10 years ago today the Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series

Ten years ago today Phillies won the World Series
Brad Lidge dropped to his knees and Carlos Ruiz leaped into his open arms, grinning from ear-to-ear. It's an image now memorialized in poster form, found on basement walls and in man caves throughout the Philadelphia region. It was a moment of glory, a time of vitality.

"I just remember letting go of the pitch," Lidge said earlier this summer, fondly recalling the 10-year anniversary of Phillies club that won the 2008 World Series. "From there, the rest is still a blur."

Ryan Howard rushed in from first base joining Lidge and Ruiz, with all three falling to the ground to form the basis of the greatest dog pile in Philadelphia baseball history.

"It was a special group of guys," manager Charlie Manuel recalled. "That entire roster was full of professionals. They picked each other up when they needed to, and they knew how to play the game the right way."

Today marks exactly 10-years since this club, composed of some of the best ballplayers to have ever worn red pinstripes, defeated the Tampa Bay Rays to secure the club's second title in franchise history.

“The Philadelphia Phillies are 2008 World Champions of baseball,” legendary broadcaster Harry Kalas shouted in the radio booth with Chris Wheeler pummeling the air beside him in a black leather jacket. Fireworks lit up the south Philadelphia sky as revelers gathered at distinct points of the city to celebrate.

"Chaos down here, chaos, that's the only way to describe," one Philadelphia Police Officer yelled to dispatch twenty minutes after the final out was recorded.

Nights like October 29, 2008, serve as memory markers. Sports bring people together and strengthen communities. They also fuel civic pride and scholars have long contended they bolster unity and solidarity.

In a city as storied as Philadelphia, the 2008 Phillies highlight the greatest multi-season run in franchise history, rivaling the mid 1970's lead-up to the 1980 club led by Mike Schmidt and Steve Carlton.

Bottles were tossed in Mayfair outside the bars on Frankford Avenue. Drunken fans climbed the light poles near City Hall. The imagery will never leave our collective minds.

Days later, Chase Utley will speak during the World Series Parade and etch himself a spot in Philadelphia sports lure forever. It was one of Philadelphia's greatest moments.

"Nothing is greater than winning in Philadelphia," Lidge said. "This place is crazy, but in a good way."
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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