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The Phillies Nation Top 100: #30 Greg Luzinski

The Phillies Nation Top 100 continues today with #30. 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 this afternoon for #29.

#30 – Greg Luzinski

Years: 1970-1980

.281/.363/.489, 223 HR, 29 SB in 5321 PA

Previous Rank: 17 (-13)

fWAR Phillies Rank: 23rd among position players, 31st among Phillies

Four-Straight All-Star Appearances (1975-1978), Four Top-10 MVP Voting Finishes

Led the NL in RBI in 1975

“The Bull” was a 6’1″ right-handed, Chicagoan bruiser that mashed and crushed his way into the hearts of Phillies’ fans everywhere for parts of eleven seasons. After being drafted as the eleventh overall pick in the 1968 draft, Luzinski quickly reached the Majors at age 19 in 1970 and was the Phillies regular left fielder by 1972. The powerful outfielder would be one of the largest contributors of the dramatic turnaround seen under manager Danny Ozark in the early and mid 1970s.

Luzinski would have one of his finest seasons in 1975, the first year the Phillies were over .500 since 1967. The Bull hit .300/.394/.540 with 34 HR and a league-leading 120 RBIs, finishing second to Joe Morgan in the NL MVP voting in that season who had a pretty out-of-this-world season himself. Luzinski would go on to have one of the finest four-year, offensive stretches in Phillies history from 1975 through 1978, hitting .295/.386/.535 with 129 HR.  Luzinski would finish second in NL MVP voting again in 1978, this time to George Foster.

Luzinski was an unquestioned offensive juggernaut, also coming up big in all four NL Championship Series he was with the Phillies for, hitting .310/.375/.690 in 64 NLCS PA with five homers. Luzinski would hit the go-ahead, and eventual game-winning, homer in the first inning of Game 1 of the 1977 NLDS, and the go-ahead, and eventual game-winning, homer in Game 1 of the 1980 NLCS against Ken Forsch of the Houston Astros. Luzinski would not register a hit in the 1980 World Series but was one of the few players who had any sort of offensive success in the Phillies four attempts to get to the Fall Classic.

As great as Luzinski was offensively, Luzinski had his warts. According to FanGraphs, Luzinski cost the Phillies 145.9 runs in his eleven seasons in Philadelphia, about 10 wins worth and struck out 20.6% of the time. That never kept Luzinski’s bat out of the line-up, though: Luzinski ranks sixth in Phillies history in homers, 25th in runs, 11th in RBIs, and 20th in slugging. Luzinski ranks seventh among NL left fielders from 1970 through 1980 in fWAR, fourth in homers, eighth in runs, second in RBIs, 24th in average, 13th in OBP, and sixth in SLG.

These days, the affable Bull can be found on summer nights at Citizens Bank Park supporting his restaurant, Bull’s BBQ. As good as a hitter Bull was, his pulled pork sandwich is equally awesome.

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