Phillies Fans Are a Bunch of Sellouts…

...and that’s a good thing!

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The Phillies and their fans will celebrate a milestone Thursday night when Cole Hamels takes the mound against the Giants -- the 100th consecutive sellout of Citizens Bank Park.

The franchise managed only 47 total sellouts in 33 years in the cavernous Vet, according to the Inquirer.

So 100 consecutive sellouts of around 43,000-plus paying customers at the Bank is quite the accomplishment considering how far we’ve come.

Phillies games are such hot tickets that we overfill the house nightly. CBP averages a Major-League-best 103.5-percent capacity on a nightly basis this season, according to ESPN’s stats.

The ballpark is a place to see and be seen. Girls get dressed up like they are going to a club in Phillies red, families make it an event and even if the occasional idiot makes us look bad, the atmosphere is unmistakable. With tickets starting at $10 (if you can find them), it's feasible to bring your entire crew down to South Philly and pay the same you would to see a run-of-the-mill 3-D movie.

The defending National League champs are no run-of-the-mill product. The biggest factor for the sellout streak is winning. The Phils are putting a consistently winning product out on the diamond and with 40 home wins they’ve already nearly matched their home win totals for the past few seasons (47 wins in ’07, 48 in ’08 and 45 in ’09).

Winning brings the fans but this could be a chicken before the egg situation (as 97.5 the Fanatic’s Gonzo put it). To win the Phillies had to spend money to sign homegrown guys like Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Hamels long term and to trade for big-ticket players like Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt.

So maybe first the fans came, spent their hard-earned cash to give ownership the cash to put together a winner or maybe it was the owners' who spent their cash to put out a winner and then the fans came. Whatever the case, Phillies fans should be proud of the streak and their team.

In an interesting twist the Phils last didn’t sell out a mound when Hamels took the hill against the Reds last July 6. Those few fans that failed to make it a sellout missed something special considering the Phillies racked up a 22-1 wipe-out of Cincy (yes at one point the Phillies actually scored runs when Hamels pitched). Should the same thing happen tonight, or tomorrow, or the day after that, or a month from now there likely won’t be any empty seats.

One word of warning though -- the good times don't always last. Enjoy the streak while it lasts. Not so long ago the Indians packed the house for 455-straight nights. A few years of losing and trading away Cy Young Award winners have chased the fans from the Jake and now Cleveland is dead last in attendance.

Of course if the Phillies keep winning selling out shouldn’t be a problem. If you want to get in on the fun before the season ends while helping a good cause click here.

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