Friday, October 17, 2008

Those were the best days of my life...

The Summer of ’93….someone should write a song about it. It was, hands down, the best summer of my life. If I could go back in time to ANY time, that would be it. It was the summer after my first year in college. I was back home in New Jersey for June, July and August.

I spent the days babysitting and the nights working at my dad’s ice cream shop. After work, I would go over to my best friend Ann’s house and we would play volleyball or swim until 3 in the morning. I ate lots of hoagies, cheese steaks, pizza and of course, ice cream. I wasn’t too concerned with my weight in those days. And we watched the Phillies. Every day, every game. We’d sit on the couch and yell at the TV, we’d score the game in our score book. Ann had season tickets to Sunday games and we’d go hang out at the Vet in 100 degree heat, with 90 percent humidity. It was usually 115 on the field…and we loved every minutes of it.

Each one of us had our favorite player…mine was Curt Schilling, Ann’s was Lenny Dykstra, Caroline loved Mickey Morandini, Mike’s favorite was Dave Hollins. I can't remember who Raine's favorite was...Kim Batiste maybe? Pete Incavilgia and Milt Thompson lived in our town and we’d see them at the Friendlies Restaruant with their families. They were our guys….they were our team.

They drove us wild that summer. Playing an extra inning game that went until 3 in the morning, only to have an afternoon game the next day. My Pop-Pop was still alive at the time and I remember he would stay up and watch the game or listen on the radio when he was in bed.

The city of Philadelphia and the surrounding areas were alive with the love of the Phillies. We had hopes of greatness and yet didn’t really believe it would happen…we had spent our entire lives being disappointed. This team was different…they seemed to be a bunch of regular guys, who loved playing the game and loved playing the game together. They genuinely liked each other and looked like they were having the time of their lives. That’s probably why we were having the time of our lives too.

Sept came and I headed back to college in Boulder, Colorado. No one cared about the Philadelphia Phillies, except me. That year, the Phils made it to the playoffs. I watched all the games by myself. My roommates always found something else to do. I would cheer and yell at the TV in my apartment, just like I had all summer long, only now I was alone.

I remember the final game of the 93 World Series. It had been a particularly nerve-wracking series. Mitch Williams had been even more unpredictable during those games than he had been during the regular season and I wondered if he would be able to pull it together. I remember it was the last inning, we were up by one run. When Jim Fregosi called Mitch out of the bullpen, I called Ann and we were both like, “oh no”. That’s all we said and we hung up. Then it happened. The homerun that ended it all…as soon as it cleared the fence, I turned off the TV and went to bed. I couldn’t believe it.

It signaled the end of the summer and it was heartbreaking. Its 15 years later, I'm living in the state of Washington and when I watch the Phillies play, I watch alone again. My husband has no interest, my pets don’t understand why I am yelling when I watch the games. Every inning, every pitch, makes me homesick. You can go back to a place, but you can’t go back to a time….oh how I wish I could go back to that time. Maybe this year, they’ll go all the way…they’ll pick up where the boys of ’93 left off. I’d like to relive those days, for just a few minutes – 3000 miles away from home and all alone.

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