Back in 2007, the Philadelphia Phillies were a budding championship contender. They had some young home grown talent in Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, and Chase Utley, a pitching staff with potential, and a bullpen that seemed to be forming into a shutdown unit. The present and future were bright, but the franchise itself had seen their share of losses. Actually, the Phils had seen more than their fair share. July 15th, 2007, saw the Philadelphia Phillies lose their 10,000th game in franchise history, the first professional North American sports franchise to reach that unwanted benchmark. Part of that milestone comes from longevity, which is good, but it also came with a lot of teasing from folks around baseball and sports in general. Since the Phillies broke that threshold, 5 more teams have crossed the 10,000 loss mark (Braves, Pirates, Cubs, Reds, and Cardinals), so they’re not as much of a historical laughing stock, and yesterday in Cincinnati, the Phillies hit the 10,000 number – this time in the right column.
Yesterday’s 11-4 win over the Reds was the 10,000th in Philadelphia Phillies franchise history. It came without much pomp and circumstance, but nonetheless, the Phils now join 8 other teams (Giants, Dodgers, Cubs, Cardinals, Braves, Reds, Pirates, and Yankees) who have reached 10,000 wins. It’s a mark to be proud of for the franchise, and the fans in this city, who have had to withstand more losing to get to this point than any other sports team in this country’s history. To me, this is a reminder of the perseverance Philadelphia fans show year in and year out as we trudge through some very difficult sports seasons. It’s not easy being a fan in this city, but we also have to remember how much history we have in our franchises and that longevity can be its own prize.
Whether it’s the 1st win in franchise history, with a team consisting of names like Pop Schriver, Kid Gleason, Duke Esper, and Billy Hamilton (not that Billy Hamilton), or the 10,000th win with names like Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber, Zack Wheeler, and Aaron Nola on the roster, this fan base has supported the Fightins through thick and thin. Now, longevity doesn’t hold a candle to championships. With only 2 World Series wins in franchise history, there are still plenty of tough memories when we look back on the Phillies’ existence, but for better or for worse, we’ve been here for 10,000+ losses, and now 10,000 wins. It certainly took them long enough, but it’s good to see the Phillies finally hit the milestone. Here’s to the hope that this team has 10,000 more wins in them before they’re done.