Just a little more than a week from now the Philadelphia Phillies will return from a six-game road trip to Cincinnati and Boston. When they get back, the club has a big party weekend planned for the organization and its fans.
During a four-game long weekend series with the Miami Marlins from Thursday, August 2 through Sunday, August 5 the Phillies will hold their annual “Alumni Weekend“, paying homage to a number of heroes from the franchise’ past.
Those honors begin with the Friday night game during which the Phillies will fete former all-star Shane Victorino, who recently announced his formal retirement from Major League Baseball.
“The Flyin’ Hawaiian” spent eight of his dozen big league seasons in a Phillies uniform, including as the starting center fielder for the 2008 World Series champions. Victorino produced 998 hits, won three Gold Gloves, and was a two-time all-star during his time with the Phillies.
On Saturday night, the Phillies will induct two men to their Wall of Fame. The general manager of those 2008 world champions, Pat Gillick, will be inducted that night along with the late Roy Halladay.
The weekend concludes on Sunday with a 10th anniversary reunion of the memorable 2008 World Series championship Phillies team.
Returning for that day’s festivities will be a pair of Wall of Famers in manager Charlie Manuel and outfielder Pat Burrell. Also expected to return are players such as Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, Brett Myers, Brad Lidge, and more.
One vitally important piece of that title-winning team who won’t be present is Chase Utley. He is now playing out his 16th and final season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who will be hosting the current world champion Houston Astros that weekend.
“I am disappointed I am not going to be able to be here with all the guys,” said Utley per Evan Macy of The Philly Voice. “I’ve seen a handful of guys more recently and more guys I haven’t seen since that year. I look forward to sitting down and talking to them and seeing what they’re doing with their life.”
Utley, who is in town this week with the Dodgers for his final regular season visit to Citizens Bank Park, still keeps in close contact with Rollins, Werth, Howard, and others from his time with the Phillies according to Macy.
This will only be the first of what are sure to be numerous reunions of that unforgettable 2008 World Series championship team over the coming decade. At some point within these next few years there will be ceremonies honoring at least a handful more of those players as they are each added to that Wall of Fame.
One of those ceremonies will surely be for Utley himself, who over parts of thirteen years left an indelible mark on the team and in the hearts of its fans. Those fans will show up in droves to heap some more love on “The Man” on that night and will continue to visit his Wall of Fame plaque for decades to come.