Shane Victorino

Shane Victorino retires as a Phillie, salutes the city where his dreams came true

Shane Victorino retires as a Phillie, salutes the city where his dreams came true

The Flyin’ Hawaiian turned into the Cryin’ Hawaiian.

Shane Victorino led off the Phillies’ Alumni Weekend celebration by returning to Citizens Bank Park on Friday night to officially announce his retirement from baseball.

Victorino addressed the festive crowd before the game. He lasted about 90 seconds before the tears started flowing.

“I will always have you woven into the fabric of my life," he told the crowd. "This is not a goodbye. It’s just the next chapter.

“Mahalo, Philly.”

Victorino played for the Dodgers, Red Sox and Angels after leaving the Phillies in the summer of 2012, but Philadelphia always held a special spot in his heart because it is where his dreams came true. And though he last played in 2015, he wanted to return to Philadelphia and symbolically retire with the club that he won a World Series with in 2008.

“This city made me the person that I am,” he said. “I was a 25-year-old kid bouncing all over the place just looking for an opportunity and I got to come to a first-class organization with first-class people.”

The story is well known. General manager Ed Wade and his staff plucked the spunky, athletic outfielder from Maui out of the Dodgers organization as a Rule 5 pick in December 2004. Victorino did not make the Phillies roster in the spring of 2005 and the Phillies had to offer him back to the Dodgers.

They said thanks, but no thanks.

So the Phillies kept Victorino and sent him to Triple A. He became the International League MVP and a year later a mainstay in the Phillies lineup.

Victorino became a fan favorite for his bubbly personality, his energetic style of play and his ability to produce clutch hits and important defensive plays in the field. He became an All-Star and eventually a huge part of the team that broke a 25-year championship drought in the city with the 2008 World Series championship.

“In 2005, I came to Philadelphia as a Rule 5 player,” Victorino told the crowd. “The city and me shared a DNA — an expectation for mediocrity. Well, this is far from what happened. Hard work, dedication and teamwork were the formula for success. Philadelphia, I can proudly look you all in the eye and say this: We succeeded.

“A World Series championship! We have rallied and today Philadelphia is respected — a booming city of winners.”

Phillies managing partner John Middleton and chairman David Montgomery presented Victorino with a hand-painted outfielder’s glove depicting his image and career accomplishments.

After thanking the organization, his teammates and the fans, Victorino hugged the Phanatic and headed to the mound to throw out a ceremonial first pitch. As Victorino arrived at the mound, the crowd erupted as Ryan Howard appeared on the field wearing his No. 6 jersey. Howard stood behind home plate and caught Victorino’s ceremonial pitch.

During the game, highlights from Victorino’s career — including his memorable grand slam against Milwaukee's CC Sabathia during the 2008 postseason — played on the big video board.

The Alumni Weekend festivities continue on Saturday night as Pat Gillick and Roy Halladay will be inducted onto the team’s Wall of Fame.

On Sunday afternoon, the club will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 2008 World Series title team with a pregame ceremony. At last count, 25 members of that team, including Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Charlie Manuel and Brad Lidge, were slated to attend the event.

It was kind of fitting that the weekend began with a tribute to Victorino. He got his fair share of time as the leadoff man on those great Phillies teams from 2007 to 2011.

“I’ve been lucky,” he said. “For the rest of my life, I'll forever be part of this organization.”

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At The Yard: Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino

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NBC Sports Philadelphia

At The Yard: Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino

You heard Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino in NBC Sports Philadelphia's documentary "World Champions: The Story of the '08 Phillies." 

Now, in this special edition of At the Yard, you get to listen to Jim Salisbury's interviews with those three players in their entirety, including the parts that didn't make the documentary. All three go through that magical season in vivid detail and relive the greatest moments from that postseason. 

Subscribe and rate At The Yard: Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Spotify / Stitcher / Art19

Chase Utley:
1:30 - What made that team special?
4:00 - Memories from the postseason.
6:30 - World Series Game 5.
13:00 - What were the celebrations like?
18:00 - His speech on the day of the parade.

Jimmy Rollins:
1:30 - Did he really believe the Phillies were the team to beat in 2007?
8:00 - What was the moment he thought they were good enough to win it all?
13:00 - Playoff moments.
19:30 - Did he have a preference of facing the Rays or the Red Sox?
24:00 - Terrible field conditions in Game 5.
31:00 - Moment they won the World Series.
33:30 - Chase's speech.

Shane Victorino:
1:00 - Shane's journey to the big leagues.
5:00 - The importance of the 2007 season.
12:30 - Playoff memories.
16:00 - Preference facing Tampa Bay or Boston?
24:00 - Moment they won the World Series.
29:30 - Charlie Manuel was the perfect manager.

Shane Victorino plans to sign 1-day contract, retire as a Phillie

Shane Victorino plans to sign 1-day contract, retire as a Phillie

If you didn't know Shane Victorino hadn't already officially retired, you're probably not alone. His time has come, though.

Victorino told KHON-TV early Tuesday morning that he's officially retiring from baseball on Aug. 3. and he'll "go back to Philly and probably sign a one-day deal, hang it up and call it a career."

The Phillies host the Marlins on Aug. 3 at Citizens Bank Park as part of their Alumni Weekend.

"It's time to hang it up and call it a career," Victorino, said. "I think I've been blessed with that opportunity as a baseball player growing up in Maui, getting that opportunity to represent my state, represent my people. It's about that time, it's time for me to say … it's time for me to move on. It's time for me to enjoy retirement."

The 37-year-old hasn't played in the majors since 2015 when he played 71 games with the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Angels. He signed a minor-league deal with the Chicago Cubs but was released after nine games in Triple A Iowa.

But the Flyin' Hawaiian will forever be known as a Philadelphia Phillie. Victorino was twice a Los Angeles Dodgers castoff. First, the Padres selected him in the Rule 5 draft in 2003, but San Diego returned Victorino to the Dodgers later that season.

In 2004, though, the Phillies plucked him in the Rule 5 draft and Victorino developed into an important piece of the best stretch of baseball in franchise history.

Victorino went on to make two All-Star teams, win three Gold Gloves and his first World Series with the Phillies — his other came with the Red Sox in 2013.

During the 2008 World Series run, Victorino crushed two of the most memorable home runs of the Phillies' championship stretch. The first, a grand slam against Milwaukee Brewers' C.C. Sabathia.

And then this one.

While Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard led the way offensively, Victorino and Jayson Werth were proof in the pudding that great teams need strong complementary players (see story).

Victorino finishes his career with 1,274 hits, 108 homers, 231 stolen bases and a slash line of .275/.340/.425. He became the first player to hit a home run, double and two stolen bases in a single game in postseason history.

As a Phillie, Victorino was .279/.345/.439 with 88 homers, 179 stolen bases and 998 hits over eight seasons.

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