Wednesday Oct. 29, 2008
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- From losingest team to longest game, the Philadelphia Phillies are World Series champions. Strange as that sounds.
Strange as it was. Brad Lidge and the Phillies finished off the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 in a three-inning sprint Wednesday night to win a suspended Game 5 nearly 50 hours after it started.
Left in limbo by a two-day rainstorm, the Phillies seesawed to their first championship since 1980. Pedro Feliz singled home the go-ahead run in the seventh and Lidge closed out his perfect season to deliver the title Philly craved for so long.
Bundled in parkas and blankets, fans returned in force to Citizens Bank Park and saw the city claim its first major sports championship in 25 years. No more references needed to the Phillies and their 10,000-plus losses.
It was among the most bizarre endings in baseball history, a best-of-seven series turned into a best-of-3 1/2 showdown when play resumed in the bottom of the sixth inning tied at 2. Two Rays relievers warmed up to start, and there was a pinch-hitter before a single pitch. "God Bless America" was sung rather than the national anthem and the seventh-inning stretch came
quickly. Despite low TV ratings and minus the majors' most glamorous teams, fans will always remember how this one wrapped up. And for
the first time in a long while, kids saw a World Series champion crowned before bedtime.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)