It’s that time of year that gets you in the mood to be jolly. The biggest of all holidays is loved by all, for many reasons. Phillies prospects are no different. I checked in recently with several minor leaguers to find out what stands out for them as reasons to get excited for Christmas.
Highly ranked lefty pitching prospect and the Phils’ #1 draft choice last year, Jesse Biddle (pictured), took part….as did outfielders Brian Gump, Tyson Gillies and another former top draft selection Anthony Hewitt…right-handed hurler Tyler Knigge also offered his thoughts along with slugging first baseman Jim Murphy.
Jesse Biddle: My favorite movie is easily “Elf” with Will Ferrell because he plays a character perfect for my sense of humor. There is something about the innocent slapstick humor that I find hilarious.
Brian Gump: Probably “Nightmare Before Christmas”, I think that counts as a Christmas movie right? It’s just a really imaginative movie and is a nice break from the traditional Christmas schmaltz.
Tyson Gillies: I’d have to say Bad Santa. I like Billy Bob Thornton, even in Bad News Bears, he’s got a funny sense of humor.
Anthony Hewitt: The Grinch and Charlie Brown Christmas.
Tyler Knigge: A Christmas Story because it’s definitely a family tradition to watch it every Christmas Eve and it’s one of the funniest movies I have ever seen!
Jim Murphy: Bad Santa. My brother and I got tired of watching standard Christmas movies, and wanted something to kinda break the holiday mold. That and Billy Bob Thornton couldn’t be a better delinquent Santa.
What is your favorite Christmas song?
Jesse Biddle: I like the Hanson Christmas album. It was something that my family listened to when we were kids and now it’s just a family tradition.
Brian Gump: Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas. I’ve never been much of a Mariah fan, but her version just makes me feel like a cup of hot cocoa.
Tyson Gillies: White Christmas (by The Drifters), probably ’cause of Home Alone, when he’s lip syncing in the bathroom. I like that upbeat R&B version. Seriously, it has a catchy tune and I have always enjoyed listening to it.
Anthony Hewitt: Jingle Bells is my favorite. Simple. Classic.
Tyler Knigge: Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town because that’s when I know Santa is bringing me presents! Haha. Kidding.
What’s your favorite food to enjoy at Christmas time?
Biddle: Ham, simply because it’s delicious.
Gump: Egg Nog, yes, even if it’s not spiked. Can’t get enough of it.
Hewitt: My all time favorite holiday food is apple pie!
Murphy: Stuffing, I can’t ever get enough of it at Thanksgiving Day dinner, so I ask for another round at Christmas.
Knigge: Spiral Honey Ham!! It’s just that good.
Gillies: We always have crab, lobster, shrimp, clams and muscles and everything for Christmas dinner. We already do the turkey for the other holidays, and me being such a big seafood fan, that’s what I look forward to every year.
What is the best Christmas tradition that you or your family have?
Biddle: My favorite tradition is going to my uncle’s house to meet up with the rest of my extended family for Christmas dinner.
Gump: Being surrounded by my family. That’s easily the most important part of Christmas for me…and the crumpled up wrapping paper fight we always have afterwards.
Hewitt: I love just being with family and remembering all the good times.
Murphy: Old James Bond movies on TV. My step-dad loves them and loves to say those cheesy lines over and over it’s pretty funny. The Bond girls aren’t bad either. My favorite is “The Spy Who Loved Me”, with Roger Moore. Against popular opinion, I think he was better than Sean Connery.
Knigge: Going to the movies with my family on Christmas Day.
What is the most memorable Christmas gift you got as a child?
Biddle: My dog that my parents got me for my very first Christmas.
Gump: Oh man, my parents always found a way to make Christmas special for me and my brothers when we were kids and I am very lucky for that. I did get a little mini electric guitar from “Santa” when I was probably 8 or 9. That thing was sweet…unfortunately, I never quite got the hang of it like my dad had hoped I would. Too busy playing baseball, I guess.
Hewitt: My favorite gift as a kid was a remote controlled car.
Murphy: Jeep 4X4 big wheel. I think it started my obsession with Jeeps. I have owned three of them since I turned 16.
Knigge: It was my first glove I ever got. It was a Rawlings Heart of the Hide. 11 3/4 inch glove. Still have it to this day!
From PhilliesNation.com and the players who took part in this survey…we wish you all a terrific holiday season!
Photo editing- Eric Floyd
Jay Floyd is PhilliesNation’s minor league insider. You can read more from Jay by visiting his site, PhoulBallz.com.