Reflections on the Phillies 2nd World Championship

The year was 1980 and the Phillies were wearing powder blue jerseys on the road (like the ones on the left.)  In two previous appearances, the Phillies had only won a single game. (1915 vs. the Red Sox)  The Phillies took this series in 6 games.  The Phillies have gone to the World Championship twice since then losing to the Orioles in 1983 and BlueJays in 1993.

This year’s foe was the Tampa Bay Rays.  I’m really glad the Phillies wrapped it up at Citizens Bank Ballpark.  Who knows what would have happened if they would have returned to Tropicana Field.  The last time the Phillies won the series:

  • I was a senior in high school.
  • Their home stadium – Veteran’s Stadium – was only ten years old and state of the art.

What else happened in 1980? (via Wikipedia)

  • February 22 – The United States Olympic Hockey Team defeats the Soviet Union in the semifinals of the Winter Olympics, in the Miracle on Ice.
  • May 9 – In Florida, a Liberian freighter named the Summit Venture hits the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay, sending 35 people (most of whom were in a bus) to a watery death as a 1,400-foot section of the bridge collapses.
  • May 18 – Mount St. Helens erupts in Washington, killing 57 and causing US$3 billion in damage.
  • May 21 – Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back is released.
  • June 1 – The Cable News Network (CNN) is officially launched.
  • October 31 – The Polish government recognizes Solidarity.
  • November 4 – U.S. presidential election, 1980: Republican challenger and former Governor Ronald Reagan of California defeats incumbent Democratic President Jimmy Carter in a landslide victory, exactly 1 year after the beginning of the Iran hostage crisis.
  • November 21 – Millions of viewers tune into the U.S. TV soap opera Dallas to learn who shot lead character J.R. Ewing. The “Who shot J.R.?” event is a national obsession.

How time flies.  It was interesting having to watch the hometown team with national announcers.  I really, really miss Harry Kalas and Ritchie Ashburn.  I thought it was cool that following the end of the game, they replayed the last pitch with Harry the K (as he is known in Philadelphia) making the call.  It brought back great memories as a kid watching on tv and listening on the radio (does anybody do that anymore) to Kalas and Ashburn call the games.  I also remember the great dissapointment when we found out in 1980 that the game would be carried on the local Phillies affiliate, the game would not be called by the local announcers, but by the national feed announcers.  From what I understand, Major League Baseball has changed its policy.  It would be great to hear Harry Kalas call a game again.  He has a great voice and understanding of the game.

One other interesting fact is that the last time the Phillies won a World Series was also a leap year.  🙂

Because we live out of town, most of our Phillies baseball watching is limited to the post-season and what a great post-season it was.  Congratulations to the Philadelphia Philles — 2008 World Series Champions

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