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100 Greatest Phillies

100 Greatest Phillies: 39 – Mike Lieberthal

Mike Lieberthal

Career w/Phillies: .274 AVG / 149 HR / 609 RBI / 8 SB

The Phillies all-time leader in catching, Mike Lieberthal was a mainstay for the franchise in the final years of Veterans Stadium. A two-time All-Star and once Gold Glove winner, Lieby had a few very good seasons behind the plate, displaying equal parts power and contact while supplying sufficient defense. His most powerful season came in 1999, when he hit 31 home runs, drove in 96 and hit .300 en route to an All-Star berth. Then he hit .313 for the 2003 Phillies, showcasing a fine eye during that campaign. Most of his seasons were plagued by injury, as he suffered numerous bouts with his knee, but he still finished as the franchise’s all time catching leader in home runs, runs batted in and games played.

Comment: Most of us younger fans can divide our Phillie-following days into two distinct eras: The Daulton era and the Lieberthal era. Lieby caught some bad teams, but he had a little success toward the end of his Phillie career. He remains one of the franchise’s greatest backstops, and to me, deserved a spot in the top 40, just like Daulton and the third great Phillie catcher, Bob Boone.

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