Philadelphia Phillies All-Fan Favorite Team
Through over a century of play and two World Series championships, the Phillies have had their fair share of athletes at each position. Many we remember. Some we forget. The ones we truly remember, however, are oftentimes the ones we love.
In Philadelphia, oftentimes, love for their athletes is hard to come by. That only serves to make these individuals even more unique and special.
Here is the All-Fan Favorite Team for the Phillies, highlighting the most popular players at each position.
Starting Pitcher: Steve Carlton
Steve Carlton played for six teams over the course of his career, but the Hall of Famer will always be remembered as a Phillie.
In what turned out to be one of the worst trades in baseball history, the Cardinals shipped off "Lefty" to Philadelphia for pitcher Rick Wise. Carlton would spend the next 14 years in Philadelphia, where he racked up four Cy Youngs and led the team to its first championship title.
Carlton won more than any pitcher the city had ever seen. That resulted in his near instantaneous status as a fan favorite.
Closer: Tug McGraw
Maybe it was his lovable personality that won the fans over, but that wasn't the only reason Tug McGraw became a favorite in Philadelphia. He was the one who finished it all up. The one who ended 97 years of heartbreak and losing.
The day after winning it, 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!"
His words echoed throughout JFK Stadium amidst thousands of cheers among fans—all of whom were thinking the exact same thing.
First Base: John Kruk
The city fell in love again with the 1993 Phillies, who came out of nowhere to win the pennant.
At the forefront of the team that year was John Kruk. He finished his career with a batting average of .300 and an even 100 home runs.
Kruk just got it. He understood the fans, and he understood the city.
Last year, he was inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame. His speech was a triumph and a true salute to the fans of the city.
Second Base: Chase Utley
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Chase Utley's numbers may have dipped the past few seasons, but he remains as popular as ever. Because even when he's struggling, you know he's giving it everything he has. When he's injured, he'll play through it. If he hits a weak grounder, he'll run it out like it's his last.
He's a throwback to an earlier generation of baseball players, and that is truly refreshing to see.
Shortstop: Jimmy Rollins
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Jimmy Rollins started it all. Currently the longest tenured Phillie, Rollins helped take a team struggling to stay relevant and made them a powerhouse. As the team contemplates losing the best shortstop to ever grace the position in their history, they stand to lose a great player and a real fan favorite.
Third Base: Mike Schmidt
He was the best third baseman of all time, and he was a Phillie. It doesn't get much better than that. Schmidt may not have had the best personality in the world, but the fans loved him for being one hell of a hitter. He was truly one of a kind.
Left Field: Greg Luzinski
"The Bull" may not statistically be the best left fielder in Phillies history, but he was probably the most popular. He capped off his final year in the city with a World Series championship.
Nowadays, you can find him at every home game signing autographs near his restaurant, Bull's Barbecue.
Center Field: Richie Ashburn
One of the best in team history, "Whitey" became a fan favorite during his days with the Whiz Kids of 1950. But he became even more popular sitting alongside Hall of Fame announcer Harry Kalas in the broadcast booth.
The center field area at Citizens Bank Park is currently named in his honor, with a statue of the late centerfielder right by the replica of the Liberty Bell.
Right Field: Chuck Klein
Chuck Klein's numbers were unbelievable. A .320 career batting average with 300 home runs and over 1,200 RBIs. He also won an MVP, a Triple Crown and had two All-Star appearances. The two times he left the Phillies, he ended up returning.
Eventually, he was able to finish his career in Philadelphia in 1944. When others viewed Philadelphia as a trainwreck, Klein viewed it as home.
Catcher: Carlos Ruiz
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So many of the big moments of the past five years has involved Carlos Ruiz. "Chooch," as the fans have grown to call him, has been a rock behind the plate. He plays with passion and heart, and his pitchers love him. And so do his fans.