Sports: “We Shared It Together”

In a post-parade conversation, Phils pitcher Jamie Moyer and obsessive fan and Hollywood filmmaker (“Radio”, “Coach Carter”) Mike Tollin get misty comparing notes on the national pastime, fathers and sons, and the bond between player and fan. Who says there’s no crying in baseball?

Philly Mag: You were both at the 1980 World Series parade. What are your memories 28 years later?
 
Jamie Moyer: Well, I was a high-school senior and an aspiring baseball player in Souderton, outside of Philadelphia. A couple teammates and I skipped school to go to the parade. We took the train downtown and then hopped on the subway, which I hadn’t been on before. Knowing that the parade was going to end at JFK Stadium, we decided to go there and wait for the parade to come to us. We heard all of the speeches, and it took us a while to get out of the stadium because of the crowd. You just couldn’t move. I thought of that during this parade. As we got closer to the stadium, people couldn’t move, there was just nowhere to go. And it was just a great feeling — a great assembly of fans pouring out their heart and their emotions. I can tell you this, a couple of times during our parade, I choked up. It brings tears to my eyes right now to talk about it. It made me feel like I’ve come full circle. When we were sitting in that stadium in 1980, I kept saying to myself, boy, it would be awesome to someday be in a parade like this. Now, many years later, that was truly the case. And having my family with me through all of the playoffs, through the World Series, and on the float in the parade — there’s no better feeling. On that float, it just kind of all hit me. I thought: This is a great way to celebrate, with the city where I grew up.
 
PM: Mike, when Jamie talks about ’80, does that bring back memories for you?
 
Mike Tollin: First, I should say, Jamie, in my office in California are four framed 1964 World Series tickets, which my dad brought home in late September and said, “Guess what, kids, we’re going to the World Series.” They were eight dollars apiece, and we never got to use them. [Editor’s note: The Phillies, up six and a half games with 12 to play, blew the 1964 pennant.] So 1964 was my first year of baseball consciousness. Anyway, 1980 was my rookie season as writer, director and producer for Major League Baseball Productions. I wrote the World Series film. Like you, Jamie, I chose to camp myself at JFK Stadium in ’80. I was a big fan of the Gamble and Huff Philadelphia Sound, so I recall the song the team came into the stadium to was “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now,” by McFadden and Whitehead. It still gives me goose bumps when I hear it. What I can remember most clearly about that series was that I was able to get tickets for my dad, and he sat in the stands for Game Six, and I remember making eye contact with him and seeing him tear up.
 
PM: Mike, you mention your dad, and Jamie, you mentioned family. Is there a common denominator there?

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