The Wolf Pack. Padilla’s Flotilla.
To any longtime Phillies fan, these names will ring a bell. They were just two of the many fan clubs to call Philadelphia home, back when the Phils played in Veterans Stadium. Named after Randy Wolf and Vicente Padilla, both former Phillies pitchers, these groups became a permanent fixture in the Phillies’ ballpark.
A name that 95 percent of Phillies fans will not recognize is Pedro’s Posse. This fan club never made it to the major league stage. Instead, it made its home in the Longstrike concession stand, also known as the deck stand, out on the left field deck at FirstEnergy Stadium. Its namesake, Pedro Swann, played for the Reading Phillies during the 2006 and 2007 seasons. The left fielder had an average of .365 with four home runs in 2006 and a .243 average in 2007 while hitting only two home runs. Unbeknownst to him and the rest of the team, he caught the attention of a small concession stand who followed his progress all season.
I don’t remember exactly why we chose Pedro Swann to focus on. None of us knew much about him or whether he would become a big name for the Phillies. Maybe we noticed him because he had a good season in 2006 and we wanted to see what 2007 would bring. Maybe we noticed him simply because he played left field and that’s where our stand was located. Either way, our small group took to following his every at bat and play in the field each game. We eventually decided we needed a name for the group. Since every other fan club we knew of came up with a clever way of utilizing the player’s name within the group name, we decided we should do the same. That’s how Pedro’s Posse first arrived at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Over the course of the season, Pedro’s Posse became more invested in his performance every game. Every time he came up to bat, one person was responsible for keeping an eye on what happened and letting everyone else know what he did. We never really assigned this job, it just went to the person who wasn’t busy at the time. This was usually the person in charge of the water that night since he or she had the easiest job; open the fridge, get a bottle of water, close the fridge, take the water to the correct window. It was the perfect job for keeping an eye on the game.
As the season progressed, we often talked about what might happen if somehow Pedro’s Posse became known around the stadium. We never found out, but it was still fun to talk about. Even though no one outside the stand ever learned about Pedro’s Posse, we had a great time. We spent the majority of our summer cheering for a player that most fans don’t even remember anymore. Pedro Swann never made it to the majors with the Phillies, and the members of Pedro’s Posse no longer work on the left field deck, but nothing will ever be able to take away the great times we had cheering for the left fielder that never knew he had a fan club.