100 Greatest Phillies

100 Greatest Phillies: 68 – Dick Ruthven

Dick Ruthven
Starting Pitcher
1973-1975, 1978-1983

Career w/Phillies: 1262.2 IP / 78-65 / 3.99 ERA / 717 K

Dick Ruthven is the classic example of a pitcher who gave his team just enough to win. Always sporting good win-loss records, Ruthven was an expert at going six or seven innings, giving up two or three runs per start. Of course, he was also very good at pitching into the ninth inning, doing that countless times during his Phillie career. He had two stints in Philly, first as a rookie having a mixed experience — his ERA hovered at 4.00, but he won very little. He returned in 1978 when the Phils traded Gene Garber to Atlanta for him. While Garber pitched well in Atlanta, Ruthven did a nice job in Philly, winning 61 games in his six seasons during that second stint.

Comment: Ruthven wasn’t a dominant pitcher by any means, but he won a lot of games and provided a stable No. 3 during those great Phillie teams of the Schmidt-Carlton years.



  1. Monktavian

    January 18, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Ruthven was a 17 game winner in the Phillies’ other World Championship year — 1980. This was his best season and what an historic and important time in Philadelphia history to come in as a winner.

  2. Bill Pummell

    January 18, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Ruthven had a key middle-late relief role in that NLCS deciding game, too.

  3. bigbobster

    January 18, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    I remember how valuable Ruthven was in 80 as well, and yes, I think he pitched the last two innings of the 5th game in Houston to get the win. I believe that was the 2nd most exciting championship series in baseball history, behind the Sox beating the Yankees in 04. Because he pitched well when it counted, I believe Ruthven should be ranked a bit higher. Speaking of pitchers, I just read this great story about Jamie Moyer on ESPN. Makes me even happier that they resigned a class act, no matter his age!


    January 18, 2009 at 7:48 pm


  5. Joe O'Phillie

    January 18, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    Now that the Eagles magic is gone, let’s get thtat countdown to Spring Training going. Time for a repeat.

  6. deal

    January 19, 2009 at 11:21 am

    Yep Ruthven definitely was the guy that won the deciding 5th game of the 1980 NLCS.


  7. Bill Pummell

    January 19, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    Thanks, deal, for that link to the game 5 box score. I was looking for that prior to my posting.

    bigbobster, that Moyer link deserves its own thread somewhere at this site. Jamie is the real deal.

  8. KeelerPi

    January 19, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    I loved Ruthven for his pitching and making fun of the size of McCarver’s head in the locker room after winning the World Series

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