12:00 AM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — Astros outfielder Chas McCormick, who grew up approximately one hour west of Philadelphia, remembers watching his hometown Phillies win the 2008 World Series.
“That place was rocking,” the West Chester, Pa., native said of the atmosphere at Citizens Bank Park.
McCormick’s twin brother, Jason, had a more specific memory from the aftermath of their childhood favorite team winning it all.
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“My mom tells this story all the time,” said Jason, who along with Chas, was in sixth grade at the time. “We went into West Chester and the town was going nuts. Chas and I were sticking out the sunroof throwing stuff all over the place and going crazy. It was just nuts.”
This time around, Chas is patrolling center field at Citizens Bank Park in his No. 20 Astros uniform. Jason will be in the crowd for Games 4 and 5 of the 2022 World Series, but will he be wearing Astros or Phillies gear?
Maybe a little of each?
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Chas McCormick is from just outside of Philly.
He’s heading back home to play a #WorldSeries game at Citizens Bank Park. pic.twitter.com/h4ej5r3gBg
— MLB (@MLB) October 30, 2022
“It’s just going to be something Houston, maybe Chas’ jersey over a sweatshirt or something,” Jason said with a laugh. “I’ve got to ride with Houston — at least for the 2022 World Series.”
It was much easier for the McCormick family during last year’s Fall Classic when the Astros squared off with the Braves — a team they grew up rooting against as one of the Phillies’ biggest rivals.
Now, the McCormicks find themselves watching Chas battle the same team they used to gather together to watch as a family. For Jason, the series has already taken its toll — and he just watched the first two games on TV from home.
“The first game was intense,” Jason said of the Phillies’ wild, 6-5, extra-inning comeback in Game 1. “I almost had a panic attack or two.”
Still, Chas wouldn’t change this matchup for anything.
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A Pennsylvania native, Chas McCormick grew up cheering for the Phillies and now he will try to beat them. pic.twitter.com/i5MBt0IERF
— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) October 24, 2022
“It’s going to be fun. It’s a dream come true,” said the Astros outfielder. “There’s going to be a lot going on. I just told my girlfriend to stay strong — there’s going to be a lot of boos. Hopefully, most of the fans are rooting for me a little bit, but we’ll see.”
“Most” is probably pushing it, but McCormick will certainly have a cheering section this week. In addition to Jason, McCormick’s parents, Nancy and Bob (who attended the first two games in Houston), will be on hand for all three games. The twins’ older brothers, Ryan and Sean, will also be there.
Chas also set aside tickets for his baseball coaches from Henderson High School and bought tickets for plenty of high school friends — almost all of whom are diehard Phillies fans.
“If they were to be playing anybody else — literally anybody else — I’d be rooting 100% for the Phils,” said Luke McNichol, who coached all four McCormick boys at Henderson and will be at the ballpark for Game 3. “But they’re not playing anybody else. They’re playing one of my Henderson guys and I’ve got to pull for him. I want to see Chas get that ring.”
Chas McCormick’s two-run homer
Jason echoed that sentiment.
“We wish both teams the best, but obviously, we’re going for Houston,” McCormick’s twin brother said. “Any other team that Chas doesn’t play for, we’d be cheering for the Phillies, but this is just the way it lined up.”
Chas knows that’s not necessarily the case for some of the friends he bought tickets for — “They’re definitely rooting for the Phillies, but I think they hope I do well” — but he, obviously, doesn’t have any internal conflict for this one.
“Obviously, there’s going to be a lot of Phillies fans, and some people personally rooting for me when I’m at the plate, but I’m all Astros,” he said. “Whatever we can do to beat the Phillies, we’re going to try anything.”
Chas McCormick on home run in win
Growing up outside of Philadelphia, the McCormick family knows what to expect when it walks into the ballpark wearing Astros gear. They know McCormick, despite his sizable cheering section, will inevitably be booed when his name is called. They know they may deal with some needling of their own from fans who have waited 13 years to watch the Phillies play a World Series game.
They’re ready for it all.
“It’s going to be a lot. It’ll be chaotic,” Jason said. “We know what these Philly fans are about. It’s really going to sink in once we sit down before the game and hear his name get called out during introductions. I’m sure we’re going to get bickered at, but we’re used to it — it’s OK.
“It’ll all be worth it.”