The History Of Phillies Rivalries

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The Fiercest Phillies Rivalries: A Look into Baseball's Most Intense Matchups

The Philadelphia Phillies, one of Major League Baseball's oldest franchises, have a storied history filled with epic battles and fierce rivalries. These rivalries have shaped the team’s identity and provided fans with countless memorable moments. Let's delve into some of the most intense rivalries the Phillies have cultivated over the years.

1. New York Mets: The Battle for the East

The rivalry between the Phillies and the New York Mets is one of the most heated in the National League East. This clash is more than just a battle for division supremacy; it's a showdown between two passionate fan bases from neighboring cities. The intensity of this rivalry reached new heights in the late 2000s when both teams were vying for the division title.

Key Moments:

  • 2007 Collapse: The Mets' infamous late-season collapse allowed the Phillies to overtake them and win the division, a turnaround that Phillies fans still celebrate.
  • 2008-2011 Dominance: The Phillies' period of dominance, including their 2008 World Series win, often came at the expense of the Mets, fueling the rivalry further.

2. Atlanta Braves: Clash of the Titans

The Phillies and Atlanta Braves rivalry is another fierce competition within the NL East. With both teams often battling for the top spot, games between these two powerhouses are always high-stakes affairs. The Braves' dominance in the 1990s set the stage for this rivalry, but the Phillies have had their moments of glory as well.

Key Moments:

  • 1993 NLCS: The Phillies defeated the Braves in a thrilling six-game series to advance to the World Series.
  • 2008-2011 Era: The Phillies' consistent success during these years, often at the Braves' expense, added fuel to the competitive fire.

3. Pittsburgh Pirates: Keystone State Showdown

Though not as intense as some other rivalries, the Phillies' games against the Pittsburgh Pirates hold special significance due to the intrastate nature of the matchup. Known as the Keystone State Showdown, this rivalry has its roots in the early days of Major League Baseball.

Key Moments:

  • 1970s Battles: The teams frequently clashed in the postseason, with the Pirates often getting the upper hand.
  • Interleague Play: The introduction of interleague play in 1997 reignited the rivalry, giving fans more opportunities to see these Pennsylvania teams square off.

4. Washington Nationals: The New Kids on the Block

The rivalry between the Phillies and the Washington Nationals is a relatively new but growing one. Since the Nationals' relocation to Washington in 2005, both teams have been fighting for dominance in the NL East, leading to some memorable encounters.

Key Moments:

  • Bryce Harper Saga: Bryce Harper's move from the Nationals to the Phillies in 2019 intensified the rivalry, with each matchup gaining additional drama and excitement.
  • 2010s Competitive Clashes: As both teams rose to prominence in the 2010s, their games became crucial in the fight for playoff spots.

5. St. Louis Cardinals: Playoff Tensions

While not a divisional rival, the St. Louis Cardinals have been frequent postseason adversaries for the Phillies, creating a competitive tension that fans keenly feel. The Cardinals have often been a roadblock in the Phillies' playoff aspirations.

Key Moments:

  • 2011 NLDS: The Cardinals' upset victory over the Phillies in the NLDS, ending Philadelphia's hopes for another World Series run, is a sore spot for many fans.
  • 1976 NLCS: The Phillies' victory over the Cardinals in the NLCS paved the way for their first World Series appearance in decades.


The rivalries that the Phillies have cultivated over the years add a layer of excitement and drama to every season. Whether it’s the fierce battles with the Mets, the titanic clashes with the Braves, or the intrastate duels with the Pirates, these rivalries fuel the passion of the fans and the competitive spirit of the team. As the Phillies continue to make history, these rivalries will undoubtedly bring more unforgettable moments to the world of baseball.

Catch the Phillies at a home game at Citizens Bank Park this regular season. Our top five reasons on why to attend a game there are here!


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