John Kruk: Wall of Famer

John Kruk is known by baseball fans as a lot of things -- Fun-loving, rotund and non-athletic. But this summer, the Krukster can add another entry to his resume -- Wall of Famer.

From the Phillies official press release:

First baseman John Kruk, a career .309 hitter with the Phillies, will be inducted into the Toyota Wall of Fame on Friday, August 12, prior to the 7:05 p.m. game with the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park.

A three-time All-Star with the Phillies, the 50-year-old Kruk hit over .300 in four of his six seasons (1989-94) in Philadelphia.  His .309 average ranks ninth on the club’s all-time list and he’s the first Phillies player with a career average over .300 since Richie Ashburn.

The former first baseman will join the ranks of other Phillies greats like Mike Schmidt, Harry Kalas and Steve Carlton, and get cemented as one of the great members of this franchise. Despite only spending six years with the team, Kruk was an instrumental member of the 1993 National League Champion Phillies. He was a proud member of the unkempt, slovenly, beer-chugging crew that rallied the city behind their collective mullets.

Although Kruk was never my favorite Phillie growing up, I always marveled at how a dude with his frame was able to play the game at such an elite level. He was never known for being a gym rat, and if he were playing today, he would most certainly fall into the category of “bad body type,” but that didn’t stop him from having a career line of .300/.397/.446 with 100 homers, and perhaps even more impressive, 58 stolen bases.

He’ll never be revered as one of the greatest to ever play the game and he’ll always look like “that guy who is sweating all the time,” but for my money, Kruk is one of the best things that ESPN has going for them and he’ll go into the books as one of the All-Time Phillie greats.

Congrats, John.

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