The Phillies Nation Top 100 continues today with #59. Our mission is to assess the Top 100 Phillies players of all time using impact to the Phillies, individual achievement, team achievement, traditional stats, and analytics as our criteria. The list was compiled by Ian Riccaboni and Pat Gallen with input from the rest of the Phillies Nation staff.
From this point forward, each weekday, we will reveal two Phillies from the PN Top 100 in separate posts. To view the 2008 iteration of the list of Greatest Phillies of All Time as compiled by Tim Malcolm, please click here.
Please check back tomorrow morning for #58.
#59 – Dick Ruthven
Years: 1973-1975, 1978-1983
78-65, 4.00 ERA, 1.357 WHIP in 1262.2 IP
Previous Rank: 68 (+9)
fWAR Phillies Rank: 17th among pitchers, 57th among Phillies
Signature Moment: Pitching two perfect innings in relief to hold off the Houston Astros in the deciding Game 5 of the 1980 NLCS only four days after starting, and pitching seven innings in, Game 2
In 1973, Ruthven was taken first overall in the January Secondary MLB draft (a draft held from 1965 through 1986 to accommodate college and high school players that graduated in the winter). Ruthven would make his Major League debut just three months later on April 17, earning a no-decision after getting chased in the second inning of an eventual 9-6 win against the Expos.
Ruthven would be packaged with Alan Bannister and Roy Thomas and sent to the Chicago White Sox for a package that included Jim Kaat on December 10, 1975. Less than three years later, Ruthven would be reacquired by the Phillies, who sent Gene Garber to Atlanta to complete the deal. Ruthven returned to Philadelphia a former All-Star and would go 13-5 with a 2.99 ERA to finish the 1978 season for the Phillies.
Ruthven would have arguably the best year of his career in 1980, going 17-10 with a 3.55 ERA in 33 games started. Ruthven would be an unexpected hero in relief for the Phillies in the NLCS, pitching a perfect ninth and tenth to finish the Houston Astros in the deciding Game 5. Ruthven would pitch very well in Game 3 of the World Series, taking a 3-3 stalemate through nine, earning a no decision in the eventual 4-3 loss.