Still flying high off a World Series win, an excited - and visibly exhausted - Shane Victorino greeted fans at Modell's sporting goods store on 15th and Chestnut, who were already out in droves buying up anything and everything Phillies.
"It has been nonstop, we literally have trailers of goods coming in every 30 minutes and as fast as it's coming in, it's going out," store owner Mitchell Modell said. "None of us have slept; but when you haven't won a [baseball] championship in 28 years, we are riding on the adrenaline, passion and emotion of all these fans here."
It appeared the sheer excitement of screaming fans and the snapping of a 25-year-old sports drought were keeping the Phillies outfielder going strong.
"It's definitely nice to be a part of all this and to be on the team that brought this city home a championship," Victorino said. "These fans are the most passionate, and hard work is what it's about. The people in this city work hard and when they see you working hard and the result is this positive, then you have moments [pointing at the massive crowd] like this."
Hats, shirts and other memorabilia were furiously sifted through on makeshift tables as fans were eager to buy just about anything with a "P" emblazoned on it followed by the words "World Series Champions."
According to Modell, the company hired private planes to fly the goods in from Alabama for distribution to all 26 stores in the chain. Hundreds of fans flocked to the store at its 10 p.m. Wednesday opening.
Merrell Becker was in Michigan for the final out and claimed that getting home ASAP to stock up was a must.
"This is one of the best things that has happened to the city in a long time so I just wanted to be a part of it, plus I missed it last night because I was away," Becker said. "I'm trying now to get stuff for my son and my husband. I was up at 4 but I wasn't coming out that early, but having this stuff just helps to remember such an important moment like this one."
For Victorino, the moment will be savored with the expected hundreds of thousands of fans making their way to Broad Street today for the parade. Tomorrow, Victorino will head back home to Hawaii. On Sunday, Victorino and his family will lay his grandmother to rest. She died during the NLCS series.
For Victorino, the positive reinforcement actually has allowed for an easy time coping with the death of his grandmother.
"It's nice to be able to win a championship, especially in an emotional time like this but when it's all said and done, we're all relaxed [as a family] and we're really just trying to enjoy this moment here," he said.
The good definitely outweighed the bad for the "Flyin' Hawaiian," who right now is looking forward to soaking in a moment that he hopes took the monkey off the back of Philadelphia's so-called sports curse.
"It's over now, right?" Victorino laughed, referring to the curse. "I saw an article earlier this week about when they built that Comcast building they put a little statue of William Penn on top of it; I don't know if that just happened to be ironic, because it did seem like the curse was around. But we broke it and hopefully this is just the start of many more [sports] championships in this city." *