Fan Friday – Al – Phillies Nation

Fan Friday – Al

Every since I raced to the door on Sunday mornings on Glenview St. off Roosevelt Boulevard to beat my father to the morning Inquirer when I was just learning to read at Solis Cohen Elementary School, my day hasn’t been complete without a Phillies update. Dad passed on his love of this team to my brother and me, just as a slew of returning WWII vets had done, as the Whiz Kids helped soothe the trauma of that war. He’d tell me tales of sneaking into Shibe park as a boy to watch games with my uncles. His heroes – Ashburn, Roberts, Simmons, Hamner, et al., became my treasured baseball cards that I would buy with my first allowances at the drug store on Tyson and Bustleton.

My zeal for the Phillies was so great, that I committed my only crime at the age of 6. My dad kept a collection of silver dollars in the same drawer in his bedroom chest in which a calendar picture of Marilyn Monroe lay temptingly under some undershirts. Not sure how many dollars I took, but it was enough to buy a whole box of cards- the entire series of Topps baseball cards, circa 1952.

Proudly, the next day, I showed off all the Whiz Kids cards to my Glenview street stick and step ball buddies. But my glee was short lived. I guess the druggist snitched, for my mother called me inside and scared me with a fake call to the Philadelphia police to get me to confess my crime. I returned all of the cards. Ironically I spent many years as a public defender for juveniles. She kept the deed quiet from my dad. His only concern was who was looking at the Marilyn Monroe calendar portrait.

The Phils’ fortunes have bookmarked each day since. No matter where I’ve been, I’ve known before sleep what they had done that day.

I’m not as bitter about 1964 as many fans became over the collapse. Great movie, sad ending. I can remember leaving for Penn State the day Bunning beat the Dodgers to give the Phils a 6 1/2 game lead with just 12 to play. I could barely hear the radio feed up there in Happy Valley, but the Pittsburgh fans that filled West Halls sure let me know the results of those fateful 10 games. I just attended a reunion party with friends from Marple-Newtown’s class of that year, and there was substantial reminiscing about that team and the year of hope turned sour.

When I went to Ft. Bragg, North Carolina in ’69 I listened to static filled accounts on 1210 radio when the sun went down to assuage my homesickness. In 1980 I staged a one man drunken soiree through the streets of Raleigh after McGraw sealed the long awaited title deal.

Last week, 56 years and 500 miles removed from those days on Glenview St, this haggard attorney slumped into Court with the glow of the Phillies pennant somehow blanketing the gloom our current economic troubles. I reflected upon those early days during lulls and doodled lineups from the 50’s on my notepad. Go Phillies. An unbroken umbilical chord to my hometown.



  1. phils 50+

    January 2, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Good reading on a quiet Jan. 2nd. I like the idea of having fans share their passion for the Phillies over the years.

  2. Tom

    January 2, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Great Story, I too attended Soils Cohen Elementary, however it was during the early 90s. I remember the Phanatic coming in for assembly during the 1994 season. Great memories.

  3. Rob Cowie

    January 2, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    Step Ball and Wire Ball Champion of Earth = Me

  4. tarheelphan

    January 2, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    I’m always glad to hear of another Phils fan in the Triangle.

  5. phils 50+

    January 2, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    I was on a cruise this week and wore my Phillies shirts. It was neat to see other folks with Phils’ stuff on. And I don’t care if they aren’t as passionate about the Phightins as we are (the ones who read this website). I thrive on the excitement the Phillies have provided for us all in Phillies Nation. I am hopeful that I will be able to be at Opening Night this year! If I can score a ticket!

  6. Chuck P

    January 2, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    Thanks for sharing, Al…

  7. Georgie

    January 2, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    Great story for a cold January day. Just one of the reasons I check in here every day.

  8. Richie Allen

    January 2, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    I guess I’m hooked and need my Phillies fix….Its 7:45 on friday and I’m watching a rerun of the Phils 4th game against the Rays.Instead of football.
    Also great story Al…I was just 8yrs old in “64”,but I remember my father more concerned than I’ve ever seen him in life.

    Can anyone tell me this..It seemed the Phils sent Bunning and Chris Short out to pitch every day during the last week to try to win the pennant.

    Was that fact or was it just that I dont remember correctly?Anyone know?

  9. Joe

    January 3, 2009 at 4:42 am

    As a seven year old, I I lived in Newark, Delaware for six months with my ex-pat Dad before returning home to Melbourne, Australia in 1983.

    Apart from seeing some guy win a basketball game for Delaware (Uni?)on the last second, we followed Philadelphia in every sport. I remember seeing Pete Rose from the bleachers in some meaningless game at the Vet. The Sixers’ we heard on radio.

    Cable TV and broadband has brought US sports back to me recently, and it was amazing to follow the Phillies through the past few years, especially the playoffs. Baseball is a beautiful game – albeit as inscrutable to most Aussies as Cricket must surely appear to you “yanks”.

    Bring on ’09

    Joe Fitzpatrick
    Melbourne, Australia.

  10. mike t

    January 4, 2009 at 1:11 am

    Your mom made you return a 1952 Mickey Mantle rookie card? Now thats a crime. Do you know how much that card is worth today?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Phillies Nation has been bringing Phillies fans together since 2004 with non-stop news, analysis, trade rumors, trips, t-shirts, and other fun stuff!

Browse the Archives

Browse by Category

Copyright Phillies Nation, LLC 2004-2016
Not Affiliated with Major League Baseball or the Philadelphia Phillies

To Top