Go Go Power Ranger: Phillies' newest ace loves his new fan club

Ranger Suárez’s "Power Rangers" fan club is the newest in a long line of Phillies fan groups.
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Ranger Suárez
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Ranger Suárez / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

There's a new Philadelphia Phillies stadium fan group, formed to honor the Phillies’ Cy Young Award frontrunner, Ranger Suárez. As most MLB followers now know, Suárez has started his season as though to prove the Phillies actually have three aces, not just two. He is 9-0 in 10 starts and has a 1.36 ERA and 0.79 WHIP.

By now, you’ve heard all the historical comparisons. It’s not often that Grover Cleveland Alexander’s name flies around in such discussions, but Ol’ Pete came up this week.

Go Go Power Ranger: Phillies' newest ace loves his new fan club

Additionally, now we know that Suárez knows he has a fan group at Citizens Bank Park. He was asked about it after his ninth win in the Phillies clubhouse on May 21. Through an interpreter, he told reporters that he had seen the group in CBP’s third deck in right field while warming up before the game.

“That brings a lot of joy to me,” he said.  “It’s something really exciting.” He said he tries to “give back” some of the excitement such a group brings to the ballpark.

Suárez’s group is called the Power Rangers, and they join a long line of Phillies fanatical groups very different from your average employer’s yearly group at the ballpark. Fanatical groups in Philadelphia have usually congregated in the upper decks in the sometimes empty, cheaper seats so they can dance, drink, display signs, and generally act like a happy group of five-year-olds. Together.

Suárez’s Power Rangers join a long line of Phillies stadium fan groups

How did this all start?

On the dreary day that Citizens Bank Park opened on April 12, 2004, few people likely knew that the Phillies pitcher that day, Randy Wolf, was bringing a Veterans Stadium ritual with him to the new ballpark. His stadium fan club, the Wolf Pack, had decided to follow him to the new ballpark. Although they weren’t in evidence in the steady rain that Opening Day, they would show up at CBP in better weather.

Or so the story goes. Going back just 12 years to briefly document the history of the Wolf Pack in 2016, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Enrico Campitelli declared cautiously, “The tradition of individual player fan groups is believed to have started with Randy Wolf at the Vet and continues on today with groups like Rupp's Puppies.”

This is likely to be recognized by older fans as wrong, wrong, wrong, and not just because they can’t remember Cameron Rupp’s (or Ruppie’s) Puppies. Dick Allen had a stadium fan group at Connie Mack Stadium that displayed a sign reading "Allen’s Alley."

However, the stadium fan group seemed to become a real “thing” for Phillies fans in their 21st-century home, with groups honoring stars and minor players alike: Wolf, Rupp, Ryan Howard, Vicente Padilla, Sal Fasano, Pat Burrell, Chris Coste, Brandon Marsh, and Robert Person, to name only some.

Person’s People got high marks, of course, for cleverness, but Padilla’s Flotilla was perhaps the most memorable for its near rhyme, their sombreros, and the oars they brought to the park to dance and row with when Padilla struck someone out.

The longest-lasting Phillies stadium group, seemingly, was the Wolf Pack, and it’s not hard now to find positive remembrances on the internet by fans of this fan group like MelGibsonDerp, who has written on Reddit, “The GOAT fan club. Wolf Pack Strikeout dance was a staple of my childhood after every Randy Strikeout.”

It remains to be seen whether the Power Rangers will be as cohesive as the Wolf Pack, but if Suárez continues to dominate opponents as he has so far, the left-handed star’s fan group could end up at the top of the heap.