Phillies fans have high hopes, pride in their team

    Even without tickets, fans gather at the ballpark to soak in the post-season atmosphere.

    Fans have high expectations as the Phillies kick off the playoffs tonight with a healthy lineup and three great pitchers.

    After years of waiting for a title, Phillies fans got used to losing and to being stamped as the underdog. But with one World Series championship under their belts and soaring expectations, some fans are getting used to this winning thing.

    Waiting outside Citizens Bank Ballpark Wednesday afternoon, Bob Conzelman of Northeast Philadelphia says the team is changing the region’s mindset.

    “I think that now people expect to win, I think they’re proud of the city,” says Conzelman. “So, yeah, I think the Phillies have kind of helped the whole community.”

    Conzelman says he’ll still love the Phils even if they don’t win it all.

    One lifelong Phillies fan says she decided to buy tickets at the last minute because, after so many years of supporting the team, she deserves to see them in a post-season game.

    Another woman says her two young sons — one a Ryan Howard fan, one a Jimmy Rollins fan — missed the celebration when the Phils won it all in 2008, so she brought them to the ballpark to enjoy the party atmosphere even though they don’t have tickets for the game.

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