The Phillies Nation Top 100 continues today with #70 through #66. 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.
Each weekday, we will reveal five Phillies from the PN Top 100, with longer or more expansive posts dedicated to individuals that are of particular note to Phillies fans or are closer to the top of the list. 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 for #65-61.
#70 – Randy Wolf
69-60, 4.21 ERA, 1.333 WHIP in 1175 IP
Previous Rank: 58 (-12)
fWAR Phillies Rank: 24th among pitchers, 70th among Phillies
Signature Seasons: 3.20 ERA with 1.116 WHIP in 2002, All-Star in 2003
The namesake of the lefty that got the 700 Level to their feet as the infamous Wolf Pack, Wolf had four seasons of double-digit wins and was a large part of the Phillies’ turnaround in the early 2000s. Wolf was a durable workhorse from 1999 through 2004, averaging 28 starts and 144 strikeouts per season.
Wolf ranks 14th in Phillies history in games started, 26th in innings pitched, and seventh among starters in K/9 IP. His time with the Phillies concluded with two seasons where Wolf struggled to stay healthy. Wolf narrowly missed being on the 2007 NL East-winning team but gets credit for being on the staff of the teams that helped turn the fortunes of the Phillies.
#69 – Mickey Doolin
.236/.282/.313, 11 HR, 119 SB
Previous Rank: New to Rankings
fWAR Phillies Rank: 46th among position players, 68th overall
Signature Stats: Led MLB in assists and double-plays turned five times
A defensive wizard from Ashland, PA and an alumnus of Villanova University, Doolin (frequently, interchangeably-spelled Doolan) led the MLB in assists and double plays in five seasons with the Phillies, receiving MVP votes in 1911 and 1913. Doolin ranks third among Phillies’ shortstops in stolen bases and was one of the premier shortstops in the National League in his time with the Phils, a clear step below Honus Wagner and Joe Tinker, but above the rest.
Doolin makes the list based on a few factors, the primary of which are time with the Phillies and defensive consistency. Doolin has the fourth most games and plate appearances at shortstop in Phillies history.
#68 – Clay Dalrymple
.233/.322/.335, 55 HR in 3532 PA
Previous Rank: 86 (+18)
fWAR Phillies Rank: 45th among position players, 67th overall
Signature Stat: 25th all-time in MLB history in caught stealing percentage
Signature Streak: Was one-time National League record holder for most consecutive games at catcher without an error (99)
Signature Moments: Broke up no-hit bid by Juan Marichal in Marichal’s MLB debut in 8th inning
“Dimples” cracks the Top 70 based largely on his defensive successes. Dalrymple was worth 104.8 runs defensively in his career according to FanGraphs, far and away the most in Phillies history for a catcher and ranked no lower than fifth in the NL in caught stealing percentage from 1961 through 1967, including two first-in-the-NL finishes in 1961 and 1967.
Dalrymple was firmly in the second tier of NL catchers in the 60’s in terms of offensive performance but was the premier defensive catcher of his era. According to FanGraphs, Dalrymple provided the most defensive value to his team out of any catcher in the 1960’s, ranks 12th all time in Baseball Reference’s Total Zone Runs measurement for catchers, and 134th of all time among all players in Baseball Reference’s version of Defensive WAR.
#67 – Charlie Ferguson
99-64, 2.67 ERA, 1.120 WHIP in 1514.2 IP
.288/.364/.372, 6 HR, 22 SB in 1078 PA
Previous Rank: New to Rankings
fWAR Phillies Rank: 22nd among pitchers, 66th overall
Signature Season: Had one of the most dominant seasons in the history of Philadelphia baseball in 1886 (30-9, 1.98 ERA, 0.976 WHIP in 395.2 IP)
Signature Game: Pitched a No Hitter on August 29, 1885
Oddball Stat: Once drove in 85 runs in just 264 at-bats (1887)
Ferguson’s story is one of great promise that ended in great tragedy. Ferguson, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, made his debut with the then-Philadelphia Quakers in 1884. Ferguson was one of the early two-way play players and one of the best to be able to do both. Ferguson would put together one of the finest seasons in professional Philadelphia sports in 1886, posting a 30-9 record with a 1.98 ERA and a 0.976 WHIP. Ferguson would also play second base and the outfield, managing to put up one of the great statistical oddities, ever: 85 RBIs in just 264 at-bats in 1887.
Ferguson, who was quickly becoming one of the best players in the young National League, would pass away tragically in 1888 after contracting Typhoid Fever. Ferguson’s career ended just short of 100 wins in four seasons and Ferguson sits at tenth all-time in ERA among qualified Phillies pitchers.
#66 – Tug McGraw
49-37, 3.10 ERA, 1.198 WHIP in 722 IP
Previous Rank: 22 (-44)
fWAR Phillies Rank: 52nd among pitchers, 117th overall
Signature Moment: Closing out the 1980 World Series
Signature Season: Posted a 1.46 ERA in 92.1 IP with 20 saves in 1980
“Ya gotta believe!”
Sure, Tug’s phrase had been coined seven years earlier as a member of the hated Mets and would be played out to the point that it later appear in ads for hot dogs. But the phrase was indicative of McGraw’s infectious energy, his moxy a key ingredient in the Phillies’ first World Series championship.
There may have been some that were better: some would argue that Ryan Madson and Ron Reed were better relievers. There may have been some that had better strikeout rates, like Antonio Bastardo, Ricky Bottalico, and Steve Bedrosian. But for ten seasons, Tug was one of the best relievers in baseball for the Phillies and the man on the mound at the end of the longest drought among professional sports teams at that time, striking out Willie Wilson in Game Six of the 1980 World Series.
In 1980, McGraw, celebrating the World Series win amongst a frenzied crowd at JFK Stadium, uttered a similarly famous quote:
All through baseball history, Philadelphia has had to take a back seat to New York City. Well, New York City can take this world championship and stick it! Cuz we’re number one!
McGraw was inducted to the Phillies Wall of Fame in 1999 and would serve as a roving Spring Training instructor for the club through 2003. McGraw would be diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2003 but was able to close out Veteran’s Stadium, recreating the final out of the 1980 World Series. Tug passed away in 2004. His son, country music superstar Tim, would spread a handful of his ashes on Citizens Bank Park in tribute before Game 3 of the 2008 World Series. The Phillies would win that game 5-4 and the series in five games.
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