Phillies 1993: My First Team
You can ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that I bleed red and white Phillies pinstripes. They know Chase Utley is my all-time favorite baseball player (I am still mourning his trade to the Dodgers), that Charlie Manuel is my favorite Phillies manager and that the 2007-2011 Phillies teams are my all time favorites.
Those who know me can also tell you that my love for the game and the Phillies was born during the summer of 1993. It was the blue-collar guys known as “Macho Row” who got me hooked on America’s pasttime.
More from Phillies History
- 11 Free-agent deals the Philadelphia Phillies wish fell through
- Philadelphia Phillies achieve franchise feat for first time since 2011
- Phillies History on August 23: Eric Bruntlett records historic triple play
- Remembering Vin Scully: Dodgers voice’s first game was against Phillies
- Phillies in hot water for inviting Pete Rose to 1980 World Series celebration
My Uncle Robert loves telling the story of when he took me to my first game at Veteran’s Stadium when I was around 4 or 5 years old. The Phillies were pretty terrible at the time, and I stood and cheered when a player from the opposing team hit a home run. I wasn’t even in Kindergarten yet, and didn’t know any better.
As the years went on we attended many more games at the Vet, and I started to get the hang of which team I was supposed to be rooting for, and when I should cheer for a homer.
In the summer of 1993, the Phillies finally started playing some great baseball, and I was beyond excited for my first pennant chase and hopeful that I would get to experience my first World Series parade.
I loved everything about watching the Phillies that year. I can still remember cheering for every dramatic Save that closer Mitch Williams made, every great catch that Lenny Dykstra made, and every home run that John Kruk would hit. They were a fun bunch to watch and easy to root for.
I remember being in grade school when we held a Phillies pep rally during the playoffs and how the whole city was electrified when the big red Phillies hat was placed atop the William Penn statue. Little did we know it would later be considered a curse.
I can still remember cheering with my family in the living room as we watched the Phillies take on the Blue Jays, and how my heart broke when Joe Carter’s walkoff home run in Game 6 went sailing into the Toronto night. My dad has painful memories of the collapse of ’64, and Black Friday in ’77. I had the ‘Wild Thing’ leaving one over the heart of the plate.
Fifteen years later, I finally got to experience a championship when Brad Lidge struck out Eric Hinske to seal the Phillies victory in the 2008 World Series. I drove down Broad Street with my family, honking the car horn and giving high fives to all of the other elated Phillies fans, many of whom were seeing the first Philadelphia championship in their lifetimes, my 25-year old self included. Two days later I was finally able to attend a World Series victory parade.
The glory years of 1993 and 2007-2011 are gone now. The Phillies are in the midst of a rebuild, and there will not be a pennant chase this year. The most exciting thing about the team now is watching in anticipation as some of their young prospects get called up to the Majors, and the next Phillies core begins to come together.
Aaron Nola and Maikel Franco are already in the Show. Guys like Nick Williams, Jake Thompson, Andrew Knapp, and top prospect J.P. Crawford are looking like they might be ready for MLB in 2016. I look forward to blogging about the next era of Phillies baseball and creating happy baseball memories with my young daughter. The big league club may currently be in last place, but the future sure looks bright.