Submitted via: Kyle Savidge
It all started Saturday, September 17. I was at a fall fest, one of those events where a couple of blocks are closed off from traffic, and they are lined with vendors, food, and beer.
Watching my 1 PM bets get smoked, I expressed how annoyed I was watching my locks get unlocked. My buddy pointed out a strange Celtic shop tucked back in the alley next to the bar and joked, “I bet they have good luck charms in there.”
Well, damn, I bet they do.
I’m not sure what I was expecting, but this shop was not it. I wandered around aimlessly and had no idea what I was looking for until a display tucked in the back of the store caught my eye. It was filled with all different types of rocks, each with a little card of supposed powers or magic. Yup, this is what I was looking for. I read through each card for each rock and carefully selected any that could in any way be tangibly tied to luck and improving gambling. $12 later, and I was the proud owner of something magical; I just didn’t know it yet.
For the record, my bets for the rest of the day hit, reclaiming the ground lost at 1 PM. Made for a fun afternoon into the night as our group joked about The Lucky Rocks, but when the day was done, I put The Rocks on a shelf and forgot about them.
Until October 14 – NLDS Game3.
A friend and I had talked about going but didn’t commit. He waited until Friday morning to try to call off work, which normally works, until it didn’t work today. No worries, some things aren’t meant to be, and I had work anyway, so I’d be cutting it close with getting down to the stadium anyway. That is until my boss gave me the afternoon off. Suddenly, it felt like the universe was telling me that I had to be at Citizens Bank Park to watch the Fightins beat the Braves. When the universe speaks, listen. I bought tickets with my dad, a lifelong “Four for Four” fan, to see our first Phillies playoff game together and his first Phillies playoff game ever. As I walked out the door, I thought, “why not test the rocks?” So, I threw them in my pocket and made my way to South Philly.
One thing about my dad and sports games is that usually, when he goes to a game, it stinks. It’s the “Flyers go down 0-1 to the Penguins in the first minute of the first period, and that’s the only action all game” type of game. That’s what made this NLDS Game 3 so awesome – the team put on a phenomenal show for the fans, crushing the Braves 9-1. The atmosphere was electric, and it was a giant party from the beginning to the end. It was one of the greatest sporting events I have ever attended, and I’ve been to some good ones (Double Doink, much of the Flyers vs. Penguins series in 2012). It was everything that a Philadelphia sports fan could hope for, the beginning of a weekend with the NLDS Game 4 and Flyers vs. Vancouver that Saturday and capped with the Eagles hosting Dallas that Sunday night. As we were leaving the stadium, I couldn’t help but wonder about the rocks in my pocket.
I went to bed in bliss and woke up with a bit of a headache but still living off the high from the night before. Living in the memories, I messaged some buddies…
“Man, I really want to be down at the game today.”
“What’s stopping you?”
I paused. What was stopping me?
“Well, do you want to go?”
And away we went, making my way back to South Philly to watch the Phillies go after the NLDS clinch. My buddy and I got to the game a little over an hour before it started, giving us enough time to try to drink as many beers as we can before we went into the stadium to avoid paying pay for $15 beers, which we did anyway. Again, like the game the night before, the game and atmosphere were incredible. Marsh hitting a 3-run shot, JT getting an IN THE PARK HOMERUN!? Just wild. At the end of the game, I took a picture of the rocks in my hand overlooking the field, posting to my friends on social media that the Lucky Rocks were why the Phillies were winning. Flyers pulled the upset at home as well, which the Lucky Rocks were outside of. People were amused, and some laughs were had, but the real test was going to be the next day at the Eagles vs. Dallas game.
That game was the only game that wasn’t a day of decision. Instead, I accidentally bought tickets two weeks before when my friends asked, “Are we still good to watch the Birds beat the Boys?” and I presumed they meant watching the game at their house. I said I was in, and a few days later, I got the text saying, “we bought the tickets, Venmo whenever.” And just like that, I was going to the Birds vs. Boys Sunday Night Football capping an NLDS clinch. The atmosphere was insane.
All day during the Eagles tailgate, we joked about the Lucky Rocks. We were hitting our bets, the Fightins were advancing to the NLCS, and the Eagles were going to beat up Dallas. A surprise Meek Mill appearance ignited what was a regular season game with a playoff atmosphere and dominance from beginning to end (save for some of the third quarter). The Lucky Rocks struck again.
Fast forward to October 21 – NLCS Game 3. Again, I purchased tickets the morning of to go with one of my best friends, his wife, and a mutual friend who has never been to a Phillies playoff game. Again, the Phillies put on a show that kept the crowd engaged all game. Again, the Lucky Rocks made an appearance that made me wonder.
I wasn’t available for the game Saturday, but when the Phillies were losing, people were messaging and texting me, asking where the Lucky Rocks were. In my pocket, of course. I took a picture of them in front of the TV where I was watching the game. The Phillies came back from a 0-4 first-inning deficit to win 10-6. They could clinch the Pennant at game 5 in Philadelphia. Would I go?
Sunday morning, I woke up and texted my buddy I knew was going to the stadium, “can I get a ride down to the stadium?” and away we went, Lucky Rocks in my pocket. The groups I was with already had tickets, and I couldn’t find somebody to join me last minute, so I bought a single ticket in section 244 in left field. During the entire game, I felt like I was with friends the entire time. Dancing, cheering, joking, laughing, people buying each other drinks – just a massive party.
But then the rain came. When the rain started sooner than forecasts had predicted, the crowd became a little tame, and the Padres started to mount a comeback, taking the lead late. The energy in the stadium was struggling, and the vibes were not well. Was this it? Was this the end of the saga of the Lucky Rocks?
Not if you asked Bryce Harper about it. In the largest hit of his career, Harper hit a 2-run shot into left field to retake the lead in the bottom of the 8th. The stadium exploded, and the energy was constant into the top of the 9th until the Padres’ third out. That final out was incredible – strangers hugging strangers, people crying, grown men acting like children on Xmas morning – you could feel the passion of the fans, pent up for 11 years, unleashed into the air. I again wondered – what is it about these Lucky Rocks?
And that’s where this journey ends for now. The Phillies sure do feel like a team of destiny, one of those stories whose ending seems foretold.
Will the Lucky Rocks continue to be part of the story? I don’t know but like a wise beer company once said – “it’s only weird if it doesn’t work.”
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