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Shane Victorino won't forget this one.

Hawaiian is still flyin' 2 months after Series

LAS VEGAS - The memories brought such a big smile to Shane Victorino's face that he had to stop eating the Double-Double he had just ordered during a late-night trip to In-N-Out Burger.

The grand slam in Game 2 of the division series. The stare-down of Hiroki Kuroda in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series. The home run in Game 4. The feeling in the dugout after Matt Stairs went deep moments later.

The sprint in from the outfield after Brad Lidge struck out Eric Hinske to win it all. The parade. Oh, yeah, the parade. The greeting he received back home in Hawaii.

Two months after he and his Phillies teammates won the World Series, the sights and sounds are still fresh in Victorino's mind.

"The parade was incredible," he said over a double cheeseburger (just one - he's in training, you know) in his adopted hometown of Las Vegas earlier this month. "I remember toward the end of Broad Street looking back and seeing the flood of people following us to the stadium. People were everywhere. I still don't know how the trucks got through.

"It seemed like there were two or three generations of people there. Old men were doing the sign of the cross, saying, 'Thank you, thank you.' People had tears in their eyes."

As he rode, wide-eyed, in that rousing Halloween day parade, Victorino said he continually pondered what it all meant.

"I was like, 'Did we really do this for the city? Did we really create this feeling?' " he said. "It's such a well-deserving place. I'm happy we could do it. And I'm happy I could be a part of the team that brought that amount of joy to that many people. It will stay with me forever."

After the parade, Victorino flew to his native Hawaii for a bittersweet homecoming.

He attended the funeral of his grandmother, Irene Victorino, who had died during the Phillies' postseason run.

He also accepted what seemed like nonstop congratulations on his October heroics with the Phillies.

"A lot of people told me they never watched baseball before," said Victorino, one of a handful of Hawaiians to ever play in the majors. "But knowing a kid from Hawaii was in the World Series, they had to watch."

Victorino was honored before the tip-off of a Maui Invitational college basketball game between, fittingly enough, St. Joseph's and Texas.

He also was feted before a Hawaiian Winter League baseball game and found time to host a charity golf tournament (attended by teammates Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard) benefiting a local Alzheimer's charity.

When he returned to Las Vegas to be with his fiancée, Melissa, and their young daughter, Kali'a - "It's Hawaiian for passion," he said - Victorino was summoned to City Hall.

Unpaid parking tickets?

Not quite. Victorino was given the key to the city by Mayor Oscar B. Goodman, who happens to be a Philadelphia native.

Though he's a little winded from his victory lap, Victorino would like to make one more stop in the coming months. He hopes he and his teammates will be invited to the White House after Barack Obama is inaugurated. Like Victorino, Obama is a native of Hawaii.

Taking over full-time in center field, Victorino, who turned 28 in November, reached career highs in batting average (.293), hits (167), runs (102), doubles (30) and homers (14) in 2008. He hit .311 in the second half, helping the Phillies chase down the New York Mets and win the NL East for the second straight year.

The Phils trailed the Mets by 31/2 games with 16 to play and won the division with a 13-3 finish.

"The last two weeks were just grind, grind, grind," Victorino said. "We were like, 'Stay positive, we're going in the right direction.' We believed we could win the division because we did it the year before."

Even as the Phillies were winning 13 of their final 16, Victorino said he never got the feeling that something special was brewing.

He didn't even get it when he hit a grand slam off Milwaukee's CC Sabathia in Game 2 of the division series.

He finally got it in Game 4 of the NLCS, when he and Stairs each hit two-run home runs in the eighth inning to turn a 5-3 deficit into a 7-5 lead.

"After that, I felt like we were destined," he said. "We were five outs from being 2-2 [after Game 4] in L.A."

One night earlier, Victorino was involved in another indelible moment from the Phils' postseason run when he backed out of the batter's box and warned Dodgers pitcher Kuroda not to throw at his head again.

"I don't regret doing it," Victorino said of the Game 3 incident. "I was trying to protect myself. I was fired up - period. We were in Dodger Stadium. It was the NLCS."

After dispatching the Dodgers, the Phils beat Tampa Bay in five games in the World Series.

Victorino can still see Lidge striking out Hinske on that hard-biting slider to end it all. He can still feel himself sprinting in from center field, heart pounding, to join the celebration.

And though he says that run felt like it was eight miles long, he can't wait for the new season to begin so he and his teammates can try to do it all over again.

"The Mets have made themselves better," Victorino said, referring to bullpen additions Francisco Rodriguez and J.J. Putz. "I'm not worried, though. You still have to play the games. You don't play on paper.

"We have a good core. Why can't we do it again? The experience was so unbelievable, why not do it again?"