Who could forget that 2008 World Series parade, led by Pat the Bat, his dog, Elvis, and a group of Clydesdales. Pat Burrell and the fans ate it up with equal delight.
Then, just like that, Burrell was gone. He signed a one-year (mostly uneventful) deal with Tampa Bay before moving on to San Francisco, where he won a second ring in 2010. Burrell announced his retirement from the big leagues Monday due to a chronic foot injury. He leaves as the 24th-ranked active player in home runs, with 292 dingers — 251 of those came in red pinstripes.
Burrell was the No. 1 overall pick by the Phillies in the 1998 draft and played nine of his 12 seasons in Philadelphia. The lumbering first baseman turned left fielder was a constant source of fans' ire during a roller-coaster ride here, but one hit — a seventh-inning double that turned out to be the game-winning run in Game 5 of the 2008 World Series — forever endeared him to Phillies fans.
Off the field, Burrell was known for his partying and carousing. Deadspin (who else!?) does a great job detailing some his greatset "hits." We've met women who have told their own Pat the Bat stories — and if you are reading this and have any of your own to share, please email me or leave a comment. His antics with fellow party animal Jason Michaels were so epic that the team was forced to trade Michaels to help keep Burrell in check.
Perhaps our favorite story following that Game 5 win was Burrell and Brett Myers strolling casually into that infamous dive bar on 15th Street, McGlinchey's, and grabbing takeout beers and heading back to Burrell's downtown condo to continue the biggest party this town had seen in 25 years.
Thanks for the memories, Pat!
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