The home run derby is tonight and no Phillies are participating. That’s no surpriseas the team’s top home run hitter MaikelFranco (who leads the team) trails the league leaders by a few dingers tied for 28th place.
With baseball in the All-Star Break and no Philsgames until Friday, July 15, it’s a perfect time to remember home run hitters of the past.
Here is who we’d most like to see step out of a time machine andinto a home run derby at Citizens Bank Park.
2006 Ryan Howard
Back when he was young and unspoiled by his torn Achilles or by age, Howard was one of the best long-ball hitters in baseball. In 2006 he won NL MVP thanks in part to 58 home runs. He also won the home run derby. He’d be the favorite.
2005 Bobby Abreu
Prior to the Phillies run of success and Abreu’s trade to the Yankees, he was one of Philadelphia’s favorite athletes. The performance he put on during the 2005 derby will be remembered by all and he’d be a top contender for the Phils’ derby crown
1980 Mike Schmidt
Schmidt never eclipsed 50 homers but is the all-time franchise leader and perhaps the best Phillie of all-time. He would no doubt be the crowd favorite in the competition.
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Klein hit 43 home runs in 1929 and is the only Phillie not of the modern era to appear in the top-10 of single season home run hitters. Would he have the same pop with modern technology? He’s a dark horse pick.
2003 Jim Thome
Thome was a fan favorite during two stints in red pinstripes and turned in two 45+ home run seasons for the Phillies. He can hit it deep, and would in the friendly confines of the Bank in a derby. Prime Thome would be a solid betters choice.
2008 Chase Utley
Utley was never a home-run hitter by trade. But he did hit a bevy of clutch bombs (most of them against the Mets). His compact swing and line-drive four-baggers are forever burned into memory from the golden years. He had an ugly 7th place finish in the 2008 derby.
2008 Joe Blanton
Wouldn’t it be amazing to see how many home runs “Fat Joe” could hit if he tried? He has just one career MLB home run — Game 4 of the 2008 World Series.
2009 Matt Stairs
The same thing with Stairs. Famously telling the media he “only tries to hit home runs, he would make some nasty, ugly swings but hit some pretty,deep bombs.