by BallparkBob (Live at the Phillies parade)
The Philadelphia Phillies were to leave City Hall in downtown Philadelphia and travel the length of Broad Street to celebrate its first World Series victory in 28 years at Citizen’s Bank Park on Friday.
Unfortunately, Broad Street was not wide enough to accommodate the throng of fans that showed up to show their support. As many area high schools had less than 20% of its students present in school, the crowd grew to the point where it simply over-flowed the sidewalks and the tractor trailer trucks carrying the Phillies simply couldn’t get through.
BallparkBob was waiting at Citizen’s Bank Park where the team was originally scheduled to arrive at 1:30. In a fitting remembrance of Game 5 of Bud’s Flood Bowl, the Phillies were over two hours late as the parade route on Broad Street was squeezed by the mass of humanity that spilled over the sidewalks and onto the street.
Fittingly, Pat Burrell led the procession on the Budweiser Clydesdale truck with his wife Michelle and their 125 pound English bulldog, Elvis. Elvis became somewhat of the team’s unofficial mascot (there’s some green guy who is the official one) during the playoffs in which the Phillies won all 7 of its home games. Burrell is the longest tenured Phillies player on the team, having been with the club since 2000. His last at bat in the red pinstripes was likely the double that ultimately resulted in the Phillies’ Series clinching win in game 5. Burrell will likely not be resigned as the Phillies want to find a regular position for the much cheaper, but very talented Greg Dobbs in 2009.
After completing its trip down Broad Street, the Phillies entered Lincoln Financial Field which was used as overflow for the fans at Citizens’ Bank Park. The team then walked across the street to the Bank.
The Phillie who got the biggest round of applause didn’t have a hit or throw a strikeout the entire season. That honor was left to long-time Hall of Fame announcer Harry Kalas.
Chase Utley got the biggest rise out of the crowd when his short and sweet speech after the four hour trip on the float (complete with beverages) consisted of: “World Champions. World fucking Champions.” Most of his teammates, not knowing whether to laugh or be embarassed for Chase, doubled over in laughter. Jayson Werth stood up and did a double fist pump with a giant foam red fist on his right hand.
Chase Utley had stolen the show again.