The Phillies rolled out the red carpet for their biggest British fan
Being a fan of a team that does not play anywhere near you can be challenging. It makes traveling to the games quite difficult and simply finding other fans to cheer with from afar can be hard, too.
However, you'd be hard-pressed to find a supporter as dedicated as Phillies fan Dave Shaw. He hails from England and has to track Phillies games in the middle of the night if he wants to see them live. When he does, he tweets from the popular account @UkPhillies, which he also uses to arrange monthly watch parties.
Shaw planned a trip to the United States for this May with his girlfriend, Sarah Soffe, so naturally, it included a stop in Philadelphia to see his favorite team play at Citizens Bank Park. Once the Phillies learned about their plans, they connected with him and made their trip to the ballpark on Friday one to remember:
#PhilliesTwitter is full of wonderful people, including @UkPhillies, who traveled across the pond for this weekend's series. 🇬- Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) May 12, 2018
We decided to give him a few surprises to make this visit one he'd never forget. pic.twitter.com/TTkbmd4VEJ
Terrific move by the Phillies to reward a true diehard.
One might wonder how Shaw became a Phillies fan. He explained to Gregg Murphy of NBC Sports Philadelphia that on a previous trip to Philadelphia in 2011, he happened to be invited to a Phillies game. He didn't really know anything about baseball, but he went anyway, had the rules explained to him, and had a terrific time as the Phillies walked off on a hit by Chase Utley.
Shaw became an instant fan. "I was hooked," said Shaw. "Went back home, lost a lot of hours' sleep watching the Phillies in the middle of the night, but it's worth it."
This time around, Shaw could enjoy the baseball game even more, and he was extremely appreciative of the Phillies' kind gesture:
Of course, no trip to Citizens Bank Park is complete without a visit from the Phanatic:
The blown save aside y'day surreal,special and a dream come true.A huge thank you to the @Phillies for everything they have been incredible & meeting and being interviewed by @GmurphNBCS was awesome!Also thank you to everyone for the really nice messages,totally blown away by it! pic.twitter.com/U7N3rLmtsn- UK Phillies (@UkPhillies) May 12, 2018
To put the cherry on top of this vacation, Shaw proposed to Soffe in New York City, and they are now engaged. Going to a baseball game the next day sounds like a terrific way to celebrate.
We can only hope that the Phanatic will be invited to the wedding to show off his dance moves.