A decade ago they sat in a sea of empty 700-level seats at Veterans Stadium, wearing wolf masks, dancing and howling whenever Randy Wolf was on the mound.
When Wolf pitched the first game at Citizens Bank Park in 2004, there was the Wolf Pack - eight Wood brothers: Kevin, Joe, John, Al, Jimmy, Charles, Tom and Patrick, along with first cousins Tommy, John, Mark and Jimmy Thompson.
But after the 2006 season, Wolf became a Dodger, and he returned to LA this season after stints with the Padres and Astros last year. And now he'll be trying to keep a second world championship ring from gracing Phillies' fingers.
"I just got an e-mail [from Wolf Packer Patrick Wood] saying how weird this is," Wolf said yesterday. "I think they may be there, but I don't think they'll be in costume.
"They're Phillies fans. I think they'll root for me to leave with a 1-0 lead after eight innings and then the Phillies to come back and win in the ninth."
Said Wolf Packer Kevin Wood, a Philadelphia police officer: "Randy is a friend, but knows that our loyalty is red and white. With any luck I'll be working the games when the Phils come back to Philly, and then working the parade."
"When the World Series ended last year," Kevin's brother, Patrick, said, "I was hugging my wife while Lidge was hugging Ruiz. That was heaven. I want to go there again."
But when Wolf was a Phillie, things were very different.
When Patrick found out that Wolf was scheduled to pitch on his wedding day in September 2000, he called Larry Andersen, who was doing the TV broadcast with Harry Kalas, and lamented it would be the first Wolf start that the Pack had missed in 2 years.
"Congratulations," Patrick remembers Anderson telling him. "You're whipped already."
Inspired by Andersen, Patrick walked Amy down the aisle of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Overbrook, then turned to his new bride and said they had to stop at the ballpark on their way to the reception. "I don't think we should do this," Amy said.
"My brothers warned me you would change," Patrick said. "But I didn't think you'd change this quickly."
Amy relented. The newlyweds rode the wedding limo to the ballpark and spent the second inning doing play-by-play with Andersen and Kalas.
"Afterwards, they both kissed my wife," Patrick said. "Then Harry sang 'Blue Hawaii' to us, since that's where we were going for our honeymoon."
Like life, Patrick said, the Wolf Pack years had their ups and downs.
"Losing our youngest brother Tom in a car accident on Opening Day 2002 was brutal and still is," he said, "but having Randy show up at the funeral was something special. His support of us at that time meant more than anything we had ever done to support him in a baseball game."
This year, losing Kalas, their favorite Phillie family member of all time, hit the Wood brothers hard.
"We took our blind father to Harry's Hall of Fame induction as the Wolf Pack," Patrick said. "Being there with my dad and all my brothers was the best day I ever spent in a rubber mask."