10/26/08 9:19 PM EST
Fans get their fill this weekend in Philly
Between Phillies, Eagles, die-hards try for trifecta in city
By Kevin Horan / MLB.com
On days like Saturday and Sunday, they present a tempting possibility for anyone who considers himself a die-hard fan: Cheer on the Phillies in Game 3 of the World Series on Saturday night on the North side of Pattison Avenue, then catch an Eagles game across the street early the next afternoon.But that's not all. To complete the hat trick, return to Citizens Bank Park Sunday night for Game 4 of the Fall Classic. That's three major sporting events in a day and a half. It might sound like a tall order, but that's exactly what Nate Heisey and Jeff Martin were trying to do as dusk settled on this town Sunday evening. "As a Philly fan," Martin explained, "we don't get to see this every day." The two looked a little weary as they sat on a concrete ledge outside Citizens Bank Park, with Martin wearing an Eagles jersey bearing the name and number of running back Brian Westbrook and Heisey clad mostly in Phillies red. It had been a long 24 hours. The two friends made the two-hour drive from Lancaster, Pa., Saturday afternoon, only to wait through a 90-minute rain delay before the game could begin. After watching all nine innings of the Phillies' thrilling, 5-4, win over the Rays that ended at 1:46 a.m. Sunday, the two retired to a hotel in the city's suburbs, only to return to South Philly on Sunday morning to begin tailgating in preparation for the Eagles game vs. the Atlanta Falcons. As Heisey and Martin looked out at throngs of fans passing up and down Pattison Avenue on Sunday evening, they had come to a crossroads in their quest for Philly sports nirvana. They didn't have tickets for Game 4 Sunday night but were determined not to back down until they found someone who happened to be selling a couple extras. "We can't really afford this," Heisey said. "But you never know when it's going to happen again. We figured we'd scrounge together what we could, see if we could make it happen." On the west side of the ballpark, Karena Rosa was preparing to complete the second leg of a marathon Sunday of Philly sports. She had attended the Eagles game with her husband and was preparing to meet up with a friend who would accompany her to the Phillies game. Rosa showed no signs of fatigue. "This place is gonna be so full of energy," she said. "I couldn't sleep last night because I was so excited about the long day." Well, what about work on Monday? "I have off," Rosa said with a laugh. Another fan, George Ashjian Jr., set up his tailgate for the Eagles game at 8:30 a.m. Sunday. After watching them put the finishing touches on their 27-14 win over the Falcons, Ashjian wandered across the street to Citizens Bank Park. Ashjian didn't have a ticket but had heard that the team might release a few more. So with his short-sleeved Westbrook jersey leaving his forearms exposed to the cool October breeze, Ashjian dug his hands into his sweatpants pockets as he waited in line along with scores of other hopeful fans at the ballpark's first-base gate. "I've got plenty of energy," he said. "Especially if I get a ticket."
Kevin Horan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.