Broad Street Billy: True believers look to ring in another championship

Our Phillies are an endangered species and this weekend is not for the faint of heart, so here are some messages from our fellow true believers to give us hope: Two rings! Two rings to rule the world!

JAY-JAY THE PHILLIES DOG: "Jay-Jay, my Yorkshire terrier, wears his lucky Phillies jersey and hat for every game and he is hoping that luck works again tonight!" wrote Kristen N. Ferraro of South Philly.

Ferraro's Phillies-phanatic parents threw her a surprise party in a Hall of Fame Suite at the Fightins' last home game this season, where a simpatico staffer let the birthday girl experience the thrill of wearing a real 2008 Phillies World Championship ring.

"The only things that could have made it better were if Jay-Jay was allowed to be there, and if Chase Utley had popped out of my cake (LOL)," wrote Ferraro. "But it was awesome!"

She and her family will be "eating overboiled Phillies-brand hotdogs," waving their rally towels and rubbing the lucky Phillies patch on Jay-Jay's jersey this weekend, Ferraro said, because "our hairy little lucky charm works!"

REQUIEM FOR A FAN: "Last season, my father was at home under hospice care, dying of cancer," wrote Christopher W. Exley of Montgomery County.

Exley and his family took turns being with his dad, James, at night. "The Phillies were always on the television, as dad was a huge fan," Exley wrote. "He and I went to Phantasy Camp together in 2003."

His dad died the day after the regular 2008 season ended.

"The common thread that summer was the Phillies," Exley wrote. "They gave us all something to look forward to. The time we spent together, with the Phillies game on, will never be forgotten.

"Thanks to the Phillies for the incredible ride last year," Exley wrote. "They helped us escape from the devastating loss of our dad."

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