The Philadelphia Phillies won the National League East and then faced the Colorado Rockies in the 2007 National League Division Series. That was the first time that Philadelphia fans had experienced postseason play since the Toronto Blue Jays killed their 1993 World Series' hopes in dramatic fashion.
The Phillies rebounded after being swept in the 2007 National League Division Series, by defeating the Milwaukee Brewers in the NLDS, the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series and the Tampa Bay Rays in five games to win the 2008 World Series.
Charlie Manuel's team returned to the Fall Classic in 2009, but were defeated by the New York Yankees in six games. Those consecutive World Series' appearances marked the only time in franchise history that Philadelphia has ever made back-to-back runs to baseball's final playoff round.
Through the 2011 season, the Phillies won five consecutive National League Division titles (including a record 102-win season last year), two National League pennants and one World Series' championship.
During an eight-year period the Phillies won the National League East five times (1976-1978, 1980, 1983). That era began with back-to-back 101-win seasons in 1976 and 1977. They technically "shared" half of the strike-shortened 1981 division crown with the Montreal Expos, until they lost the League Division Series to them in October.
The Phillies won the National League pennant in 1980 and 1983.They captured their first-ever World Series championship in six games in 1980 and were defeated in five-games in the 1983 World Series.
Baseball is one of the major sports that stirs great emotion, which is why some people occasionally revert to their earliest childhood days when offering opinions about it.
Sometimes we all forget that baseball is a kids' game. Seasoned fans know that many enjoyable days can be spent at the park with other balanced family members and friends. They collectively understand that competition seen on the field isn't reflective of their own adult lives.
I don't know if this Phillies' era is better than the last one, but it's an interesting topic to consider. Here's hoping that 2013 becomes another rebound season. If it is, the comparisons between these two vibrant eras are sure to deepen.
Sean O'Brien is based in the Philadelphia region. He began his professional career in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons' front office (the Philadelphia Phillies former Triple-A affiliate), later worked as a freelance sports writer and is currently a Featured Contributor in Sports for the Yahoo Contributor Network! You can follow him on Twitter @SeanyOB and also read his daily Sports Blog: Insight.
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