Philadelphia Phillies: Chase Utley and the Best Second Basemen in Team History
Ok, so there really isn't much drama as to who number one will be.
Nonetheless, the Phillies have had their fair share of solid second baseman.
There's also been some bad. I had a tough time filling out this list.
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10. Joe Morgan
Phillies Career: .230/.370/.403, 16 HR, 59 RBI, 72 R, 18 SB
Best Year 1983: .230/.370/.403, 16 HR, 59 RBI, 72 R, 18 SB
The Phillies traded youngsters Mike Krukow and Mark Davis to San Francisco for Joe Morgan and Al Holland. Holland was the key to the deal with Tug McGraw's arm wearing down.
Morgan, at 39, was past his prime but the Phillies were in a win now mode.
Morgan also mentored and tutored Juan Samuel who'll be on this list a bit later.
Considering the lack of talent at second base in Phillies history, call this inclusion more of a honorary mention.
9. Kid Gleason
Years: 1888-1891, 1903-1908
Phillies Career: .246/.296/.297 2 HR, 228 RBI, 347 R, 88 SB
Best Year 1903: .284/.326/.367, 1 HR, 49 RBI, 65 R, 12 SB
From 1888-1891, Kid Gleason spent his time in Philadelphia primarily as a starting pitcher. He won 38 games in 1890.
When he came back to the team in 1903, he bacame a regular second baseman.
8. Mickey Morandini
Years: 1990-1997, 2000
Phillies Career: .267/.334/.360, 32 HR, 351 RBI, 434 R, 103 SB
Best Year 1995: .283/.350/.417, 6 HR, 49 RBI, 65 R, 9 SB
Out of all of the names Harry Kalas pronounced, Mickey Morandini's was always my favorite. He stretched it out so elegantly.
His defense throughout his career garnered him the nickname "Dandy Little Glove Man."
He's now a manager for the Single-A Williamsport Cutters.
7. Otto Knabe
Phillies Career: .249/.328/.315, 5 HR, 280 RBI, 468 R, 122 SB
Best Year 1912: .282/.366/.326, 0 HR, 46 RBI, 56 R, 16 SB
The sacrifice bunt is a lost art in today's game. Roy Oswalt is considered the best bunter on the Phillies currently.
Otto Knabe led the league in sacrifice bunts in four of his seven seasons in Philadelphia.
6. Dave Cash
Phillies Career: .296/.348/.371, 7 HR, 171 RBI, 292 R, 43 SB
Best Year 1975: .305/.356/.388, 4 HR, 57 RBI, 111 R, 13 SB
The Phillies acquired Dave Cash in the 1973 offseason from the Pirates for Ken Brett. Philadelphia was a young team on the rise who needed leadership.
Cash had an enthusiastic positive attitude and past postseason experience. He started at second base for the World Champion 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates.
Cash was solid in the field, extremely aggressive and a scrappy lead-off hitter. He rarely struck out.
He was also known for his rally-cry "Yes We Can."
5. Tony Taylor
Years: 1960-1971 1974-1976
Phillies Career: .261/.322/.346, 51 HR, 461 RBI, 737 R, 169 SB
Best Year 1963: .281/.330/.367, 5 HR 49 RBI, 102 R, 23 SB
In 1960, Gene Mauch's first season as manager, he wanted a second baseman so Frank "Pancho" Herrera could get back to playing his regular position of first base.
The Phillies got the 24-year old Cuban Tony Taylor and backup catcher Cal Neeman from the Cubs for first baseman Ed Bouchee and pitcher Don Cardwell.
Before coming over, Taylor showed flashes but he was a bit hefty. Mauch urged Taylor to lose weight, he complied. Taylor became a fan favorite and a consistent starter at second base for 11 seasons.
4. Nap Lajoie
Phillies Career: .345/.374/.520, 32 HR, 458 RBI, 421 R, 87 SB
Best Year 1897: .361/.392/.569, 9 HR, 127 RBI, 113 R, 25 SB
Nap Lajoie is a Hall-of-Famer who spent just his first five seasons as a Phillie.
He moved onto the Philadelphia A's when Connie Mack offered him $4,000 in 1901.
Although Lajoie started his career in Philadelphia, he was better known for his 13 seasons spent in Cleveland.
3. Manny Trillo
Phillies Career: .277/.321/.369, 19 HR, 160 RBI, 197 R, 30 SB
Best Year 1980: .292/.334/.412, 7 HR, 43 RBI, 68 R, 8 SB
Manny Trillo won three gold gloves during his four year stint with the Phillies. With a smooth style and grace, he had incredible range, and an arm that Wilson Valdez fans would marvel at. He just flung it to first with such ease.
He had the best relay arm in the game at the time.
The 1980 NLCS MVP made his biggest impact in Game 5 of the World Series. He saved a run in the sixth by cutting off Darrell Porter at the plate in the sixth inning. He hit the go-ahead single with two outs in the ninth inning to give the Phillies the win.
Trillo was one of the five players traded in the infamous Von Hayes deal.
2. Juan Samuel
Phillies Career: .263/.310/.439, 100 HR, 413 RBI, 523 R, 249 SB
Best Year 1987: .272/.335/.502, 28 HR, 100 RBI, 113 R, 35 SB
Juan Samuel was a beneficiary of Ruben Amaro's Latin American experiment. He was founded in San Pedro de Macoris of the Dominican Republic. The same town that produced Pedro Guerrero of the Dodgers, Joaquin Andujar of the Cardinals and countless others.
Samuel never played good defense, but was electrifying offensively.
He became the first player in Major League history to reach double-figures in home runs, triples, doubles and stolen bases in each of his first four seasons.
He led the league in triples twice, in 1984 (19) and 1987 (15).
As great as his production was, he did strike out way too much. He led the league in strikeouts for four consecutive seasons from 1984-1987.
The Phillies traded him to the Mets in 1989 for Lenny Dykstra and Roger McDowell.
1. Chase Utley
Phillies Career: .292/.380/.510, 181 HR, 672 RBI, 701 R, 106 SB
Best Year 2007: .332/.410/.566, 22 HR, 103 RBI, 104 R, 9 SB
Chase Utley's five home runs in the 2009 World Series to tie Reggie Jackson for the most longballs in a World Series is well known by now, so I'll share some interesting tidbits about the 2008 World Series.
Not only did Utley become the first Phillie to hit a home run in his first World Series at-bat, he became the first player the go yard in the top of the first in Game 1 of the Fall Classic since 1966. Frank Robinson and Brooks Robinson went back-to-back for the Baltimore Orioles in Game 1 of the 1966 World Series.