Congratulations to the 2008 World Series Champion Phillies!
When the Phillies clinched the NL East in late September, there was a huge banner in left-center field that read, “World Series or Bust!”
At the time, winning the World Series seemed like a little bit of a pipe dream–like predicting the Eagles will win the Super Bowl when they haven’t started preseason.
Sure, there was a chance that it could happen, but there would be a hell of a lot of work ahead, and it would mean taking down some teams that seemed untamable… The Chicago Cubs, The Boston Red Sox, The Los Angeles Dodgers, and The Tampa Bay Rays. It would mean winning 11 games. It would mean that some of the hottest teams in baseball would have to lose 11 games.
For Philadelphia fans, it meant the unthinkable. It meant that for the first time in a long time the Philadelphia team would prevail; that there would be no disastrous downfall; that no act of man or God or a killer fastball would cause the team to crumble.
So when Lidge threw strike three in front of a packed house on the second day of Game 5, it’s not surprising that there was a short pause in the stadium before it erupted. A single second where everyone in the stadium held their breath, blinked twice, and tried to believe their eyes. At the same time, every Philadelphia fan was thinking the same thing… “This can’t be. This just doesn’t happen to us.”
But it did. It happened. The Philadelphia Phillies are World Series champions. These men beat the odds and finally gave the city what it so desperately needed–a National Championship. They stepped up, played their hearts out, and believed in their abilities when all of the commentators didn’t. That’s why these men will be legends in Philadelphia forever.
So maybe some day down the line Cole Hamels will throw out the first pitch of another Phillies team’s playoffs, Jimmy Rollins will do commentary on Comcast SportsNet, and Ryan Howard will have a stand at the ballpark that sells a mean tuna fish and honey sandwich. Or maybe they’ll just show up over and over again in the highlight reels of every Phillies yearbook and all of our best Phillies memories.
Either way, they’ll always be remembered as the team that redeemed a city. And in just 5 months they’ll be back to do it all over again!