World Series Game 5.0 One Year Anniversary



I was going to begin my end of the season series of blogs on my  personal “Top 5 Moments in the 2009 Rays Season” until I looked at the calendar on the kitchen wall this morning. And there it stood. In huge bold RED letters October 27, 2009. To most people this date is only a reminder that in only 4 days, the hordes of sugar-seeking pint-sized ghouls and gobblins trick or treaters would invade the neighborhoods, and the air would be alive with the screams and laughter of children everywhere.

To the Rays faithful, this date is the One Year Anniversary of a baseball moment that will live in Rays lore as the “Big One that Got Away”.  It was one year ago on this day that Game 5 of the 2008 World Series was to be played, and completed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

But it really does not feel like it has been an entire year since I was sitting in Section 101 in centerfield right by both teams Bullpen Areas at Citizen Bank Park watching some pieces of errant uneaten hot dogs, sandwich wrappers and soda cups raining down from the stands when the Major League Baseball head honcos and Home Plate Umpire Jeff Kellogg decided to suspend play during Game 5 of the 2008 World Series in Philadelphia to protect the players.

And about this moment the Philly weather was starting to pick up an extra special blast of chilling wind gust, and the  present temperature in the stadium seemed to be dipping extremely fast towards a point of freezing. But still we sat there hoping we might be able to complete this game and get our toes and noses defrosted with a cup of steaming hot coffee in between innings.

It did not matter that the cold made our fingers a bit numb and ached when we clapped or even tried to loosen them up by flexing them during the game.  For I was from Florida, and this bit of weather is not a usual element for us to endure during games, but my two batting gloves did help a little bit in the cold. Both teams tried to play this game, but were fighting increasingly slippery surfaces on the basepaths and at the home plate.

AP Photo

The game was beginning to resemble a old neighborhood kids baseball game where we played in the muck and mud and sloshed around as best you could because we loved to play the game. But the guys out on that field were professionals, and the elements were not giving them ample footing or even visibility to see the ball in the air. And it was a good call in hindsight to stop the game before some got hurt, or a play occurred that would change the course of the game.

I can still see the three Phillies fans who sat a few rows back who had traveled over one hundred miles to attend that night’s game, and would not be able to stay over for even one more night to see a possible ending to this game. The saddness on their faces as they rose after the announcement and almost tore their tickets up showed the common air of disappointment circling the stadium that night.

All I can easily recall sitting in my seat drinking a soda and watching the Rays players become more like human popsicles with every inning. The “Elmer Fudd”  Rays hats with the ear flaps were in great demand down on the Rays dugout, and you could see the after glow of the bench heaters from my outfield seats. It is a wonder nothing caught fire that night as the flames seemed to kiss the back of the players heels and they relished the warmth and endured the slight discomfort of the heat.

And when the announcement officially came from the public address system that the game would not be continued, you understood the instant wrath and barrage of garbage being thrown in the air. We wanted to see the end of that classic game that would later be known as Game 5.0 and Game 5.5, but the safety and welfare of the member of both squads and the fan took center stage.

AP Photo/unknown

We all know how this game ended up two days later. And maybe if the game had been played to it conclusion a different result might have occurred. But it was the right call by MLB in an extreme situation that not only made history, but also showed some immense courage considering what town the game was being held in at the time.

I even made sure to try and spot my seat from that night and sure enough, he was sitting there with a beer in one hand, and a big Brat in the other cheering on his Phillies. Today is painful, but not as biting as a year ago as I wandered outside the stadium walking down Broad Street with the rest of the fans. There were shouts of disgust, shows of violent tendencies, but the crowd was pretty subdued compared to a few hours ago in the stadium during the game.

I ended up with a few friends of mine from my days in Philly back in the early 1990’s and went to one of the neighborhood bars for a few drinks to get my blood flowing again to my limbs. There I met a guy who was so upset he had to work that night, but was glad he might get a chance to see a World Series game now that the game was postponed a few days.

I sat there listening to his stories for a bit, and he heard a few of my Rays tales before I offered my ticket to him. I had a flight out of Philly the next evening and could not stay an additional night to see the conclusion of the game. I took no money from him, but told him to get down to Clearwater, Florida during Spring Training and we will settle the score. He did make it down and invited me to a game.  With him he brought a Game Program from the game, a Beep Cup signifying the World Series, and the ticket stub.


I told him he could have the ticket stub since his team won the World Series at the conclusion to that game. He told me he took it to a Kinko’s store and had it enlarged to a huge size, and it is now hanging in his game room. So this day has some mixed emotions to me. I got to see history a year ago today, and also got to provide a lifetime moment to someone who would have missed it if the game did not get postponed. So even with all the pain of this date, some good did come of it all.



I thought of you last night while my husband and I were watching the MLB Network’s World Series preview of Yankees-Phillies. I said to Michael, “One year ago the Rays were here and we were rooting for them.” It seems like it was just last week! But now it’s the Yankees’ task to beat the Phillies. I sure hope they’re up to it.

I still think about 2008, but why wouldn’t I….I was truly “magical”.
Some things just stick in your head forever. This night will always show me how hard each team wanted it, and that the elements would not let it happen.

Rays Renegade

You’re a strong man reliving that event. Me? I woulda slept the entire day. Haha.

In 2004 today, the Red Sox officially broke the Curse of the Bambino. Last year today, the Rays were the team that everybody was talking about, the worst-to-first coming-out-of-nowhere team.

What memories this day holds for your team and mine Cliff. And this year – the World Series hasn’t even started! lol! Great post!


Ah, that’s one cool baseball story. It’s funny how baseball links us all, isn’t it?
Great entry, superbly written. And you’re right: it doesn’t seem like a year.

The thought did cross my mind, but it was the night of the “flipping Out” reunion show on Bravo (lol).
Seriously, if I would have known the importance of Game 5.5, I would have slept in a shoiebox to stay up there and applaud the Rays players as they came off the field.
But I was home in my dry and warm home by that game.

Rays Renegade

You are so right. A year has shown just how competitve this division is going to be for a long time.
Two teams have the money, and the other three have to have the talent to compete.
At least I breathe a little easier that the AL Pennant stays in the AL East for 2009.

Rays Renegade

To think that a year ago today, the series was almost concluded, and this year it’s only getting started (!). My opinion was that that game should never have even started in those conditions. And this year it’s raining again! I think Mother Nature has something against the Phillies.
Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

the World Baseball Classic being held this year got the schedule pushed back a bit, abd hopefully we will not have the same weather in 2009.
It does hold some great memories, but it also holds some odd moments for stories and tales for a long, long time.

Rays Renegade

Baseball links us in more way than people imagine some days. But because of those links we get some of the awesome monets we can talk and chat about for many years.
I might not be exicted about the 2009 World Series, but I will still check the boxscores the next day and see if his history has placed a bookmark for us to remember.

Rays Renegade

It is basically the weather this time of the year up in that region of the country.
It is not like we can play the World Series in only climate controled environment, then we would have had to express that the NY teams build a retractable stadium, but you knew that was not in the cards.
Weather is just one of those things we will have to adjust to, and hopefully last year gave MLB a good example of what weather not to even start play in, or when to suspend play to promote safety and responsibility to the fans and players.

Rays Renegade

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