'It doesn't feel real': Phillies fans gear up at team store for postseason baseball

"I think this was the first time I could watch the Phils celebrate with champagne in high definition. It's been a long 11 years."

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Tuesday, October 4, 2022
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They lined up early at the New Era Phillies Team Store at Citizens Bank Park for postseason merchandise.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- It was a night of celebrating for the Philadelphia Phillies followed by a morning of rejoicing for their fans.

The Phillies earned a postseason berth for the first time since 2011 with their 3-0 victory over the Houston Astros Monday night.

"This is step one to hopefully greater success," Phillies All-Star Bryce Harper said.

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Some fans are so excited about that potential success, they are driving in from out of state just to grab postseason gear from the New Era Phillies Team Store at Citizens Bank Park.

Jamie Witthauer is from Knoxville, Tennessee, but she wasn't driving all the way from the Volunteer State to get Phils merch.

She was, however, coming from New York City.

"An hour and a half in the rain," Witthauer said. "Then to go back to Manhattan for my medical treatment."

Diehard fans lined up early Tuesday to be sure they had the best selection of merchandise.

"I'm going to spend way too much money on playoff gear," Steve Gallo of Mount Laurel, New Jersey said.

The team store filled up quickly.

Gallo and other fans grabbed sweatshirts, T-shirts, hats and anything they could get their hands on.

"It doesn't feel real. Watching the celebration last night doesn't feel real," Gallo said. "I made a joke last night - I think this was the first time I could watch the Phillies celebrate with champagne in high definition. It's been a long 11 years."

Phillies owner John Middleton says the team has what it takes to make a run.

He had a motivating message for the team in the clubhouse Monday night.

"There's no reason why we can't just keep on going from here guys. So relax, believe in yourself, believe in each other and play fearlessly," Middleton said.

Now that the October Rise is upon us and fans are in that postseason mode, we're being told the team store will have gear for the entire family each day over the course of the week.

The Wild Card round begins Friday.