With the Phillies about a third of the way through the 2011 season, Philthy Stuff will look back at our favorite moments from a memorable season so far.
We all anticipated that this would be a special season for the Phillies. But if I told you before the season started that the most memorable moment would happen on April 30, you probably would have assumed I was talking about some kind of horrible injury that ended up derailing the Phillies for the rest of the way. You certainly wouldn’t be anticipating anything good, because all of the anticipation for this season was focused on October, and not on something that would occur just a few weeks into the festivities.
But that’s what makes the night of April 30 at Citizen’s Bank Park such a memorable event. No one at that stadium that evening walked in and thought to themselves, “Say, I might find out Osama bin Laden was killed tonight!” Not one of them. No one sitting at home that night watching the game thought of it. Not the announcers. Not the players. Not the coaches. No one. You watch footage of the crowd that night and the first emotion isn’t joy or relief or pride -- it’s surprise. It’s that unmistakable, “Wait, what?!” reaction that you barely ever get to see occur en masse.
And so people began celebrating. What else were they gonna do? They were in a ballpark, one of the more joyous places to be on a Sunday evening, and then word came down that the man everyone had feared for a decade was no longer with us. What were they supposed to do, sit on their hands? No, they clapped and hooted and sang and just let fly. And while some have derided that moment as nationalistic, I think of it as incredibly human: a moment no was expecting and a response so genuine that no Jumbotron could ever attempt to dictate it.
The Phillies could go on to win the World Series this season and I’m not sure it will be as memorable as the night everyone at CBP found out about bin Laden. Baseball history happens all the time. But how often do you get to go to the game and be a part of WORLD history? Yeah, that was something.