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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PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 02: Ryan Howard
PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 02: Ryan Howard /

6. team. 6. . . . Ryan Howard

Number six is the “Big Piece” Ryan Howard. Howard played all 1,572 professional games with the Philadelphia Phillies, racking up 382 home runs, second in franchise history to only Mike Schmidt.

The three-time All-Star started his career off as the NL Rookie of the Year after batting .288 with 22 homers. He followed that year with one of the most dominant offensive seasons in MLB history.

In his MVP year, Howard smashed 58 bombs, batted .313 drove in 149 runs and an amazing OBP of .425, and posted six straight top 10 MVP finishes from 2006-2011.

Playing all 162 games, he led the league in home runs and RBI during the 2008 World Series season. He had six consecutive seasons with 30 home runs, 100 RBI, and hit .274 during the span, making him one of the most feared sluggers of his era.

However, Howard’s career took a downhill slide after a torn Achilles in 2011 on the final play of the NLDS against San Francisco. He never returned to true form, batting sub .230 in each of his final seasons and never slugged over 25 home runs.

In the end, Howard was the last player standing from the 2008 team on the Phillies, playing his final game in 2016. He’s since signed minor league deals with Atlanta and Colorado, but he never made an appearance with the big league clubs hitting just .189 in 27 games with their AAA clubs.

Despite his downfall, Howard remains one of the great players in franchise history. Unfortunately he likely falls short of Cooperstown sitting at  67th on the all-time home run list, but he’s a Wall of Fame player and potentially sees his number retired one day.

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