Phillies Won the World Series Eight Years Ago Today


Today marks the eighth-year anniversary of the Phillies 2008 World Series Championship. It’s time to reminisce about the glory days.

I can remember watching vividly. Game Five of the World Series between the Rays and Phillies was just starting up again after being suspended due to rain two days prior. Still being rather young at the time, I knew something important was happening, but I didn’t grasp what fans had to go through for 28 years between 1980 and then. Years of futility sandwiched around Joe Carter’s 1993 home run were burned into the minds of the adults around me. I was lucky enough that my passion for baseball bloomed at the same time the Phightins hit their stride.

When Lidge completed his perfect season, striking out Eric Hinske and falling to his knees, the entire Delaware Valley exploded. It had been 28 years since a World Series title and 25 since the last championship in Philadelphia. The fans felt overdue, and the team rewarded them.

Philadelphia police and city officials estimated more than a million people showed up for the parade on Broad Street. The throng of people forced SEPTA to suspend rail service so those at the parade could leave.

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Kids skipped school and adults called out of work in order to see the first parade in Philadelphia since the Reagan presidency. One fan told Jen A. Miller of the New York Times that his kids would “get a lot more education out of this than if they were in school.”

Jaime Moyer was the only person on the team who attended the 1980 parade. Moyer told the Associated Press:

"“This is unbelievable. I’m starting to understand what it’s really all about here. I was at the parade in 1980 and that was pretty exciting, but today tops it by far.”"

The championship spurned one of, if not the, greatest eras in Phillies baseball. From 2009 on, the question wasn’t if the Phillies could win another series; it was when they would. It seemed inevitable; they already won a World Series solely on the core of Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Cole Hamels. In theory, the team should only get better as they surround that core with more quality players through free agency and trades.

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Unfortunately, 2008 was the only championship to come out of that era. From 2009 on, the team was eliminated one round earlier every year before missing the playoffs altogether in 2012. The peripheral players on the championship squad – Jayson Werth, Shane Victorino, Brett Myers, Pat Burrell – were all long gone by then.

Eventually, the Phillies had to separate the core that brought them the championship. The Dodgers became the land of former Phillies, with Rollins, Utley, and Carlos Ruiz all winding up there. Cole Hamels was traded to Texas in a move that kick-started the Phillies rebuild.

The team will buy out Howard’s contract this offseason, likely after the World Series ends. The buyout will officially move the team into their next era, and whether or not it will be a good one will be determined by the new core the team is trying to build.

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The championship only becomes more of a memory each year that passes, but it should never leave the minds of anyone who was able to witness it. Watching the team win a World Series truly turned me into a Phillies fan. The euphoria from winning that title just makes me want to see another championship in Philadelphia all the more.