The Phillies Nation Top 100 continues today with #65 through #61. Our mission is to assess the Top 100 Phillies players of all time using impact to the Phillies, individual achievement, team achievement, traditional stats, and analytics as our criteria. The list was compiled by Ian Riccaboni and Pat Gallen with input from the rest of the Phillies Nation staff.
Each weekday, we will reveal five Phillies from the PN Top 100, with longer or more expansive posts dedicated to individuals that are of particular note to Phillies fans or are closer to the top of the list. To view the 2008 iteration of the list of Greatest Phillies of All Time as compiled by Tim Malcolm, please click here.
Please check back tomorrow for #60-56.
#65 -Kid Carsey
94-71, 4.72 ERA, 1.596 WHIP in 1482 IP
Previous Rank: New to Rankings
fWAR Phillies Rank: 19th among pitchers, 61st among Phillies
Signature Season: Going 19-16 with a 3.12 ERA and 30 complete games in 1892.
Wilfred “Kid” Carsey won 94 games in six years with the Phillies, ranking 12th in the Majors in wins, 13th in appearances and 14th in starts. While the ERA is a bit high (60th), Carsey’s dependability made him a staple of the early Phillies teams, ranking him 22nd in Phillies history in games started, 15th in innings pitched, and ninth in complete games with 141.
#64 – Granny Hamner
.263/.305/.385, 103 HR, 13 SB in 6222 PA
Previous Rank: 94 (+29)
fWAR Phillies Rank: 44th among position players, 66th among Phillies
Signature Seasons: Hit .299/.351/.466 with 13 HR in 660 PA in 1954, the third of three straight All-Star seasons
Signature Series: Hit .429/.467/.714 with two doubles and a triple in the 1950 World Series
With the inclusion of Tug McGraw, and now Granny Hamner, the Phillies Nation Top 100 has, in the words of kids these days, just “gotten real”. Hamner was a Phillie for parts of 16 seasons, including his debut at age 17 for the then-Philadelphia Blue Jays in 1944. Until Larry Bowa, and Jimmy Rollins after Bowa, Hamner was the standard at shortstop for the Phillies, the six hitter on the 1950 Whiz Kids, making three straight All-Star squads from 1952-1954, retiring as the club’s leader in doubles and homers among shortstops. Hamner would also play 568 games at second base for the Phillies and become the first player ever to be voted to the All-Star team by fans at two different positions.
One of the longest tenured Phillies on the list, Granville Wilbur Hamner had six of the Phillies’ 16 hits in the 1950 World Series against the Yankees and was the captain of the Phillies from 1952 until he was traded in 1959 to Cleveland for Humberto Robinson. Hamner would go on to manage in the Phillies system and became a special advisor to the club in the 1980s. He was inducted onto the Phillies Wall of Fame in 1987 before passing in 1993.
#63 - Brad Lidge
3-11, 100 saves, 3.54 ERA, 1.430 WHIP in 193.0 IP
Previous Rank: New to Rankings
fWAR Phillies Rank: 191th among pitchers, 406th among Phillies
Signature Season: 48 for 48 in save opportunities in the regular and postseason with a 1.95 regular season ERA and a 0.96 ERA with 13 K in 9.1 postseason innings
Signature Environment: Big-game postseason pitcher (1-1, 12 saves, 24 K with a 1.77 ERA and .203 BAA in 20.1 postseason innings with the Phillies)
Brad Lidge… stretches. The 0-2 pitch. SWING AND A MISS, STRUCK. HIM. OUT. The Philadelphia Phillies are 2008 world champions of baseball!
- Harry Kalas’ call of Lidge’s strikeout of Eric Hinske to end the 2008 World Series
You can’t tell the story of the Philadelphia Phillies without the story of Brad Lidge. Lidge was acquired from the Houston Astros in between the 2007 and 2008 seasons for Michael Bourn, Mike Costanzo, and Geoff Geary in a trade that Keith Law said was a coup for Phillies at the time. Lidge had been one of the most effective relievers in the Majors but had fallen out of favor after a shaky 2005 posteason with the Astros, finding himself in a closer-by-committee situation by 2007.
Lidge, entering a pivotal age-31 2008 season, one where he would become a free agent after his final year of arbitration, became a Phillie sort of behind the 8-ball. Lidge was still a top reliever in baseball but some questioned his dominance and there were questions whether the Phillies were really a playoff team in 2008. There were still folks who questioned whether the Mets collapsed or the Phillies won the division heading into the season. How much would adding a closer help?
As Lidge’s numbers in 2008 would indicate, he was still every bit as dominant as advertised and he helped them a lot. “A lot” as in closed out the World Series with 48 saves in 48 attempts through the regular and postseasons. Lidge had perhaps the greatest relief season in Phillies history culminating in a World Series win.
Lidge couldn’t quite replicate the dominance of 2008 but would have two additional very good seasons in 2010 and 2011, albeit not entirely in the closer’s role. Lidge’s dominance would carry over, however, in the playoffs with the Phillies, posting a 1.77 ERA with 12 saves in 20.1 IP.
Some folks will ask “Why is Brad Lidge ranked ahead of Tug McGraw?” and state some form of “McGraw was better for longer”. Admittedly, we struggled with this, too. But ultimately, Lidge’s single 2008 season and his stellar postseason success put him in a class beyond McGraw (2.64 ERA, .229 BAA in 30.2 postseason IP with the Phillies) in our eyes.
#62 – Charlie Buffinton
77-50, 2.89 ERA, 1.203 WHIP in 1112.1 IP
Previous Rank: New to Rankings
fWAR Phillies Rank: 21st among pitchers, 64th among Phillies
Signature Season: Went 28-17 with 1.91 ERA, 0.957 WHIP in 400.1 IP in 1888
A pioneer of the sinker, Buffinton was sold to the then-Philadelphia Quakers just two seasons removed from winning a third-best-in-the-NL 48 games with the Boston Beaneaters between the 1886 and 1887 seasons. Buffinton would make the most of the opportunity of his new surroundings, winning 21, 28, and 28 games with the Quakers in 1887, 1888, and 1889 respectively. His signature season came in 1888, winning 28 games with a 1.91 ERA and a 0.957 WHIP.
During Buffinton’s time in Philadelphia, he was among the best pitchers in the young National League. Buffinton had the tenth most appearances, 11th most innings pitched, the ninth-best ERA, and eighth-best FIP. Buffinton used his sinker to accumulate the ninth-most strikeouts in the NL with the 12th best strikeout rate.
#61 – Bob Boone
.259/.325/.370, 65 HR in 4152 PA
Previous Rank: 32 (-29)
fWAR Phillies Rank: 43rd among position players, 63rd among Phillies
Three Gold Gloves, two All-Star games as a Phillie
Signature Series: Hit .412/.500/.529 in 22 PA in the 1980 World Series
A Stanford graduate, Boone was part of the strong core of Phillies that came through the Phillies system together in the early 1970s to form the late-1970s juggernaut that would win the 1980 World Series. Boone gained a stellar defensive reputation, winning three Gold Gloves as a Phillie, a total of seven for his career, all after the age of 30. Boone was no slouch as a hitter, either, particularly from 1976 through 1979. In those four seasons, Boone was fifth in batting, higher than Johnny Bench and Gary Carter, eighth in on-base percentage, higher than Bench, Carter, and Thurmon Munson, and tenth in slugging, higher than Munson.
Boone’s staffs from 1976 through 1980 ranked fourth in the NL in ERA over those five seasons, third in K/9 IP, and first in BB/9 IP. Boone’s presence was felt on the field and in the line-up. Boone was the 2005 inductee on to the Phillies Walk of Fame.