|The 1950 National League Champion "Whiz Kid" Phils at Shibe Park, 21st St. and W. Lehigh Ave., North Philadelphia|
30. Jayson Werth (OF, 2007-10)
Jayson Werth left the Phillies somewhat acrimoniously via free agency after the 2010 season to sign with the then-lowly Washington Nationals. Needless to say, he is not the most popular player on the Nats with the South Philly faithful. But this is not a popularity contest. What Jayson Werth was was a great outfielder, an irreplaceable cog in the Phils' batting order protecting Ryan Howard and keeping opposing pitchers honest. Since he left the offense has never been the same. He came to the team in 2007 with little fanfare, having hit just .234 with 7 home runs in 2005 before a wrist injury ended that season and caused him to miss the entire 2006 campaign. In 2007 he flashed his potential, hitting .298 with 8 homers in just 255 at-bats. But it was the next three seasons that Werth finally came into his own and showed steady improvement. In 2008 he hit 24 homers in only 418 at-bats, stole 20 bases, batted .273, and slugged .498 before hitting .444 in the World Series against the Rays. In 2009 he upped his power production, slamming 36 homers, creating 161 runs (98 runs, 99 RBI), and, despite his .268 batting average, had a .373 OBP due to his 91 walks and slugged .506. In 9 postseason games, he hit 5 homers and drove in 10 runs as the team failed to make the World Series for the first time in three years. In 2010, he led the league with 46 doubles, hit 27 homers, produced 164 runs (106 runs, 85 RBI), batted .296 with a .388 OBP and .532 slugging percentage. And GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. just let him go, imagining that Ben Francisco could take over RF in his place ...
29. Darren Daulton (C, 1983, 85-97)
28. Garry Maddox (CF, 1975-86)
|Maddox's 1980 Topps Card|
(from the author's personal collection)
Maddox's nickname, "The Secretary of Defense," coined by columnist Bill Conlin, says all one needs to know. The winner of a Gold Glove in his first 8 seasons for the Phils ('75-'82), Maddox is by far the greatest fielding outfielder I have seen in a Phillies' uniform, patrolling Veterans Stadium's (relatively) vast acres with an equine grace that belied his speed and uncanny ability to get good jumps on balls hit in the allies. And in his early years after being acquired in 1975 from the Giants for my favorite Phillie, Willie Montanez, he could hit too. In 1976, the first of two consecutive 101-win seasons for the Phils, Maddox hit .330. The next year he hit .292 while upping his homer total to 14 and hitting 27 doubles and 10 triples. In each of his first 6 seasons with the club he stole between 22 and 33 bases, finishing his Phillies career with 189. His cumulative batting average in his 12 seasons in South Philly was .284. But it is his defense for which he will be remembered.
27. Del Ennis (LF, 1946-56)
26. Chris Short (SP, 1959-72)
|Short's classic 1967 Topps Card|
(from the author's personal collection)
25. Lenny Dykstra (CF, 1989-96)
|Dykstra watching one of his 2 homers in|
game 4 of the 1993 World Series
Lenny "Nails" Dykstra, in many respects, is a failed human being. But he was a great baseball player. In particular, he was a great big game baseball player, perhaps the greatest clutch hitter I have ever seen in my 50 years of following the game. When the Phils traded for the diminutive (5'10", 160 lbs.) Dykstra, I was overjoyed despite the fact that he had never hit more than 10 home runs or batted higher than .295 in his 4+ seasons with the Mets. I remembered his memorable 1986 postseason, when he hit .300 with 3 homers in 50 at-bats, including 2 in the Mets' victory over the Red Sox in the World Series. Little did I know that he would more than replicate his heroics for the Phillies 7 years later. In his first full season with the Phillies, Nails flirted with the .400 mark for much of the summer before cooling down and ending at "only" .325. He scored 106 runs and led the NL in both hits (192) and OBP (.418). The next two seasons he was limited to only 148 total games due to injuries both self-inflicted (smashing a car on the Main Line while drunk and breaking his collarbone) and in action (broken wrist via a HBP). Yet he hit .297 and .301 those two seasons. Nothing could have predicted his 1993 season, however, one of the greatest ever by a Phillies player. That year he led the league in at-bats (637), runs (143), hits (194), and walks (129). He also hit 44 doubles, 6 triples, a career-high 19 homers, batted .305, and had a career-high .420 OBP. For his efforts he came in second in the league's MVP balloting. But he saved his best, as usual, for the postseason. He batted .280 with 2 homers against the Braves in the NLCS, and .348 with 4 homers and 8 RBIs in the losing effort against the Blue Jays. The diminutive Dykstra never played a playoff series in which he failed to homer. For his career, he played in 32 postseason games, scoring 27 runs, hitting 10 home runs, driving in 19 runs, batting .321, and slugging .661. Unfortunately, injuries plagued Dykstra the remainder of his career, never playing more than 84 games in any of his final 3 seasons.
24. Johnny Callison (RF, 1960-69)
|My 3 Favorite Players after the 1964 All-Star Game:|
Willie Mays, Juan Marichal, and Johnny Callison
|Callison watching his walk-off homer at Shea Stadium|
in the 1964 All-Star Game
23. Ryan Howard (1B, 2004-13)
22. Cole Hamels (SP, 2006-13)
21. Jimmy Rollins (SS, 2000-2013)