By Christie L. Chicoine
CS&T Staff Writer

PHILADELPHIA – During the day, Peter Balzano keeps students in line as the assistant principal for student services at Lansdale Catholic High School in Lansdale, Montgomery County.

After the school bell – up until Oct. 23 – Balzano kept order at Citizens Bank Park in South Philadelphia as a member of the 2010security detail for the Philadelphia Phillies.

He just completed his second season as a member of the Phillies’ security detail and will return for a third season next year. {{more}}

Saturday, Oct. 23, was the sixth game in the best-of-seven National League Championship Series between the Phillies and the San Francisco Giants. The Giants captured the NLCS pennant, winning four games to the Phillies’ two, and are currently playing the Texas Rangers in the World Series.

“I think everybody there, from workers to players to fans thought we were going to have a Game Seven,” Balzano said.

“It’s disappointing when you think you’re going to go all the way – and when even the experts say you’re going to win it all – and then you end up losing. The Giants played very well. It was just one of those things – it just wasn’t working out for us.

“All season, I think the Phillies were the better team in baseball….

“The fans were sellout crowds all year, very loud and enthusiastic.”

The lifelong Phillies fan considers it a privilege to work for the Phillies “family” and has fun observing the cadre of other “characters” who come to the game.

Among this year’s characters was the male fan who resembled Jason Werth who coated himself in gold spray paint from head to toe, carried a replica World Series trophy. Another was the female fan who dressed up as a rally towel.

And then there are those fans who couldn’t make it inside the ballpark because they somehow “misplaced their tickets.”

“People will pretty much try anything to get into a game,” Balzano said. The pleas run the gamut: ‘My family has my ticket – they’re inside.’ ‘I’m related to this certain judge who works downtown.’ ‘I have family members who work for the Phillies.'”

Among the most common appeal to get into the game sans ticket: “It’s my birthday – can you please let me in?”

Throughout any game, the randomness of running into the many people he knows – among them former students and current students – never ceases to amaze Balzano. “You don’t realize how many people you actually do know, or who know you.”

Balzano’s typical work day or night with the Phillies begins when he reports to the ballpark three hours before the game. From the time the gates open – typically, an hour-and-a-half to two hours prior to the game – up to the first inning, Balzano is stationed in the family waiting area, a room below the stands reserved for the family members of Phillies players and the visiting team.

From the first inning through the seventh inning, he and his crew are assigned to the concourse in Sections 112 to 123, approximately 30 rows from the field on the first base side of home plate up thr first base line.

For the eighth inning, he returns to the family waiting area, where he remains until an hour after the game, when the visiting bus departs the ballpark parking lot.

For Balzano the beauty of the ballpark was crafted by the Creator. “God’s given many people talents to keep that ballpark looking great.

“If you have your faith and you are a Catholic, I think you see God in everything, you see Jesus everywhere,” he said.

Balzano sees both in the players on and off the field. “It’s so great that we have such talented players. Seeing them work hard and come back from injuries, they realize, too, that it is a precious gift; it’s God’s gift, and they have to work at it….”

CS&T Staff Writer Christie L. Chicoine may be reached at 215-587-2468 or