One of the oldest franchises in baseball history, the Philadelphia Phillies started in 1883 as the Philadelphia Quakers. During that time, they have secured seven pennants and won two championships. Certainly, over their 139-year history, they have fielded some of the greatest players to ever play the game. As we continue our All-Time team tournament, we look at the Phillies’ all-time team. Phillies All-Time Team
Phillies All-Time Team
Catcher: Bob Boone (1972-1981)
While Darren Daulton might be the first Phillies catcher to come to mind for many fans, Bob Boone takes the catcher’s spot on the roster. Daulton was the superior offensive player, but Boone’s defense puts him on the team. He’s 17th all-time in defensive WAR with 25.8, just behind Gary Carter and Yadier Molina. Additionally, Boone ranks in the Top 50 in Total Zone Runs.
First Base: Dick Allen (1963-1969)
At first base, the glove doesn’t matter nearly as much. That’s why Dick Allen can take the spot despite being a subpar defender. Allen’s best season was arguably in 1972 with the Chicago White Sox when he was named the AL MVP, but he exceled from the outset in Philadelphia, securing the Rookie of the Year award in 1964. Allen’s stat line in 1966 is particularly impressive. He managed a league-leading OPS of 1.027 while hitting 40 home runs and driving in 110.
Second Base: Chase Utley (2003-2015)
The Phillie with the second highest career WAR is Chase Utley. In fact, he is ninety-ninth in WAR among position players in all of baseball. Utley is among the leaders in nearly every offensive category for the Phillies. The four-time Silver Slugger was a strong defender as well, leading the league in defensive WAR in 2008.
Third Base: Mike Schmidt (1972-1989)
There is a case to be made that Mike Schmidt is the greatest third baseman in baseball history. That case doesn’t need to be made here, only his case for inclusion on the Phillies’ all-time team. The first-ballot Hall of Famer is the team leader in WAR, home runs, runs batted in, total bases, and defensive WAR. Schmidt is a three-time MVP and a no-brainer for the roster.
Shortstop: Jimmy Rollins (2000-2014)
Another MVP gets the shortstop spot on the all-time team. Jimmy Rollins won the award in 2007 as the Phillies made the first of five consecutive playoff appearances. He’s sixth among position players in WAR, and he was a difference maker both offensively and defensively. Rollins made three All-Star appearances and won four Gold Gloves. He is also the Phillies’ leader in career hits.
Left Field: Ed Delahanty (1888-1901)
It’s always difficult to compare players from different eras, but it gets particularly difficult when looking at players who started their careers during the nineteenth century. Ed Delahanty led the league in home runs in 1893 and 1896. He hit 19 and 13 in those years to take the crown. During that four-year peak, he averaged 128 runs batted in and had an OPS+ of 174. In Delahanty’s 13 years in Philadelphia, he amassed 60.9 wins above replacement. In 1945 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Center Field: Richie Ashburn (1948-1959)
Six-time All-Star and Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn gets the nod in centerfield. He’s seventh all-time in WAR for the Phillies with 58.2 over 11 seasons. Ashburn led the National League in singles on four separate occasions and has nearly 300 more singles than any other Phillie. He trails only Rollins and Schmidt in career hits with the franchise.
Right Field: Bobby Abreu (1998-2006)
The three players with the highest career OPS for the Phillies are all right fielders: Bryce Harper, Chuck Klein, and Bobby Abreu. Harper hasn’t spent enough time in Philadelphia to warrant consideration just yet, but Klein and Abreu both are deserving. In nine seasons with the Phillies, Abreu accumulated a WAR of 47.2, while Klein managed 37.1 across three separate stints with the team. Klein has the higher counting stats, thanks in large part to playing six more seasons with the club, but Abreu makes the roster as he did more damage with his bat during a shorter period of time.
Designated Hitter: Ryan Howard (2004-2016)
From 2006-2011, Ryan Howard was one of the most feared hitters in baseball. After winning Rookie of the Year honors in 2005, Howard secured MVP honors in 2006. He would go on to finish fifth, second, and third in subsequent years before finishing tenth in 2010 and 2011. Howard trails only Schmidt in career home runs for the franchise, hitting most in the majors in 2006 and 2008. He’s third in runs batted in for the Phillies, topping the majors in three separate seasons. Sadly, Howard’s decline was steep after injuries.
Starting Pitcher: Steve Carlton (1972-1986)
There are three candidates for the starting pitcher spot, and all are worthy of inclusion. Steve Carlton, Robin Roberts, and Pete Alexander are in the top-five among all Phillies in career WAR. All three are in the Hall of Fame. There isn’t a wrong answer in the group, but Carlton gets the spot as the career leader in wins and strikeouts.
Tug McGraw is the only true reliever coming out of the bullpen. He is the All-Time leader in games finished for the Phillies and high on the saves leaderboard. It’s difficult to leave off players like Jose Mesa, Brad Lidge, and Jonathan Papelbon, but Alexander and Roberts have to make the roster.
Manager: Charlie Manuel (2005-2013)
No other manager has had the success that Charlie Manuel enjoyed during his nine seasons leading the team. He led the team to back-to-back World Series appearances, winning one. The Phillies never had a losing season with him at the helm until his final year. In 2011, Manuel led the team to 102 wins, the third time the club won over 100 games in a year. Manager Danny Ozark led the team to two such seasons in the seventies. Unfortunately, Ozark could never get the Phils through the NLCS, so Manuel gets the nod.
Phillies All-time Team Honorable Mentions
In eleven seasons, Sherry Magee amassed a WAR of 48.2 while playing for the Phillies. If he played other positions, he may have made the cut, but was blocked in left field and at first base. Klein was narrowly left off the roster in right field. Greg Luzinski misses out despite four consecutive All-Star appearances. Lenny Dykstra put up a couple of truly stellar years, but he didn’t perform well enough for long enough to make the cut.
See the All-Time Team Tournament Headquarters here.
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Darren Daulton, Bob Boone, Gary Carter, Yadier Molina, Dick Allen, Chase Utley, Mike Schmidt, Jimmy Rollins, Ed Delahanty, Richie Ashburn, Bryce Harper, Chuck Klein, Bobby Abreu, Ryan Howard, Steve Carlton, Robin Roberts, Pete Alexander, Tug McGraw, Jose Mesa, Brad Lidge, Jonathan Papelbon, Charlie Manuel, Danny Ozark, Sherry Magee, Greg Luzinski, Lenny Dykstra