Looking back at 4 Phillies Rookie of the Year Award winners
By Matt Rappa
1. Jack Sanford (1957)
Right-handed pitcher Jack Sanford was the first-ever Phillies Rookie of the Year Award recipient, and he remains to this day as the franchise’s only pitcher to ever win the prestigious honor.
Debuting in 1956, the Massachusetts native made three appearances, but the following season arguably was one of the best in the league — going 19-8 with a 3.08 ERA and 1.217 WHIP across 33 starts. Also that year, Sanford led the majors in strikeouts (188), helping him not only earn the Rookie of the Year Award, but also his first and only career All-Star appearance and a top-10 finish in the MVP Award voting.
Coincidentally, Sanford (4.4 WAR) beat out another Phillies player in earning the Rookie of the Year Award, first baseman Ed Bouchee (4.3 WAR), who slashed .293/.394/.470 in 1957 with 35 doubles, 17 home runs, and 76 RBI.
Sanford would go on to pitch 12 seasons in his career through 1967; just the first three were as a Phillie, as he was dealt to the San Francisco Giants following the 1958 season for Ruben Gomez and Valmy Thomas.
Between Howard, Rolen, Allen, and Sanford, they surely were deserving Rookies of the Year Award recipients. An argument can be made for Bohm, who lost out to a relief pitcher who appeared in less than half of the Brewers’ 2020 season games.
Nonetheless, Bohm will surely be a staple in the Phillies infield for years to come. He will have the chance to make up for losing out on the 2020 rookie honors by perhaps being in MVP contention later on in his career.