Phillies to Give Away One Million Bobble Heads June 4… Wait, That Can’t Be Right

Phillies to Give Away One Million Bobble Heads June 4… Wait, That Can’t Be Right

Okay, so the Phillies aren’t giving Carlos Ruiz bobble heads to the first one million fans in attendance at Tuesday’s game against the Marlins. However, they will be giving away the one millionth bobble head since the team began the promotion in 2001, a milestone the franchise will proudly celebrate over the next week.

Starting today until June 5, all 27 bobble heads in the line will be on display at the Phillies Authentic Shop (behind Section 133), including the storied 2004 collection of Randy Wolf and Mike Lieberthal, per A team press release. And if you happen to be attending the June 4 ballgame that features the second Chooch giveaway, one random fan could wind up with lucky No. 1,000,000.

The prize: among other things, a gold-painted Ruiz bobble head autographed by the catcher himself. Want.

The Phillies included a list of all the figures they’ve given away since the promotions began, which we’ve included below. There have been some bumps in the road, such as the Hunter Pence giveaway after he was traded from the team, or the infamous Roy Halladay where his glove was on the wrong hand. And of course, the dirty little secret with these things is they never look like the person they are supposed to. They are general fun items though that are usually a big draw for Citizens Bank Park.

2001

May 20 – Pat Burrell

September 27 – Larry Bowa

2002

May 5 – Phillie Phanatic Bobbing Belly

June 23 – Jimmy Rollins

August 18 – Harry Kalas & Richie Ashburn

2003

June 22 – Steve Carlton

September 1 – Mike Schmidt

September 27 – Phil & Phillis

2004

August 17 – Randy Wolf

August 29 – Mike Lieberthal

2006

May 26 – Chase Utley

July 26 – Ryan Howard

2007

April 29 – Phillie Phanatic Birthday

May 16 – Ryan Howard NL MVP

July 25 – Cole Hamels

2008

April 30 – Jamie Moyer NL East Champions

June 4 – Jimmy Rollins NL MVP

August 20 – Chase Utley (Alternate Jersey)

2009

April 28 – Charlie Manuel World Series Champions

August 19 – Brad Lidge

2010

May 18 – Roy Halladay

August 24 – Carlos Ruiz (catching)

2011

May 24 – Roy Oswalt

August 16 – Placido Polanco

2012

June 4 – Cliff Lee

August 21 – Hunter Pence

2013

June 4 – Carlos Ruiz (hitting)

August 21 – Cole Hamels #2

What are some of your favorites (or least favorites) in the collections? The Harry Kalas/Richie Ashburn combo is a personal favorite of mine, but I’m not sure anything beats an original – in this case, Pat The Bat.

Vince Velasquez feels the heat in Phillies' Sunday loss to Pirates

Vince Velasquez feels the heat in Phillies' Sunday loss to Pirates

BOX SCORE

PITTSBURGH --- Vince Velasquez wasn’t able to stand the heat Sunday afternoon.

The game-time temperature was 89 degrees with humidity to match at PNC Park. The Phillies' right-hander admitted he didn’t handle the weather well.

"You're going to go through various conditions, and it's something that you've got to really take into consideration -- to really lock in, stay hydrated because it can mentally drain you,” Velasquez said. “It kind of took a toll on me but I have to make the best of what I've got.”

Velasquez wound up pitching six innings in the blistering heat but did not factor in the decision as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Phillies 5-4 on pinch-hitter Adam Frazier’s leadoff home run in the seventh inning, his first in the major leagues, off fellow rookie Edubray Ramos (see Instant Replay).

Velasquez had his worst of his five starts since coming off the disabled list June 26, allowing four runs and seven hits while walking four and striking out five. He threw 107 pitches, 64 for strikes.

In his first four outings after begin activated, he was 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA to raise his record to 8-2.

“Just looking at his body language, he showed that he was struggling to find the strike zone,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. “He didn't have his best location. He did a good job; he just made a couple bad pitches when they scored the two runs. Obviously, he wasn't at his best, but he kept us in the game.”

While that kind of outing can breed confidence in a 24-year-old pitcher, Velasquez took no consolation in it. He was bothered about not being able to hold a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning, giving up a tying two-run home run to Matt Joyce.

“I knew it was my last inning when I went out there and I have to be able to close it out there,” Velasquez said. “I’m disappointed in that. I need to be better in that situation.”

Joyce’s blast came on pitch after Starling Marte doubled on an 0-2 pitch. That, too, annoyed Velasquez.

“That's just a matter of finishing at-bats,” Velasquez said. “You've got to lock in on 0-2 counts when you're ahead. You've got to finish the at-bat. Knowing that that was my last inning, that's where you have to bear down and give it all you've got.”

Ramos then gave up the game-winning homer to Frazier an inning later, the first long ball given up by the 23-year-old right-hander in 14 career outings. The Phillies wound up losing two of three games in the series and are 3-7 since the All-Star break to drop to 10 games under .500 at 45-55 through 100 games.

“It’s a game we should have won but I put us in position to lose it,” Velasquez said.

Dallas Cowboys bus involved in fatal crash in Arizona

Dallas Cowboys bus involved in fatal crash in Arizona

KINGMAN, Ariz. -- Four people were killed Sunday when bus carrying Dallas Cowboys staffers but no players collided with a van on a northwestern Arizona highway.

The fatalities were passengers in the van, Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Quentin Mehr said. But the bus occupants emerged uninjured.

"All on the bus came through OK with some bumps and bruises," Cowboys spokesman Rich Dalrymple (DAHL'-rimp-ul) said in an email.

Dalrymple said the bus was only carrying members of the franchise's staff but would not say how many. There were no players on board.

The two vehicles collided in the afternoon on U.S. 93, about 30 miles north of the city of Kingman, according to DPS.

The crash shut down at least one lane of the highway that serves as the main route between Phoenix and Las Vegas.

The bus was on its way to a Dallas Cowboys fan event in Las Vegas. Charles Cooper, manager of GameWorks entertainment center in Vegas, said the session with 50 to 75 fans was scheduled for 3 p.m. PDT. People were already waiting when the president of a Las Vegas Cowboys fan club called to relay news of the accident. The event was subsequently canceled. Cooper says the team mascot was supposed to appear.

After the Las Vegas stop, the bus was scheduled to go on to Oxnard, California for the team's training camp. Members of the organization typically take a bus two weeks before the camp starts and make stops along the way.

Report: Phillies preparing for possible Jeremy Hellickson trade to Marlins

Report: Phillies preparing for possible Jeremy Hellickson trade to Marlins

Jeremy Hellickson may be staying in the NL East past the trade deadline. 

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported that the Phillies are scouting the Marlins' minor league teams in advance of a possible Hellickson deal. 

This comes on the heels of a report from a radio host in Miami that Marlins starter Wei-Yin Chen may need Tommy John surgery. Chen left with an elbow sprain during Wednesday's loss to the Phillies and was placed on the disabled list. Ironically, Chen was starting against Hellickson, who will face Jarred Cosart in place of Chen on Monday.

Hellickson's value rebounded significantly this season after struggling in Arizona and Tampa Bay the last few seasons. After dealing with a shoulder injury, Hellickson pitched to ERAs above 4.50 in each season from 2013-15, leading to the Diamondbacks trading him to the Phillies for limited value. 

However, in 20 starts, Hellickson, who will be a free agent after the year, has anchored the Phillies' rotation, bringing a 3.84 ERA over 119 ⅔ innings into Monday's scheduled start. He also has a nearly career-best strikeout rate and has regained his signature command that made him a strong performer with the Rays.

The Phillies are aided this trade deadline by a lack of starting pitching options available on the market. With many teams in contention looking for an additional starter, Hellickson is an attractive piece who could help a team in a pennant race.