Pessimism Turns to Elation for this Phillies "Fanatic"

For Phillies fans, their 2008 World Series win was something that they all had been waiting for since their last World Series win in 1980.Fanatics of this team stayed glued to the Phillies performance throughout the season. No fan supported the team more than Lancaster, Pa., native and lifelong Phillies fan, Timothy Stoltzfus.

“I’ve been a Phillies fan for as long as I can remember,” Stoltzfus told BU Now. After the Phillies won, all their fans were mutually filled with “relief and absolute joy,” said Stoltzfus.

He has always supported the Phillies, ever since he was a little boy.When asked if there were any memories that stood out for him from his childhood at Phillies games, he immediately laughed.“I remember going to a Phillies versus the Pittsburgh Pirates game when I was 10 years old, and I was watching the game with a bunch of friends,” said Stoltzfus.“Andy Van Slyke, a Phillies outfielder, tried to catch a ball and ended up slipping and falling, so my friends and I started yelling out Andy Van Slip.”Stoltzfus said they continued doing this throughout the game.“Eventually Andy Van Slyke turned around towards us and gave us all the middle finger.”Stoltzfus laughed and said, “I just can’t help but laugh when I think about how he flicked off a bunch of ten-year olds.That memory just always sticks out in my mind.”

When asked if he knew any interesting or random facts about the Phillies, Stoltzfus, thought about it for a second and started naming a few.“The Phillies have kept their name the longest out of any other team in the Major League.So they have basically had the same group of fans for about 128 years,” he said.Another fact that Stoltzfus said was that the Phillies were the first team to create an all girls team.Before saying his next fact Stoltzfus said that this is not one fans are very proud of.“Last year, the Phillies were the first team to hit 10,000 losses,” he said.“That’s alright though, because we made up for it this year when we finally won the World Series.”

Stoltzfus said that every year he tries to attend at least six games, and this year during their Championship season he ended up attending nine of the games.When asked how he felt once the Phillies started to be one of the teams to beat, he said, “I felt hopeful but at the same time I had a pessimistic side to me.”Stoltzfus said, “I didn’t want to get my hopes up because the Phillies have been known to let the fans down in the past.”He said that especially when the Phillies game got suspended, he remained pessimistic and thought that they were probably going to lose the game.“Baseball is a very superstitious sport,” said Stoltzfus, “If you get your hopes up too much and they lose, you feel like you are the one to blame for it.”

However, Stoltzfus said that once the Phillies won, all the pessimism went away and joy was all he could feel.“I was at a bar with a group of people and when they won, everybody just went crazy.I loved it.The energy was just amazing,” said Stoltzfus.

Timothy Stoltzfus said, “When they won I was still in disbelief though.The realization didn’t actually hit me until I went to the Parade in Philly to celebrate their victory. Usually when people think about Philly they usually think about the Eagles. Not this time though.”

He said that people were cheering and yelling and he just couldn’t help but get into it.Stoltzfus said that is when he really came to the realization that the Phillies were the 2008 World Series Champions.He said, “Now all Phillies fans are walking with a little swagger in their step that they never had before the big win.”

“The Phillies winning the World Series is an ultimate validation,” he said. Phillies fans can finally stand tall because their team is one that is respected now.“The last time we got respect was in 1980 when the Phillies won the World Series,” said Stoltzfus.“Even though Phillies fans didn’t, physically, win the game ourselves, we all feel like we had a part in the win.It’s weird but we feel like because we supported them, we helped them win.”

When asked if he started preparing for next season Stoltzfus said, “Oh, yeah, I have already started planning.I am ready for round two.”