Opening day is postponed, but we’re still rolling. Join us for the ride every Thursday with the Extra Innings podcast, featuring Matt Breen, Bob Brookover and Scott Lauber. This week, we look back at Game 6 of the 1993 NLCS.
Matt Breen (MB): There’s no baseball to watch. Today’s opening day. We’re recording this on Thursday morning. We should be in Miami today, but we’re not. Instead, we’re all at our homes, and we had an assignment last night. We watched Game 6 of the [1993 NLCS]. And as I watched, I kind of thought that this was maybe the most iconic sports night of the 90s in Philadelphia, right? … This night is probably the biggest night of an entire decade in Philadelphia sports.
Bob Brookover (BB): It wasn’t a very good decade. Let’s just put it that way. After an incredible 80s … the 90s were not very good. … But yeah, I would agree that it was probably the greatest season of any of the teams of that decade.
Scott Lauber (SL): Certainly the most triumphant night for Philly sports in the 90s. … Especially with the celebration afterward and certainly a moment unlike any that we had in the 90s here. And it’s interesting because people called it an out-of-nowhere-season or whatever. I think it’s more of a pop-up like. And the Phillies had a few of these seasons.
MB: Just the crowd. It’s just absolutely bonkers. I was cracking up. Tommy Greene’s first pitch is a called strike and the place goes nuts as if the game ended right there. It was so awesome.
SL: I wrote down the Vet was massive and ear-splittingly loud. You know, it’s funny I grew up an hour north of Philadelphia in New Jersey and we went to a lot of games at Yankee Stadium. But we probably went to at least one game a year at the Vet. I used to go for camp days and stuff like that. And I don’t want to say that the stadium was sort of the norm but it was like the cookie-cutter stadium in a multi-sports stadium. You didn’t really think about it. Now you look at a stadium like that, especially when you saw those overhead shots. It was enormous. I mean it was massive. Like how did we watch baseball in a place that huge? And it was loud like you said. I mean, oh my God. On the first pitch, they’re hanging on … That crowd sustained its loudness for a large part of that game.
BB: It was much louder than any of the venues that are around now. For sure.
MB: I think fans experience sports differently now than they did in the 80s or the 90s. I think culturally as a whole it’s kind of changed. I think sports meant something different to people when life was more basic than it is now.
SL: Also the whole viewing experience is different. Maybe now you take some time and you go get a beer or you go get a hot dog. But [back then], you’re there to watch the game. What was absent from those crowd shots? Camera phones. Any other kind of device. Now you see people playing on their phone or texting their buddy or taking video. … At that time you are in your seat. When that game was played, I was a senior in high school. I remember when I was that age or younger going to games with my dad and we wouldn’t even get out of our seats to get concessions. He would just get them from the vendor and have him throw the hot dog at us. I mean, you literally went there, sat down, started watching the game and you didn’t really get up unless you had to go to the bathroom or concessions stand until you left. And that was your viewing experience. And that probably has something to do with the intensity of the crowd too. You were there in your seat and you were there for the game.
MB: Can we please talk about the “Whoomp There It Is” chants?