October 27th, 2008, 9:57 P.M., Brad Lidge threw a slider that Eric Hinske of the Tampa Bay Rays swung at and missed. Philadelphia erupted as it had just won its first professional sports title in 25 years. For me, I remember that moment vividly. I was standing in front of my fireplace, watching Carlos Ruiz run into Brad Lidge’s arms as Joe Buck said “Phillies are World Champions!”. It is now and always will be, the greatest moment of my life. Just be sure not to show my future wife or kids this post.
People always picture Lidge jumping up and Ruiz sprinting out to hug him, and I do too. However, I also picture Eric Hinske striking out. To most people it seems insignificant who struck out to clinch the Phillies first World Title since 1980, but I’ve re-watched the highlight millions of times, and subsequently Hinske has actually become one of my favorite MLB players of all-time.
It seems kind of fitting that ten days before Brad Lidge will be officially retired as a Phillie, and potentially in Carlos Ruiz’s final year with the Phillies, that the 35 year-old Hinske would retire. It’s kind of like things coming full circle, five years after the three were involved in a moment that will forever live in Philadelphia sports history.