One of the most hated Phillies in recent memory comes in as the greatest in franchise history to wear number 58.
There’s little to dispute in this discussion with the likes of J.D. Durbin and Jeremy Hellickson wearing this number. While one of the great villains of the Phillies collapse, Papelbon is the franchise’s all-time saves leader with 123, passing Jose Mesa at 112 in stunning fashion.
Papelbon arrived in Philadelphia for the 2012 season after a brilliant career in Boston where he left as their all-time saves leader with 219. The righty came with a unique attitude, insisting that his four-year $50 million deal included an extra $58 to satisfy his alter ego “Cinco Ocho.”
With a World Series and five All-Star games in hand, Papelbon came to Philadelphia as the savior for a bullpen that missed Brad Lidge at the backend and needed to replace Ryan Madson, who left for Cincinnati.
In his first season with the Phillies, Papelbon would lead baseball with 64 games finished, and a 2.44 ERA with 38 saves. For three seasons his ERA remained below three and he saved no less than 29 games a season.
In 2010 Papelbon was one of four pitchers to combine for a no-hitter in a game started by Cole Hamels, working with Jake Diekman and Ken Giles to seal the first combined no-hitter in franchise history.
Things began to go wayward for Papelbon in 2014, starting with a blown save in September at home when he allowed four runs in the ninth inning. While walking off the mound he made a lewd gesture towards the booing fans, and was suspended a week.
Philadelphia would trade Papelbon the following season to Washington for Nick Pivetta, a move that has worked out well considering where Papelbon’s career was going.
After several more instances in Washington such as throwing at Manny Machado and choking Bryce Harper in the Nationals dugout, Papelbon was left unsigned and has unofficially retired.