100 Greatest Phillies: 58 – Randy Wolf – Phillies Nation
100 Greatest Phillies

100 Greatest Phillies: 58 – Randy Wolf

Randy Wolf
Starting Pitcher

Career w/Phillies: 1175 IP / 69-60 / 4.21 ERA / 971 K

His first and final seasons in Philadelphia weren’t good, but everything in the middle was pretty good. Randy Wolf spent eight seasons with the Phillies, making one All-Star team while establishing himself as one of the team’s best arms since Steve Carlton. His best season was 2002, when he finished 11-9 with a 3.20 ERA. He rushed off to a great start in 2003, making that All-Star team with a 10-4 record. He finished 16-10, struggling at the very end to raise his ERA over 4.00. But injuries derailed Wolf, and he never rebounded as a Phillie. He finally came back to his past self with a strong second half in 2008.

Comment: If not for his many arm injuries, Wolf would’ve probably had a better Phillie career. As it stood, Wolf had a solid run with the Phils, throwing more than 150 innings four of his first six seasons. Of course, it was probably that overuse that did him in.



  1. Griffin

    January 28, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    I’ll always remember Randy Wolf for giving me hope that this organization can actually produce talented players.

    Wolf was a part of some awful teams and some “just missed the playoff” teams, and once he signed with LA, he just missed being on a Phillie playoff team.

  2. Greg V.

    January 28, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    I was thinking Wolf wouldn’t even make the list, because there is no way I’d rank him at high as this! I’m baffled that Thome was where he was on the list. I know he wasn’t on the team that long, but he was one of the best we had! Wolf was alright, but he only looked as good as he did because of who he had pitching along side him! Duckworth, Padilla, Lieber, etc…..I’ll make a prediction that Kevin Millwood takes the 57 slot.

  3. J cole

    January 28, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    It is funny seeing numbers like 150+ innings. It always makes me think back when guys were pitching complete games on a normal basis. how did those guys compare to todays pitchers? Especially with all the new medicine. I am not old enough to even remember much farther back then ’93, but where guys really that overused earlier? Or where the carreers shorter due to that?

  4. Tim Malcolm

    January 28, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    107 / 116 / 121 / 94 / 105 / 100

    Those are OPS+ numbers for Wolf between 2000 and 2005. Not bad by any account. He had the numbers, he had the lengthy career.

  5. mde77

    January 28, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    I thought I saw everything when I saw Jay ‘5th outfielder’ Johnstone at 75. But if Randy Wolf is this high on the Phillies all-time list then… Wow

  6. J cole

    January 28, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    Are you still working on the beer posts by chance? Just curious because I am quite interested in beer, good beer at that…

  7. Justin

    January 28, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    Wonder where Todd Pratt lands on this list…Or even Omar Daal

  8. Tim Malcolm

    January 28, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    J cole: Yes. I was waiting to be finished the Phandom 25, so it’ll start Sunday.

    mde77: I valued production highly, and Johnstone produced, regardless of his role. So did Wolf. Moreover, Phillies history is not stacked with great players. Seriously. There are about 70 really, really bad seasons in the franchise’s history. And that’s actually being generous. Face it: This franchise’s top 100 does not stack up with others’. That said, the top 50 is strong and the top 40 is very strong.

  9. Tim Malcolm

    January 28, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    Ugh. I’m done backing up my list. It’s futile.

  10. Greg V.

    January 28, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    I’m a bartender and a lover of good beer. Here are some recent favs for you J cole.

    Fruli – A beligan made with strawberries.

    Rogue Yellow Snow IPA – A winter brew from Rogue and one of the tastiest IPAs you’ll find. Year round, there’s Longhammer IPA from Red Hook which is also great.

    Obamagong (officially known now as Inaguration Ale ’09) from Ommagong – Brewed to commemorate Barack Obama. I’m not a fan of the politics but this smoked porter with hints of chocolate and cherry is top notch.

    Schlitz – A retro beer that has been relaunched. Some have written books about cheap swill and included Schlitz as a dreaded brew. As a matter of fact, it has a clean and crisp taste with just enough hops. It’s one of the best budget beers aout there and I’d be caught drinking it before Bud and Miller products (though Bud American Ale is quality).

  11. Tim Malcolm

    January 28, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    Obamagang (I thought it was gang) — I had that in Brooklyn last weekend. Fantastic. You’re right on — smoky, dark, hints of cherry. Nothing like sipping it at a wood-and-brick bar under the Brooklyn Bridge.

  12. Greg V.

    January 28, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    It is “gang”. I checked on it myself because I was not 100%.

  13. Jason B.

    January 28, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    Although Wolf did have some solid seasons as a Phil, I must say, to say that he wsa one of the better pitchers we had since Lefty, is to say that the Phillies drafted some garbage in the time in between the two.

  14. Grrrumpy Miner

    January 29, 2009 at 2:20 am

    I still picture Todd Pratt circling the bases and thrashing his arms wildly when he hit that moonshot in the 99 NLDS.To this day,Steve Finley is still standing blank-faced in the Shea centerfield.So glad someone thought of him.

  15. Mike B.

    January 29, 2009 at 3:04 am

    I liked Wolf until 2004. If only he’d told us then of his arm issues, he could’ve had Tommy John then and been back in time for 2005. But the Wolf Pack was always a fun sight.

    Tim, is one of your bigger criteriae (sp?) on this list is “length of a player’s Phillies career”? Because some of the players I’d expect to be higher aren’t (Thome), and then I remember that he had such a short Phillies career compared to his contract. Same with Moyer – short Phillies career.

  16. Chapps

    January 29, 2009 at 6:41 am

    Never really liked Wolf, but that doesn’t change the fact that he had some pretty good years for the Phillies. Besides seeing him here give me hope that my man Von made the top 25!!

  17. Brooks

    January 29, 2009 at 7:09 am

    I remember going to a game after Wolf spent some time on the DL. He was pitching against Roy Oswalt of Houston.
    Watching the radar gun, my friend and I saw Oswalt stay in the low to mid 90’s with his velocity. When Wolf pithced, I saw 83 topping out his fastball, with no location (oh yes, the middle of the plate!). I had to get someone else to verify to me what I saw was correct – no way a pitcher could last with tools that could not be refined enough to capture the outside corners. Wolf did not last long –

    That being said, he probably would not be a bad #5! (if he has worked more on his location)

  18. Bdunf

    January 29, 2009 at 8:58 am

    Where will Shane Rawley fall on this list if Wolf is this high? He was decent, but his last couple of years he never got out of the 5th inning went 3-2 on every hitter, even after getting ahead 0-2. Not agreeing with this pick at all.

    Decent list so far hard to come up with 100 great players for this franchise…….

  19. Jason B.

    January 29, 2009 at 9:05 am

    Thinking a little bit more about Wolf, one memory sticks out the most in my head, does anyone remember this: The Phils were playing up at Shea. Wolf took the subway to the game and apparently met a girl on the train. The next day he was on New York local television making a plea to the masses that he had met this girl, but never got her name or number, asking if anyone knew her, or if she was watching to contact him. I remember thinking, wow, you’re a major leaguer and you need help finding a girl?!? Does anyone else remember that? I forget what year it was.

  20. Woodman

    January 29, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Randy Wolf, the 58th Greatest Phillie? RANDY WOLF? Amazing!

  21. Dan L

    January 29, 2009 at 9:24 am

    I completely remember Randy Wolf’s ineptitude with that whole subway thing. I feel like that story would get an “awww” from some girls. To any guy, however, Jason is right: A major leaguer? Can’t seal the deal? Ridiculous

  22. Griffin

    January 29, 2009 at 9:41 am

    Wow, people hate Randy Wolf for some reason. I guess those Phillies teams were so stacked with All-Stars that Randy gets overshadowed. oh wait…

    As Tim said, the Phillies had some really, really bad teams and a lot of the guys in the top 100 are going to be from the recent teams.

    Yes, Randy Wolf is one of the best Phillies pitchers of all-time (how embarassing). Now, let’s all get over it and move on.

  23. Monktavian

    January 29, 2009 at 9:44 am

    Immature, self-centered, spoiled athlete. Inflated opinion of himself . These are my words and terms of endearment for Randy Wolf. I hope he finds a position with a losing team because that is where he belongs — perhaps the Royals. He did not deserve the Wolf Pack. And he high-tailed it out of Philly at his first opportunity. Good riddance.

  24. Malcolm

    January 29, 2009 at 10:19 am

    I’m in agreement with Griffin. Also, well done as usual, Tim.

  25. Woodman

    January 29, 2009 at 10:32 am

    “Randy Wolf is one of the best Phillies of all-time”….. PLEEEEASE!

  26. Griffin

    January 29, 2009 at 10:38 am

    Woodman, name 15 starting pitchers who had a better Phillies career than Randy Wolf.

    I’m not saying that Wolf is great, I’m saying that the Phillies franchise has a sorry history.

  27. OZ

    January 29, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    not sure if it was true, but for those who remember the “Wolf Pack”, apparently one of those guys’ moms passed away. word on the street was Wolf attended the funeral….

    if that’s the case, that’s a pretty classy move.

    can anyone shed light?

  28. Rote

    January 29, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    how is randy wolf higher ranked than john denny?

  29. Tim Malcolm

    January 29, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    OZ: Actually it was one of the kids in the Wolf Pack. I believe he had cancer or leukemia, something like that. Wolfie visited him in the hospital and presented him with something signed by the team. Then when the kid died he went to the funeral.

  30. J cole

    January 29, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Thank You
    the obamagang is brewed by ommegang (the upstate NY brewery)… a little play on words there…
    Im not a big fruity beer; the frambois and kriek beers are too sweet.
    I wanted to try the obamagang ale though. There are a few places not too far from me that I know picked it up.

  31. deal

    January 29, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    I don’t know if it means anything but Randy Wolf and Brett Myers are each 9 games over .500 as Phillies for their career.

    And Myers got a chance to play on the more recent better teams.

  32. OZ

    January 30, 2009 at 9:12 am

    Tim – thanks for the clarification.

    Everyone else – Happy Friday! Happy F***in’ Friday!

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