'Fightin' Phils' set for Rally Monday
Players, Manuel to attend event at Philadelphia City Hall
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies rallied from a seven-game deficit on Sept. 12 to overtake the Mets for the National League East Division title on Sunday.
So it's definitely fitting that the Phillies will host a "Rally Monday" celebration from noon-1 p.m. ET outside City Hall. The Phillies rallied for 48 victories this season, but they didn't need any such comeback magic in their 6-1 victory over the Nationals on Sunday.
"We've been the comeback kings," center fielder Aaron Rowand said. "This team has so much heart and never gave up in any game. It's great that the fans get to celebrate with us. They've been part of the rally, if you think about it, because of their support for us."
Rally Monday was instituted in 2004 and has grown into an annual happening in the cities where postseason games will be played. Each participating club that is playoff-bound, in conjunction with Major League Baseball, has prepared an entertainment slate that is free of charge and typically includes live music, playoff ticket giveaways, local vendors and celebrity appearances. Rally Monday also gives local and national business partners a chance to capitalize on the excitement of each club's advancement into the postseason, engaging fans in a celebration setting.
"Rally Monday is an opportunity to highlight the achievements of the eight teams in postseason play and acknowledge and thank baseball fans in each market," said Tim Brosnan, MLB's executive vice president of business. "Rally Monday announces that these eight clubs have a shot to achieve their ultimate goal -- to win the World Series."
Manager Charlie Manuel, coaches and players will attend the event, which is scheduled to be co-hosted by Phillies Hall of Fame broadcaster Harry Kalas and director of public affairs Scott Palmer. Entertainment will also be provided by the Phillie Phanatic and Mr. Greengenes, a local band. The Phillies Ballgirls will be in attendance, and prizes will be awarded to fans, including playoff tickets, game-used bases and baseballs, as well as rally towels.
"The rally towels are symbolic of the 'Fightin' Phils,'" Kalas said in the jubilant Phillies clubhouse. "The fans waving the towels was quite a sight which will continue. I hope the rally at City Hall gets the fans even more excited. This is what it's all about. These fans have seen this team come back all season long."
When hope of a division title seemed to be fading away as late as Sept. 12, the players never lost sight of possibly clinching. The Phillies won 13 of their final 16 games to pull out the NL East championship.
"A lot of credit goes to Charlie for keeping everything together," outfielder Jayson Werth said. "He always told us to keep it together and to keep plugging. As it got closer and we could smell it, we just pounced. The emotion of winning it by coming back time and time again makes it so satisfying."
Andy Jasner is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.