PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s an end of an era in South Philadelphia. The last member of the 2008 World Series Champions is expected to play his final game today as a Phillie.
Ryan Howard’s first career at bat: September 1st, 2004. Today, he will likely have his last in a Phillies uniform.
The Phillies and Howard are set to part ways after the season ends and the team honors Howard during a pregame ceremony this afternoon.
“I’m just trying to enjoy it, just trying to embrace everything and just take it as is,” Howard said. “I’m not trying to look too much into anything, you know, actually I’m just trying to go here and win these ball games.”
Fan favorites like Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Cole Hamels and Carlos Ruiz were all “outta here” before Howard. His accomplishments include Rookie of the Year, Most Valuable Player, three-time All-Star and most home runs in a single season in a Phillies uniform.
But Howard wasn’t the same player after a serious injury to end the 2011 playoff run. Pair that with a long-term, $125 million dollar contract and many fans didn’t shy away from criticizing Howard.
But this weekend, with the end approaching, it’s been cheers and standing ovations for “The Big Piece.”
Fans and members of the media who followed Howard’s career in Philadelphia are also taking to Twitter using #ThanksRyan to show their appreciation and gratitude for more than a decade of great baseball memories.