Phillies fans gather to celebrate NLCS win

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - October 22, 2009 National League Championship Coverage
SLIDESHOW: Phillies and phans celebrate NLCS win

Moments after NLCS win
On the field after NL pennant win
Talking with GM Ruben Amaro
Having fun with Greg Dobbs
President David Montgomery speaks
MVP Ryan Howard celebrates
Cliff Lee speaks on NL Championship
Speaking with Pedro Feliz
NLCS standout Pedro Martinez talks
1st look at NL Championship gear

The mood was one of excitement downtown, but the crowd of about 1,000 gathered on Broad Street remained under control as a dozen mounted police and dozens of officers in riot gear lined the street. Cross-street traffic was closed to Broad Street, a main thoroughfare through the city.

"It's an amazing night," said Gerry Nathan, 48, a lifelong Phillies fan who was celebrating downtown after watching the game in a bar. "... No matter what happens, no one can take this moment away from us."

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Jayson Werth hit two home runs as the defending champions beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 10-4 in Game 5 on Wednesday night to win their second straight pennant.

Though last year's celebrations following the National League Championship Series were mostly harmless, the city took extra precautions this year, going so far as to grease utility and light poles to dissuade would-be climbers.

The city also removed expensive new solar-powered trash cans from downtown sidewalks, and Mayor Michael Nutter urged fans to celebrate responsibly. The city asked some bars to serve drinks in plastic cups instead of glass.

At Citizens Bank Park, fans took advantage of a big lead to turn the last couple of innings into a party, waving rally towels and exchanging high fives with 46,000 of their newest friends.

As the last out was recorded, the stadium erupted into cheers as strong as last season, when the Phillies ended a 15-year World Series appearance drought.

"This is the cherry on top, the icing on the cake," said Shannon Curley, 31, as she and her friends on the concourse strained for a view of the field.

Fans in the parking lot set off fireworks that were visible beyond the outfield wall as a video of longtime Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas singing "High Hopes" played on the stadium's main video screen. Kalas, who had been the team's play-by-play man since 1971, collapsed and died before a game in Washington in April.

Mike Bozek, who described himself as a "lifer," said the series was never in doubt after Monday's game, when Jimmy Rollins hit a 2-run double in the bottom of the ninth to seal the win.

"It's really hard to repeat, so you have to appreciate their continued success," he said. "Last year was good, but this is just as good."

Bozek, 52, of Audubon, N.J., was already looking ahead to a World Series matchup with the New York Yankees, who lead the American League Championship Series 3-1 and face the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night.

"I want to play the Yankees. A win over the Yankees would validate how good a team this is."

The Phillies are the first team to reach consecutive World Series since the Yankees in 2000-01.

Three generations of the Krawitz family celebrated at their seats down the third-base line.

"It's just as good as last year," said 50-year-old Art Krawitz as his 11-year-old nephews Alex and Spencer snapped cell phone pictures of the trophy presentation. Art's father and the boys' grandfather, 77-year-old Lowell Krawitz, was also with them.

Last fall, fans in South Philadelphia toppled a traffic pole and set off illegal fireworks following the World Series win over Tampa. In the city's downtown, a luggage store was looted, some small fires were set and planters and taxicabs were damaged.


Associated Press writer Randy Pennell in Philadelphia contributed to this report.

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