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Phillies franchise leaders in batting average


24 April, 1994: Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Jim Eisenreich (8) in the dugout before a game against the San Diego Padres played at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, CA. (John Cordes/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia Phillies began play in 1883, and while our focus at Phillies Nation is typically on the current team, when you discuss the career batting average leaders in franchise history, there’s not too many players that those who follow the team today were alive to see.

According to Baseball Reference, these 10 players have the highest batting averages in Phillies history:

No. 1: Billy Hamilton, .360

A 1961 inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame, Hamilton was one of the earliest stars in Phillies history. After beginning his professional career with the Kansas City Cowboys, Hamilton joined the Phillies in 1890, his age-24 season. In six seasons with the Phillies, Hamilton won two batting titles (1891 & 1893) and posted a .927 OPS.

No. 2: Ed Delahanty, .348

One of the best players in Phillies history, Delahanty played for the franchise across two different stints; 1888-1889 and 1891-1901. “Big Ed” won two batting titles in his career, including when he led the National League with a .410 batting average in 1899 as a member of the Phillies. Delahanty was posthumously inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1945, more than 42 years after he died in about the strangest manner possible.

No. 3: Nap Lajoie, .345

Lajoie would go on to be arguably the greatest player in the history of the Cleveland franchise, but the Hall of Famer began his career with the Phillies in 1896. Lajoie played for the Phillies from 1896 to 1900, and his .345 batting average over that period was sixth in baseball, but second to Delahanty on his own team.

No. 4: Elmer Flick, .338

Like Lajoie, Flick is a Hall of Famer who is most remembered for his time in Cleveland. But that came after early-career stints with both the Phillies and Philadelphia A’s. Flick began his career with the Phillies, playing for the franchise from 1898-1901. During Flick’s four seasons with the Phillies, his .338 batting average was fifth among all players in the league, but also second to Delahanty among Phillies.

No. 5: Sam Thompson, .334

Thompson — and his glorious mustache — joined the Phillies in 1889 after four seasons with the National League’s Detroit Wolverines. Thompson spent a decade with the Phillies, leading the senior circuit in both slugging percentage and RBIs in 1894 and 1895. For a franchise that’s employed quite a few excellent right fielders, Thompson is one of the very best, and has a plaque in Cooperstown to reflect as such.

No. 6: Johnny Moore, .329

One of the more modern players on this list, Moore played for the Phillies from 1934-1937. Moore’s .329 batting average during that four-year span is the same mark that Hall of Famer Luke Appling posted during the period.

No. 7: Chuck Klein, .326

Between 1931 and 1933, Klein finished in second place or higher each year in National League MVP voting, including becoming the first player in franchise history to win the award in 1932. A year later, Klein won the National League triple crown, as he led the league in batting average (.368), home runs (28) and RBIs (120) in 1933. In total, Klein spent parts of 15 seasons with the Phillies over four separate stints. It took Klein until 1980, but he went into the Hall of Fame with a Phillies cap on his plaque.

No. 8: Jim Eisenreich, .324

Between 1993 and 1996, Eisenreich was tied with Kenny Lofton for the fourth best batting average in all of baseball at .324. The only three players above him during his Phillies tenure were three future Hall of Famers, Tony Gwynn, Frank Thomas and Mike Piazza. Eisenreich is the most recent Phillie on this list.

No. 9: Spud Davis, .321

They just don’t make baseball names like they used to. Born as “Virgil,” Spud spent eight seasons with the Phillies across two different stints. Davis peaked with the Phillies at a .349 batting average in 1933.

No. 10: Freddy Leach, .312

Leach spent parts of six seasons with the Phillies between 1923 and 1928. Leach finished runner-up to Paul Waner of the Pittsburgh Pirates for the National League batting title in 1926, when he hit .329 for a Phillies team that finished 58-93-1.

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