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Ring Ceremony Filled with Cheers, Jeers and Surprises

4/8/2009

by Christine Cartafalsa

The Philadelphia Phillies are often known for displaying moments of courage on the field, overcoming the obstacles and odds that litter the way towards the ultimate prize of the World Series title.

Now that the title is out of the way, fans are looking for news acts of bravery by their favorites, but instead were dealt a instance of audacity by one they least expected it from nor cared to see present it.

Adam Eaton showed up on the field at Citizens Bank Park to receive his ring and the only thing chillier than the gusts of wind was the reception that he received upon having his name read aloud. You have to give him credit. He took it well, waving his arms wildly at the non-adoring crowd that deluged him with their displeasure as he walked the red carpet. Eaton took it like a man.

The ceremony itself was dramatic before it began. The Atlanta Braves seemed to stretch their batting practice longer than needed (they clearly haven’t experienced trouble hitting Phillies pitching) much to the annoyance of shivering fans lining the precious standing room spots around and about the park. When at last the field was cleared of equipment and the red carpet was rolled out, the rings were driven in under police escort around the warning track to home plate in the fashion of highly protected Oscar night envelopes.

The ball girls tediously walked each ring to the table set up and the ceremony began. Fans were treated to a video montage of the champions of old and new. As the players and staff were invited to collect their prizes, fan got their first look at the highly secretive championship ring which features the players’ names amidst a sea of diamonds.

Too many diamonds? Maybe, but the players seemed to like them. The rings are a rather showy reminder of just how fantastic their win was last year, despite playing tug-of-war with the Mets for the division title.

Perhaps it was the cold, but the wait for the ceremony stretched out longer than the formalities themselves and didn't seem to live up to the expectations fans may have had when scrambling for their tickets. Either way, what’s done is done. We’ve cheered and reminisced. It’s time to get this season started and for the Phillies to work their way to another possible ceremony hopefully on a warmer day.

Mike Santori of Northeast Philadelphia – a fan since 1965 – feels that the stars can definitely be in the right place for the Phillies to becoming the first repeat champions in the National League since the ’75/’76 Reds.

“The 80’s team was definitely more experienced and included a handful of future Hall of Fame players/should be Hall of Famers (Carlton, Schmidt, Rose)”, Mike stated when comparing the current team to the first title winners in Philadelphia’s franchise history. “However, this team has more power.”

Bob, a fan from Delaware, feels the team has a good chance as well. Following the team for the past 60 years, he had attended the 1950 World Series in which the Phillies played the Yankees.

“Tough series – they lost in four games,” he said with a smile.

Santori is looking forward to seeing how far the team can go this year. “They’ve got all the potential in the world. They’ve just got to start hitting.”