Not only were they the first local team to reach the Little League World Series, but 13-year-old Mo'ne Davis was the first female pitcher to win a game in the Series. The honor student also was the first Little League player to land on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
Jared Sprague-Lott, Scott Bandura, Jahli Hendricks and the rest of the players also were a pure joy to watch.
It wasn't because the Center City-based team was the world's greatest. They're not, even if the Mid-Atlantic champions did stage an impressive come-from-behind victory over Texas last week, 7-6.
Early on, it was evident that the Taney Dragons were outmatched by the Mountain Ridge team from Las Vegas, to which they lost 8-1. Same thing when the Dragons lost last week to Chicago's Jackie Robinson West team, 6-5.
But for a brief time, the Taney Dragons brought Philadelphians together. They made us happy. We had something else to talk about other than the racially motivated unrest in Ferguson, Mo., and the beheading of an American journalist by ISIS.
The Taney Dragons helped us recapture the joy of summer. I can't remember when I've enjoyed a sporting event so much.
Taney may not have gone all the way and won the Series, but I plan to be out there this afternoon to catch a glimpse of Mo'ne and the rest.
I hope thousands of Philadelphians also will come out in support as the parade begins at 2 p.m. at 20th and Market streets and then proceeds east to City Hall and south down Broad Street.
Quit whining already about cost. City officials say there won't be a big overtime issue with police.
"We do not believe this will have any significant cost whatsoever to the city - just a lot of goodwill and a lot of people working together," Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison said yesterday. "This isn't an issue about how many dollars we've had to raise."
He also addressed a concern by many that the parade is excessive in light of the welcome-home rally that already took place at LOVE Park.
"I don't believe this is overkill," Gillison said. "I think it's appropriate given the magnitude of what they were able to accomplish."
It's a longish parade route, which makes me nervous. I hope the team won't have to endure long stretches without spectators. It's too late to fix that, though.
You know, we complain all the time about gun-toting youngsters who destroy the fabric of this city. Let's make a huge fuss over the ones who do right. So, please, everyone, come out. Bring signs. Let's flood the side streets and cheer the kids on.
I can't think of a better way to say goodbye to summer and hello to the start of another school year.
- Staff writer Jenny DeHuff
contributed to this report.
On Twitter: @JeniceArmstrong