During an emotional, 15-minute pregame ceremony, the Phillies said goodbye to Ryan Howard.
The team dedicated a plaque in Section 145, Row 7, where Howard's 58th home run in 2006 landed. His son, Darian, unveiled it. Howard received a hand-painted glove, presented by owner John Middleton and chairman David Montgomery.
The Phillies must pay Howard $10 million to buy out his 2017 option shortly after the end of the World Series.
Here is a transcript of Howard's speech on Sunday:
This is crazy.
All this has kind of come up on me really fast. I really didn't know what I was going to say.
[Fan: We love you, Ryan!]
I love you, too.
I just want to thank you guys, the fans, again for making this all possible. For making it fun. We had some good runs, didn't we?
I'm just a laid-back cat from St. Louis out here trying to play ball. That's it. It's been fun, man, these last 12 years. You guys all made it possible. The Phillies, I want to thank you guys for taking a kid in the fifth round out of, well now it's Missouri State, but Southwest Missouri State University. Giving me the opportunity. This city as a whole, man. I want to thank you because I've grown with all of you.
My family has grown with all of you.
On behalf of my teammates, I want to thank you guys for coming out and supporting us all year. I know it's been up and down and crazy, but these guys have really worked their butts off to try to be the best that they can each day and each night on this field. To my teammates, I salute you.
I don't really have too much more than that, man. This is great. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart. Let's play this game, man. Let's play this game.