09/27/12 11:45 AM ET
Former Phillies discuss fondest playoff memories
By Larry Shenk / Special to MLB.com
What is your fondest personal postseason memory?
Getting a save in Game 5 of the 1993 NLCS against the Braves, and riding in the 2008 parade.
Definitely the parade. To be able to share that with my family was a career highlight.
My fondest personal memory is riding in the parade down Broad Street and seeing how the importance of winning affected so many people. All of us, players and fans, were left with memories that we will have forever.
Riding in the parade and turning the corner on to Broad Street on the Budweiser wagon is something I'll never forget.
Having the opportunity to start Game 5 of the 1980 World Series in Kansas City. Then, a couple of days later, we won the World Championship. The parade down Broad Street is yet another tremendous memory.
My fondest postseason memory is the parade down Broad Street and interacting with the fans. I was amazed at the number of fans lining the parade route and the outpouring of emotion. It was a combination of joy and relief that the Phillies had won it all.
Running in from the bullpen after we won the World Series. Knowing I'm about to blow out two hamstrings trying to get to the dog pile before anybody else.
I have several incredible memories, but the two that stand out are:
1) The pain and disappointment we experienced on the flight back to Philly after losing to the Rockies in 2007, but knowing that after overtaking the Mets on the last day of the regular season, we were going to go into the '08 season with confidence and motivation.
2) Running onto the field after Brad Lidge struck out Eric Hinske in Game 5 -- an amazing, dreamlike feeling of disbelief, combined with the euphoria of the greatest accomplishment a team could achieve. People always ask what it felt like to win a World Series. My only response is this: try to imagine waking up one day and finding out you won the lottery. That's what it felt like -- shock, disbelief, amazement, and every positive emotion a person could have. I still wake up on occasion and wonder if it all really happened.
I only had two at-bats with the Orioles in the World Series, but I have two hits: a single off Nolan Ryan and another one off Tom Seaver, two Hall of Famers. Can't get any better than that.
I know we won the World Series in 1980 and then the parade, but the biggest thrill I had was winning that gut-wrenching playoff series with Houston. We finally made it to the World Series. You know we were down to Nolan Ryan, 5-2, in the eighth inning, but the bench was alive, no one was down. We won it in the 10th on Maddox's hit, and the celebration is something I'll never forget. The next best thing was getting on the bus. Schmitty [Mike Schmidt] was kind of a reserved person, but he got on the bus microphone and introduced everyone as they got on the bus. Never saw him like that.
Twice in the 2008 World Series, I relieved to face [Akinori] Iwamura of the Rays with runners on base, each in the seventh inning. We led in both games. I struck him out in Game 3 [two runners on base, 4-3 lead], and got him to fly out in Game 4 [two runners on base, 6-2 lead]. Then, the parade, something I will never forget.
Sid Bream's slide in 1992 that sent [the Braves] to our second straight World Series.
Obviously, winning the World Series in 1980 and the mind-boggling parade that followed. I remember standing in the corner of the dugout, arms folded and taking a deep breath before Tug threw the last pitch. I was never worried that we were going to lose the Series, but I wasn't so sure during the gut-wrenching playoffs against Houston.
Obviously winning the World Championship with the Marlins in 1997 so I could retire. With the Phillies, I was exhausted when we clinched the division in '93, but really proud when we won the pennant. It was sort of a relief knowing we were going to the World Series against Toronto.
My most treasured memory was in Game 7 of the 1997 World Series, bottom of the 11th, bases loaded and I'm on second base in a 2-2 tie with the Cleveland Indians and Edgar Renteria got a single to drive in the winning run. We were World Series Champs.
My fondest postseason memory was a game that also turned into my greatest nightmare -- Black Friday against the Dodgers in 1977.
The excitement of Game 5 in the 1980 NLCS against Houston, and getting to the World Series. The victory parade that followed was another everlasting memory.
Celebrating after beating the Dodgers for the 1983 NL Pennant, and earning a chance to play in the World Series.
Beating the Braves in the NLCS, and the homer run I hit off Greg Maddux in the decisive game. The fan reaction that night is something I will never forget.
Being in the starting lineup as the DH for the first World Series game back in 1993 against Toronto. As far as the fondest team memory, beating the Braves that year.
My fondest personal memory was without question Mitch [Williams] striking out Bill Pecota at Veterans Stadium to put us in the World Series. I had a great view standing at first base.
Everybody knows my fondest memory ... the strikeout to win the 2008 World Series, and then winding up on the bottom of the pile.
Getting two game-winning hits in the Houston NLCS, a homer off Bob Forsch in Game 1 and a pinch-double off Joe Sambito to drive in Pete Rose. As a team, winning the World Series and seeing Tug McGraw strike out Willie Wilson."
Winning the MVP is my individual memory. As a team, we were dominated by the Dodgers that season, and we got to beat them and advance to the World Series.
Beating the Braves in the NLCS was something I'll never forget. As far as my fondest personal memory, hitting a triple off Greg Maddux to clinch Game 6 at Veterans Stadium. Standing on third base and hearing the Phillies fans make all that noise was quite a thrill.
RBI single in Game 2 of the '80 World Series against the Royals.
Winning the World Series in 1980. Just looking around the Vet with Tug on the mound and the excitement of the fans. All players have that dream -- bases-loaded, game on the line and you win the championship. I can still see that moment as though it was yesterday.
Getting the save in Game 2 of the 1980 World Series is my fondest personal memory from all of the postseasons I participated in. And of course, being part of that great Phillies team is a great memory. After getting to the playoffs in '76, '77 and '78, and losing all three playoff series, '80 was special and a memory I'll always cherish."
Well, my personal memories aren't the best. We had our best team in 1977 and couldn't get past [Los Angeles]. I can still see Bruce Froemming's missed call in the Black Friday game that year. Then, in '78, we again got beat by the Dodgers. Both series, we won only one game.
I was only in one World Series, 1964 for the Cardinals, who won because the Phillies had that long losing streak going down the stretch. I remember trying to buy as many World Series tickets for the Phillies games as I possibly could. I believe the most I could buy was two. hen, as fate has it, the Cardinals are in the World Series and not the Phillies. I was able to buy four tickets for every game but I didn't need that many because I didn't know many people in St. Louis. I started two games and lost one against the Yankees.
Carrying the flag around the outfield with Chooch [Carlos Ruiz] celebrating when became the World Series Champs.
The 1980 playoffs against Houston, and personally, hitting that home run in the '81 division series vs. the Expos.
I remember jumping up and down after Tug struck out Willie Wilson in 1980, running on the field and joining the pile. After the clubhouse scene, I went out to the field to wave to my family because I wanted to share the moment with them. I ran up the tunnel but the clubhouse was locked to keep media from entering through the dugout. So, I had a beer by myself in the tunnel."
Larry Shenk is the vice president of alumni relations for the Philadelphia Phillies. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.