Philadelphia, PA – Philly Baseball Fans were treated to Greek dancing and a special performance by the famed Philly Phanatic on Wednesday night. Dressed as a traditional Tsolia, the Philly Phanatic, joined the St. Demetrios Dance troupe “Pegasus” on the field for a performance between the 5th and 6th inning.
The evening was sponsored by the American Hellenic Institute, and was the first Greek Heritage night ever hosted at a Phillies game. An estimated 800-1000 Greek baseball fans attended the game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Colorado Rockies.
The evening kicked off with a commercial about Greece on the big screen, that featured Greece as a summer travel destination for tourists. That was followed by the 1st pitch, thrown out by Christos P. Panagopoulos, the ambassador of Greece to the United States.
Sections 105 through 112 were a sea of Blue and White with many Greek members of the community waving flags, and waited for the moment that TV cameras would possible pan on them. Throughout the night, images filled the big screen with smiling faces of Hellenes in the stadium.
Following the end of the fifth inning, the Philly Fanatic came riding across the field on a three wheeler, dressed as a Tsolia; while the Pegasus dance group ran out on to the field from the 3rd base line. For exactly 1:10 seconds, the were the stars. Thousands of fans in the crowd and TV fans all over the Delaware Valley watched as the Philly Phanatic danced alongside the Greek dancing.
Before the end of the 5th inning, the Phillies were tied with the Rockies at 2-2. But a late 9th inning run by the Phillies game them the win 6-4. the ritual dancing must have woken the Gods and inspired the Phillies on to victory.