The Philadelphia Phillies fan base has been woken up in the past year or so. The free-agent signings of Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos in the 2022 offseason, the World Series run, and then adding former Bryce Harper teammate and All-Star shortstop Trea Turner created a palpable buzz in the city. Turner has not lived up to his reputation thus far and that is a hot-button issue for the club.
This past weekend, when the Phillies returned home to host the Kansas City Royals, the Phillies faithful, supported Trea Turner with a standing ovation on Friday night in his first at-bat. Phillies fans did this to push back against the negative yet sometimes accurate discourse around Trea Turner’s first season in red pinstripes. That stuff didn’t matter as much when he stepped up to the plate on Friday night. It was quite a sight to see and behold.
Turner responded to the ovation with gratitude and some better-looking at-bats. The Friday night ovation was just the beginning. Second baseman Bryson Stott and Turner both felt similar positive feelings about the fans’ ability to execute an uplifting gesture like that. Since the boos didn’t seem to work, the fans decided to try to spread some positivity. Furthermore, Turner cranked a crucial no-doubt three-run go-ahead home run in the bottom of the sixth inning into the night and into the left field stands on Saturday night. The rabid, ecstatic crowd pleaded for a curtain call, which Turner obliged happily to do. This exact type of momentum-swinging hit is precisely what the Phillies, Phillies’ fans, and the doctor ordered Trea Turner to do on a weekend where one of the bigger storylines was his extremely underwhelming play as well as the fans’ response to it.
The 30-year-old shortstop expressed his gratitude to the entire city by taking out a billboard with a simple thank you to the fans. Here’s yet another example of why playing for the Philadelphia Phillies and the fans is a fulfilling career choice. Posting a tangible billboard ad seems more endearing than a social media post. Even if on social media, Turner can be as candid as he wants or doesn’t want to. The billboard takes a bit more time and a couple of channels to go through. Maybe the good vibes will contain and this can jumpstart Turner to get hot on the way to the postseason. Either way, it was truly a cool moment in what seemed like a lost season for Trea Turner followed by a classy move to thank the fans.