Pat is putting down the bat.  Ex-Phillies outfielder Pat Burrell says he will retire as a member of the team he grew up with.  Pat "The Bat" was Philadelphia's number 1 overall pick in the 1998 draft.  He was a monster hitter with a funny-looking swing who flew through the farm system and made his Big League debut just two years after being drafted out of the University of Miami.

But it wasn't always smooth sailing for Burrell.  Besides Jimmy Rollins, Burrell is the only other Phillie to have been with the club through the best of times (parades, rings, pennants) -- and the worst of times (that 2000 season where the Phils lost almost 100 games).

Burrell left his mark in Philly, there's no doubt about that.  The sometimes booed and sometimes cherished slugger ranks fourth in club history in home runs (251) behind Mike Schmidt, Ryan Howard and fellow left fielder, Del Ennis.  He's fifth in walks (785), eighth in RBIs (827) and ninth in extra-base hits (518).

Burrell had an up-and-down relationship with the fans over his 9 seasons in Philly.  However, there was always a mutual, shall we say, appreciation.  He cared deeply for his team, his teammates and the fans -- that was always obvious.  But it was also something that he had in common with fans, whether they were on his side that day or not.

That odd love-hate relationship was on full display in the fall of 2008.  Who can forget Burrell grinning ear-to-ear on top of that parade float as the region celebrated the Phillies first World Series win in 28 years.

Burrell would win another World Series ring, in 2010, as a member of the San Francisco Giants.  Of course he and the Giants stunned the favored Phillies along the way.  He was on the Tampa Bay Rays in-between.

According to MLB.com, Burrell is grateful for the chance to retire as a Phil.  And, well, it's probably save to say Phillies fans are equally as grateful.