Jubilant fans celebrate Phillies' win
PHILADELPHIA -- Hundreds of Phillies fan streamed out of restaurants, bars and apartment buildings in downtown Philadelphia early Thursday to celebrate their team's second straight trip to the World Series, as revelers honked car horns and set off fireworks in other parts of the city.
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The mood was one of excitement downtown, but the raucous crowd of about 1,000 gathered on Broad Street remained under control as a dozen mounted police and dozens of officers in riot gear lined the street, making scattered arrests and confiscating alcohol. Traffic from downtown cross streets was closed to Broad Street, a main thoroughfare through the city, and a trumpeter and a trombonist walked among the crowd playing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" and other songs.
"It's an amazing night," said Gerry Nathan, 48, a lifelong Phillies fan who was celebrating downtown after watching the game in a bar. "... No matter what happens, no one can take this moment away from us."
"This is like Christmas, New Year's, my birthday and our anniversary all rolled into one," said Annmarie Winkler, 44, of Philadelphia.
"If the Phillies win the World Series, that's all the Christmas I'll need this year," added her husband, Walter, 49.
Though last year's celebrations following the National League Championship Series were mostly harmless, the city took extra precautions this year, going so far as to grease utility and light poles to dissuade would-be climbers.
Police department spokeswoman Jillian Russell said shortly before 2 a.m. Thursday that police were reporting no major problems with crowds in the city.
The city also removed expensive new solar-powered trash cans from downtown sidewalks, and Mayor Michael Nutter urged fans to celebrate responsibly. The city asked some bars to serve drinks in plastic cups instead of glass.
At Citizens Bank Park, fans took advantage of a big lead to turn the last couple of innings into a party, waving rally towels and exchanging high fives with 46,000 of their newest friends.
As the last out was recorded, the stadium erupted into cheers as strong as last season, when the Phillies ended a 15-year World Series appearance drought.
"This is the cherry on top, the icing on the cake," said Shannon Curley, 31, as she and her friends on the concourse strained for a view of the field.
Fans in the parking lot set off fireworks that were visible beyond the outfield wall as a video of longtime Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas singing "High Hopes" played on the stadium's main video screen. Kalas, who had been the team's play-by-play man since 1971, collapsed and died before a game in Washington in April.
Mike Bozek, who described himself as a "lifer," said the series was never in doubt after Monday's game, when Jimmy Rollins hit a 2-run double in the bottom of the ninth to seal the win.
"It's really hard to repeat, so you have to appreciate their continued success," he said. "Last year was good, but this is just as good."
Bozek, 52, of Audubon, N.J., was already looking ahead to a World Series matchup with the New York Yankees, who lead the American League Championship Series 3-1 and face the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night.
"I want to play the Yankees. A win over the Yankees would validate how good a team this is."
Last fall, fans in South Philadelphia toppled a traffic pole and set off illegal fireworks following the World Series win over Tampa. In the city's downtown, a luggage store was looted, some small fires were set and planters and taxicabs were damaged.
The Phillies are the first team to reach consecutive World Series since the Yankees in 2000-01.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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