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Phillies fans share memories from 2008 World Series parade

From missing teeth to packed trains, Phillies fans had quite a day on Oct. 31, 2008. Lots of beers were had as thousands (some say millions) descended upon Center City and South Philadelphia to celebrate the Phillies’ 2008 World Series championship.

The Sports Complex on Oct. 31, 2008.

Phillies Nation readers submitted their memories from that special day. We were overwhelmed with entries, so apologies if yours is not featured.

To start it off, here are my memories from the best Halloween ever:

I wish I still had the Kodak I brought to the parade (or the album of photos I got developed later). No matter what, I’ll never forget my embarrassing outfit of bright red sweatpants with a sweatshirt and how happy I was to see all my heroes pass by on the parade floats. Elvis and Pat Burrell were probably the best part. I stood near the corner of Broad & Wolf across from the hospital I was born at along with my mother, sister, cousin and great aunt, who passed away in 2012. I’ll always cherish the memories I made with my family that day. – Destiny Lugardo

Fan Memories

Best feeling ever!!!!!! Best. I don’t remember too too much. But I’ll never forget my best friend sliding down his house steps and chipping his tooth and actually losing his tooth on the slide down the steps. He had to go to the hospital and still has that fake tooth. What a memory. – Michael H.

I serendipitously ran into a few friends that day, but the best part of the day was sharing it with my parents. Like many Phillies fans, our roots ran deep. My paternal grandfather actually died of a heart attack at the Vet before the Black Friday game in the 1977 playoffs (the game itself surely would’ve done him in if those 600-level ramps didn’t do it first). My maternal grandfather (also an enormous Phillies fan going back to the Baker Bowl days) passed away the summer of 2008. My mom snuck out of work to see the 1980 parade at around the same age I was in 2008. My Dad had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s just a few years prior, and we got to enjoy that day while he was still able to…he’s still with us but he wouldn’t be able to do it today. It is, quite literally, a once-in-a-lifetime moment. A Philly team may win another championship (really!) and I may go to another parade, but that one will always be the first and the best. – Kevin W.

Went down the parade with my parents and a family friend (don’t make fun of me, I was a freshman in high school.) I was still pretty small so it felt like the biggest thing in the world trying to move through the crowd. I remember being down outside the Bank as the buses made their way through the route. Never made it in the stadium for the speech but heard about it on our way home. I will never forget going out trick or treating that night dressed as Chase Utley only to have an old lady yell at me because of what he said at the Parade. What a day. – Jack F.

I remember my dad saying I could skip school to go to the parade with him and being so excited the whole way up on the train. I was so amazed at all the people climbing the lamp posts to be able to see the parade because we were so far down a side street. And then on the train platform waiting to go home my dad was talking to the guy next to us telling him about what we were doing that night for Halloween and the guy cut through the crowd to the edge of the platform and yelled “this kid is getting on the next train no matter what so he can go trick or treating tonight” and everybody cheered and let me and my dad to the front of the crowd. – Brandon D.

I was deployed in Iraq and requested my R&R leave be back home so I could go…obviously denied lol. – Kevin P. [Editor’s Note: Thank you for your service!]

When the parade had passed, I went into the office and several of us gathered around a computer to watch the ceremonies at the ballpark. I had previously told my manager, also a longtime Phillies fan, about Chase Utley at the All-Star Game forgetting he was wearing a mic and saying “Boo? Fuck you!” when the Mets fans booed him on his introduction, and that there were t-shirts with that saying online within hours. So when Chase uttered his timeless WFC line, we all howled with laughter and my manager turned to me and said, “There’s another t-shirt!” He was right. – Maggie S.

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I was 17. My dad let me and my brother skip school and we each brought a friend. For some reason Pat Burrell, his wife and his dog were stopped in front of us for a long time. He took a beer from the crowd and chugged it to chants of “chug that beer” which turned into “bring back Pat” and “one more year” (when we chanted this he held up three fingers and said “three more”). I slept the whole car ride home. – Tommy K.

My parents called me and my sister in sick from school. I was 10 and she was 8. We managed to arrive early enough where we parked in the city and had a medium length walk to city hall. Before I knew it the place was packed, I had never seen such a large gathering of people before that point in my life. However, I couldn’t see much, I was rather short at the time. So my dad hoisted me up on his shoulders for the entire parade. It was beautiful. There were people in trees and light poles, people watching out of their windows. Business buildings had window washers with signs and throwing newspaper confetti. When it finally ended, my legs were entirely numb at the end but it was so worth it. – Ben S.

I was a new Dad at the time and lived in Maryland. I promised my wife that our 11 month old daughter would not miss her first Halloween but that she needed to be there for the parade. We took the train in from NJ and saw the parade go by on Broad. We rushed back to the train and got in our car and I sped down 95 to make it back in time to trick or treat. My daughter is now 13 and although she doesn’t remember it, I am proud to tell her she was there!!! She was a pumpkin! – Kevin V.

Just some moments I remember… as a Temple student, a mass of people going from campus to center city, including Dionte Christmas and other TU basketball players literally going down Broad Street on top of a UHaul…Seeing people walking over cars that were stuck on Market Street, including my roommate who got hit with a knight stick after he climbed up a garbage truck…I saw a taxi flipped and Phils fans cheering, and another car’s windshield shattered…People on Broad Street hanging from light poles, fireworks shot from windows…Cops clearing an area next to city hall after a traffic light was torn down…Probably not the memories you are looking for but hard not to remember the insanity on Broad. – Evan M.

The 2008 Phillies run was magical. It was also a tough time for me. My father passed away on Sept. 19th. The Phillies impressive run to the World Series seemed to start around that time so it was a great distraction.
I had a friend that managed parking decks and got me a parking spot near City Hall. I was one of the first people on the sidewalk and at one point before the parade came down I remember thinking I never saw so many people in one place. I remember how everyone was so happy and excited. I will say my favorite memory was when a guy climbed up on a news van and was yelling some crazy stuff. Out of nowhere a half full bud light came flying in from the back and knocked him off the van. It will always be one of my favorite memories (the parade, not the guy getting hit with a beer can). – Christopher F.

I was in 4th grade and I begged my parents to let me skip school (even though it was the day of Halloween parades and parties). Eventually me and my dad ended up driving down to broad street to enjoy the parade. We followed them down to the Linc where we had tickets to go watch them parade around the Linc before they went over to the Bank for the speeches. I remember standing in the stadium watching and listening to Chase Utley’s speech on the Jumbotron. I don’t even think 4th grade me knew what he said but I remember the roar of applause when he ripped the famous quote. From that day on my Philly sports fandom was forever changed for the better. – Justin H.

My cousin Brian Jacobs and I tried to catch the New Jersey Transit train from Egg Harbor City at dawn. It was already too packed. The rest of our family bailed. We drove up at the last minute and parked right on the other side of the Walt Whitman Bridge. We walked to the stadium and luckily got a spot on the railing right outside the centerfield gate at the end of the parade route. We waited an eternity to see the Clydesdales pull Pat Burrell and his bulldog Elvis past us. The crowd went bananas when Shane Victorino and Geoff Jenkins danced on top of that bus. We stayed the entire time. Chase Utley gave his speech when we were still in the stadium parking lot. You could feel the earth shake when he dropped the F bomb. Can’t wait for the next one. – Dan M.

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Two friends and I drove down the night before and stayed at the Holiday Inn at Penn’s Landing. Our room was directly facing I-95 North, and I remember hanging out the window waving a bathroom towel as cars laid on their horns as they drove by. We bought a bunch of bottles of champagne that morning and posted across from the Ritz Carlton. I randomly saw so many people in the crowd I knew from all different walks of life — most of whom would throw a beer to me that my cargo pockets were full at that point. We learned from one of them that a friend of a friend had an open bar at (what I recall to be) the old Joe Pesce on Walnut St. So we went there, watched the rest of the parade on a huge projector screen at an open bar. Details become hazy at this point, but we somehow paid a FedEx truck driver $20 to essentially “deliver” us to The Chocolate Works to crash for the night at a friend’s. It was a wild and truly memorable day. – T. S.

My friend lived on the east side of Broad St. I lived on the west. He slept over the night before because we thought we wouldn’t be able to cross it. I checked my CCP email and only one teacher cancelled class. My dad got us a case of Budweiser and we put it in a rubbermaid container in a failed attempt to remain discreet. We got Phil’s steaks for breakfast, pregamed a little at my friends friends house at 13th and Jackson and lugged the rubbermaid to Broad and Shunk and met more friends including one who took a 2 hour lunch from a new job. When the trucks came everyone rushed the street and it was glorious. One of the nicest days I ever remember. I remember waking up on my friends floor on the east side Broad St. hours later watching Elton Brand make his home debut for the Sixers. – Ryan H.

My husband and I had just celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary and drove into Philly with friends and family to CBP, only to learn that parking was free! As we saw Pat Burrell and Elvis leading the parade route into the venue, the fans busted forth into a sea of confetti and tears of joy. We dashed home to watch the ceremony on TV, wondering why so many people were walking around in costumes, completely forgetting it was Halloween. After a quick trip to ACME, we put out a bowl of “take as much as you want!” candy only to hear “World ####ing Champions!” bust forth from the mouth of #26. It was a perfect day. – Beth M.

My night ended in a VIP area at a downtown club. At about midnight, Geoff Jenkins strolled in with his girlfriend. We struck up a conversation and claimed that his double off of Grant Balfour in the second part of Game 5 would have been an upper deck home run if it wasn’t 35 degrees that night. A group of us threw back a bunch of shots with Jenkins, thanked him for a great year and continued on with our celebration. It was a perfect day. – Adam R.

I was a freshman at Penn State Main and had arranged to get a ride back to the city the day before with a friend. When we were supposed to leave, there was no sign of him — turns out he had left myself and another friend behind for reasons unknown to this day. So we scrambled to make alternate arrangements and decided on jumping on a bus to Harrisburg and then hopping on a train from Harrisburg to Philly. The bus left State College at 3AM parade day. So we stayed up all night, hopped the bus, just caught the train in Harrisburg by the skin of our teeth and rolled towards Philly. There were a handful of other fans at Harrisburg, the trains origin, that boarded with us with smatterings filling the train along the way until we were still 30 miles outside the city and the train was full. I remember passing train stations in the closer suburbs with giant crowds of people waiting but our train couldn’t stop because it was entirely jam packed to the max. I felt lucky to have a seat as others were packed in every inch of space like sardines. We got to Philly and ended up watching at Broad & Oregon. We still rag on the friend that left us behind every year but, in reality, I’m glad he allowed us to have an unforgettable adventure instead. – Pat C.

I had just turned 27 and it was my first championship (apart from the Sixers in ’83, which I was too young to remember), so I was determined to go to that parade, but my other coworkers were all moms and were already scheduled to be out that day since it was Halloween. I BEGGED my boss to let me take the day off until she finally told me “Go to the parade, but if I text you that I need you in you’ve got to come right away.” She was going to be by herself, so that was more than fair. I went with my girlfriend (at the time) and my cousin, who had come down from NYC. We took the PATCO in from Haddonfield and I will never forget the crowd or the poor guy who was clearly just trying to get on the train to go to work, seemingly unaware of why so many people were suddenly so eager to get into the city. When we got off at 12th & Locust and tried to get upstairs to street level we were met with a literal wall of people, so we decided to take the subway down to the stadiums and hang out in the parking lot instead. They had giant tv screens set up and I watched in awe, still not believing that I was witnessing a parade down Broad Street. Around noon I got a text message. It was from my boss. My heart sank as I looked, thinking “I’m going to miss seeing it in person”, but then I read what it said: “We’re fine. Enjoy the rest of the day off and the parade.” I put my phone away, cracked open a beer, and waited for the floats to drive by. We were among the last people to see them before they reached Lincoln Financial Field, but we had a great view of all the players (and the Phanatic). We were exhausted, so after that we took the train home. I was on the PATCO going back over the Ben Franklin Bridge when I got a call from my friend: “Chase Utley just said World F***ing Champions on live tv!!!”. Best Halloween ever. – Neil C.


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