Monday, December 15, 2008

World Series Update

This update is incredibly difficult to write.  Not because it invokes any sort of pain, but because it is almost impossible to summarize a trip where I experienced one of my biggest dreams in life:  seeing the Phillies win the World Series.  Whether I am a loser for having this dream is up for debate, but while on this website, we will assume that it is an admirable dream.  One that makes you smile.  And think of butterflies.   

Background story:  Remember that dance at my wedding, where I absolutely killed our first dance consisting of fox trot, swing, salsa, and a splash of quick step?  I'm not bragging, just pointing out reality.  For me to pull that dance off is nothing short of miraculous (or sinful depending on your outlook).  Anyway, for those that don't know me, I'm actually not a huge fan of dancing.  In fact, agreeing to take dance lessons was only birthed out of our biggest disagreement of the engagement.  My response to her request was similar to:  "If I'm going to spend 10 weeks of my life in a dance studio in order for you to have your dream, then I get to live out my dream when the time comes."  Words spoken like a future sacrificial husband.  Anyway, Tatum took the incredibly favorable odds and agreed that I could go to a World Series game if the Phillies are in it.  Backdrop complete.


When the dream came into focus:  NLCS series.  I was in the middle of one of the busiest months of my seminary career.  I was recording the games and watching them at 10pm.  The last thing on my mind was going to the World Series.  When they beat the Brewers, my friend Wick, who was the best man in my wedding, let me in on the secret.  Since he works for the Padres, he was able to reserve 4 WS tickets at face value to each game in Philadelphia.  In other words, more was riding on the series that I had realized.  I almost convinced myself that I could not go.  Luckily everyone around me is not as dumb as I am.  I bought the plane ticket when the Phillies were up on the Dodgers 3 games to 1.  We bought Tatum's ticket after they clinched.  The trip was happening.  I was speechless.  Especially when Wick dropped off the tickets with an authentic World Series Phillies jersey for me to wear. 

I could write a whole book on this weekend, so I will just give you a few of the highlights.  If you want every little detail, just ask.  I really don't mind telling them.

Ø  Sat next to Mitch Hamels on the flight into Philly.  Yeah, that's Cole Hamel's brother.  I tried to talk to him as much as I possibly could while maintaining my cool, "no-big-deal" façade.  Learned about pitching and his brother.

Ø  Went right from the airport to Game 3.  Getting there 2-1/2 hours early is not as cool when the game is delayed another 2 hours.  Great game that ended with a walk-off squibbler.  Crawled in bed at 3:45am.  Quite a day. 

Ø  Tatum went to Game 4, which was quite a treat.  The only game with good weather and four home runs.  Even Joe Blanton was hitting home runs!  She had a blast seeing me in my element and enjoyed all the energy that comes with the Phillies dominating.

Ø  Game 5 was 3 days long.  The rain did not bother me at first due to adrenaline, but the game got ridiculous.  Then we had to stay around another hour to find out if the game was officially suspended.  Then came the decision.  Do I spend $250 to change my flight to watch the rest of the game?  Plus use two more vacation days?  Well, I decided I could not afford that.  Therefore, God took care of it and cancelled my flight.  I was the only one in the airport who was ecstatic at the "inconvenience."  I then stood at the game the following night with full confidence that they would win.  Ok, a few doubts. 


Overall, I watched 27 innings without the Phillies trailing at any point.  I was able to go with my wife, my brother-in-law, and 6 different friends.  I own 4 rally towels.  I drove from Lancaster County to Philly (1-1/2 hour drive each way) 6 times in 6 days.  Our tickets were row 4 of the upper deck.  And I watched the Phillies clinch a World Championship for the first time in 28 years!  This picture sums up how I felt.