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Page last updated at 10:01 GMT, Tuesday, 21 October 2008 11:01 UK

Philadelphia: Steady progress the key
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel and team mascot, the "Phillie Phanatic"

Philadelphia Phillies fans have had to put up with a long history of adversity - as in July 2007, they became the first American professional sports franchise to lose 10,000 games.

However, having led them to second place in the NL East in 2005 and 2006, manager Charlie Manuel guided them to the divisional title in 2007.

This year, they won 13 of their final 16 regular season games to clinch the division again, before overcoming the Milwaukee Brewers 3-1 in the Divisional Series and trouncing the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-1 in the Championship Series to reach their first World Series since 1993.

Two team members suffered bereavements during the play-offs - with Manuel staying with his team during the NLCS before leaving straight after their Game 5 win to attend his mother's funeral, while centre fielder Shane Victorino's grandmother passed away during the same series.

But a World Series victory would surely be a fitting tribute for them both - and help shake off the "10,000 losses" tag.

see also
Phillies seal World Series berth
16 Oct 08 |  Baseball

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