Though Jenn Zambri-Dickerson grew up in Yankees territory - she’s a central New Jersey native - she has followed the Phillies since she and the rest of her T-ball team had the chance to catch some ground balls as part of the team’s pre-game activities in 1980.
When watching the Phillies-Yankees game Oct. 28, Dover resident Jenn Zambri-Dickerson said she followed her usual routine of dressing her cats in Philadelphia Phillies jerseys.
“They don’t seem to mind much, as long as they’re getting attention,” Zambri-Dickerson said.
Though Zambri-Dickerson grew up in Yankees territory - she’s a central New Jersey native - she has followed the Phillies since she and the rest of her T-ball team had the chance to catch some ground balls as part of the team’s pre-game activities in 1980.
Because of physical deformities, this moment sticks out as one of the few times she was able to participate in sports activities. In between surgeries for her hip and knee joints, Zambri-Dickerson had her entire legs covered with casts and then was required to wear leg braces.
“Playing T-ball was the one hour a day that I got to take off the leg braces and run around,” she said.
Now, Zambri-Dickerson attends the annual Philadelphia Sports Writers Association dinner and the team’s spring training, as well as 30 to 40 games a year, to see players from her favorite team.
She has met every Phillies player from this year and last year, and her home at the White Oak Farm subdivision is filled with autographed pictures and memorabilia, including a broken batting helmet and smelly shoes once worn by Chase Utley.
When she’s not working as an instruction paraprofessional at the Kent County Alternative Program, Bambri-Dickerson writes about her favorite team on a blog through MLB.com.
Bonnie Painter, who has been friends with Zambri-Dickerson for 20 years, said she doesn’t know much about baseball but has watched games with Zambri-Dickerson.
“My head was spinning a little bit, because she was giving me so much information,” Painter said, adding that she’s a little jealous of the trips of Florida and California her friend makes as part of her interest in the Phillies.
“Jenn just has fun with it, and next year, I plan to go to a game with her and find out what baseball is all about,” Painter said.
Zambri-Dickerson has a ticket to game five of the World Series and said she never thought she might have the opportunity to see the Phillies win the World Series once, let alone twice, in her adult life.
“You’re a fan for all those years, and for most of them the team totally sucks,” she said. ““It’s just so exciting, I’m so happy.”