It was announced last week that Shane Victorino will retire and he will sign an one day contract to retire as a Philadelphia Phillies player. Shane has not played in the Majors since 2015, when he was in the Los Angels Angels organization so this retirement does not come as a shock to anyone in the baseball industry. The timing could not have been better though as Shane has decided his time in Philadelphia was the most valuable to him and his family and his ceremony will take place on August 3rd as the Phillies honor the 2008 World Series team.
Shane was never the best player during that amazing Phillies run which saw the team win five straight division crowns. Shane was never the most athletic or the most powerful but he was the heart and soul of the greatest eras in Phillies history. He remains a fan favorite around the City of Philadelphia for his ability to play every game like it was last and to give 110% on the field. There are still a few everlasting moments for Phillies fans everywhere that Shane so proudly etched in their hearts and minds forever.
In the 2008 Divisional round series against the Milwaukee Brewers Shane Victorino hit one of the most memorable home runs in Phillies history. Its game 2 and the Phillies are tied with Milwaukee in the bottom of the 2nd inning. CC Sabathia who was a mid season acquisition for the Brewers has seemingly lived up to his hype. He went 11-2 with a mind boggling 1.65 ERA in 17 starts for the Brewers as he almost single handily pitched Milwaukee into the playoffs that year. The Phillies took game 1 of this series as they are set to to start one of the greatest Post Season runs in the organization’s history. Shane comes up to bat in the second with the bases loaded. The game is tied 1-1 but when Shane is done batting the score will be much different. Shane takes a 1-2 pitch from Sabathia and hits the first ever grand slam for the Phillies over the left field wall and just inside the foul pole. Citizens Bank Park erupts as the fans realize this team is special.
The memories of Shane Victorino in Philadelphia go far beyond that play. As most will remember Harry Kalas with his infamous “Shane Victorino on Shane Victorino bobble figurine day.” Shane that day in 2007 hit a walk-off home run to end the game as fans received a Victorino Hawaiian figurine. Maybe some fans will remember Shane being almost plunked in the 2008 NLCS when Dodgers pitcher Hiroki Kuorda threw a fast ball at Shane’s head. Shane had the audacity to tell him next time just throw it in my stomach but not soon after the benches cleared and once again Shane was in the middle of everything stirring the pot.
Sure he achieved success after leaving the Philadelphia Phillies. Shane even won another World Series ring in 2013 with the Boston Red Sox. He even hit a grand slam for them in the playoffs in game 6 of the ALCS which led the Red Sox to the World Series. However, Philadelphia will always be his home. Philadelphia gave him his chance and Shane ran with it which seemingly fit his on the field personality. His career will not be one that leads to Cooperstown but the City of Brotherly love will always accept Shane with open arms!
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