Roberts, Whitey, Lefty and Michael Jack Make up Phillies’ ‘Franchise Four’
A pair of players from the "Whiz Kids", Lefty and the greatest third baseman of all-time, have been voted by fans as the Philadelphia Phillies' Franchise Four.
Richie Ashburn, Robin Roberts, Steve Carlton and Mike Schmidt comprise their Franchise Four, a campaign to pick the top four players in the history of each MLB team, all of which were announced before Tuesday's All-Star Game in Cincinnati.
The Phillies picks are relatively non-controversial, although a case could be made for Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard or Cole Hamels to have been included.
Ashburn made six All-Star teams in his 12 years with the Phillies, winning the American League batting title on two different occasions in 1955 and 1958. After his 12 seasons in Philly he was traded to the Cubs and finished his career with 2,574 hits and a .308 lifetime average. Ashburn was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Hall's Veterans Committee in 1995.
Roberts played 13 seasons with the Phillies, making seven All-Star teams, leading the majors in wins four times and two times he lead the major in strikeouts. During his 19-season career, Roberts compiled a 286–245 record with 2,357 strikeouts, a 3.41 ERA, 305 complete games, 45 shutouts, and 4,688⅔ innings pitched in 676 games. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1976.
Carlton played 14 seasons with the Phillies, winning four Cy Young awards, he led the NL in wins four times and led the NL in strikeouts five times. He made 10 All-Star teams and won the 1972 ERA title and won the gold glove in 1981. His 4,136 career strikeouts ranks fourth all-time and is second only to Randy Johnson by a left-handed pitcher and made the baseball Hall of Fame in 1994.
Schmidt is considered by many to be the greatest third baseman to ever play the game. The three time NL MVP award winner, was a 12-time All-Star and a 10 time gold glove winner. He led the NL in RBIs four times, and eight times he led the NL in home runs. His 548 home runs ranks him 15th all-time.
The MLB also announced the Franchise Four Greatest Living Players: Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax and Johnny Bench.