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Robin Roberts Dies at 83: Best Phillies Pitcher ever?

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Philadelphia Phillies pitching great Robin Roberts passed away at age 83 on Thursday at his home.  robin roberts

Roberts will be known forever as one of the top two pitchers in franchise history.  Steve Carlton is the clear-cut #1, but Roberts is a close #2 and there are arguments that can be made as to why Robin Roberts may be the best pitcher in Phillies franchise history.

One such argument is that Robin Roberts had six straight 20-win seasons for some really bad Phillies teams.  Added to that, he has 305 complete games in his career.  During Roberts' heyday, his statistics read like video game statistics.  They were quite remarkable.   He had 30 complete games in 1952 and 33 in 1953!  During his 7-year reign of dominance he had 205 complete games. 

What is most remarkable is that during his 7-year peak, he compiled 157 wins for some bad Phillies teams.  The Phillies records went like this:

1950:  91-63

1951:  73-81

1952:  87-67

1953:  83-71

1954:  75-79

1955:  77-77

1956:  71-83

Over this span, the Phillies compiled 557 wins, good for an average of 79.5 per year.  He averaged 22.4 wins over this 7-year stretch, which was good for 28.2% of the Phillies' total wins over this span. 

There's something to be said for that.  His career tapered off after that and he would never see 20 wins again, but between 1950 and 1956 he was phenomenal.  He also did something Steve Carlton didn't do and that's have six straight 20-win seasons and for some not-so-great Phillies squads.  However, Steve Carlton played for some atrocious teams over his career and his win-total suffered.  Added to that, Carlton had strikeout numbers that were insane, something Roberts lacked. 

As they say though, wins alone do not make a Hall of Fame pitcher, but Robin Roberts was more than just a winning pitcher.  He was a workhorse who did things on the mound that will never be equaled by the primadonnas of today.