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Phillies Phans believe

PHILADELPHIA -- We're on the scene at Citizens Bank Park for Game 5 1/2 of the World Series. (I know -- hardy-har-har). But seriously, nearly five hours before the first pitch a ton of fans piling into the parking lots getting ready for what they hope will be the first championship celebration for the Phils since 1980. (OK, some of them are probably getting here for the Sixers' 6 p.m. opener against the Raptors next door at the Wachovia Center but go with me on this one).

Dscn0561_3I've gotten some emails from longtime Phils fans during the last week and I know they're pretty hyped for this one. So I took a walk through the parking lot before I came inside. Plaques in honor of old Veterans Stadium are in various spots, marking the bases and home plate where the Phillies used to play and the goalposts where the Eagles used to roam. So I snapped this picture of perhaps the most famous spot in Philadelphia baseball history (click for bigger view).

Tug It's the spot where the pitching rubber was, where Tug McGraw unleashed that famous fastball that struck out Willie Wilson in the ninth inning of Game Six to give the Phils that lone title over Kansas City 28 years ago (right). Tim McGraw, the country music star who is the late Tug's son, spread some of his father's ashes on the mound before he delivered a ceremonial first pitch here Saturday night. So Tug might be alongside Brad Lidge if it comes down to one final pitch for the Phils tonight.

We'll have more on the specifics of setting the stage for Game Five in a little while.

---Mike Harrington

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