Once in a while, the Phillies are let out of their bubble of celebrity/restraining orders to mingle with us, the fans. And what better time to do so then the day after Cole Hamels announced he would sign a six year contract extension to stay here because of the fans and no other reason?
Maybe the day after they win the World Series or the day after any normal day that would work for them.
Well, alongside the smiling children, eBay enthusiasts, and creepy adults who left a scarecrow in their cubicle so they could attend without getting screamed at by their boss, the Phillies managed to raise $858,340 for ALS, their chosen team charity.
The auctions themselves for pieces of clothing worn by Phillies players went collectively for almost $100,000. The single most expensive six-piece item, making it not single, was six different baseballs signed by the six Phillies World Series teams, which we can feel free to label as “World Series” teams because they did in fact play in the World Series, despite only a third of them actually winning it.
Meanwhile, some people were luckier than others, or just had cooler stuff to bring, while others of us were forced to have our favorite Phillies players sign our hands or paper towels stolen from the bathroom, and still others had to make up stories about getting autographs on body parts or bathroom paper because they didn’t even get to go.
The event couldn’t have been timed better, as the Phillies are playing the best, or at least most entertaining, baseball of the entire season, and we naturally would relish the opportunity to stand next to them and cheese for the cameras. God only knows what would have happened had Phillies Phestival been held a few weeks ago. Plenty of mental breakdowns, tearful outbursts, and advice from guys who were invited to a Single-A training camp once but asked to leave for being visibly intoxicated, I can tell you that.
Now, the Phillies embark on a new Phestival. A Phestival of carnage amongst NL East rivals.