The 1993 Phillies were a rambunctious group of misfits, and no one personified that team better than John Kruk.
A first baseman and outfielder from West Virginia, Kruk began his career with the San Diego Padres hitting for average with a little pop and a decent glove. He finished seventh in Rookie of the Year voting in 1986 after hitting .309 in 122 games. Playing with Tony Gwynn in San Diego Kruk grew close with the late Hall of Famer and periodically recounts stories on Phillies broadcasts.
In June 1989 Kruk and Randy Ready were traded to the Phillies for Chris James, a young outfielder coming off a 19 home run season. Kruk made an instant impact hitting .331 in 81 games that year following the trade, but the club finished fourth in the division.
Kruk would earn his first of three consecutive All-Star in 1991, and also begin three consecutive years where he received top-17 MVP votes.
From ’91-’93 he hit .311 with a .407 on-base percentage with 90 doubles, 45 home runs, and walked only five times fewer than he struck out.
During the ’93 season Kruk was third on the team in WAR behind Darren Daulton and Lenny Dykstra with a .316 batting average. During the team’s playoff run that ended in dramatic fashion during the World Series, Kruk hit .298 with 14 hits in 12 games.
In the six games against Toronto Kruk hit an impressive .348 with a .500 on-base percentage.
Kruk would leave Philadelphia for the White Sox in free agency following the ’94 season, only to retire during his 1,200th career game.
The Phillies inducted Kruk onto the Wall of Fame in 2011, following teammate Darren Daulton as the second member of the ’93 team to receive the honor.