10 biggest moments of Ryan Howard's career
"Get me to the plate, boys"
In perhaps the most clutch moment of Howard’s career, he delivered the game-tying two-run double in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the 2009 NLDS in Colorado.
Jayson Werth singled Howard in and Brad Lidge picked up a one-out save to end the series. The Phillies would go on to lose the World Series to the Yankees, but who knows if they even get there without Howard’s two-run double, which came moments after his famous “Get me to the plate, boys” comment to teammates.
Without Howard’s two-run double, the Phillies lose that game and the series is tied 2-2 heading back to Philly for the decisive Game 5. That whole playoff run might have looked much different.
Howard powers 2008 WS Game 4 win
With the Phillies up 2-1 in the 2008 World Series against the Rays, Howard hit a three-run homer and two-run homer to power the Phils to a 10-2 win in Game 4.
Equally important was his solo shot in Game 3, which the Phillies won by one run.
Wave that banner
What a playoff run this was for Howard, who had three homers and eight RBI in the NLCS and World Series.
There were so many other storybook moments in the series against the Dodgers and Rays that you forget Howard hit .387 against those teams.
At this point in his career, Howard was carving out quite a postseason legacy. A weak performance in the 2011 NLDS skewed his career playoff numbers. Prior to that final playoff series, he was a .278 postseason hitter with an OPS over .900.
Howard sons Hudson
This was a regular season game few Phillies fans forget. Howard homered three times off then-Braves ace Tim Hudson. For Howard, the trio of home runs were Nos. 50, 51 and 52 of that 2006 season. He finished with 58.
Hudson would become Howard’s favorite opponent. The Big Piece finished his career 24 for 70 (.343) with 7 homers, 20 RBI and more walks (12) than strikeouts (11) against the four-time All-Star.
Heroics off the bench
In a game Howard did not start because of an illness, he entered as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning and hit a game-tying home run. In the 12th inning, he hit the game-winning home run, accounting for the Phillies’ only offense in a 2-1 win in Cincinnati on May 14, 2006.
At this point in Howard’s career, he was among the most feared hitters in the game. These were the pre-shift days, which helped explain why he hit .313 in 2006 then never reached .280 again.
Howard's historic MVP year
Howard’s 2006 was the best offensive season in Phillies history. He hit .313/.425/.659 with 58 homers and 149 RBI, power numbers you just do not see anymore and rarely saw in MLB history by non-steroid-users.
Howard was intentionally walked 37 times in 2006 and another 35 times in 2007. Other than Albert Pujols, there wasn’t a more dangerous hitter in the game at this point. Howard looked well on his way to a Hall of Fame career.
Then the league-wide adoption of the shift took away hundreds of hits and the injury in 2011 expedited his decline phase.
Home Run Derby champ
Howard and David Wright each hit 18 home runs to reach the 2006 Home Run Derby Finals, where Howard outslugged Wright 5 to 4.
Jermaine Dye, Troy Glaus, Miguel Tejada ... what a blast from the past.
Rookie of the Year
The 2005 Rookie of the Year voting wasn't particularly close. Howard, who hit .288/.356/.567 with 22 homers in just 88 games, received 19 of 32 first-place votes to beat out Willy Taveras and Jeff Francoeur for the award.
The AL Rookie of the Year was Huston Street, the man who served up that famous two-run double to Howard at Coors Field in the '09 NLDS.
The most painful way to lose
A metaphor for the Phillies' descent from perennial contender to .500 team to losing team. Howard was never the same after tearing his Achilles following his final swing of 2011. Nor was the Phillies' core.
From 2012 onward, Howard hit just .226 with a .292 OBP in 545 games.
Howard says farewell
Oct. 2, 2016. Howard's final game as a Phillie. He handled the Tommy Joseph situation with pure class, ceding playing time to the younger first baseman and serving as a mentor rather than a grumpy old vet who felt he still deserved everyday playing time.