"The best brother anyone could ask for": Sister of slain Phillies fan clears the air

David Sale had a "big heart."
David Sale had a "big heart."
Posted: July 29, 2009

Family and friends of slain Phillies fan David Sale have begun a memorial fund to help pay for the 22-year-old's unexpected funeral.

The Lansdale man was pummeled to death Saturday night outside McFadden's restaurant at Citizens Bank Park, after the Phillies-St. Louis Cardinals game, police said.

Jennifer Alvarez, Sale's older sister who is a specialist with the 82nd Airborne in Ft. Bragg, N.C., spoke with the Daily News yesterday after her husband, Cpl. Bobby Alvarez, based in Fort Hood, Texas, called the paper.

Sale's family had requested, through the Police Department, that the media refrain from calling the grieving relatives.

Family and friends want to "calm the media down," Jennifer Alvarez said.

"Try to leave us alone, it would be greatly appreciated," said Alvarez, 26. "If we want to make a statement, we'll call the media."

The couple wanted to set the record straight about the bachelor party, which included Sale, that had attended Saturday's Phillies game. The celebrators - and another group, associated with the Fishtown bar Moe's Tavern - eventually became part of the melee in the parking lot outside of McFadden's that resulted in Sale's death.

Most media outlets, except for the Daily News, have reported that the bachelor being honored that day was Sale's future brother-in-law. Not true, said Alvarez, who has been married to her husband for two years.

Alvarez, who said she expected to be in town by Thursday, said the party was held for one of her brother's friends.

Sale's friend Dan Curran created a Web site, www.davesale.bbnow.org, where anyone can donate money that will be used to give the North Penn High School graduate a proper burial. Donations can also be mailed to David Sale Memorial Fund, 291 Cricklewood Circle, Lansdale, Pa. 19446.

And the "Dave Sale Memorial Fund" Facebook page had nearly 500 members yesterday, some of whom left condolence messages.

Curran writes on the Web site that it was created "in memory of my best friend, my brother."

"Dave Sale was an amazing person with the biggest heart. We are all devastated by his loss. Please keep him in your hearts and your prayers," he wrote.

Sale, who loved the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Phillies, helped raise Alvarez's three children, who are 3, 5 and 9 years old, she said. His niece and nephews had not been told that their uncle is dead because they've been visiting relatives. The news will devastate them, Alvarez said.

"A lot of people are really upset about this," she said of her "baby" brother, adding that his Facebook page "is blowing up" with people from high school and others leaving messages. "He touched a lot of people's lives."

"He was a great son, the best brother anyone could ask for," Alvarez said. "The best person around, [he] always can make you laugh or put a smile on your face."

On Saturday, Sale's group and the Moe's Tavern group had some kind of encounter at the park and were then kicked out of the stadium, investigators and Phillies employees said.

Both parties found their way to McFadden's restaurant where, Homicide Capt. James Clark said, tensions flared again after Sale bumped into someone, causing a drink to spill. A fight ensued and both parties were ejected from the restaurant.

Once outside, one suspect put Sale in a headlock then two others beat and stomped on him until he was motionless, Clark said.

Three men have been charged with murder: James Groves, 45, of Almond Street near Norris in Fishtown; Charles Bowers of Bustleton Avenue near Devereaux; and Francis Kirchner, 28, of Palmer Street near Thompson.

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