Recent history has made it a joyous time to be a Phillies fan. Beyond the 2008 trophy, this year’s team has rallied from an average start, catapulting themselves back into the elite class. This weekend, the Phils took two of three from a very respectable St. Louis Cardinals team. But after the Phils won Saturday’s game, a young life was taken. The beauty mark of a World Championship quickly turned to the black eye of a senseless death.
We’ve seen insolent and vulgar behavior before at sporting events in Philadelphia – probably experienced it first-hand. Yet the unfortunate actions of few have become synonymous with many.
After David Sale Jr., 22, of Lansdale was beaten to death outside of Citizens Bank Park on Saturday, the parallels were made immediately. This city is filled with rude, despicable creatures and we were all lumped into the boat. Plus this is not something the national media forgets; nor should they. Colin Cowherd spat his fury and vitriol, blaming it on lack of education. Just blame it on ignorance.
Although the whole story has not been revealed, Sale was jumped and beaten to death after an altercation over a spilled beer inside McFadden’s, which carried over to the parking lots outside of the stadium.
It’s foolish to think these kinds of things won’t happen. Alcohol fuels the inner testosterone and, with the backdrop of an intense sporting event that credits winners, not losers, turns men into meatheads. Three men, if we can call them that, believed that by beating a man repeatedly, they would win. Now everyone has lost.
As part of Phillies Nation, I’ve experienced the passion of Phillies fans in many new ways. I feel I am now one with the team, the city, and the fans, more than ever. The stain of a murder on the grounds of our park affects us all to an extent. We should not downplay the loss the family of David Sale now must endure. Here at Phillies Nation, our condolences go out to his family.
As a fan base, we have found solace and reprieve from everyday life in what trades will be made, which prospects are being watched, and whether or not J.P. Ricciardi is losing his mind. Someone who enjoyed the same pastimes – one of our own – is now gone. It hurts me deep because I think of the ballpark as a cathedral, a place where we can go to worship the baseball gods and pray for a run, or a win, or a championship.
Many of us did not know David Sale, but I believe there is an easy way to remember his life: by being a proper fan. By proving the pundits wrong that pounce on Philadelphia’s every error. Whether we like it or not, it is you and I, and millions of other Phillies fans that will gain the reputation of three immature, cowardly cretins. I think we all should rally around the spirit of Brotherly Love, giving our Phillies the fan base they deserve. It something we need to do.