Mike Schmidt (and Dick Allen) in the All-Time Franchise All-Stars

October 23, 2008

Most people’s lives are like the history of the Philadelphia Phillies. Not all. Some lives are choked with triumph, I guess, and I guess other lives may seem to be so loaded with dramatic, wrenching failure as to be cursed. But if we are lucky enough to live a long life it’ll probably seem to most of us at the end as if there were long decades that went by without much happening at all beyond a slow, unstoppable accrual of losses. Who the hell were we all those years?

And on that note, I present for your perusal and discussion the ballot for the Philadelphia Phillies All-Time Franchise All-Stars. As with the last time I presented this derivative feature (for the real deal, see Rob Neyer’s Big Book of Baseball Lineups), I’ll leave the ballot blank, in hopes of encouraging everyone to take a stab at filling out a lineup card.

Before checking out the Phillies’ all-time pitching and hitting leaders at baseball-reference.com, try coming up with a list off the top of your head. That’s what I did, and it’s what made me realize I know far less about most of Phillies history than I know about any other major league team. I can name a couple guys from the 1915 pennant winners (Pete Alexander, Granny Hamner [author update: as pointed out in the comments below, Granny Hamner, despite his old timey name, somehow escaped existing in the deadball era and was instead a member of the 1950 Whiz Kids]) and a couple guys from the 1950 pennant winners (Richie Ashburn, Robin Roberts) and a couple guys from the 1964 team that collapsed in the pennant race (Johnny Callison, Richie Allen) and the rest of my knowledge about the Phillies is restricted to the team’s 1976–1980 golden age during my baseball-obsessed childhood, along with some vague recollections of players that came afterward, mostly those now suspiciously misshapen uglies from the 1993 pennant-winning team.

With the above thoughts about the vagaries of Phillies history in mind, Mike Schmidt stands out more than any other player would in a consideration of an all-time franchise all-star team. Interestingly enough, however, he may not have been considered the best third baseman in franchise history until he’d been around for a while. First he had to surpass the feats of his 1974 home run leader counterpart, Dick (aka Richie) Allen, who while playing third base for the Phillies mangled National League pitching for several years during the very difficult hitter’s era of the 1960s. Apparently Allen was not a good fielder, however, while Schmidt was the best in his league for many years, and anyway Schmidt stuck around long enough to lead the Phillies to their only World Series victory and to pass Allen, and everyone, on most of the Phillies career record lists. (But the ever-underrated Allen does hold a lead over Schmidt in adjusted OPS+ in games played with the Phillies, 153 to 147.)

The current edition of the Phillies, who took a 1–0 lead in the 2008 World Series last night, seem almost certain to fill out the other infield spots beside Schmidt on the franchise all-time all-star team before they’re done. Do they already deserve to be placed on the team? (Bonus infielder trivia: which now-retired Phillies shortstop once finished third in the MVP voting despite a .689 OPS?) And who’s your Phillies catcher? (Bonus catcher trivia: which two Phillies catchers represented the team the most times at the all-star game?) And which Phillies rightfielder (the one with the gun for an arm or the one who in some ways epitomized the hitters era of the early 1930s) ranks higher in Bill James’ rankings? And, most of all, is there a place for the Bull and Nails and One Nut?



Wild card:


  1. 1.  Without looking anything up:

    c: Daulton (his bat over Boone’s glove)
    1b: Richie Allen (I’m cheating, he played some first for the ChiSox))
    2b: Utley
    ss: Rollins
    3b: Schmidt
    lf: Bull! Bull! Bull!
    CF: Ashburn
    RF: Chuck Klein

    SP: Carlton
    RP: I think Jim Konstany (sp?) had an awesome year in 1950…

    Wild Card: Nails

    Wasn’t Bowa the crap SS who got MVP votes because of a low error total??

    I’d have a harder time coming up with an all-time Indian team pre-1995 (Andre Thornton??)

  2. 2.  Came up with most of these guys off the top of my head, but then supplemented with a good deal of B-R surfin’.

    C: Darren Daulton
    1B: Richie Allen
    2B: Chase Utley
    SS: Jimmie Rollins
    3B: Mike Schmidt
    LF: Ed Delahanty
    CF: Richie Ashburn
    RF: Bobby Abreu

    SP: Pete Alexander
    RP: Tug McGraw

    Wild card: Gavy Cravath

    Cravath was like the Dick Allen of the ‘teens: short career, absolute terror in the box, born to be a DH (but 60 years too early). Larry Bowa would fit there if you’re sentimental (but he was a terrible player), or Maddox if you want someone who has an idea what to do with the glove.

    Speaking of Allen, it’s kind of cheating to put him at first, since he was a 3B for all his best Phillies years, but he did play 200 games there with them. Howard probably needs at least three more great seasons to pass him in my mind (and given his age and comparables, and the fact that he already seems to be declining, I’m not sure he’ll get there). Utley probably just passed Lajoie this year.

    Catcher seems extraordinarily weak on this team. Lieberthal? Boone? Red Dooin? Yikes.

    Delahanty is an all-timer, but otherwise the outfield is packed with pretty similar all-stars. I picked Abreu ’cause he could run and play a little D, but you could make a great case for Chuck Klein and a good one for the Bull (who I suppose you’d put in left so Delahanty could play right).

  3. 3.  I’ll admit to eyeballing a few players’ stats, but only because this list seemed absurdly skewed to players from my lifetime. With minimal research it seems it’s a legit list:

    C: Bob Boone
    1B: Ryan Howard
    2B: Chase Utley
    SS: Jimmy Rollins
    3B: Mike Schmidt
    LF: Greg Luzinski
    CF: Richie Ashburn
    RF: Bobby Abreu

    RHP: Grover Cleveland Alexander
    LHP: Steve Carlton
    RP: Tug McGraw

    Wild Card: Robin Roberts

  4. 4.  2 Good call on Delahanty! I went with Roberts over Dick Allen because Roberts was instrumental in bringing Marvin Miller to the Players’ Association.

  5. 5.  Interesting choices so far. Good call on adding Cravath to the conversation. Abreu, too. I hadn’t thought of him, due to my short-term memory problems.

    Was Bowa really a crap player? He wasn’t much of a hitter, but he was, by reputation anyway, a great fielder and a great baserunner.

    I’ve always been shaky about the spelling of Delahantny (sp?) and Konstanty (sp?). Furthermore, I am never sure if the latter was on the ’50 or the ’64 team, and I have to admit that I thought the former, before plummeting to his death, was a first baseman, not an outfielder.

  6. 6.  C – Darren Daulton (My favorite time traveller of all time – http://www.darrendaulton.com/If_They_Only_Knew.html)
    1b – Ryan Howard – (Michael Scott’s favorite player at Dunder Mifflin)
    2b – Juan Samuel (I can still hear Harry Kalas pronouncing his name – Won SamWell)
    SS – Larry Bowa (I would put Steve Jeltz in since he was born in France, but he ruined my Roto team in 1988 – http://www.baseball-reference.com/j/jeltzst01.shtml)
    3B – Mike Schmidt (There’s no crying in Baseball!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOPLJQuVm_I )
    LF – Richie Allen (“If a horse won’t eat it, I don’t want to play on it.” – His own quote on artificial turf.)
    CF – Richie Ashburn (An original ’62 Met)
    RF – Ed Delahanty (I was looking for another Richie for an all Richie OF, but to no avail)
    RHP – Grover Cleveland Alexander (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045332/ – Best Baseball movie starring a US President)
    LHP – Steve Carlton (I blame him for keeping Tim McCarver relevant and ruining my baseball viewing for years)
    RP – Tug McGraw (I almost forgot that he had his own comic strip Screwgie)

    Wild Card – Von Hayes (for the same reason for Juan Samuel)

  7. 7.  5 Regarding Bowa, his ‘best’ offensive season was a 95 OPS+, his career total was 71 and he posted a 39(!) in 450 ABs in 1973. He did make a few less errors than the league in general, but not enough to cover a 39 OPS+.

    Delahanty certainly was a nice player, I simply have a hard time including players pre-1900—it was a different game.

    McGraw is probably the obvious reliever pick

  8. 8.  FWIW Granny Hamner played on the Whiz Kids not the 1915-era team.

  9. 9.  C: Darren Daulton
    1B: Ryan Howard
    2B: Chase Utley
    SS: Jimmy Rollins
    3B: Mike Schmidt
    LF: Greg Luzinski
    CF: Richie Ashburn
    RF: Chuck Klein
    SP: Steve Carlton
    RP: Tug McGraw

    I didn’t say my picks were original.

  10. 10.  6 : Great annotations. Thanks for including those.

    8 : OK, I am dumb (for the second day in a row). I’ll add a note. I guess my mind must have simply insisted that a guy named “Granny” belonged in the dead ball era. The Granny error and yesterday’s Reggie card error gives me a new idea going forward: making each of my posts into a “spot the glaring factual error” puzzle. Anyway, thanks for pointing that out.

    9 : My unoriginal picks exactly, despite Bill James surprisingly ranking Johnny Callison slightly ahead of Chuck Klein in right.

  11. 11.  I am completely unqualified to make this list, so I’ll only point out this unhelpful comment:

    My favorite Phillie of all time was Doug Glanville. It is my solemn belief that any list that talks about Phillie history should mention his name in passing.


    Doug Glanville.

    Thank you.

  12. 12.  11 : I’ll count that as a vote for the wild card spot. Glanville is beloved by Strat-O-Matic fans for being an enthusiastic player of that game.

    The wild card race thus far includes one vote each for: Doug Glanville, Nails (Lenny Dykstra), Gavvvy Cravvvath, Robin Roberts, Von Hayes, and my pick, John Kruk (to me his “I’m not an athlete, lady, I’m a baseball player” attitude–and his candle wax body–epitomized the lovable ’93 team that stands out as much as any from the Phillies’ long history).

  13. 13.  C: Darren Daulton
    1B: Jim Thome
    2B: Chase Utley
    SS: Jimmy Rollins
    3B: Mike Schmidt
    LF: Dick Allen
    CF: Richie Ashburn
    RF: Bobby Abreu
    SP: Cole Hamels
    RP: Tug McGraw

  14. 14.  Have none of you peepz ever heard of Mike Lieberthal??

  15. 15.  My favorite thing about the Phillies: Baseball’s two biggest legal dramas — the AL-NL war of the early 1900s and the battle over the reserve clause in the 1960s — each occurred because a player wanted the right to NOT have to play for the Phillies. (Nap Lajoie and Curt Flood, respectively.)

  16. 16.  Anyway…

    C Daulton
    1B Howard
    2B Utley
    3B Schmidt
    SS Rollins
    OF Delahanty
    OF Ashburn
    OF Billy Hamilton
    LHP Carlton
    RHP Alexander
    RP Konstanty
    Wild Card: Cravath

    The fact that nobody has mentioned Billy Hamilton yet is a bit weird. Only six seasons, but he was arguably the greatest player in franchise history until Schmidt came along. His Phillies career OBP was .468.

    On the other hand, you could make a pretty good outfield out of guys I left off my team altogether: Luzinski, Sam Thompson, Klein, and Abreu.

  17. 17.  C: Bob Boone
    1B: Richie Allen
    2B: Chase Utley
    SS: Jimmy Rollins
    3B: Mike Schmidt
    LF: Johnny Callison — OK, maybe was a right fielder; but I’ve known a handful of lifelong Phillies fans and they all had hard-ons for Johnny Callison, so he gets a place on my team.
    CF: Richie Ashburn
    RF: Chuck Klein

    SP: Grover Cleveland Alexander — one bad m.f.
    RP: Tug McGraw

    Wild card: Steve Carlton

    No one’s showing much love for Del Ennis, either.
    He’s only in the team’s all-time top 10 for games, at-bats, hits, doubles … he’s second in HRs.

  18. 18.  Actually, upon further review, at second base Lajoie kicks Utley’s ass six ways to Sunday (although he played one less season than Utley has).

    I’m changing my vote to Lajoie. Utley probably overtakes him in a year or two.

  19. 19.  ok not looking at anyone else’s list, just off the top of my head:

    C: Andy Seminick
    1B: Ryan Howard
    2B: Chase Utley
    SS: Jimmy Rollins
    3B: Mike Schmidt
    LF: Gavvy Cravath
    CF: Richie Asburn
    RF: Bake McBride

    SP: Steve Carlton
    RP: Tug McGraw

    Wild card: Dick Allen

  20. 20.  20 obviously I didn’t get cravath or seminick off the top of my head.

  21. 21.  Don’t push a car backwards in the direction of uphill with one of your hands on the headlight when pushing the car.

    yours truly
    Richard Allen

  22. 22.  Wild Card – Pete Rose.

    Schmidt, Carlton et al. didn’t win a WS in Philly until Pete got there. Pete just seems like a Philadelphia type to me.

  23. 23.  15 Not everyone is hellbent on avoiding Philly. Just ask WC Fields.

  24. 24.  These lists make me wonder if any other franchise’s best player is as superior to the rest as Schmidt (1,000 game minimum).

  25. 25.  in re “Bonus Catcher Trivia” Bob Boone and Darren Daulton represented the Phillies 3 times each (tied for most). Both were voted in as Starters once. Stan Lopata and Mike Lieberthal appeared twice. Andy Seminick, Smoky Burgess, Ozzie Virgil & Lance Parrish represented Philly once each.

    in re the “Phillies All-Time All-Star Catcher” it depends upon what you want. Darren has the Best OPS (.784 to Boone’s .661), but Bob has the better Runs Created (789 to Daulton’s 626). If one were to believe in Bill James’ Win Shares as the definitive ranking methodology, then Bob Boone wins. He has 210 WS compared to Daulton’s 159.

    Chuck Rosciam
    Encyclopedia of Baseball Catchers

  26. 26.  16 : I gotta learn more about Billy Hamilton. I really only know him for being the all-time leader in runs/game.

    24 : I agree. Carlton is a towering figure, of course (as is Alexander, but he played as many seasons for the Cubs as he did for the Phillies and had his most renowned moment as a Cardinal), but if you don’t include pitchers, I can’t think of a team where one guy stands as high above the others as Schmidt and the Phillies. As ever, I could be forgetting something obvious. Also, I wonder who among the three current Phillie MVP types has the best chance of approaching Schmidt’s stature. (I guess I’d go with Utley.)

    25 : Thanks very much for that info, Chuck. Boone was my first choice, but then I started leaning toward Daulton for the gaudier offense, and now with your help I’m leaning back toward Boone.

  27. 27.  24
    I think Schmidt’s contemporary, George Brett, is in the same position for the Royals. Granted, the Royals franchise is about a third as old as the Phillies, but there’s no one on the Royals All Time team who even comes close to approaching Brett.

  28. 28.  24 Frank Thomas is pretty far ahead of the rest of the White Sox. His closest competition are pitchers and guys who didn’t hit home runs, so it’s an apples and oranges thing.
    Also, Todd Helton probably has a pretty big lead for the Rockies.

  29. 29.  27 , 28 : Good call on Brett, though comparisons do get a little tricky when you start including teams that haven’t been around that long (relatively speaking); it gets doubly tricky when fairly recent expansion squads like Helton’s Rockies get involved (which is not to say I don’t enjoy being reminded of stand-alone guys from expansion teams).

    With that said, Thomas and the White Sox is the closest match so far to Schmidt and the Phillies, though without really looking into it I suspect Nellie Fox (Bill James’ 15th best second baseman) and Minnie Minoso (James’ 10th best left-fielder) might be closer to Thomas than any Phillie batter is to Schmidt. Also, Carlton Fisk (who though not in the Hall of Fame as a White Sox has a statue at the White Sox stadium) is one of the best catchers of all time, so he’s capable of holding his own with Thomas in a legendaryiosity contest.

  30. 30.  Okay, off the top of my head and before reading the rest of your post or the comments. And I don’t follow the Phillies.

    C: Darren Daulton
    1B: Dick Allen
    2b: Chase Utley
    ss: Larry Bowa
    3b: Mike Schmidt
    LF: Greg Luzinsky
    CF: Richie Ashburn
    RF: Chuck Klein
    SP: Steve Carlton
    Pete Alexander
    Robin Roberts
    Jim Bunning
    RP: Tug McGraw

  31. 31.  Here’s the unofficial count so far (those with no number after their name received one vote):

    C: Daulton (6 votes); Boone (3); Lieberthal; Seminick

    1B: Howard (6); Allen (3 votes as a first baseman; 6 votes overall); Thome

    2B: Utley (7); Samuel; Lajoie

    SS: Rollins (9); Bowa

    3B: Schmidt (10)

    LF: Luzinski (3); Allen (2 as a leftfielder; 6 overall); Delahanty (2 as a leftfielder; 3 overall); Cravath (1 as a leftfielder; 3 overall); Callison

    CF: Ashburn (10)

    RF: Klein (4); Abreu (3); Delahanty (1 as a RF; 3 overall); Hamilton; McBride

    SP: Carlton (7 as SP; 8 overall); Alexander (5); Hamels

    RP: McGraw (8); Konstanty (2)

    Wild card: Cravath (2 as a WC; 3 overall), Allen (1 as WC; 6 overall), Carlton (1 as WC; 2 overall); Dykstra, Roberts, Hayes, Glanville, Rose

    I’m inclined to award Allen the wild card, since he got the most votes of anyone up for that honor. Plus he WAS a wild card, wasn’t he? This leaves Gavvvy Cravvvath out in the cold for now.

  32. 32.  30 wasn’t included in 31 but it doesn’t change any of the standings, as far as I can tell.

  33. 33.  5: Maybe “terrible” is too harsh on Bowa. I know he had a good defensive reputation. But of course those are deceiving, and what little the numbers say doesn’t seem to be kind to him (his career Range Factor/9 innings is well below league average). Diamond Mind Baseball’s All Time Teams disk has him at Average, for whatever that’s worth, and BP gives him -82 career Fielding Runs “Above” Average. It seems likely to me that he didn’t field enough to justify the complete failure at the plate, anyway.

    29 et al.: I don’t know if they beat Schmidt/Phillies or Thomas/White Sox, but Cobb fairly towers over the rest of the Tigers. They’ve had better players than the Phillies or Sox (Kaline, Heilmann, and so on), but Cobb probably checks in well ahead of Schmidt and Thomas, too, so I think the difference between him and the rest might be similar.

  34. 34.  33 and others….

    Ernie Banks was a sight better than whomever you might pick as #2 (Williams, Sandberg….Tinker?) also Aaron for the same reason as Cobb (Eddie Matthews was pretty great, but 243 more homers is a lot)…

  35. 35.  33 : Interesting thought. I’d be of the opinion that Gehringer and Greenberg are farther ahead of any Phillie than Cobb might be of Schmidt.

    34 : I think I would have agreed with you about Banks if I hadn’t just this morning happened to come across a line in Bill James’ Historical Abstract: “Billy Williams was Ernie Banks without the PR.”

  36. 36.  c bob boone
    1b richie allen
    2b chase utley
    ss jimmy rollins
    3b mike schmidt
    lf greg luzinski
    cf gary maddox
    rf bake mcbride

    sp steve carlton
    rp tug mcgraw

    wc robin roberts

  37. 37.  35 Oh. My. Gawd. Looking at their (Williams and Banks) numbers side by side I think Billy was actually the better player! The other 23 guys on those Cub teams must have been really awful.

    I love Dutch Daulton, but the guy was a .200 hitter until he turned 30, then had 2 good years. He CAN NOT be on any all-time team. Other than that, I agree with all the leaders.

  38. 38.  37 : Actually, there were other good players on that Cubs team, including Hall-of-Famer Fergie Jenkins and should-be Hall-of-Famer Ron Santo. Jim Hickman wasn’t too bad either. I think they had a couple other good pitchers, too. Ken Holzman comes to mind. But they must not have had much depth or a horrific bullpen, or something.

    I’ll count that vote against Daulton as a vote for the second-place catcher, Boone, which would move Boone one vote behind Daulton….

  39. 39.  C – Darren Daulton
    1B – John Kruk
    2B – Chase Utley (greatly enjoyed Julio Franco though)
    SS – Jimmy Rollins
    3B – Mike Schmidt (though I loved Dave “the Head” Hollins)
    RF – Von Hayes
    CF – Garry Maddox – for the glove
    LF – Richie Allen
    RHP – Grover Cleveland Alexander
    LHP – Steve Carlton
    RP – Tug McGraw

  40. 40.  40. jmahonxx
    The SS third in MVP voting was Larry Bowa.
    Dave Concepcion never finished that high.
    The catchers that were on the all star team
    twice were Stan Lopata and Darren Daulton.
    The right fielder I will guess is Chuck Klein. No room for Bull, Nails or One Nut.
    Actually, the Phillies all time franchise all star is full of hall of famers or hall of famers to be (jury is still out on Lidge, but I am guessing the infield trio will make it to the HOF).

    1B Ryan Howard
    2B Chase Utley
    SS Jimmy Rollins
    3B Mike Schmidt
    RF Chuck Klein
    CF Billy Hamilton
    LF Ed Delahanty
    C Spud Davis
    SP Grover Cleveland Alexander
    RP Brad Lidge

  41. 41.  40 : Right on Bowa, but according to baseball-reference.com, Bob Boone and Darren Daulton were selected to three all-star games as Phillies (Boone also was an all-star once with an Angel); Lopata was selected to two all-star games. As for the rightfielder, James actually ranked Callison a little higher than Klein, which surprised me.

    Nice call on Spud Davis as your catcher.

  42. 42.  42. jfmahonxx

    I guessed on the catchers. Looked up the answer on baseballcatchers.com which I got from this thread. I saw Callison play and he
    was a great player. Home run in the 64 all star game to win it (saw it on TV), and MVP award for the 64 all star game. But Klein won a league MVP and is in the hall of fame. Knock on Klein is he played in a ball park with a very short right field, Baker Bowl, (under 300′) with a very high wall. Klein had about 41 outfield assists one season (I think a major league record) which may have been the result of caroms off the short right field. Callison had a cannon arm as well, and during his era was almost on a par with Clemente. But Callison
    just does not have the stats or awards that Klein had. Callison’s best seasons with the Phillies doe not match up with Klein.

  43. 43.  My list is almost completely skewed toward modern day players.

    C: Andy Seminick or Bob Boone
    1B: Ryan Howard
    2B: Chase Hutley (I originally fixated on Dave Cash)
    SS: Jimmy Rollins
    3B: Mike Schmidt
    LF: Greg Luzinski
    CF: Garry Maddox
    RF: Del Ennis

    SP: Pete Alexander/Steve Carlton
    RP: Tug McGraw

    Wild card:
    Len Dykstra (Nails can always provide these guys with financial advice)

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