'Big Piece' of history: Ryan Howard's Philadelphia Phillies career

WPVI logo
Sunday, October 2, 2016

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Ryan Howard is taking a big piece of Philadelphia Phillies history with him.

The Phillies honored Howard before Sunday's season finale in South Philadelphia.

He was the heart of the 2008 World Series Champions - and the teams before and after.

Howard's legacy includes a history of big-time home runs.

From getting his first home run on Sept. 11, 2004 at Shea Stadium -

To hitting home runs No. 50, 51 and 52 of the season in a Sept. 3, 2006, game against the New York Mets -

To blasting two big homers on Oct. 26, 2008, during Game 4 of the World Series -

Howard has also been a winner off the field, too.

His charitable foundation challenged kids to read. A posh, baseball style library in South Philadelphia was a gift to children who accepted that challenge and thrived.

Ryan made an appearance for fans at the 6abc Dunkin Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard, left, and his wife Krystal Howard ride in a convertible during the 94th annual Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013.
AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek

He also took time out of a 2009 dinner date to pose for pictures with newlyweds. By coincidence, that couple happened to be having their wedding party at the Waterworks where Howard and his wife were eating.

Even being in the middle of the World Series did not stop Howard from making their dream come true.