The Philadelphia Phillies have their "Wall of Fame."
You can take a walk down memory lane and revisit some of the greatest moments in franchise history.
The Phillies have certainly never been a franchise to let their all-time greats go unnoticed, but I thought it would be interesting to create something akin to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, but specifically related to former members of the Phillies' organization.
Let's be honest for a moment. While you're taking a look at that Wall of Fame, you'll notice that, in regards to a "Hall of Fame," there are some undeserving names on some of those plaques, and deserving names left in the dust.
This is a small chance to right that wrong. The "Phillies Hall of Fame" will leave the "all-time goods" look up at the "all-time greats."
Now, the question is simple: Who are they?
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The parameters for inclusion into our Phillies' Hall of Fame are going to be pretty simple, and for the most part, in accordance with the real deal, but just for clarity's sake, I'll list some of them below.
Five Seasons Retired: To be eligible for inclusion, a player must have been retired for five consecutive seasons. That's why Curt Schilling just missed inclusion!
Phillies Tenure: A lot of times, voters like to see a player have "longevity" in the game when voting for them. I'm looking for the same thing here, so players who had long careers with the Phillies were certainly looked upon in a different light. However, that leads us to our third parameter...
Success with Phillies: It doesn't matter how long a player was with the Phillies if he wasn't successful. So while that second, bolded phrase certainly holds a lot of weight, nothing speaks louder than success. Everything from statistics to major awards was considered in this regard.
Performance Enhancing Drugs: At a glance, I didn't think this would be much of a factor, but it turns out I was a bit naive. Only players who were accused or proven to be linked with performance enhancing drugs during their tenure in Philadelphia were excluded, leaving one player out: Lenny Dykstra.
Here are some players that didn't quite crack the top 25, but are certainly deserving of a mention:
- Jim Bunning: Consider him the 26th man. He was certainly the hardest player to leave off of the list, especially considering the fact that he threw the first perfect game in franchise history. Bunning's first four seasons with the Phillies were spectacular... Then he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates. His final two seasons in Philadelphia were sub-par. Call me crazy (you wouldn't be the first,) but Bunning is 26th on my list, for the sake of fairness.
Position Players: Darren Daulton, Nap Lajoie, Juan Samuel, Garry Maddox, Bob Boone, Mike Lieberthal, Granny Hamner, Pinky Whitney, Larry Bowa.
Pitchers: Ron Reed, Tully Sparks, Eppa Rixey, Jim Konstanty.
The Line: .309 / .400 / .461, 62 HR
John Kruk was much more than just a fan-favorite. He was also one of the greatest hitters in franchise history.
That rare breed of contact-oriented first basemen, Kruk hit better than .290 in each of his six seasons as a member of the Phillies. The heart and soul of the clubhouse, he was also one of the most consistent hitters the franchise has ever known, rewarded with three trips to the All-Star Game to represent the National League.
The Line: .360 / .468 / .459, 23 HR, 510 SB
Billy Hamilton must have been fun to watch.
He spent six seasons as a member of the Phillies, and if statistics tell the whole story (they don't,) the man never stopped running. An on-base machine, Hamilton led the league in on-base percentage and walks three times as a member of the Phillies.
Nicknamed "Sliding Billy," Hamilton certainly knew what to do once he reached base. The man recorded more than 500 steals, leading the league in that category four times. He also scored a ton of runs for the Phillies, finishing at the top of the class three times in that regard during his Phillies stint.
The Line: 115-110, 3.66 ERA
Curt Simmons, born in Whitehall, Pennsylvania, spent most of his 13-year career with the Phillies in the shadow of one of the Phillies' legends, Robin Roberts, but that didn't stop him from becoming one of the best starting pitchers in the history of the franchise.
A three-time All-Star, only four pitchers in the history of the Phillies' organization have collected more wins, and three of them are in baseball's Hall of Fame.
Though he would later move on to the St. Louis Cardinals, Simmons will be remembered in the Philadelphia area as the kid from Pennsylvania who helped pitch the 1950 "Whiz Kids" to a National League pennant.
The Line: .258 / .343 / .413, 180 HR
Throughout the course of history, playing for the Phillies hasn't always been simple. There aren't many players who know that better than Willie Jones, who played for some excellent teams and some not-so-excellent teams as a Phillie.
"Puddin' Head," as he was called, spent 13 seasons as a member of the Phillies. The durable third baseman made two trips to the All-Star Game for the Phillies, including a trip during that memorable 1950 season in which the Phillies challenged the New York Yankees for the World Series.
The Line: .272 / .363 / .427, 124 HR
Von Hayes wasn't always given a fair shake in Philly. As the "one" of the controversial "five-for-one" deal with the Cleveland Indians, Hayes was expected to be the next face of the franchise moving into the 1980s, but really never lived up to that expectation.
That doesn't mean he wasn't an excellent player. Though he made just one trip to the All-Star Game, Hayes posted solid numbers across the board during his nine-year Phillies career, the best of which may have been the 1986 season, where he led the National League in both runs and doubles.
The Line: 132-127, 3.38 ERA
Earlier in the slide show, I alluded to four pitchers in the history of the Phillies' organization with more wins than Curt Simmons. Well, one of them is Chris Short, and in a way, Short played second fiddle in much of the same way Simmons did.
An excellent pitcher in his own right, Short was willing to do whatever the team asked of him, be it pitching as the second starter in the rotation behind Jim Bunning or pitching out of the bullpen, it didn't matter.
Twice an All-Star, Short spent all but one season of a 15-year career as a member of the Phillies.
There has to be room in the Phillies' Hall of Fame for the greatest mascot in the world.
After making his first appearance on April 25, 1978, the Phillie Phanatic has seen two World Series and become an inseparable part of the organization.
A mysterious creature hailing from the Galapagos Islands, the Phanatic's antics and adventures have become synonymous with Phillies baseball, and that certainly won't be changing any time soon.
The Line: .290 / .371 / .530, 204 HR
Dick Allen certainly has his off-the-field issues, especially early in his career, but there is no denying that the man was one of the greatest hitters in the history of the Phillies' organization.
After a breakout season in which he took home the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 1964, Allen would go on to pose a threat to opposing pitchers for the next 13 seasons, nine of which were spent with the Phillies in total.
A three-time All-Star with the Phillies, Allen was a very balanced hitter. As a Phillie, he led the league in OPS, OBP, and runs scored at least once.
The Line: 49-37, 3.10 ERA, 94 SV
A fan-favorite by no stretch of the imagination, Tug McGraw was also the greatest reliever in the history of the Phillies' franchise.
Acquired from the rival New York Mets, McGraw's success at the back end of the Phillies' bullpen would eventually lead the club to its first World Series title in 1980.
Though he made just one appearance to represent the Phillies in the All-Star Game, McGraw's 1980 season was so good that he finished fifth in the National League's Cy Young voting.
Known as one of the most durable relievers in the game, who knows where the Phillies would have been without "Tugger."
The Line: .278 / .340 / .404, 83 HR
Acquired in a trade with the Chicago Cubs, Fred Luderus would spend 11 seasons with the Phillies and quickly become one of the greatest first basemen in the history of the organization.
A well-balanced machine at the plate, Luderus could do a little bit of everything. He had the ability to hit .315. He could post an on-base percentage of .365. The man had enough power to hit 18 home runs in a season during an era when power was something to be desired.
As far as first basemen in the Phillies' history are concerned, not many were better than Luderus.
The Line: .286 / .344 / .479, 259 HR
Long before sluggers in the mold of Mike Schmidt and Ryan Howard took their place in Phillies' lore, there was a man by the name of Del Ennis that was as strong as they come.
A three-time All-Star, Ennis helped changed the very definition of the word "slugger" in Philadelphia. After a few seasons in the MLB, Ennis found himself anchoring the lineup of one of the greatest teams in Phillies history—the 1950 Whiz Kids.
For a long time, Ennis would hold the Phillies' record for home runs, and the simple fact that only Schmidt and Howard have passed that mark should speak multitudes about just how talented Ennis truly was.
The Line: .289 / .352 / .426, 70 HR
When people talk about the greatest catchers in the history of the Phillies' organization, Jack Clements is a name often overlooked.
Playing his first season with the Phillies in 1884, Clements would go on to spend a total of 14 seasons with the club before his career dwindled to a close.
A catcher by trade, Clements could swing the bat as well. A good, all-around hitter, having Clements catch and be productive at the plate was a blessing in those days, and hit well enough to log some time in the outfield as well.
The Line: .291 / .381 / .489, 117 HR
Long before home run hitting sluggers became a common theme in a baseball lineup, Gavvy Cravath brought a unique skill-set to the plate.
The outfielder spent nine seasons as a member of the Phillies, and though he was a solid defender in right field, he was in the lineup for one reason—to mash the opposition's pitching.
Cravath was as power as they came during his day, leading the league in home runs six times. He led the National League in OPS in each season from 1913-1915, and at least once, led the league in runs, hits, walks, OBP, SLG, and total bases.
He would later go on to manage the Phillies as well.
The Line: .281 / .363 / .489, 223 HR
Speaking of power hitters, how about Greg Luzinski?
Nicknamed "The Bull" because of his stature and tremendous strength, Luzinski would anchor the Phillies' lineup for many of the 11 seasons he spent with the club, teaming up with Mike Schmidt to create a thunderous middle of the order as the Phillies neared a World Championship in 1980.
A four-time All-Star, only five players in the history of the organization have hit more home runs that Luzinski—Schmidt, Ryan Howard, Del Ennis, Pat Burrell, and Chuck Klein.
Luzinski would also lead the National League in RBI, total bases, and intentional walks during the 1975 season, finishing second to Joe Morgan in the MVP voting.
The Line: .334 / .388 / .509, 95 HR
Now entering the Phillies Hall of Fame: Sam Thompson's mustache!
Thompson the player wasn't half-bad either. He can come too.
In all seriousness, Thompson was easily one of the greatest hitters in the history of the organization. Though many of his 10 seasons with the Phillies were spent during an era where base hits were easy to come by, Thompson seemed to collect a hit each and every time he came to bat. (He hit .415 in 1894!)
During his Phillies tenure, Thompson would lead the league in plate appearances, at-bats, hits, doubles, home runs, RBI, batting average, SLG, OPS+, and total bases at least once, showing off his well-balanced attack at the plate.
The Line: .271 / .338 / .457, 185 HR
Outside of (most of) the 1964 season, the Phillies weren't very good during the 1960s.
One of the club's lone bright spots happened to be outfielder Johnny Callison, who managed to give the fans hope in a time where a World Series title seemed so far away.
Acquired from the Chicago White Sox before he reached his prime, Callison would go on to spend 10 seasons with the Phillies. A four-time All-Star, he had a unique blend of skills. In short, he could do a little bit of everything, be it hit for contact or power, or even show some speed.
He led the National League in triples twice with the Phillies, and once in doubles.
The Line: .295 / .421 / .334, 946 BB
Roy Thomas had an impressive eye at the plate.
With virtually no power in his game (the man hit six home runs total for the Phillies) it was up to Thomas to find his way on base and score runs. He did that well.
In 12 seasons as a member of the Phillies, the speedy center fielder led the National League in walks seven different times, collecting 946 in his career. He also led the league in OBP and runs scored during his Phillies career at least once, proving that he was getting the job done.
The Line: .299 / .371 / .447, 75 HR
Easily one of the most underrated players in the history of the Phillies' organization, Sherry Magee certainly won't be overlooked for induction into this Phillies Hall of Fame.
Magee spent 11 seasons with the Phillies, primarily as the club's left fielder, but also as a first baseman later in his career.
He had the best season of his career in 1910, when he led the league in runs scored, RBI, batting average, OBP, SLG, OPS, OPS+, and total bases. Later in his career, he would also lead the league at least once in hits and doubles.
The Line: .306 / .380 / .500, 217 HR
After spending the first six seasons of his career with the Chicago Cubs, the Phillies would acquire Cy Williams in 1918 in exchange for Dode Paskert, and to this date, it remains one of the greatest transactions in franchise history.
Williams would go on to spend the next (and final) 13 seasons of his career as an outfielder for the Phillies, logging most of his innings in center field. He was an excellent hitter, and as power numbers became more prevalent throughout the game, Williams became quite the power hitter, finishing with 217 home runs with the Phillies, leading the league three times in that regard.
He was much more than a power hitter, however. Williams' well-balanced attack at the plate and solid glove in the outfield made him one of the best all-around players in franchise history.
The Line: .311 / .394 / .388, 2,217 H
Richie Ashburn is a man that needs no explanation, but then again, most of the names on this list don't.
Ashburn, who signed with the Phillies as an amateur free agent in 1945, would spend 12 seasons roaming center field for the club. His aggressive use of the speed he had made him fun to watch, but also earned him the nickname of "Put-Put," referencing the sound he made when he ran.
Ashburn was just as good at the plate as he was in the field. A hit-machine, he always found a way to get on base. Alongside of those 2,217 hits with the Phillies, he also walked 946 times, helping him to an OBP of .394.
He was the prototypical top of the order hitter. At least once in his Phillies career, Ashburn led the league in games, plate appearances, at-bats, triples, stolen bases, walks, batting average, and OBP.
Of course, when he was retired from the playing field, "Whitey" would head to the broadcast booth where he would form one half of the most beloved broadcasting duos in all of Philadelphia sports.
Though I thought it was important to keep the ranking organized by limiting it to players, no Phillies Hall of Fame would be complete without Harry Kalas.
For close to 40 years, Kalas was the Phillies. Respected equally anywhere he went, be it by the fans, by the players, by his colleagues, or by anyone with an opportunity to hear his voice, there was no distinguishing the one-of-a-kind voice of Kalas and Phillies baseball. They were one in the same.
The man behind some of the most legendary calls in all of baseball, it was Kalas who was welcomed into our homes each and every summer for nearly four decades to bring us Phillies baseball.
The Line: 234-199, 3.46 ERA
Heading in the 1950s, the Phillies desperately needed a player with the ability to put the rest of the team on his back and carry them to success, and luckily enough, that was just the type of man that Robin Roberts was.
After playing his first professional season in 1948, it wasn't long before Roberts was the ace of one of the greatest Phillies teams of all-time: The 1950 "Whiz Kids." On a team that was defined by youth, Roberts had the poise of a veteran, and his 20-win season helped that club challenge for a World Championship.
That 1950 season would also begin a dominant stretch of seven seasons for Roberts. He would be named an All-Star in each of those seven seasons. He led the league in wins four times. He would lead the league in games started six times and in complete games five times. He would lead the league in innings pitched five times. He led the league in strikeouts per walks, WHIP, and strikeouts at least once.
The Line: .326 / .382 / .553, 243 HR
A former Triple Crown winner, there was very little that Chuck Klein couldn't do at the plate.
Joining the Phillies in 1928, Klein would go on to spend an incredible 15 seasons as a member of the Phillies. An outfielder by trade, he certainly wasn't a bad defensive player, but there is no doubt that Klein made his money by being a nightmare for opposing pitchers at the plate.
Stunningly enough, during that aforementioned Triple Crown season in 1933 only saw him finish in second in the league's MVP voting, but that's in large part because Klein took home the award the previous season after slugging 38 home runs and collecting 137 RBI.
In his prime years with the Phillies, Klein would lead the league in nearly every offensive category at least once, including games played, runs, hits, doubles, home runs, RBI, stolen bases, batting average, OBP, SLG, OPS, OPS+, and total bases.
Simply put, when Klein was at his best, there were no flaws in his game.
The Line: .348 / .414 / .508, 87 HR
Ed Delahanty was the type of man that always thought he could do better on the baseball field. That's why one of his most famous quotes always sticks in my head. After hitting a long home run against the St. Louis Cardinals, a member of the Redbirds said to him, "That's one you can be proud of, Ed."
Delahanty quickly responded by saying, "Hell no. If I could have cut that hit into singles, I'd lead the whole damn league."
He did that often. During his 13-year tenure with the Phillies, Delahanty led the league hits, doubles, triples, home runs, RBI, stolen bases, batting average, OBP, SLG, OPS, OPS+, and total bases at least once.
To put his well-balanced attack into some kind of perspective, during his career, Delahanty posted an OPS better than 1.000 six times!
The Line: 190-91, 2.18 ERA
Pete Alexander was nothing short of incredible, especially during his tenure with the Phillies.
Joining the club in 1911, Alexander would spend eight seasons with the Phillies in total, but it was the first seven years that really made him the legend that fans would come to recognize to this day.
During those first seven seasons, Alexander was a workhorse. He led the league in innings pitched in all but one of those seasons and in all but two led the league in complete games.
He did much more than just take the ball, however. Alexander would lead the league in wins five times. He led the league in shutouts four times. At least once, Alexander would lead the National League in ERA, strikeouts, batters faced, ERA+, WHIP, H/9, BB/9, SO/9, and SO/BB.
Now that's dominance.
The Line: 241-161, 3.09 ERA
Steve Carlton won four Cy Young Awards as a member of the Phillies. Enough said.
For the sake of this slide show, however, I'll say a bit more. Acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals prior to the 1972 season, the Phillies knew they were getting an excellent pitcher, but how many people could have known that Carlton would spend the next 15 seasons with the club?
Along with those four Cy Young Awards, Carlton would make seven trips to the All-Star Game. He led the league in wins four times, and that was just the top of the iceberg. Carlton would also lead the league in ERA, games started, complete games, shutouts, innings pitched, strikeouts, batters faced, ERA+, SO/9, and SO/BB at least once.
Simply put, the man, an eventual 300 game winner, was the best pitcher the franchise has ever seen.
The Line: .267 / .380 / .527, 548 HR
Yet, the first plaque to be hung in a Phillies Hall of Fame should belong to none other than the greatest Phillie of all-time, Mike Schimdt.
A three-time MVP, Schmidt spent his entire 18-season career as a member of the Phillies. Overcoming struggles at the plate early in his career, Schmidt would go on to become one of the best, if not the best two-way third basemen in the history of baseball.
Schmidt would make 12 different trips to the All-Star Game in his career, winning a slew of other awards, including 10 Gold Gloves and six Silver Sluggers.
The third baseman would lead the league in home runs an incredible eight times, but Schmidt's game was predicated on much more than power alone. He would also lead the league in RBI, walks, OBP, SLG, OPS, OPS+, total bases, hit by pitches, and sacrifice flies at least once.
Undoubtedly, Schmidt is the greatest Phillie of all-time.