1957 Rookie of the Year RHP Jack Sanford
It took ten years after the award was created, but Jack Sanford was the first Phillies Rookie of the Year. Sanford didn’t debut in the majors until he was 27 years old after seven seasons in the minor leagues and one year of military service in 1955.
After making three appearances in 1956 in a major-league test run, Sanford pitched a full season in 1957. Sanford overpowered opposing hitters, leading the major-leagues in strikeouts with 188. He led all rookie full-time starters with a 3.08 ERA along with 19 wins.
One dent in Sanford’s armor was his control. That year, Sanford walked 3.57 batters per nine innings. He compensated for that lack of control by allowing just a .217 average to opposing batters.
Sanford took home two-thirds of the 24 votes in the Rookie of the Year voting. Sanford’s runner-up was actually his teammate first baseman Ed Bouchee. He hit 17 home runs with a .293/.394/.470 line as he received four votes.
After his rookie season, Sanford pitched just one more season in Philadelphia before being traded to the San Francisco Giants. Then-Phillies general manager Bob Carpenter called the trade the worst he ever made. Sanford pitched ten more years in the majors for the Giants and eventually the Angels before hanging up his cleats in 1967.