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Five years ago today we learned what winning felt like

Oct 29, 2013, 1:58 PM EDT

Before I even got to the ball park on October 29th, 2008, I had that feeling that so many others had that day: that this would be the day the Phillies finally bring a championship to the city of Philadelphia during my lifetime. I remember screaming and jumping up and down and saying out loud to nobody in particular that “They’re going to do it. Holy shit, they’re actually going to do it. This is happening.” Then they did it. And we partied.

The memory that is most vivid to me is the subway ride from the ball park down to Walnut-Locust. The entire car was signing Queen’s “We Are the Champions” and you couldn’t find someone without a giant smile. I’ll never forget the noise coming up the subway steps on to Broad Street. It was amazing.

Here are some photos I took that night. They’re not very good photos but they’re what I have from that day and they’re some awesome memories somewhere in there. I dug them out today to take a look at them. Figured one or two of you might appreciate.

What a night that was. Do you have a personal memory that stands out?

  1. stilllearninggolf.wordpress.com - Oct 29, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    I was really dreading this article being posted today… I know it’s supposed to bring back memories of good times, but it just brings the sad state of sports in this town to the forefront of my mind.

    Anyway my story:

    I had just met one of my college roommates two months earlier, but we got into the routine of watching games together in the living room with a few six packs. Lidge’s strikeout had us hugging and screaming like we knew each other forever. He eventually ran down to the bars (I was still 20 and all the bars IDed on campus), and I stayed in the building taking in as much of that winning moment as possible on tv and in the dorm halls. My dad ended up calling and we spent a good half hour yelling nonsensical things back and forth about the game and how happy we were.

    My favorite moment was two days later on Halloween getting stranded in 30th Street Station after the parade, because SEPTA was way over capacity… yet the entire station was still on cloud nine singing and talking about their favorite moments from the last few weeks.

    Reply
  2. PhillyNZ - Oct 29, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    I was working on a pig farm in New Zealand, during a kind of year-long overseas experience. I would drive 45 minutes from the farm to the nearest mall, where I would order a coffee at a cafe and get an hour of free internet, during which I would read and respond to E-mails for about 10 minutes and then read everything about the games for the next 50. I couldn’t get internet any other way. I was able to watch Game 4 at a friend’s house who had a sweet TV package, and because it was a national holiday that day (all the games happened around lunchtime in NZ because of the time difference, and I had to be working then). I loved every bit of it.

    The next day when I went to the coffee shop to find out if they had won it all, I was disappointed the game was suspended. I E-mailed my mom to send me a text when/if they won it all. When I didn’t get a text the next day, I thought they had either lost or the text didn’t go through, so I raced to the coffee shop after work only to find out that it was still suspended. The next day, around 1:30 or 2pm, while I was filling the wallowing holes for the pigs with water, I finally got the text from my mom (who had to learn how to send a text, by the way): “Phillies win!!” It was awesome. I was all alone, halfway across the world, but I was just as happy as everyone in Philly that they won.

    New Zealand was great (if you can afford it, go), but that was one of the highlights.

    Reply
    • TC - Oct 30, 2013 at 6:46 AM

      Great story.
      picturing some guy standing in mud surrounded by pigs – fist pumping the air and cheering like a lunatic.
      made me smile…

      Reply
  3. JoetheSecond - Oct 29, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    I remembered being a sophomore in high school, and the night they had won the whole thing I was supposed to be at a practice for a play we were doing. The director had told us we were going to rehearse, but I and the majority of the cast pretty much blew it off. Needless to say, I stayed home and had my eyes glued to the television all night. I stopped everything I was doing and sat down with my dad and my mom and watched the resumption of the game. Mom cried, I hugged dad, we were jumping up and down, and in a frenzied rush we headed to what might have been Sports Authority to get the gear. The school was a buzz the next day, most of us didn’t plan on being in school on Halloween. And sure enough, the majority of us were at the parade. I went with two friends, (that I wish I still had contact with) and had a blast on the third base gate. Couldn’t actually get in to CBP, but I cherish the memories of that magical week and a half. It brought an entire Delaware Valley together. More importantly, it brought me and my dad together. I’ll never forget it.

    Reply
  4. Brendan - Oct 29, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    I remember when the first half of the game ended was the first time I realized how soaking wet and cold I was. My dad drove me back to school, and I sat in the shower for what felt like hours to warm up. Fast forward two days, and there we are all bundled up in section 422. By the time the game was over we had taken off our jackets, gloves, sweatshirts and hats because we were so warm. My uncle was an usher so my dad, his brother, my brother and I were all standing next to each other when the final out came. I’ll never forget that feeling of hugging my dad and brother as my dad thanked us for getting the tickets for him. He never got to see the Phillies win a world series with his dad, so that made the win all the sweeter.

    After the initial jubilation we hung out in the stadium for awhile. A few awesome moments were Harry singing, Jamie digging up the mound, and Chooch smoking a cigar that was bigger than him, but the best thing on the field was the look on joy and relief on Mitch Williams face. It really seemed like a weight had been lifted off of him.

    After we got to the car, we couldn’t wait to hear Harry’s call of the final out, and of course they were playing it over and over. We ended up at Cavanaugh’s at Penn, even though I wasn’t 21 no bouncer was stopping a Phillies fan with his dad. We stayed for a while reminiscing about the three playoff games we went to that year (Shane’s GS, WS Games 4 and 5). I awoke the next morning to a flurry of texts and missed phone calls that finally came through hours later. What a great day to be a Phillies fan!

    Reply
  5. Franchise - Oct 29, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    Reading all these stories and reminiscing about that night is giving me that chills

    Reply
  6. Chutley - Oct 29, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    At the Philly bar in Chicago. The best part of the story was the suspended part of game 5 – we had purchased $20 all you can drink during the game, and because of they delay we were there for about 5 hours, and they honored the deal.

    Champagne bottles half sprayed-half drinken, hugs, some tears with 150 people i knew very little about…but no one cared. Scared away the DePaul kids trying to sneak in some under-21 cocktails.

    Obligatory call to dad out on the sidewalk the content of which, as said above, was a bunch of hysterical nonsense.

    Reply
  7. lahoe819 - Oct 29, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    It was my freshman year at Kutztown University up North here. I had forced most of my teammates (I was a swimmer) to watch the games with me at either our party house or our dorm common room. Probably the single best moment of that run was the legendary (I sh*t you not, I call this legendary and mean it in every sense of the word) blast Matt Stairs put on the Dodgers. Stairs literally became a hero in our dorm so much so that a few of us were Matt Stairs for Halloween and someone down the road actually tracked down a rookie Matt Stairs baseball card. Anyways, the actual night of the event I remember watching Lidge get that strikeout and collapsing to his knees. I jumped so high I hit my hands on our short ceiling but didn’t feel a thing until the next morning. I sprinted around each floor of that dorm as if no one knew what had happened and at least 30 of us poured out into the quad and marched down main street, stopping traffic along the way. Cops surprisingly let us go and as we got to the bars people started pouring out of those with pitchers of beer in their hands. Townies for once actually joined in on the festivities and for a solid hour we just cheered anything Phillie related: Let’s Go Phillies, Beat LA, all of it. I literally remember doing cartwheels down Main Street and hugging random strangers who were sitting on their porch just watching the shenanigans. Good times, the best of times.

    Reply
  8. jsmith135 - Oct 29, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    just felt good to get that 8,000,000 lb gorilla off our backs

    Reply
  9. galasso2586 - Oct 30, 2013 at 8:35 AM

    I was living in Baltimore at the time and went down to Magerk’s in Federal Hill for Game 5 parts 1 and 2. I really didn’t know too many people in the city considering I had just moved there a little over a month ago, but the people who worked at the bar and the other regulars who came to watch the playoff run had become my playoff family pretty much. We all were so tense the entire time for Part 2 of Game 5. We were hanging on every pitch, every swing, every idiotic thing Tim McCarver said. When Lidge got the last strike out the entire bar went crazy. A couple of guys snuck in a bottle of champagne, popped the cork, and started spraying everybody. Everyone else joined in and started spraying their beers. I hugged complete strangers and they hugged me as if it was a totally normal thing. The feeling of euphoria lasted the entire night as we stayed until the bar closed not wanting that moment to end. I got back to my apartment that night and listened to Harry’s call of the final out at least 50 times. One of the best nights of my life.

    Reply
  10. Earl - Oct 30, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    I was at both nights of the last game. During the game on 10/29, I happened to remember that it was the one year anniversary of my fathers death. He had died the year before on 10/29. Pop was 99 when he passed, and had lost a lot of his mental capacity, but he always watched the Phils on tv. We would always talk about them when we met, which was at least once a week. After the final out was made, I stood watching the wild celebration on the field and in the stands. I was thinking of my Dad (who we called Pop) and how he eould have enjoyed it. For some reason my eyes wandered up to the Phanovision. Just as I looked they showed a shot of a man holding up a big sign that said “This One’s For You POP”!
    Wow! I still get chills when I think of that moment.

    Reply
  11. 2sentz - Oct 30, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    After hitting the much-anticipated rain-game together, my good buddy couldn’t attend the continuation game due to work, so I brought my 10-year old son. He knew full well what to expect, and after the final pitch and singing ‘champions’ with everyone I took him straight to Broad Street. He was scared shitless with the packed crowds, M-80s going off everywhere and riot police marching in lock-step, but there was no way I’d let him miss that experience. Broad Street celebrations are just way way too rare to miss….

    Our video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1cD7UVlkiU

    Reply
    • BenE. - Oct 30, 2013 at 12:03 PM

      I can’t think of a better way to introduce a youngster to Queen and the legendary voice of Freddie Mercury.

      Reply
  12. WeaponX20 - Oct 30, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    Transplanted fan here. Living 40 minutes north of NYC.
    I was 17, it was 2 days before my 18th birthday and I had German 201 that night from 5:30-9:30.
    For a few weeks straight I had been skipping out of my Tuesday and Wednesday night classes to watch the Phillies games.
    I kept telling my parents that they were letting me go early, or class had been cancelled.
    As soon as I got to class that night, I told my professor that I had to leave early that day.
    When she asked why, I just responded, “Because the most amazing thing is going to happen tonight and I can’t miss it.”
    6:15 rolled around and I looked at my Professor and just said, “GOTTA GO!” and left.

    I remember Burrell’s double and then Feliz’s single up the middle to knock in the pinch runner.
    Then I started counting the outs.
    “Mom, we’re 9 outs away.”
    “Mom, 5 outs away…”
    Then I started counting down the strikes for what felt like an eternity…
    And then it happened…

    My mom and I talked about it the other night. We remember right where we were standing when Lidge struck out Hinske. I remember dropping to my knees and crying, and jumping up and down and then running outside and running up and down my street in my J-Roll shirsey.

    Me, my mom and my two sisters ran outside with our bottles of champagne and celebrated just like our boys in red and enjoyed the moment.
    We. Won.
    And that’s all I could say for the next 2 weeks. We won.
    To this day, it’s the greatest birthday I ever celebrated.

    Reply
  13. diddy - Oct 30, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    I was on my Honeymoon, cruising to Bermuda. I was literally on the deck of the cruise ship drinking rum out of a pineapple, watching it go down.

    A few weeks later, I ran into none other than Pat the Bat Burrell at Phoenix Sky Harbor airport while waiting for a flight back home to PA. He was with some hottie (shocker) in one of those magazine shops looking at the Sports Illustrated issue with the championship stuff. I thanked him for bringing home the trophy and told him my story. He said “That is fing awesome”.

    I remember the look on his face to this day.

    Reply

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