October 29th, 2008, the city of Philadelphia finally had their champion, and so did I. At only seven years old it was hard to grasp how much a championship could mean to a sports team. For me I could see my favorite players, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, celebrate. As a young baseball fan I remember thinking how one day I wish I could have that much fun. It made me want to go out and improve on the baseball field. I constantly look back upon that finally out of the 2008 World Series. Brad Lidge in to close, with Ruiz once again behind the dish. I wanted to be in that spot one day. This is a day I will never forget and a franchise that I will always follow closely and passionately.
Although the Phillies have not had success the last few seasons, that has not deterred me from closely watching. Living in New England there is much pressure to be a devoted Red Sox fan, like millions of others. However, the Red Sox just did not give me that special connection the Phillies did, when I fell in love with baseball. Sticking with the team I loved for so long I continue to labor through the rebuilding years of the franchise. The brotherhood the Phillies established from 2006-2011 was truly special. It gave me an opportunity to idolize not one player, but a group of players I knew would be out there every opening day. The Red Sox did not always give me that chance, often bringing in free agents. As I grew my baseball knowledge, I became a fan of building through the farm system. I didn’t like the way the Red Sox would dish out 25 million a year to decent players. I want to see a group of talents dominate for five plus years and the Phillies gave me that chance.
The Phillies may soon give me another chance like the once I had from 2006-2011. The core of developing young talents looks extremely promising. With Rhys Hoskins and Aaron Nola leading the pack, the group in the minors looks equally impressive. Scott Kingery and J.P Crawford have the tools to be a force up the middle in the future, much like the Rollins, Utley duo in the 2000s. While I have been patient, I believe I will soon be rewarded with more success. To the team who made me fall in love with the game of baseball, thank you. I thank you for giving me a chance to appreciate a group of players for multiple years and I look forward to the extremely promising future.