Phillies decline 2017 option on Ryan Howard

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Philadelphia Phillies have officially declined the 2017 option on Ryan Howard's contract.

This makes Howard a free agent after 12 seasons with the Phillies.

On October 3rd, a special pre-game ceremony honored the team veteran, who was the only remaining member of the 2008 World Series Championship team.

His wife, Krystal, joined him on the field. Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt presented him with a commemorative plaque. For Howard, it was hard to keep back the tears.

"My family has grown with all of you," Howard told the crowd at Citizens Bank Park.

Howard's accolades include National League Rookie of the Year in 2005 and the National League's Most Valuable Player in 2006.
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