Voted in 1983 as the greatest player in franchise history, this slugger spent his entire 18 year career in a Philadelphia Phillies uniform.
More than 25 years after hanging up his cleats, Mike Schmidt, or Schmitty, still holds 12 individual offensive records as a Phillies player.
Whether with a bat at the plate or a glove at third base, Schmidt’s total body of work in Philadelphia was impressive.
A sure-handed third baseman, Schmidt won 10 National League Gold Glove Awards while protecting the hot corner on the lightning fast synthetic turf of Philadelphia’s old Veterans Stadium.
Schmitty also utilized his raw power as a sculpted 6’2” and 205 lb. slugger to win eight home run titles during his career.
Schmidt Ranked 15th All-Time in MLB HR’s
In spite of an unorthodox batting stance, Mike Schmidt finished 15th all-time in Major League Baseball history with 548 dingers.
Schmidt kept himself in such great shape that legendary teammate Pete Rose made the following comment in his authorized biography Pete Rose: A Biography by David M. Jordan. “To have his (Schmidt’s) body, I’d throw in mine and my wife’s and some cash, too!”
He’s also an easy walk-off pick for my #3 spot in my FREE sports comic book Philadelphia Sports Icons.
Perhaps the highlights of Schmidt’s career were twofold: he hit four home runs in one game on April 17, 1976, and he won the MVP award while guiding the Phillies to the franchise’s first ever 1980 World Series title against the Kansas City Royals.
It’s no surprise that baseball writers voted Mike Schmidt into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1995 on the first ballot with 96.52% of the total vote. That ranks as the 4th best all-time.
The Phillies formally retired his #20 in 1990. In addition, the franchise honored Schmidt by adding him to the team’s Wall of Fame in Citizen’s Bank Park and erecting his statue. It was fittingly placed just outside the stadium’s third base gate to the ballpark.
The Sporting News Honored Mike Schmidt Twice
The Sporting News recognized Schmidt’s stellar career twice. The publication named him Major League Baseball player of the decade in the 80’s. It also honored Schmidt as #28 on its list of top 100 greatest players ever and as the highest ranking third baseman on the esteemed list.
A rotator cuff injury derailed Schmidt’s career in 1989, but his memory continues to flourish in Philadelphia.
That’s why this Baseball Hall of Fame third baseman is an easy choice at #3 in Philadelphia Sports Icons and the subject of today’s #TBT sports blog.
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MIKE on Sports!