Phillies All-Decade Team 1970s: Homegrown Talent at the Forefront
When the Phillies traded Rick Wise for Steve Carlton on February 25, 1972, little they’d know at the time that the newly acquired lefthander would become the greatest pitcher in franchise history.
The 27-year old Carlton was coming off his third All-Star season entering the 1972 season. On a terrible Phillies team that won just 59 games, Carlton put together one of the best seasons by a starting pitcher in the modern era. He went 27-10 with a 1.97 ERA, completing 30 games, eight shutouts, 346 1/3 innings, and 310 strikeouts. The season earned Carlton the Cy Young Award and fifth in the MVP vote.
Carlton dropped to 13-20 the following season, although he led the league in complete games and innings pitched. In 1974, Carlton won 16 with a 3.22 ERA and led the National League in strikeouts with 240.
After a 15-14 campaign in 1975, Carlton notched his second 20-win season with the Phillies in 1976, leading the league with a .741 winning percentage. He recorded back-to-back 20-plus win seasons in 1977, after going 23-10 with 198 strikeouts and a 2.64 ERA. That was good enough for Carlton to earn his second Cy Young Award.
Carlton closed out the 1970s with his fourth All-Star appearance with the Phillies and his fifth career season with at least 200 strikeouts. In eight seasons with the Phillies in the 1970s, Carlton posted a record of 148-98 with 1732 strikeouts and an ERA of 3.07.