Apr 12, 2012, 12:28 PM EDT
Home runs are exciting, especially at Citizens Bank Park when you’re surrounded by fellow Phillies fans who can all rejoice in the bell ringing. Random high-fives are the best. But, depending on the batter, you can predict fairly well how often those will happen. Many of the best moments at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia are those which you can’t see coming.
A few of my all-time favorite (non-World Series) moments at CBP: Brett Myers’ epic playoff walk, the “Ceee-Ceee” chants against the Brewers, Oswalt playing left field, Wilson Valdez pitching for a win, the spontaneous “U-S-A” chants after Bin Laden was killed, amongst many, many more.
Another one of my new favorite moments happened in the bottom of the third inning of last night’s win over the Miami Marlins. Josh Johnson opted to intentionally walk Carlos Ruiz to load the bases for weak-hitting rookie Freddy Galvis. The sure-handed fielder hadn’t fared well at the plate in his first four games in the bigs, batting a whopping .071 up to that point.
Despite the Flyers playing a humongous big playoff game at the same time as the Phillies last night, I couldn’t turn down the chance to sit in section 113 and watch a Roy Halladay start. I’m even happier with my decision today, as I had the opportunity to participate in the wonderful, spontaneous moment.
The thing that made it so great, so Philly, was that it happened long before the payoff. Freddy Galvis came to bat with only one hit in his week-long career. His struggles at the dish had been discussed ad nauseum on sports talk radio. It didn’t matter for those few moments as he walked to the plate and dug in against Josh Johnson.
The loyal crowd — warmed up a bit on the chilly night by the Phillies’ bats finally doing the same — showed the young kid that they had his back no matter what. And that was before he even got the hit. “Fred-dy! Fred-dy! Fred-dy!” chants started to spread throughout CBP and got louder with each pitch fouled off.
Finally, when Galvis ripped the RBI double, the place went nuts. It was a joy to watch the moment coalesce out of thin air.
Freddy felt the Philly love.
As told to the Morning Call’s Mandy Housenick:
“I have to say, that’s the first time I’ve heard that many people yell my name,” he admitted. “I was like, ‘Alright, I have to do something.’ Luckily I got a hit.” …
“The fans, when they do that kind of stuff, we get a lot more confident,” he said. “You know you have a lot of people behind you, supporting you. I just tried to put a swing on it, make good contact and thankfully I got a hit.”
Roy Halladay summed up the Fred-dy chants quite well to the Inquirer’s Bob Brookover.
“It was cool,” Halladay said. “I had a pretty good view from the on-deck circle, and I was glad he got the hit. I think in a lot of ways, the fans here, as much as you hear about them booing players … to go up there and have them chanting your name like that and then to have him come through, it was really cool, and that’s something he’ll always remember. It says a lot about the fans we have right now that they were supporting him.”
It’s something most of the Philadelphia fans at Citizens Bank Park last night will always remember as well.
By all accounts Galvis is a great young kid, the kind of player Philly fans could absolutely get behind. Talking to Galvis after his first Major League start in Pittsburgh, his smile was beaming when talking about getting the chance to turn his first double play, and he wasn’t down about not getting a hit, pointing out that he’d stick with it and just try to take good at-bats.
He had a great at-bat last night.
Here’s Charlie and Freddy talking about the chants and his big hit:
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