So, a month or two back, the phightin' Phils made it into the post-season. Season ticket holders rejoiced and put down deposits on playoff games. I am not so blessed as to possess season tickets, but I did visit Phillies.com to see if tickets could be obtained any other way. I was able to give them my e-mail address and I was entered into a random drawing to see who would have a chance to buy up the few remaining non-season ticket, non-ticket broker, non-I-know-a-guy-who-knows-a-guy seats.
And a few weeks back, I got an e-mail telling me I could buy up to 3 tickets for Game 5 of the World Series. Now, for the baseball-challenged, the World Series is a best-of-seven series; Game 5 might not even happen. So, buying these tickets was like buying a maybe. But I did, because I figured, when is this going to happen again?
Then I found out what the secondary market for World Series tickets was like. Mind you, my seats were so far up you needed a personal trainer to help you get in shape for game night. Nevertheless, people were advertising similar seats for $500, $600 or $800 on various websites. I thought to myself, "Wow, I could use a quick $1100, $1400 or $2000!" I made some efforts towards selling the tickets. None panned out. I am not surprised, since they were tickets to a baseball game, and not gold-plated chocolate jewelry. (Okay, I don't know who's buying gold-plated chocolate jewelry, but it would be expensive. Shut up.)
Anyway, after not getting offers in my ballpark dollar value, I decided to keep them. Good move on my part. Know why?
Again, this is aimed mostly at the baseball-illiterate. The Phils won three games prior to Monday night. That meant they were one win away from a World Series title, winning it all. That's pretty cool. And on Monday, they would play at home, in front of 46,000 screaming fans, with ace Cole Hamels on the mound. These are all good things, and contribute to a very positive outcome. So, my tickets meant I might be able to personally see a Philadelphia sports team win a championship - something that hasn't happened in 25 years.
I called my brother and sister to offer them the other tickets. We packed up a cooler and headed into I-95 traffic. The sky was overcast, but it hadn't rained all day, and the forecast said the rain, while heavy all weekend, was over.
If you were near Philadelphia, or a television set, on Monday night, you'll know that was not the case.
Philly lost a one run lead in the 6th inning due to weather so bad that "inclement" lacks the syllables and gravity necessary to describe the autumn nightmare that descended on Citizens Bank Park. Rain grew worse each inning, and cold wind attacked the park. It never turned to snow, but you'd never have known it from the freezing temperatures. Finally, after the score was tied (to the paranoid distrust of MLB conspiracy theorists), the game was put on hold, suspended.
So, in a weird turn of events, my siblings and I packed up the car with a cooler and headed into I-95 traffic for a second time that week. Last night we got to the park, hung out, used our parking pass to get in free, and used our tickets again to get back up to those nosebleed seats and watch the last three innings of the game. Not that we needed the seats, because we stood the entire time.
Geoff Jenkins hit for Cole Hamels - Cole pitched six on Monday and wouldn't be coming back to pitch Wednesday - and got on base. Rollins and Werth gave up some outs to bring him home and open up the lead. The Rays came right back with a solo home run - Rocco Baldelli, I think. Then Pat Burrell got a hit - his first of the Series, and possibly his last as a Phillie, since he'll be a free agent next year - allowing a base runner to get on and eventually score. Ryan Madson had opened the seventh as pitcher, then JC Romero. That brings us to the ninth, and "Lights Out" Brad Lidge. Lidge has a perfect record in the regular season and the postseason in saves. They didn't need to play the last half-inning.
Phillies win the World Series.
It was great being there - cold, wet, occasionally shocked and outraged by umpires and commissioners - absolutely worth the price of admission. If the Phils go another 28 years before they win one of these, this will tide me over. And by then, maybe I'll have some season tickets.
--3:01 PM, EDT, Holland, PA, nobody, and I mean nobody, comes into our house and pushes us around
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