Implications of the Death of Phillies Fan, David Sale

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, July 28, 2009 08:15 AM | Comments: 62
Analysis, Commentary, Issues, News, Opinion, Phillies Nation in the News, Posts

Recent history has made it a joyous time to be a Phillies fan.  Beyond the 2008 trophy, this year’s team has rallied from an average start, catapulting themselves back into the elite class.  This weekend, the Phils took two of three from a very respectable St. Louis Cardinals team.  But after the Phils won Saturday’s game, a young life was taken.  The beauty mark of a World Championship quickly turned to the black eye of a senseless death.

We’ve seen insolent and vulgar behavior before at sporting events in Philadelphia – probably experienced it first-hand.  Yet the unfortunate actions of few have become synonymous with many.

After David Sale Jr., 22, of Lansdale was beaten to death outside of Citizens Bank Park on Saturday, the parallels were made immediately.  This city is filled with rude, despicable creatures and we were all lumped into the boat.  Plus this is not something the national media forgets; nor should they.  Colin Cowherd spat his fury and vitriol, blaming it on lack of education.  Just blame it on ignorance.

Although the whole story has not been revealed, Sale was jumped and beaten to death after an altercation over a spilled beer inside McFadden’s, which carried over to the parking lots outside of the stadium.

It’s foolish to think these kinds of things won’t happen.  Alcohol fuels the inner testosterone and, with the backdrop of an intense sporting event that credits winners, not losers, turns men into meatheads.    Three men, if we can call them that, believed that by beating a man repeatedly, they would win.  Now everyone has lost.

As part of Phillies Nation, I’ve experienced the passion of Phillies fans in many new ways.  I feel I am now one with the team, the city, and the fans, more than ever. The stain of a murder on the grounds of our park affects us all to an extent.  We should not downplay the loss the family of David Sale now must endure.  Here at Phillies Nation, our condolences go out to his family.

As a fan base, we have found solace and reprieve from everyday life in what trades will be made, which prospects are being watched, and whether or not J.P. Ricciardi is losing his mind.  Someone who enjoyed the same pastimes – one of our own – is now gone.  It hurts me deep because I think of the ballpark as a cathedral, a place where we can go to worship the baseball gods and pray for a run, or a win, or a championship.

Many of us did not know David Sale, but I believe there is an easy way to remember his life: by being a proper fan.  By proving the pundits wrong that pounce on Philadelphia’s every error. Whether we like it or not, it is you and I, and millions of other Phillies fans that will gain the reputation of three immature, cowardly cretins.  I think we all should rally around the spirit of Brotherly Love, giving our Phillies the fan base they deserve. It something we need to do.

Avatar of Pat Gallen

About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1677 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

  • Philadelphia is notorious for this, and its a damn shame. There are great people in this city.

    Don M, I agree there are many, many less than savory characters in this town. And when you live here, and get to witness it first hand, it hurts. However, every major city has this same problem. Unfortunately for Philly, this had to happen at a time when the Phillies are great and people are paying attention to the city on a National level. Its true, our crime rate is embarrassing. Still, it’s happened in other towns (see LAofAnaheim).

    I was very upset to see people fighting at the World Series parade. This tough guy act needs to go. But it wont. People believe the way to get respect is to fight or kill. Its unfortunate, but it’s not just Philly. I wanted to press that point.

    As for what David Sale was doing at the time is a moot point. If he wanted to fight (which people do from time to time) then he at least deserved a fair one. Not 3 on 1. I’m not condoning the action of fighting, but lets face it, people fist fight all the time. I’m so reluctant anymore to even bump into people at a bar or gathering spot because of fear that it might be the wrong person. A friend of mine was punched in the face at a bar because the guy THOUGHT he was someone else who had “looked at his Girl”. Sad, but its all true.

    Best we can do is be the civil ones at the ball park.

  • Posts: 0 chris

    The sad thing is i really feel it couldve been prevented. Mcfaddens gets WAY over packed, you cant walk through that place without spilling your own or someone elses beer. They need to lower the limit of people allowed in… Not that anyone should be fighting over a spilled beer that costs $5 anyway.

    I also dont think that anyone without a ticket to the baseball game has any business being on any of those four blocks/parking lots/stadiums. theres plenty of bars in south philly, go to one of them. So many people are going there just to tailgate. They dont have tickets to the game or even interest in seeing the game they think tailgating is a sport.

  • Thomas Joseph, I’m sorry you feel that way. But again, I understand it.

    Nobody wants to have to put up with the BS at the park when they have paid big money to enjoy a game.

  • Posts: 0 Pat Gallen

    And Chris, I agree with you too. Only paying customers should be allowed into McFaddens. It gets so ridiculous in there and with all of that testosterone flying, fights are bound to happen.

  • Posts: 0 Miles

    @Dhall and others who are seem to be blaming alcohol alone, I just don’t see it that way. There is a difference between being a jackass and needing to be told by a security guard to behave and beating the life out of someone. The guys who committed the crime are criminals through and through, a bar only served as the launching pad for the incident. With morons like the ones who were involved, this incident could have happened without alcohol in another circumstance.

    The issue of people acting inappropriately due to alcohol at the ballgame is a seperate issue for me. It has nothing to do with getting into a fight at a BAR, where people should expect a few idiots to be inappropriate. I’m not saying its NOT an issue, because it is, but its a totally seperate issue.

  • Posts: 0 Keith E

    Hang those three jack asses and then give them a fair trial.

  • Posts: 0 Mike L

    Is there anyone out there who witnessed this fight. Two of the men being accused weren’t even in McFadden’s. They were back at the bus. And how does a group of twenty to thirty people have no witnesses. Jetro has no cameras. McFadden’s has cameras but like I said, two of them weren’t on camera because they weren’t even there when the fighting started in the bar or when it spilled outside. Witnesses were never given a lineup. These guys will have no DNA on them. Nothing. Because they weren’t there when Dave Sale went down. Don’t judge these guys just yet. If there are any witnesses out there, do the right thing and report the real people responsible, because the police sure haven’t done their job by intimidating the smallest most uneducated guy in the group and threatening him with jail time. He’d have said anything to save his ass. If there is a video out there I’d love to see it. And so would the proper authorities.

  • Posts: 0 Noel

    It’s very sad and i get so angry, some people are cowards.. I’m from New York and i love the Phillies since 1993.

  • Posts: 0 SAM M

    I’ve read all the posts here so: This is for the average 20-30 something (like me) that party’s hard at these types of Functions – everywhere in the world….and for all the witnesses to this crime.

    I was at Mcfaddens (after a couple hours of friendly Tailgaiting)- I’m pretty sure I picked up the mostly full Coors light that fell on the floor during one of the fights around the time they started kicking people out. We got into the game with tickets from people exiting and enjoyed the last couple innings… so don’t blame me for not stepping in…

    Tailgating, verbal rivalry, wanting to be near the action at a local Bar (McDrunkards – since this field is located in a parking lot, not a city), Bar Fights, heavy drinking will never stop…

    BUT a guy died here… LET’s LEARN SOMETHING HERE:

    -Ganging up on a dude even if provoked
    (I’m talking post beer spill here – lets get the facts)
    -Not stopping your friends when they gang up on a guy
    -Holding back other guys who are trying to save their friend from being beaten to death
    -Not being able to contain yourself physically, drunk or not INSIDE a stadium around other innocents

    -Stomping always ends up in Death, major Brain Damage/organ failure – DON’T DO THAT.
    -Cops should be called when large groups are ejected from the Stadium/McFaddens same thing

    -Whatever happened to letting 2 dudes go at it…and when someone looked beat or wanted to back out before it started – where’s the attackers friends who should step in and say STOP it’s OVER you won…

    -For the Fishtown guy that has the balls to implicate the 3…LEAVE HIM ALONE, he’s not a rat, you guys aren’t the mob trying to protect a business and a way of life…your shit is schoolyard

    -If your pissed at the police for doing a lame job, then give them a statement of what you know – ACT LIKE A MAN!
    -The 3 animals…(it sounds like they all had a hand in this -can’t simply blame Kirchners “Football head Kick”)
    -I hope they get everything coming to them and for the witnesses who didn’t step in:
    - It’s not to late to give the cops a statement, everybody wants the truth here OR
    - thank your lucky stars that you are not being pulled in as accomplices…and cut a check to the David Sale Fund and pray for forgiveness. Google it now…it only takes seconds. DO IT.

  • Posts: 0 Jack

    this incident hits close to home and ill tell you why. i feel horrible saying this, given that ive just learned the victim’s identity despite knowing about the incident at the time it happened. but several people on here are wondering how the victim was acting… i cant speak first hand of this particular night, though ironically i was at this game. but i had an altercation with dave about a month before this tragedy at a house party in bucks county.. and he was trying to pick a fight over a similar beer related matter. a beer pong game to be more specific. he totally had it in his eyes and his demeanor that he was out for trouble, despite several efforts of mutual friends of ours that it was trivial and stupid to do so. he ran his mouth a lot and to both our luck i shook it off and realized that we were better than that. like i said i have no idea what provoked this senseless incident, no idea who started what… it doesnt matter. no one deserves to go out like that. the guilty should be thrown in a hole and left to rot because they obviously do not know how to draw the line between dishing out a lesson and inhumane brutality. but i will say for the record that this dave was probably not an innocent bystander on this night. he could have just as easily been on the other end of the beating stick.

    the point is that the issue is with irresponsible drinking behavior, which i see first hand all the time, be it in philly or elsewhere.

  • Posts: 0 Matt Mullen

    I think we all have to step back,remember people are innocent till proven guilty,that said,whoever did this deserves to be punished,but until all the facts are in place why waste energy on bashing Jim Groves,I ve know him since we were 10 y/o. and my heart tells me he’d never do this.I pray I m right.He also has no crimial record.
    I also pray for the victims family,no one desserves what happened to that boy on that day,my heart goes out to them.

  • We’re beginning to hear the first rumblings about the next round of updates to the Nissan GT-R, and if the rumors are to be believed, Nissan’s goal of keeping pace with the refreshed Porsche 911 Turbo (and its S sibling) will continue through the 2012 model year. As with its German counterpart, the R35 is expected to undergo a host of evolutionary changes, including some reworked aero bits, suspension and brake upgrades, and a retuned 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6 that’s likely to output over 500 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque.

Leave a Comment

>> Create a new Phillies Nation account.
>> Already registered with Phillies Nation? Log in here.
>> Comment without logging in:

Please ensure your comments comply with our Comment Policy.