Year In Review: Rally on Ring Day

Swing and a Long Drive will be looking at some of 2009's top moments. We had a similar "Year in Review" last year, but instead of month-by-month, we'll look at some of the top games. They are also a part of Phillies Nation's Top 25 Moments of 2009.

Every player in the major leagues desires to have one. It is not easy to obtain; some will earn one, others will fall short. It has become a symbol around Major League Baseball. Years after a player retires, they still proudly sport it. The Philadelphia Phillies already experienced the thrill and glory of a World Championship, but it was time for them to officially be given the hardware.

One by one, each player was called out of the dugout. After handshaking an emotional Pat Gillick and Charlie Manuel, the player was handed a box with a 14-karot, 103 diamond ring inside. Each player tried on the beautiful piece of jewelry, but there was a game to play. It was April 8, and the Phillies were without a win. It was finally time to put the 2008 season behind and move forward to 2009.

Joe Blanton was making his first start of the year, and it didn't go as planned. The righty allowed seven runs in four innings. At the top of the 7th, the Phillies found themselves trailing 10-3. Perhaps the ring ceremony took the focus away.

In 2008, the Phillies' first win came on a walk-off walk. The Phillies needed a huge rally for their first win of '09, and they kept fighting. Like '08, walks became a huge factor.

Raul Ibanez and Pedro Feliz started the rally with bases-loaded singles. Matt Stairs, Chris Coste and Jimmy Rollins drew three consecutive bases loaded walks. Shane Victorino's single and Ryan Howard's fielder's choice capped off an eight-run inning.

The Phillies 12-11 victory over the Atlanta Braves was the Phillies' first win of the 2009 season. It was only appropriate that it came in comeback fashion, something they did so many times.

Other Top Moments: Cliff Lee's complete game in game one of the National League Division Series.


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