your coworkers’ faces when a strange man they don’t recognize shows up at your business meeting,” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
Also, why does it have to be a business meeting? That seems weirdly specific. I’d much rather have him at my virtual birthday party or something like that.
4. Phillies Game Face Player Cutouts Set / 1980 World Series Champions Phillies Game Face Cutouts Complete Set
These are the cutouts that sat in Citizen’s Bank Park last, which is pretty cool. My main problem, however, is what on earth would you do with them? I’d be cool to have one or two cutouts of your favorite players, but these just seem unnecessary. The 2020 set comes with 11 players, and that’s already too many. No disrespect to Jay Bruce, but I’d pay just as much for the set if he was just left out. The 1980 set is a little cooler, because at least that was a good team, but that set comes with 41 cutouts. Where would you put them??
3. 2020 Game-Used Baseballs Complete Set
“You are bidding on 31 individual baseballs, one used from each game during the 2020 season.”
Well, there were 60 games in the 2020 season, so the above statement is just inaccurate. I guess it means one ball from each game at Citizen’s Bank Park? A “complete” set of balls from all home games during a shortened season just doesn’t seem that impressive to me, especially since it was a forgettable season for the Phillies. And once again, I wouldn’t even know what to do with all of them. I’d be pretty much just as happy with a single ball.
2. Phillies of the 2000s Autographed Hats Collection of 100
100 hats. 100. What?
Don’t get me wrong, autographed hats are really cool, and there are plenty of legendary players in this collection. But 100 hats is just absurd.
1. 2010 MLB All-Star Game Mickey Mouse and Phillies Statue
“2020 marked the 10-year anniversary of Roy Halladay, Ryan Howard, and Chase Utley representing the Phillies in Anaheim, California during the 2010 MLB All Star Game. You are bidding on a one of kind item used from the 2010 All-Star Game festivities! This over 8-foot-tall Mickey Mouse Phillies statue was displayed proudly at Citizens Bank Park during the second half of the 2010 season, as well as Angel Stadium during the 2010 All-Star Game celebration.”
Number one here was easy. It’s an 8-foot tall statue of Mickey Mouse. What in the world is this thing? And what in the world is that attempt to make it seem relevant to the Phillies?
The funniest thing about this item is that they won’t even deliver it to you – you have to come pick it up yourself. The current bid on it (as of this writing) is $15,010.
The Coolest Items
It was a lot harder to narrow this down to just five items. While I mainly wrote this piece to talk about the strangest items in the auction, most of the items are, admittedly, pretty darn cool. Plenty of great items didn’t make my top five, like a private pitching session in the Phillies bullpen and batting practice at Citizen’s Bank Park. I almost picked the “Behind the Scenes” day with Sam Fuld, just for confirmation that Fuld still exists and that he really is the GM, but the top five I settled on speak for themselves.
5. Design Cleats to be Worn by Phillies Shortstop Didi Gregorius During MLB 2021 Players’ Weekend
“After the game has been played, the winner will receive the game worn cleats.”
I would take any opportunity to interact with Didi Gregorius, and this is a fun and unique idea. The only knock on this item is that, I suppose, it’s a little weird to own a grown man’s used shoes. But totally worth it in my opinion.
4. Phillies All-Star Catcher J.T. Realmuto Game-Used Catcher’s Gear
This is the coolest piece of memorabilia available. Signed bats and balls are cool, but game-used catching gear is next level. If I owned this, I think I’d probably just walk around the house in J.T.’s mask all the time.
3. Phillies Outfielder Andrew McCutchen Takes Over Your Social Media Accounts
Cool. Yes please.
2. Kid’s Virtual Hitting Lesson with Phillies Outfielder Bryce Harper
It was tough to choose between the different lessons offered (there’s also a catching lesson with J.T. Realmuto, a pitching lesson with Aaron Nola, and a workout with Alec Bohm), but my guess is that Bryce is probably the best teacher of the bunch. And I can totally pass as under 16, right?
1. Throw a Ceremonial First Pitch at Citizens Bank Park
Join the ranks of legends like Bruce Willis, Questlove, and Chase Utley as people to have thrown out the first pitch at CBP. Pretty cool.