The notoriously passionate fans were devastated by that 1993 Series defeat, and Mr. Williams took the losses in two of the games. He received death threats after Game 4, and fans egged his home when the Series was all over. These days at Citizens Bank Park, they scream his name and throw him high-fives, as though he had saved that Series instead of blowing it.
"Yo, buddy. Yo, partner," Mr. Williams responds, as if he is a long-lost friend, which, in a sense, he is.
An analyst for Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, the team's cable broadcaster, Mr. Williams does a pregame radio show and postgame television analysis that have become must-listens for devout fans. In a city with a hard-luck sports history not only in baseball but in other major sports -- with no professional championship since the 76ers won the National Basketball Association crown in 1983 -- Wild Thing enjoys an unlikely popularity.
"I sucked that day," Mr. Williams says of his World Series performance. "I'm having a good time now."
Glad to see that things are better for him. It probably helps that if the Phillies end up losing this time after being up 3-1, there will probably be a much bigger goat than him hanging around, be it a player, Bud Selig, or Mother Nature.