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Philadelphia Phillies All-Time Lineup

Best at each position, in one season, in team history


A look at the all-time starting lineup for the Philadelphia Phillies in the team's history. It's not a career record - it's taken from the best season any player had at that position in team history to create a lineup. Because the Phillies have played since 1883, there were no shortage of candidates. And it's a lineup that's heavily weighted toward two eras, an outfield that almost exclusively played before the turn of the century and an infield from the modern era.

Starting pitcher: Steve Carlton

Steve Carlton photo

1972: 27-10, 1.97 ERA, 346.1 IP, 310 Ks, 0.993 WHIP)

Rest of the rotation: Grover Cleveland Alexander (1915, 31-10, 1.22 ERA, 12 shutouts, 241 Ks, 389 IP, .0842 WHIP), Robin Roberts (1952, 28-7, 2.59 ERA, 330 IP, 1.021 WHIP), Charlie Ferguson (1886, 30-9, 1.98 ERA, 395.2 IP, 0.976 WHIP), Roy Halladay (2010, 21-10, 2.44 ERA, 219 Ks, 250.2 IP, 1.041 WHIP)

A tough call for the Game 1 starter between two Hall of Famers, but what Carlton did on a modern team that won just 59 games is one of the great accomplishments in baseball history, winning almost half of the team's games. He struck out more than 300 as well. In the rest of the rotation, Ol' Pete Alexander wasn't old when he was at his best for the Phillies in 1915. Robin Roberts had the best season of his Hall of Fame career in 1952 and Roy Halladay represents the modern Phillies with his Cy Young season in 2010. At No. 5, Charlie Ferguson was a fantastic starter for a few seasons before dying at age 27 of typhoid fever. Those were certainly different times in the world.

Catcher: Mike Lieberthal

Mike Lieberthal photo
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

1999: .300, 31 HR, 96 RBI, .914 OPS

Backup: Darren Daulton (1992, .270, 27 HR, 109 RBI, .908 OPS)

Two modern-era catchers are on the team, with Lieberthal's best season outweighing a hero from the team's pennant-winning team in 1993. Neither Lieberthal nor Daulton are Hall of Famers by any stretch, but they were the best, especially offensively, that the team has had to offer in more than a century of play.

First baseman: Ryan Howard

Ryan Howard photo
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

2006: .313, 58 HR, 149 RBI, 1.084 OPS

Backup: Dolph Camilli (1936, .315, 28 HR, 102 RBI, 1.018 OPS)

Howard won an MVP after the 2006 season, a blockbuster statistically that served notice that he was one of the great sluggers in the game. He was intentionally walked 37 times that season. The second-stringer was the only representative of the 1930s Phillies in Camilli.

Second baseman: Chase Utley

Chase Utley photo
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

2007: .332, 22 HR, 103 RBI, .976 OPS

Backup: Juan Samuel (1987, .272, 28 HR, 100 RBI, 35 SB, .837 OPS)

The modern Phillies are all in the infield, with Utley manning second base in his stellar 2007 season, when the Phillies rallied past the Mets in the final days of the season. Utley was the Silver Slugger that season and seventh in the MVP voting. The backup was one of the few bright spots in the mid-1980s on the Phillies in the speedy Samuel, who was a good hitter but subpar defensively.

Third baseman: Mike Schmidt

Mike Schmidt photo
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

1980: .286, 48 HR, 121 RBI, 1.004 OPS

Backup: Dick Allen (1966, .317, 40 HR, 110 RBI, 1.027 OPS)

Keeping the modern theme together is arguably the best third baseman ever, who played his entire career in Philly and was a no-doubt Hall of Famer. He was the MVP and he led the Phillies to a World Series title in his best season of 1980. The backup was essentially the guy Schmidt replaced in Allen. Unlike Schmidt, he was not a great fielder at the spot, but he played 91 games that season at third base.

Shortstop: Jimmy Rollins

Jimmy Rollins photo
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

2007: .296, 30 HR, 94 RBI, 41 SB, .875 OPS

Backup: Granny Hamner (1954, .299, 13 HR, 89 RBI, .818 OPS)

Shortstop was pretty much a black hole in franchise history until Rollins came along. He was MVP during his best season in 2007, when he hit 30 homers and stole 41 bases. The backup, nudging just past Larry Bowa, was a part of the Whiz Kids in the 1950s in Hamner, who had his best season statistically in 1954.

Left fielder: Ed Delahanty

Ed Delahanty photo
Chicago History Museum/Getty Images

1899: .410, 9 HR, 137 RBI, 30 SB, 1.046 OPS

Backup: Lefty O'Doul (1929, .398, 32 HR, 122 RBI, 1.087 OPS)

We'll start a parade of early stars of the Phillies in the outfield with a Hall of Famer in Delahanty, who had his best season before the American League was even formed. The backup is O'Doul, who had his best season (by far) in 1929. He barely beat out Greg Luzinski for the spot.

Center fielder: Billy Hamilton

1894: .403, 4 HR, 90 RBI, 100 SB, 1.044 OPS

Backup: Cy Williams (1923, .293, 41 HR, 114 RBI, 11 SB, .947 OPS)

"Sliding Billy" is still third all-time in stolen bases with 912, and is the Phillies' career leader in batting average (.361) and on-base percentage (.468). His backup is also from the early eras in Williams, who had a power stroke, barely beating out Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn.

Right fielder: Chuck Klein

1932: .348, 38 HR, 137 RBI, 20 SB, 1.050 OPS

Backup: Sam Thompson (1894, .415, 13 HR, 147 RBI, 27 SB, 1.161 OPS)

Kind of a forgotten slugger in the era of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Jimmie Foxx, Klein was the "Hoosier Hammer" who hit .320 in his career with 300 homers. He made the Hall of Fame in 1980. He was the NL MVP in 1932. He kept it from being a 19th-century sweep in the outfield over "Big Sam" Thompson.

Closer: Brad Lidge

Brad Lidge photo
Elsa/Getty Images

2008: 2-0, 1.95 ERA, 41 saves (in 41 chances), 69.1 IP, 92 Ks

Backup: Tug McGraw (1980, 5-4, 1.46 ERA, 20 saves, 92.1 IP, 62 H, 75 Ks)

You can't do better than perfect, which is what Lidge was in the Phillies' championship season in 2008. He's the teams closer over McGraw, who also closed in a championship season, and the late McGraw might be better known these days as the father of country music star Tim McGraw.

Batting order

  1. Billy Hamilton CF
  2. Ed Delahanty LF
  3. Ryan Howard 1B
  4. Mike Schmidt 3B
  5. Chuck Klein RF
  6. Chase Utley 2B
  7. Jimmy Rollins SS
  8. Mike Lieberthal C
  9. Steve Carlton P
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