I'm almost half way done this series of articles and here's another good one.
The Phillies have had some very good teams over the years, yet they have had many more bad ones. Though this may be true, I created a list of the greatest Phillies teams.
1. 1980 (91-71)
Ace: Steve Carlton
Slugger: Mike Schmidt
The first Phillies World Series team had a batting average of .270 and an ERA of 3.43. They had a strong year and though the playoffs were hair-thinning, they came out on top.
2. 2008 (92-70)
Ace: Cole Hamels
Slugger: Ryan Howard
The Phillies second World Series team broke the curse of Billy Penn. Though they batted only .255, their pitching carried them through the season. They had an ERA of 3.89 and thanks to closer Brad Lidge they never lost a lead after the eighth inning. There was almost no stopping them in the playoff. They lost only one game in each series.
3. 1950 (90-63)
Ace: Robin Roberts
Slugger: Del Ennis
The 1950 Phillies were a great team. They may have been young, which earned them the nickname the “Wiz Kids”, but they were great ballplayers. Good hitting, solid fielding, and strong pitching helped them win the pennant. Pitcher Jim Konstanty won the MVP Award, and great pitching by starters Curt Simmons and Robin Roberts led the team. They didn’t stand much of a chance against the New York Yankees in the World Series.
4. 1993 (97-65)
Ace: Curt Schilling
Slugger: Lenny Dykstra
The 1993 Phils were the most unusual bunch of baseball players ever. They led the league in talent and personality. They were “a motley crew of hairy, beer-soused brutes” according to a Toronto rag. They batted .274 and had an ERA of 3.95. Though they were a great bunch of players, Joe Carter’s home run ruined their World Series dream.
5. 1915 (90-62)
Ace: Grover Cleveland “Pete” Alexander
Slugger: Gavvy Cravath
The Phillies first pennant winners, they weren’t the best at batting (only a .247 average), but they had an amazing pitching staff. Led by Pete Alexander and Eppa Rixey, the team had an ERA of 2.17. After winning the opening game of the World Series, they lost all of the others, all by one run.
6. 1983 (90-72)
Ace: John Denny
Slugger: Mike Schmidt
The Phillies were basically carried to the World Series by strong pitching. While Steve Carlton and John Denny shut down batters to start the game, their bullpen, led by Al Holland and Tug McGraw, shut them down in the late innings. They made it to the World Series but lost there to the Baltimore Orioles.
7. 1894 (71-57)
Best Pitcher: Jack Taylor
Slugger: Billy Hamilton
Notice how the word “ace” isn’t next to Jack Taylor’s name. That’s because the Phillies pitching was so horrible that year that the only reason why they won so many games was because the team batted and incredible .349. Billy Hamilton, Ed Delahanty, and Sam Thompson proved they were the best outfield ever this year, each one of them batting over .400. The team finished fourth that year.
8. 1976 (101-61)
Ace: Steve Carlton
Slugger: Greg Luzinski
The Phillies first 100-win season was thanks to solid pitching and good batting. The Phils bullpen shut down batters late in the game, and the starters baffled them. Strong performances by Mike Schmidt, Greg Luzinski, Garry Maddox, and Dave Cash paved the way for a great year.
9. 1930 (52-102)
Pitcher with Lowest ERA: Phil Collins
Slugger: Chuck Klein
Notice again how the word “ace” is absent. That’s because the Phils ERA in 1930 was an embarrassing 6.71. The only reason this team is listed is because they batted .315. They were led by Chuck Klein and Lefty O’Doul. Klein batted .386 with 40 home runs and 170 RBIs while O’Doul batted .383 with 22 homers and 97 RBIs. Pinky Whitney also did well batting .342 with 8 homers and 117 RBIs.
10. 1964 (92-70)
Ace: Jim Bunning
Slugger: Dick Allen
Though they had the greatest collapse in baseball history and will forever go down in infamy, they were one great team. A fantastic season by Rookie of the Year Dick Allen was what the Phils needed to win 90 games. Strong pitching and a perfect game by Jim Bunning was a spark plug for the team.