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The city of brotherly love had been snake bitten when it came to championships. There hadn’t been a title won in professional Philadelphia sports since the 1983 76ers. Dejected fans had become accustomed to heartbreak when it came to their local sports teams. That all changed, however, when the Philadelphia Phillies lifted up the city in 2008 with a World Series victory that brought the city to its feet.
Citizens Bank Park was the scene for the 2008 Fall Classic as the Fightin’ Phils knocked out the Tampa Bay Rays to bring a World Series title to Philadelphia for the first time since 1980. The stars of this team, including Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Jimmy Rollins would permanently etch their names in Phillies lore alongside heroes of the past like Mike Schmidt, Pete Rose, and Steve Carlton from the 1980 championship team.
Following the 2008 season the Phillies made another run at the World Series in 2009 only to fall to the New York Yankees. Another few great seasons followed but, as with all teams, they eventually had to start over. The star players have exited the team, leaving current manager Pete Mackanin to help rebuild this squad into a contender again.
Former major leaguer Gabe Kapler has been tapped as the new skipper for the Phillies 2018 season. Managing only 66 wins in 2017, finishing last in the NL East, Kapler will lead the charge of this team in the middle of a rebuild. Second baseman Cesar Hernandez is viewed as the best player Philadelphia has right now. While he struggled a bit in the first half of the season, he excelled down the stretch. Rookie Rhys Hoskins is another player on which Phils fans hang their hopes. Odubel Herrera, Freddy Galvis, and Aaron Nola also impressed. A big move for the team in free agency was the acquisition of Carlos Santana. A three year deal solidified his spot on this team through 2020 with an option for 2021.
General Manager Matt Klentak is sure to make other moves along the way as his club looks to make improvements and compete in the NL East for the chance to taste the postseason again.
Among the most loved players in Philadelphia history are Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Richie Ashburn, Chase Utley, Robin Roberts, Jimmy Rollins, Pete Rose, and Larry Bowa. For more information about the Philadelphia Phillies click here.