Yesterday began a new year of 2015, and also began our TBOH countdown of the Top 20 Phillies of All-Time. We looked then at the #20-16 people to start the process.
Those 20-16 names were: Al Reach, one of the founding owners of the franchise; Harry Wright, the first winning manager and a Baseball Hall of Famer; Dan Baker, the longtime voice of the ballparks as the club P.A. announcer; John Vukovich, who went from 1st round draftee to player to manager to coach over a half-century; Ed Wade, the architect of the 2008 World Series champions as GM.
As you can see, not one of those first five Phillies is on the list because of what they did as a ballplayer. Even Vukovich, who won a World Series as a player in 1980, is here because of his coaching influence, not because of his playing career.
That lack of players in the countdown is all about to change. As we move through the next fifteen names, the overwhelming majority are players. Not just players, but winning players. Players who led Phillies ball clubs to championships, and provided fans with some of the most unforgettable moments of their lives.
There are four from the 2008 World Series champs, three from the 1980 World Series champs, a pair from the 1950 National League Pennant winners, and one from the 1993 National League Pennant winner.
Aside from those ten players, there are a pair each of legendary broadcasters and championship managers, and one man who filled a variety of roles both in and out of uniform. As we said yesterday, it’s all about the fans in the end. It takes more than just players to present the game. But of course, in the end, there is nothing without those players.
So let’s begin to move through the names in the 15-11 slots, which will be followed over the weekend by the Top 10: