Just in time for the postseason, Sporting News selected the most beloved player for each of the 30 MLB teams.
According to the criteria, they weren’t looking for the best or most respected player while compiling the list, but rather the current or former player who "touched the hearts of fans through his actions on the field and in the community."
Sporting News used its own baseball experts, as well as social media interaction, to narrow the list down to a single player from each franchise.
The Phillies, of course, had several qualified candidates to consider.
Mike Schmidt, Robin Roberts and Chase Utley were all considered, but in the end, revered centerfielder Richie Ashburn was selected as the most beloved Phillie of all time.
From Sporting News:
“Ashburn was a popular All-Star center fielder for the Phillies during the 1950s and a key player on the pennant-winning Whiz Kids of 1950. But his love affair with generations of Philadelphia fans was cemented during his decades as a wry color commentator on the team's radio and TV broadcasts. All told, he was part of the Phillies' family for all but three years from 1948 until his death in 1997.”
Schmidt was an extremely popular player and Utley has made his own case as of late, but Ashburn’s ties to the city, as well as the organization, make him a logical selection.
"Richie Ashburn is arguably the most beloved figure in the long and storied history of Philadelphia sports," stated Dan Stephenson, the author of "Richie Ashburn: A Baseball Life."
According to this list, he is at least the most beloved Phillie.