Former World Champion Victorino Will Retire as a Phillie
This has been a week of retirement announcements for former Phillies World Champions. This time it is former Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino who joins the retirement club. Despite winning a World Series in Boston, too, Victorino will retire as a Philadelphia Phillie.
Victorino announced his retirement via Rob DeMello, sports director of KHON news in Honolulu:
"It's about that time," Victorino told DeMello, despite not appearing in a professional baseball game since 2016 and a major league game since 2014. Victorino said that that when he is town for the 2008 Phillies reunion in August, he intends to sign a one-day contract so that he may retire a Phillie.
Victorino was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1999 MLB amateur draft. Victorino was taken by the San Diego Padres as a Rule 5 pick in 2003, batting .151 in 36 games before being returned to the Dodgers. It was through a second Rule 5 draft that Victorino ended up with the Phillies.
The Phillies claimed Victorino as a Rule 5 pick in December, 2004. After being offered back to the Los Angeles Dodgers when he did not make the team out of Spring Training, the Dodgers declined to take Victorino back, and he reported to Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre and played center field for the Red Barons. Victorino made his Phillies debut late in 2005.
After the Phillies made a July 2006 trade that sent right fielder Bobby Abreu to the New York Yankees, Victorino assumed the role of starting right fielder for the Phillies. After helping the Phillies make their first playoff berth since 1993 playing right field in 2007, Victorino took over center field for the 2008 season.
Victorino won a Rawlings Gold Glove in his first season in center field, as the Phillies won their first World Series title since 1980. Victorino put up impressive offensive numbers that season, batting .293 while getting on base at a .351 clip. Victorino hit 14 home runs, 30 doubles and eight triples, stealing 36 bases.
The 2009 season was an All-Star season for Victorino, helping the Phillies back to the World Series and a National League Championship. Victorino repeated his Rawlings Gold Glove in 2009, and won another in 2010.
Victorino would depart the Phillies in 2012, when the Phillies began a minor rebuild. The Phillies traded free-agent-to-be Victorino to the Los Angeles Dodgers for pitchers Ethan Martin and Josh Lindblom. The Dodgers and Victorino ended up falling short of the playoffs.
But Victorino was back in the playoffs and won another World Series in 2013. The Boston Red Sox signed Victorino to a three-year deal and Victorino became the team's right fielder. Victorino put up eerily similar numbers to his 2008 campagin and took home his fourth Rawlings Gold Glove award, as the Boston Red Sox won the World Series.
In 2015, Victorino was traded mid-season to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim down the stretch. The Angels missed the playoffs that season. Victorino became a free agent and ultimately signed a minor league deal with the Chicago Cubs.
However, Victorino strained his calf early in Spring Training. After South Jersey's Matt Szczur took hold of the extra outfield spot for the 2016 Chicago Cubs, the Cubs released Victorino. The Cubs called Victorino "major league ready", but Victorino did not catch on with another club.
Victorino joins Jayson Werth in announcing his retirement this week. Former Phillies Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins have yet to make former announcements, even though both are out of professional baseball at the moment. The Phillies will honor the World Series winners on August 4.