The last time Mike Schmidt and George Brett were together in a ballpark in Philadelphia, they were joined by 65,000 fans and riot police riding horses.
It was Game 6 of the 1980 World Series at old Veterans Stadium. Tug McGraw pumped a fastball past Willie Wilson, leaped off the mound and waited for Schmidt to run in from third base to jump in his arms and kick off a wild celebration.
On Friday, the two Hall of Famers will throw out the first pitch when the Phillies open their home schedule against Kansas City in a rare interleague matchup in April.
"Playing your home opener against an AL team is weird," Schmidt said in spring training. "Where's the charm in that?"
AL pitchers now have to be ready to swing bats earlier than usual.
"It's going to be cold, it's probably going to rain and I'll probably be in the back corner of the box, trying to work a five-pitch at-bat without swinging," said Wade Davis, who starts for the Royals on Friday afternoon. "Hopefully, avoid swinging at all."
Davis will be making his Kansas City debut after being acquired from Tampa Bay in a seven-player trade Dec. 9. The right-hander made 29 starts in both 2010 and 2011 before being used exclusively out of the bullpen last season, when he went 3-0 with a 2.43 ERA in 54 games.
He has made one appearance against the Phillies, allowing three hits and three runs while walking two over 2 2-3 innings last June 24.
The Royals and Phillies have played six regular-season games against each other and six more in the postseason. The Royals last visited Citizens Bank Park in 2004.
"We ran our spring training like a National League spring training with our pitchers hitting every single day so they're ready to go," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "It breaks up the monotony a little bit. It's something different for them. It will be interesting."
Both teams lost their first two games to start the season. The Royals then beat the Chicago White Sox 3-1 on Thursday, while the Phillies won 2-0 at Atlanta.
If the Royals want to know what to expect from the rabid fans in Philadelphia, they can ask teammate Jeff Francoeur. The right fielder played a couple season openers against the Phillies when he was with the Braves.
"I think it's intriguing," he said. "I remember when I looked at our schedule thinking 'We're going to Philly the second series of the year?' But I think it's going to be pretty cool and it will be a good experience. I know how crazy it can be there. It's always fun. I enjoyed that."
Kyle Kendrick takes the mound for the Phillies in the series opener, entering the season with a spot in the rotation for the first time since 2010. The right-hander was 11-12 with a 3.90 ERA last year in 37 games, including 25 starts. Kendrick, who has never faced the Royals, has shuttled between the bullpen and the rotation the last two seasons.
The Phillies' season got off to a poor start with Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay getting roughed up by the Braves in consecutive games before Cliff Lee allowed two hits with no walks and eight strikeouts over eight innings Thursday.
"I feel strongly about our team. I like our team," manager Charlie Manuel said. "We should be there all year long, really. When we go on the skids, we'll come out of it. We're going to win our share."