Apparently, MLB organized a list of it’s “50 “greatest games.” The following were the ones that involved the Phillies, and are therefore clearly the only ones I bothered to watch.
May 17, 1979: The Phillies and Cubs combine for 45 runs
Wooooo! Runs! Maybe it was refreshing just to see this much offense when we couldn’t seem to squeak it out when we needed to this season.
If you watch this clip, just listen to the emotions of the announcer. This was not a time when feelings were hidden behind whispy hairdos and Joe Buck-smiles. No blank references of tangled English verbiage. When the Cubs tie it up, the guy thinks it is just keen. When Schmidt hits a home run to take the lead, he yells “Oh, brother,” which is the baseball announcer equivalent of shouting “FUCKER OF MOTHERS!!” in the middle of the supermarket checkout line.
And then, when the Cubs finally lose the game, he refers to it as a “… sad day.” Uh, nobody tell this guy everything that’s happened in Chicago for the last three decades.
October 12, 1980: Phils beat Astros in 10 to take NLCS
This was the age of Houston Astros baseball in which the front office was determined to make their players look like a package of Starburst; finding a place for every intrusively garish color of the rainbow on their uniforms. No matter what happened on the field that day, as with every day during this era, the Astros were going to be leaving the field looking ridiculous.
What you most want to celebrate here is the prime amount of Garry Maddox camera time. The man was butter on the outfield grass–just spread out everywhere. Of course this memory would not have been as sweet had the Phillies not been World Series champs the following week, so maybe take it with a grain of salt. Or a tab of acid. Or whatever the designer and room full of management were tripping on when they thumb-upped those Astros uniforms.
October 19, 1980: Tugger wins a World Series Game
So this isn’t the actual World Series victory per se, but we do get a classic shot of Tug McGraw walking off the field, his fists in the air in front of a Royals-friendly audience, just celebrating the fact that he is the tits. Prior to this, he had pitched in every game of the NLCS against the strictly color-washed Astros, so he may have been primed for World Series baseball from the start.
Sure, he went on to lose Game Three and blow a save on Game Five. But why don’t you play in 100% of the NLCS then come out and be perfect in the World Series?! Huh?! Tell me why you will not do that.
Anyways, we won, and it took Tugger maybe 60 seconds to rip his “Ya gotta believe!” Mets-mantra in half like a phone book by announcing:
All through baseball history, Philadelphia has had to take a back seat to New York City. Well, New York City can take this world championship and stick it! ‘CAUSE WE’RE NUMBER ONE!
October 20, 1993: Blue Jays score six runs on the Phillies
What? I don’t remember this.
October 23, 1980: Joe Carter’s walkoff to win the World Series
I don’t understand. Was this in Japan? Someone check with MLB Official Archives to make sure they have their facts straight. And then burn the archives down.
October 27, 2008: Phillies win World Series after rain delay
I can tell you that there were not many things that would have brought and then kept me outdoors during this shitty, shitty weather. Walking back to my dorm that day had been a catastrophic nightmare, getting spit in the face by God and kicked off my feet by gale force winds. It didn’t know if it wanted to be a terrible rain storm or an even worse sleet-storm.
A deciding World Series game was just about the only thing that would not only bring me back into the shit, but allow me to ignore pretty much everything that was happening around me. There’s something about your favorite team winning the World Series for only the second time in franchise history that sort of grabs your attention and doesn’t let go, even if 46 hours pass by between innings.
October 6, 2010: Doc’s post season no-hitter
However things may have turned out for us this year, we can always say we had every reason to reach for the skies. In his first playoff appearance, when people had actually doubted him because it was his first time, Roy Halladay didn’t allow anybody but Jay Bruce to touch base, and even Jay had to sell his soul to the devil between innings to get his walk. If you have to involve Satan just to get a baserunner, chances are Doc’s on the mound.
Unfortunately, someone burned down the part of the MLB Archives with the rest of the 2010 post season in it, so we’ll never know how things turned out, I guess.
I’ve been informed that only one of these moments made it into the top 20 (airing tonight on the MLB Network at 8pm), and that is the 20th-ranked game, and that Bob Costas is hosting the special, so, you know. Don’t watch it if those things deter you. Which they probably do.