I am the biggest Phillies fan there ever was. People can lay claim to it, but it’s not true. I am the biggest fan there is. And if I don’t win this contest, I will cry foul because I know that it is fixed. LOL.My career as a Phillies fan started in the mid 70s when I was a ten year old girl. My father’s company had season tickets for the Vet so sometimes we would be lucky enough to get tickets. My brother was more serious about the Flyers and the Eagles, so my Dad would take me. I have many stories about those nights, one in particular I remember was when the Phillies were losing and I bet the other seven guys there that Mike Schmidt would hit a walk-off homerun and the Phillies would win. Everybody took my bet – $5.00 a piece. I didn’t have to worry about owing any money because I was sure Schmidt would do it. He did. All but one guy paid and the rest blocked him in until he came up with the cash.
Before the days of Prism and Comcast, we could only see the games on Channel 17 or listen to the radio. However, when the Phillies played the Mets, we could get a distorted view of Channel 9, no sound, on my brother’s 13-inch black and white TV, but not on the big color console TV. So my Dad and I would put the small TV on the big TV and take turns holding the antenna in place. What ten year old girl do you know that would do that?
This passion carried on throughout my life. Schmidt is and always was my favorite Phillie. I have so many scrapbooks of him that I made – clippings from the old Bulletin. One morning in 1986 I was walking to work in Center City and there was Mike Schmidt, right on 15th Street. We talked a few minutes. He was very reserved, but very nice. I was cool until I got on the elevator and my knees buckled. I had to sit on the floor of the elevator up to the 19th floor. Good thing it was empty.
In 1988, I met my husband, who is, well, a diehard Mets fan. I hate the Mets. How did this happen? This man is perfect for me, it’s love at first sight. What kind of a bad spell did I fall under that I have to meet a Met fan. Like a beautiful rose with deadly thorns. It gets worse. I marry him. Life has not been easy during baseball season, let me tell you. We have three kids. A girl who is not a baseball fan, and two sons. One is a Met fan, the little one is like his mother. I’d rather have the little one – he’s more ruthless.
I am now 42 years old. Here’s how I live my life during baseball season. When people buy cell phones, they buy them for price, or reception or even for cameras and videos. Not me. Mine has to have the fastest internet so that I can have the Phillies play by play on my phone. At my son’s baseball games, at my daughter’s dance recitals, at the movies, the supermarket, the park, weddings, funerals, the phone is on MLB gameday. I can honestly say that I have not missed a pitch since mobile phones introduced web access. I believe I was the first to sign up. People constantly ask me what I’m doing. All the husbands and fathers love me because they can ask me for the play by play. They get that AND color commentating. I know the game. Better than most.
This past June 6, we were invited to a 60th birthday party for my neighbor at a beautiful hall in South Philly. While there, I had the Phillies-Atlanta game on. Phils trailed most of the game, but in the 9th, my phone goes dead. I forced my husband to say his goodbyes; I did as well and I ran to the car. Phils had tied, subsequently taken the lead and we got home just in time to see Victorino make a fabulous throw to homeplate to gun down Yunel Escobar. Game over.
I pray all the time. I pray to God first, followed by Whitey, Vuk, Tug, Pope and most recently, the beloved Johnny Marz. I know they all probably have better things to do than to worry about a baseball game, but I know that when I go to the other side, I will have divine power and my Phillies will win every year. LOL.
My Phillies bring me to the highest of highs, the lowest of lows, I laugh, I cry, I pace, I stress, I lose sleep. They are such a part of me, part of my DNA that I don’t know who I’d be without them. I was born to do this. I have the MLB package so I watch every rival’s game. If it’s on the west coast and I fall asleep early, like clockwork, I wake up in the middle of the night and check the scores. When I rise in the morning, my first thought is “did the Phillies win last night?”
So you see, others may submit their stories, but they would never, could never be me. I am the biggest fan there is. I always will be. While I was at the 1980 parade and the 1993 pep rally and while I’ve been to many other ballparks to see them, including Wrigley Field, I have never been to a World Series game. I deserve to go, don’t you think?
Here are a few photos of my house.