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?

MT: [Laughs] But this is without alcohol! This is pure, unfettered joy. Anyway, the next day I called my assistant and asked her to find me a flight for that afternoon. I needed to get home. My family welcomed me home like I actually had something to do with the win. And the next day I marched in the Halloween parade at Lukie’s elementary school.
PM: Jamie, how do you handle having to miss so many of your kids’ games?
JM: I do miss a whole lot of them. But we talk on the phone at least once a day, and sometimes two or three times a day. I think it’s real important to hear them, to hear their voices, to hear what’s taking place in their games. The other thing is that this is all they know. Think about it. I’ve been playing for 20-plus years, and our oldest is 17. These are baseball babies, as Karen likes to say. Actually, my first spring training with the Phillies in ’07 was the first time my family wasn’t with me the whole duration of spring training. So we really try to stay together as a family. For Karen and me, that’s why we’ve been able to stay together and be happy. Our kids are a big part of this, and the day they’re not a part of it is the day that I’m not going to play. You know, it’s a great game, and you pass it along through the generations, but I also don’t want this game to break up my family.
MT: It really is a sport that’s all about family. One last thing about my decision to come back after the clincher. So we had the Halloween parade, and then Lukie, my wife Robbie and I went trick-or-treating —  
PM: What did you wear, Mike?
MT: I wore my Phillies uniform, and a World Series champion hat. That made me the only one in L.A., I can assure you. But the next day, Lukie had a game, because it’s always baseball season in L.A.  His team won, he had a couple of hits. Afterwards, we went out for a hamburger and he turned to me and said, “Dad, I think you should coach my team next spring.” So I looked at him, and I thought: Of course. How could I not?  So I will.
JM: That’s awesome.
PM: This Phillies team appreciated the fans more than any other in recent memory. Do you have any insight into that?
JM: You know what, that is a great observation. I don’t think I’ve ever been around a team that embraced the fans like this team did this year. I honestly can say that. It was just amazing how my teammates realized we were on such a mission, but still realized that without the fans, we might not have been where we were. And we all know how tough the Philly fan can be. But during the parade, there were people literally crying. I don’t know how many times I just looked at Karen on the float and said, “Wow, can you believe this?” It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.