New Philadelphians learn to love the Phillies

    The Phillies have attracted many new fans, often 20-somethings who just moved to the city. This summer, they filled Citizens Bank Park with a partying vibe. For these fans, one bad night in the Bronx couldn’t spoil their love affair.

    Phillies fans can no longer call their team “defending World Champions.” The World Series loss to the New York Yankees may have disturbed old wounds for many long-suffering natives. But this Phillies team has attracted many new fans – often 20-somethings who just moved to the city. This summer, they filled Citizens Bank Park with a partying vibe. For these fans, one bad night in the Bronx couldn’t spoil their love affair.
    Image Credit: Hunter Martin/Getty Images
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    Music’s still streaming out of the headphones around 25-year-old Macha O’Brien’s neck.

    Obrien: I just came back from a run and seeing people give you fist pumps and being like “Hey Go Phillies!” It gives you a sense of community.

    03LFPHILLIES Phillies fan Macha O'Brien

    O’Brien moved to Northern Liberties from San Antonio, arriving just before the Phillies’ World Series win last year. She says it’s been a long couple weeks watching night playoff games, then waking up early for her job as a Barrista in Center City.

    Not long ago, critics blasted baseball as a slow game with little appeal to the young. There’s little evidence of that problem now in the city that worships Chase Utley and Shane Victorino.

    Even bars better known for hosting rock shows got onboard with Phillies’ fever..

    Self: We’ve been showing it here at work so I’ve been working and watching the games while working. Fiedler You guys don’t usually have a TV do you? Self: We don’t we just put it up for the World Series and the games before.

    Dea Self moved to Fishtown from Arkansas a year ago. She works at Johnny Brenda’s restaurant and bar.

    She says the team makes her feel differently about the city,

    Self: Kind of gives you a sense of like being proud you know? Pride for the city, pride for the team and I live here and the Phillies are doing great. I’ve never really paid attention to Major League baseball so it’s um I don’t know now everyone’s into it so I feel like I’ve been getting into it too.

    A few blocks up Frankford Avenue, Kensington resident Caleb Auston is grabbing a noontime coffee. The college student moved here from Miami three years ago. He says it’s been a blast to be part of a city mesmerized by baseball.

    03LFPHILLIES Phillies fan Caleb Auston

    Auston: Sometimes it’s hard to enjoy the city because there’s so much violence and thievery and all sorts of swashbuckling. But when you can go out and can high five a stranger for watching a baseball game, it’s a lot of fun so you start to enjoy the city a little bit more.

    And for Phillies fans, new or old, who are still feeling down… there’s always next year.

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