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February 09, 2024

Ranking the best Phillies shortstops ever

After Jimmy Rollins, who makes our best ever shortstop top 10?

Phillies MLB
Jimmy Rollins Big Ol' Smile SIPA USA/for PhillyVoice

Jimmy Rollins: all smiles, as always.

Over the last few winters, we've passed the time by ranking things. We ranked every Eagles player, and Sixers player by position while also throwing in some other lists that weren't quite as fun.

For the next two weeks, leading up to pitchers and catchers reporting to Clearwater for the 2024 Phillies, we decided to take a look at each position in the Phillies storied 100+ year history and come up with a list of the all-time greats at each position.

We're going to limit our lists to 10 (with a few extra mentions) in part because there have been more than 2,000 different players to appear in at least one game for the Phillies. But we did look at everybody.

Ranking Phillies

1B | 2B | 3B | SS | LF | CF | RF | SP | RP | Manager

Continuing with shortstop we had a few requirements. The player had to have started at the position for at least three seasons in Philadelphia and their statistical and cultural impact were both weighed when making these rankings.

The pickings at short were slim to say the least. There is a drop off a cliff after the top two names, which really underlines the struggles this franchise has had up the middle throughout its history. Before we dive into our top 10, here's a look at a handful of shortstops that either didn't qualify, or make the cut talent-wise:

Kevin Stocker456.262/.347/.350
Dickie Thon431.259/.302/.374
Iván de Jesús463.249/.319/.319
Bobby Wine7311963 Gold Glove
Joe Sullivan219.324/.388/.405
Monte Cross573.230/.312/.293

Many of the infielders above are names not household names, and a lot of the players we ranked below boast longevity more than talent. 

1. Jimmy Rollins (2000-14)

.267/.327/.424 | 216 HR, 887 RBI, 453 SB | MVP, 3 All-Star, 4 Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, 2008 World Series Champion

Shamus Clancy: One of the coolest Philadelphia athletes ever, Rollins was the heart of the Phillies' Golden Age run. His MVP performance in 2007 ended the franchise's 14-year playoff drought as his prediction of the Fightins being "the team to beat" rang true. Spending 15 big league seasons with the Phils, Rollins is the franchise's all-time leader in both hits and doubles. His No. 11 deserves to be retired for his role in revitalizing the organization regardless if he ends up in Cooperstown. 

2. Larry Bowa (1970-81)

.264/.301/.324 | 13 HR, 421 RBI, 288 SB | MVP, 5 All-Star, 2 Gold Glove, 1980 World Series Champion

Nick Tricome: An All-Star and Gold Glover who was key to forming the group that won the franchise's first ever World Series, especially once October hit against the Astros and then the Royals. 

3. Granny Hamner (1944-59)

.263/.305/.385 | 103 HR, 705 RBI | 3 All-Star

Evan: Granville Wilbur Hamner was a benchwarmer for the Phils for four seasons before he broke onto the scene in 1948. He'd go on to play six seasons that saw him receieve MVP votes, including a 6th place finish with the 1950 Whiz Kid team.

4. Dave Bancroft (1915-20)

.251/.330/.319 | 14 HR, 162 RBI | Hall of Famer

Evan Macy: Bancroft is in the baseball hall mostly due to his performances with the Boston Braves and New York Giants after he started his career in Philadelphia. He was known as a hard-nosed player who feuded with the Phils manager and demanded a trade. He was one of the best defensive players of all time.

5. Mickey Doolin (1905-13)

.236/.282/.313 | 11 HR, 445 RBI, 119 SB 

Evan: Doolin went to Villanova after the turn of the century and played more than 1,300 games at shortstop for the Phillies. In 1911 and 1913 he finished in the top 14 in MVP voting.

6. Dick Bartell (1931-34)

.295/.358/.379 | 2 HR, 161 RBI, 119 SB | All-Star

Nick: Bartell brought a solid bat and dependable glove, which got him an All-Star nod during his several years in Philly. 

7. Trea Turner (2023-present)

.266/.320/.459 | 26 HR, 76 RBI

Evan: Based on the history of this team's shortstop play, Turner's second half in 2023 is one of the better stretches ever at the position. You can thank Phillies' fans and their loving standing ovation for that. Under contract for 10 more seasons, it's pretty possible he finishes his career as the third best SS in Phillies history (or better).

8. Bob Allen (1890-94)

.237/.331/.333 | 13 HR, 281 RBI

Evan: Allen apparently played youth baseball with President Warren Harding in Ohio. He also, after becoming a manager of the Reds in 1900, "occasionally inserted himself into the game at shortstop." Can you imagine a manager doing that today? Anyway he was the Phillies first real everyday shortstop. 

9. Freddy Galvis (2012-17, 21)

.244/.287/.373 | 57 HR, 247 RBI

Shamus: The heir apparent to Rollins at short, Galvis was a solid, if unspectacular, infielder for the Phils during a forgettable period in the franchise's history. With slick fielding on display, Galvis also had a surprising amount of pop as his career developed, hitting 20 homers for the ball club in 2016. 

10. Heinie Sand (1923-28)

.258/.343/.344 | 18 HR, 251 RBI

Nick: An OK player who only went for a few years, but the one that also apparently brushed off a $500 bribe from the NewYork Giants toward the end of the 1924 season to go easy on them as they were chasing a pennant. Giants outfielder Jimmy O'Connell and coach Cozy Dolan got banned from baseball for that. Wild trip through the archives there.

Follow Evan on Twitter:@evan_macy

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