Where were you when the Phillies won the World Series 10 years ago today? We asked, and you told us.
Jamie Moyer, one of the heroes of the 2008 World Series, said he likes to ask fans "Where were you?" So that's what we did last week. Everyone has a story, Moyer said. And he was right: we were flooded with responses.
The region awoke 10 years ago today — Oct. 29, 2008 — to begin yet another day without a championship. It had been more than 25 years since Philadelphia's last major-sports title.
But that was about to change. Two days of rain had finally stopped. It was the Phillies' chance to reign.
It's been a decade since the 2008 World Series title, when Brad Lidge struck out Eric Hinske and Charlie Manuel hollered, "This is for Philadelphia."
Everyone has a story, Moyer said. And he was right. We were flooded with responses and had to trim them down. Here are your stories:
John Fleming, Richboro: I was offered a ticket to the completion of the game and turned it down to be with my young kids. We had watched all of the games together, even letting them stay up late for the NLCS clincher (even though they fell asleep). With the chance to win it at a reasonable hour, I didn't want to be anywhere else but with them. And after we won, we took the car out and drove around town blasting the horns like I remembered doing as a kid in the 70s and 80s!
Brian Reed, West Point, N.Y.: I was in Diyala Province, Iraq as the Battalion Commander of 1st Battalion 24th Infantry. Given the time difference between Philly and Iraq, it was an early morning. The game was shown on the Armed Forces Network. The worst part of the whole thing was that the power went out on FOB Warhorse and I never saw the end of the game. Later that day, I did fly a Phillies pennant from the antenna of my vehicle when I was out on patrol. For the record, I was in my living room watching the Phillies win the 1980 World Series. I was in 7th grade. My dad was at the game with my uncle. I did go to Game 2 with my dad.
>> LOOKING BACK: 10 years ago, the Phillies won the World Series
Ron Sataloff, La Jolla, Calif.: I was with my sister, who was dying of brain cancer in a San Francisco hospice. By that time the disease had also taken her vision, but on that night she "watched" with me on TV from her bed. After that final strike, we shouted, "We did it!" and hugged each other. My sister (Judy) had long since been a Giants fan, but somewhere inside her remained that girl from south Jersey, and as she wept with joy she said to me, "I guess I'm happy for Dad too." Our father had died many years earlier, but here, in that moment, a dying woman, a deceased dad, and a sad brother were happy. It was the last evening I saw her alive, and it is how I will forever remember her. Don't tell me that the Phillies don't matter, that sports don't sometimes transcend the confines of the ballpark. That's where I was on that wonderful night, and it was important.
John B., Bensalem: I was at home with my wife and 12-year-old son. When Lidge got the last out they went nuts and I just looked up to the ceiling. My dad had passed away the previous May and was a huge baseball fan. He had taken me to my first game at nine years old to see Johnny Callison, who was then with the Cubs in 1969. He took me to the first game at the Vet and was with me for the '83 clincher vs. the Dodgers. I took him to a game every year for Father's Day. All I could think of was that he would not have made a scene. He just smiled and nodded. Then I went outside to bang pots and pans with the fam. Great stuff.
Mike Zakrzewski, Harleysville: During the Phillies 2008 postseason run, we found our lucky bar – Pizza Time Saloon in West Point, Pa. My friends and I, most of us 22 years old and fresh out of college, would put up with the cigarette smoke permeating our clothes each night, just because the Phillies kept winning each time we went there to watch a game. So of course, we were there for both halves of Game 5 of the World Series. When Lidge struck out Hinske, we erupted in euphoria, spraying Bud Light all around and rejoicing. This was the first Philadelphia championship of our lifetime and we sure celebrated like it! I think the beer is still on the ceiling 10 years later.
Steven A. Krawczyk, Buffalo: I was at home watching the game on the 27th — my birthday. I was watching with my girlfriend at the time, who is now my wife. I was supposed to work the night shift at my job, but I called off to watch the game. This was the first Phillies game I watched with my wife, so this was the first time she saw how invested I was with the team, and that's when she knew how much the Phillies mean to me. To her credit, she watched the game with me, and she was just as disappointed as I was when it was delayed. After the game was delayed, we watched the Jessica Alba film "The Eye." It stunk.
Dominic Pellegrino, Philadelphia: I'm a Philadelphia police officer and had the opportunity to work most of the playoff games and all of the World Series games, including the infamous rain game. I was very excited to work the final game knowing the Phils were going to win, but my wife, who was nine months pregnant, had different plans. We arrived at the hospital on the morning of the game and around 3 my beautiful daughter Adrianna was born. We were taken up to the maternity floor at Pennsylvania Hospital and my wife gave me a speech about yelling and screaming at the TV during the game. Soon after, the game started every nurse on the floor was in our room watching the game and when Lidge threw that magical pitch everyone went crazy. The city was electric that night and when I left the hospital I drove through all the celebrations. The day we were able to bring Adrianna home was the day of the parade so we wrapped her in a Phillies blanket and dressed her big brother Dominic in his Ryan Howard jersey and enjoyed the sights and sounds of this great city on the way home.
Michael Padover, Northern Liberties: I had friends … stay over at our apartment for Game Five in hopes of celebrating. But then, when the game got called, they ended up just staying the next couple nights and calling out of work. They didn't want to leave the city. We also had tickets for the Sixers' home opener against Toronto, which was scheduled around the same time Game 5 was supposed to resume. We stayed downstairs at Wells Fargo after the game to watch the Phillies win there. As soon as they won we hopped in the car and drove back towards Center City. In the parking lot across the street you could both hear and feel the vibrations coming out of Citizens Bank Park. The rest of that night is kind of a blur — I just remember all the flags on cars and everyone honking. The energy in the city that night was unlike anything I'd ever seen before. Broad Street was just insane; words can't really describe it. Nothing will ever match that night in 2008 when the Phillies painted the city red. I think at least for people around my age group born in the early 80's, who care a little too much about sports, October '08 was the fulfillment of everything we ever hoped for as Philly fans.
David T. Hunt, Northern Liberties: What I remember is the last pitch. Brad Lidge's final save of the year. The entire, collective Delaware Valley held their breath for that pitch and when it crossed the plate, we all exhaled and screamed in exaltation. My wife and I were at P.J. Whelihan's in Haddonfield for that game (we actually went to Game 4) and the whole place fell silent for about a half second. I'll never forget that last pitch.
Tug Massa, Philadelphia: I was at Game 5 with my family, both nights! I was born in October of 1980 and named after Tug McGraw, so being there in person with my parents who gave me the name Tug was unbelievable.
Maj. Trey Smith, US Army, Joint Base Andrews, Md.: I was in Iraq on month 12 of a 14-month deployment when the Phillies won Game 5. I awoke at 3:30 a.m. to watch the game on the Armed Forces Network in my unit's headquarters; only myself and a radio operator were awake. He was a Yankees fan and decided to root for the Rays just to make the night interesting. When Brad Lidge struck out Eric Hinske in the 9th at about 6:30 a.m. my time, I went outside and yelled at the top of my lungs, waking up half on my unit. I wished I could have been home to see the game with my friends and to go the the parade, but I was ecstatic to be able to see the game at all.
Rob Kuestner, Blackwood: I was producing Phillies Postgame Live in the CSN (now NBCSP) control room. We went on the air just before 10 p.m. We ended sometime in the 1 a .m. hour. While showing wild celebrations at Cottman and Frankford, Broad Street, and inside the clubhouse, the only shot I cared about was the "inside the booth" shot I had worked hard to help arrange with Harry Kalas and Chris Wheeler calling the last out. I just wanted to see Harry's face while he finally got to make that call. Remember, this was pre-Twitter, pre-Instagram. So I had no idea what the shot looked like until we got the tape in-house and hit play. When we did? Better than I ever could have imagined. Photographer Jerry Hines killed it. And — most importantly — Chris Wheeler nailed it. He reacted like someone who had spent his life around the team should — celebrating — but making absolutely sure he would NOT to step on Harry's call. Probably my favorite moment in 20-plus years in the producer's chair.
Matt Doroshow, Lafayette Hill: My father had been diagnosed with ALS and I moved home to help him and my mom the best I could. However, due to superstition, I would only watch the game alone in my room. When they won, I raced downstairs to a joyous mom and dad. My mom was an only child who grew up with a father that taught her everything about baseball. My dad was never a sports fanatic like I was — but he fell in love with the '08 team after meeting Brad Lidge and Cole Hamels in the media room just before the Phillies ALS Festival. My dad passed the following December — but I don't think I could have been in a better place to see them win the World Series.
Paul B., Philadelphia: I remember it like it was yesterday: I was working as a Phillies host in my first full season at CBP, section 331. Me and my daughter shared that unforgettable moment. My first and only time to experience a Philadelphia world championship in person.
Kelly O'Donnell, Atglen, Pa.: I was holding my newborn son Daulton (named after Darren Daulton) who was born on Oct 2. … It was the last couple pitches and my companion said, "You might want to put him down so you can jump up and dance!" That's exactly what I did! I remember crying being so happy they won! I will always hold a special place in my heart for that team.
Tom Delaney, Philadelphia: I was then in the midst of a 14-month assignment (U.S. Government, civilian) in Baghdad, Iraq, following the playoffs and World Series in the middle of the night in the Armed Forces Network. As the World Series began, I needed to plan a visit to our base in Mosul, Iraq. I purposely scheduled it around the games, hoping Game 5 would be the last and I could watch it from the relative comfort of my home compound. Then the rains hit Philadelphia, which rendered my advance planning worthless. So I had to travel to Mosul two days after Game 5 started, hoping I could find a place to watch it and someone to watch it with once it resumed in the middle of the night. Upon returning from my engagements "outside the wire" late in the day, I identified that there was a rec center (a pre-fab structure) set up for our troops to relax, with a TV. Further, I happened upon a young soldier who informed me that he'd be watching the game there later (which would have been around 3 a.m. in Mosul). I ate dinner, returned to my temporary quarters (a type of one-person VIP trailer home), set my alarm for 3 a.m., and then headed to watch the game/share the company of at least one baseball (if not Phillies) fan. When I got to the rec center, the game was indeed on the TV. But the soldier was laying there sound asleep. Not having enough time to seek another venue to watch the game, I sat and watched Pat Burrell's double, Pedro Feliz' RBI, Eric Bruntlett crossing the plate, and Brad Lidge's final strikeout, silently jumping up and down and pantomiming my joyous (and nervous) cheers, not wanting to awake the young soldier — who, for all I knew had been on patrol that day/needed to go out on patrol the next morning. I was alone in a faraway place, but I felt every bit a part of the crowd at the Bank, and part of the parade crowd later that week. I got first hand reports of the parade from my mother and sister. And listened to Philadelphia sports talk streamed in Iraq as much as I could that week in order to "be a part of it."
Joe Messina, South Philadelphia: Coming from a baseball family that lives in the shadow of CBP and Vet Stadium, and was at Game 6 in 1980 with my Dad, I knew there was only one way to experience this win. I still live in same neighborhood, a few blocks away from my parents. In the 7th inning I picked up my 74-year-old dad (who has since passed) and brought him to my house where we watched the final innings along with my 7-year-old son. Three generations of huge Phillies fans experiencing the ultimate victory together. We then proceeded to Broad Street where my Dad was able to connect with his other grandson. It was the ultimate gift for my dad, his son, and two grandsons to celebrate our team that is our passion.
Skip, Northeast Philadelphia: It was a Wednesday, and the rain delay had awkwardly watered down the excitement I had going into the start of Game 5 on Monday night. On my way home from high school, my father (a cop at the time) called to say he was working security detail inside the ballpark that night, and that he was taking me with him. I entered the ballpark with the group of police, remained adequately inconspicuous until the gates opened, then parked myself behind a lower-level section near home plate for about three hours before the game resumed. I watched and celebrated with people I'd never seen before, or since, but in the moment we were all best friends. When Manuel took to the mic after the game, the roar of "CHAR-LEE! CHAR-LEE!" is the loudest ovation I've ever heard. Ten years later, it's still unbelievable.
Jack Lynch, Drexel Hill: I was at the Vet in 1980 and I can tell you exactly where I was sitting and everything we did that night to celebrate after Tug's strikeout. So when the opportunity presented itself to take my oldest son John (16) to Game 5 in 2008, I jumped at it. The ride into CBP that night was filled with my stories from 1980 and plans for that night's celebration. Arriving at the park that night, I told my son that this is EXACTLY how it felt in 1980: same vibe, same electricity, same common certainty that TONIGHT we win the World Series. Fast forward: two hours of sitting in the cold rain, the Rays had tied the score and the rain was coming down harder and it felt 20 degrees colder than at the start. I remember glancing at my son, who was now soaking wet and shaking from the cold and thinking, "This is NOT how I planned this night to be; he was cold, wet and the Philadelphia sense of impending doom had come over him." It could not have been more different than that night in '80. I remember the confusion inside the stadium once they stopped the game. What happens now? How long do we have to wait? What if they lose?
Flash forward 48 hours later: John and I are back at CBP; the same fans who sat near us on Monday were back we greeted each other like family members at a reunion, that feeling of electricity was back. I looked at my son and told him, "This ends tonight." One last Brad Lidge slider and I was able to share with my son that feeling I first enjoyed 28 years earlier. After the game, we started to walk down Broad Street (like I did as a 20-year-old in 1980) but the parent in me felt it was best we avoided that mayhem. The drive home, punctuated with horn blowing and high fives with strangers at every red light, is now my son's memory of a Phillies championship. I hope someday he can share with his children what I was able to share with mine on that October night in 2008.
Larry Kelly, Philadelphia: I was fortunate enough to be at Citizens Bank Park, and we all know how great that was. But my response is about where I was for the Game 3 win … I was at A.I. duPont Hospital for Children (in Wilmington, Del.). About a year prior to the World Series, our 4-year-old daughter Kara was diagnosed with brain cancer. As part of her treatment protocol, she spent one weekend every month in the hospital receiving a chemotherapy infusion. My wife and I would rotate who would spend the night with her and who would stay home with our son. As fate would have it, Saturday, Oct. 25, was both Game 3 and my night to stay with Kara. Back then, the hospital still had those small, 5-inch-by-5-inch TVs that extended from the wall by an adjustable mechanical arm, hovering overhead. With the room lights out and the sound off to help my sick daughter get the sleep she needed, I watched alone as Chooch hit the greatest 40-foot single in Phillies history. As a lifelong Phillies fan, I had just witnessed an improbable walk-off hit in a pivotal game of the World Series. Then came the hard part: How can I react under the circumstances? In retrospect, I probably did what most other Phillies fans were doing at the same time. I threw up my arms in victory, got up from my chair and jumped around the room. Only I did it all without making a single sound. Maybe that's why, in the years since then, I tend to yell a little louder when celebrating other victorious Philly sports moments. While the taste of victory that night felt just as good as it would have if I was in a bar with friends, the added bonus was that it also brightened an otherwise terrible time in our lives. One of these days, I have to reach out to Chooch and tell him how much his hit, and the whole World Series victory, helped keep our family going. Finally, and most importantly, I am happy to report that Kara is currently a sophomore in high school and looking forward to celebrating her upcoming sweet sixteen birthday.