100 Greatest Phillies

100 Greatest Phillies: 87 – Tony Taylor

Tony Taylor
Infielder
1960-1971, 1974-1976

Career w/Phillies: .260 AVG / 51 HR / 461 RBI / 169 SB

For 15 seasons, Taylor suited up for the Phils. He wore pinstripes and powder blues. Amassing 100 hits 10 times as a Phillie, Taylor finished his career with 1,511 hits for the home team. However, Taylor only reached .280 three times in his Phillie career. A noted base stealer, he stole 20 or more bases four times as a Phil, and also hit his share of doubles and triples. The regular second baseman during the 1960s, Taylor left for Detroit, before returning in 1974 as a utility man.

Comment: A lot like Granny Hamner, Taylor was a mediocre-hitting middle infielder who seems to get a lot of respected love today. He played for a couple lousy teams in the 1960s at a bunch of different positions. A fixture in Phillie lore.

19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Bill Moraca

    December 30, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Near the end of his first stint with the Phillies there was a Tony Taylor night to recognize this much-loved player. I remember that he was the first player I ever saw who prayed before each at bat, presumably that he would not be injured. I read somewhere else — maybe a Tim McCarver book, that Tony Taylor was very good at stealing the other team’s signs — Gene Mauch would have loved that.

  2. Robert K.

    December 30, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    I had him on my list, not based on statistics, but on how he was loved by the city of Philadelphia. This was my dad’s favorite Phillie when he was growing up. I believe he is also in the Phillie Wall of Fame. I’m glad you added him to the list.

  3. Justin

    December 30, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    I will always have good memories of Tony Taylor. He’s one of my dads favorite all time players I don’t know the significance but he has all of his cards ever produced. And he’s still a very nice man in the times I was able to meet him.

  4. Gregger

    December 30, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    A true warrior. Came to play everyday and always produced consistently. Tony Taylor was a model player that I grew up watching and a great addition to the list.

  5. john of Albuquerque

    December 30, 2008 at 8:12 pm

    Second basemen were NOT offensive giants during the 50’s and 60’s. For example, Hall of Famer Bill Mazerowski was only a career 260 hitter and the Yankees Bobby Richardson was similar. Tony Taylor played on some of the worst teams in baseball history. He was once the only player on the Phils who could have started for most other teams in baseball. He played hard and smart and I am glad he made the list. In the 1970’s and 80’s, second basemen regained their swagger at the plate with players like Ryne Sandberg, Lew Whitaker, Bobby Gritch, Joe Morgan, etc. Congrats to Tony Taylor for making this list. Good choice

  6. Bruce

    December 30, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    Excellent choice and should be ranked higher. A solid and dependable player, Taylor holds the record having played in 1,003 games for the Phillies at second base, and his six steals of home, ranks him second on the Phillies’ all-time list.

    Taylor was very good defensively. I remember watching a game that was telecast in black and white only on Father’s day in 1964 with my dad. Tony Taylor made the defensive play that saved Jim Bunning’s perfect game against the lowly Mets. What memories. In 1970, he hit a career-high .301 average with 26 doubles, nine triples and nine homers.

    Following his retirement as a player, Taylor coached for the Phillies (1st base coach)and Marlins. One of the most popular Phillies ever, he was inducted (as one poster here mentioned) into the Philadelphia Baseball Wall of Fame in 2002.

  7. Matt

    December 31, 2008 at 12:57 am

    Without knowing the whole list, Taylor’s ranking seems low given his ranking on several all-time Phillies lists, including 10th all-time in hits, as well as leading many of the second base stats (at least for now).

  8. Tim Malcolm

    December 31, 2008 at 1:52 am

    I clearly understand the thinking that he belongs higher up. His character and solid defense might warrant him even a top 50 ranking. And to be honest, Taylor was one of the few players I really had trouble ranking.

    If I had to rank them over I might move Taylor up a bit, but not too much. But playing the most games and being a top 10 hit guy because he played 15 seasons as a Phillie doesn’t make him a solid choice. If, let’s say, Rollins plays 15 seasons as a Phillie, he might have about 2,300 hits (and I’m being cautious). That puts him first on the all-time list. Shoot, he’ll pass Taylor by June, and in 400 fewer games. And both players are great defensively, etc.

    So yeah. Maybe I’d move him up a bit, and maybe I underrated him. But still.

  9. Ntech2k

    December 31, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    On June 14, 1964, at newly-opened Shea Stadium in NY, in the first game of a doubleheader, Taylor made a late-inning flying stop of what looked like a sure single by a Mets hitter, to save Jim Bunning’s perfect game (and my once-in-a-lifetime chance to actually be present at one!).

    Taylor was a dependable infield mainstay of the early 60s Phils … did a great job in getting the team as close as it got to the top in 64

  10. phils 50+

    January 2, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    I have no problem with the ranking of TT. I watched him as a kid and recall how he morphed into a beloved pinch hitter the second go around with the Phils. We used to imitate him crossing himself before he stepped into the batter’s box.

    Here’s a little bit of trivia. TT wore #8 and then wore #12 when he returned. He would get huge ovations in the early 70’s each time he was announced as a pinch hitter. And he was also a mentor for Willie the Phillie. Is Guillermo (Willie)Montanez on this list of 100? I was at Tony Taylor Night and every fan received a coin with Tony on it.

    This list brings back fond memories.

  11. Pete

    February 24, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Tony Taylor is the greatest Phillie of alltime, not because of his numbers but because of the person he is. He was a Latin player loved by all.

  12. Pete P.

    August 21, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Can anybody remember what number Tony wore during his Phillie heydays? He was always one of my favorite players because of how he played the game.

  13. andre

    September 2, 2009 at 6:10 am

    I met Tony Taylor at a Tim Horton”s in Brossard, Montreal, in the mid 90″s when he was the infield coach for the Florida Marlin”s,…..perhaps the year the marlins won the world series…..class act, really, gave me tickets to an Expo vs. Marlins game at the Big “o”

  14. andre

    September 2, 2009 at 6:11 am

    P.S.: #9

  15. andre

    September 16, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    sorry…it was # 87

  16. Ruth B

    October 12, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    I saw Tony taylor play for the detroit tigers. He was an exciting player and a nice man

  17. Bob Callahan

    November 2, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    Tony was the Cubs second baseman, playing next to Ernie Banks at short, when I first started follwing baseball in Chicago. He played, and apparently prayed, hard. I agree with all the Phillie fans here that he was a fine ballplayer who brought enthusiam and joy to the game.

  18. Ken Parlier

    November 22, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Tony is debatively the Phils most consistant defensive second baseman ever,deserving I believe a slightly higher rating then #87.
    I vividly recall hearing the news that the Phillies had traded Don Cardwell and Ed bouchee to the Cubs for Tony, and then watching him make his Phillie debue that same evening as his first game was broadcasted on TV.
    I remember that big #8 on the back of his uniform,the manner in which his hat always appeared to sit perfectly atop his head,his making of the sign of the cross with each at bat,and his quick bat.A good solid player who brought a certain,though unselfish flare to the 1960 Phillies,and
    a valuable Phillie throughout his career.One of the real good guys in baseball during the 1960’s and 1970’s,and one of my favorite Phillies
    of my youth.

  19. J. Bricklin

    July 22, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    He was my favorite baseball player when I was very young. He must be a very special fielder since, I thought, since a Taylor-made double play was named after him.

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