Nearly every time Doc Halladay pitched at Citizens Bank Park last year and the year before that, he was wildly cheered from the centerfield Bud Lite Rooftop by Doc's Patients — guys in matching hospital gowns frantically miming defibrillator resuscitation on each other to celebrate every strikeout.
Phillies fans hadn't seen such loyal devotion to a pitcher since the legendary Wolf Pack — the eight Wood brothers plus four first cousins — showed up in wolf masks, dancing and howling at the Vet a decade ago to celebrate Randy Wolf's outings.
But so far this season, Doc's Patients have been AWOL. What happened?
Mike Jaffe of Wynnewood, one of the founding Patients, told SportsWeek that the group disbanded when co-founder Matt Leddy of Havertown moved to Atlanta.
"Once he left, it was like not enough of us wanted to do it," said Jaffe, 23, who grew up playing AAU baseball (at second base) with Leddy (on first) for the Lower Merion Legends.
Jaffe and Leddy went to high school at St. Joe's Prep with Joe Bruno of Bala Cynwyd, who was friends with Nick Mayo of Broomall and Ryan Christiansen of Roxborough — all core Patients.
Together, they ruled the Rooftop for two seasons, highlighted by witnessing Halladay's historic 2010 postseason no-hitter, and by schmoozing with Stutes' Fruits — cute girls dressed up as citrus edibles to honor Phillies reliever Michael Stutes in 2011.
"Besides Matt leaving, it just got too expensive for young guys working entry-level jobs to go to all of Doc's starts," Jaffe said. Asked about a reunion of Doc's Patients, he said, "I wouldn't be surprised if we do that at some point. We still get likes on our Facebook page."?