Congratulations to Barry from Maryland who was the winner of our “Why I Love the Phillies” contest. He will take home a set of 4 DVDs showcasing the Phillies greatest games from the past 30 years. We have lots more DVDs and other prizes to give away, so keep checking back for the next contest.
And just so everyone knows, Barry was chosen at random. And it’s a good thing, because with these submissions, it would be too difficult to pick a winner based on merit. I was reading them and they literally brought tears to my eyes. Barry’s story and a few more are available after the jump. We’ll post even more in the coming weeks and months ahead.
Why I Love the Phillies
It is my personal history I have with the team…
…going to my first game in 1989, the day Dykstra was traded by the Mets to the Phils, seeing him booed one day and being completely accepted the next (he had moved from the visitor locker room to the home in the same day)
…the All-Star Game Fan Fest in ’96, where the players took the time at the convention center and at Vet stadium to talk to everyone even with the massive crowds
…being at Opening Day vs the Marlins (’98 I believe) and seeing the Phils fall behind and see the schedule magnets fly onto the field, only to have the team come back and win the game, (never give up on the team even in lean years)
…the team willing accommodate the exchanges for 6-pack ticket holders with an exchange when life gets in the way of a game you expected to go to originally
…Harry Kalas writing a personal note to a friend of mine for his 40th b-day at my request and sending me a handwritten note as well.
…the team and personnel caring about the fans and actually showing it in person and through the mail
…talking to the other fans themselves at the park and actually knowing the stats of the team.
The reasons are numerous and that is what makes the team special; it is a loyalty that is reciprocal; that is as the commercial goes is priceless.
I’ve loved the Phillies all my life. I live in Kansas City, Missouri; have absolutely no ties to the Northeast; and the last time I saw them play in Philly was in the 1990s. I learned to prefer my hotdogs with mustard only from a busy vendor on a hot August afternoon at the Vet. But I can thank my grandfather for my love of red pinstripes. When he was growing up in Southwest Missouri, everyone was a Cardinals fan. Everyone. Not one to follow the crowd, he picked the team dead last in the Cardinals division, the Phils, and cheered for them the loudest. Thus was born a now four-generation love for the Phillies. I can hardly bear to go see the team when they visit St. Louis because watching them lose to the Cardinals is the worst kind of pain. I’ve never seen them win in SL. The loss last year in game 5 to the enemy was beyond painful. Yet I carry on. Eight games out? No problem. If not this year, then bring it on in 2013.
I love the Phillies because I waited my whole life for a world series, then, my deployment to Afghanistan when all was lonely and I had nothing else in this world, the Phillies gave me a World Series and made life worth it once again.