Raul Ibanez ‘thankful’ for Phillies fans, city’s intensity

Raul Ibanez #29 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Raul Ibanez #29 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images) /
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Raul Ibanez cherishes his time spent on the Phillies roster

Nearly one decade has passed since left fielder Raul Ibanez last donned red pinstripes for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Across three seasons, replacing Pat Burrell following the 2008 World Series championship and through the 2011 postseason run, the 2009 All-Star slashed .264/.329/.469 with 100 doubles, 70 home runs and 260 RBI spanning 1,776 plate appearances.

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Fast-forward to 2020, Ibanez works for the Los Angeles Dodgers organization as special assistant to the general manager. And, while his profession has him on the west coast, his heart still lies at the opposite side of the country — particularly, Philadelphia.

On a recent episode of “10 Minutes with T-Mac” with Phillies broadcaster Tom McCarthy, Ibanez says he was “so fortunate” to be a Phillie.

“I’ve been part of five great organizations. I say that with all honesty. They’ve been fantastic,” Ibanez says. “When I came to Philadelphia, though, in 2009, I had never experienced that type of intensity.”

Before joining the Phillies in 2009, Ibanez played on the Seattle Mariners from 1996-2000 and 2004-07, and on the Kansas City Royals in between from 2001-03. After the Phillies’ disappointing 2011 Game 5 NLDS defeat against the St. Louis Cardinals, Ibanez played for the New York Yankees for one season (2010), before returning to the Mariners (2013) and finishing his career in 2014 with the Los Angeles Angels and Royals.

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The 2008 Mariners finished 61-101; Ibanez tuned into the postseason that year as he entered free agency, and says he remembers watching the Phillies compete in the World Series against the Tampa Bay Rays. Feeling the energy in the stadium, Ibanez thought “What must that be like?”