Last Friday, the Phillies enshrined former first baseman — and three-time all-star — John Kruk in their Wall of Fame, the organization’s very own Hall of Fame.
Kruk joined a long list of Phillies greats including Robin Roberts, Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Darren Daulton and Harry Kalas, to name a few. Being the memorable, no-nonsense kind of guy that he is, Kruk finished his speech with a comment to all the people and players that talk badly about Philadelphia.
“You hear players and media people say it’s tough to play in Philly in front of these fans,” Kruk said. “To these people, I say, ‘You didn’t have the guts to succeed here!’”
This got me thinking about the current Phillies roster and who, if any, would some day be enshrined on that Wall of Fame with Kruk and the gang.
To be considered, players must have been with the team for at least fives years, with pitchers required to have been in at least 180 games and position players needing to have been in at least 700. Managers and coaches must have four years of service with the team.
With that in mind, here are a few candidates.
While his future with the team is uncertain, his credentials rank him among the best Phillies ever. He is a three-time all-star with a National League MVP Award (2007), multiple Gold Glove awards and a Silver Slugger Award.
His name also can be found among others on most of the Phillies’ all-time career lists. Rollins undoubtedly will be on that wall.
Is an explanation really needed here? Utley is a perennial Gold Glover and all-star starter who has consistently provided the spark this team has needed every year since he took over at second base. He also holds the Phillies record for most starts at second base.
He was named Rookie of the Year in 2005. He was named Most Valuable Player in 2006. He already ranks second (behind Mike Schmidt) for most homers ever by a Phillie. Love him or hate him, he likely will be up there as well.
The three guys listed above often overshadow Victorino, but he very well could make it onto the wall.
Just look at his current numbers: .313 batting average, 12 homers, 12 triples and 15 stolen bases. He also has been voted onto two all-star teams and has won three Gold Gloves. I would not be surprised to see him get in either.
The man has steered this organization to a World Series trophy and is working on a second. Not to mention the two National League pennants and four consecutive NL East crowns he has delivered. He went from being the guy everyone made fun of because of the way he talked to the guy everyone loves because of the way he wins. He’s in.
Hamels probably has the best chance of all the pitchers on the current roster to make the wall, assuming the Phillies can sign him to a long-term contract.
He has two all-star nominations already as well as a National League Championship Series MVP award and a World Series MVP award.
He also is putting together a strong case to win the Cy Young Award this season. Assuming he keeps doing what he’s doing, he will be up there as well.
A few others
Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee have the potential to put together some really impressive numbers in Phillies pinstripes but may not be able to reach the required number of games for consideration.
Brad Lidge had one of the best seasons ever, if not the best season ever, by a Phillies reliever, but is that enough to get him in?
Ryan Madson is one of the longest-tenured pitchers on the staff but would have to re-sign here and keep developing into the closer that he seems destined to become. ••
Columnist Matt Godfrey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org