Ranking the Top 5 greatest outfielders in Phillies franchise history

From the Baker Bowl to the Bank, some of baseball's all-time greats have patrolled the grass for the Phillies. Here's a glance at the best of the best.

Bryce Harper has made an indelible impact on Phillies history in just a few short years.
Bryce Harper has made an indelible impact on Phillies history in just a few short years. / Harry How/GettyImages
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No. 1: Richie Ashburn

There may never be another. "Whitey" made himself part of the soul of the Phillies forever with an unforgettable 11-year run in center field from 1948 to 1959, winning two batting titles and earning six All-Star nods. And for nearly half a century after he hung up his spikes, he was the voice of Phillies broadcasts for generations of fans who had not been fortunate enough to see him play. 

While Ashburn's 64.3 WAR bests all other Phillies position players besides Mike Schmidt, his dynamism was of the understated sort. He was never a Harper or a Schmidt type player, and he wasn't considered a superstar in his time. He changed the outcome of games not with the flourish of his power bat but with persistent consistency and fundamentals. 

Whitey boasted elite speed, stealing 234 bases in his career. He had one of the league's best gloves in center, leading all of baseball in put-outs in the 1950s, according to the Society for American Baseball Research, and earning among the top 10 defensive WAR in the National League five times in his career. Despite not being a power threat, he still managed to lead all of baseball in walks during four different seasons. He ended his career with a .308 lifetime batting average.

To put it into terms that modern-day Phillies fans may better understand, imagine a player with Harper's work ethic, Aaron Rowand's toughness, Johan Rojas' glove, Ben Revere's contact skills, and Rhys Hoskins' patient eye at the plate. While overlooked for years, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995, shortly before his death.

He is immortalized in the Bank's Ashburn Alley, where a bronze statue features him mid-stride, rounding a base, eyes low and expressionless. The Philly Stoic.

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