100 Greatest Phillies

100 Greatest Phillies: 98 – Ricky Bottalico

Ricky Bottalico
Relief Pitcher
1994-1998, 2001-2002

Career w/Phillies:
370 IP / 15-25 / 3.69 ERA / 361 K / 78 SV

An efficient reliever with a few heralded years as closer, Bottalico remains a true depiction of the mid 1990s Phillies — nothing great, somewhat forgettable, but in time, fun to remember. He recorded 34 saves in consecutive seasons, with his best moment coming in that first 34-save campaign, 1996. In that year’s All-Star Game, played at Veterans Stadium, he represented the Phillies with a fantastic 1-2-3 inning. After a poor 1998, the Phillies traded him and Garrett Stephenson to Saint Louis for Ron Gant, Cliff Politte and Jeff Brantley (advantage Phils). Two poor seasons in Saint Louis and Kansas City brought him back to Philly, where he played Jose Mesa’s lead setup man to much success, before dropping off in 2002. Today, you can see the Connecticut native on “Phillies Postgame Live” with fellow 1990s closer, Mitch Williams.

Comment: I remember getting mad at Ricky Bo a few times during his Phillies career, but you can’t deny his stuff. Two good seasons as closer wouldn’t have placed him on the list, but his successful stint as setup man on the strong 2001 team secured his place.

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