Finally, a Philadelphia sports title
The Phillies' win may go beyond the city to benefit Major League Baseball more widely.
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"Nothing is ever easy in Philadelphia," says Doreen Mosher, one of the towel-swinging fans at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday night. "But chills just run up and down my spine because it's been so long and this town just loves this team and we're so dedicated. I truly believe we deserve it."Skip to next paragraph
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Many of the celebrating fans are part of families who have had season tickets for generations. That's the case with Darren Hibbs, whose now-deceased father attended the games for 45 years. "We're third-generation Phillies fans with only one World Series up until tonight," says the Marlton, N.J., lawyer. "We'll go shed a few tears."
Many of the fans admit to devising ways to try to protect themselves from the many disappointments through the years – including one of the worst moments in 1993 when Mitch "Wild Thing" Williams gave up a Series-winning home run to Joe Carter of Toronto. One of those fans is Mr. Chapman, who tries to find other things to do when the Phillies are not at bat. "You prepare yourself for your emotions to go so much lower," he says.
After the game was suspended Monday night, some fans blamed Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig, who was roundly booed when he took part in the postgame presentation on the field. "The city feels they're doing everything to get us," says Bruce Kuklick, a history professor at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. "It's officialdom in league with the forces of nature: That's why Philadelphia fans feel that they are always going to be overwhelmed."
But the players themselves might have had the right attitude. "The Phillies have really had a mind-set of bring it on, embrace the moment, and why not us?" says Joel Fish, director of the Center for Sport Psychology in Philadelphia. "Whenever you have a team that can approach a streak or history that way, I think those teams stand a much better chance of handling the pressure and the baggage that comes along with history."
Some of the signs in the stands at the game expressed the fans' joy and pent-up frustrations. One fan wrote, "The Rays will not shine on our parade."
Indeed, on Wednesday night, a boisterous celebration had begun as thousands of fans partied in the streets. The official parade is Friday. As one sign in the stadium put it, "Broad Street get ready."