PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) --Philadelphia loves Ryan Howard and on Thursday morning they made it official as he was honored at City Hall.
"It's a great honor," Howard said.
Howard is a fan favorite and he can count Philadelphia's City Council among them.
The first baseman was honored for his 12 seasons with the Phillies and for his philanthropy.
"I've been blessed to be in this situation I'm in, being able to play baseball, but I use that as a platform to try to give back, a platform to try to teach," Howard said.
The announcement from the Phillies can't officially come until after the World Series, but earlier this month Howard played what is likely his last game with the organization.
He was honored in a special ceremony before the game.
Now, it was City Council's turn to bestow the honor.
With Phillies caps perched on their heads, councilmembers stood by Howard, his wife, and daughter as they spoke of his numerous contributions to the city and the team, including his huge role in the 2008 World Series win.
"We all know it wouldn't have been possible without the hard work, dedication, and close to 400 grand slams by Mr. Ryan Howard," Councilman Kenyatta Johnson said.
"It's just great to have a sports figure who represents Philly in the best light and we couldn't have asked for someone better to represent Philadelphia," Councilman Allan Domb said.
Off the field, he gave back, often to local youth, including a baseball themed library he donated to children in South Philadelphia.
"This is a gentleman who came to the city of Philadelphia, rolled up his sleeves, and said how can I give back to the community in which I am working," Johnson said.
"If I'm not here playing in a Phillies uniform, that doesn't mean I'm finished with my work in the city and around Philadelphia. So my presence will still be felt here in Philadelphia because there's a lot of work that needs to be done," Howard said.