Carlos Ruiz left the team to go to a contender out on the left coast this past week
Ruiz joins Chase Utley out in LA who continues to amaze at 2nd base for the Dodgers
One by one, the team that earned a championship now many years ago, in 2008, left this team to go their separate ways. Another important part of the championship team in the form of Carlos Ruiz made his way to Los Angeles to join the Dodgers this past week.
It's players like Ruiz that will remembered by Phillies fans for years to come, as now they move into the latter stages of their baseball careers. They will all surely be involved in future honors at the stadium when we bring back the alumni on the weekends that we honor the former Phils players.
Now, there is only one connection left to that time that the Phillies arguably had one of the best runs that they ever had in their history. That player is of course Ryan Howard. Howard isn't the same player that he was back in the magnificent run that this Phillies team put together, it looked as nothing would stop him around the time that Ruben Amaro signed him to a very big extension of $125M back in 2011 that took him through this season with a club option for next season.
Howard and Utley came up to the big club around the same age timeframe. Howard made his debut as a 24-year old, back on September 1, 2004. Chase Utley made his debut for the Phils as a 24-year old as well back on April 4, 2003. Sometimes players have already established themselves as bonafide MLB players by that age. The Phils seemed to keep hold of players for a long period of time before bringing them up to the big leagues.
There is a lot of mystery into what goes into making a championship team, there is no real formula, it's just a kind of magic that seems to happen. The Phillies had 103 total victories in 2008 counting the playoffs and World Series, so the team put 103 diamonds on the championship ring, totaling a cool 3.84 carats add those to the ruby inlayed "P" on the ring, and this token of appreciation by the team really made it's way home with the players that earned it. These players will always be referred to as 'World Series Champions" - a rarity that has only happened twice in Phillies history.
Here's the World Championship ring of Harry Kalas from 2008, it recently was auctioned off, and fetched $45,000 at the Hunt Auction.
p.s. A little fact about a Phillies World Series ring: Mayor Michael Nutter donated his authentic 2008 World Series Phillies ring to the Philadelphia History Museum's baseball collection before he left office. The mayor also donated some items that Tanney Dragons gave him, a hat and t-shirt, that commemorated their Little League World Series championship run.