About an hour before first pitch Monday, the flags and pennants were whipping around out in center field. The excitement was probably due to the 24-mile-per-hour wind gusts, which cancelled a planned parachute troop performance -- or maybe it was the frenzied Phillies' faithful that packed Citizens Bank Park for the home opener, the 205th straight sellout for the home team.
Steve Joerg and his buddy purchased tickets about a month ago and celebrated the occasion by chugging Guinness near the new Irish Pub in Section 103. "They do it right here," said Joerg, 25, of Marlton, N.J. "Guinness and Chickie's and Pete's, what could be better?"
Joerg, like many of the fans polled, expressed concern about the team after watching the Phillies' offense struggle in Pittsburgh. However, most predicted a deep playoff run and a sixth straight NL East title.
"They just need to get healthy and stay healthy," said Mike Bott, 36, of Jim Thorpe.
Bott left his home around 8:30 a.m. so he could get to the ballpark early and take in the sights and sounds. This was his first time at a Phillies' home opener dating back to the team's days at Veterans Stadium.