Back when the home of the Philadelphia Phillies was Veterans Stadium, when general admission tickets were just five dollars, when you could bring a can of Maxwell House Coffee to the ticket office and get a free 200-level seat, when the roster consisted of Terry Mulholland, Darren Daulton, Lenny Dykstra & John Kruk, I was a little girl that was packing a cooler with water and sandwiches to bring to the games at least once a week with her dad. I remember where I was sitting when I watched the 1993 World Series come to a screeching halt and I spent more than one game in the yellow seats next to the Phan-O-Vision with my grandfather. I remember getting ticket stubs signed by Mickey Morandini and my grandmother and I wearing matching Scott Rolen t-shirts to Sunday games spent in section 236. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I sat and watched a stunning 7-run bottom of the ninth comeback win by the Phightins in ’98 capped off by a Mike Lieberthal 3-run home run. I remember pushing my way to the front of a group of boys to get Ricky Bottalico’s autograph before a game and a few hours later watching a bench and bullpen clearing fight between him and Barry Bonds (click here for a brief recount). I remember staring at the pile of rubble on Broad Street and walking into the shiny new Citizens Bank Park for the first time recognizing it was time to make some new memories.
I can’t remember my first game – I just know there were a lot of them growing up. I could rattle off rosters and batting averages as a 10 year old and couldn’t imagine a life without baseball.
I grew up in South Jersey approximately 25 minutes from Broad Street without game-day traffic. I was mildly athletic as a kid participating on the swim team (bringing my Phillies beach towel to every meet) and was a cheerleader through high school (mostly for a free pass to the football games). I lived in an all-girls dorm while attending Rutgers University and left my roommates shaking their heads when I would have boys over to watch Sunday football. No matter where life took me summers were always spent at the ballpark.
When I started dating my husband he was in the Navy and stationed in upstate New York. I moved in with him when he got orders to Norfolk, VA and realized quickly that I was living in Redskins country and it was a rarity to catch an Eagles game on Sundays. A few months later I noticed there seemed to be an awful lot of Orioles and Nationals games on television – but where were my Phillies? After two seasons of crossing my fingers and hoping to catch a Braves series on TBS or a Saturday game on FOX I wised up and purchased MLB Extra Innings from my cable provider. As wonderful as it has been being able to watch almost every single game this season I think my dedication (not obsession) is wearing on my poor husband even if I have gotten him to be a bit more baseball-minded.
So here I am, living in Virginia Beach, watching all the games I want and cheering in my car when I can pick up WPHT 1210 AM once or twice a series. I have a couple of people to talk baseball with in my new city but mostly rely on Twitter, Facebook, and good old fashioned text messaging to discuss the Phillies. That’s where this blog comes from: another outlet (besides my husband) to talk to all of you wonderful people about what drives me, what I look forward to every day, and what I literally shed more than a few tears for when Brad Lidge delivered that 0-2 pitch with two outs in the top of the ninth at 9:58 pm on October 29th, 2008. This team has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember and my passion runs deep. I look forward to sharing that enthusiasm with you and spreading my Broad Street pride wherever I go.
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