October 1st, 2011. The hot summer days have passed us by with the cold, crisp fall air moving in faster than David Herndon’s exit off the playoff roster. It’s playoff baseball; it is no secret that this Phillies team has made it old hat playing baseball in October. But this year is different. 2008 has become a distant memory. A sea of red flooding down Broad Street, an iconic memory engrained in our minds. A city, a team desperately wanting that pheeling again.
This team is built to win, built to win it all. When Hall of Famer Pat Gillick stepped down it was up to Ruben Amaro Jr. to continue the trend. Rube has done everything it takes to build a winner; he has put all his chips on the table for this moment right now. From Cliff Lee to Hunter Pence we have never seen a Phillies team quite like this one and the Major League best, franchise best 102 wins have proven that thus far.
The morning air is cold, a hot cup of coffee is enough to stimulate the senses. There is no doubt on my mind that today is game day. Today the real season begins. Today you count every second, every minute watching the hands of the clock. A countdown texting war ensues with my brother. “5 hours, 14 minutes!! You ready!?!”
Walking down Pattison the energy is vibrant, it’s alive. The beat of the drums seems to be in tune with every step of my red chucks. The white and red striped Phillies knee high socks are enough to catch the attention of jealous phans but today all the bells and whistles come out. The passion for a team, your team is alive and well. The dyed red head shows you mean business. But that’s exactly what this team is all about, business.
My lucky shirt, jersey, hat, money clip, shoes, socks, it’s all there. You claim you aren’t superstitious but everything you do and put on seems to have some sort of meaning and luck to it.
At exactly 5:07 class is in session, the Doc is on the hill. After all the festivities, the fireworks, our salute to America, let’s play ball! Chase Utley at the top of the steps leads the 2011 N.L East Champs out of the dugout to the roar of 45,000 strong. As Doc and Chooch gear up the rally towels are all you can see. The flags of past championships fly high over Ashburn Alley with Whitey and Harry looking on. With the first pitch yet to be thrown my voice seems to be fading already.
With the look of a stone cold killer Roy Halladay looks in towards home plate with his partner Chooch calling the shots. Every 4:30 am wake up call, every workout in the rain, every long flight, all 162 games, it all comes down to this moment. This is what it is all about. It’s October in Philadelphia and the city is frozen in time all eyes on the hill. This is where the boys of summer become legends of the phall.
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