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Top 10 Left-Handed Hitters in Phillies History – Phillies Nation

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Chase Utley (left) and Ryan Howard (right) are two of the greatest players in Phillies history. (Jeff Conner/Icon Sportswire) Phillies Nation has created a list of the 10 greatest left-handed hitters in the history of a franchise that has existed since 1883. Here’s a few notes on the criteria for this list: The only numbers that were considered for this list are those produced as a member of the Phillies. So, for example, Jim Thome would have for sure been on a list of greatest left-handed hitters to ever play for the Phillies if we considered his production in Cleveland and Chicago. But when you only look at the parts of four seasons he spent with the Phillies, the Hall of Famer fell a bit short. We tried our best to stick to just numbers produced by players, regardless of era. The way baseball is played in 2023 is drastically different than it was in the late-1800s. Athletes are bigger, faster and stronger now than they were then. Before 1947, Black players were not able to play in the majors, which drastically altered the competition level. Stadium size and season length has changed. The most fair way for this list to be constructed was just to weigh the production that a given player put up during their own era. This list is simply about what you do at the plate, not any other aspect of the game. So while the ability to work walks was weighed, fielding was not. Neither were stolen bases, though they are part of a player’s offensive profile. Both peak performance and longevity were factors that were both considered when deciding which candidates would make this list. Switch hitters — such as Jimmy Rollins — were not in play for this countdown. They’ll have their own day. FanGraphs‘ calculation of WAR — commonly referred to as “fWAR” — was utilized in this countdown With all that out of the way, here are the 10 greatest left-handed hitters in Phillies history: Johnny Callison spent a decade with the Phillies. (Sports Illustrated Archives) 10. Johnny Callison (1960-1969) Best Season as a Phillie – 1963: .284/.339/.502 with 26 home runs, 78 RBIs, 50 walks, .840 OPS, 140 OPS+, 5.8 offensive WAR and 7.1 WAR Career Numbers as a Phillie: .271/.338/.457 with 185 home runs, 666 RBIs, 1,428 hits, .795 OPS, 122 OPS+, 32.8 offensive WAR and 36 WAR Callison made the All-Star team four times as a Phillie, winning the MVP of the Midsummer Classic in 1964. Callison also finished as the National League MVP runner-up in the infamous 1964 season. Across a decade with the team, Callison drove in 666 runs and posted an OPS just shy of .800. The Phillies inducted Callison onto their Wall of Fame in 1997. Cy Williams is one of the greatest players in Phillies history. (Wikimedia Commons) 9. Cy Williams (1918-1930) Best Season as a Phillie – 1924: .328/.403/.552 with 24 home runs, 93 RBIs, 67 walks, .955 OPS, 142 OPS+, 5.0 offensive WAR and 4.0 WAR Career Numbers as a Phillie: .306/.380/.500 with 217 home runs, 795 RBIs, 1,553 hits, .880 OPS, 131 OPS+, 35.4 offensive WAR and 28.7 WAR Williams led baseball in home runs three times during his 13 years with the Phillies. More than 90 years after he last played for the franchise, the 217 home runs that Williams hit as a Phillie are eighth in franchise history, just ahead of two franchise icons in Jimmy Rollins and Dick Allen. Williams was inducted onto the Phillies Wall of Fame in 1986. Sam Thompson is a Hall of Famer. (Goodwin and Company/Wikimedia Commons) 8. Sam Thompson (1889-1898) Best Season as a Phillie – 1894: .415/.466/.696 with 13 home runs, 149 RBIs, 42 walks, 1.162 OPS, 182 OPS+, 5.6 offensive WAR and 4.4 WAR Career Numbers as a Phillie: .334/.389/.509 with 95 home runs, 965 RBIs, 1,478 hits, .897 OPS, 144 OPS+, 31.7 offensive WAR and 29.9 WAR After beginning his career with the National League’s Detroit Wolverines, Thompson joined the Phillies ahead of the 1889 season. During parts of 10 seasons as the Phillies right fielder, Thompson led baseball in hits, doubles, home runs, RBIs, slugging percentage, OPS+ and total bases on at least one occasion. Thompson was inducted onto the Phillies Wall of Fame in 1996. “Big Sam” was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974. 7. Bryce Harper (2019-Present) Best Season as a Phillie – 2021: .309/.429/.615 with 35 home runs, 84 RBIs, 100 walks, 1.044 OPS, 179 OPS+, 6.5 offensive WAR and 6.6 WAR Career Numbers as a Phillie: .284/.395/.536 with 122 home runs, 368 RBIs, 591 hits, .931 OPS, 149 OPS+, 18.3 offensive WAR and 18.2 WAR As the only active player on this list, it’s a bit difficult to place Harper. What we do know is that he won the National League MVP in 2021, before his “Bedlam at the Bank” home run earned him the NLCS MVP in 2022. Injuries and the pandemic-shortened 2020 season have somewhat limited his regular season production, but Harper still has a .931 OPS and 122 home runs to show for his first five seasons in red pinstripes. And while he and the Phillies went ice-cold late in the 2023 NLCS, Harper has a staggering 11 home runs in two Red Octobers with the Phillies. By the time his career is over, Harper will likely be near the top of this list. Billy Hamilton (middle row, second to right) is a Phillies legend. (Wikimedia Commons) 6. Billy Hamilton (1890-1895) Best Season as a Phillie – 1894: .403/.521/.523 with four home runs, 90 RBIs, 128 walks, 1.044 OPS, 157 OPS+, 7.8 offensive WAR and 8.3 WAR Career Numbers as a Phillie: .368/.475/.471 with 21 home runs, 321 RBIs, 923 hits, .946 OPS, 156 OPS+, 35.0 offensive WAR and 34.3 WAR Not to be confused with the journeyman outfielder in today’s game, Hamilton was one of the most dominant players of his era. During Hamilton’s six seasons with the Phillies, he led all major leaguers with a staggering .468 on-base percentage and a 39.1 WAR. While he also had stints with the Kansas City Cowboys and Boston Beaneaters, Hamilton went into the Hall of Fame as a Phillie in 1961. Hamilton was inducted onto the Phillies Wall of Fame in 2004, the first season of Citizens Bank Park. Richie Ashburn is one of the greatest players in Phillies history. (Bowman Gum/Wikimedia Commons) 5. Richie Ashburn (1948-1959) Best Season as a Phillie – 1958: .350/.440/.441 with two home runs, 33 RBIs, 97 walks, .881 OPS, 136 OPS+, 6.8 offensive WAR and 6.5 WAR Career Numbers as a Phillie: .311/.394/.388 with 22 home runs, 499 RBIs, 2,217 hits, .782 OPS, 111 OPS+, 50.4 offensive WAR and 52.3 WAR While he’s perhaps even more beloved for his time in the broadcast booth with Harry Kalas, “Whitey” was a tremendous table setter during his 12 seasons with the Phillies. Ashburn won the National League batting title in both 1955 and 1958. He was the second Phillie inducted onto the team’s Wall of Fame, with the honor coming in 1979. The center fielder was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995. Ashburn’s No. 1 is one of seven numbers retired by the Phillies. 4. Ryan Howard (2004-2016) Best Season as a Phillie – 2006: .313/.425/.659 with 58 home runs, 149 RBIs, 108 walks, 1.084 OPS, 167 OPS+, 6.1 offensive WAR and 5.9 WAR Career Numbers as a Phillie: .258/.343/.515 with 382 home runs, 1,194 RBIs, 1,475 hits, .859 OPS, 125 OPS+, 22.8 offensive WAR and 19.6 WAR Howard won the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 2005, before putting together a season that earned him the National League MVP Award in 2006, as he set a new franchise record with 58 home runs in a single season. While being blocked by Jim Thome in his mid-20s and injuries in his 30s may have prevented Howard from pushing the 500-home run mark in his career, he’s still second in franchise history with 382 home runs. Howard is a sure bet to be inducted onto the Wall of Fame at some point in the next decade, and it remains to be seen if any Phillie will ever don No. 6 again. 3. Bobby Abreu (1998-2006) Best Season as a Phillie – 1999: .335/.446/.549 with…

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