My grandfather in Philadelphia revels in the Phillies' title
Dr. Benjamin Dickstein, 93, receives a late-evening congratulatory phone call for the Phillies' success. (Photo by Max J. Dickstein)
The Phillies run to a World Series title in which they dropped just three games in three series showed how far ahead of the absent Mets their NL East rivals were this season.
More importantly, Philadelphias first major sports title in 25 years and just the second crown in Phillies history warmed the heart of my grandfather, Benjamin Dickstein, a retired doctor who lives with my grandmother, his wife of 68 years, in Jenkintown, Pa.
On Thursday, the day after the Phillies won the decisive Game 5 against the Tampa Bay Rays, I spoke to my grandfather about the good news.
You must be in a good mood.
Boy, Im in a good mood! And its been a long time since Ive had the opportunity to be in a good mood. Its years since I have seen as exciting an ending as we had in this game.
Did you know how good the Phillies could be this year?
No, I didnt. I didnt think that they would end up the way they did.
What do you think made this Phillies team champions?
They came on very strong. I think they had an excellent manager. He managed well at the end, [Charlie] Manuel. They were guided into this win.
Who was the key player?
They had an unusual closing player (Brad Lidge). They had to bring him in [the ninth inning of Game 5]. They knew he probably would carry on and take the game under control and win it. The percentage of games he won is unusual. Just stepping in cold at the end of the game and the odds being that he was probably going to continue to do it.
Youre talking about saves, not wins, right? Lidge was 48-for-48 in save opportunities this season.
Saves, yeah. Well, saves end up to be wins.
So people have been calling?
A lot of people have been calling me. They knew they could cheer the victory with me. Also, it happened to be my [93rd] birthday the day before. So they kind of wished me a happy birthday and shared with me the pleasure of the victory.
Were you concerned about the two-day weather delay in the middle of Game 5?
I thought the fact that the game was stretched out a little bit would take the excitement away from the Phillies winning and that it might deprive them of a win. It didnt work out that way. It would not be as enjoyable to see this thing end up in St. Petersburg, Fla., as it would if they were fortunate enough to win and have it end up in Philadelphia.
The Broad Street parade is a very important thing. We always end up great athletic events that we win with a parade down Broad Street. This time, the parade was in action about 10 minutes after the game ended.
How did this World Series win change your life?
It made me feel kind of warm and good inside.