RED OCTOBER! Our time to howl! So keep sending your Phillies stories and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org
GOT HEART: On Sept. 7, Juan Lopez of Burlington Township, N.J., did what he's done for 18 years - took 400 fans from his community to the Phillies game.
He and his son Nicholas, 12, sat with the special-needs members of their group to make sure they were comfortable.
When Raul Ibanez hit a triple, the Phils' third-base coach, Sam Perlozzo, handed Nicholas the ball. Later, the Marlins' Hanley Ramirez threw Nicholas another one.
An older fan sitting nearby told Nicholas that he had come to games for 30 years but never got a ball. Nicholas gave him the Ibanez ball.
"I'm only 12," Nicholas told B-Street Billy last night. "He's waited 30 years. I figured I have time to get more."
A ballpark usher told Lopez, "You are raising your son right."
OK, time for your nicknames!
PHIREPHIGHTERS: Stu Cohen, of Trevose, was inspired by the Phils' fab "H2O" starters - Halladay, Hamels, Oswalt - to name the team H2O Phirephighters.
A fan since '63, Cohen remembers working at Phils tryout camps at the Vet in the 1990s - carrying equipment, running the radar gun - and "tracking Lenny Dykstra's centerfield route from the previous night by following his tobacco-juice trail."
PHILLY'S PHABS: Ruth Divito, of Delran, N.J., likes Philly's Phabs. "I have been a lifelong Phillies fan," she writes, "and I'll be 80 on October 14th, so you know it's been a long while."
THROWBACK NAME: Steve Kusheloff, of Wilmington, wrote: "Fightin' Phils. Yeah, I know the Fightin' part got dropped amidst all the bad teams of the past. But with the comeback wins, the way they caught the Mets in two Septembers, the way they refuse to lose - Fightin' Phillies is their nickname again."
NICKNAME MANIA: Scott Donald, from Haddonfield, likes "M*A*S*H Unit."
Joel Moretti, of Northeast Philadelphia, likes "The Good, the Bad, and the Utley" and "Red Hot Philly Peppers."
John J. Pote, of Northeast Philly, sent "The Can't-Stop Kids," "The Halladay Cruise Team" and "The 'Veni Vidi Vici' Team."
John Monaghan, of Brookhaven, Delaware County, sent "Fearless Phils" and "Flexible Phils" - "They bend without breaking," he wrote.
Bryan Gliem, of Pottsville, Schuylkill County, which, he informed Billy, is "home of Yuengling beer" - as if Billy didn't know - likes "Comeback Kids."
Ray Hendzel, of Fort Myers, Fla., sent "Charlie's Angels."
Ryan Turner, from South Philly, remembers "riding rad BMX bikes with my best friend, Frank Legault, straight into Veterans Stadium, chaining our bikes to the fence and sitting under the Coca Cola sign in our dollar seats - which was awesome!"
He wrote: "Red October sounds great and has a confident, familiar kick to it that we all know. It's Red October, baby!"