10 years ago today, Harry Kalas had the greatest call in sport’s history as the Phillies wrapped up the Rays in 5 games.
Today is all about those World Series Champions. There is no bigger story in baseball today than remembering that ’08 Phillies team. They were an unconventional team that won in the most unconventional way.
For those of you that don’t recall, Philadelphia entered game 5 of the ’08 World Series up 3-1 on October 27th. The rain was so heavy that MLB commissioner Bud Selig had to suspend the game halfway through the 6th inning. Tampa Bay tied it up in the top of the 6th and if they hadn’t done so, I think Selig would have let the game go on until they did, or it ended. There was ZERO shot he was awarding the World Series Championship on a shortened game. Honestly, us Philly fans didn’t want it that way either. We have to deal with the rest of the country shitting on us all the time about championships so the last thing we wanted as a fan base was to win one like that.
So we waited two days as game play resumed on the 29th with Geoff Jenkins leading off in place of Cole Hamels, who was dealing two days prior. Jenkins hits the lead off double, Jimmy bunts him over to third, and Werth knocks him in. The lead would be given right back as Rocco Baldelli smoked a solo shot off Ryan “Mad Dog” Madson. Two batters later, with a man on second, Ray’s lead off hitter grounded to Chase Utley which would later become one of the greatest plays in Philadelphia sports history.
Do I still have chills seeing that play? You bet your damn ass I do. Also shout out Utley for an amazing career that came to an end last night. You are the man.
In the bottom of the 7th, Pat The Bat hit a double off the wall that in July would have been 10 rows deep. It was Burrell’s only hit of the World Series and the biggest of his career. It basically changed his image in the city as a guy that never lived up to the hype (he didn’t), to a guy that had the key hit to win the franchise’s second championship all in one swing. Charlie took Pat out for Eric Bruntlett. Bruntlett, who scored the game winning run in game 3 would come around for the go-ahead run on a Pete Happy single.
There was no blood in the eighth and JC completed the “Bridge to Lidge”. Lights Out Lidge entered the 9th being perfect so far on the season with a 47 for 47 record in save situations. Eric Hinske stepped up to the plate with two outs and an entire stadium rocking. Lidge went slider strike 1, slider strike 2 and slider strike 3. Lidge and an entire city dropped to their knees in pure bliss.
I can honestly say, it was one of the greatest moments of my life. Every man on the roster was loved by this city (except Adam Eaton, fuck that guy). Even though this is just a recap of that game 5 victory, the entire post season was filled with goosebump moments for this team. Brett Myers’ walk vs CC. Shane’s grand slam that followed. Matt Stairs’ moonshot in LA. Joe Blanton’s home run. The game 3 walk off at the plate. Jamie Moyer sticking his tongue out after almost giving up a bomb.
They were the most entertaining team to watch that I can ever recall seeing in this city. The team had no quit in them. They were never out of any game. They fought every pitch. 10 years later, feels like last October.