Phillies legend Ryan Howard appears headed towards retirement

Jul 11, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz (51) greets first baseman Ryan Howard (6) after his solo home run in the sixth inning against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 11, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz (51) greets first baseman Ryan Howard (6) after his solo home run in the sixth inning against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports /
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Ryan Howard was hitting .182 in Triple-A Gwinnett, and looks to be retiring with the Phillies being his only major league team

Atlanta shocked the baseball world when they signed former Phillies slugger Ryan Howard and designated him to Triple-A. Eleven games later, Howard has been granted his release from Atlanta.

Confirmed on Twitter, Howard is joining the Philadelphia-based firm 76Capital, who “invest in smart and nice entrepreneurs and help them build great companies.”

With that career move, it appears Howard is heading towards retirement after 13 seasons as a major league baseball player.

Howard has been adamant in believing he had more in the tank, but was unsigned through spring training. No American League clubs took a shot at the man with 382 career home runs as a designated hitter, a role many believed he could still compete in.

Oct 2, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard (6) is presented a Phillies great Mike Schmidt during a pregame ceremony before action against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 2, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard (6) is presented a Phillies great Mike Schmidt during a pregame ceremony before action against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

Atlanta seemingly signed Howard for their trips to American League fields during Interleague Play but shot down those rumors over the past couple of days.

Released by the Phillies after the 2016 season, Howard sits second on the club’s all-time home run list behind Mike Schmidt. The Big Piece won a Rookie of the Year, Most Valuable Player, and World Series title in consecutive seasons on his way to a potential Hall of Fame career.

Injuries to his achillies and knees derailed the Hall of Fame path, which at one point was near certainty.

Next: Phillies Weekly Awards

Look for the Phillies to honor Howard in the near future if his career is officially complete, and potentially retire his number. Traditionally the Phillies only retire numbers of Hall of Fame players, but special circumstances are expected for Howard, Jimmy Rollins, and Chase Utley down the road.

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