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On Deck with the Phillies Reception 2010 is another success for the team

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The Philadelphia Phillies  kicked off their On Deck Series this weekend with a reception at Citizens Bank Park Friday afternoon.The Philadelphia Phillies kicked off their On Deck Series this weekend with a reception at Citizens Bank Park Friday afternoon. Photo: Joe Vallee Sr. The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce hosted the reception, an honor they have held for 28 years.

Fans who attended were given a complimentary gift bag and a ticket to Friday's exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. They were also treated to an autograph session with some of the players. Catcher Carlos Ruiz, new catcher Brian Schneider, and left-hander J.A. Happ did the honors on the "Grey" section of the ballpark. A food spread of cheesesteaks, sausage sandwiches, salad, pasta, and chocolate chip cookies for desert were provided as well.

The real highlight of the day was the question and answer session between the guests and players emceed by Phillies broadcaster Scott Franzke. This particular designated area of Citizens Bank Park featured Ryan Madson, Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton, and Jimmy Rollins. The players responded to inquiries ranging from predictions, their nicknames, and even marriage advice!

When asked about who he's like to see play the Phillies in a possible World Series matchup, Rollins shyed away from any predictions.

"Whoever is standing on the other side of the field is all that matters," responded Rollins.Ryan Madson and Shane Victorino at the On Deck Series at Citizens Bank Park. Photo: Joe Vallee Sr.

Madson on the other hand, was a little more outspoken as far as his preference goes.

"Ill say it: the Yankees. "It would be nice to get another shot."

Blanton was asked how he has benefited from having new Phillie Roy Halladay as a teammate.

"Just being able to watch how he goes about his work. He's the best in the business," said Blanton. "He does attack the strike zone, and just watching him prepare and how he attacks hitters is good energy to feed off of."

"Now that he's here, I get a day off every five days," joked Madson.

A few serious questions eventually turned into a laugh fest amongst the crowd and the players, with Rollins and Victorino leading the way.

"I usually spot Shane about 10 or 11 bags," joked Rollins. He'll be around 18 and I'm around 8. He stops at 20, and I just go to the season ends. If you're gonna bet on Shane, you're losing. Bottom line."

"He's gonna push me to make me a better base stealer," replied Victorino.

After the Q and A session, Phillies public address announcer Dan Baker  began the on-field festivities. The entire team was introduced, and Charlie Manuel along with Phillies President David Montgomery addressed the crowd. Hours later, the Phillies beat the Pirates 5-3, capping off a great day and a fun time had by all.

"This is my first time here for this reception and it was the perfect day," says Ken Rackow from Cheltenham, PA. "Today was the best day ever to make yourself 12 years old again. The food was plentiful, and the Phillies were fun and entertaining."

For a full photo gallery of the day, click to your right.

Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

Photos by Joe Vallee Sr.: josephv985@aol.com