Which Phillies players stand out as the greatest to wear each number?
Over 136 seasons the Phillies have had more than 3,000 players and 54 managers come through the major league clubhouse. They’re one of the oldest franchises in professional sports, and are filled with rich history.
With such a rich history it’s possible to collect the greatest players to wear each uniform number in franchise history.
Saying that, there are some guidelines set. For one, each number needed at least five players that have worn it for it to be included. For example, Pat Neshek is the greatest to wear #97, but he’s the only one to, so was not included on the list.
Longevity wearing the number came into play, so if a player wears number two for a year and switches to something else, he’s likely not going to be recognized for wearing number two. That comes into play for many of the pre-World War II players who wore multiple numbers in their career and changed them every year.
There’s also a slippery slope when talking about “the greatest player” to wear a number. Had Barry Bonds worn number 25 for a day, he wouldn’t be on this list. That’s where longevity comes back into play.
There had to be a player worth recognizing for the number, and not just the best player among a heap of journeymen. For instance, if we recognized the greatest player in franchise history to wear number 52, Rickey Bottalico would be that guy. No offense to Rickey Bo, but if he weren’t on the pre/post game shows, few would know or remember him.
Here are the greatest Phillies to wear each uniform number in franchise history, as presented by the entire staff at TBOH.