Monday, October 3, 2016

Farewell Ryan Howard, So Long 2016 Phillies, Bring on 2017! #ChachiNow

2016 Chachi #64
Phillies 5, Mets 2
Game 162 - Sunday Afternoon, October 2nd in Philadelphia
Record - 71-91, 4th place, 24 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies won their season finale and bid an emotional farewell to Ryan Howard, the last man standing from their glory years.

What It Means:  I attended 16 Phillies games this season and finished the year with an impressive 8-8 record.  I'll take that . . . but I'd like to have a personal winning record next season.

What Happened:  Jared Eickhoff finished off his impressive season with six innings of one-run ball against the Mets.  Colton Murray earned his first career win and Hector Neris closed out the game for his second save.  Maikel Franco had a four-hit game, Aaron Altherr reached base three times and Cesar Hernandez had two hits to pad his team leading .294 average.

2016 Chachi Fan
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Featured Cards/Field Report:  As has become tradition, we wanted to be there for the final game and I was very happy to have Jenna and our youngest son Ben along with Doug and me this year.  We parked our car and as we were walking to the ballpark several hours before gametime, I noticed that Phillies outfielder Roman Quinn (I thought) was walking in front of us.  I sent Doug as an advanced scout to check him out and Doug confirmed my initial suspicion.  Quinn was kind enough to pose with our kids right there on the sidewalk and provide a few autographs.

Inside the ballpark, Doug and I stationed ourselves at the first base entrance, confident that Phillies players would once again appear to welcome fans to the final game.  Jenna and Ben opted for one last climb within the Phillies Phun Zone.  We were rewarded for our patience when Luis Garcia and Neris appeared and both signed Doug's photo cards.

We then made the mad dash around the ballpark, stopping at each entrance gate so that Doug could add to his autograph collection.  Strangely enough, the Phillies employees stationed with Jake Thompson and Patrick Schuster indicated that neither pitcher was signing autographs but they'd be happy to pose for pictures.  (Ben had caught up to us by the time we met Schuster.)

Doug also posed for photos and/or received autographs from Tyler Goeddel, Michael Mariot and Phil Klein.

We stood and cheered during the pregame and postgame ceremonies honoring Howard and during each of his four at-bats.  It was a very touching and classy presentation, which has become the 30-year norm for the Phillies organization.

It was sad saying goodbye to Howard and the era he represented.  It was tough leaving the ballpark knowing that a long, cold winter looms.  But I'm hopeful for the future and I'm excited for what comes next.

Howard's card in Ashburn Alley, one last time
Howard's first at-bat
Top of the 9th
The boys and me

Memory Lane - Game 162
This was the eighth season in a row that I've posted on the daily highs and lows of the Philadelphia Phillies, which far exceeds my consecutive year streak of maintaining an annual Phillies scrap book when I was younger.  I'm looking forward to this daily habit in 2017 and I sincerely appreciate everyone who stopped by to read and comment throughout the season.

October 4, 2009 - Catcher Paul Hoover singled in the winning run in the 10th in a 7-6 win over the Marlins.
October 3, 2010 - The Phillies lost 8-7 to the Braves in their final tune-up before facing the Reds in the N.L.D.S.
September 28, 2011 - The Phillies closed out the 2011 regular season with a 13-inning victory against the Braves, setting a franchise record with their 102nd regular season win.
October 3, 2012 - The Phillies closed out their 2012 season with a lethargic 5-1 loss to the N.L. East Champion Nationals.
September 29, 2013 - Zach Miner got the ball for the Phillies and lasted 2 1/3 innings in a 12-5 loss to the Braves.
September 28, 2014 - Cole Hamels pitched another fine game and suffered through another outing with minimal run support.
October 4, 2015 - Phillies avoid 100 losses and Ichiro makes his pitching debut in a 7-2 victory.
October 2, 2016 - Phillies bid an emotional farewell to franchise icon Ryan Howard.

Want to revisit every game of the 2016 season?  My handy game summary index can be found here.


Burnell said...

Thanks for your coverage during the season, it made it much easier to tolerate! Here's to an exciting off season and a bright future!

Anonymous said...

Roman Quinn, a man of the people!

Jim said...

Thanks Burnell!

Roman Quinn could not have been nicer or more patient. Our youngest son Ben wanted him to sign his stuffed animal. Roman kind of looked at me and I said, "You don't need to do that." He looked relieved and thankful.