I am 4 for 4 guy. If you are from Philadelphia, you know what that means. It means all four sports teams are the four I root for. No subs, no switching a team here and there, no bandwagon, no dropping an allegiance due to lean years … Phillies, Eagles, Flyers, Sixers. End of story.
As such, an arch-rival growing up was always the NY teams. With the exception of course of the Yankees. I had no real way of nurturing a dislike for the Bronx Bombers. In the years that forged my baseball fandom, ESPN was not the one we know it to be toaday. Only a new thing called “cable” gave me the chance to see stars like Reggie Jackson, Tommy John and Goose Gossage on WPIX. The Yanks, and most of the American League, I only knew from baseball cards. Any disdain I had for the Yankees probably came from friends parents that grew up Brooklyn Dodgers fans and told me stories of heartache at the hands of power Yankees lineups of the 40s and 50s. Sure the Yankees beat the Phillies in 1950 decades before I was born, but, again, in my era as a young fan, the AL didn’t play the NL. Until the World Series of course, and the majority of my youth, that Phillies vs Yankees “subway series” seemed like a Baseball Halley’s Comet.
That’s what made the 2009 World Series so special. It truly was a Baseball’s Halley’s comet for a kid that grew up in the Philadepihia Market that became an adult working in local Philly TV. The planets aligned for me, my city, my station and for the only baseball team I ever rooted for. I was in my second year at PH17 and the station was in its first year as “TV Home of the Phillies.” My job at the station gave me a, literal, sideline view of a baseball dream series shooting stills of the Yanks and Phils. Because my station was home of the Phils, we published lots of my Phillies photos in 2009. But I also took lots of Jeter as I knew I was witnessing Yankee history. Below are those and a few of the others that I took for 10 year old me that was geeking out on the inside while grown up me was doing my job, like it was just any other day.
When the Phillies made the Series in 1980, I was so young and naive that I just thought every year would be like that. Flash forward to 2009? I was still so young and naive that I thought every year in TV with the Phillies on PHL17 would be like that…
Both youngsters were wrong. And that’s what make the memories so special when I look back. And honestly, I don’t look back nearly enough. In my line of work it’s always the next thing, the next thing, the next thing– 140 character coverages of events that deserve way more. Jeter made me look back this week at an amazing moment in his life and mine, that is tucked away in a folder, inside a folder…inside a folder.