NEW CASTLE – April 20 was an off-day for the Philadelphia Phillies, giving the baseball team’s mascot an opportunity to drive his four-wheeler down to New Castle for a bit.
The Phillie Phanatic spent part of the afternoon at St. Peter the Apostle School as part of the “Be a Phanatic About Reading” program, which encourages students to read for a minimum of 15 minutes a day to improve literacy skills. Thanks to the efforts of Eric Ford’s fifth-grade class, St. Peter’s was selected for a Phanatic visit. It was originally scheduled for February but was delayed because of bad weather.
The Phanatic bounded into the gymnasium to the loud cheers of students and staff, many of whom were wearing Phillies hats. Ford’s students also donned team shirts. Ford read the Phanatic’s latest book, “Phantastic Journey,” while the mascot acted out the story using a variety of props.
The book tells of how the Phanatic attaches a “supersonic transporter” to his four-wheeler to go see baseball in Japan, Australia, Mexico and Holland. Ford was the model for the worldly travels, having a stuffed kangaroo placed on his head and being made to wear a sombrero and wooden shoes.
The visit ended with the mascot leading the crowd in his favorite song, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”