“Lights Out” Lidge Named Top Philly Jock

Phillies closer named first "Daily News Sportsperson of the Year"

Philadelphia fans remember the setting.

It was a frigid night in South Philadelphia. 

World Series Game 5 resumed in the bottom of the sixth inning -- score tied at two.

The Phillies were able to get a 4-3 lead heading into the ninth inning.

Closer Brad Lidge came out to the mound to put his perfect season on the line and to win a championship for a starving city.

There were two outs with the tying runner on second base.  Eric Hinske of the Tampa Bay Rays was at bat with a 0-2 count. 

Lidge went with the pitch that has given hitters fits all season long -- the paralyzing slider. Sure enough, Hinske swung over the slider and Lidge preserved the game and Philadelphia became World Champions.  

That performance and others has made Brad Lidge the first Daily News Sportsperson of the Year.

The paper's sports staff and other experts voted on the accolade. Lidge received 13 of the 35 first place votes and 133 points. 

With the Phillies bringing home the first championship in 25 years, it’s not a surprise that Phillies dominated the list. Charlie Manuel was second with 13 first place votes and 100 points. Other candidates were Cole Hamels, Jamie Moyer, and Pat Burrell. 

"It really is a big deal and very cool for me, I mean our team is fill of MVP-caliber players. And, to be considered in terms of this vote to be at the top of that, it’s quite an honor, for sure," said Lidge to the DN. 

Lidge gave Philadelphia an unforgettable 2008 season. He put up a great regular season with a 2-0 record and 1.95 ERA while going a perfect 41 for 41 in save opportunities. Lidge added an additional seven saves in the post season. 

Perfection is rare in any sport but REALLY RARE in baseball. Brad Lidge staying perfect was astonishing. 

Unfortunately all great things must come to an end and there will be a day and time when Lidge blows a save and the Phillies may lose the game.  In this sport, failure happens quite often. 

Could Lidge end this year perfect for a second straight season? The odds are certainly not in his favor.

Then again, the deck was stacked against him coming into 2008 as well and we all know what happened...

Lights out!

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