Phillies fever outside Citizens Bank Park before Game 3
PHILADELPHIA — It’s a great time to be a sports fan in Philly.
Teams were still cleaning up after the Eagles’ game Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field on Monday morning as fans lined up early to get into the team store at Citizens Bank Park.
Additional crews were setting up a stage near the stadium in preparation for Monday night’s Game 3 of the World Series between the home team and the Houston Astros.
There was a line of food and beverage trucks at the back of the stadium as security checked each one while Fox crews set up the stage for TV commentators.
Ty Jay Walters of Shoemakersville, Berks County, and Jillian Belli of Spring City, Chester County, stood in line to pick up merchandise at the team store before the game.
They were able to get tickets online and split them between her family, and Walters was able to go with them.
“This is my first World Series game. We’re excited,” Walters said. “We’re right next to the scoreboard in left field, section 234. It’s awesome.”
Glenside’s Jennifer Wagenhofer stopped by the stadium before Monday’s game. She didn’t have tickets, but she just wanted to get in on the hype and get some last minute gear.
“We were in a clinching game against the Braves. It’s just wonderful for our kids,” Wagenhofer said. “It’s so exciting to see the city like this: the Eagles, the Union and the Phillies.”
Near the left field goal, Joe O’Malley, who grew up in Derby before moving to South Jersey and then leaving for Florida six years ago, waited hours early for the goal to open so he could get to a certain spot on the field that he did not want to clarify.
“We go to all the playoff games and (we have) season tickets to the Sunday games. We usually get here two to three hours early to get to a certain location. I will not give it away,” he said.
His nephew came with him and went to the Union game on Sunday.
“The Phillies are heavy underdogs, but they’re a good team,” O’Malley said. “They are the team of destiny.”
Lourdes and Orlando Perez of Miami took a photo of their family in front of the Liberty Bell at Citizens Bank Park.
Orlando came to the United States from Cuba in the 1960s and started rooting for the team because the Phillies had the same colors as his team in Cuba, the Havana Tigers.
“My father played in the winter league and a lot of players came from there,” Perez said. “There were four major league teams in Cuba. The Havana Lions had the colors identical to the Phillies…and many players from there came to play. Like Tony Taylor and Cookie Rojas came from that team, so that’s my team.”
Also in line were Carol and Dwayne Torres, who came from Oklahoma.
They are not Astros fans. Phillies catcher JT Realmuto was their neighbor as a child and practiced in the batting cage in their backyard.
“I said he was in. We will come,” said Dwayne Torres.
People from the nearest house also came.
“This is our third trip to the World Series. We’ve had season tickets since 1992, said Wilma Abbott, who came with Karen Kauchuk from Gloucester County, New Jersey. “It’s wonderful.”
“We have been here for many years,” said Kauchuk. “Win, lose, we’re rooting for the Phillies here.”
Milwaukee’s Walky Muvaney was at Citizens Bank Park.
He is attending his 37th World Series.
Originally from Chicago, he is a Cubs fan. Knowing someone from MLB helps keep the price manageable, he said.
One of the most memorable games was a dagger in the heart of Phillies fans, Joe Carter’s walk-off in Toronto in Game 6 in 1993.
Jodi Amedi of Los Angeles was in line with her daughter Ellie. He said he’s friends with Phillies coach Bobby Dickerson.
“It’s a cool town to support the Phillies,” Amedi said. “He (Dickerson) tells us how much fun they have and how close the guys are, and he sees the difference in other teams he’s been on.”