Phillies fans unfazed by forecast

Phillies fans unfazed by forecast

PHILADELPHIA -- It didn't matter whether the forecast called for Citizens Bank Park to be drenched in rain, pounded with hail or razed by gusts of wind.

Since the Phillies are here for Game 3 of the World Series against the Tampa Bay Rays, then Rob Santoleri decided that he would be, too.

"I'm gonna be here," the 19-year-old fan said, "rain or shine."

A strong storm system battered the city throughout the day on Saturday, increasing the likelihood that the start of Game 3 would be delayed by rain.

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But Philadelphia's championship-hungry fans have not been able to attend a World Series game at home since Oct. 21, 1993, when pitcher Curt Schilling shut out the Blue Jays on five hits in Game 5 of that year's Fall Classic. They weren't going to let a little rain get in the way on Saturday.

Santoleri and Nick Martino, one of his classmates at St. Joseph's University, stood on the sidewalk outside the ballpark on Saturday evening, preparing to head inside. Martino, whose red Phillies hat was covered by a hooded sweatshirt, had been to Citizens Bank Park to see the Phils take on the Brewers in the National League Division Series and to see them face the Dodgers in the NL Championship Series.

He looked at Saturday's bad weather in a positive light.

"Hopefully, it affects Tampa Bay," Martino said. "They play indoors."

On the other side of the stadium, buddies Matt Angiulo and Derek Giangiulo stood in a light drizzle, watching throngs of fans walk by. Many had come prepared with plastic ponchos and umbrellas, but Angiulo and Giangiulo were content without such safety nets.

"I don't need a poncho," Giangiulo said.

Angiulo admitted that he had been a little worried when he saw the initial weather forecast.

"'Oh, dear Lord,'" Angiulo recalled thinking. "'I'm gonna get rained out and not get to see these games.'"

But, even if the rain continues throughout Game 3, Angiulo has a plan. He pointed to Giangiulo, saying, "I'll just use his shirt to wipe off my seat."

Kevin Horan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.