Red October 2022

Could this be the start of another golden stretch for the Phillies? Memories from the 2007 NL East clincher

Fans feel a lot like they did a decade ago: they believe in this team again.

Bryce Harper is doused after Game 4 of baseball's National League Division Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Atlanta Braves

Bryce Harper is doused after Game 4 of baseball's National League Division Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Atlanta Braves

Matt Slocum / AP Photo
raydunne

It was a late September day in 2007 when seemingly every Phillies fan at Citizens Bank Park stood on their feet. Pitcher Brett Myers eyeballed catcher Chris Coste’s sign. Philadelphia was one strike away from its first postseason baseball run in 14 years.

Myers threw a curveball, called strike three, and tossed his glove in celebration. The Phillies had won the National League East. Despite getting swept in the first round of the postseason that year, that moment set off one of the winningest stretches in organization history, including the 2008 World Series win.

It’s a day many Phils diehards remember in striking detail. After waiting over a decade for a team to win something — anything, really — fans pulled an all-nighter in the streets to snag tickets and rushed to have an impromptu, all-out party when the team finally clinched a victory.

Fifteen years later, the moment resonates as the Phillies break another dismal era with one of the best runs in modern memory.

Fans feel a lot like they did a decade ago: they believe in this team again.

As the city continues to be ignited by the latest run, two fans reminisced with Billy Penn about the day the Phillies clinched the 2007 NL East crown.

Forget about date night, time to camp out

Kristen Taggines had no plans to go watch the Phillies clinch a postseason berth against the Washington Nationals on some random Sunday in 2007 — that is, until the team announced there would be standing-room-only tickets on sale during gameday.

For Taggines, a lifelong Phillies fan from Cinnaminson, N.J., it meant switching up her date night plans.

Taggines’s then-boyfriend (who’s now her husband) got the call about the standing tix offer from his cousin while the couple was already out and about. Their focus immediately shifted. They quickly departed the Franklin Institute’s King Tut exhibition.

He dropped Taggines off at his Mayfair apartment, met up with the cousin, and camped out all night in front of the ticket office at Citizens Bank Park. According to Taggines, he didn’t sleep at all, opting instead to tailgate before the game.

“He got four tickets and he invited his girlfriend of a few months to go instead of one of his guy friends?” Taggines told Billy Penn. “I was shocked.”

Since the Phils needed a loss from the New York Mets to help secure a playoff spot, Taggines said the stadium erupted when the Mets couldn’t hack it against the Florida Marlins. But when the Phillies won, “the stadium went bananas,” Taggines said. “You could feel the stadium shaking … me and his cousin’s girlfriend were hugging and jumping up and down.”

Now, the couple attends around 15 to 20 games per season, and are prepared to buy season tickets when 2023’s home opener rolls around. Even after all those dates at the ballpark, the couple never fails to point out to friends exactly where they stood in the stands the last time the Phillies scored a ticket to the postseason.

“I have been yearning for some birthday baseball,” said Taggines, who was born Oct. 7. Sure enough, this year she got her wish.

An 8-year-old gets a memory to grow up with

Just 8 years old at the time, South Philly native Anthony Pierandozzi was watching the Phils’ game from his living room when chaos erupted in his neighborhood.

Pierandozzi could’ve been in Citizens Bank Park with his uncles and cousin that night, but the nerves from the previous night’s nail-biting loss kept him up too long..

“They were going to ask me but I was asleep because I fell asleep late,” Pierandozzi said while laughing at his young self’s misstep. “I remember watching that game at home in my pajamas.”

Pierandozzi recalled the age-defying performance of 44-year-old pitcher Jamie Moyer and first baseman Ryan Howard‘s 7th inning home run.

Slowly, the moment became real.

“I just remember my dad grabbed me and said ‘Come on, we’re gonna go meet everybody else on Broad Street,'” Pierandozzi said. “I just remember the traffic … people beeping, people hanging outside their cars screaming, people just walking down Broad Street and drinking.”

As fans poured into the streets, older generations of Phillies fans tried to teach the newer ones how to revel in their team’s success.

The scene produced a moment out of a movie for Pierandozzi and his cousin, who ran towards one another and bear hugged as soon as everything clicked. The two kids, who didn’t realize it at the time, were about to be raised during the golden era of Phillies baseball.

“I still have the chills thinking about it,” Pierandozzi said, “because it was just incredible.”

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Sports, Phillies