Phillies Best Individual Seasons By Uniform Number (51 +)
99 – Mitch Williams (1993)
Williams began his career as a hard-throwing lefty with major control issues. During his four seasons in Texas, he posted a 3.70 ERA, striking out 280 but also walked 220 in 274 2/3 innings. Sent to the Cubs, Williams earned his only All-Star appearance saving 36 with an ERA of 2.76.
In 1990, Williams had a poor record of just 1-8 with an ERA nearing four. At the start of the 1991 season, the Phillies traded Chuck McElroy and Bob Scanlan in exchange for Williams, who went on to have an excellent season in 1991.
Statistically, the 1991 season was the best of his career, but he didn’t wear number 99 at the time. Williams went 12-5 with 30 saves and an ERA of 2.34. In 88 1/3 innings, Williams surrendered only 56 hits, while striking out 84.
After saving 29 in 1992, Williams opted for uniform number 99 and was known as the “Wild Thing”, undoubtedly in reference to Charlie Sheen’s character Ricky Vaughn and his number 99 in the movie Major League.
Williams put together a very good 1993 season and despite giving up the World Series ending home run to Joe Carter, the Phillies never become NL Champions without Williams’ contributions throughout the season. He saved 43 with an ERA of 3.34.
He was clearly out of gas by the end of the 1993 season and was never close to the same pitcher again. He posted a 1-7 record with an ERA of nearly eight with the Astros, Angels, and Royals before retiring in 1997.