When my father and I stood in the right field nosebleed seats at the old Vet Stadium in 1980, watching closer Tug McGraw strike out the Royals' Willie Wilson to capture the Phillies first and, until last night, only World Series title, we had no idea it would be 28 years before the team would taste such victory again.
1) Let's start off easy: '80 flipped is "˜08
2) Tug McGraw, who insisted ''You Gotta Believe" (never mind that he said it first with the Mets), wore the number 45 on his jersey. Brad Lidge, the present Phillies' closer who didn't blow a save all season, and who recorded the final out in last night's game by striking out Eric Hinske, wears the number 54 on his jersey "“ 45 flipped.
3) Third baseman Mike Schmidt drove in the winning run in the final game of the series in 1980. Third baseman Pedro Feliz ("You Gotta Feliz!") drove in the winning run in last night's final game.
4) Jamie Moyer, one of the Phillies best pitchers, grew up in the Philly area and skipped school to attend the only parade the city has ever thrown for its baseball team in 1980. In a matter of days, he will not only attend the only other parade, but he'll be on one of the floats.
5) To get to the '08 World Series, the Phillies had to beat the Dodgers to claim the National League pennant. One of the Dodgers' base coaches is Larry Bowa, who played for the '80 Phillies. One of the Phillies' '08 base coaches is Davey Lopes, who was on the Dodgers team when they won the World Series in 1981.