Fightin Phils fans turn out early for start of 2014 season

Fightin Phils fans turn out early for start of 2014 season

READING, Pa. - Baseball is back in Baseballtown for the Reading Fightin Phils' opening night.

Fans started lining up early Thursday afternoon outside FirstEnergy Stadium, eager to get a glimpse of the future stars of the Philadelphia Phillies.

"It's great. Nothing is better than the first day of baseball," said George Kopena, who was waiting at the gate with his wife.

Jordan Miller was first in line, arriving at 12:30 p.m. to watch America's favorite past-time in Reading.

"Just to be with your friends and hanging out with them and just seeing your local team and supporting them," said Miller, who lives in Fleetwood.

Two of the Fightin Phils' mascots, Ruth and Judy, were front and center outside the stadium. Before an inning was played, you could say one of the ostriches already christened the 2014 season. An egg was found in their pen on Tuesday.

"We could have a baby ostrich on the way, or it could just be another egg, but the mystery is out there," said Eric Scarcella, director of public relations for the team.

Eleven eggs were found last season, but this one comes much sooner. Ostrich wranglers on staff were keeping it in an incubator, hoping it will hatch.

"So they have been doing some research in case it does happen with heat lamps. It has to be set in the right angle," said Scarcella.

Baby ostrich or not, the popcorn was popping and the burgers were sizzling. The field was prepped Thursday afternoon, and everyone was ready for some baseball.

"As soon as last year's game plays, I'm ready for the next one and after this winter, I'm definitely ready for tonight," said Sandy Sampson, who was second in line for opening night.

Three-thousand fans received a Chase Utley bobble head as part of Thursday's promotional lineup. Team officials were expecting about 7,000 people for the big game.

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