Phillies Franchise History: Greatest Player to Wear Each Number

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 09: Former Philadelphia Phillies greats, Jim Bunning, Steve Carlton and Mike Schmidt were among many on hand to honor former manager Charlie Manuel who was to be inducted to the Phillies Wall of Fame during a ceremony before the start of a game against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park on August 9, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 09: Former Philadelphia Phillies greats, Jim Bunning, Steve Carlton and Mike Schmidt were among many on hand to honor former manager Charlie Manuel who was to be inducted to the Phillies Wall of Fame during a ceremony before the start of a game against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park on August 9, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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Mike Schmidt,Third and First Baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies prepares to bat the during the Major League Baseball National League East game against the Chicago Cubs on 28 June 1988 at Wrigley Field, Chicago, United States. Cubs won the game 6 – 4. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Allsport/Getty Images)
Mike Schmidt,Third and First Baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies prepares to bat the during the Major League Baseball National League East game against the Chicago Cubs on 28 June 1988 at Wrigley Field, Chicago, United States. Cubs won the game 6 – 4. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Allsport/Getty Images) /

20. team. 6. . . . Mike Schmidt

The greatest Phillie to wear number 20 happens to be the best player in franchise history and the top third baseman in baseball history.

It didn’t start out that way for Mike Schmidt, who struggled to a .206 average in 40 at-bats in 1972 and .196 with 136 strikeouts in 367 at-bats as a rookie.  However, Schmidt took off in 1974, hitting 36 home runs to lead the league for the first of three consecutive seasons.

The best power hitter of his generation, Schmidt would hit 30 or more home runs 13 times, surpassing 40 twice and lead the league in long balls eight times.

During the 1980 World Series Championship season, Schmidt belted 48 home runs and knocked in 121 runs, both tops in the league. To top it off, he also took home World Series MVP honors.

In the strike-shortened 1981 season, Schmidt hit .316, leading the league in home runs with 31 and RBI with 91. Not surprisingly, those numbers were good enough to win MVP honors both years.

Schmidt would go on to win another MVP in the twilight of his career in 1986 at the age of 36.

Not only was Schmidt the top offensive third basemen in history, he was one of the best in the field.  His ten Gold Glove Awards at third base ranks second only to Brooks Robinson. Schmidt retired abruptly in May 1989 with 548 home runs (then seventh in MLB history), 1595 RBI and 2234 hits.

Schmidt was inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame in 1995 with 96.52 percent of the votes, which at that time was fourth highest in history. He’s one of only six players in franchise history to have his number retired as the all-time home run and games played leader.

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