PHILADELPHIA -- The Flyin' Hawaiian stayed true to his roots and wore a pineapple print shirt on Friday at Citizens Bank Park. Shane Victorino officially retired with the Phillies to stay true to his professional baseball roots, too."This organization gave me a chance as a young 25-year-old kid," Victorino said
PHILADELPHIA -- The Flyin' Hawaiian stayed true to his roots and wore a pineapple print shirt on Friday at Citizens Bank Park. Shane Victorino officially retired with the Phillies to stay true to his professional baseball roots, too.
"This organization gave me a chance as a young 25-year-old kid," Victorino said before an emotional pregame ceremony. "To think back then I got the opportunity to come to a city that I didn't really know much about other than it was cold, Rocky was here and it was hard-working, same kind of DNA I had back home. It was a matter of going out there and doing it, and lucky for us, it all worked out."
Victorino played parts of eight seasons with the Phillies from 2005-12, winning three Gold Glove Awards and the '08 World Series. He also made two All-Star teams.
• Check out photos from the event
Philly still has a hold over Victorino, just like Victorino still has a hold over Philly. Fans wore Hawaiian shirts to Friday's game against the Marlins. They wore leis. Owner John Middleton and managing partner David Montgomery presented Victorino a hand-painted glove as a retirement gift.
"Philadelphia, I can proudly look you in the eye and say we succeeded," Victorino said. "A World Series championship."
Victorino shed tears in an emotional speech that came from the heart. The crowd roared
"Mahalo, Philly," Victorino said.
The crowd roared again as former Phillies slugger Ryan Howard caught Victorino, who threw out the first pitch.
"It's about all the happiness, all the joy we got to experience together in watching the little boy grow up on the middle of an island come to a city like this and grow up to be a young man," Victorino said. "The city made me the person that I am. I was a 25-year-old kid bouncing all over the place just looking for an opportunity, and I got to come to a first-class organization with first-class people and have a great group of guys that turned into first-class individuals. That's the part where I think everybody gravitated to this group."
Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.