I was maybe 7 or 8 years old in the late 1950’s when my dad took me to a game at Connie Mack Stadium. He knew someone he worked with who lived on Lehigh Avenue who let us park in his driveway for a dollar. We walked the few blocks to the stadium holding hands. I had my first baseball glove on my other hand, hoping that a foul ball or a home run would find me in the stands. I was also wearing a Phillies cap that he bought me as a present months before.
As we approached the stadium there was a man selling scorecards and programs. My father bought us one of each then stopped to buy 2 tickets. We entered the ballpark and found our seats along the first base line. I was thrilled to see the field and all the players.
As the game progressed my dad bought us hot dogs and sodas. The Phillies were losing but I didn’t seem to mind. I was at a real live game with my dad. It would be only one of 2 times we shared this experience. They lost the game and we left and walked back to the car in silence. I had my scorecard and program to remember this awesome day with my dad.
Five years later I saw my father cry for only the second time in my life. The first time was in November 1963, the day JFK was buried. The second time was September 1964, when the Phillies had that historic collapse and didn’t make the World Series. It seems he had purchased two tickets to that World Series.
To this day, I remember that first game and the day he cried over the Phillies.
He did teach me one valuable lesson: always be loyal to your home team. He passed in 1967, and when they finally won their first World Series in 1980, I knew he was smiling and I said “Dad, this one was for you!”.
Who did you attend your first Phillies game with?
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