Phillies End City's 25 Years of Championship Frustration with World Series Win

Dan ParzychSenior Writer IOctober 30, 2008

The 2008 World Series may have been one of the lowest rated of all time. It may have been one of the worst World Series in the eyes of some fans.

If you ask any Philadelphia fan, there is no doubt in my mind they will tell you it was the best World Series they have ever witnessed.

After 25 years of championship frustration, the city of Philadelphia finally has something to cheer about.

The Philadelphia Phillies beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 in the second part of Game Five to become 2008 World Series Champions. Call it a drought. Call it a curse. No matter what it was, it's finally over.

The Phillies' organization needed this. Ever since they became a franchise in 1883, the team had made five World Series appearances, with only one championship coming in 1980.

The fans needed this. For most of them, the last time they celebrated a championship was 25 years ago when the 76ers swept the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1983 NBA Finals.

For other fans, they weren't even born the last time the city celebrated a championship, including myself.

This is by far one of the best feelings I have ever experienced. When Brad Lidge threw that final strike for the final out in the ninth inning and dropped to his knees with arms raised to the sky, tears of joy came to my eyes.

Before last night, I never knew the feeling of one of my teams winning a championship. There have been so many teams, such as the San Antonio Spurs and the New England Patriots, whose fans I have envied over the years. The look on their faces when their teams were winning year after year.

I would sit there and think if I could just experience the feeling of ONE championship, how great would that feel?

We may be the only city in this country with a professional team in the four major sports to lose 100 straight seasons. We may be the only city to ever have that statistic. None of that even matters now.

Over the last 25 years, the city of Philadelphia has had so many seasons with high expectations for their teams.

The Flyers lost in Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Finals in 1987 to the Edmonton Oilers. They were swept by the Detroit Red Wings in the 1997 Stanley Cup Finals. There have been numerous seasons over the last 25 years where the Flyers looked solid enough to win the Cup. Unfortunately, that never happened.

After winning the NBA Finals in 1983, the 76ers never made an appearance again until the 2001 season. Despite playing against a Laker team that was 11-0 in the playoffs, the 76ers found a way to win Game One against Kobe and Shaq.

I remember watching that game in my friend Matt's basement thinking "wow, we have a shot at this."

Too bad the Sixers lost the next four games in a row to the Lakers.

The Philadelphia Eagles. Where do I even begin with the frustration for the Philadelphia Eagles?

Four straight years, the Eagles advanced to the NFC Championship game. The Eagles lost to the Rams, Buccaneers, and Panthers before finally beating the Falcons to make their second Super Bowl appearance in franchise history.

Once again, the Eagles left their fans heartbroken, as they lost to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, 24-21.

Phillies fans can now erase the image of Joe Carter and the Toronto Blue Jays in Game Six from their memory. For the second time in franchise history, the Philadelphia Phillies can call themselves World Series Champions.

After 25 frustrating years in the city of Philadelphia, it seems like it was worth the wait.

This 2008 season was nothing short of magical. It's amazing everything the Phillies overcame this year.

The three-and-a-half games the Phillies trailed the Mets in the division in the last two weeks of the season.

The passing away of Charlie Manuel's mother and Shane Victorino's grandmother in the middle of the NLDS against the Milwaukee Brewers.

The offensive slump in the World Series with runners in scoring position.

The horrendous weather from Mother Nature that caused Monday's Game Five to be suspended until Wednesday night.

Even with all of this, the season still ended up being magical for the Phillies.

The 2008 Phillies showed us what it's like to play as a team. Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Cole Hamels: These guys have done so much for the Phillies over the last couple of seasons. These guys can't take all of the credit for the World Series.

So many players stepped up for the Phillies this postseason. It shows you how much they actually wanted to win.

Shane Victorino has been outstanding this postseason for the Phillies, making outstanding play offensively and defensively. His grand slam off of CC Sabathia in Game Two against the Brewers will never be forgotten.

Brett Myers and Joe Blanton showed us that they can not only pitch well, but they can hit the ball, too. Myers finished 3-for-3 with three RBI against the Dodgers in Game Two. In Game Four of the World Series, Blanton hit his first career home run off of Rays pitcher Edwin Jackson. 

Matt Stairs, the 41-year-old whom the Phillies picked up late in the season from Toronto, hit a two-run blast into right field against the Dodgers in Game Four that ended up being the game winning runs for the Phillies.

Then there's Brad Lidge. Nobody was a better pick-up for the Phillies this season than Brad Lidge. When Brad Lidge came out to the mound in the top of the ninth in Game Five, you knew the Phillies were going to win. Lidge was a perfect 47-for-47 in save situations on the year before Game Five.

As a huge Phillies fan, this season will always be seen as one to remember. For the first time, I can say the Philadelphia Phillies are World Series champions.

Enjoy this great feeling Philadelphia. For most of you, you finally get to remember what it feels like to win a championship for the first time.

For the rest of us, such as myself, who have never experienced a Philadelphia team winning a championship, we finally know what that feeling is like.

And I'll be the first to say, it sure as hell feels amazing.


    Braves Release Jose Bautista

    MLB logo

    Braves Release Jose Bautista

    Timothy Rapp
    via Bleacher Report

    James Paxton's Complete Game Lifts Mariners Win Over Tigers

    MLB logo

    James Paxton's Complete Game Lifts Mariners Win Over Tigers

    via thenewstribune

    Howie Kendrick Has Ruptured Achilles, Juan Soto Recalled

    MLB logo

    Howie Kendrick Has Ruptured Achilles, Juan Soto Recalled

    Adam Wells
    via Bleacher Report

    Corey Kluber Strikes Out 10 as Indians Beat Astros 5-4

    MLB logo

    Corey Kluber Strikes Out 10 as Indians Beat Astros 5-4