“The 0-2 pitch swing and a miss! STRUCK HIM OUUUUUTTTT! The Philadelphia Phillies are the World Champions of baseball!”
Those words still ring fervently in my mind and will remain with me even as I go away from my beloved city this upcoming fall. Although my love for baseball has diluted in the recent years, the ’08 Phillies will forever be the team of my childhood. To this day I can recite the lineup from Cole Hamels to Pedro Feliz, but one particular player was always my favorite, Chase Utley. Chase had a swagger and a calmness whenever he stepped to the plate that was just awe-inspiring to me. His perfect practice swing that whipped around his entire body as he stepped to the plate always served as a noteworthy moment for my Dad to say,”That’s how you should swing the bat”. Chase’s grit and determination immediately endeared him to the Phillies faithful and their love never faded even when he was traded to LA. Chase’s countless great moments such as his grand slam in his first at-bat, his throw home in Game 5 of the World Series, and who could forget his poignant words at the championship parade, “World F****** Champions!” engrained him in Philadelphia sports legend forever.
As players like Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, and other members of that team come to the concluding moments of their respective careers you can’t help but say thank you. Thank you for being role models and for creating memories that will endure for a lifetime. I hope when I grow up my kids and I will have the fortune of following a team half as awesome as the ’08 Phillies. With the Phillies’ recent success maybe we will see another parade in the near future, but the 2008 group will have always have a special place in Philadelphia’s hearts.