9/27/10 – Good Evening, Recliner and Beer

Thanks to yet another complete game gem from Roy Halladay, I can now say I’m attending the fantasy camp of the 2010 National League East Champion Phillies. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would get to experience such a run by this team. Four division championships in a row and the distinction of being one of THE elite teams in the Majors? My inner 10-year old is not getting tired of this.

To make it even better, I listened to the WPHT broadcast with Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen through my favorite iPhone app, MLB.com At Bat. Other than actually being at the field, there is nothing better than listening to a baseball game on the radio. I have such wonderful memories listening to Phillies games in our ’77 Plymouth Volare or our little Panasonic transistor radio on the beach on our annual Summer vacation to Stone Harbor, NJ. The sound of Harry Kalas, Richie Ashburn, Andy Musser, and Chris Wheeler coming through a tinny radio was pure AM gold.

“Swing and a long drive!”

Tonight my thoughts turned to my dad as each inning passed. When the game finally ended, a small wave of sadness hit me. I couldn’t call him tonight. After every big game, it would take about thirty seconds before one of our phones would be ringing.  Instead, all I could hear was a hypothetical conversation in my head. I could hear him gushing about Halladay…finally pronouncing his name correctly after almost 10 months of Roy being on the team. My father had a very funny quirk of never getting people’s name right. I’m quite sure I would have heard the name “Holiday” mentioned several hundred times, even after several hundred corrections.

In 2008, my wife and I went down to visit my dad for the weekend, and as luck would have it, got to watch the Phillies win the NL East crown for that season together. A pizza and the familiar sight of my dad in his recliner with a Coors Light in his hand capped off a wonderful night. It was the only time since 2007 that I got to experience one of these big games with my dad. With me being 125 miles away and he usually heading to Florida for the good part of September and October, it was a rarity for the two of us to get to watch a late-season game in these last couple years. It makes it so special that this game was the first big step leading to their 2008 World Series trophy.

My recliner was unoccupied last night. I’d like to think he was there with us last night, relaxing, having several cans (even though I didn’t have the specific beer my dad liked), maybe snoozing off for a bit (or “resting his eyes”) and celebrating another big Phillies victory. Hopefully, like 2008, this will just be the beginning. As Halladay said last night, “it’s only gonna get funner”.

I sure would like to say I’m going to the fantasy camp of the 2010 World Champion Phillies…

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