5 most legendary Phillies relief pitchers of all time

Relief pitcher Tug McGraw #45 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Pilling/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Relief pitcher Tug McGraw #45 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Pilling/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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Phillies Ron Reed
PHILADELPHIA, PA – CIRCA 1982: Ron Reed #42 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches during an Major League baseball game circa 1982 at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Reed played for the Phillies from 1976-83. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

4. Ron Reed

Before joining the Phillies, Ron Reed spent 10 years with the Atlanta Braves and had the distinction of being the winning pitcher the night Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run to set a new MLB record. He was also a power forward in the NBA for two years during his MLB years, though his baseball career soon eclipsed the basketball.

Joining the Phillies in 1976, Reed immediately had one of the best seasons of his versatile and varied career, lowing his ERA to under 3 for the first time since 1967. Over eight years in Philly, he compiled a 3.06 ERA over 458 games, including nine starts, 255 games finished, and 90 saves. He even pitched one complete game.

Reed’s first three Phillies seasons were arguably his best; he appeared in 59+ games, pitched 108+ innings, finished 31+ games, and earned 14+ saves in each, never posting an ERA above 2.75. He faced a grand total of 1,422 batters in those first three years, and only allowed 100 earned runs.

In the postseason, Reed made 21 appearances for the Phillies between 1976-83. 13 of those appearances were scoreless. During the 1980 postseason run, Reed rebounded from a 4-run shelling in Game 2 of the NLCS, following it up with four shutout appearances en route to the franchise’s first championships.

On the franchise leaderboards, Reed’s .600 W-L% is tied for 10th in Phillies history, his 1.151 WHIP is 10th, and he’s seventh in saves (90). Reed is one of only seven pitchers to appear in 400+ games; Hector Neris became the seventh in 2021. Of all the Phillies closers, only Tug McGraw finished more games.

Reed is also the only Phillies pitcher with 100 wins, 100 saves, and 50 complete games to his name (over his entire career).