PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Independence Day in Philadelphia means the celebration of America’s birthday in its birthplace, parades, cookouts, and fireworks on the Parkway and in many other locales.
And Phillies baseball on the schedule. But not this year.
For the first time since 1916, the Phillies have a scheduled day off on the Fourth of July. The Phils were on the schedule that day in 1981, but no one played MLB games because of a strike. The 2020 pandemic-shortened season also halted Fourth of July games that year.
This is the first time in over 100 years the Phillies are supposed to be off on Independence Day.
“It’s going to be weird not playing America’s game on America’s holiday, but we’ll enjoy it nonetheless,” first baseman Rhys Hoskins told ESPN SportsCenter after the Phillies’ 4-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday night at Citizens Bank Park.
“I think we’re going to try to get together and spend it as a team.”
As far as who is on barbeque duty this Fourth of July, Hoskins told the Phillies Radio Network he will let left fielder Kyle Schwarber “do his thing” because “he’s been talking a big game.”
According to Phillies radio broadcaster Scott Franzke, the Phillies did not have scheduled games on Independence Day in 1886, 1897, 1909, 1915 and 1916.
The Phillies have stepped up their game over the past month and more. Since Bryce Harper’s injury, they are 5-3 including wins in three of their last four games.
“We’re all just kind of leaning on each other a little bit more,” catcher J.T. Realmuto told NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Danny Pommells. “We know if each one of us does 1% better throughout the season, then we’re going to make up for what we’re missing from him.”
With their series win against the Cardinals, the Phillies began Monday only 1 ½ games behind St. Louis for the third and final National League Wild Card spot.
While it will be strange not seeing them play on the Fourth of July, it’s a chance for them to recharge ahead of a home series against the Washington Nationals, followed by a tough road series at the Cardinals.