Outside City Hall, crowd cheers for winning Taney team

Mayor Nutter cheers watching the Taney Dragons outside City Hall.
Mayor Nutter cheers watching the Taney Dragons outside City Hall. (MATTHEW HALL / Staff)
Posted: August 17, 2014

Philadelphia's collective heart was beating for the Taney Dragons on Friday - loudly.

As the region marveled at another masterful performance from Mo'ne Davis, over a hundred fans gathered around four big-screen TVs in City Hall's outdoor courtyard to watch the game, cheering wildly through every inning.

They hooted at strikeouts. They applauded at hits. And when Davis struck out the final batter of the game, they rose to their feet and threw their hands in the air.

Chants of "Let's Go Dragons!" echoed into the sky.

Supporters were young and old, in suits and hats and jeans and jerseys. Mayor Nutter was there, as were other Little Leaguers, parents, and some who were simply fans.

"I'm captivated by this Taney team," said Nero Borja, 24, from Fairmount. "It's an amazing story."

The crowd, which numbered more than 150, filled up the sets of makeshift bleachers that were put in place for the event. At times, additional rows of people stood three-deep behind them.

Shirley Applegate, 64, of East Oak Lane, who purchased a Taney T-shirt specifically for Friday's game, expressed a sentiment common among many Dragon fans.

"We needed something to inspire us," she said.

Friday's City Hall party started an hour before the game. The Phillie Phanatic was there, dancing to deafening music. Nutter delivered brief remarks.

But the real attraction was the contest on the field.

Gregg McLaughlin, from Market East, watched with admirable intensity.

The game, he said, provided a perfect distraction in a summer of depressing news.

Plus, the Phillies have given him so much angst, it was nice to watch a winning team again.




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