The 2008 Phandom 25: Joe The Pummeller – Phillies Nation
2008 Phandom 25

The 2008 Phandom 25: Joe The Pummeller

Last year I wrote a series of posts chronicling 2007’s 20 greatest moments in Phillies Phandom. Each game had a special “wow” factor, whether it was an insane comeback, an awesome feat or a trademark moment. And each game was a Phillies win, of course.

For this year, clearly, you know the top moment. But ranking the rest was very difficult. Do I rank the NLCS second just because? Is the NL East clinching victory as important as other postseason moments? I used some heavy discretion, but I believe I came up with a pretty solid list.

Each moment has an attached video link, if you’d like to go back and reminisce.

Like the 100 Greatest Phillies countdown, I’ll be posting one per day. I swear, you won’t get any more countdowns this offseason.


4. Big Joe Blanton
Date: October 26, 2008

The World Series featured all four types of Phillies wins: Game one was a pitchers duel won through small ball; game three was a nailbiter with a crazy ending; game five was the wait and pull away win. But game four of the World Series was the bash opponent into submission game, the game that gave the Phillies 20-run wins during “Hittin’ Season,” big wins in September.

That game four against Tampa Bay had everything you’d want from the beat opponent into submission contest: Ryan Howard struck the ball mightily all night, hitting two home runs; Jimmy Rollins got on base and scored plenty; Jayson Werth hit a coffin-nailing home run. But this game also had the feat nobody thought could be possible — the pitcher swatting a homer.

That pitcher was Joe Blanton, the hulking, husky boy from the depths of Kentucky. He was expert in slinging fastballs that met the corners of home plate as if he was connecting dots. Sometimes guys would hit the heck out of him, but most times in 2008, he got the better of the situation. His 3-0 postseason record showed. But his biggest moment, clearly, was the blast heard ’round Philadelphia.

On the mound was Tampa Bay’s Edwin Jackson. Blanton had already heroically swung at some balls, whiffing into the cold air and garnering playful oohs and aahs. But Jackson was throwing up easy heaters; it was only a matter of time before Blanton would grab a hold and take ‘er for a ride.

And boy did he.

It was a gorgeous home run swing, really. A real lumberjack’s bash. Middle and inside, the ball left the yard and cleared the fairway, landing some few rows back and into a screaming throng of phaithful phans. As Blanton rounded the bases casually (like he did it before), the crowd couldn’t be hotter.

That was the moment. That was the moment a nailbiting World Series officially became incredibly close to finished. It was the moment Philadelphia realized this baby was all but sewn up, that nothing could take it away. Hell, if Joe Blanton’s hitting a home run, there’s no way the Phils could lose. And it was true — this team had gone too far, fought too hard, played too well for chance or luck or whatever to just steal their carpet from underneath the clouds.

Blanton got a big ovation, and then a big raise, and now will be a big star. His is the stuff of legends, of Paul Bunyon, Harmon Killebrew and Ken Holtzman. Who knew? The big Kentucky kid with the redneck sensibility did — that’s who.

A few days later, it would all be over.

The video: Boom goes the Blanton

From the comments:

SJ Mike: HOLY SHIT! Did Blanton just hit a homerun!

NJ: Now that’s how you become a Philly hero period

Matty: That was a hell of a pitch he knocked out



  1. Ryan

    January 21, 2009 at 1:54 am

    I was there. What a great game to be at! We went nuts when Fat Joe hit that one. What a great game to break my ten-game personal losing streak at.

  2. Mazinman

    January 21, 2009 at 2:50 am

    I was at this game too. I flew in from Puerto Rico with my mom to catch this game because there was no way I could let the Phils go to the World Series without me being part of it in one way or another. I still remember getting into the gates then looking at my mom with unrestained glee and exclaim “We are at the World Series!”

    Blanton’s home run was a great moment in the game. Howard’s shot drove us nuts but when the pitcher went deep it was a clear signed to me that the game had just become a laugher. The guys sitting next to me had gone to get something to drink and had missed the home run. For a second there they did not believe me when I told them how it happened! LOL!

    At the end of this game I left with an increadibly giddy feeling that we were going to be World Champions. Game 5, in Philly and with Hamels pitching, there was no way we would lose it. I still remember one guy who came up to me in the streets afterwards and told the lady with him “Wait a second, I want to high five this guy!” and he high fived me for not apparent reason. At that moment of happiness it just didn’t matter. If the guy in front of you wore Phillies red he was your best friend.

    On a side note, the hotel I stayed at had so many tampa fans it was like an embassy for them. You will all be pleased to know that they left Philadelphia suitably traumatized. The sight of a large man complaining that even our women were like animals in the stadium was one to behold!

  3. Brooks

    January 21, 2009 at 5:11 am

    Weeee.. I was there with my grand daughter – it was a GREAT game. I was in left field, in section 143, I believe the hr was in 142. Close to where Vic hit his GS vs the Brewers 2 series before.
    As great as home game 1 was, this was better (best weather of the home games) – this was Phillies baseball we are used to.

  4. Hugh

    January 21, 2009 at 8:44 am

    I was also at the park that night, right behind the right field foul pole! Fantastic seats, actually. Just had to lean a little to see Pat in left field.

    This was the perfect game to go to. Unlike any Phillies game I had ever been to, I felt confident and comfortable the entire game. From the first pitch to the last I knew that there was no way the Phils were going to lose this one. Being there with my dad and having him nearly pull my arm out of it’s socket while celebrating Ryan Howard’s second home run is one of the memories I will always keep with me.

  5. Jason B.

    January 21, 2009 at 9:09 am

    Unfortunately that was the one series game I didn’t go to. I gave my tickets to my father in law. I was mad at the time but Monday and then Wednesday later that week more than made up for it!!! That night was the night that Fat Joe became a legend… and we will all never ever forget him!

  6. JohnKruksLoveChild

    January 21, 2009 at 9:52 am

    Only series game I got to attend, and whatta game. Blanton hitting that homerun was the icing on the cake, everyone in my section kept sayin, “I can’t believe it ! I can’t believe it !”.

  7. Fran

    January 21, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Hey Tim, could you post the link ot the article about trading Ryan Howard that you wrote early last year? Thanks

  8. Ben

    January 21, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Was at the game and have a good story regarding the Blanton job.

    I had an urgency to go to the bathroom a few minutes prior to Joe the lumber’s at bat, but didn’t want to miss the other ABs. So I held out, and once Joe got up I made a mad dash for the bathroom. I was in the upper left field foul area seats, and so I had to make my way down to the concourse then over to the bathroom. As I get down and am hurriedly going through the concourse to the bathroom I heard the crowd roar and then Harry yell (they play the radio broadcast back by the concession stands) “LONG DRIVE” and I run out to watch the ball clear the fence and the fans go nuts.

    I then go to the bathroom and realize everyone in there has no idea what just happened so I yell “Blanton just hit a bomb!” which was greeted by “Get the #%@ out” and “You’re sh***ing me” and “Atta Boy!”. It was a pretty funny moment and a great game to be at.

  9. Justin

    January 21, 2009 at 10:56 am

    Werth signs a multi-year deal for the phils.

    source :

  10. Manny

    January 21, 2009 at 11:05 am


  11. Justin

    January 21, 2009 at 11:25 am

    Yep MLB Trade Rumors is reporting the multi year deal. looks like we got what has been asked for for Werth.

  12. JSmith

    January 21, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    I wasn’t there but I will never forget it. I remember everyone that was over to watch the game going absolutely crazy. What an awesome moment.

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