Broad Street Billy: Phillies miracles and superstitions
LIFELONG fans Rich Kisby, 49, and his wife, Barbie, 52, of Mays Landing, N.J., and their phanatic phamily, were thrilled when the Phillies won the 2008 World Series. Then they tried to get to the Parade.
They drove to Egg Harbor City to catch a train and found hundreds of other Phillies fans waiting, too. When the train came, it looked like portly Phillies pitcher Joe Blanton trying to squeeze into twiggy teammate Cole Hamels' uniform. Not happening.
"We drove for 25 minutes, trying to catch a train closer to Philadelphia," Kisby said. "By then, thousands were trying to catch the same train. There was a two-hour backup. We would have missed the parade."
BLESS YOU, BEN! The Walt Whitman Bridge was gridlocked. Just as the Kisbys were about to give up, a friend called to say he was driving across the Ben Franklin Bridge with no problems.
"We screamed,'Let's go Phillies! Here we come!'" Kisby said.
PHILLIES UP CLOSE! "We drove into Center City with hardly a car in sight," Kisby said. "Here's the best part: Walking towards City Hall, we had to stop because the floats with all the Phillies were riding by, right in front of us, on their way to the beginning of the parade route.
"After all we'd been through, we got to see the players closer than we ever expected to. It was awesome. We will never forget."
RADIO SILENCE: Katie Dovey, 27, of Egg Harbor City, was driving her brother to rent a tux for his junior prom when she received a text message about the death of beloved Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas. "We were in shock," Dovey said.
When she and her brother got into the car to go home, the battery was dead. Another motorist jump-started it, but when Dovey turned on the radio "to hear what Philly sports guys were saying about Harry," she heard silence.
A month later, when she told her brother that she still hadn't fixed her radio, he said, "You can't fix it. The day your radio stopped was the day Harry died."
"He was right," Dovey said. "I can't fix my radio this season. Maybe it's superstition or just a way of honoring Harry, but my radio has been silenced - and if you knew me, you'd know how much I love to listen to sports radio!"
She said that the Phils winning another World Championship, dedicated to Harry, would end her radio silence.
"Soon, I hope to have it back on like last year, driving home from the parade, hearing Chase Utley proclaim . . ."
Well, phellow phanatics, we all know what Chase proclaimed. He said, "WOOHOO!" - or words to that effect.