Without question, the greatest player in Phillies history and the best third baseman that Major League Baseball has ever seen, Michael Jack Schmidt collected 40 home runs or more on three occasions — 1979, 1980, and 1983. This all came in an era where even hitting 30 home runs was considered extremely impressive, but Schmidt did that with ease and and then always had a little more left in the tank. He led the National League in home runs 8 times, and his team-record 548 home runs is in no danger of falling anytime soon.
Now, of course, Schmidt works in a broadcasting capacity for the Phillies, and you can also see him virtually anytime the team holds a ceremony for alumni weekend or any observance of the club's past. The team is lucky to still have this connection with an all-time great, one whose tenure in town got extremely rocky on numerous occasions. Things could have seemingly gone off the rails at any time, but thankfully Schmidt remained a Phillie for life until his surprise retirement during the 1989 season. He went into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot in 1995 along with Richie Ashburn amidst a sea of red in one of the most triumphant days in team history.
Because of both his bat and his glove, Schmidt's name will echo down the corridors for as long as the Phillies exist as a franchise. He possessed a unique combination previously unseen in the game, and he paved the way for the first World Series championship in team history, after nearly a century in the wilderness. This is what sports legends are made of, and there's a very good reason that his statue greets you every time you head in through the main gate of Citizens Bank Park.