A look back at five of the best moments during Rhys Hoskins' career as a Phillie

A look back at five of the best moments during Rhys Hoskins' career as a Phillie originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

We had an entire MLB offseason to prepare for this moment, and yet, it still stings. Rhys Hoskins is no longer a Philadelphia Phillie.

Yes, while his tenure technically ended when he became a free agent, it was announced late Tuesday that Hoskins will be signing with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Hoskins provided bright moments through some very long (and dreadful) seasons at Citizens Bank Park. Fans fell in love with his drive, work ethic, involvement in the city and how he fully embraced what it meant to be a Phillie. He was the perfect match for Philly in every way.

Bryce Harper became the clear leader of the clubhouse when he signed back in 2019 — but Hoskins remained the heart and soul through all of it.

As a final farewell, let’s take a look back at some of the most memorable moments of his career. Highlights, interviews, making his mark in the playoffs and more.

This one hurts — and it's going to for a while. Buckle up, let's go down memory lane.

5. The very first

Let's take things back to the very beginning. A young and exciting prospect gets the call up to join the Show in early August of 2017.

Five games in, Hoskins had the moment you dream about as a kid — his first-career MLB home run. With his family in attendance during the first road game of his professional career, Hoskins went yard not once, but twice.

He was met by a lax dugout and gave out air-fives before his teammates erupted into celebration.

Hoskins went on to set a Major League record with 18 home runs over his first 34 career games.

Suddenly, the dark days of summer felt a little less grim.

4. Perfect first pitch

The 2023 season without Hoskins just felt … weird. A torn ACL in spring training put him out of commission for the entire season — and also stripped us from a true farewell tour for Hoskins, who was in the final year of his contract.

So, it's safe to say the Phillies knew exactly what they were doing in the opening game of the wild card series against the Marlins.

They brought out Rhys to throw the ceremonial first pitch.

If you ever had any doubts about the mutual love between Phillies fans and Hoskins, this moment put it all to bed. No. 17 meant a great deal to the city and it was captured here beautifully.

He saluted the crowd every way he possibly could — tip of the cap, breaking out the rally towel, pointing to the Phillies logo on his shirt — and it's clear he soaked up every minute of it. So did we.

3. Finally, a Red October

An 11-year playoff drought came to an end in late September of 2022 —a highly anticipated moment for the team and city.

They finally got over the hump … and Hoskins finally had a chance to experience a Red October.

Before the Phillies shocked the Cardinals in the wild card, before they stunned the league by knocking out the Braves, and before they shot past the Padres to a National League Pennant and World Series appearance … there was just relief and excitement.

Especially for Hoskins.

Following the win against the Astros that punched their ticket to the postseason, Hoskins got emotional during an interview describing what it meant to him.

"This is why we play," Hoskins said. "It's why we play. A lot of blood, a lot of sweat, a lot of tears. It's a great group, it's a great group. I'm just excited, I don't even know what to say.

"What a group of guys. What a group of coaches. All of the staff, the whole traveling party, all the media guys, it's a group effort. Without anybody that's here right now, we don't get here. So, it's a beautiful thing."

2. The HR trot to end all trots 

It doesn’t matter what time of the season it is or what either team looks like at the time — you always know a series between the Phillies and Mets is going to be a good one. And this particular one in early spring of 2019 had its fair share of chaos. In the middle frame at Citi Field, Hoskins was hit twice by relief pitcher Jacob Rhame. Intentional or not, you could sense the level of frustration from Hoskins. Rightfully so. Ultimately, it was a game the Phillies would want to forget, getting blown out in a 9-0 shutout loss.

Well, they turned the tables rather quickly and Hoskins certainly got the last laugh. The following night, the Phillies were sitting comfortably with a four-run lead heading into the ninth. After a Bryce Harper walk, once again it was Hoskins versus Rhame. The outcome was a wee bit different this time around.

A two-run blast to end the evening put a perfect cap to the game, as the Phillies avoided the sweep. But the home run itself isn’t the highlight … it’s what came immediately after.

The home run trot to end all trots.

The trip around the bases lasted a whopping 34.23 seconds (a league record).

But the memory of it will last forever.

1. The bat spike

You had to see this one coming, right?

There may not be a more iconic moment for Hoskins during his time in Philadelphia. And there was no better time for it, either. In his sixth season, the longest-tenured Phillies position player at the time finally saw a Red October. The early parts of the thrilling 2022 run, we saw a slumping Hoskins, who struggled in the wild card series against the Cardinals and the opening pair of games against the Braves in Atlanta.

Everything changed when the series shifted gears to Philly.

It was the first time Phillies fans were able to experience playoff baseball at home in 11 seasons. An environment you had to experience yourself to fully understand how electric it was. The Braves had their ace on the mound with Spencer Strider. Even with the series split 1-1, Atlanta was still heavily favored to win the divisional round and make a push for the World Series. And, well, we all know that didn’t happen.

Things were silent until the third inning, but when it finally came to a close, everyone at Citizens Bank Park knew something very special was brewing.

Two runners on and out walked Hoskins to the plate. A first-pitch three-run home run followed by the bat spike of the century cemented a core moment in Hoskins’ career, fans everywhere and Phillies playoff history.

No one deserved that moment more.

Hoskins and the Brewers will head to Philly on June 3 to open up a three-game series. You better believe the Phillies faithful will be there, on their feet, ready to welcome the beloved player back home ... even if it's just for a little while.