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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WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 09: Manager Charlie Manuel
WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 09: Manager Charlie Manuel /

. . . Charlie Manuel. 41. team. 6

Chris Short won 132 games as a pitcher in the 60’s for Philadelphia wearing number 41, but his contributions don’t come anywhere close to matching those of the organization’s winningest manager Charlie Manuel.

An unpopular hire at the time, Manuel brought his southern accent and stutters to Philadelphia with a big question mark over his head. The former Indians hitting coach and manager had won 90 games twice with Cleveland but didn’t feel like the right guy to lead a team trending towards playoff contention.

Manuel won a franchise record 780 games in Philadelphia with back-to-back pennants and five division titles.

Those worries were put to bed quickly as Manuel and the Phillies came out of the gate with 88 wins in 2005. Three years into his tenure Philadelphia made the playoffs for the first time since 1993. That began a five-year run of division titles capped off with a World Series victory in 2008, the team’s first in 28 years.

The Phillies should have won two or three championships during that era, and it’s plausible that the best team of that era wasn’t the one that won it all. There aren’t any glaring managerial mistakes made by Manuel in those playoff series, most of the losses simply came down to execution. If Cole Hamels pitched better in 2009, if they scored one run against Matt Carpenter, if Ryan Howard didn’t tear his achillies.

Manuel won a franchise record 780 games in Philadelphia with back-to-back pennants and five division titles. The franchise inducted him onto the Wall of Fame in 2014, joining the likes of Connie Mack and Dallas Green.

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