The Last Time The Philadelphia Phillies Were On The World Series Stage, It Was All About MLBbro MVPs Jimmy Rollins & Ryan Howard

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.

No MLBbros In 2022 Fall Classic | First Time Since 1950 World Series Sadly Void Of Soul

No MLBbros In 2022 Fall Classic | First Time Since 1950 World Series Sadly Void Of Soul

By Ethan Sands

For the first time since 1950, the World Series will be without any U.S.-born Black players. Dusty Baker, the Astros’ storied 73-year-old manager, was just a year old, and the clock had just struck four years for Reggie “Mr. October” Jackson the last time.

In 1947, Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, and there has since been a rich history of Black ball players following in his footsteps and leading their teams deep into the postseason.

Houston’s outfielder Michael Brantley and relief pitcher Josh James are both injured, while the Phillies had no Black players on their opening roster this year for the first time since 1959. Leaving both teams without a U.S.-born Black player on their World Series rosters.

“That is eye opening,” Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, told the Associated Press. “It is somewhat startling that two cities that have high African American populations, there’s not a single Black player.

“It lets us know there’s obviously a lot of work to be done to create opportunities for Black kids to pursue their dream at the highest level.”

The Yankees Aaron Hicks, the Dodgers’ Mookie Betts, San Diego’s Josh Bell, Cleveland’s Triston McKenzie and Atlanta’s Michael Harris II all fell short in this year’s playoffs of reaching baseball’s biggest stage.

While there are many Afro-Latino players for fans to cheer on in the final days of the 2022 season, the thought of having someone to look up to that looks like you and has a similar upbringing is still lost on young baseball fans.

The discrepancy is apparent on the field, but a more significant issue might be in the executive offices or calling balls and strikes. Chicago White Sox executive vice president Kenny Williams is the only Black leader of baseball operations for a Major League team. Alan Porter is the only Black umpire, and Carlos Torres is the lone Latino review official on the World Series crew.

Although the lack of U.S.-born Black players is alarming, the game is slowly reaching marginalized communities.

MLB founded its first Urban Youth Academy in 2006. Eleven alumni of the MLB Youth Academy (which opened its first location in Compton, Calif.) have reached the Majors, including Hicks, Kyle Higashioka, Hunter Greene and Dillon Tate.

The 2022 Draft made history when four of the first five players selected were Black.

Druw Jones, Kumar Rocker, Termarr Johnson and Elijah Green all competed in an MLB Youth Academy along with other initiatives such as the MLB Youth Academy, DREAM Series and the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program. Since 2018, 635 MLB Develops program alumni (90% of whom are Black) have gone on to play at the college level.

“I just want to follow in the footsteps of the guys who paved the way,” Johnson, the fourth overall pick in this year’s Draft, said. “Like Marquis Grissom, who has his own baseball association, or something like MLB Develops.”

Grissom is the President and Founder of the Marquis Grissom Baseball Association and a former Major Leaguer. He’s helped with the 44 Classic — named in honor of club legend Hank Aaron — in each of its first four years. The event furthers Aaron’s legacy to increase diversity in baseball by highlighting top, diverse high school baseball talent from the Southeast. He also helps with the RBI Fall Development programs.

MLB has also partnered with the Players Alliance to help increase participation in baseball among Black youth, with a commitment of up to $150 million over a 10-year period beginning in 2023.