Broad Street Billy: They're b-a-a-a-c-k! Phils fans gear up for home-opener

Ellen Kolodziej (left). a Phillies fan since her Port Richmond childhood, with her dad, John Kolodziej.
Ellen Kolodziej (left). a Phillies fan since her Port Richmond childhood, with her dad, John Kolodziej.
Posted: April 09, 2012

HOME-OPENER! The Phillies are back and so is Broad Street Billy, asking my fellow fans to send me your phanatic photos and stories of die-hard devotion - fervent families, geared-up babies and pets, and pinstriped pals!

Send your stuff to: phillies@phillynews.com

Broad Street Billy will feature your Phillies fan stories as he stands with you in the howling springtime winds of Ashburn Alley, sits with you in the howling autumn winds of the 400 level and sweats with you through the dog days in between, hoping to turn Broad Street into a Red Sea once again and party like it's 2008.

FAN TO FANTASY: Ellen Kolodziej - who grew up on Aramingo Avenue in Port Richmond, listening with her dad, John Kolodziej, as Harry Kalas broadcast Phillies games on the old transistor radio - is living a die-hard's dream.

Going from lifetime fan to the fantasy of a lifetime, Kolodziej is the new reporter on PHL17's "Charlie Manuel Show" and also joins "Phillies Post-Game Live."

"Not bad for a girl from Port Richmond!" Kolodziej told Broad Street Billy, clearly thrilled.

"My dad is literally the biggest Phils fan you will ever meet," she said. "He has watched every pitch for 60 years, through some of the worst seasons imaginable.

"My mom, Maureen Kolodziej, died three years ago, and my dad credits the Phillies with getting him through the darkest days. He calls the Phillies his 'support group.' "

Kolodziej loves the Phillies with all her heart ("I'm married to ESPN reporter John Barr, so I'd be divorced if I didn't") and has raised their children - Jack, 9, and Krystyna, 10 - right. So three generations of Kolodziejs are Phillies' faithful.

You can take a Phillies fan out of Port Richmond but you can't take Port Richmond out of a Phillies fan.

The family lives in Havertown but, Kolodziej said, "I vividly remember watching every game with my dad in 1980 during the playoffs and World Series. Everything my dad taught me about baseball has stuck with me 30 years later.

"We don't get tickets to the playoffs, so we have a tradition where we watch the game on TV together as a family and when they win a biggie, we all bang pots and pans outside, just like my dad and I did back in Port Richmond so many years ago!"


Contact Broad Street Billy at 215-854-5961 or phillies@phillynews.com.

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