Philadelphia Phillies: 20 Most Emotional Players in Franchise History
Philly fans and the word emotional are one in the same. It's common belief in the City of Brotherly Love that the fans care more about the outcome of a game than the players.
The most passionate sports fans in America obsess over the Philadelphia Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and Sixers 365 days a year. Any athlete that is blue-collar and leaves it all on the field/rink/court will forever endear themselves to Philly Nation.
The Philadelphia Phillies have a long and rich history and have been fortunate (and unfortunate) enough to have some really emotional players wear the red pinstripes. Locker room leaders, on-field generals, a temper tantrum waiting to happen are all fair game in this list.
Here are the 20 most emotional players in Philadelphia Phillies history.
20. Aaron Rowand
"For who? My Teammates. For what? To win." That is what Aaron Rowand said after he crashed into the center field wall at Citizens Bank Park and preserved a Philadelphia Phillies win.
162 games in a season and Rowand played every out as if it were his last. Rowand and Philadelphia were a match made in heaven and the city will never forget his brief tenure in Phillies red.
A picture is worth a thousand words. For Aaron Rowand, the picture above was worth surgery on his broken nose and multiple lacerations to his face.
All to win one game.
19. Jim Thome
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Remember when the Philadelphia Phillies were trying to sign the top free agent on the market in Jim Thome way back in 2002? Local electricians who were working on the unfinished (at the time) Citizens Bank Park presented Thome with a hard hat and showed how much they appreciated his blue collar attitude.
The Phillies had to make room for Ryan Howard and were forced to deal the fan and locker room favorite Jim Thome. It's great to see him back as he is one of the most respected players in all of baseball.
600 home runs without steroids is pretty darn good.
18. Brad Lidge
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Brad Lidge is an emotional guy, but the picture above of the closer dropping to his knees in pure joy will live forever. It's the kind of thing that legends are made of, as a trip down memory lane still can give any Phillie Phanatic the chills.
Lidges' perfect season, capped by the first world championship by any Philadelphia sports team in 25 years, and the word emotional are one in the same.
17. Shane Victorino
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Shane Victorino plays 100 mph all the time. He honestly looks like a guy that loves playing the game.
You can be assured that if the Phillies win in walk-off fashion, No. 8 will be the first one sprinting out of the dugout to congratulate his teammates.Victorino is a fan favorite and has never been shy about his affection for Philadelphia as well.
Victorino is a great player on the field and stories like this show you that he is an even better man off the field. He wears his emotions on his sleeve and Philly loves him for it.
16. Dick Allen
Dick Allen may have been known for his bizarre behavior off the field more than his brilliance on the field, but there is no doubt that he was loved and respected by his teammates and coaches.
Chuck Tanner had this to say about Dick Allen: "Never in my life have I been associated with a better person. I want this fellow to play for me the rest of his career." The Phillies later traded Allen due to his behavior off the field, but there is no question that he was a mentor and leader in the locker room.
15. Carlos Ruiz
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Carlos Ruiz is widely regarded as one of the best defensive catchers in MLB. His handling of the pitching staff and ability to call a game are only topped in Philadelphia Phillies history by Bob Boone.
Watching the fire and tenacity that Ruiz plays with on a daily basis is special and is a major reason why "Chooch" has become a fan favorite in Philadelphia. It's great to see that Ruiz is getting the credit he deserves.
14. Steve Bedrosian
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Steve Bedrosian should be considered an emotional leader just because his beard was so sweet. He was the last Philadelphia Phillies pitcher to win the Cy Young before Roy Halladay accomplished the feat in 2010.
Bedrosian was feared by opposing hitters but beloved by his teammates. Multiple inning saves were common for Bedrosian and he always wore his emotions on his sleeve.
13. Garry Maddox
Two-thirds of the Earth is covered by water, and the other third is covered by Garry Maddox. "The Secretary of Defense" was arguably the greatest defensive outfielder in Philadelphia Phillies history.
There is no doubt. however, that Maddox own's the best nickname.
Maddox won eight consecutive Gold Gloves and he played with an incredible amount of emotion that was contagious to the 1980 World Champions. Maddox is a legend in the city of Philadelphia for his work ethic, brilliant play and all around genuinely kind demeanor.
One of the nicest guys I have ever met is Garry Maddox.
12. Jim Bunning
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Jim Bunning may be best known for his perfect game he threw, but he also was a key piece regarding the formation of the Major League Baseball player's union. Bunning was a brilliant pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies evidenced by his Hall of Fame induction, but he has always been a leader in every sense of the word.
Bunning was elected to the House of Representatives in 1986 and then to the United States Senate from Kentucky in 1998. Bunning still loves coming back to Citizens Bank Park and throwing a strike for the opening pitch.
11. John Vukovich
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John Vukovich played 10 seasons in MLB, but he is widely known for his service as 3B coach for the Philadelphia Phillies. It's not often when you find an assistant coach in baseball being one of the most beloved members of a team, but that is exactly how Philadelphia felt about "Vuk."
Vukovich was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2001, but in true Philadelphia fashion he would return later that season. In late 2006, he went into remission and left us much to early at the age of 59.
Vukovich was so beloved that the 2007 Phillies honored him by wearing a uniform patch on their right sleeve with his nickname, "Vuk". RIP Vuk.
10. John Kruk
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I don't know if it's a compliment or a complete smack in the face that John Kruk is widely considered to be what Philadelphia is all about. Rugged, tough and pretty darn good are all words that describe the "Krukker" so Philadelphia has a lot to be proud of when remembering Kruk.
He was the leader of the Phillies "Macho Row" and was another player that left it all on the field. How many people thought that John Kruk would be Baseball Tonight's golden boy? Anyone?
Kruk is loved in Philadelphia for wearing his emotions on his sleeve.
9. Tony Taylor
Tony Taylor is widely regarded as the "heart and soul of the Philadelphia Phillies during the 1960's." Taylor was a solid hitting infielder during a time when such players were relied on heavily for their glove.
He was no slouch in the field either. Taylor was one of the best and quickest infielders of his era and he utilized that speed on the base paths as well.
Stealing home six times? Yep, I'd say that is some efficient base running.
8. Pete Rose
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It was the emotion that Pete Rose played with on a daily basis that earned him the nickname "Charlie Hustle." Pete Rose was never afraid to get in someones face if he felt that they weren't giving it their all.
Just a few of Rose's accomplishments include three World Series rings, three batting titles, the most hits ever and one MVP award. Yeah, I'd listen when the man talked also.
His leadership and emotion were what the Phillies had been missing in their quest for a championship.
7. Jimmy Rollins
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The catalyst for the Philadelphia Phillies. The swagger of the 5-time NL East champs. The voice of the most successful team in Phillies history.
And he may be playing for a different team in 2012.
Jimmy Rollins is the emotional leader of the Phillies and he had the guts to proclaim that the Phillies were the "team to beat." This team hasn't looked back since.
Rollins will one day be enshrined into the Phillies Wall of Fame, but have we seen J-Roll play his last game for the Phightin's? If so, thanks for everything Jimmy.
6. Chase Utley
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When the term emotional is used in sports we tend to think of a player that has heart. There is no question that Chase Utley has been the heart and soul of the Philadelphia Phillies, especially when they won the World Series in 2008.
Utley will go down as one of the most beloved sports personalities ever to play in Philadelphia, and it's no coincidence that the Phillies' short-comings in recent playoff series have had a direct correlation to the end nearing for Chase. The will to do whatever it takes to win is what defines an emotional leader.
That epitomizes Chase Utley.
5. Darren Daulton
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Darren Daulton has always been one to speak his mind. Whether it was during his tenure as (unofficial) team spokesman for Macho Row, expressing his beliefs about religion (gulp) or as a radio personality on 97.5 the Fanatic.
Daulton was the inspirational leader of the worst-to-first 1993 team. When "Dutch" speaks you listen. It's as simple as that.
4. Tug McGraw
Frank Edwin "Tug" McGraw got the final out in the 1980 World Series, giving the Philadelphia Phillies their first World Series title ever. He was a leader in every sense of the word and a true inspiration to each ball club that was lucky enough to have him as a player.
His catch phrase, "Ya Gotta Believe" became the rally cry of the New York Mets during his tenure there. McGraw pitched in all five games of the 1980 World Series.
McGraw certainly understood the pain Philadelphia was going through when he said, "All through baseball history, Philadelphia has had to take a back seat to New York City. Well, New York City can take this world championship and stick it! 'Cause we're number one!"
McGraw was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2003 and given three weeks to live by his doctors. Like a true warrior he lived nine more months before finally losing his battle to cancer.
He may be gone but the fond memories we have of "Tugger" will love forever.
3. Larry Bowa
The veins popping out of Larry Bowa's neck seem to signify that he can be a bit emotional at times. Arguably the greatest shortstop in Philadelphia Phillies history became manager after Terry Francona was fired.
Bowa was as tenacious on the field and at the plate as he was at harassing umpires. That tenacity made him a fan favorite as a player and a manager.
2. Richie Ashburn
It's only fitting that Richie "Whitey" Ashburn may be the only competition for the most emotional Philadelphia Phillie ever. Ashburn was brilliant as both a CF and broadcaster for the Phillies and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995.
He died of a heart attack in 1997 and it seemed all of Philadelphia paid tribute to the legend in Fairmount Park. His love for the city and the Phillies could only be matched by one man....
1. Harry Kalas
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The most passionate and beloved Philadelphia Phillie of all time never even played an out for the team. That honor undoubtedly goes to the late and great Harry Kalas. Kalas loved the fans unconditionally and they loved him back.
Kalas' incredible voice and his genuine knowledge and passion for the game of baseball allowed for him to become a "family member" for millions of Phillie fans. Kalas found a way to make each game of a 162 game season exciting and interesting.
It's still hard to turn on a Phillies broadcast and not hear Harry's voice. It's hard to think of Harry Kalas and not get emotional.
Harry Kalas once said, "Chase Utley you are the man."Harry Kalas YOU will always be the man.
We love you Harry the K, RIP.