Everybody loves the holidays and baseball players are certainly no different. Each year at Christmas time, I survey a group of Phillies prospects about what they get excited for during the holiday season.
Players that took part in this year’s questionnaire include 2014 second round draft selection lefty hurler Matt Imhof, this year’s 7th overall pick right-handed pitcher Aaron Nola, top pick from 2012 righty pitcher Shane Watson, second baseman Andrew Pullin, righty pitcher Tyler Viza as well as third baseman Zach Green.
Questions and answers detailing each player’s holly jolly holiday favorites are ahead…
What is your favorite holiday movie or TV show?
Imhof- I’ve always been a big fan of Charlie Brown Christmas. That’s a huge one for me. I watch it every year. I’ve watched it ever since I was little. It’s a tradition in the Imhof household. We all get together and watch it.
Nola- Favorite holiday movie…I saw Home Alone on the other night and that’s a holiday classic for me.
Watson- I have two top Christmas movies. First would be A Christmas Story and number two would be The Polar Express.
Pullin- Favorite movie is A Christmas Story because I always watched it when I was younger.
Viza- My favorite Christmas movie is “Its a Wonderful Life” simply for the meaning behind it. The main character wished he wasn’t born and then realized how many lives that he had touched throughout his lifetime. Very sentimental movie to always remember not to take life for granted.
Green- Christmas Vacation. That’s number one.
What is your favorite thing to eat at Christmas and who makes it?
Imhof- It’s got to be the holiday ham made by my mom. I’ve always been huge ham guy and that’s my number one. Hands down.
Watson- I love marshmallow Rice Krispies treats that my gramma makes.
Pullin- I love stuffed mushrooms and I make it.
Viza- My favorite holiday food would be my mother’s home made chocolate chip cheesecake. Nothing beats it.
Green- It’s coming from my mom. My mom’s an amazing cook. Wow…there are so many. It has to be all of it. I can’t pinpoint one thing. Everything she makes is all fantastic. But, I’m a big ham guy with the mashed sweet potatoes, I guess.
What is your favorite gift from childhood that stands out in your memory?
Imhof- When I was seven or eight and my parents got me my first Razor scooter. We actually went up to my grandma’s up in Washington and I was so upset that Santa wasn’t going to know where we were, because we weren’t going to be at our house and Santa wouldn’t get the gifts to the right place and I had a gift waiting for me from Santa on Christmas day and it was the Razor scooter and I swear to God, me and my sister rode those things for eight straight hours.
Nola- Probably the Sandlot movie. I watched it over and over and kind of wore it out.
Watson- Favorite gift was my Red Rider BB gun when I was seven or eight years old. My dad gave it to me. Not worried about the naughty list though…I’d shoot windows and anything that I could break. I was a trouble maker for sure.
Viza- My most memorable gift would be being with my family for this day every year.
Green- I remember when I was 11 year old, my dad got me my first wood bat. It was a used maple bat that had my name on it and that was the coolest thing ever. I couldn’t wait to hit with that thing.
What is your favorite Christmas song?
Imhof- I’m a big Rudolph fan. Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer.
Nola- Usually, some country singer that sings a holiday song.
Watson- I can’t decide on one song because I like them all.
Pullin- My favorite is Bing Crosby’s White Christmas because it reminds me of my grandma.
Viza- My favorite Christmas song is Jingle Bells, simply for it being so cliche of a song.
Green- Marian Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” is probably number one. Old Mariah Carey, she was a babe, man. She could sing it and that was a Christmas classic. What’s funny, though, is growing up my sisters were really into N Sync and that N Sync Christmas album. Ever since we were little we always played that. So, I guess, the N Sync album we listen to a lot and, of course, The Beach Boys.
Is there a Phillies ornament on your family’s Christmas tree?
Imhof- There is! The first thing my mom did when I was drafted…I think she bought it in July. Yeah, she can be a little over the top at times. There’s one on there.
Nola- I actually think there is. My mom said something about it the other day, but I haven’t seen it yet. I’ll have to check it out.
Pullin- Yes, there is a Phillies ornament on my tree.
Do you recall the discovery of the upsetting news about Santa that we all find out in our childhood?
Imhof- Aw! That is something that’s burned in my memory. I have an older sister and she’s a couple years older than me and I think she’s the one that let me in on Santa’s secret. I was in a car in some shopping center and I was out of control screaming. I couldn’t handle it. My sister dropped the bomb on me.
Nola- I heard my parents talking one day and I was really young. And how I really found out was that I lost a tooth, put it under my pillow, didn’t tell my parents and I never got money from the Tooth Fairy. That’s how I found out.
Watson- Wait! Santa isn’t real?
Green- I think I was in 3rd grade and my parents did not do a really good job of hiding their Christmas presents. I saw a bunch of gifts. On Christmas, there was stuff I got from Santa that I had seen in the garage earlier, so that was a bummer. I didn’t say anything. I didn’t really want to talk about it.