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100 Greatest Phillies

100 Greatest Phillies: 13 – Billy Hamilton

Billy Hamilton

Career w/Phillies: .360 AVG / 23 HR / 367 RBI / 508 SB

“Sliding Billy” sounds like an appropriate nickname for Billy Hamilton, a thieving outfielder with an elite bat who gave the Phillies six unbelievable seasons in the late 1880s. His biggest claim to fame? The single-season run-scoring record: An unapproachable 192. He came to the Phils after being purchased from the Kansas City Cowboys for close to $6,000 in 1890. He instantly made his mark, stealing 102 bases in 123 games in 1890 while scoring 133 times. He regularly scored over 130 runs per season, while at times ascending far above 50 stolen bases per season. He was a two-time batting champion, a four-time on base champ while a Phillie and a regular walk king. His career .455 on-base mark is fourth all time behind Ted Williams, Babe Ruth and John McGraw. His 912 steals are third best ever behind Rickey Henderson and Lou Brock. Obviously, Billy Hamilton is a legend.

Comment: If Hamilton played his entire career for the red and white, he would’ve been easily a top five player. As it stands, Hamilton’s unreal combination of hitting and running is unmatched in franchise history — he’s a definite baseball legend and one of the great forgotten Phils.

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