It was 15 years ago today that Veterans Stadium went crumbling to the ground. But a piece of Vet Stadium history has risen from the ashes for a second life at Citizens Bank Park.
The giant 19-foot Liberty Bell that stood high atop Vet Stadium has been refurbished from storage and placed near the Pattison Avenue and 11th street entrance of the ballpark, next to the new Pass and Stow area that will feature a beer garden and some great new food options. The Pass and Stow name is in homage to John Pass and John Stow who re-cast the original Liberty Bell in 1753. Their names can be found on the original, slightly more famous bell with a crack in it across from Independence Hall.
With opening day just a week away, fans passing the ballpark on Thursday got their first glimpse of the bell's new placement. The bell was installed today.
It's hard to miss and will surely make a nice new photo opportunity for Phillies fans and out-of-towners looking to capture a memory.
The bell you see today was actually the "second and final bell that was displayed at Veterans Stadium," according to the Phillies. It was installed on the Vet's catwalk prior to the 1983 season and remained there before being removed prior to the Vet's implosion in 2004. It is made of steel and aluminum, weighs more than 5,000 pounds and contains over 300 light bulbs.
The new (old) bell outside the ballpark will make a nice complement to the bell inside the park that lights up and rings whenever a Phillies player hits a home run. In a nice twist, this season the Phillies' team Twitter hashtag will be #RingTheBell. Brett Brown likely approves.
As you can see from the short video of the bell above, the weather in South Philly today was wet and dreary. The forecast for opening day next Thursday when the Phils host the Atlanta Braves is much better, with no rain currently in the forecast and highs in the upper-50s. Not exactly hittin' weather, but not bad for the first day of baseball either.
We can't wait.
Here's a look at the Vet going down 15 years ago today. Miss that dirty old place.
15 years ago today, we said goodbye to The Vet.
Who is one athlete you'll always remember watching on that famous AstroTurf? pic.twitter.com/rO5Ema9uWg
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) March 21, 2019
Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.