It's not youse, it's me
October 29 marked the fifth anniversary of the Phillies World Series win. The victory in 2008 ended a 25-year-old championship drought in the city.
Shane Victorino netted a second ring last night when the Boston Red Sox won another championship. His first ring, of course, came with the Phils.
This week, especially considering the Phillies World Series Parade took place five years go, made me nostalgic. Because the Phillies winning the World Series in 2008 was — and remains — one of the greatest moments of my life.
This Phillies win will forever be a huge part of my life. And that’s more than fine by me.
A collection of memories I associate with that championship:
1. “We are the team to beat in the NL East” — in early 2007, Jimmy Rollins delivered this bold statement. That year, the Phils became the first professional team in history to record loss No. 10,000 and were later swept in the first round of the playoffs.
But wait — playoffs?! An epic Mets collapse at the end of the season propelled the Phils to their first NL East title since ’93.
2. My first game of the ’08 season. Getting this sweet bobblehead:
3. Turning 21 that spring so I could get into any bar my heart contented and watch the game.
4. Chase Utley, Jayson Werth, Cole Hamels, Greg Dobbs, my boyfriends (Vic and Moyer) … ABA (also boned as) the sexiest roster in baseball. Save for NO ONE.
5. Speaking of saves, Brad Lidge was perfect in every one of his save opportunities that season. Well, aside from the All-Star Game.
6. Regarding the ASG, I had just arrived back in the States from four weeks studying abroad in Dublin. I tried to keep up with the Phils by watching online, but my shoddy service wouldn’t allow it. One day, a fellow student and I were flipping through the TV channels and ever-so-randomly came across a Reds-Blue Jays game featuring Ken Griffey, Jr. and ex-Phillie Scott Rollin. In the spirit of ‘Merica, we watched it.
7. Circling back to Bradley: “The Bridge to Lidge” (that night’s starter plus Ryan Madson) led to “Lights Out Lidge.”
8. My boyfriend at the time faking a dentist appointment at his new job to ensure he’d get to see a particular playoff game.
9. Watching the games at the bars in Northeast Philly where my dad, his brothers and their friends watched two Flyers championships and the 1980 Phillies World Series win decades earlier.
10. Watching Bernie idly wait at the top of his slide during the series against the Milwaukee Brewers.
12. Watching Myers shield his eyes and demonstrate in the dugout how he blindly swung at the pitches coming his way.
14. “When in an emergency, use Stairs”
15. “Nothing comes easy in Philly” – Jimmy Rollins
16. But then, “Why not us?”
18. And playoff sadness. When Charlie Manuel’s mother and Shane Victorino’s grandmother died on the same day.
19. Chills: Tim McGraw spreading his father, and former Championship-winning Phillie, Tug McGraw’s ashes on the pitching mound before Game 3.
20. Literal chills: 45 year-old Jamie Moyer battling beyond hitters, as he suffers from a severe stomach illness, and yet, still pitches in Game 3 of the World Series.
21. Taking lame selfies — before the term came into existence — in my Phillies gear prior to Game 5, October 27. The game I, and I think the whole city, felt would be the game where we won it all. The night would later be designated Game 5: Part 1; the first-ever suspended World Series game in MLB history.
25. Owning this too-small shirt — and this newspaper — and never letting either go:
26. Everyone being just the tiniest bit nicer the next day
27. Coldplay giving us a shout-out (NSFW)
28. Retiring those “Waiting for a Phillies Championship” t-shirts that featured a cobweb-covered skeleton on a bench along shops on Wildwood boardwalk.
29. Watching this come down Broad Street:
30. Chase being really effing happy (NSFW)
31. Watching this commercial
32. Beloved local sportscaster Gary Papa and our “High Hopes”-singing, Michael Jack Schmidt, Mitchie Poo, and Chase-Utley-you-are-the-man-calling, It’s OUTTA HERE!, play-by-play announcer, Harry Kalas both passing after our big win in 2009.
33. Overall breathing a sigh of relief. Because we did it!
As Philly sports frustrations come and go, I reflect on a time not too long ago. It’s trite, but what’s the saying? “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened”?
So I’m grinning. And eager. And hoping for playoff magic in my lifetime once again.
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