PHILADELPHIA >> Shane Victorino vowed he would be brief. He made no such promises about not getting emotional.
And so, as the former Phillies center fielder wrapped up his short speech Friday night at Citizens Bank Park, part of a touching pregame ceremony to announce his retirement from baseball, he broke down in tears when he uttered his final words.
“This is not goodbye. This is just the next chapter,” Victorino said. “Mahalo, Philadelphia.”
Victorino, 37, spent eight of his 12 major-league seasons with the Phillies. Known as the “Flyin’ Hawaiian,” he won three of his four Gold Glove awards here, was twice named an All-Star and won a World Series in 2008. He hasn’t played a game since 2016 for the Chicago Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate, but in making his retirement official, he wanted to return to the organization where he had his greatest successes.
“It’s weird,” Victorino said before the ceremony. “I don’t feel like I’m retired. I just feel like I’m not playing baseball again. For me, it’s turning the page. Hopefully soon enough I’ll be back in the game of baseball and show my love and passion to the sport that gave me so much.”