The Phillies do like themselves some nostalgia, don’t they?
Hey, when you have two World Championships in 133 years of existence, sometimes it is nostalgia that sees you through the difficult times. This weekend at Citizens Bank Park, Phils fans will be neck-deep in it.
This Friday, Jim Thome will be inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame. We knew that had been coming since the announcement was first made last spring. But on Monday, the Phils announced that two other players from that era will also be coming back to Philly for a formal goodbye of their own.
Randy Wolf (Aug. 13) and Placido Polanco (Aug. 14) to retire as a Phillie pre-game during the Toyota Alumni Weekend.— Larry Shenk (@ShenkLarry) August 8, 2016
Wolf and Polanco both officially announced their retirements before the start of this season, and both had long stretches of success with the Phils.
Wolf was taken in the 2nd round of the 1997 MLB draft by the Phillies and ended up playing eight years in Philadelphia, going 69-60 with a 4.21 ERA in 194 games (190 starts). He made the All Star team in 2003, going 16-10 with a 4.23 ERA, but had his best overall season the year before, going 11-9 with a 3.20 ERA and a 3.9 fWAR.
Wolf was even given the honor of starting the first ever game at Citizens Bank Park, in 2004.
Wolf left the team as a free agent after the 2006 season to sign with the Dodgers and lasted another eight seasons, finishing up with the Detroit Tigers last year at age 38.
Wolf's last big moment in Philadelphia came with L.A. back in 2009 when he pitched brilliantly in Game 4 of the 2009 NLCS. Unfortunately, that game didn't end so well for him and the Dodgers.
Wolf’s tenure is probably best remembered for the fans who put masks on their faces in the hot, still, summer air of Veterans Stadium for each and every one of his starts, calling themselves, The Wolf Pack.
And of course, one can never forget Randy’s attempts to find love on the New York City subway back in 2003.
"Hoping for a squeeze play?" Really, Adam?
Polanco, meanwhile, came to the Phillies as the only useful human in the trade that sent Scott Rolen to "baseball heaven," a.k.a., St. Louis. Polanco had two stints with the Phils, first from 2002-2005, then after signing as a free agent from 2010-2012.
He had a .289/.341/.398 career slash line in parts of seven seasons in Philly. He was first dealt away to the Detroit Tigers mid-way through the ‘05 season to make room for Chase Utley, and was later signed as a free agent after the 2009 season to play third base for the two-time NL champs.
He was a part of the final two NL East championship teams, and had a couple signature moments of his own with the Phils.
In all, Polanco generated 15.8 WAR with the Phillies, and played one final season back in 2013 with the Miami Marlins, but never officially retired until now.
In fact, prior to this season, he said he was only 90% retired, and had an interest in becoming a coach.
Sadly, there was no fan section at Citizens Bank Park for Polanco, but he was a highly productive player for the Phils in his two stints with the team.
Both Polanco and Wolf will officially retire as Phillies in a ceremony with the team this weekend.