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Phillies dig their special memories

Phillies dig their special memories

PHILADELPHIA -- When the Phillies organization buried a time capsule outside its old ball park, Veterans Stadium, in 1983, the team planned to leave it untouched until 2083, when they would commemorate the organization's 200th year.

But the plan changed. The team moved from Veterans Stadium into Citizens Bank Park before the 2004 season, and the time capsule was unearthed 79 years ahead of schedule.

On Tuesday, members of the Phillies organization gathered for a small ceremony on Pattison Avenue, outside the team's administrative offices at Citizens Bank Park.

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The original time capsule had suffered some damage, so its contents were moved to a new capsule, which was lowered into its new home. It will rest there for the next 75 years inside a marble ledge and beneath layers of metal and concrete, topped off by a bed of flowers.

"In 1983, we weren't factoring in that we might not be at Veterans Stadium that long," said David Montgomery, the Phillies' president, as he stood with his arm resting on the maroon-and-white capsule, adorned with the Phillies' logo.

The Phillies originally buried the time capsule in 1983 to commemorate the team's 100th anniversary. At the time, the capsule was filled with a 1983 team media guide, yearbook, calendar, a baseball autographed by the entire '83 squad, Mike Schmidt's uniform from that season, a bat autographed by Pete Rose, copies of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News, among many other items.

Before the new capsule was placed in the ground Tuesday, the team added several items, including: a piece of artificial turf from Veterans Stadium, a 2008 team yearbook and media guide and tickets to the final game at the Vet in 2003 and first game at Citizens Bank in '04, along with many other items.

"Michael warned me that it was heavy," Montgomery said, referring to Mike DiMuzio, the team's director of ballpark operations.

Montgomery joked that he probably won't be around to see the capsule come back out of the ground in 2083. But he hopes that, when it does, baseball will still resonate with Philadelphians like it does today.

"I would hope and assume that, 75 years from now, the game will still be being played," Montgomery said, "and people will be able to relate to what was put in there."

Kevin Horan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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