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50 of 50

50 Greatest Phillies Games: 25. Chooch’s squib seals a victory in World Series

Until March 27, we’ll be counting down the 50 greatest Phillies games of the last 50 years. This is 50 of 50.

And this is No. 25.

THE DATE: Oct. 25, 2008

THE GAME: Phillies vs. Tampa Bay Rays, Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

THE STAKES: Game 3, World Series

THE GREAT: For the first time in my young 13 years of life (at the time), I was going to witness a World Series that the team I idolized was playing in. As a young baseball player at the time, I emulated my hustle after Chase Utley, and tried to copy the swag of Jimmy Rollins, the bat point of Howard and the coolness of Cole Hamels. So, for me, as a 13-year-old kid, this was a big deal. A World Series in Philadelphia? Nope, it wasn’t a dream.

Lucky for me, I had the opportunity of attending the game, tailgating and tossing the football with friends and family beforehand. Both clubs and fans were expecting an 8:35 p.m. first pitch, but plans were scrapped when the skies opened up, delaying the anticipation for one hour and 31 minutes. The first pitch was thrown at 10:06 p.m.

What made this game even more special, Souderton native and 45-year-old Jamie Moyer took the ball for Charlie Manuel, pitching in his first ever World Series game. And boy, he made it count. The man who grew up a Phillies fan battled through 6.1 innings while allowing three runs, doing what every pitcher desires – giving their team a chance to win in the World Series.

As for my heroes, Utley and Howard both went yard – back-to-back – and J-Roll added two hits. Another hero that developed over time – Carlos Ruiz – also went deep to open the scoring.

But it wasn’t the ball Chooch deposited into the stands that sent us home in a frenzy. It was a ball that Chooch hit and traveled no more than 40 feet on the ground to give us a 5-4 win and a 2-1 series lead. Consider that day the beginning of the Legend of Chooch.
The game took nearly four hours to complete, ending in the wee hours of Sunday morning. I arrived at my house at 3:30 a.m. after some traffic madness, got some much needed shuteye, and headed back to the park for Game 4 to do it all over again.

Box score from Baseball Reference

EXTRA: The post from Phillies Nation about the game in 2008

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