Waiting at Citizens Bank Park

Seated in his motorized wheelchair on the concourse level of the ballpark, Bud Madenfort, 68, proclaimed the Series celebration “the greatest day in Philadelphia history.” Madenfort, a retired Dupont research technician, heaped praise on the team.

“I think these guys really deserved the championship. In the middle of the season it looked like they were going backwards. Then they picked it back up. I think it’s because they liked playing together and they all liked Charlie,” he said, alluding to manager Charlie Manuel.

Madenfort, who is partially paralyzed, came to the celebration from the Wilmington area with his daughter Karen Foster.

She too is a fan, of the team’s brand of baseball, and of “hottie” players, like Jason Werth, whom she described as “not hard on the eyes.” 

“This is certainly a beautiful park,” said Madenfort. “But I think it’s going to prove too small if they keep filling it like they did this year.”

Until moments before the Phillies were scheduled to enter the park, many of the seats were empty.

But as the caravan turned onto Hantraft St., usher Craig Rudensil, 61, a retired elementary school teacher from Sewell, N.J., was confident all the seats would be filled when fans flowed into the stadium as the parade entered the park.

“Remember in ‘Field of Dreams’ when that player walks up to Kevin Costner and says, ‘Is this heaven?’ Well this,” said Rudensil, gesturing toward the sunsplashed field, “is heaven. Or as close as you can get to it here on earth.”

Michael Matza