The Last Time The Philadelphia Phillies Were On The World Series Stage, It Was All About MLBbro MVPs Jimmy Rollins & Ryan Howard
The Phillies 2022 World Series appearance made the rounds on social media. Not because the Fall Classic brings in casual fans from around the world to indulge in their couple of games of baseball a year. But because for the first time since 1950, there were no MLBbros on either team’s playoff roster.
The City of Brotherly Love has been clamoring for a return to the World Series since winning the 2008 title and losing the 2009 WS to the New york Yankees. If the Phillies are able to win four of seven games from the Astros and a World Series ring, the complexion of the team and its superstars will be much different than the Phillies team that dominated baseball behind the MVP bats of two MLBbros – shortstop Jimmy Rollins and first baseman Ryan Howard. MLBBro legend Tom “Flash” Gordon was on that team, rounding out the brotherhood and showing mentorship to Phillies’ young stars
2022 Vanilla Phillies vs 2008 Philly Funksters
These Phillies are a balanced bunch with one iconic player in free agent Bryce Harper, who contributes the all-around game, heart and hustle, similar to Rollins. His battery mate Kyle Schwarber provides elite punch like Howard.
Speaking of “The Big Piece,” the 6-foot-4, 250-pound rocket launcher, former National League MVP (2008) and two-time league home-run leader, was slowed by injuries dramatically in the later part of his 13-year career.
His first eight years, however, were Hall of Fame worthy as he dominated MLB pitching and displayed historic power from his Rookie of the Year campaign in 2005 to the end of the 2011 season when Howard hit the deck between the batter’s box and first base, rupturing his Achilles and altering the course of baseball history forever.
Howards whopping five-year, $125-million extension that he signed in April of 2010, was to begin in 2012.
At the time, Big Piece was on his way to becoming a titan as one of four players to hit at least 40 home runs and have 130-plus RBIs in four straight seasons. Babe Ruth did it seven times, from 1926-32. Sammy Sosa (1998-01) and Ken Griffey Jr. (1996-99) did it four times.
Howard hit an impressive 382 dingers, but he hit 198 (60 percent) of those career home runs in a four-year span.
In his peak seasons, from 2006-2011, he was one of baseball’s all-time celebrated Black Knights. He teamed up with 2007 NL MVP and shortstop Jimmy Rollins to bless baseball with the only World Series squad the sport had seen in years that was driven by All-Star African American players.
Ryan led baseball with 58 homers and149 RBI in 2006, In 2007, he delivered 47 homers with 136 RBI, and in 2008 he crushed another MLB-leading 48 homers while leading the Phillies to their first World Series title since 1980. In 2009, his last healthy year as a player, he pounded another 45 homers.
The emergence of Howard (whose colossal presence, power and gentleman-like dominance likens him to 2014 HOF inductee Frank “Big Hurt” Thomas ) had The City of Brotherly Love glued to the TV set when the funky Phillies started smoking. Adding excitement and increased fan interest to the Phillies success was the fact that two brothers were the faces of baseball at a time when African-American participation in the game was waning and needed a boost.
Rollins is one of the premier shortstops of his generation. He’s also one the most underrated as his career numbers against the all-time great offensive shortstops of his era certainly should garner him more Hall of Fame consideration. His combination of speed, power and athleticism was the spark for one of the golden eras in Philadelphia Phillies history.
In his prime, Rollins was considered a Top Five player in the game and is easily one of the most multi-faceted second baseman to ever play the game.
In his prime, Rollins was a 30-30 guy and also did 20-20-20 (homers, doubles and triples). A dynamic base runner and fielder, the 5-foot-8 shortstop won four Gold Gloves and made three All-Star teams with Philly.
The switch-hitting Rollins ranks first in Phillies history in doubles (479), at-bats (8,628) and hits (2,306). He’s also second in stolen bases (453 which is also fourth-most among active players) and total bases (3,655). He’s comfortably in the top 10 of nearly every offensive category in club history and holds the distinction of being one of 19 players in major league history with at least 400 doubles, 100 triples and 200 home runs. He is also seventh all-time with 46 leadoff homers.
The Phillies have an excellent chance at winning the World Series, with no Bros in sight. It isn’t ideal, but the baseball fans in Philly will take it any way they can get it. Let’s not forget, however, when Philly was all on Black Baseball’s tip. It wasn’t that long ago.