Saturday, August 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

The Drought is over

The answer came at 9:58 p.m. It ended with Phillies pitcher Brad Lidge, the perfect closer, on his knees in front of the mound. He struck out Tampa Bay Rays pinch-hitter Eric Hinske, and the joyful noise erupted. It might not yet have stopped. And Lidge said, summing up in a television interview, "It's very honestly hard to control my emotions right now ... These fans are amazing."

The Drought is over

Phillies starter Cole Hamels celebrates the team´s World Series victory over the Rays. Hamels won four games during the postseason. (Chris O´Meara / AP)
Phillies starter Cole Hamels celebrates the team's World Series victory over the Rays. Hamels won four games during the postseason. (Chris O'Meara / AP)

An hour beforehand, it was still hard to know. The seats at Citizens Bank Park, dark blue and mostly empty, sat unopened in the cold. You could imagine the ticketholders huddling elsewhere, in the concourse, around their cars and their coolers, trying to stay warm, stamping their feet, pondering their fate, waiting.

They had arrived here early Monday night filled with hope and departed a few hours later, wet and exhausted, sentenced to 2 more days. “Only in Philly,” came the simple message from a buddy, and it was echoed a million-fold throughout the region. This is a place that has found comfort in misery over the last quarter-century. So, rain? Of course.

They came to see 3 1/2 innings, the resumption of a suspended World Series game, the final, labored sprint at the end of a 25-year marathon. And you wondered — what it would feel like when a Philadelphia team finally won, what it would sound like, what of the roar that was so many years in the making?

The answer came at 9:58 p.m. It ended with Phillies pitcher Brad Lidge, the perfect closer, on his knees in front of the mound. He struck out Tampa Bay Rays pinch-hitter Eric Hinske, and the joyful noise erupted. It might not yet have stopped.

And Lidge said, summing up in a television interview, “It’s very honestly hard to control my emotions right now ... These fans are amazing.”

And Jimmy Rollins said, asked about the drought, “It’s over. It’s over, man.”

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
About this blog
Rich Hofmann arrived at the Daily News in 1980 for a job whose status was officially designated as "full-time, temporary." A senior at Penn at the time, he was hired to fill in on the copy desk during a staff illness. The notion of him covering the Eagles or being a columnist did not exist in anyone's imagination. It was supposed to be six weeks and out, but he never left. It is only one of the reasons why so many people have concerns about him as a potential house guest. Rich has blogged the postseasons of the Flyers and Eagles. E-mail Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com Reach Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
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