Phillies 200th Sellout Brings Back Bad Memories

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, September 20, 2011 09:36 AM | Comments: 31
Analysis, Opinion, Posts

Last night, myself, along with Kevin McAlpin from 97.5 The Fanatic, and John Gonzalez from CSNPhilly.com, were going over some names. Names that were  buried under the rubble of Veterans Stadium, without so much as a gravestone to remember them by.

Don Carman. Bruce Ruffin. Wally Ritchie. Juan Bell. The list goes on and gets you a little bit sick to your stomach.

Unfortunately, those were the names I grew up with. But well before I was even a thought, Phillies fans were frowning at the idea that guys like Willie Jones, Solly Hemus, and Mike Ryan all underachieved here during the most awful years in the 50′s, 60′s, and 70′s. Thankfully, for the most part anyway, Harry and Whitey made all those below-average players sound awesome through the mic.

To clarify, this isn’t a post meant to belittle the players of yesteryear. This is merely to serve as a reminder to those who bitch and complain about Ryan Howard, and Raul Ibanez, and Jimmy Rollins every other day how good everyone around here has it.

On Monday night, the Phillies celebrated their 200th consecutive sellout with another lackluster performance, however, they made it 1 1/3 seasons of playing in front of a packed house. Every seat accounted for on chilly night’s in April and the sweltering 100 degree heat of July. Phillies fans have made it happen. But as everyone is well aware, it wasn’t always that way. In fact, it was the complete opposite for all but a handful of seasons over the 127 year history of the franchise.

Again, as I’ve implored you to do several times before on this very blog, enjoy what you have, because it won’t last forever. Remember that as you sigh when Ryan Howard strikes out, or get upset when the offense scores one run, that things are the best they have ever been. And the 200th straight sellout at Citizens Bank Park solidifies that.

The 200th sellout brings back bad memories, yet it also makes me realize all the good we’ve seen in recent years.

Juan Bell.

Bruce Ruffin.

Avatar of Pat Gallen

About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1684 articles on Phillies Nation.

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

  • Posts: 576 Brian Sr. of CO

    Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

    I agree with everything you said, however, I can’t say that some “bloggers” on this site who write articles about “the corpse of Raul Ibanez” help in your particular plea for people to stop and think before they post. Or “Ruin Tomorrow Jr” because RAJ went to get Pence in a trade, and it was completely pointless, and ruined the franchise. Not waiting to see that the Phillies offense scored more runs in the NL than any other team since Pence became a Phillie. I just think its difficult to tell people to “enjoy what you have” when the articles you read talk about the corpse of a player (meanwhile was hitting over .320 for 2 weeks prior to being called a “corpse”.) But like I said in the other thread…CHILL PEOPLE. It is annoying to come on here and read stuff about how bad Oswalt is, and Cholly is an idiot, and Howard needs to be traded or waived, and is the only thing stopping us, and Rollins is old, and the entire team is in decline.

    • Posts: 0 Sherrym

      As a long time Ibanez fan (Mariners are my AL team) I couldn’t agree more. While I know he hasn’t been a stellar offensive performer this year, I pretty much have mentally labeled this blog as “the place that hates Ibanez”. So I find this “don’t rag on the guys” post ironic.

      • Posts: 1190 Manny

        Avatar of Manny

        I agree with that, too.


  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    Couldn’t agree more…

  • Posts: 2993 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.


  • Posts: 79 branderson925

    Avatar of branderson925

    nice article, Pat.

    I never take this recent success for granted. I’m a relatively new fan, becoming obsessed around 96 or 97 when I was 7 years old. I remember watching as many games as I possibly could through the trudge of the late 90′s, the glimmer of hope in the early 2000′s and the rise to amazing in the later part of the decade. There is no way I can take this for granted. This is simply magical. Coming from a fan who used to get those $6 seats at the Vet and try to see as many as possible and never leave before the game actually ended, no matter who was winning/ what the score was. Not trying to pat myself on the back but I credit all the Phillies phans out there that have stuck through and believed. It wouldn’t be Philadelphia without you.

    This year is surely magical. I can feel it.


  • Posts: 20 tyROBasaurus

    Avatar of tyROBasaurus

    Agreed for the most part. But — and this is a big but — a lot of us are rightfully haunted by the dearth of offense from last year’s postseason. So right now, as the offense has been in the Arctic circle for the 2 weeks heading into this year’s postseason and has shown extended stretches of futility in different parts of the season, it is not “wrong” for us to be justifiably worried about the offense.

    I remember very clearly last year that 90% of Phils fans said, “Don’t worry, the offense will wake up when it needs to in the NLCS!” And, well, it never happened. Sometimes momentum means *everything* (see ’10 Giants, ’08 Phils, ’07 Rockies, etc.). Since everything is locked up, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Phillies don’t score more than 3 runs the rest of the season, as they have little to play for, which would extend their offensive drought to nearly 3 weeks.

    We, as Phillies fans, have become confident overall — and justifiably so considering their success. But dismissing legitimate criticisms such as the offense (which is either red hot or ice cold for weeks at a time) makes us seem like Yankees fans (who seem to be A-OK with their current rotation and Sabbathia and 4 guys not named Sabbathia).

    Best case scenario: The Phils play the Brewers or Cards in a short series, then dismantle Atlanta in the NLCS. Worst case scenario: The Giants continue to steamroll and nuke the Phils in the first round. Either way, the rest of the season hinges on the offense to get *any* support for their pitchers.

    • Posts: 576 Brian Sr. of CO

      Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

      Might want to look at the last paragraph. If we hit the Cards at all, we wont hit the Braves. The Brewers are slumping, but they will win the division. Not to mention, I highly doubt the Braves will be in the NLCS if they continue to play the way they have for the last month. And the Giants will not make the post season.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Scoring is generally down in the postseason – as its usually teams with great pitching and defense that make it there. .. .. also … the Phillies outscored the Giants in the NLCS last year, but lost the series

    as was said here before, the best team does not always win … and since the Phillies have lost series this year to Pittsburgh, Houston, Washington, etc …… there are definitely ways that they could lose a series against any of the top teams .

    But this is when having Phaith in your team plays a large part in fandom.. this is on paper, and thus far on the field, the best team in baseball.. They aren’t without flaws, but they generally overcome them … as we hope they will in the postseason.

  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    i think it’s ok to be cynical at times, it wasn’t that long ago that this team was awful. And it wasn’t that long ago that they fell short against an inferior Giants team in the NLCS. But this team is even better and even more playoff ready. All playoff teams have issues, but the fact of the matter is, you’d rather be rooting for the Phillies than any other team right now. So while there are some issues, you can’t bitch about them too much.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Pat, stop reading my mind, bro

  • Posts: 0 Sandy Durso

    I am grateful for this team and this organization and the joy they have brought us thes last many years. I am 47 and I have followed the Phillies all of my life and never envisioned that there would be such success as we have had since 2007. However I have to say that I still have love and affinity for some of the old players who bring back memories to me of games spent at the ballpark with my father and with my friends growing up. No we did not win but some of those guys were still heroes and larger than life to me. When I think of guys like Downtown Ollie Brown I remember them fondly. I love the game and although I hope the Phillies will compete for a championship forever I realize thats probably not likely but I still plan on continuing to love my Phils!

  • Posts: 0 dwags

    Personally, after 2008 I promised that I wouldn’t be a fair-weathered Phillies fan ever again, no matter what the future holds. The 2008 Phillies team really stoked the fans and I’ll never forget that whole year of ups and downs that ended with t-shirt fires on Broad and Chase’s “WFCs” parade speech… Before 2008 I just told people “I love to lose, therefore I’m a Phillies fan”, but it’s all different now- at least for me…

  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    Ha i remember those names well. Of course you forgot to mention the mighty Jeltz. We also had some good players in the mix as well. If i remember it seem like we got really bad after Schmidt retired. Dont forget the 1993 team which no one really expected much. I do agree with your article as i bitch as well. I sometimes dont see it as bitching but just observation at times. Take Raul we know he is a good guy we know he gives a 100% an he still has some pop every once in a while. However most people agree he probably shouldnt have been signed for 3 years for that kind of money. With Howard i think the fan base is more like oh god he looks like he is in a decline an his big contract starts next year. I know there are some people on this blog that do “bitch” excessively particularly targeting one or two players a bit too much. I think for the most part people are just pointing out some things. The fact is though most of are players are starting to get a little old an some are starting a natural decline mostly due to injuries an other factors. Some people dont understand that this is natural an still in love with the MVP J-Roll or Utley 07-08 Season.

  • Posts: 0 Paul T. Bennethum

    Although I agree with this generally I must say this. I hate it when my teams lose. Every time they lose. Losing sucks. I know it’s unrealistic to expect the Phils to go 162-0 in the regular season, undefeated in the playoffs and World Series but that’s what I want. Every loss is painful so I don’t want any, at all, ever! Unrealistic? Sure it is! But I don’t care! It’s what I want. And I don’t want nailbiter games and come from behind victories either. I would suit me just fine if they went up 20-0 in the first inning every game and cruised to victory from there. The opposition? No runs, no hits, no walks, nothing. 27 up and 27 down every game. I know that stuff won’t happen. And I will root for the team as hard as ever. But it’s what I really want.

  • Posts: 84 Tom

    Avatar of Tom

    While I do agree with some of this article about the ignorant, reactionary fans who post comments here without thinking and looking at the big picture, this is a blog that allows everyone to share their feelings whether the comments are intelligent or not! Speaking as the informed fan that I believe I am, it’s always OK to criticize when players are not performing to the best of their abilities…that’s part of why this blog exists in the first place! Phillies’ fans like myself have that passion and will let the players know when they are not giving it their all! I don’t advocate excessive booing at the games or again the asinine comments that you will see here, but as John Kruk said when he was inducted into the Wall of Fame, if you can’t take the criticism, you don’t have to guts to be successful here!

  • Posts: 0 Ryan H

    I never take this for granted. I suspect the complainers amongst us might not have been the die hards when the team was bad. I was also die hard phillies fan. I went to games at the vet when the team was 30 games under .500 . when tickets came free with a package of phillies fanks. Sitting in the 600 level with three other people in your entire section when it was hot enough inside the vet to fry an egg on the concrete. I just assumed that was my fate. that the phillies would always be that kind of team. and that the only reason to really get excited about a game would be when a great team or a superstar would come through town in the visitors dugout. “Maybe we’ll see Mcgwire put one in the upper deck” was a good reason to go to a phillies game back then. now , it’s an absolute dream. I have to pinch myself every time I turn on the tv and see that stunning beautiful ballpark packed to the brim with red clad fans every single night. Absolutely Amazing.

    • Posts: 576 Brian Sr. of CO

      Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

      Ahh, Phillies Franks. I remember those days, and the “nose bleed section”. The vet put a new meaning on the “nose bleed section. LOL. I am not sure why we used to buy the Phillies Franks. Did we buy the bad hot dogs for the Phillies Tickets, or maybe some thought the hot dogs were good, and figured, heck, why not go to a “free game”. LOL.

    • Posts: 79 branderson925

      Avatar of branderson925

      you posted the same exact thing before I’m pretty sure. but cool story anyway

  • Posts: 2993 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    At the divsion clincher the other night, sitting there with 45,000 other fans, my 14 year old actually said, “Dad, I actually hope that in a few years the Phillies suck for awhile so we can go to games and sit where we want and not have to deal with all these front-runners.” He doesn’t really have much vivid memory of those lean years but he can’t stand when fans complain and b!tch all the time about guys like Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez….players that he’s grown up loving.

    Can’t say I want the Phils to suck as he suggests….but I get what he’s driving at. It gets old listening to some people pick every player apart, every game apart, every inning and at-bat apart. Cause what we have now is a whole lot better than the way it was 10-15 years ago.

    • Posts: 576 Brian Sr. of CO

      Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

      Heck, what we have now is a whole lot better then what we had 5 years ago, even though we won the Division. The Mets 2007 CHOKE is in the history books along with the 1964 Phillies, and possibly the 2011 Red Sox choke out of the playoffs.

  • Posts: 0 jake

    willie “puddin head” jones wasn’t the bust you made him out to be..he had some fine seasons in the 50′s…also, don’t thonk pence is the answer..raj will soon be gm with another club..whoever waves the most green…no loyalty from front office down to players..

  • Posts: 5222 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    The Sky is falling, we lost 3 of 4 to the Cardinals !!

    I remember 1972 like it was yesterday. Try to imagine what it’s like being a fan of a team that only wins 59 games. And then take it a step further, and try to imagine how bad it would have been if one pitcher hadn’t been the only reason you won half of those games. Try to imagine a 32 win season. Picture a team whose leading hitter (OPS) played worse left field than our starter now. A team with only one pitcher with a winning record.

    If you’re not old enough to remember what it was like, have a read- but it’s not for the faint of heart.

    The Sky is falling , take cover quickly people!!!!

    • Posts: 576 Brian Sr. of CO

      Avatar of Brian Sr. of CO

      Lefty what ever are we going to do. I cant believe we lost 3 of 4, to the hot Cards, and are tied with the Nationals. What ever are we going to do. boo hoo. LOL. Great post Lefty. LOL

  • Posts: 0 ETruxal

    Post makes a great point – there are 29 other clubs that wish they had the 5-year run the Phils are on right now. I live in Arizona – and the talk shows essentially are following the race with Milwaukee – as the DBacks and Brewers are playing to NOT play Philly right now. Yeah – cherish that while you can. …and yes, I DID watch games and pull for the Phils when Chris James was the cleanup hitter, or when Jim Kern was in the bullpen; we got excited when Dale Murphy came to town later on, and even tolerated the talk that Freddie Toliver was ready to be a front-line starter. How far we’ve come!

  • Posts: 0 the ghost of luis aguayo

    It’s easy to dump on Ibanez, but he has been more productive the last three years than Burrell, the man he replaced. It wasn’t easy to see the Phils dump a longtime guy like Pat, but now it looks like it was the right thing to do. And Ibanez is not the most disappointing guy to come through the outfield in Philly (I’m lookin’ at you Phil Bradley).

  • Posts: 14 arminius

    Avatar of arminius

    I have been a Phillies fan since the late 1970′s whne they had Schmidt and Carlton won just one World Series. And they were lucky to win the playoffs that year.

    In 1983 they made it to the World Series with old stars like Joe Morgan and Tony Perez and were thumped by Baltimore.

    In 1993 they had players with career years and who were injury prone but stayed healthy.

    In between and afterwards they were bad. Not only the team but also the farm system.

    So finally we hit the mid 2000′s and a couple of draft picks produce a good baseball team.

    So hopes were high in 2007 when Colorado crushed them in the playoffs.

    I know in 2008 most of us were scared that they would blow it.

    Then in 2009 they sail through the playoffs and I thought will beat the yankees. And we didn’t.

    Then 2010 and we sweep the Reds in the playoffs and I thought the Giants will be easy.

    So, this year happens and at the offense has not been great but they have been winning.
    As mentioned earlier, the Pirates, Nationals and Cardinals can win series off us so can other teams.

  • Posts: 0 Mike

    Why do you have to hate on Willie “Puddin’ Head” Jones?

    How about…
    Sil Campusano
    Porfi Altamarano
    Steve Jeltz
    Len Matuszak
    Rick Schu
    Alan Bannister
    Barry Foote

  • Posts: 3113 Tracey

    Avatar of Tracey

    We must give a fair amount of credit to Stub Hub. Without legalized scalping, I don’t think we’d be sold out every game. There might even be season tickets available for people who want them. If you want to go to tonight’s “sold out” fan appreciation night game, you have your choice of more than 2500 tickets on Stub Hub. Most of them selling for considerably less than face value at this point.

    I agree with your main point, though. I’m tired of hearing people bitch about how lousy this team is. I’ve seen lousy, and this ain’t lousy. The first year I had partial season tickets was 2000. We talked about writing the tickets off our taxes as a charitable expense. Five years in a row NL East Champions. Enjoy the ride, folks!

  • Posts: 0 joseph

  • Posts: 17 whizkidfanatic

    Avatar of whizkidfanatic

    Jake and Mike:

    I’m with you both regarding Willie Jones!

    I saw Pud play often and he was the best defensive third baseman in the league for most of his career. Although he was an inconsistant hitter, he had good RBI numbers and was considered one of the better clutch hitters in the league.

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