Which MLB stars should’ve ended their careers with the Philadelphia Phillies?
Over the decades, the Philadelphia Phillies have traded or let players walk away who should’ve spent their entire careers in red pinstripes. Seeing those players go on to be successful elsewhere, and bid farewell to the game in a different uniform is painful on many levels.
Often, it’s a reminder of the franchise’s own lack of success, and the callousness of the front office and ownership, willing to part ways with fan favorites to save a buck.
The Phillies have a bad habit of signing washed-up players whose best years are behind them, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. There’s a big difference between a player’s career ending somewhat unceremoniously in Philadelphia and a longtime player who meant a lot to the organization returning to where it all began, to say goodbye in a full-circle moment. Grover Cleveland Alexander, Shane Victorino, Pat Burrell, and Brad Lidge are examples of players who did.
Here are seven players who should’ve – or still could – come back and retire with the Phillies…
Dick Allen: Retired with Oakland A’s
Dick Allen‘s playing career began before Curt Flood fought for free agency, so he didn’t have as much say in where he played as other former Phillies on this list.
In fact, Flood getting traded to the Phillies in the deal that sent Allen to St. Louis – and his determination not to play for them – is what spurred him to fight for free agency in the first place.
Allen spent nine seasons in a Phillies uniform over two stints. He made his MLB debut with the club in 1963, and demanded a trade after the 1969 season. Not wanting to play for the Atlanta Braves, he retired in 1974, but the Phillies convinced him to come back in 1975. He spent two more seasons with them, before joining the Oakland A’s in 1977. He ended his career somewhat abruptly in June, and that was that.