Phillies fan memories of 2007 NL East clincher

Phillies fan memories of 2007 NL East clincher

It was a late September day in 2007 when seemingly every Phillies fan at Citizens Bank Park was on their feet. Pitcher Brett Myers catches Chris Coste’s sign. Philadelphia was one strike away from its first baseball postseason run in 14 years.

Myers threw a curveball, called strike three, and threw down his glove in celebration. The Phillies had won the National League East. Despite being swept in the first round of the postseason that year, that moment started one of the winningest stretches in organization history, including the 2008 World Series victory.

It’s a day many Phil’s diehards remember in striking detail. After waiting over a decade for a team to win something—anything, really—fans found an all-nighter in the streets for tickets and rushed to have an impromptu, all-out party when the team finally got a win.

Fifteen years later, the moment resonates as the Phillies break another dismal era with one of the best runs in modern memory.

The fans feel much like they did a decade ago: they believe in this team again.

As the city continues to be ignited by the latest run, two fans along with Billy Penn reminisced about the day the Phillies captured the 2007 NL East crown.

Forget date night, time to set up camp

Kristen Taggines had no plans to watch the Phillies clinch a postseason berth against the Washington Nationals on a random Sunday in 2007 — that is, until the team announced there would be outstanding tickets for sale during game day.

For Taggines, a lifelong Phillies fan from Cinnaminson, NJ, that meant switching up her date night plans.

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Taggines’ then-boyfriend (who is now her husband) was called about the standing tix offer from the cousin while the couple was already out traveling. Their focus immediately changed. They quickly left the Franklin Institute’s King Tut exhibit.

He dropped Taggines off at his Mayfair flat, met his cousin and camped out all night in front of the box office at Citizens Bank Park. According to Taggines, he didn’t sleep at all, choosing instead to tailgate before the game.

“He got four tickets and he invited his girlfriend of a few months to go instead of one of his friends?” That’s what Taggines told Billy Penn. “I was shocked.”

With the Phils needing a loss by the New York Mets to secure a playoff spot, Taggines said the stadium erupted when the Mets couldn’t hack it against the Florida Marlins. But when the Phillies won, “the stadium went bananas,” Taggines said. “You could feel the stadium shaking … me and his cousin’s girlfriend hugging and jumping up and down.”

Now, the pair attend about 15 to 20 games per season, and are prepared to buy season tickets when 2023’s home opener rolls around. Even after all those dates at the ballpark, the couple never fails to point out to friends exactly where they stood in the stands the last time the Phillies punched a ticket to the postseason.

“I’ve been dying for some birthday baseball,” said Taggines, who was born Oct. 7. Sure enough, this year she got her wish.

An 8-year-old gets a memory to grow up with

Just 8 years old at the time, South Philly native Anthony Pierandozzi was watching the Phils game from his living room when chaos erupted in his neighborhood.

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Pierandozzi could have been at Citizens Bank Park with his uncles and cousin that night, but the nerves from the previous night’s nail-biting loss kept him up too long.

“They were going to ask me, but I slept because I fell asleep late,” Pierandozzi said, laughing at the young self’s misstep. “I remember watching that game at home in my pajamas.”

Pierandozzi recalled the age-defying performance of 44-year-old pitcher Jamie Moyer and first baseman Ryan Howard’s 7th inning home run.

Slowly the moment became real.

“I just remember my dad grabbing me and saying, ‘Come on, we’re going to meet everyone else on Broad Street,'” Pierandozzi said. “I just remember the traffic … people honking, people hanging out of cars screaming, people just walking down Broad Street drinking.”

As fans poured into the streets, older generations of Phillies fans tried to teach the newer ones how to enjoy the team’s success.

The scene produced a moment out of a movie for Pierandozzi and his cousin, who ran towards each other and bear hugged as soon as everything clicked. The two children, unbeknownst to them at the time, were about to be raised during Phillies baseball’s golden era.

“I still get chills when I think about it,” Pierandozzi said, “because it was just unbelievable.”

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