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Finally, a Philadelphia sports title

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"This series opens the door for small-city franchises who are relying on draft choices, smart trading, and player development, and it gives a higher probability to teams like the Rays to sustain their success," says Andrew Zimbalist, a sports economist at Smith College in Northampton, Mass. With equity finding its way back into the sport of summer, major-league dynasties will have to adjust – perhaps by taking a page from the playbooks of this year's World Series contenders. "[Big payroll] teams will have ... a tougher job to maintain dominance," he says.

The win is also important to the psyche of America's fifth-largest city. Some residents will readily say they're tired of being ignored with New York on one side and Washington on the other.

"A lot of residents read The New York Times and when the Phillies or Eagles win, the article is a paragraph, and when they lose, it's a much bigger article," says Mills Chapman, a Philadelphia-area schoolteacher and longtime Phillies fan.

The win is particularly sweet in this sports-obsessed city, a place where almost everyone can tell you where they were when their team lost their last World Series attempt in 1993.

This victory wasn't easy. Game 5 actually started Monday but was suspended when the term Mudville was more appropriate for the playing field. The next day, Mother Nature intervened with gale-force winds and frigid temperatures. The Phillies' win on Wednesday night had a little bit of everything – home runs, doubles, stolen bases – and a Rays runner, the tying run, stranded on second base in the top of the ninth inning.

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