‘We need you as loud as possible.’ Philly fans rally for NLCS home game

The Phillie Phanatic dances with fans at the pep rally for game 3 of the National League Championship Series. (Peter Crimmins/WHY)

The Phillie Phanatic dances with fans at the pep rally for game 3 of the National League Championship Series. (Peter Crimmins/WHY)

October 21 is a big day for Sean Maguire.

It’s not only his birthday (he just turned 31). Today he and his fiancé Casey Freeborn went down to City Hall to get a marriage license.

But before making that momentous step, the two made sure to join the pep rally across the street in Thomas Paine Plaza to cheer the Phillies toward a victory tonight over the San Diego Padres.

Sean Maguire and Casey Freeborn stopped at the rally on the way to getting their marriage license in City Hall. (Peter Crimmins/WHY)

“Did you know they have never lost on this date? The Phillies have never lost on my birthday,” Maguire said. “I’m looking forward to holding that streak another year.”

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Maguire and Freeborn joined several hundred people who came to the plaza at the Municipal Services Building at noon on Friday to get pumped for game three of the National League Championship Series. Many dressed in red waving red towels overhead.

“Oh, my God. It’s electric,” Freeborn said. “There’s just so much energy and everyone’s so happy. It’s awesome.”

The rally was led by Phillies game announcer Tom McCarthy who reminded fans that the team has been to the playoffs just 15 times in its 140-year history, the last time in 2010.

“I’ve been in the game as a minor league broadcaster and as a big-league broadcaster for 30 years now, and I’ve never realized how important patience is during a baseball season then this year,” McCarthy said. “It was incredible to start seven games under .500, and then all of a sudden flip the switch. The team came out like gangbusters after the All-Star break and put together what has been an incredible run.”

A ‘sea of red’ as hundreds rally in Thomas Paine Plaza to cheer the Phillies to victory over the Padres tonight at Citizens Bank Park. (Peter Crimmins/WHYY)

Phillies alumnus Mickey Morandini, who played with the team in the 1993 World Series, recalled beating the Braves during the NLCS at Veterans Stadium, in the loudest ballpark he had ever experienced.

He told the gathered fans that it made a huge difference.

“I will say this: those Padre players have no idea what they’re in for tonight,” Morandini said. “We need you as loud as possible these next three days.”

On hand was the official Rally Bus, a double-decker bus wrapped in Phillies images that has been touring the region, with fans encouraged to sign the bus with Sharpies.

Sean Rowan held his son Cale up to get a good spot on the side of the bus.

Rowan pulled his son out of school for the day and drove two hours down from Shenandoah, PA., to be in Philadelphia for the game.

Sean Rowan, of Shenandoah, Pa., holds up his son Cale to sign the Phillies Rally Bus. (Peter Crimmins/WHY)

“It’s extremely exhilarating and almost mind-blowing. As you’re starting to take it all in, you get lost in the moment,” he said. “Will this happen next year? We don’t know. But it’s going to happen this year, and that’s why we’re here.”

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The Phillies take on the Padres tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Citizens Bank Park. Games four and five will also be in Philadelphia this weekend. Fans are hoping to clinch the best-of-seven series with a win on Sunday.

Saturdays just got more interesting.

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