Rooting for the Name on the Back of the Jersey – Phillies Nation

Rooting for the Name on the Back of the Jersey

I can’t say this is always true, but I’d wager that most baseball fans, whether they’re five years old or 55 years old, have a favorite player.

How one comes to choose a favorite player has always been a source of great interest to me. Is it pure skill? Is it leadership? Charisma? Being a good person? Everyone picks a favorite player using different criteria.

I was six years old in 1993, and in my first season following baseball, I was mesmerized by Lenny Dykstra. He was ungainly and disgusting (Andy Van Slyke once famously said of Dykstra that you could get cancer playing the outfield next to him), but during that 1993 season he could do no wrong. He led the league in hits, runs, walks, and plate appearances, finishing second in the MVP voting to Barry Bonds. Not only was he the best player on my favorite team, he always got dirty and had cool nicknames (“Nails” and “Dude”). I wore my Dykstra jersey through second and third grade until it was threadbare. Without Nails, the Phillies didn’t tick.

I heard similar things about people picking Chase Utley as a favorite player when I asked on Twitter and Facebook the other day. He’s the best player on the team, he’s the heart and soul of the team, and as such he is worthy of our admiration.

One friend of mine cited Jayson Werth’s good-natured, fun-loving attitude and all-around skill as a reason she picked him as her favorite player. Another friend of mine picked Werth, knowing nothing about baseball, because he looked, much to the friend’s amusement, like a guy who’d roofie your girlfriend at a party.

My dad grew up a Mets fan in North Jersey in the 1960s and used to tell me about Tommie Agee and Ron Swoboda growing up, though he never did tell me why he liked them.

Another friend of mine grew up a Pirates fan and loved Sid Bream as a kid, because they shared a uniform number and the distinction of being the slowest players in their respective leagues.

Of course, these preferences change over time. When Dykstra left, I became a Scott Rolen fan, and when he left, I developed my long-term man-crush on the player I currently call my favorite: Jimmy Rollins.

By the sabermetric methods I purport to hold so dear, Rollins is extremely overrated. He doesn’t walk enough, doesn’t get on base enough, and while he’s a great defensive player, he’s not quite as good as everyone says. According to VORP and WAR and OPS+ and the rest of the alphabet, his 2007 MVP award should have gone to Matt Holliday, or David Wright, or even his double-play partner Utley. Instead, J-Roll got it for reaching a couple arbitrary milestones (30-30 and 20-20-20-20) and by giving the Mets some of the best blackboard material in recent memory, then backing it up on the field.

Sure, I love the way he fields his position, that he’s one of the best basestealers of my lifetime, and the power he squeezes out of his 5-foot-8 frame. But the real reason I love Jimmy Rollins is because he started a war of the words that would eventually enrapture Carlos Beltran, Cole Hamels, Johan Santana and the entire Mets and Phillies fan bases. I love him because he’s the last link to a time when this team was truly terrible. I love him because he’s the informal captain of one of the most likeable teams this city’s ever seen. I love the bowling tournaments, the Red Bull stunt, and that stupid video he made about trying to teach Mike Lieberthal to dance.

With the team in third place and Chase Utley’s thumb hanging on by a few shreds of cartilage, we need a distraction. So I pose the question to the readership: who’s your favorite player? How’d you choose?



  1. JoefromCamden

    July 2, 2010 at 7:37 am

    Victorino – love the way he plays with grit, interacts with the fans, and his fun-loving side. He’s not Pete Rose by any means, but I think of Rose when I see the way he hustles. Same attitude.

  2. mattjg

    July 2, 2010 at 7:47 am

    Cole Hamels – He’s not what he was in ’08 (ok, he is, I just didn’t understand how absurdly lucky he was that year) but when he’s on he still looks like he has the stuff to throw a no-hitter. I think part of me roots for him because other Phillies fans like to claim he lacks heart or can’t pitch in a big game based on his looks/personality and a small sample of games from 2009 (how quickly they forget 2008). It’s the same reason I love Andy Reid and (used to love) Donovan McNabb.

  3. Bre

    July 2, 2010 at 7:47 am

    Joe Blanton! I love our power hitters, don’t get me wrong, but I’m always impressed with pitchers and their ability to set the rhythm of the game. When I first started paying attention to Blanton as one of our pitchers, I liked him because he was strong, steady, dependable…. and OK I think he’s adorable. But seriously, he’s been one of our most consistent pitchers… and I can’t say I minded that home run one bit! I also always felt like our flashier pitchers were going out there and getting all eyes on them – but there was Joe Blanton, not minding the fact that he wasn’t getting all the media and all the hype, slowly and consistently pitching solid games. I know he’s struggled getting back into it this year, but I think he’s getting there… working out the kinks.

  4. Brian Sr. of CO

    July 2, 2010 at 7:47 am

    Honestly I would say that is a difficult question for me. This team is VASTLY different of the teams when I was growing up. As I was growing up Mike Schmidt was my idle. He was, and honestly still is my favorite Phillie of all time. From the current team though, the entire team is FULL of character, and class. I can go to almost each (maybe a few I dont have much to say) of the players on the team and explain why I enjoy watching them, and consider them a favorite player. All in all I would have to say I have probably 8 or 9 favorite players. 🙂

    For instance J-Roll is among my favorite players for a similar reason as stated by Michael. Same goes with Utley and Howard. Home Grown, life long Phillies. Remains to be seen if these player will stay and retire a Phillie like Mike Schmidt did, however in this Free Agency happy time of players hopping from team to team not caring at all about the team, the city, or the fans, players who start and stay with a team for that long earns respect from me. I sincerely hope that Ruiz stays that way as well. Nothing against other players, because I always love watching the Flyin Hawaiin, but its just one of those things!

    Also something special with Jamie Moyer. Sure he is 47, last year was forgettable, this season has been unreal so far (hopefully it stays). Either was something about a player who grew up in the Philly area, went to college in Philadelphia, grew up a Phillies fan, was at the 1980 Parade as a fan, and ends up in Philly. I guess if I was in his shoes which I know I never will be, and I had to play in several other cities, I would want nothing more, then to end my career in the city I love, playing for the team I love, grew up idolizing and spending countless hours watching, regardless of if the team was good or bad.

  5. Wis

    July 2, 2010 at 7:49 am

    Werth: because of his facial hair and he looks like the guy whos packin pills at the party. kidding…

    His overall posture. The guy has really shown he will not give up, which is a trait I see in all the philies of these last few years, cept a few (I still can’t get over hammels’ comments he made last year). pussy.

    I am amazed how all of these guys get up the next day and just go out to win, and I see that in Werth not matter how many or who they lost to the night before. You will see it today Watch these guys kill the pirates tonight 13-2.

  6. Micheal Deff

    July 2, 2010 at 7:51 am

    Grew up a Schmidt fan,
    moved on to Juan Samuel,
    then Bobby Abreu
    and now its Jason (hitting .190 with RISP) Werth.

  7. Micheal Deff

    July 2, 2010 at 7:51 am

    Yikes make that Jayson Werth

  8. Wis

    July 2, 2010 at 7:51 am

    no offense bre, but you clearly are watching a different game. blanton consistant?

  9. Seth

    July 2, 2010 at 8:12 am

    Current favorite player, Shane Victorino. He is one of those guys that is not just there because he’s good at what he does. He’s there because he loves to play the game and have fun. It shows everytime he’s on the field. Yeah, his hitting is not always consistent, but when he’s on, he is ON. He is a tremendous outfielder, and always seems to give 110%. That’s what makes him not only a great baseball player, but a great role model for kids growing up loving the game of baseball.

    I’m 22 years old and growing up playing baseball, my favorite player used to be the Krukster. There was just something about his raw hitting ability, the batting stance, and his attitude. Yeah, he wasn’t the greatest, but he finished a career .300 hitter and at the time was my idol. Now that he’s moved on to working for ESPN, I realize that I was justified to have him as a role model and my favorite player. Not only does he know the game of baseball, but you can see he still enjoys watching the game and has one hell of a sense of humor.

    Thanks for the intriguing story Michael. It helped me reflect on my early years of being a Phillies fan. It’s been a rough year, no doubt. Injuries can ruin anyones season and it just seems like we’ve had some really bad luck this season. Hopefully Utley, Polanco, Chooch, and Happ can come back from their injuries and we can get back on track. In the meantime, keep the stories coming on your favorite player. It’s cool to see who everyone idolizes and loves paying just a little bit more attention to then others. Thanks for all of your work guys. This site is great.

  10. Ed R.

    July 2, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Was Burrell now its Chooch.

  11. Wis

    July 2, 2010 at 9:05 am

    i love this blog. most others on the phills pretty much stink. just had to say that.

  12. PizzaBagel

    July 2, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Was Kruk, then Scott Rolen, and is now Raul Ibanez. Aaaaand here come the Raul Haters.

  13. RugbyAnderson

    July 2, 2010 at 9:51 am

    I immediately knew I liked Victorino the first time I saw him. I always like to think that the players still have fun playing the game, and most of the time (when he’s not getting thrown out of the game from center field) he has a huge smile on his face. It’s the same reason I like Jimmy, they both seem to have fun playing.

  14. NickFromGermantown

    July 2, 2010 at 9:51 am

    For many of the reasons that was said in the original post, Rollins is my favorite Phillie of all-time. If I had to rank the team, it would go something like this:

    – Rollins (Unquestionable leadership, confidence, longevity, and skill. He has a great, fun-loving personality and isn’t afraid to speak up. Oh, and he married a Mt. Airy girl who went to school in Germantown at Germantown Friends School.)

    – Utley (Aside from being our best player, I appreciate his cool demeanor and personality. He never shows anyone up or showboats at all, which I think is an awesome quality in an athlete.)

    – Ruiz (I think he is the most underrated Phillie right now. He may not have the most perfect bat, but he’s clutch, especially in the postseason. His work behind the plate is masterful.)

    – Victorino (Great personality and his speed and fielding add dimensions to the team that are crucial.)

    – Halladay (Similar to Utley, but he’s too new to put higher than this I think.)

    – Werth (Just fun to watch when he’s doing well. I know I said I hated showboating, but I loved how he slammed down his bat after that one HR last year. To me, that signals how excited he was, unlike Howard who always seems to have this “look at me” attitude.)

    – Lopes (An underrated coach and the driving force behind the Phillies’ great base-running before this year. I suppose it’s kind of a geeky pick, but who cares? I’m glad he is the one manning the first base coach position.)

    – Manuel (He managed us to a championship and survived the media gauntlet here. Those are more than enough reasons to like him.)

    I would have put Scott Eyre on here, but he decided to retire. Oh well. Domonic Brown is going to be fun to watch. More so though I can’t wait to root for Jesse Biddle, who is another Mt. Airy and Germantown Friends School product. There are some interesting omissions on here for sure such as:

    – Howard (I swore I would never criticize him again after the playoffs last year, but I can’t help myself after he took that contract. We continue to treat him like it’s still 2006 and it’s always seemed like he’s been all about the money. Easy for me to say, but I really hope that his contract does not cripple this club’s ability to be competitive in the future.)

    – Hamels (I really want to like him, but I hate the whole “Hollywood Hamels” thing and how he throws tantrums, especially on the mound.)

    – Ibanez (I don’t think you can hate Raul, but his biggest problem is that you have to hate his contract. I like him, but I hate his contract, specifically because has implications for both Werth and Domonic Brown.)

    – Cheeseburger Joe (I like him, but I don’t like his contract, so I am indifferent overall. Overall, I’d like him a lot more if he was supposed to be our #4 had we kept Cliff Lee.)

    – Moyer (I am indifferent to him as well. I like his story a lot and seemingly endless perseverance, but I really hate how he threw that temper tantrum last year when being put in the ‘pen as he deserved to be.)

    – Romero (PED fiasco)

    – Amaro (Even though he is a fellow Penn Charter product – I was only there through 8th grade though – and I like his story, but he is badly mismanaging this team and it is too much to overlook.)

  15. ashmidt

    July 2, 2010 at 10:36 am

    since being a true phillies fan from 1964, richie allen maybe the best hitter in my lifetime. dreon johnson, the bull, schmitty, and the tugger from the 70s. pete rose was awesome, juan samuel was a great talent, then it was dutch the dude and krukker, but my favorite player from 93 was dave hollins. then it was scott rolen and curt schilling. this phillies team may be the best of my lifetime, and i love all of them but my favorite is chase utley, that is one cool dude.

  16. Brooks

    July 2, 2010 at 10:38 am

    My favorite growing up in Baltimore was Brooks Robinson followed by Frank Robinson for different reasons. Brooks was definitely a farm boy, a homer. No way he even resembled a baseball player. Frank because of his toughness and raw ability.

    With the Phils I’d have to say the Big Piece. Of course the accolades early on about his talents and God given abilities but he has a respect for his parents (do you recall the interview with his mother? Ryan hands over – or maybe that is past tense his paycheck to his mom who then gives Ryan an allowance..), the game, his coach. I just like the guy personally and wish that he would mature as a baseball player, relax, take what is given to him instead of taking the entirety on his shoulders.

    Regardless of his contract haters, without Ryan Howard, there would be no NL pennants in Philadelphia and there will not be if he moves on. This is our guy.

  17. Bob in Bucks

    July 2, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Placido Polanco – Actually this is for my son (who is 26). We loved Polanco the first-time around. We wanted to keep him at third base then (not sure he would have gone for it) which made the David Bell experience even more painful.

    Polanco just does everything right. He adjusts to the situation – he can drive the ball, he can bunt, he can hit to the opposite side of the infield to advance, while not fast he runs the bases well and he is just smart. Great fielder, never showboats but who has the best BA and OB% on the team?

    Sure we like Utley but I noticed the lack of PP support. He may not be the RBI machine but we miss him more than we know.

    By the way, I “like” Victorino but I can’t love him. He is fast but has to be the worst baserunner I have ever seen. He forgets the situation and therefore does not react well. While he is fast in the OF his routes are horrible making easy catches look spectacular. All in all he is a good player but has great flaws.

  18. Barb

    July 2, 2010 at 10:45 am

    This is a great entry for what ails us today. It reminds us all why we love this game and why we love our favorites. It’s a spirit lifter. I wrote a similiar entry in my blog on MLblogs. My favs throughout the years have been Tommy Huttion, Shake and Bake McBride, Greg Luzinski ( he still gives me chills when I see him at CBP), John Kruk, and Pat Burrell. Now, it’s Jayson Werth. Why? He’s such a fascinating player to watch. He’s unorthodox. He’s always looking around at his surroundings. He has great body language and he’s a powerhouse who goes out every game and gives his best effort even if he gets defeated or depleted. He’s also has a raw, sexy air about him. It’s intoxicating!

  19. Scotch Man

    July 2, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Jamie Moyer. He is the ultimate student and the ultimate teacher of the game of baesball. I remember when we first traded for him and I was really not impressed. Sure, he was from the area but he had shown all these signs of being a burn out. All of a sudden he finds new life in Philadelphia and starts pitching really well down the stretch. In ’07 and ’08 while he produced mixed results, he still pitched clutch in important games (the ’07 clincher still stands out). ’09 was a bad year but not without moments such as win 250 and the famous Pedro/Moyer rain delay game, which may go down as one of my all time favorites. This year, I consider him the team’s best story. Sidelined with injuries and surgeries that I thought would lead to his retirement. He comes back better than ever and has pitched some truly remarkable games. He’s proven to be a guy you can’t give up on. It’s always fun to watch him teaching a class in the dugout too with the likes of Halladay and Hamels listening.

  20. ashmidt

    July 2, 2010 at 10:47 am

    i forgot to mention willie the phillie montanez, we got the best of the trade in garry maddox, but willie was really fun to watch, the all time hot dog.

  21. Phillygirl17

    July 2, 2010 at 10:52 am

    I grew up watching, and being bored with baseball. I have so many memories of sitting in the 700 and reading books (my mom would give them to me to read during the games so my parents and brothers could enjoy the game in peace). Around ’93 I started paying better attention, before they made it to the postseason. I enjoyed the game, but didn’t really like any of the players. That team taught me that baseball players were primarily old fat guys.

    Then ’96 happened. I went to a double header in the beginning of August with my family and they introduced their new 3B. My love of Scott Rolen started that day and started a loyalty to the team, and player, that I’ve never known. I loved how young and fit he was (I was a 14 year-old girl, what can I say.) As the years went by, I loved watching him make impossible throws, laying out and playing with all that he was. I was also the first to tell my friends that he wanted out and that he was going to be traded before the deadline.

    Over the next few years, I continued to watch this team with passion, and I was just waiting for a player that plays with abandon, passion and desire. In 2005, I looked at my dad and told him that Chase Utley is going to be one of the biggest stars this city has ever seen. He didn’t believe me, especially since he was yo-yoing for the two seasons before. By the end of the season, he agreed. Chase Utley plays in a way that can’t be taught. He is so disciplined that you know when he messes up, he will beat himself up worse than anyone else will. He wants to win and seems to truly enjoy Philly. As much as I like other players, loosing him is one of the worst things that could happen.

  22. Stuart

    July 2, 2010 at 11:02 am

    Nick from Germantown I am assuming you are from Germantown Penn? Just asking because I too am from Germantown but of NY.

    And I also agree with you with everything you said about the players and the order. It is hard to pick a favorite but I guess if I had to pick J-Roll would be my favorite then Utley and Victorino tied for second.

  23. NickFromGermantown

    July 2, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Don’t get me wrong, I like Polanco and I am glad that we have him. I just feel like most people haven’t warmed up to him again mainly due to his inconsistent playing time.

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  25. NickFromGermantown

    July 2, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Stuart, I am from the Germantown neighborhood in Philadelphia. I didn’t know New York had a place called Germantown, but it’s not very surprising obviously.

  26. Phan in the outfield

    July 2, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Hey, thanks for distracting us Mike. This was a really great idea. It’s been fun to read everyone’s reasons for different players.

    I grew up in the midwest; summers of heavy humidity and tornado alerts. We’d get up at the crack of dawn on weekends to do hrs of yard work so we’d be ready for games by afternoon. I’ve always hated getting up early & I still do. Makes me laugh b/c they’d send our huge German shepherd barreling up the stairs to wake me (nobody else wanted the job). If we were lucky – the Phillies were on. When I was little, I mean small, I loved Mike Schmidt. I don’t really have a solid memory of why except I guess my dad liked him & he probably seemed like he saved the day w/a wonderful play or a big hit. Pete Rose was fun in the 80’s & I knew him from the Reds. I remember him as an “all out” player. He had a fiendishness in his eyes.

    On my own, as an adult, I can’t help myself from reading at least in some small way measuring our players on character and the way they conduct themselves. Some of this might come from the fact that I live in nyc & I dislike the ny teams & their players SO much. Admittedly I’m not rational. And b/c of friends I’ve made, I’ve also spent time in Boston & have an active dislike of their teams too. So I’ve almost measured our guys against the way their players have talked and acted both on and off the field.

    Almost to a man, I like them a lot. They seem like good guys.

    I enjoy Jamie Moyer’s never-say-die attitude in the face of literally the world calling him “old” and telling him to hang it up. That takes faith & a confidence & a knowledge of self that I can’t say I’ve seen much under any circumstances. He’s a testament to hard work, endurance & belief in yourself.

    Chase Utley has a quiet self-confidence that seems to not waver. He has a great work ethic and he’s a man of few words. These things are all so incredibly underrated in this world. Just shut up, play the game, and do your job. That’s a completely admirable way in which to conduct yourself.

    And finally I’m a Jayson Werth fan. He and Chutley are buds & there’s a reason for it. He doesn’t talk a lot. When he does he says exactly what he wants to say and not one syllable more, to the point of hilarity. The press can’t make him say one thing he doesn’t mean. Having worked w/the press for my job I can say that’s not an easy thing for even the smartest people to do. He just knows himself. On the surface he should’ve had everything going for him if only by way of DNA. Instead his trip has not been easy. He’s worked hard & continues to. A number of trades, a bad injury that he didn’t cause, dumped by a team & their doctors that couldn’t fix or even diagnose the injury correctly would’ve made a lot of guys give up. But through his own tenacity he found a doctor, got the problem fixed, did therapy & came back. He also talked Uncle Charlie into letting him prove he should be full time. He’s also made no bones about his love of, and loyalty to the team, the city & the fans that gave him the 2nd chance to play baseball.

    He’s also just an honestly great player (when he has confidence in, and trusts himself). A thing of beauty running the bases, diving for a catch, or – best of all – gunning a runner down at 3rd all the way from RF. Laugh if you will but THAT can bring tears to my eyes.

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  28. mikemike

    July 2, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    phan next time write a book, omg love mets players jones. just love the mets and atlanta chipper jones is my favorite, two top teams have more titles and championship in shorter time then stinking phillies. david wright is terrific, reyes is the best shortstop, wagner is the top reliever in nl east. nice guy too, phillies dont have those types of guys.

  29. Blaise

    July 2, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Brad Lidge – Once he was traded to Philadelphia, he was already one of my favorite players (I love closers, Brian Wilson is my favorite non-Phillie). His 2008 season sealed the deal. Also, he had one of the best beards in the clubhouse, besides Eric Bruntlett of course and has one of the best sliders I have ever seen (I doesn’t slide, it breaks…).

    He’s the greatest closer in the history of sports! What’s not to like?

  30. ashmidt

    July 2, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    hey mike mike, you got to be kidding , billy wagner is a nice guy too, we phillie fans know that man is a rat and a loser, he cost us the playoffs in 06.

  31. SteveJeltz

    July 2, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    #1 Donald “Richie” Ashburn. Classy, fun, underrated superstar. The voice I grew up loving. And we share a birthday – 3/19.

    HK – If this man had a uniform number, we’d all be wearing it. We miss you, Harry.

    #30 – “The Jet”, Larry Steven Jeltz. France’s Second Greatest Player. Doesn’t say much. Finally lost his starting SS job to Dickie Thon, after the life-threatening and near career-ending eye beaning. But man-o-man, did he have just one great game in his career – one that even Eric Bruntlett can’t boast, that finally involved a long walk home back to Pittsburgh.

    #50 – The Ageless Wonder, Jamie Moyer. Please, dear Lord, let this man pitch until his years reach his uniform number and by so twist of fate, run support, and the at-’em ball, he reaches 300 and sticks his tongue at Cooperstown.

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  34. Matt

    July 2, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    As an Indiana kid, John Kruk was the reason I became a Phillies fan at the age of 6 or so. He was my favorite player, then it became Rolen, who was another Indiana boy, like me. I loved Aaron Rowand during his time here, because of the (sometimes stupid) fearless way he played that outfield. These days, it’s definitely Chase. He just plays the game the right way, does the little things. He’s got such a sweet swing and plays underrated defense at 2nd. Of course, the Phillies teams we’ve had for the last few seasons, I’ve loved just about everyone on the teams with a few exceptions (cough cough Adam Eaton cough cough). I’ve been a big fan of Cole too since he got called up. 2008 was amazing, and I’ve never been one of the people who trashed him for all of 2009. He gets a lot of crap that he doesn’t deserve, but I just like watching him pitch. When he’s on, he’s damn good.

    We’ve been witnessing something special with Phillies baseball the last few years. Hopefully, it continues for a long time.

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  36. Manny

    July 2, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    I was a big Pat the Bat fan… when he left, I immediately rooted for Rauuul… I think my favorite one RIGHT NOW is Chooch the Panamanian! CHOOOOOOOOCH!

  37. shag beta sigma delta

    July 2, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    This is tough one for me following the Phillies since the early 70’s Larry Bowa was my favorite, mostly because I played SS and I just like the way he choked way up on the bat. I am a non conformist, my favorite players are hardly ever the best players on the team, cause I figure everyone else likes those guys, maybe it is just the underdog mentality in me. I was a big fan of Willy Montenez(sp), and my favorite pitcher was Randy Leach from back then, mostly cause he hit two HR in one game.
    This current team it is hard, cause I really like Chase, JRoll, and Howard but if I had to choose Chooch, and I like Cole

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  39. Brooks

    July 2, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Shags – funny you should mention Larry Bowa. My Ex father in-law and I used to call him “Mary” because of his mouth, it seemed he complained and whined all the time. I felt that way until watching a game vs Montreal, Gene Mauch was the coach of the Expos – it was a Sunday afternoon game, the year after Larry hit .305 and he struggled to maintain a .250 average the entire year. Well, Mauch intentionally walked whoever it was to get to Larry and Larry obliged, hitting a weak grounder to end the inning. The next time at bat, same situation. The batter before Larry was walked intentionally, loading the bases for what I suppose Mauch thought an easy out. Whitey commented and said, “If Larry could hit to ball over there to right center, it would go a long way…” Next pitch smack, exactly wherer Whitey pointed out! When Larry slid into third with a bases clearing triple, he popped out of his slide and just as he came to his feet his he put his left hand inside his right elbow and gestured to the to the Expos dugout.

    That play, changed my entire thought process on Bowa. He lost his femininity there and became a man, the man and my favorite Phillie.

  40. ashmidt

    July 2, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    brooks, i remember that day too, you remember the previous ab, and whiteys recall isnt that good. that was classic bowa. what you might not know though is that gene mauch really liked bowa, when they had an expansion draft in 69, each team could protect 15 players on thier roster, and the phillies protected bowa because they knew that mauch would take him if they didnt. imo mauch was the best mgr in phillies history.

  41. cheryl

    July 2, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Man, Barb..were you reading my mind??!! I didn’t think anyone would mention Tommy Hutton in the same breath as Jayson Werth..Cool!
    Growing up I was a big George Brett fan, no love for Michael Jack..but moved to the Philly area and started rooting for Hutton & Co.
    After the 2 strikes, I stopped following baseball for awhile but slowly went back..Started watching Jayson and just enjoyed his enthusiasm for the game and how he played the game.
    I hope the Phillies come up with the $$ to keep him here in Philly or I just may go back to giving up baseball.

    Love ya J-Dub

  42. NickFromGermantown

    July 2, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Okay, everyone is entitled to an opinion, but there are two things here I do not undestand:

    – Lidge is the best closer ever (Mariano Rivera? Maybe the best relief pitcher ever??? Depending on what numbers you go by, he may be the best pitcher ever.)

    – Gene Mauch is the best Phillies manager ever (Phold of ’64, can anything be worse than that? Running Bunning and Short into the ground was near-criminal…)

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  45. ashmidt

    July 2, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    hey nick, theres no way phillies are even close without the little generals leadership, i would place pat moran 2nd, with cholly moving on up.

  46. VT Phan

    July 2, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    By nature I am indifferent to baseball, but I’ve become a Phillies fan by marriage. I heckled my husband throughout the the 2008 World Series but made sure there was a rally towel in his Christmas stocking. Last fall I resigned myself to another World Series and amused myself for the first game by coming up with a ‘playlist’ on my computer – pairing players that caught my attention with songs.

    By the second game I was paying attention and asking a LOT of questions.

    By the third game I was the one waving the rally towel.

    At the point when I dropped the f-bomb when the Yankees got ahead, my husband looked over, “I knew we’d make Phillies fan out of you.”

    Utley is my favorite player. He epitomizes the phrase “still waters run deep” – he lets his game speak for him, I respect that.

    I’m also a fan of Valdez this year, he may not be consistent but when he comes to bat I dare to hope.

  47. Papa Thompson

    July 2, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    I can’t believe that, other than the author, no one has mentioned Dykstra. He definitely was my favorite during the years he played in Philly — hands down. Other favorites through the years are Pete Rose, Bo Diaz, Shane Ralwey, Dennis Cook, Curt Schilling and Mike Lieberthal. Then there’s J-Roll and Chase.

  48. NickFromGermantown

    July 2, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    ashmidt, maybe it’s just my dad talking, but by every account that I have heard his panic caused us to lose a shot at the World Series. I honestly don’t know enough about the team, the season, and the era though. While managers can sometimes get too much credit for a team’s achievements or failures, I think him consolidating the rotation at such a time was a really bad choice.

    Papa Thompson, I think the original post meant who is your favorite Phillie now, not necessarily of all-time. Anyway, Lenny Dykstra is a crook and he appears to cheat at almost everything he does. It’s really a shame.

  49. Michael Baumann

    July 2, 2010 at 4:13 pm


    That was the original question, but I’ve been enjoying the stories from previous eras (Bowa retired before I was born, so I’d never heard about his triple against the Expos).
    Let’s open it up–favorite Phillies of all time? Any good stories about childhood heroes, even if they played for different teams?

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  52. The Original Chuck P

    July 2, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    The ladies miss Pat Burrell’s sweet ass in left field…

    It’s interesting to see so many different responses here.

    I love almost everyone on this current team but Jimmy’s my favorite… uber talented, smooth, energetic, a little bit cocky and full of spirit. It wasn’t an easy decision for me (as these players started comint into their own) but my son, who is 6, made the decision a little easier… he became fond of Jimmy early on so I thought that it would be cool if Dad’s favorite player was his favorite player, too. I’ve been slowly introducing him to the legendary Phillies (Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Charlie Hayes… kidding) and I look forward to doing more of that as he gets older. Baseball is such a great sport… whether we’re in first or third, there is nothing better than a day at the ballpark.

  53. scranton

    July 2, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Growing up in Scranton, I had the opportunity to watch most of these players as a AAA red baron, one step before the bigs. At that level it is easy to meet the players after the game or at the baseball camps they used to hold. This only improved my admiration for some of these guys even more. I am only 18, so I dont have the memories some of you have, but in my lifetime I have two clear cut favorite players, Mike Lieberthal and Chase Utley. I like Chase for the exact reason he is now on the dl. His hustle. He does not settle for anything. It is clear that winning is his first priority. Anyone who can play the game at his level while remaining humble is an easy choice as my favorite.

  54. ChuckS

    July 2, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    I’m only 25, but I can remember nothing but being a phillies fan. Over all the years the list of my favorites have only been added too. I love the game of baseball and I would love to have the talent to play pros, but alas I don’t. I like to think if I had the talent, I would be like Chase Utley. Hardworking, dedicated, humble, intense, a team player, and a leader. That’s why Chase is my favorite player.

    (and the dropping the F bomb on live TV doesn’t hurt)

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  57. Andrew from Waldorf

    July 2, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    1980- Bob walk and Schmidt and the Maddux
    1993- Milt Thompson
    2008- Carlos Ruiz

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  61. Marley

    July 3, 2010 at 2:06 am

    Jamie Moyer for all the obvious reasons.

  62. Adrian

    July 3, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    It’s so interesting you point all those things out about J-Roll, Michael, because I just blogged about him myself. As a leadoff hitter, in today’s stats that matter, Rollins in vastly overrated.

    That being said, my favorite player over the last few years has always been Chase Utley. I just love his approach to the game. He’s not all about the spotlight and showing off. He shows up every day and gives 100 percent, regardless of how he’s feeling. If his doctors and coaches allowed it, he’d probably still be out on the field, gripping the bat with one hand and delivering ground balls to first base with his glove.

    At the plate, he’s got one of the most fluid swings in the game, and he’s always doing everything he can to get on base. His career OBP of .380 is tops in the lineup, and his .898 career OPS is second only to Ryan Howard. He hits for average and power, and if he’s on first base, you can be sure he’ll score on a double. He’s the complete package a fully deserving of being called the best second baseman in baseall. Whether or not he’s your favorite, we’re all going to miss his presence terribly over the next two months. As he’s proven to us multiple times in the past, though, he’ll be back in that lineup as soon as is medically possible. No one rehabs faster than him, which further shows his passion and commitment for the team.

    Truth be told, Utley is not my favorite player in the game right now. That label belongs to Joe Mauer. He also brings that whole package I explained earlier, and he does it all while crouching behind that plate every night for nine innings, handling the Twins pitching staff and commanding the defense. I will always have a soft spot for catchers. Darren Daulton was my favorite player when I started following baseball regularly in 1993 (before he went off the deep end), Mike Lieberthal took his place in the late 1990s, and my wife was a catcher in softball for eight years. I’m just drawn to backstops because it’s absolutely amazing what they put their bodies through. When they can hit on top of all that, it’s icing on the cake.

  63. SandPhlea

    July 4, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Jimmy Rollins. As a female Phillies fan, I have that beautiful picture from the Philadelphia Magazine cover on my fridge. But he is beautiful because of the way he plays the game, delivers in the clutchest of times (L.A. DOUBLE!!!! WE WIN!!!! I thought I was gonna die right there in the stands) and keeps the team loose. My favorite image of all time is when he and Charlie drape together over the dugout rail, laughing. What an odd couple, love ’em both. I also agree with Adrian – catchers rock and Carlos Ruiz is my second favorite of the current Phillies. The team misses him and so do I. In the past I was a fan of Manny Trillo, Juan Samuel, Garry Maddox. All very graceful players.
    I have to say Joe Blanton cracks me up. Don’t you laugh every time you see that bland innocent look on his face? And I’m a rare Lidge fan. Heart attack time, just like Tugger used to do. Everyone is redeemable. He’ll be back.

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