As mentioned earlier, players in the pre-World War II era often changed their numbers, and that’s the case with Chuck Klein, one of the great hitters in franchise history. While he wore eight different numbers over 15 seasons with Philadelphia, he wore number three during his 1932 MVP season.
Klein is the franchise’s all-time leader in slugging percentage and OPS, and rates in the top-10 for career WAR, batting average, runs, hits, total bases, doubles, home runs, RBI, and WPA.
Three of Klein’s seasons are among the franchise’s top-10 seasons for hits, and for 50 years he held the franchise record for home runs in a season. He’s currently the single-season leader in doubles (59) and RBI (170), and his 7.8 WAR in 1933 has only been beaten by Dick Allen.
Klein’s first five complete seasons is one of the great stretches in baseball history. During that stretch, he had 200 hits five times, led the league in home runs four times, led the league in runs scored three times, and had three consecutive top-two MVP finishings.
Because he had no official number that lasted through his career, the Phillies recognize Klein with an era-style “P,” among the retired numbers, similar to Grover Cleveland “Pete” Alexander.
In 1980 the Phillies inducted Klein onto the Wall of Fame, making him just the fifth member and the fourth player after manager Connie Mack.
Klein was also inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980, 22 years after his death, by the Veteran’s Committee.