Pat Burrell and the 10 Greatest Outfielders in Phillies History

James AmblerCorrespondent IAugust 17, 2010

Pat Burrell and the 10 Greatest Outfielders in Phillies History

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    Pat Burrell’s return to Citizens Bank Park is a logical time to evaluate where “Pat the Bat” ranks among the Phillies best outfielders of all time.

    The Phillies came full-circle during Burrell’s time in Philly, beginning as a last-place team during Pat’s rookie season in 2000 and ending as world champions of baseball by the time Burrell’s tenure ended after 2008.

    The following rankings were based upon these three categories, listed in order of importance: Hitting, Longevity, Defense (CFs get a slight edge over LF and RFs).

    Ranking/comparing players of different vintages and centuries is always tough, but I did my best. Hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane!

Honorable Mention: Johnny Callison (RF) (1960-1969)

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    Really popular Phillie during the lean '60's decade. A three-time All-Star who finished second in NL MVP voting for the ill-fated 1964 team, Callison finished with nice numbers in a decade of service in Philly.

    Doesn't Tony Danza look a little like Callison? Angels in the Outfield, anyone? Mel Clark?

    Stats, 10 years: 

    1432 G, 774 R, 226 HR, 666 RBI, 60 SB, .271 AVG, .338 OBP  

Honorable Mention: Gavvy Cravath (RF) (1912-1920)

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    He led the league in OPS three years in a row from 1913 to 1915. More importantly, he was the first great “power-hitter” in Phillies history.

    Gavvy led the league in home runs six times during the Dead-Ball Era. He averaged 15.6 home runs in those six seasons….there you have it: The Dead-Ball Era.

    Stats, 9 years:

    1103 G, 525 R, 117 HR, 676 RBI, 80 SB, .291 AVG, .380 OBP

No. 10: Greg Luzinski (LF) (1970-1980)

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    “The Bull.” The Phillies cleanup hitter for the decade usually provided Michael Jack Schmidt with great protection. The four-time All-Star finished second in MVP voting in both ’75 and ’77.

    His 223 homers are the fifth-most in club history. Unfortunately, he was usually a defensive liability in left field.

    Luzinski still stays relevant in the Philadelphia community thanks to his “Bull’s Barbecue” eatery at Citizens Bank Park.

    Yes, it's a photo of Greg, not Rush Limbaugh.

    Stats, 11 years:

    1289 G, 618 R, 223 HR, 811 RBI, 29 SB, .281 AVG, .363 OBP

No. 9: Garry Maddox (CF) (1975-1986)

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    Speaking of former Phillies outfielders will a fondness for B-B-Q.

    “The Secretary of Defense,” one of the great nicknames in Philadelphia sports history. The Phillies have never had a better defensive outfielder, as Garry’s eight Gold Gloves are the second-most for a Phillie at any position, behind only Michael Jack Schmidt’s 10 at third base.

    Garry spent the majority of his time as the No. 6 hitter in the Phillies lineup, and his stats aren’t great. However, defense was the Phillies' trademark during his tenure, and Garry’s play helped to prove that defense wins championships (5.5 NL East banners, two NL championships, one WS winner).

    Garry comes back to Philly each August to coordinate, and cook, for his annual “Rib-Fest” that annually takes place outside the ballpark on Phillies alumni weekend.

    Stats, 12 years:

    1328 G, 556 R, 85 HR, 566 RBI, 189 SB, .284 AVG, .320 OBP

No. 8: Pat Burrell (LF) (2000-2008)

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    It wasn’t all rosy for Pat. He never became the player everyone thought he would be after his sensational 2002 season. He could never field, never run, and he never hit for much of an average.

    He was never an aggressive hitter, actually patient to a fault. Honestly, there were times when it seemed he’d be trying to coax a walk with the game on the line instead of trying to deliver a clutch base hit. You know, where he’d basically be begging for a “ball” on an inside pitch by throwing up his arms while simultaneously shoving his butt almost completely outside the batters box.   

    But despite all that, Pat put up numbers. No Phillies outfielder has hit more home runs, save Del Ennis. He ranks seventh all-time in team RBI and fifth all-time in walks. Overall, Pat Burrell was a fine player for the Phillies.

    Stats, 9 years:

    1306 G, 655 R, 251 HR, 827 RBI, 5 SB, .257 AVG, .367 OBP

No. 7: Sherry Magee (LF) (1904-1914)

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    A Dead-Ball Era star. Led the NL in RBI three times during his tenure in Philly and is sixth on the Phils RBI list. He also has the third-most stolen bases in team history and his 337 doubles are the fifth most for the franchise. 

    Stats, 11 years:

    1521 G, 898 R, 75 HR, 886 RBI, 387 SB, .299 AVG, .364 OBP

No. 6: Bobby Abreu (RF) (1998-2006)

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    Yeah. This author happens to have always been a huge Bobby Abreu fan and he’s not afraid to admit it.

    Say what you want about Bobby’s so called “lack of hustle,” but he’s one of the top hitters in Phillies history. A legitimate five-tool star. He might only be two spots ahead of Pat Burrell on this ranking, but Bobby was a much, much better all-around player. He’s also the only player in Phillies history with multiple 30-30 seasons (2001, 2004).

    Bobby Abreu ranks sixth on the Phillies all-time list for extra-base hits, second in sacrifice flies, fourth in doubles, second in walks, 10th in runs, ninth in home runs, eighth in RBI, eighth in total bases, seventh in stolen bases, sixth in slugging percentage and fourth in on base percentage.

    Other than that, he doesn’t have much of a place in Phillies history…

    Stats, 9 years:

    1353 G, 891 R, 195 HR, 814 RBI, 254 SB, .303 AVG, .416 OBP

No 5: Sam Thompson (RF) (1889-1898)

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    Thompson was born in March 1860, thirteen whole months before the Civil War began. During his decade with the Phils, Thompson led the National league in hits, doubles, home runs, and RBI each twice in a given season. His .334 career average with the Phillies is fourth-highest in club history.

    Thompson was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974.

    Stats, 10 years:

    1034 G, 930 R, 95 HR, 963 RBI, 192 SB, .334 AVG, .388 OBP

No. 4.5: Del Ennis (LF and RF) (1946-1956)

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    Three-time all-star Del Ennis was a great player during the not-so-great mid-40's to mid-50's decade of Phillies baseball. He put up seven seasons of at least 25 home runs and seven seasons of over 100 RBI (including 120 or more three times).

    Ennis' consistent run production would be very good even by today's standards, yet he even managed to do it with lousy teams in a era far removed from inflated offensive statistics. Ennis'  numbers are simply outstanding.

    *** Thank you to Matt and Leonard for bringing to my attention that Del was not originally on this list!

    Stats, 11 years:

    1630 G, 891 R, 259 HR, 1124 RBI, 44 SB, .286 AVG, .344 OBP

No. 4: Chuck Klein (RF) (1928-1933, 1936-1939, 1940-1944)

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    Chuck Klein was the first Phillie to win an MVP award (1932) and is the only Phillie ever to win the Triple Crown (in 1933). He finished in the top-two in MVP voting for three straight years (1931 to 1933). Chuck ranks third on the Phillies’ all-time extra base hit list, fourth on their home run and RBI list, and fifth in batting average and total bases.

    Unfortunately, injuries sabotaged a huge portion of Klein’s career and kept him from finishing with even greater statistics. Only twice after 1934 did he manage to play in more than 120 games in a given season. 

    Klein was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980. In 2001, the Phillies honored Klein at Veterans Stadium by retiring their franchise’s Old English "P."  

    Stats, 15 years:

    1405 G, 963 RBI, 243 HR, 983 RBI, 71 SB, .326 AVG, .382 OBP

No. 3: Billy Hamilton (CF) (1890-1895)

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    Hamilton played just six seasons with the Phillies, but he certainly made them count. His numbers are just too extraordinary to ignore. Hamilton’s .360 batting average with the Phillies is the highest of all time, even 13 points higher than Ed Delahanty’s career average with the team (more on Ed very soon).

    Billy was selected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1961.

    Stats, 6 years:

    732 G, 880 R, 23 HR, 370 RBI, 510 SB, .360 AVG, .468 OBP

No. 2: Richie Ashburn (CF) (1948-1959)

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    Maybe the most beloved athlete in the history of the city.

    Richie was the finest leadoff hitter the Phillies ever had and ranks second on their all-time list for hits, third in walks, third in runs scored, and fifth in total bases. He was also a tremendous defensive outfielder.

    After retiring in 1962, Richie put the finishing touches on his love affair with the city of Philadelphia and its fans by serving as a Phillies TV-radio broadcaster for the final 35 years of his life.

    Ashburn’s No. 1 was retired by the organization in 1979, and the great Phillie finally gained election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995. Citizens Bank Park’s Ashburn Alley has been named in his honor.

    Stats, 12 years:

    1794 G, 1114 R, 22 HR, 499 RBI, 199 SB, .311 AVG, .394 OBP

No. 1: Ed Delahanty (LF) (1888-1889, 1891-1901)

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    Delahanty’s .346 career batting average is the fourth highest average in MLB history.

    As a Phillie, Delahanty led the league in doubles four times, home runs twice, RBI three times, and slugging percentage four times.

    Even now, Delahanty’s name is still everywhere on the Phillies record books. He ranks second on the all-time list for extra-base hits, second in batting average, second in runs scored, first in doubles, first in triples, fifth in on-base percentage, third in hits, second in RBI, second in stolen bases, and second in total bases.

    Delahanty was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1945.

    Stats, 13 years:

    1557 G, 1368 R, 87 HR, 1288 RBI, 411 SB, .348 AVG, .414 OBP


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