Perhaps best culturally known for their charismatic green mascot called the Philly Phanatic, the Philadelphia Phillies (also known as the Fighting Phils) were the last of the original eight National League teams to get a ring. Tug McGraw lept into the air celebrating the last out of the 1980 World Series against the Toronto Blue Jays to end Philadelphia’s duck.

In fact, the second the last team on that list, the then-Brooklyn Dodgers, won in 1955, 25 years early.

The 21st Century has bred happier times for the Phillies, with three World Series appearances and one victory (2008) leaving them on an upward trajectory. Thus, don’t be surprised to find a handful of recent names on our list of the greatest Phillies in history…

Philadelphia Phillies History 

Originally known as the Philadelphia Quakers, the Philadelphia Phillies captured World Series titles in 1980 and 2008 and were in the World Series as recently as 2022, when they fell to the Houston Astros in six games.

The Phillies currently play in hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park.

Phillies Hall of Famers

Notable baseball Hall of Famers who have played for the Phillies include third baseman Mike Schmidt, pitcher Steve Carlton, pitcher Robin Roberts, outfielder Richie Ashburn, and outfielder Chuck Klein.

Famous Phillies Players

The most famous former Phillies player is Mike Schmidt, who manned third base for the team for almost two decades, and won three National League MVP Awards in the process. 

Pitcher Steve Carlton, the most famous Philadelphia hurler, won four NL Cy Young Awards. 

The most famous current Philadelphia Phillies player is outfielder/designated hitter Bryce Harper, who was named the 2021 NL MVP. He will be on this list soon.

Top 10 Best Phillies Players of All Time

  1. Cole HamelsPosition: Pitcher
    Years with Phillies: 2006 to 2015
    Career Stats with Phillies: 295 games, 114-90 record, 1,930 IP, 1,844 Ks, 42.0 bWAR
    Honors and Awards: World Series Championship (2008), World Series MVP (2008), All-Star Game (2007, 2011, 2012)

A native of San Diego, lefthander Cole Hamels was the ace of the 2008 Phillies World Series championship pitching staff. He won both NLCS and World Series MVP honors, as Philadelphia won all four of his starts across both series.

Hamels’s 43 career bWAR ranks 11th all-time in Phillies history, and it likely would have been higher if he hadn’t been traded to the Texas Rangers at age 31. 

The Hamels trade still has ramifications for the Phillies in 2023. Jorge Alfaro, who was part of that transaction, was eventually flipped to the Marlins in a deal that helped bring stalwart catcher J.T. Realmuto to the City of Brotherly Love. 

  1. Bobby Abreu
    Position: Right field
    Years with Phillies: 1998 to 2006
    Career Stats with Phillies: 1,353 Games, .303/.416/.513, 195 HRs, 814 RBIs, 254 SBs, 47.2 bWAR
    Honors and Awards: All-Star Game (2004, 2005), Gold Glove Award (2005), Silver Slugger Award (2004), Phillies Wall of Fame (2019) 

Initially signed by the Houston Astros out of his native Venezuela, Bobby Abreu made his way to the newly-formed Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 1997 Expansion Draft. An ill-fated trade to the Phillies landed the right fielder an everyday role in a major league lineup.

Despite a .936 OPS from 1998 to 2003, Abreu was unable to make the All-Star team until 2004 and 2005. The best player on lackluster mid-2000s Phillies rosters, he was moved to the Yankees in 2006 in a trade that brough back little prospect capital

Abreu was resigned by the Phillies in 2014 but did not make the opening-day roster.

  1. Chuck Klein
    Position: Right field
    Years with Phillies: 1928 to 1933 and 1940 to 1944
    Career Stats with Phillies: 1,405 games, .326/.382/.553, 243 HRs, 983 RBIS, 71 SBs
    Honors and Awards: National League MVP (1932), NL Batting Champion (1933), Triple Crown (1933), NL Home Run Leader (1929, 1931, 1932, 1933), Baseball Hall of Fame (1980)

A native of Indianapolis, Chuck Klein was originally a Cardinals farmhand but was purchased by the Phillies in 1928 and immediately called up to the big-league team. 

Klein became the instant star of the Phillies lineup, averaging an astounding 139 RBIs from 1929 to 1933 for second-tier Philadelphia teams.

Playing in the hitter-friendly Baker Bowl, Klein’s 1933 season was arguably the greatest in Phillies history: an 8.0 bWAR, a .368/.422/.602 triple-slash line, and the NL Triple Crown. Despite his heroics, the Phillies still finished in seventh place

  1. Richie Ashburn Position: Center field
    Years with Phillies: 1948 to 1959
    Career Stats with Phillies: 1,794 games, .308/.396/.382, 22 HRs, 499 RBIs, 234 SBs, 58.4 bWAR
    Honors and Awards: All-Star Game (1948, 1951, 1953, 1958), National League Batting Champion 1955, 1958), Baseball Hall of Fame (1995)

A speedy leadoff-hitter from Tilden, Neb., center fielder Richie Ashburn was a key cog in the Phillies team that came out of nowhere to win the 1950 National League pennant. 

Not a power hitter, Ashburn patrolled the Phillies outfield for 12 seasons and was often among the NL leaders in batting average, stolen bases, and on-base percentage. He ranks seventh all-time in Phillies bWAR, but perhaps his most famous moment came as a member of the expansion 1962 New York Mets, inspiring the name of the band “Yo La Tengo.”

  1. Grover Cleveland Alexander
    Position: Pitcher
    Years with Phillies: 1911 to 1917
    Career Stats with Phillies: 338 games, 190-91 record, 2.18 ERA, 2,513.2 IP, 1,409 Ks, 61.3 bWAR
    Honors and Awards: Pitching Triple Crown (1915, 1916), National League Wins Leader (1911, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917), NL ERA Leader (1915, 1916), Baseball Hall of Fame (1938)

Grover Cleveland Alexander, popularly known as both Pete and “Old Pete” during his career, was a native of Elba, Neb., who broke through with the Phillies in 1911 by recording the all-time rookie record of 28 wins.

In 1915, Alexander finished with an astounding 11.0 bWAR (remember, this stat is era-adjusted) as the Phillies went on a surprising run to the pennant. His 61.3 Phillies bWAR ranks fifth all-time -- a remarkable feat considering he played just seven seasons for the Phils. 

Famously, while a member of the Cardinals, a possibly drunk Alexander came out of the bullpen to seal the 1926 World Series against the Yankees.

  1. Jimmy Rollins
    Position: Shortstop
    Years with Phillies: 2000 to 2014
    Career Stats with Phillies: 2,090 games, .267/.324/.417, 231 HRs, 936 RBIs, 470 SBs, 47.6 bWAR
    Honors and Awards: World Series Championship (2008), National League MVP (2007), All-Star Game (2001, 2002, 2005), Gold-Glove Award (2007, 2008, 2009, 2012), Phillies All-Time Hits Leader (2,306)

Arguably the modern-day Richie Ashburn (but at the shortstop position), the Oakland, Calif., native Rollins became the Phillies' all-time leader in hits in 2014, passing Mike Schmidt (more on him later).

Before that, the Phillies shortstop was a fixture in the lineup for over a decade, peaking in 2007 and 2008. First, he won the NL MVP by going 30-41 in HRs-SBs and guiding the team to the playoffs. The following year was a step better, as he helped the team win its first World Series in 28 years.

  1. Chase Utley
    Position: Second base
    Years with Phillies: 2003 to 2015
    Career Stats with Phillies: 1,551 games, .282/.366/.481, 259 HRs, 1,025 RBIs, 154 SBs, 64.5 bWAR
    Honors and Awards: World Series Championship (2008), All-Star Game (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014), Silver Slugger Award (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009)

The perennially underrated Utley never won an MVP award like his teammates Ryan Howard or Jimmy Rollins, but the three were all massive engines of the 2008 World Series-winning Phillies roster.

Born in Pasadena, Calif., Utley was a first-round pick of the Phillies in 2000. From 2005 to 2009, he averaged a staggering 7.9 bWAR per season, which was helped massively by his fantastic defense at second base.

The longtime Philadelphia second baseman is fourth all-time in Phillies history in bWAR and, like Jimmy Rollins, was traded from the Phillies to the Dodgers. 

  1. Robin Roberts
    Position: Pitcher
    Years with Phillies: 1948 to 1961
    Career Stats with Phillies: 529 games, 234-199 record, 3,739.1 IP, 1,871 Ks, 83.0 bWAR
    Honors and Awards: All-Star Game (1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956), MLB Wins Leader (1952, 1953, 1954, 1955), Baseball Hall of Fame (1976)

Robin Roberts was born in Springfield, Ill., and originally played Division I basketball at Michigan State University. He pivoted to baseball and by age 23 was starting in the World Series for the Phillies as a member of the 1950 “Whiz Kids.”

Roberts was a complete-games machine, leading the league in that stat for five years in a row from 1952 to 1956, while also leading the league in wins for four of those seasons. His 72.0 bWAR is the second-most among all Phillies players.  

Also: don’t confuse him with the TV host.  

  1. Steve Carlton
    Position: Pitcher
    Years with Phillies: 1972 to 1986
    Career Stats with Phillies: 499 games, 241-161, 3.09 ERA, 3,031 Ks, 64.6 bWAR
    Honors and Awards: World Series Championship (1980), National League Cy Young Award (1972, 1977, 1980, 1982), NL Pitching Triple Crown (1972), Baseball Hall of Fame (1994)

The defining pitcher of the 1970s, Carlton's baseball-reference page is littered with league-leading statistics. While impressive in his early years as a member of the Cardinals, it was with the Phillies -- beginning in 1972 – that he started to thrive, as he immediately cut his ERA from 3.56 to an astonishing 1.97.

Steve Carlton was born in Miami and is neck-and-neck with Robin Roberts for the No. 1 ranking as the greatest Phillies pitcher of all time. In his amazing 1972 season, Carlton put together the highest single-season bWAR (12.5) of any player since 1927. 

  1. Mike Schmidt
    Position: Third base
    Years with Phillies: 1972 to 1989
    Career Stats with Phillies: 2,404 games, .267/.380/.527, 548 HRs, 1,595 RBIs, 174 SBs, 106.8 bWAR
    Honors and Awards: World Series Championship (1980), National League MVP (1980, 1981, 1986), All-Star Game (1974, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1989), Gold Glove Award (1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986), Silver Slugger Award (1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986), Baseball Hall of Fame (1995)

The greatest Phillies player of all time, Michael Jack Schmidt, was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. A one-team man, the third basemen broke into the majors with Philadelphia in the early 1970s and held his roster spot for 18 seasons. 

Not only is Schmidt the greatest Phillies third basemen of all-time, he has the highest bWAR (106.8) of any player to ever play that position. A three-time National League MVP and 12-time All-Star, Schmidt fits the bill of “inner-circle” Hall of Famer as well as just about anyone in MLB history.

Parameters of rankingsRankings were determined based four factors: total bWAR accumulated, individual accomplishments/accolades, the player’s popularity with fans, and team success.

Unlisted players who deserve honorable mentions include Bryce Harper, Ryan Howard, Ed Delahanty, Sherry Magee, and Dick Allen.

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