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100 Greatest Phillies: 17 – Greg Luzinski

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Tue, March 10, 2009 04:00 PM | Comments: 37
100 Greatest Phillies, Posts

Greg Luzinski
Outfielder
1970-1980

Career w/Phillies: .280 AVG / 223 HR / 811 RBI / 29 SB

“The Bull” was a state of being as much as it was a nickname. Greg Luzinski, a hulking, brutish man of 225 pounds, was one of the most feared sluggers in Phillies history. Drafted by the Phils in the first round in 1968, Luzinski made his mark at age 21, in 1972. Playing a full season in the outfield, Luzinski hit 18 home runs, and just as impressive, recorded a .281 average. That would be the hallmark of Luzinski’s splendid career: While his power ballooned, his average remained solid. His best hitting season was 1977, when he hit .309 with 39 home runs and 130 runs batted in. He finished second in National League MVP voting to George Foster and his 52 homers. Luzinski also had a fantastic 1975 season, hitting 34 bombs, driving in 120 and hitting .300. Again he finished second in MVP voting, this time to Joe Morgan (.327, 67 SB). The Bull would have a few more great offensive seasons until 1980, when injuries derailed him to a tune of 19 HR, 56 RBI, .228 AVG. Breaking the hearts of Phillie fans after the ’80 world championship, Luzinski was allowed free agency and signed with the White Sox. He returned to form there, hitting 84 homers primarily as the team’s designated hitter. Despite his final seasons in Chicago, Luzinski is forever a Phillie. His No. 19, mutton chops, chubby face and nice demeanor lives on at Bull’s BBQ at Citizens Bank Park.

Comment: The four-time All-Star was one of the top sluggers of the 1970s, but never reached the star power of the Fosters, Stargells and Schmidts of the world. Still, The Bull was a great home run hitter, and an imposing presence on the list. The man just ahead of him … very, very slightly better.

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About Tim Malcolm

Tim Malcolm has written 1947 articles on Phillies Nation.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 Matt Kwasiborski

    No way a better all around player than Rollins. He was Burrell before Burrell was Burrell.

     
  • Posts: 53 R.C. Cowie

    Avatar of R.C. Cowie

    I don’t see where it says he is better than Rollins. Tim stated previously he used the OPS+, the formula comparing stats of players across generations, as a major factor to the list. And in doing so, The Bulls OPS+ numbers are greater than Rollins. also, you must factor the Bulls Phillies tenure as well. While some of these players may have been better, or even their mythologies boosted as perceived better, statistics don’t lie. And, if they didn’t matter they wouldn’t be the determining factor of the Hall of Fame. If all that “heart, hustle, leadership” stuff mattered, then I’m looking forward to Jason Varitek and Ryan Freel’s induction speeches.

     
  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    This person has no idea what he is doing. Better then Rollins. You are nuts. Yes, Greg the juicer was a powerful steroid hitter but lets get real. Tim retire and start watching tennis.

     
  • Posts: 0 Dave H

    See I think Tim messed up here too, but in a totally different way then everybody else. I can’t believe the Bull is only 17th. It is hard for me to believe that there are 16 Phillies greater than the Bull. I thought he was an easy top 10. I had him at 7.

     
  • Posts: 0 Jim

    The bull was awesome.

    This man… this titan… hit the liberty bell in veterans stadium. just think about that

     
  • Posts: 0 Jeltzismyhombre

    Luzinski was a solid player, but contributed zero on defense. Luzinski had better contact, Burrell had better discipline, Ennis had more longevity at his level of greatness. Luzinski for his career compares with Tim Salmon or Kent Hrbek. A solid hitter in the lineup, but no MVP. And he was a great Phillie. He and Schmidt could be a solid 3-4 for any team.

    Dick Allen was better than all these guys. Really, a 156 lifetime OPS is just incredible. And then there is our lacksidasical friend, Bobby, he of the lifetime .300 BA and .400 OBP. in his 8.5 seasons as a Phillie, which will probably go down as the peak of his career.

    I think Tim pegged Luzinski just about right considering where he ranks among his position mates as a 1B / Corner Outfielder. And service time in a Phillies uniform counts. So, below Del Ennis, Abreu, Allen, and the hall-of-famers, but above Burrell.

    I’m curious about the Top 10. We really have some greatness in our 125+ years as a club. Even if you have to go back 100 years to enjoy them.

     
  • Posts: 0 Jason B.

    THe Turkey legs that he brought on board at Bulls BBQ were a major contributor to my expnding waistline and my shrinking economy. Hell of a ball player, hell of a BBQ master.

     
  • Posts: 0 Matt

    For all you guys complaining, why don’t you make your own list if this one is so bad? Seriously, Jeff, what was the point of that comment? Making stupid comments like that is only taking away time from you slobbing on David Wright’s knob and rubbing one out to your Jose Reyes poster.

    I, for one, really appreciate Tim working so hard on this site. I check it several times a day, and I’ve learned a lot from it, especially this list of the 100 greatest Phillies. I’ve learned a lot about Phillies that I wasn’t around to see play, and even a lot about guys who I have seen.

     
  • Posts: 0 Jeltzismyhombre

    I bet you Cy Williams comes up in the next 3 places on Tim’s list.

     
  • Posts: 0 Joe O'Phillie

    I had him in my top 10. I’ll be interested to see who is ahead of him.

    Bull’s BBQ totally rocks!

     
  • Posts: 0 Tom G

    As good as he was as a player, the BULL was, nay…IS an even greater person…He was always voluntering his time to youth baseball and other causes…in the Medford/South Jersey area…
    The line-up that included Manny Trillo and Bull had two of the nicest pro athletes ever…we were lucky to have the player and the man…still love to replay the ‘it’s outttaaa heeerrree…in my minds eye, over and over again…

     
  • Posts: 0 Gregger

    Some of you guys need to relax and stop thinking you’re so smart and Tim knows nothing. He obviously knows what he’s talking about and this is just one man’s educated opinion. The Bull and J-Roll are both great phils and could go either way. Just sayin… Great list so far. But more importantly, can’t wait for opening day and a hopefully amazing season of defending the title. Almost here.

     
  • Posts: 0 James Kay

    The Bull hit the Liberty Bell at Veterans Stadium on May 16, 1972. I recall hearing the radio broadcast of that 500′ clanger in the car. It was hit off the Cubs Burt “Happy” Hooten who may have tossed him one of his notorious knuckle curves that didn’t break.

    Luzinski was my favorite offensive Phillie from the late seventies. His OPS+ numbers from most of those years are explosive. I always liked him better than Schmidt. He is also one of the alltime ugliest Phillies. I wonder what type of groupies he attracted in his prime? # 17 is a solid spot for the Bull.

     
  • Posts: 0 Jason B.

    The Bulls groupies probably had mutton chops too. Ugh, what an ugly thought.

     
  • Posts: 0 Tyler

    Gregger, I couldn’t have said it better. This is Tim’s opinion. Whether or not you agree, who cares? It is an opinion, which is debatable, yes, but it can’t be right or wrong. So get off of Tim’s back and enjoy reading about the greatest Phils ever.

     
  • Posts: 0 Greg V.

    Greg Luzinski is among the best of all time in my opinion. Great hitter and a damn nice guy. Had the pleasure of meeting him and getting his autograph at the BBQ stand at CBP. Very much an old school baseball personality.

     
  • Posts: 0 GreysFan

    I don’t know how to decide who belongs at any given spot on a list like this, but I do want to say a few words about The Bull. Sure, he was a lousy outfielder and his production dropped off way too quickly at least in part, I would guess, because of his weight, but but for 5-6 years he was an extraordinary force in the middle of the Phils batting order. We think of him as a big, lunky power guy, but he had a very compact swing that gave him great consistency as a hitter. Right up until almost the end of the decade, he, not Schmitty, was clearly the hitting star of the team.

     
  • Posts: 0 Matt Kwasiborski

    I love this site actually and I think this Top 100 is awesome list. However, we are allowed to disagree with Tim on this. And most people who are criticizing strongly are just doing it for affect and Tim knows that.

    I can’t wait to see where Jeff Parret, the best middle reliever in the majors from 1986-1988 lands. He was awesome!

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Fantasy Question for you guys..

    We just started a KEEPER-League last year.. how should the draft picks for the following year be determined?

    Every other league I’ve heard of based it on the Regular Season final standings, but if you finish last, you get the #1 pick next year, if you finish first (you win money of course) but you get the #10 and #11 picks the following season..

    But that would make people want to finish dead last, if they weren’t going to make the playoffs.

    So im just wondering how anyone else has done it in the past.. any input would be a huge help, thanks!

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck P

    Everyone needs to chill… it’s a great list. Maybe the placement doesn’t make sense to you but it does to Tim and it’s his list. So sit back, reflect on the tradition of Phillies baseball and enjoy, because in 25 days our Phillies begin their title defense.

     
  • Posts: 0 Mr. Phil

    First off, Tim’s list creates interest, debate, and disagreements. My personal top ten went out the window quite a few players ago (Tug was on it). It’s Tim’s list and although I don’t agree with some of his slotting; I think intangibles count greatly, pro and con, I look forward to seeing who’s next.

    Luzinski was indeed an offensive force to be reckoned with. He didn’t strike out a lot for a big guy, and he delivered key hits. My dad, the most knowledgeable baseball guy I knew, saw Luzinski as the key in the lineup, even more than the Phillies all time best, Mike Schmidt. It’s nice to read that he’s a good guy from posters that have met him. I see him at Bull’s BBQ and whenever I eat there he signs my ticket. Without Tim’s research, many of us would probably have forgotten that he indeed played for the White Sox. I know I forgot that fact, and I pride myself as a Phillie encyclopedia from the 60′s to the present.

    Back to intangibles, Abreu will be listed very high (obviously at this point), but his stats are really empty in my opinion. The Phils turned a corner once he was “traded” to the Yankees. The Angels can have him this year… Although I will admit, I was as proud as any other diehard when he won that HR Derby contest in the All Star Game, the highlight of Abreu’s career. Needless to say, that highlight was another meaningless stat.

     
  • Posts: 0 Tim Malcolm

    Don: My league suggested a lottery for the non-playoff teams. The original idea was each team would be given a WBC team, and the team that won gets that team first pick.

    When we realized the WBC ended way too close to the season, we decided to draw from a hat (but weighing the picks so the worst team had the most chances to win it). NBA style, basically.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chuck P

    http://www.worldbaseballclassic.com

    To all of the World Baseball Classic haters… check out the highlights from the 11th inning comeback and upset by the Dutch team (beating Goliath, the Dominican Republic). Pay attention to the Netherlands bench after they score their first run (to tie the game)… you’re not going to see that in a spring training game, that’s for sure.

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Yea we weren’t sure what to do, realizing that people would tank on purpose to either win the #1 pick, or have the best chance to win the #1 pick in a lottery..

    we were thinking of a “losers” bracket, the winner of that wins the #1 pick

    The overall winner of the league wins the money..

    10 team league.. top 6 make playoffs, top 2 get first-round-bye.
    Team #5 and Team #6 lose in the first round, they move to the losers bracket as the top teams (Teams #1, #2, #3, and #4 battling for the money and championship)

    Teams #5 and #6 get a Bye.. (#7 plays #10), (#8 plays #9).. while the playoffs are going on .. I guess we would need to start the playoffs one week sooner to add that second week of LOSER-BRACKET-BYES. but its a way to make sure every team tries to win until the entire season is over..

    Sorry for those who don’t want to read this.. just looking for opinions from other baseball fans.

    Thanks

     
  • Posts: 0 Memphis

    I think he was much better than Burrell. For one, Pat never threatened to win an MVP, c’mon. I have no problem with him being in the Top 20-25. Might be a tad high, but Dick Allen and Bobby Abreu are coming soon, and they aren’t that much different. They *should* be coming soon, though I would not put Abreu this high. Really, this is where some of the current guys should be Rollins, Utley, Howard…

     
  • Posts: 53 R.C. Cowie

    Avatar of R.C. Cowie

    We do the NBA style in our keeper league. The guy who had the most losses never received the number one pick in all 5 years we’ve been doing it. So, we believe it to be fair.

     
  • Posts: 0 Jason B.

    I signed up for the league via email. I never got any info on how to join, is it starting?

     
  • [...] Flashback to one of the ‘Greatest Phillies’: Luzinski. [Phillies Nation] [...]

     
  • Posts: 0 Jim

    It may surprise most people to find out that from 1972-1978, it was luzinski, not schmidt, who lead the team in home runs

     
  • Posts: 0 Bruce

    I too look forward to Tim’s listing of “greatest…” with interest each day. Of course it’s subjective in how each feels (including Tim) about the individual rankings. The fact that Tim’s apparent reliance on OPS as a statistical factor for players of past decades that he has never seen played (Rose, Maddox, Boone, Bowa, Samuel, McGraw, etc.) alone implies subjectivity on his choices. BTW, Rob Cowie, while statistics helps, it does NOT necessarily gives a COMPLETE picture. So I don’t take the rankings so seriously as some here seems to be. I personally take it as entertaining and informative about the player’s history (Tim’s opinions aside). I stopped posting criticisms of his rankings and just enjoy and appreciate the time and effort of Tim’s research. Just think, how many who are in charge of a blogging site on the internet are willing to do that for the devoted readers?

     
  • Posts: 0 BurrGundy

    Luzinski is high on the list because of his special barbecue sauce. The organization pays him richly to provide ribs to the fans.

     
  • Posts: 0 Tim Malcolm

    Again, to reiterate, it’s not all stats I use to determine this list. And it’s OPS+ that I use as my main statistical qualifier. (I really take everything I can, stats and non-stats, into consideration.) Also, as I wrote before, anytime one person writes a list ranking things, it’s automatically subjectivity implied.

     
  • Posts: 0 Dan L

    I think you have a great mind for baseball, Tim.

    However, for some people to just sit back and write something along the lines of “Tim you’re doing a super job! Will you be my friend?”
    is a nice sentiment, but it’s utterly ridiculous–even un-philadelphian if all of us should have such a sentiment.

    (true philly fans criticize/question at least one free-agent signing by age 3..its been proven through science and math and junk)

    Criticism and debate is exactly what “100 greatest…” lists are about. Usually a barstool-setting is involved with copious amounts of liquor (and i think some on this site fulfill the latter of that). However, technology has allowed the drunken-bar argument to find it’s way here on the internet.

    While some people might go over the top with their criticism (and there definitely are some who do that), there are also people who post such mindlessly boring comments that go wayyyyy over the top in the way they kiss Tim’s ass. Stop the ad-nausea ass-kissing unless it is some how new, fresh, or relevant to conversation. thank you.

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Dan L. and Tim.. will you guys be my friends?

    … Dan, I hear what you’re saying.. but that is what you get on the internet.. Have you ever read any of the post-comment sections on ESPN or CNNSI.com ?? Its so extreme, either bashing the writer, or trying to be his/her biggest supporter that its not even worth reading.

    I think this site has a very solid amount of quality input from the readers/posters.. and Tim & Crew do a great job of policing the topics, and steering conversations in different directions. I’ve disagreed with LOTS of his top 100 picks so far, but the fact that he went throught the trouble of doing all the research has helped me catch up on my Phillies history..

    some people don’t want to go too far in depth with their comments because others on here bash them and stuff.. some people post too much, some people post too little. some people kiss too much a$$, and some people start too many arguements.. but overall this is the best Phillies site out there and I don’t really have any complaints about it. holla.

     
  • Posts: 0 Felix from Sacramento

    The Bull should be in the top ten. One of my favorite Phillies from the 70′s.

     
  • Posts: 0 Eric

    Luzinski was sold by the Phillies to the Sox. He was not a free agent. He didn’t jump ship – they unloaded him.

     
  • Posts: 0 Lonnie

    I realize I am jumping in this very late, but I would like to say that this is one Chicago White Sox fan who is envious of Phillies fans on this one. I know that the Bull will always be a Phillie first and foremost, and I will not do anything to take that away, but Luzinski was probably my #1 or #2 all-time favorite White Sox player. I wish that I would have been a little older so I could have clearly remembered him better than I do, and I also wish he could have played a little longer in Chicago, because he was such a fun player to watch and such a great guy as well. Man, 1983 was such a fun year, seeing Bull hit 32 ( a couple onto the upper deck or the roof of old Comiskey Park) as well as the other guys they had.

    You Phillies fans had better realize what you had in Luzinski and what you still have. I am not trying to put him in the Hall of Fame but every team could and should have a guy like him on it. I for one will never take for granted what he did in Chicago for four years, I will tell you that right now.

    Lonnie

     
 
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