Reminiscing 3 Phillies legends’ 2019 retirement ceremonies
Last but not least, we have Ryan Howard, or the “Big Piece” as he is nicknamed.
Howard was drafted by the Phillies in 2001 in the 5th round of the major league baseball draft, picked 140th overall.
Like Chase, Ryan also began his minor league baseball career with the Phillies’ Class-A short-season affiliate, the Batavia Muckdogs. He then played with the Phillies’ Class-A affiliate, Lakewood BlueClaws, in 2002 followed by the Phillies’ Class-A Advanced affiliate, the Clearwater Threshers in 2003 followed by the Phillies’ Double-A affiliate, the Reading Phillies, and then the Phillies’ Triple-A affiliate, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons, both in 2004.
Howard made his Major League Baseball debut on September 1, 2004, during the September call-ups. He played his whole MLB career with the Phillies, spanning from the years 2004-2016. Not a lot of players can say they were with the same ballclub throughout their whole career.
Speaking of The Big Piece’s great career, he too has received many awards and recognitions, including National League Rookie of the Year in 2005; National League MVP in 2006; Silver Slugger Award in 2006; Home Run Derby winner in 2006; National League All-Star in 2006, 2009 and 2010; NLCS MVP in 2009; World Series Champion in 2008, and more.
Ryan had 12 stolen bases, 382 home runs, 1,194 RBI, an average of .258, an on-base percentage of .343 across 5,707 at-bats on his career.
His retirement ceremony was held on July 14, 2019, at Citizens Bank Park. Another pop culture reference, actor B.J. Novak played a character on a show called The Office named Ryan Howard. B.J. was among the video messages that the Phillies’ Ryan Howard got to see as part of his ceremony. Other video messages came from Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Trout. Ryan also got his glove, put on his jersey, and went back out to first base for one final time before the game that day, hugged Rhys Hoskins, put up a thumbs up to the applauding crowd, and walked back to the dugout.
Part of Howard’s speech? “[expletive] it, they’re trying,” Howard said, and then continued: “…Don’t ever boo these men. I’m out.”
Does anyone else picture a mic drop after that statement?
Sometimes a trip down memory lane, remembering the days when players like these graced the fields, TV screens, and app notifications are just what I need. Maybe it was what you needed, too.