The Phillies have a lot to look forward to with a 95+ win season and a division title within arm’s reach. A World Series championship repeat could be in order. Just about everybody and their mother is having a great season, except for dear old Brad Lidge (and a slow start from Jimmy Rollins). However, as I watch the Florida Marlins grounds crew struggle putting the tarp on the field at Land Shark Stadium, I can’t help but look back.
The image to your right (courtesy Deadspin) depicts your Philadelphia Phillies helping out the Colorado Rockies grounds crew put the tarp on the infield at Coors Field back on July 6, 2007. Looking back, it was probably the best pseudo-baseball memory of the Phillies I can think of. While most people would have slunk back to the clubhouse for a few rounds of cards, the Phillies noticed the troublesome winds in Colorado were giving the Rockies grounds crew heaps of trouble. As you may expect, the tarp needs to be put on the field as soon as possible, otherwise it creates a lot more work on the back end when the tarp is lifted and the field is tended back to playable conditions. The Phillies personnel helped the grounds crew work through the troublesome weather conditions.
They did not stop a robber who was stealing an old lady’s purse, nor did they save two orphans and their kittens from a burning building, but they did show a rare act of human kindness from people we normally would not expect let alone require it from. In the world of American sports, we are used to the ingrates like Milton Bradley, Terrell Owens, and Michael Vick. Despite the underwhelming coverage of the good in the media, the ingrates are outnumbered by the kind-hearted, and such was especially the case that day.
In a cruel twist of fate, the Phillies were quickly dispatched by the Colorado Rockies in the NLDS that year, losing all three games. But it all worked out for the good guys when they won the World Series last year. Maybe nice guys don’t always finish last.
Looking back on that, I have realized that I don’t just love this Philadelphia Phillies team because they’re great baseball players who have a penchant for winning lots of “important” baseball games. I’m fanatical about the Phillies because they — for the most part — are made up of some of the nicest guys in the game. I can’t vouch that I’d feel this way if they were instead going through a Kansas City Royals run of abysmal failure, but it would soften the blow somewhat.
I find the tarp memories significant because I think I’ll be recalling them nearly as frequently as Chase Utley’s WFC exclamation, the NL East-clinching double play last year, Harry the K singing “High Hopes”, and Charlie Manuel yelling, “This is for Philadelphia!”