Thursday, February 18, 2010

Batting Fifth: Chuck Klein- Right Field

Philadelphia Phillies All-Time Line Up (Part 5 of a 9 Part Series)

In three different tours of duty with the club, Chuck Klein established himself as one of the organization's top all-time players. Although his career spanned 17 seasons, his best work came over the initial six years after the Phillies signed him when the Commissioner essentially ruled a group of St. Louis Cardinals players "free agents."

Klein quickly proved to be one of the Phillies organization's shrewdest business transactions ever as he averaged 36 HR's and 139 RBI's while batting .359 over a five year period from 1929-1933. In that span, Klein won the NL MVP Award and twice was runner-up.

The lefty slugger put together some of the greatest campaigns in team, and league, history. Ironically, he won a rare Triple Crown in 1933, yet finished second in the MVP voting. Additionally, he barely got any MVP consideration in 1930 when he accumulated a Ruthian stat line that included 250 hits, 40 HR's, a team record 170 RBI's, and a .386 batting average.

Besides being a prolific hitter, Klein also made his mark on defense and the base paths. He used his strong arm in right field to set a single-season record of 44 assists that still stands today. And, he was the last player to lead the league in home runs and steals in a season.

Twenty-two years after his untimely death, Baseball's Veteran's Committee recognized his talents by inducting him into the Hall of Fame.


Phillies 963 243 983 .326 71 .379 .553

Career 1168 300 1201 .320 79 .375 .543

Honorable Mention:

Ed Delahanty- Not to be confused with the famous talking horse, "Big Ed" put together some eye popping numbers over his 13 year stint with the Phillies, including three seasons where he hit over .400. Because his career was almost entirely prior to the recognized "modern era" when fielders essentially wore fat fingered batting gloves, his statistics carry less weight.

Philadelphia Phillies All-Time Line Up

Batting First: Richie Ashburn- Center Field

Batting Second: Chase Utley- Second Base

Batting Third: Mike Schmidt- Third Base

Batting Fourth: Ryan Howard- First Base

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