10/30/08 3:48 PM ET
Philadelphia to honor new champs
Parade begins at noon, ends with ceremony at Citizens Bank Park
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com
The biggest celebratory journey in this city in 25 years begins at noon ET at 20th and Market. The parade will head east around the southwest corner of City Hall, cruise south down Broad Street and end at the sports complex that houses Lincoln Financial Field and Citizens Bank Park, where the Phillies finished off the Rays on Wednesday night."They are truly Philadelphia's great team and they've brought us a championship," Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter said. "Congrats to all the players. They have uplifted the spirits of Philadelphians. Having the best team in baseball is something all of us should be tremendously proud of, and they did it in great style, even in a little chilly weather. "We can't wait, of course, to share this wonderful celebration with folks throughout the city, throughout the region and I'm sure even those from other parts of the country. The fans have stood by this team and our great city and certainly are well-deserving of this championship and certainly the celebration to follow." Expecting a large crowd, Nutter and city officials gathered at a Citizens Bank Park news conference to urge people to use public transportation, and try to avoid the parade route, if possible. Free tickets ran out in under an hour Thursday for the chance to watch the event at Citizens Bank Park and Lincoln Financial Field. Each venue will feature player appearances as the parade arrives, though it ultimately ends at CBP. Gates open at 10 a.m., and fans in the respective parks will be able to watch the parade on the big screen as it progresses. A spot along the parade route can be secured for early arrivers, though transit officials advised to try to follow the floats. The parade is also going to be covered on television. "We again would like to thank the city for providing the opportunity for our fans to celebrate with our players," Phillies team president David Montgomery said. "Our entire organization and all our fans are looking forward to tomorrow." For 45-year-old Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer, who grew up in Sellersville, Pa., and went to college at St. Joseph's in Philadelphia, the parade is the culmination of a lifelong affection for the city. He famously cut school to attend the parade for the 1980 team. "People were hanging from the streetlights and trees, and there was toilet paper all over," Moyer said. "Everybody was your friend. A half a million people were all friends." Getting to be in a parade is "a dream come true," he said. "It's all been worth it." For the 51-year-old Nutter, the first-year mayor, the parade is also a personal pleasure. The lifelong Philadelphian lived and died with the 1980 team, and attended that parade 28 years ago. He also was lucky enough to ride on a float for the Sixers parade in 1983. "I was working with a candidate who was friends with Julius Erving, so I actually rode on a flatbed," Nutter said. "It was incredible. I've been very, very fortunate. I've had some wonderful moments." Philadelphia is due to have another one.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.