Memories of a Lifetime

By Justin Hallman
April 1, 2004

Lauren Joseph

When I think back at all the fun and memorable times I’ve had in my 20 years of being on this Earth, there is only one thing that consistently each and every year has made me smile, laugh, and cry. I remember; I will always remember the smell, the view, the feeling; the overall feeling of being there was incredible. I remember the drive down route 95, the delicious hot dogs and the rain-delayed double-headers in April that I would in no way leave early from. I remember keeping score, playing speed pitch, giveaways, getting autographs before the games and taking walks with my Dad around what I thought was a palace. I remember counting the days till Sunday came and hating the weekends when the Phillies would be on a road trip, because that meant I didn’t get to have another story to tell on Monday in school. I remember going to the ballpark with my Dad and loving every moment of it.

I remember the road trips with my buddies for a night game, dollar dog days and subway adventures. I remember rally caps, losing my voice in the 3rd inning and booing every single player on the other team just because they weren’t a Fightin’ Phil. I remember the Cardinal Cleanup Crew, the 700 level scuffles and after countless games finally seeing your smiling face on Phanavision.

I remember growing up on stories, trivia, facts and lessons on baseball and our beloved Phillies. I remember stories coming to life at the ballpark. I remember foul balls, no-hitters, home runs, an all-star game and the World Series. I remember ceremonies and tributes where I would watch my heroes stand next to my Dad’s and see a man who doesn’t cry, shed a tear, only forcing me to do the same. I remember walking out of Section 342, Row 9, Seat 1 for the very last time.

It’s a parking lot now for the “Bank,” but I’ll always remember it as the cookie cutter on the corner of Broad and Pattison that gave me countless memories and smiles. I’ll remember all the wins and losses, the blowouts, the heart breakers and the thrills of a last inning victory bringing chilling goose bumps all over my body. I’ll remember the overall feeling of sitting in that chair and the indescribable emotions too wonderful for words.

I’ll still experience all these and hopefully more at the new place each game. I’ll still see the home runs, feel the comebacks and taste the hot dogs. I’ll still talk baseball with my Dad, argue with the annoying people in front of us and get kicked by the little girl sitting behind me. I’ll create and encounter all new memories but nothing like I have before. Nothing surpasses the memories of that old dump, our old dump, my old dump.

I’ll remember it all, from Veterans Stadium.

Posted to the web by Lauren Joseph

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Justin Hallman

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