While on Alumni Weekend the attention went to former Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino, who announced his retirement, a couple of other former Phillies attended, not active in baseball but also not retired.  One of them was shortstop Jimmy Rollins.  Another was first baseman Ryan Howard.  Howard finally took that step today.

In a piece in the Players Tribune, Howard penned his goodbye, which was mostly a reflection on Philadelphia and their fans.  The piece, entitled, "Thank You, Philly Fans", describes Howard's first moment as a major leaguer and the reception he got as he stepped to the plate wearing a number 12 jersey, pinch-hitting for Vicente Padilla.


Man….. the crowd just ROARED.

This might sound weird, but it honestly felt like they were trying to tell me something, that day, in a way. Like they were telling me, You think YOU’VE been waiting for this moment?! Well, now you know how much WE’VE been waiting for this moment, too.

It’s like they were telling me, You’re family, now. You’re one of us. And this special thing that we’ve got going here — starting tonight, you’re a part of that.

Howard then took Phillies fans through some of his best memories, including the Home Run Derby he won, his MVP, and of course, the World Series Championship.

Howard says that he had "too many memories to count" and signs off from his big league career sounding more than satisfied

So thank you to the entire Phillies organization. Thank you to my teammates turned brothers. Thank you to my beautiful wife, Krystle, our two daughters, Ariana and Alexandria, and my son, Darian. Thank you to the crazy game that I’ll miss, and the crazy city that I love. And thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to the most passionate group of fans in the world.

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