Brad Lidge released a pitch that felt like it took 30 years to reach the catchers mitt. Erick Hinske guessed wrong, swung and missed. The players rush to the mound for the celebration; the crowd erupted in cheers, the Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series, and I was there.
Never just another game, respect history
There is nothing like witnessing history in the making, the goose bumps, the adrenaline and the emotions all rolled up in one. Watching my Philadelphia, Phillies stake their claim for baseball supremacy was one of the best moments in my life. Almost three decades, 28 years, that is a long time to go without a championship, it did not matter if it was a hundred years, what did matter was, I was there when the drought ended.
The tickets and stadium
The tickets were a late birthday gift. As a sports fan there is no greater experience than seeing your favorite team live, in person, winning a championship. I was there, Citizen Bank Park, Pavilion Deck, cheering for my team. I have not been to every MLB ballpark, but I have to believe that Citizen Bank Park has to be one of the best. All eyes, they were on the city and Philadelphia delivered.
The World Series Players
Philadelphia Phillies to watch
• Ryan Howard: 48(home runs), 146 (RBI)
• Chase Utley: 41 (doubles), 33 (home runs), 104 (RBI)
• Pat Burrell: 74 (runs), 102 (walks)
• Cole Hamels: 196 (strikeouts)
• Jamie Moyer: 16 (wins)
• Brad Lidge: 41 (saves)
Tampa Bay Rays players to watch
• Carlos Pena: 31 (home runs), 102 (RBI)
• B.J. Upton: 85 (runs), 44 (stolen bases)
• Evan Longoria: 85 (RBI), .272 (batting average)
• James Shields: 14 (wins)
• Edwin Jackson: 14 (wins)
My pre-game meal cost me double the cost inside the stadium; my one beer was the price of a six-pack, but it was worth it. The fans were great; I met a guy Brent, sat next to for the three and half games; we struck up a friendship that we still carry on to this day. Prior to the World Series, I might have passed him on the street and not spoken a word, thinking we are different. That is the amazing thing about sports; it will bring complete strangers together, bonding them for life. If you have a chance to go, make it happen, the atmosphere is intense. A regular-season game is good, but nothing beats the post-season. I sat through a rain delay, told to go home; the game would resume in two days. I had other engagements on Oct. 29, was not sure I could make the game, a couple of hours later, I was hugging, laughing and cheering with people I met only a few days ago, the 2008 World Series, what an experience.