The Phillies have accomplished a great deal in the last half-decade – five straight division titles, two pennants and of course the 2008 World Series title.
But 100 wins is different. It isn’t better or more important than the other accolades, but it’s special in its own right.
Back in the summer of 1997, when the Phillies lost 19 of 20 games, who could have envisioned a Phillies team winning 100 games? Two years later, when the Phillies batted Kevin Jordan cleanup 29 different times, the mere thought of winning 80 games, let alone 100, seemed like a pipe dream. And two years after that, when Omar Daal got the ball for the Phils on Opening Day, it seemed like the Phillies might never win 100 games again. Ever, that is. Let alone in one season.
So when Ryan Madson recorded the final out last night, it really should have meant something to those Phillies fans who sat through those awful years in the 80's, 90's and even the early part of the 2000's. Certainly this is a team with much bigger fish to fry than cracking the 100-win mark, but it’s an important milestone nonetheless. One that, at least for this team, doesn’t come around every century.
Jayson Stark, as always, does a good job of putting the Phillies' milestone into proper perspective.
Trivia: What was the last National League team to win at least 100 games in the regular season and then go on to win the World Series? Answer in the comments section.