WATCH: Corey Davis previews Opening Day at Citizens Bank Park
Longtime fans made their way to Citizens Bank Park on Thursday to pick up their tickets for the 2022 season.
Despite the recent soggy weather, the Phils are looking on the bright side: sunny skies for Opening Day.
"I'm looking forward to no rain tomorrow," said Mike Boekholder, the head groundskeeper at Citizens Bank Park.
Boekholder has been with the Phillies since 2003. Opening Day this year is even more special because he just announced his retirement.
"It's a little different thinking. This is probably the last time I'll be out on the field at a professional stadium doing what I've been doing since really I was a sophomore in college," said Boekholder.
Mike Boekholder is the head groundskeeper for the @Phillies, he’s been with them since 2003. Tomorrow’s #OpeningDay is bittersweet for him, as he just announced his retirement! Congrats Mike!— Bryanna Gallagher (@BGallagherTV) April 7, 2022
It will be his 30th opening day in professional baseball, and his 19th in Philadelphia pic.twitter.com/MueCEDEWP1
Despite the milestone, he says his crew has been preparing for over a month now. He's ready to get down to business and play ball.
"Spring doesn't really start for most baseball folks until you play your first home game of the year," Boekholder said.
Over at the team store, fans are embracing that baseball is back at the ballpark and making last-minute purchases for Opening Day.
"Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos, everybody is looking for their t-shirts and jerseys, and as far as I know we're one of the only places in town that have them," said Kristin Zeller, the director of retail marketing.
From Opening Day memorabilia to tons of fanatic gear, the ballpark is buzzing with staff who are excited and ready for Opening Day.
Opening Day FAQs
What will the weather be like?
At first pitch of the Phillies home opener, temperatures will be in the low 60s with a shower around, especially towards the end of the game.
When does the ballpark open?
Gates officially open at 1:05 p.m. on Friday. First pitch against the Oakland Athletics is set for 3:07 p.m.
Who's on the Opening Day roster?
The Opening Day roster includes 15 pitchers (six left-handers and nine right-handers), two catchers, six infielders and five outfielders. Of the 28 Phillies, seven have made their first career Opening Day roster.
- Pitchers (15): Left-handers - José Alvarado, Bailey Falter, Brad Hand, Damon Jones, Cristopher Sánchez and Ranger Suárez. Right-handers - Connor Brogdon, Seranthony Domínguez, Zach Eflin, Jeurys Familia, Kyle Gibson, Corey Knebel, Nick Nelson, Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler.
- Catchers (2): J.T. Realmuto and Garrett Stubbs.
- Infielders (6): Alec Bohm, Johan Camargo, Didi Gregorius, Rhys Hoskins, Jean Segura and Bryson Stott.
- Outfielders (5): Nick Castellanos, Bryce Harper, Mickey Moniak, Kyle Schwarber and Matt Vierling.
When does the New Era Phillies Team Store open Friday?
The team store opens at 10 a.m.
What time do the Opening Day ceremonies begin?
You should be in your seats by 2:20 p.m.
What are some of the new food and drink items at the ballpark?
- Manco & Manco Pizza - Ashburn Alley: An Ocean City tradition is coming to Ashburn Alley, it's Manco & Manco. Serving everyone's favorite thin crust pizza, the same way they have been since 1956. Plain, pepperoni and a series special will be available fresh out of the oven.
- Colbie's Southern Kissed Chicken - Behind Section 120: Ryan Howard's Colbie's Southern Kissed Chicken is also another welcomed addition to the ballpark. You can find it right behind first base-- his home base for more than a decade with the Phillies. The "Big Piece" sandwich, a nod to his nickname, is the signature item. Howard said you can also expect to see him around the ballpark too.
- KLYR RUM - Locations throughout the ballpark: A clean, American rum distilled in the heart of Pennsylvania, KLYR will now be available for fans. KLYR Rum is a unique, gluten-free distilled spirit with zero grams of sugar and zero grams of carbohydrates, and it's lower in calories than other, more sugary rums.
- PJ Whelihan's Wicked Chicken Nachos: Features crisp tortilla chips loaded with shredded cheddar jack, American cheese sauce, scallions, thin-sliced chicken and your choice of PJ's famous sauces. Available at PJ Whelihan's stand in Ashburn Alley.
- Pass & Stow Sausage Sandwich: House-made sausage, pepper-shooter mayo and arugula. Available at Pass & Stow, Third Base Plaza.
- Peanut Butter & Jelly Burger #DareToPair: A special blend boardwalk burger topped with peanut butter, Jalapeno jelly, American Cheese and bacon on a brioche bun. Available at Boardwalk Eats, Section 142.
- Burnt Ends Cheesesteak: House-smoked brisket ends served on an Amoroso roll topped with smoked Gouda cheese sauce and caramelized onions. Available at Bull's BBQ, Left Field Plaza.
- Impossible Cheesesteak: Impossible meat topped with smoked gouda cheese sauce, tomato jam and crispy onions on an Amoroso roll. Available at the Garden Grill location, behind Section 125.
- Street Nachos: Crisp tortilla chips topped with pickled red onions, jalapenos, cheese sauce, corn salsa and your choice of adobo chicken or Impossible meat. Available behind Section 139.
What about SEPTA?
SEPTA is offering extra service to help Phillies fans get to the ballpark.
The transit agency says extra trains will be on deck to supplement regular service along the Broad Street Line to NRG Station just outside Citizens Bank Park.
Three express trains will leave Fern Rock Transportation Center at 1:48 p.m., 2 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. to get fans to the game for the 3:05 p.m. start time.