We've reached our destination.
What an incredible ride it was.
(Even the second time around from the living room couch.)
On Friday night, we here at NBC Sports Philadelphia will complete our journey through one of the best times in the city's rich sports history with the re-airing of the Phillies' 2008 World Series-clinching 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
As a public service — and for the sake of time — we're even trimming out that pesky 46-hour rain delay.
At the time, that famous rain delay in the middle of the sixth inning with the score tied, 2-2, was a major inconvenience.
But all these years later, it seems to have enhanced the memory of Game 5.
So, what's your favorite memory from that night?
Or should we say: What's your favorite memory from those nights?
Was it Geoff Jenkins' pinch-hit double to start off the resumption of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning?
Was it Chase Utley's heads-up, run-saving, defensive gem in the top of the seventh?
Was it Pat Burrell's last hit as a Phillie, a double that eventually turned into the winning run in the bottom of the seventh?
Was it Brad Lidge falling to his knees, looking to the heavens and embracing Carlos Ruiz as the crowd erupted in delight?
Was it Harry Kalas shouting, "The Philadelphia Phillies are 2008 World Champions of baseball?
Or was it Charlie Manuel raising the World Series trophy?
"Hey, this is for Philadelphia!" he told the delirious crowd. "This is for our fans."
Cole Hamels remembers it all.
"It was unbelievable," he told us recently. "Everything worked out perfectly. Lidge stayed perfect for a season. You don't really see that. Burrell gets one of the biggest, best hits you'll ever see.
"And to do it in Philly. That was so special.
"There aren't enough words to describe how special it is to be able to play in a sports town like Philly and be able to win.
"I'm so lucky to be able to play the game of baseball and win a World Series in Philadelphia."
Manuel wasn't the only one to raise a trophy that night 12 years ago. Hamels was crowned World Series MVP. Heck, he was the MVP of the Phillies' entire postseason run. The Phillies went 11-3 in that postseason. Hamels started five games and the Phillies won all of them. In 35 innings of work, he allowed just seven runs for a glistening ERA of 1.80.
Of all the innings that Hamels worked in that postseason, none was more taxing than the sixth inning of Game 5 of the World Series. The left-hander pitched through driving rain in that inning and gave up the tying run. Giving up just one run in those impossible pitching conditions was a win in itself.
"It was crazy," Hamels recalled. "I tell people the story. If the other team knew that all I could throw was a fastball, I think I would have gotten killed. Because, truthfully, I couldn't grip the curveball. It was slipping. And the changeup, I was almost suffocating it because it was slipping and I didn't want to hang a changeup, which I ended up doing twice in that inning to Carlos Pena and (Evan) Longoria. I hung those pitches when I could have easily gotten them out.
"I only had a fastball and Chooch knew it and he's calling them all over the place and I just had to focus the most I've ever focused on the mound. It was exhausting. When the game was called after that inning, I was exhausted because I had to focus so much on being perfect with gripping the fastball and throwing a changeup and those other pitches just enough to make them think I had those pitches, but I knew I couldn't locate them. I was just lucky enough to throw them for strikes.
"When it's raining so much and you can't hide the baseball from the weather and it's soaked, what are you supposed to do? That was the most I've ever focused in a game."
The seventh inning of Game 5 was unforgettable. Utley cut down the potential go-ahead run at the plate with a defensive play that is still talked about all these years later and Burrell doubled to set up Pedro Feliz for the hit that put the Phillies ahead for good.
J.C. Romero and Lidge closed it out.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and everyone on their feet at Citizens Bank Park, Lidge was one strike away from nailing down the title when Ruiz visited him at the mound. Lidge wanted to throw a slider to Eric Hinske.
Ruiz didn't want Lidge's backdoor slider or his get-me-over slider. He wanted the hard, biting slider, the unhittable one that would corkscrew into the dirt.
"Give me the good one," Ruiz told Lidge.
Lidge's pitch torpedoed into the dirt and Ruiz, as usual, blocked it as Hinske flailed at air.
Lidge completed a perfect season — 48 for 48 in save chances — and fell to his knees. He looked skyward and shouted, "Oh, my God, we just won the World Series!" He hugged Ruiz then was piled upon by euphoric teammates.
"My heart was going 100 mph," Lidge said later that night. "This is the greatest moment of my life."
It was a great moment for all Phillies fans.
Relive it one more time Friday night.
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