The rest of the Philadelphia Phillies followed, the team becoming one huge mass on the infield at Citizens Bank Park as the team became World Series champions.
"Why can't us?" Phillies fans asked.
Well, why not them?
"I've never felt better to be hit by a big guy in my life," Lidge said in a TV interview of Howard's tackle, which helped to celebrate the city's first championship in a major sport — baseball, football, hockey and basketball in 25 years.
The Phillies, who beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 in a Game Five that had been delayed two days because of foul weather, had not won a World Series since 1980.
"It's over, man! I'm done," Jimmy Rollins said, finally able to exhale.
Here are phive quick but phab observations about the Phillies second World Series title in their 126-season history:
Feliz means happy: Pedro Feliz, lampooned on this blog for being the least memorable of the Phillies, will never be forgotten by fans because he drove in the eventual winning run with a single in the seventh inning.
Mr. Perfect: Lidge was unstoppable as the team's closer, going 48-for-48, including the World Series, in save opportunities. Memories of Albert Pujols in the 2005 playoffs and Scott Podsednik in the '05 Series can be filed away in the junk drawer for good. Lidge is a champion.
Hey, Bud, let's party: Bud Selig did the right thing by giving the Rays a chance to tie Game 5 in the sleet, and by waiting two days to finish the game. Game 5 1/2 took about 90 minutes. Pretty snappy for baseball.
Philadelphia Freedom: The Philadelphia 76ers, the Dr. J and Moses Malone vintage, won the NBA title in 1983. The Flyers haven't won the Stanley Cup since 1975. You need to go back to Chuck Bednarik and the '60 Eagles for an NFL championship in the City of Brotherly Love. That's 100 combined seasons of futility, reset to zero. Philly needed this in the worst way.
Say Ray: Tampa Bay had an incredible season, and the Rays did their best to keep it going with a tying home run by Rocco Baldelli in the seventh after Philly had taken a 3-2 lead. The Rays worst-to-first season meant as much to Baldelli, their ambassador, as anyone.
Big League Stew, led by Mr. 'Duk, has much more to come from CBP ...