Phillies honoring frontline workers on the field before home opener

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Philadelphia Phillies organization is honoring extraordinary frontline workers by celebrating them on the field before the home opener and featuring them on banners around Citizen Bank Park.

The frontline heroes have gone above and beyond throughout the pandemic; they include healthcare workers as well as those involved in a multitude of other professions.

More than 500 entries were submitted for consideration, but only 41 were selected.

"We selected 41, which was not an easy task to say the least. Each was abundantly worthy in their own unique way and the banners around Citizens Bank Park, which typically showcase our players, will now honor these 41 heroes for the remainder of the year," said Michael Harris, VP of Marketing and New Media.

The group includes Shannon Sell, a Bridgeport Bureau police officer.

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Policing and working with kids is her main job, but she's also a hospice registered nurse taking care of patients in their final days and being there for their families.

"It's very humbling. I don't consider myself a hero. It's just I love what I do. I love being a registered nurse. I love being a police officer," said Sell. "Everybody in their own way is a hero and at the end of the day, what is a hero? Whether it's carrying a bag of groceries for the elderly person that can't make it to their car or helping that child that has their flat tire. Just thank everybody for everything they do every single day."

Then there's a frontline worker who makes sure other essential workers could get where they are going.
Jenelle Thomas works for SEPTA as a track welder who repairs and maintains rail lines.

Her mother nominated her and showcased the work Thomas does along the Broad and Market street lines.

Thomas' job was especially important during uncertain times at the beginning of the pandemic when only essential workers were recommended to take public transit.

"It's just not me, my union brothers and sisters have been out here everyday making sure everyone can get to work," Thomas said. "We are still not out of this pandemic. You must be careful out here because I've had people around me be sick. We've lost union brothers and sisters due to this pandemic and it's real."

The banners that feature the frontline employees will be up for the remainder of the year.

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Businesses in South Philadelphia are ready as fans return to Citizens Bank Park for Opening Day for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

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