100 Greatest Phillies: 98 – Ricky Bottalico – Phillies Nation
100 Greatest Phillies

100 Greatest Phillies: 98 – Ricky Bottalico

Ricky Bottalico
Relief Pitcher
1994-1998, 2001-2002

Career w/Phillies:
370 IP / 15-25 / 3.69 ERA / 361 K / 78 SV

An efficient reliever with a few heralded years as closer, Bottalico remains a true depiction of the mid 1990s Phillies — nothing great, somewhat forgettable, but in time, fun to remember. He recorded 34 saves in consecutive seasons, with his best moment coming in that first 34-save campaign, 1996. In that year’s All-Star Game, played at Veterans Stadium, he represented the Phillies with a fantastic 1-2-3 inning. After a poor 1998, the Phillies traded him and Garrett Stephenson to Saint Louis for Ron Gant, Cliff Politte and Jeff Brantley (advantage Phils). Two poor seasons in Saint Louis and Kansas City brought him back to Philly, where he played Jose Mesa’s lead setup man to much success, before dropping off in 2002. Today, you can see the Connecticut native on “Phillies Postgame Live” with fellow 1990s closer, Mitch Williams.

Comment: I remember getting mad at Ricky Bo a few times during his Phillies career, but you can’t deny his stuff. Two good seasons as closer wouldn’t have placed him on the list, but his successful stint as setup man on the strong 2001 team secured his place.



  1. KM

    December 19, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    Can’t really argue with this one, he had some solid years in the 90s.

  2. Bruce

    December 19, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    Lerch and Bottalico in the “100 Greatest Phillies” list? These are GREAT players?? Well..to each his own. It will be interesting to see the rest of the list.

  3. Tim Malcolm

    December 19, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Bruce, remember, this isn’t your greatest franchise in sports. Ha. As you’ll see, there were some very lean years between the very early days (1900 or so) and the Whiz Kids.

  4. Seltzerdog

    December 19, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    And don’t forget his work as a commentator for the inaugural season of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs! “F’geddaboutit!”

  5. Jason

    December 19, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    Tim, love the site, love this concept, but —

    If Ricky Bo makes this list, then theyre better damn well be guys like Mickey Morandini and Terry Mulholland in the top 50.

    And JC Romero should be next.

    I remember being petrified that he was coming IN to the game, not worried about getting the ball to him.

    Guess that also means Jose Mesa is on this list. And that Billy Wagner will rank really high.

    Wonder how high one season of Lidge will be.

  6. Jason B

    December 19, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    Well, If Ricky Bo made the top 100 phillies, I should easily make the top 50. Lerch and Botallico shouldn’t make any top list. The Phils really are that historically bad of a franchise. I suppose Shane Rowley will make the list as well. Gosh, what drech.

  7. Woodman

    December 19, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Lerch & Bottalico ?!?!?? AMAZING!

  8. MA Phanatic

    December 19, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    Seriously? You guys are arguing the #100 and #98 on the list? I hate to see what happens when the top 10 roll around.

    Keep the list rolling Tim

  9. RealMetsFan

    December 19, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    This from an outsiders point of view. Since I’m not that old, I really don’t know the Phillies history, but on a modern point of view as the greatest phillies, in my oppinion they are Mke Schmidt, Greg Luzinski , Bob Boone, Larry Bowa ,Steve Carlton, Garry Maddox Tug McGraw (really a Met), Pete Rose (he was a Phillie for 5 years), Von Hayes, Lenny Dykstra(played more years with Phillies than th Mets), Curt Schilling ,and others more modern. This are the players people outside pf Philadelpia think of when you mention the Phillies. Just thought I’d share this.

  10. Don M

    December 19, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Mr Met beats his wife

  11. Fran

    December 19, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    I still have a VCR of the 1996 All star game where Ricky host the show. Its a great film

  12. Tim Malcolm

    December 19, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    You guys are ridiculous. Bottalico had four very good seasons with the Phils. Morandini? Two good seasons of like nine. Well at least you guys are debating it.

  13. Chris

    December 19, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    Have to say that Ricky Bo throwing at Bonds after he stole a base in a blowout to pad his 40-40 stats was an enjoyable memory for me.

  14. Jim

    December 19, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    I like this pick. Ricky Bo def can get in the 90’s but no higher. I am anxious to see the rest of this list. It’s also a countdown to opening day!

    SO far thelist is all pitchers, were due for an old hitter next. Probably someone from the early days? Gavvy Cravvath, Sherry Magee, l efty odoul, cy williams? All great choices, however each of these could be in the tp 50

  15. MDefl

    December 19, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    OK, I will give you Bo but Randy Lerch? No way.

  16. Woodman

    December 19, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    Who’s #97? Let me guess…. LOWELL PALMER?

  17. john of Albuquerque

    December 19, 2008 at 6:10 pm

    Tim, I really enjoy this series on the Top 100. You make good points. It would be impossible to find three people to agree until you get to the Top 10. Keep up the good work.

  18. metsblow4show

    December 19, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    My first encounter with Ricky Bottalico was at a Reading Phillies game back in 1994. I took my daughter and my nephew to the game and before the start of the game, I was talking to Mike Gomez, who was a reserve infielder for the Reading Phils. Mike’s father and I worked together. Well Ricky Bo was warming up in the bullben and when he was done his session came walking by us as a bunch of fans were hollaring for the ball he had been warming up with. My nephew who was only about 4 at the time was standing at the fence just staring out at the field in amazement. Ricky Bo ignored the much older fans hollaring for the ball and walked over and handed the ball to my nephew and gave him a head rub. Ricky began to walk away and I asked Mike if Ricky could sign the ball and he said sure. He called Ricky back over, he autographed the ball and to this day, my nephew still talks about that moment and has the ball on a shelf in his room. Good Dude !

  19. metsblow4show

    December 19, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    Hey Tim, don’t “dis” Mickey Morandini. LOL I think he belongs somewhere on this list. He had more then 2 good years here. He was a guy who made himself a good player and had quite a few solid seasons here and turned himself into a very good defensive second basemen. His uniform was never clean, my kinda player. He was a fan favorite.

  20. Matt Kwasiborski

    December 19, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    Jeff Parret’s stock keeps rising. He lead us in wins in 1987 or 1988 I think!

  21. Greg V.

    December 19, 2008 at 11:53 pm

    I love Ricky Bo, but I’m not sure he makes the top 100. However, I have not even tried to make a top 100 yet so maybe it’s harder than I thought.

  22. jh

    December 20, 2008 at 12:20 am

    tim, you are digging really deep to fill out your list

  23. KM

    December 20, 2008 at 1:32 am

    Number 20 is Danny Tartabull.

  24. christopher

    December 21, 2008 at 3:54 am

    morandini absolutely belongs on the list. his triple in game 6 of the NLCS is still the greatest moment i’ve had the pleasure of being at a phillies game live for. i’ve got no problems with the picks so far, but if you seriously think that lerch is more deserving than morandini tim, you’re nuts. you essentially put lerch on due to his homers clinching the division. morandini was a crucial member to a team that went to the series, and was instrumental in clinching the NLCS. he is also one of the best defensive players in phillies history.

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