By now, I’m sure you’ve digested everything about the parade and celebrations yesterday. And I’m sure you are not tired about reading it again or seining it again. Game 5 was played and suspended in the rain but Mother Nature provided a perfect sunny day for the parade.
Before I go any further, a salute to the Philadelphia Police Department. They did a spectacular job the entire day. Managing the crowd was a massive job.
Estimates are 2 or 2.5 million. Which ever number, that’s how many smiling faces there were.
I thought the 1980 parade would never be topped, being that it was the Phillies first one. Yesterday blew away 1980 by a wide margin.
There were people everywhere, in trees, leaning out of windows, on ledges, on top of signs, City Hall roof, two men halfway up the side of a skyscraper cleaning windows, children on shoulders of parents, teenagers on the shoulders of teenagers, young, old, small, large, all races. One man had no teeth (remember, it was Halloween.)
Signs were every where. Corporations hung banners on their buildings, a small pizza shop had two “Go Phillies” signs in the windows. One deli had its windows covered with photos of the clinching World Series moment.
Fans had signs, thousands. One said: “Flew in from Oklahoma for this.” My favorite: “Mets fans are working today.”
The World Series trophy was on float #2. Whenever someone on that float lifted the trophy above their heads, the crowd roared. During one pause in the parade, fans chanted” Thank you Pat, Thank you Pat” as Gillick raised the trophy.
Cameras were everywhere, small ones, large ones, video cams and of course, cell phone cameras. Didn’t see those in 1980.
Nearly every person wore something relating to the Phillies. Red was the dominant color. Two fans made their own World Series trophies.
Planning the parade and ceremonies at Lincoln Financial Field and Citizens Bank Park was a major task. Once we got in the World Series, the wheels of motion began churning, but very slowly. The baseball operations department didn’t want to hear anything about a parade. You don’t talk about it but you can’t wait until the last minute to pull it off. A very delicate balance.
Three-four people in the organization headed the planning, which heated up with when went up 2-1 and got hot when we went 3-1. Yet, the word parade was never used. Having one day between the clincher and the parade was huge because it allowed everyone to polish the details and distribute the tickets.
Not knowing how many fans would swarm to the Sports Complex, the players and front office were given directions to park elsewhere. Buses would be at three locations to take everyone to the staging area. There were eight floats with players divided among three of them. A handful of Phillies employees didn’t get to experience the awesome parade because they were needed at Citizens Bank Park.
Today, players began returning to their winter homes, filled with memories that will last their lifetimes. Spring training is only three-plus months away.
Baseball is a game and a business. We’ve just finished the game portion and now the business aspect takes over.
We have 10 players eligible for arbitration and two potential free agents, Burrell and Moyer. We need a new general manager as Gillick’s three-year contract expired yesterday. GM’s have their annual week-long meetings in California starting tomorrow; the baseball winter meetings are in the second week of December. The NL MVP Award will be announced November 17.
Requests are streaming in from various organizations wanting to honor the World Champs. Everyone loves a winner, something that was obvious yesterday.