The Philadelphia Phillies will not play October postseason baseball for the first time since 2006. Phillies fans now suddenly find themselves with nothing to do for the next month -- except relive the greatest moments in Philadelphia playoff baseball.
While they seem further away now, the top 10 moments are still fresh in our memories.
10: Victorino sets playoff tone for 2008 Phillies (Game 2, 2008 NLDS): The 2008 Phillies were a long way from winning the World Series, yet this was the first sign that something special was coming. Despite facing then-Milwaukee Brewers' ace C.C. Sabathia, the Phillies weren't intimidated as a Brett Myers walk led to a Shane Victorino grand slam. The memories of the Phillies' winless 2007 postseason were soon washed away as new glorious memories would be created soon enough.
9: 1983 Phillies 'Wheeze' their way to World Series (Game 4, 1983 NLCS): The last hurrah of the golden 1970s/'80s Phillies era came with the "Wheeze Kids" in 1983. They would clinch one of the franchise's most unlikely pennants with a Game 4 win at home over the Los Angeles Dodgers -- but unlike in 1980, Philadelphia would go no further
8: Dykstra gives 1993 Phillies' NLCS lead for good (Game 5, 1993 NLCS): The most improbable Phillies' pennant of all time came in 1993. However, it wouldn't have happened if the Phillies hadn't survived blowing a ninth-inning lead to the Atlanta Braves in Game 5 of the NLCS. Yet after they limped into extra innings, Lenny Dykstra's 10th-inning home run gave Philadelphia the advantage -- and it wouldn't give it up for the rest of the series.
7: 1980 Phillies steal World Series lead for good (Game 5, 1980 World Series): Late heroics also set up the Phillies' first world championship. The Kansas City Royals were on the brink of taking a 3-2 lead in the World Series in Game 5, yet Philadelphia fought back with two ninth-inning runs on hits by Del Unser and Manny Trillo. Tug McGraw then survived loading the bases in the ninth, as he would in Game 6 as well.
6: Stairs decisively caps 2008 Phillies' Game 4 NLCS rally (Game 4, 2008 NLCS): Another big comeback set up the Phillies' 2008 pennant. The Los Angeles Dodgers were poised to even the 2008 NLCS until Philadelphia erased a 5-3 deficit with four eighth-inning runs. The last two came from pinch-hitter Matt Stairs, who utterly destroyed Jonathan Broxton's fastball and all but clinched the pennant then and there.
5: 2009 Phillies stage another Game 4 NLCS rally over Dodgers (Game 4, 2009 NLCS): One year later, the Dodgers came even closer to tying an NLCS with the Phillies, this time in Philadelphia. Broxton needed one more out to close Game 4, but instead, Jimmy Rollins delivered a double to the gap that drove in the winning runs. Though the circumstances were different, the Phillies delivered the same end result and finished the Dodgers before Game 5 was even played.
4: 1980 Phillies win long awaited pennant in classic fashion (Game 5, 1980 NLCS): It took 30 years, and three NLCS defeats in the 1970s, for the Phillies to win their first pennant since 1950. Naturally, they didn't make it easy as they battled the Houston Astros in a legendary five-game series. It finally ended in Game 5 when Philadelphia staged a five-run eighth inning, survived going into extras, took the lead on a Garry Maddox 10th-inning double, and put the Astros down for good in the bottom half.
3: 1993 Phillies go from last place to NL champions (Game 6, 1993 NLCS): The 1993 Phillies' worst-to-first journey ended fairly easily as they used their momentum from Game 5 of the NLCS to breeze past the Braves in Game 6. Even Mitch Williams made things easy with a 1-2-3 ninth inning as one of the most beloved teams in Philadelphia history capped its crowning achievement.
2: Phillies finally win second World Series (Game 5, 2008): Despite the brilliance of the 1993 Phillies, they couldn't win a World Series or give Philadelphia its first world champion since 1983 -- the year before I was born. It took until 2008 for that to happen -- and even then, rain delayed the end of Game 5 of the World Series for two days. But eventually, the Phillies beat the Tampa Bay Rays as Brad Lidge capped off a perfect season -- for himself and for his team.
1: Phillies finally win first World Series (Game 5, 1980): While the Phillies waited 28 years before winning their second World Series in 2008, the 1980 Phillies ended a 97-year wait for their first title. Nothing can beat a first championship as Tug McGraw proved when he got the biggest strikeout in Philadelphia history to end the 1980 World Series. Now, 32 years later, not even a second title has managed to top that in this city.
Robert Dougherty is a life-long Philadelphia resident who has followed the Phillies since he was eight years old.
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