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Faith that Phils will show fight remains for fans

Faith that Phils will show fight remains for fans

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PHILADELPHIA -- Christine Bradley was disappointed earlier this week when she learned she didn't win a chance to purchase tickets to the National League Championship Series in Philadelphia.

Funny how some things work out.

A few days later, Bradley received some better news. She didn't win the chance to buy tickets; she won the tickets themselves.

"I was ecstatic," Bradley said early Sunday, before she headed to Citizens Bank Park for Game 2 (8 p.m. ET on FOX) between the Phillies and Giants with her husband.

Bradley won the tickets through her membership in the Fightin' Phils Fan Club, in its first year of operation. Members of the club receive a variety of promotions, including discounts for tickets, merchandise and McFadden's Restaurant at Citizens Bank Park. Bradley took advantage of the perks earlier this year, attending a special discounted ticket night and receiving a free program.

She also used the access to watch games online when she couldn't catch them on television.

The Delaware native and lifelong Phillies fan tries to attend about five games a year, but a particularly busy schedule this year limited her to just two trips to the ballpark. Being there in October, though, is something she hasn't experienced yet.

"This will be my first playoff game. I've never been to a playoff game," Bradley said. "So I'm very excited."

Bradley started following the Phillies when she was a girl, her affinity for the Phils passed down from her father. Like most who came of age with the team during their previous glory days in the early 1980s, Bradley's favorite players were Mike Schmidt and Pete Rose.

Her decades of devotion have been repaid over these last few years, with the Phillies winning four consecutive NL East titles and having a chance to become the first NL team since World War II to advance to three consecutive World Series.

"It's been amazing," Bradley said. "I stuck with them through thick and thin, but these last four or five years have been awesome."

Things peaked in 2008, of course, when Brad Lidge struck out Eric Hinske to give Philadelphia its first title in 28 seasons.

Bradley doesn't hesitate to disclose her reaction.

"I cried," she said.

Bradley and all Phillies fans are hopeful of experiencing the same kind of moment again in a few short weeks. And even though Philadelphia dropped its series opener with the Giants on Saturday night, Bradley isn't concerned.

"I have full confidence in the Phillies," she said. "I know we're going to take the series."

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

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