Ten years ago this month, the Phillies won their second World Series title in franchise history. Over the next few weeks, Jim Salisbury will look back at the team’s run through the NLCS and World Series.
Where do we even begin this one?
With Geoff Jenkins’ pinch-hit double after a 46-hour rain delay?
With Pat Burrell’s last hit as a Phillie, a double that eventually became the winning run?
With Chase Utley’s heads-up, run-saving, defensive gem?
How about we begin with Brad Lidge falling to his knees, looking to the heavens and embracing Carlos Ruiz as the huge crowd erupts in delight?
Yeah, that’s a good way to start this great memory.
“The Philadelphia Phillies are 2008 World Champions of baseball,” the late, great Harry Kalas shouted in the broadcast booth.
“Hey, this is for Philadelphia. This is for our fans,” manager Charlie Manuel told the crowd during the trophy presentation on the field.
Ten years later, the memories remain indelible. Heavy rain forced the suspension of Game 5 of the World Series with the score tied 2-2 in the sixth inning. Forty-six hours later, Citizens Bank Park was packed again for what turned out to be a 78-minute sprint to a championship. Jenkins, Burrell and Pedro Feliz had big hits and Utley made a play that still gets talked about today as the Phillies beat Tampa Bay, 4-3, to win their second World Series title in franchise history.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and everyone on their feet, 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 the backdoor slider or the get-me-over slider. He wanted Lidge's hard, biting slider, the unhittable one that would corkscrew into the dirt.
“Give me the good one,” Ruiz told Lidge before trotting back to his position.
Lidge’s pitch torpedoed into the dirt and Ruiz, as usual, blocked it as Hinske flailed at air.
The crowd erupted in joy.
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. “This is the greatest moment of my life.”
That sentiment was echoed all over the champagne soaked clubhouse.
“This is better than I dreamed it would be,” 45-year-old baseball life Jamie Moyer said as he enjoyed the first and only World Series title of his career.
Cole Hamels won the MVP award, capping a brilliant month of postseason ball that saw him allow just seven runs in 35 innings.
“Winning is the best thing you can do in this game and having the World Series trophy and seeing these fans go nuts is what we’ve been shooting for all year,” Hamels said.
Two days later, the fans went nuts again as the team paraded down Broad Street, the celebration punctuated by Utley’s famous declaration: “World Champions! World (Bleeping) Champions!”
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.