Thank you to:
Geoff Jenkins. He was the most obvious pinch hitter in baseball history, and he decided to knock the biggest hit of his entire career, a leadoff double.
So Taguchi. Didn’t do anything in the postseason, but came up with the big hit against the Mets earlier this season. A loss or two there to the Mets, and it’s a different story.
Kyle Kendrick. Struggled this season, but had a couple big starts, including an eight-inning shutout against Oakland.
JA Happ. The top prospect pitched some big innings down the stretch and gave fans a reason to look ahead to 2009.
Clay Condrey. The best long man in baseball even had a few huge spots late in the season.
Rudy Seanez. Came up big in a couple spots with his veteran moxie.
Eric Bruntlett. The runt had a couple huge moments in 2008, including the mad dash to the plate in game three of the World Series.
Chris Coste. 30-year-old rookie hits the climax of his career. From Fargo, N.D., indie leaguer to world champion.
Tom Gordon. “Flash” may never pitch again as a Phillie, but he had a couple big innings early on.
Matt Stairs. The barrel-chested 40-year-old socks the biggest home run of his life in game four of the NLCS.
Scott Eyre. From no-man’s land in Chicago to late-innings hero in Philadelphia. With a loud mouth to boot.
Chad Durbin. From swingman to late-innings guru, he was one of the big acquisitions in the offseason.
Greg Dobbs. The best pinch hitter in Major League Baseball, and the best in Phillies history.
Joe Blanton. What a trade deadline pickup — the big man went 4-0 down the stretch, then gave a string of huge postseason performances with his arm and bat.
Pedro Feliz. Supplying big defense all season, Feliz came through with the game-winning RBI in the World Series clincher.
JC Romero. What a grab last season. The left-hander may have had you biting your nails, but when didn’t he finish the job? He got the win in game five of the series thanks to a gigantic double play — the play he always pulls off.
Jayson Werth. Another big grab. The slender, goateed outfielder rose from the underground to have his best offensive season ever.
Ed Wade. Yes, Mr. Wade, thank you for building a foundation that became world championship-caliber.
Brett Myers. What a story. From closer to starter to minor leagues, then back to the top. Myers was integral to the team’s late-season push, and never, ever kept himself quiet.
Jimmy Rollins. The 2007 MVP claimed the Phils would win 100 games in 2008. He was benched, he was ridiculed, he was loathed, then returned to lead the team to the promised land … and 103 wins.
Carlos Ruiz. Left for dead as an offensive player, Chooch upped his game in the World Series with big hits. Oh, and he was the main man calling the best pitching staff in baseball, bell to bell.
Shane Victorino. The Flyin’ Hawaiian became a star in 2008, especially in the postseason. He broke the club record for RBI in a postseason, then had two big RBI in game five.
Ryan Madson. He started as a long man, almost left for dead as a prospect that never truly blossomed. Then the autumn arrived; Madson became the best late-innings guy in baseball, especially in an almost-spotless postseason.
Pat Gillick. Bit by bit, he picked up integral players that became huge contributors to this team. From the very small (Stairs) to the very huge (Lidge), Gillick fit the pieces together perfectly. If he goes out, he’s going out on top.
Ryan Howard. The 2008 MVP candidate had another strong power year, then woke up in game four of the series with two mammoth home runs. The biggest threat remains the big man.
Chase Utley. The Man. All business, he epitomized the 2008 Phillies through grit and 100-percent effort. His defense shone through brighter than anything in the postseason, and his throw to the plate to end the seventh will go down in franchise lore.
Charlie Manuel. The best manager in Phillies history.
Cole Hamels. NLCS MVP. World Series MVP. Ladies, gentlemen, distinguished persons: Cole Hamels is the best pitcher in baseball.
Jamie Moyer. The 45-year-old kid from the suburbs won a world championship. His first. With the team he grew up watching and rooting for. Congratulations, kid, you absolutely deserve it.
Pat Burrell. Saving The Bat for second to last. Maybe he’s not the best Phillie player of all-time, but while Utley epitomized the team, Burrell epitomized the city. Downtrodden for so long, The Bat realized his dreams, thanks to a clutch leadoff double in the seventh. He might be gone after this season, but boy, will he be missed.
Brad Lidge. Unquestionably the team’s most important player. The best offseason acquisition I’ve ever seen, Lidge was perfect — absolutely perfect — in 2008. And he delivered the final out of the Phillies second world championship with a slider heard ’round the Valley.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, 2008 Philadelphia Phillies. We love you.