Jul 7, 2012

All-Time Phillies First Baseman List: 2010 Topps Ryan Howard Commemorative Patch Representing

This is one of two commemorative patches worth getting for me from the last few years of blaster box patches; the other one of course is one featuring the 1980 World Series. That would be a bias for winning years. The Phillies are not in the midst of a winning year. There's an obvious statement...discuss the implications. But with every dark cloud of a season, there are sparkles in the darkness (or silver linings). Last night, Ryan Howard returned to burnish the desire of every Phillies fan to scream out, "Well, let's see what would have happened if everyone was healthy." This is the rallying cry of many doomed teams. Of course, they are 1-8 since Utley's return, so there are no guarantees. Howard has had a starburst type of career in that it has been short, productive, and hard to predict where the next light will fall. His best year was his MVP year of 2006 when he had 58 HR, 149 RBI, and other career highs in AVG (.313), OBP (.425), SLG (.659), OPS+ (167), total bases (383),and BB (108). He had great seasons in 2007 and 2009 with 2008 being a great power season. 2010 and 2011 were merely good seasons in the scheme of things. His on base and power production both dropped significantly from that peak, and if not for the injury has looked into settling into a 125 OPS+ player with 30 HR, 100 RBI, and .350 OBP. Productive, but not worth $25 million per year (but that's a discussion for another day. Historically, first base has not been a strong position for the Phillies over the years. There have been some outstanding seasons and few outstanding players over the years that have played there for multiple seasons. Howard easily ranks first in Phillies history. Here's a cursory look at the rankings based on nothing more than statistical glances, longevity, and arbitrary bonuses for the postseason. 1. Ryan Howard (2005-present) 2. John Kruk (1989-1993) 3. Pete Rose (1979-1983) 4. Dolph Camilli (1934-1937) 5. Jim Thome (2003-2005) 6. Fred Luderus (1910-1920) 7. Don Hurst (1928-1934) 8. Willie Montanez (1971-1975) 9. Eddie Waitkus (1949-1953) 10. Von Hayes (1986-1988) 11. Frank McCormick (1946-1947) 12. Deron Johnson (1969-1973) 13. Rico Brogna (1997-2000) 300. Travis Lee (2000-2002) 500. John Mabry (2002 for 21 games)

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