10 Philly athletes who made an instant impact
10 Philly athletes who made an instant impact
We’ve seen a couple Philly athletes make a splash recently as mid-season additions, which left us wondering what Philadelphia athletes have made the most remarkable impacts immediately after arriving here. Some of these went on to have very good careers. Others quickly disappeared. But each one of them got off to a tremendous start after first putting on an Eagles, Phillies, Flyers or Sixers uniform. (USA Today Images)
The Phillies brought Bystrom up as a September call-up for the 1980 stretch run on the way to the World Series, and he responded by winning all five of his September starts as a 21-year-old unknown in the middle of a pennant race.
Bystrom was 5-0 with a 1.54 ERA that September and remains one of just 20 pitchers in MLB history to be 5-0 in his first five career starts, but that 1.54 ERA is seventh-best of those 20 pitchers. Bystrom went 19-22 with a 4.66 the rest of his Phillies career before a brief stint with the Yankees. After winning five games the first month of his career, he won only 19 games in his five remaining MLB seasons. (AP Images)
Garner missed the first few weeks of his rookie season in 1994, but he rushed for 111 yards and two TDs against the 49ers in his NFL debut at Candlestick Park, and 122 yards a week later against the Redskins at the Vet. To this day, he’s one of only six players in NFL history to rush for at least 110 yards in each of his first two career games, and his 233 yards are ninth-most in NFL history by a player in his first two games.
Garner had only two more 100-yard games over the next 4½ years with the Eagles but became a Pro Bowler and two-time 1,000-yard rusher later in his career with the 49ers. (USA Today Images)
It wouldn’t be fair to say Hart single-handedly saved the Flyers’ season, but the 20-year-old has come close. He’s 11-6-1 in his first 17 career starts, including eight straight wins at one point, and his 2.48 goals-against would be ninth-best in the NHL if he had enough games to qualify. His 11 wins are already fourth-most in NHL history by a 20-year-old, and he wasn’t even called up until mid-December.
The only goalie in NHL history with more wins in his first 18 starts is Jim Carey of the Caps in 1994-95. Right now, Hart’s .924 save percentage is second-highest ever by a Flyers rookie, behind only Doug Favell’s .931 mark in 1967-68. (USA Today Images)
The 76ers acquired Harris from the Clippers last week, and in his first four games — three wins and a close loss to the Celtics — he’s averaged 17.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists while providing a ton of energy on the defensive end. For the sake of comparison, the only players in 76ers history to average 17 points, 7 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game are Charles Barkley, Wilt Chamberlain, Billy Cunningham and George McGinnis. (USA Today Images)
After getting traded along with Ben Francisco from the Indians to the Phillies in late July of 2009, Lee made 11 starts during the stretch run for the Phils in his first stint in Philadelphia. In his first five appearances in a Phillies uniform, Lee went 5-0, allowing 24 hits, three earned runs, walking six and striking out 39 with an ERA of 0.68 as the Phillies solidified their hold on first place in the N.L. East.
Lee then went 4-0 with a 1.56 in the postseason with 33 strikeouts and six walks. He wound up making two All-Star teams in his second stint with the Phillies, but he was never better than that initial stretch in 2009. (USA Today Images)
Dominguez was promoted from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on May 7 of last spring and began his Phillies career with 12 consecutive scoreless appearances. He became the first pitcher in MLB history to not allow a baserunner in his first six appearances and also the first ever to allow allow no runs, no walks and a total of two or fewer hits in his first 12 career games. After 17 games, he had allowed 10 hits and had 27 strikeouts and three walks with a 1.27 ERA in 21 innings.
The rest of the season, Dominguez came back to Earth — 22 hits, 47 strikeouts, 19 walks and 19 earned runs in 37 innings — a 4.62 ERA. (USA Today Images)
In his first four career games after replacing an ineffective Ty Detmer in 1997, Bobby Hoying completed 60 percent of his passes with seven touchdowns, one interception and a 98.4 passer rating that to this day is the 11th-highest in NFL history by a player after four starts.
The rest of his career? Hoying completed 51 percent of his passes with four touchdowns, 14 interceptions and a 51.4 passer rating. In the last 25 years, only two QBs — Akili Smith and Craig Whelihan — had lower passer ratings after their first four career games. (USA Today Images)
Ville Leino came over to the Flyers from the Red Wings late in the 2010 season and made little impact — two goals and two assists in 11 games. Going into the 2010 playoffs, Leino had 11 career goals and 20 points in 68 games. But he went nuts in the postseason, with seven goals, 14 assists and 21 points in the Flyers’ run to the Stanley Cup finals. That remains the sixth-most points ever by a Flyer in a single postseason, behind Daniel Briere, Eric Lindros, Tim Kerr, Mike Richards and Brian Propp.
Leino played 218 more NHL games with the Flyers and Sabres, recording just 29 more goals and 70 assists. (USA Today Images)
Fifty games into the 2009 season, his first with the Phillies, Raul Ibanez was hitting .340 with a league-leading 51 RBIs, 19 homers — one behind Adrian Gonzalez for the major-league lead — and a 1.115 OPS, second in baseball to Albert Pujols. At 37 and in his 14th season, he made his first All-Star team. But he hit only .228 the rest of the year, and over the rest of his Phillies career, he hit .253 with a .753 OPS and 51 homers. Some 27 percent of his homers as a Phillie came in his first 50 games, representing just 11 percent of his games in a Phillies uniform. (USA Today Images)
In his NBA debut, the 76ers’ 2013 first-round pick had 22 points, 12 assists, nine steals and seven rebounds against the Heat. No player has put up those numbers in any game since. MCW was one steal and three boards away from a QUADRUPLE double in his first career game, and he remains the only player in NBA history with 20 points and seven steals, rebounds and assists in his first game. Soon, MCW joined Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Chris Paul as only the fourth NBA player with 800 points, 250 rebounds, 250 assists and 100 steals in his first 50 games.
By the middle of the next year, he was traded to the Bucks, and he’s now with his fifth NBA team, averaging just 9 minutes per game for the Rockets. (USA Today Images)