For players, a parade of a lifetime

They had heard of the giddy trips down Broad Street. Yesterday, they got the chance to experience one.

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Phillies centerfielder Shane Victorino carries the Commissioner's Trophy out of the stadium after ceremonies at Citizens Bank Park.

Chase Utley kept it short.

 

Short and unforgettable.

 

Utley, the Phillies' all-star second baseman and a man of few words, stepped to the microphone yesterday at Citizens Bank Park, where the Phillies ended their World Series celebration after parading through a sea of millions of delirious fans, and summed up his feelings about the last couple of days in Philadelphia.

 

"World champions!" he said.

 

The crowd roared.

 

One . . . two . . . three . . . four . . .

 

"World f- champions!"

 

The crowd went crazy.

 

They loved it.

 

"I think that was definitely Philadelphia-style right now," pitcher Cole Hamels said with a smile. "He gets all the style points he needs here. He did a great job. He can show it. As hard and as tough as he is on the field, he can definitely be tough in his speeches."

 

"I would have dropped an F-bomb, too, but I didn't feel like it was appropriate, because my kids were in the stands," pitcher Brett Myers said with a laugh. "No. I tell you what, man. People don't know Chase quite as well as they think they know him. He's a hard-core guy. He's a hard-core player. He's a hard-core athlete. And everything he brings to the table is hard-core. Everybody on this team is that way.

 

"There's not a guy on this team that doesn't want to give everything they've got, risk the chance of hurting themselves, to win for this team," Myers continued. "I think that's the type of team we have, and that's why we won the World Series."

 

The Phillies had heard for years about a parade down Broad Street, but they finally experienced it yesterday.

 

"I had no idea what to expect," Myers said. "There were certain stints where I thought people were going to get run over. It was unbelievable. I looked at Cole and I said, 'How the heck is this truck making it down the street right now without clipping somebody?' The streets were so crowded, it was unbelievable. It was so much fun."

 

"There were some emotions," pitcher Jamie Moyer said. "A couple of times we stopped, and I was really trying to take it in. Everywhere you looked there were people. In office buildings in the windows. In parking garages. On the street. Everywhere. I don't know if I have words to describe today yet. This is going to take a while to soak in."

 

The Phillies snaked through the crowds on flatbed trucks through Center City and South Philadelphia before they stopped briefly at Lincoln Financial Field and finished the day at the Bank in front of more than 30,000 fans.

 

Some of the players spoke to the crowd.

 

"We finally did it, didn't we?" said leftfielder Pat Burrell, a free agent who could have played his last game for the Phillies after nine seasons here. "I think you know how important this was for me, being here as long as I have."

 

"This is only one of many," centerfielder Shane Victorino said.

 

That seemed to be a popular theme. The Phillies had won their first World Series championship since 1980, but they plan on more in the near future.

 

"The one thing I can't wait to do is go down Broad Street again and again and again," Hamels said.

 

"Year after year after year," first baseman Ryan Howard said.

 

That's when Utley took over.

 

"What happened? What are you talking about?" Utley said with a smile. "Did you guys see the parade today? The parade was by far the most impressive thing I've ever been a part of. I've heard a lot about it. I've heard how fun it was going to be. How many people were going to show up. But I never expected that.

 

"I know we have some pretty die-hard crazy fans, but I didn't know we had that many. It's good to see it."

 

Utley said he would celebrate last night with a beer. He added that he'd be happy he wouldn't have to be interviewed for the next couple of months.

 

That's too bad. He was just getting warmed up.

 

This was the last time fans would have a chance to celebrate with the players and coaches and manager and front-office members who made this possible. They will scatter across the country now, with many - but not all - assembling again in February in Clearwater, Fla.

 

"Hopefully, they'll have another parade coming up," shortstop Jimmy Rollins said. "So who's first? Football is first? Hopefully, the Eagles can turn it around. Donovan [McNabb], he texted me. He said he was next. He's not going to tell y'all that, so I'm going to say it for him. He said, 'We're next.' "

 


Contact staff writer Todd Zolecki at 215-854-4874 or tzolecki@phillynews.com. Read his blog at http://go.philly.com/phillieszone.