2008 Fan-Favorite will welcome Phillies fans back to Citizens Bank Park

Phillies De La Cruz
PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 19: Philadelphia Phillies batting helmets sit on the wall during the MLB game between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies on September 19, 2018, at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

Eleven years is a long time to wait for anything. For playoff baseball in Philadelphia, it’s felt like eons. On Friday, Citizens Bank Park will host a Phillies playoff game for the first time since 2011.

With the NLDS tied up at 1 game a piece, fans are as excited as ever to get back into a playoff environment.

One question some fans have been pondering is who will throw out the first pitch. Some have called for Super Bowl Champion Jason Kelce to have the honors, the Eagles being the last championship-winning team in Philadelphia.

Both 1980 and 2008 Phillies stars have been mentioned for the honor as well.

If you guessed a star from 2008, you’d be right.

Shane Victorino returns to welcome the Phillies

The fan-favorite center fielder, Shane Victorino, will welcome Phillies fans home for the first time in 11 years.

“The Flyin’ Hawaiin” fits perfectly for this role as he constantly stood out during the NLDS. In 5 NLDS with the Phillies, Victorino slashed .306/.351/.514 with 9 extra base hits in 19 games. He’ll be best remembered for his heroics against CC Sabathia in the 2008 NLDS.

Victorino was also an ALDS hero for the Boston Red Sox in 2013 as he hit .429 in a series win over the Tampa Bay Rays. He reached immortal status with the eventual World Champion Red Sox in the ALCS with one swing of the bat against the Tigers.

Shane Victorino would play in parts of 8 seasons with the Phillies from 2005-2012. In center field, he’d win 3 Gold Gloves and appear in 2 All-Star Games. In an era when the Phillies were at their best, Victorino constantly shined bright. His electric play excited people all over the Delaware Valley.

While he never touched the mound as a player, let’s hope he throws a strike on Friday.

Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire