Ryan Howard hasn’t played in an MLB baseball game since 2016 when he hit .196 with 25 bombs and 114 K’s in 112 games in 2016. And up until he this moment, that’s how I remembered him, a guy who had all the potential but broke down physically and couldn’t capture what he once was.
He was irrelevant in the end. Which is probably why I wasn’t aware he hadn’t retired yet.
I’m not necessarily on the up-and-up with everything Phillies, and as I said, Howard wasn’t exactly the greatest player in the world by the end of it all, but I’m surprised I didn’t know he was still in the organization.
I knew David Wright was still hanging around, but for some reason, I thought it was just so he could continue to cash his checks. Never actually expected to find out he was rehabbing.
And these are two guys who broke in in ’04, Howard won the Rookie of the Year in ’05 and of course the MVP in the ensuing season.
Now, Wright was a stud, but Howard was on another planet at his height.
Dude hit over 45 home runs for four seasons in-a-row, six in-a-row with 100 RBI. In his MVP year, he had 58 dingers, 149 RBI and hit .313 with a .425 OBP. Plus he absolutely mashed in the Phillies’ 2008 World Series win (.286 average, 1.137 OPS, 3 home runs, 1 double, 6 RBI).
How slowed down big-time towards the end, but for a solid six years, he was a top-10 hitter in baseball. And his home runs were absolute MOONSHOTS, too. Not too many cheap ones.
Not only did I forget he was still around, but I also kind of forgot how pretty his swing was. Definitely one of the nicest from the era he played in. And God was he HUGE!
Perfect amount of first baseman swag, too. By no means a Hall-of-Famer in my book, but a very good Major League career.