Out of Left Field: All-Time Phillies

Imagine pulling together all of the Phillies great players for just one game. You're the GM and manager and you put together the roster and pick the starting lineup. Who starts the game on your all-time Phillies team? Here's one way the lineup could come together and it comes <i>Out of Left Field</i>.

The Major League Baseball All-Star Game is less than a month away and while Jim Thome is the leading Phillies vote getter, the Cardinals Albert Pujols and the Astros Jeff Bagwell are lapping him in votes for the starting nod at first base.

All-Star games always put me in mind of some of the great stars we have seen come through our city, and one of the great pastimes for most baseball fans is to put together all-time lists. So, I'd like to hear from you: what would your all-time Phillies team look like if you could choose players from any era. Drop me a line at dncurry@comcast.net with your team.

To get you started, here is my list: Catcher: Bob Boone. There have been some good ones who have worn the Phillies 'P', from Jack Clements to Red Dooin to Andy Seminick. Darren "Dutch" Daulton may have been the best leader of the bunch, but I don't think anyone compares to Boone. He was the catcher during the golden age of Phillies baseball, and if not for his near muff of Frank White's pop-up during game six of the 1980 World Series, we wouldn't have the great memory of Pete Rose snatching the ball out of mid-air, enroute to the Phillies only World Championship.

First Base: Pete Rose. Seriously, is there anyone else to consider? Put aside your feelings about Pete's treatment of the game. This is the guy that is most responsible for that World Series trophy. Honorable mention to John Kruk, for bringing his 'everyman' mentality and good humor to the game.

Second Base: Manny Trillo. I'm sure there are a lot of Tony Taylor fans out there, and possibly some Juan Samuel and Mickey Morandini supporters lurking also. For my money there was no one better than Manny Trillo, and even though he was only here a short while, he gets my vote.

Third Base: Mike Schmidt. What? You were expecting maybe Willie "Puddinhead" Jones? Schmidt is the greatest third baseman in baseball history. ‘nuff said.

Shortstop: Larry Bowa. He may not be a great manager and he may not have been blessed with awesome talent, but there was no one who got more out of their God-given abilities than LB. There are some who believe it was the trade that sent him and Ryne Sandberg to the Cubs for Ivan DeJesus that started the Phillies on that long downhill slide in the 80's and 90's.

Left Field: Ed Delahanty. Perhaps the most anonymous star in Phillies history, Delahanty started with Harry Wright's Phillies back in 1891 and held many of the Phillies all-time offensive records until one Michael Jack Schmidt came along eighty years later. His short life and tragic death under mysterious circumstances are the stuff legends are made of.

Center Field: Richie Ashburn. This was perhaps more difficult than it needed to be, but I grew up watching Garry Maddox patrol one-third of the Earth's surface, and went nuts watching Lenny Dykstra play the game with reckless abandon. But in the final analysis, the debate begins and ends with the man who is still patrolling center field in the Phillies new park.

Right Field: Chuck Klein. I am sorry I never got to see Klein play the game. The first Phillie ever to win the Most Valuable Player award, and a lifetime .320 hitter who still holds the major league record for outfield assists in a season (44).

Righthanded Starting Pitcher: Robin Roberts. Tough call between Roberts and Grove Cleveland Alexander, but ultimately it came down to how they each fared as members of the Phillies.

Lefthanded Starting Pitcher: Steve Carlton. Again, the debate begins and ends with the man known simply as "Lefty."

Relief Pitcher: Frank "Tug" McGraw. It will almost be a little melancholy when the Fightin's do win another World Series, to know that there will be another image to vie with the most enduring image in Phillies history: Tug raising his arms in victory after striking out Willie Wilson. My favorite Veteran's stadium memory will continue to be the one of Tug walking to the mound after the final game to recreate the final pitch of the 1980 World Series.

Manager: Danny Ozark. Call me crazy. I know that Dallas Green won the World Series, but Danny Ozark took a moribund franchise that believed it was snake bit (even before the collapse of 1964) and made the team and its fans believe they could win. I think Danny Ozark doesn't get enough credit for those two 101 win seasons, and he definitely doesn't get enough credit for turning this franchise around and ushering in the golden years between 1976 and 1983.

There it is, my Phillies All-Time team. I know you've got thoughts of your own, and I'd love to hear them. Whether it's that you think I'm all-wet, or you want to share your own all-time team, drop me a line at the email below. I look forward to hearing from you.

DN Curry comes to you Out of Left Field every Thursday at PhillyBaseballNews.com. You can email him at dncurry@comcast.net.

Philly Baseball Insider Top Stories