Which great players somehow found themselves in a Phillies uniform?
The creation of free agency virtually ended the era of players staying in one city for their entire career. Great players moved around the league much more than they ever did, and some made their way into a Phillies uniform.
Today, we’re looking at the great players who somehow found their way onto the Phillies.
We’re primarily looking at players who spent the majority of their career in one city and are known for playing there. When you think of Babe Ruth you think about the Yankees, not the Red Sox. When you think about Ken Griffey Jr. you think about the Mariners, not the White Sox.
While Roy Halladay was primarily a Blue Jay, his number is being retired in Philadelphia and some of his best games came as a Phillie. For those reasons we’re not counting him as a guy you forgot about.
Got it? Good.
We’re going to start with an honorable mention whose career was primarily in Cincinnati but produced here in Philadelphia enough for his name to be thought of in both cities, for better or worse.
Pete Rose (1979-83)
Pete Rose was the first superstar free agent to join the Phillies and was a major piece of the 1980 World Series team. Scandals have taken him out of baseball, off the Phillies Wall of Fame, and out of Cooperstown.
Before he signed with the Phillies, Rose was already writing a storybook, Hall of Fame career in Cincinnati with the Big Red Machine. By the time he signed his deal with Philadelphia, Rose already had 3,100 hits, 572 doubles, a .310 average, an MVP, 12 All-Star appearances, and a Rookie of the Year award.
Those are statistics any ballplayer would take in their career, let alone in their first run with a team.
When Rose came to Philadelphia, he continued to hit into his 40s with four more All-Star games, 826 more hits, and a World Series ring.
Rose had a tremendous career in Philadelphia, but he’ll forever be remembered as one of the catalysts for the Big Red Machine in Cincinnati.