The greatest Phillie wasn’t always great.

Mike Schmidt hit a-buck-ninety-six — that’s right, .196 — during his first full season in the major leagues in 1973.

Turns out that was just a growing pain.

In 1974, Schmidt hit .282 and won the first of his eight National League home run titles. He also led the league in slugging percentage five times and RBIs four times over an 18-year career.

Schmidt was more than just a big bat. He is widely considered the best all-around third baseman ever and his 10 Gold Gloves are a testament to the stellar defense he played.

Schmidt won three NL MVP Awards and was MVP of the 1980 World Series. He finished his career with 548 homers and 1,595 RBIs, both tops in team history. He was the team’s leader with 2,234 hits until Jimmy Rollins broke the mark in 2014.

Robin Roberts. Steve Carlton. Chuck Klein. Richie Ashburn. Ryan Howard. Chase Utley. Jimmy Rollins …

The Phillies have had some great ones.

Mike Schmidt is the greatest.

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