The Phillies and “success in the All-Star Game” aren’t two things that are often associated with each other. In the Midsummer Classic’s illustrious history, only one Phillie has won the game’s MVP award, and that was outfielder Johnny Callison in 1964.
Considering that was 58 years ago, I’ve begun to wonder if there’s a curse or something at play here. Did Callison’s success use up the Phillies’ quota of All-Star heroics, leaving the franchise to forevermore be bereft of All-Star MVPs?
It’s likely that the reason for the drought isn’t that deep. The National League as a whole hasn’t had a lot of success in the All-Star Game over the past few decades. The American League is currently on an eight-game winning streak, and since 1996, they have a dominating 20-6 edge. It’s tough to take home MVP honors if you’re on the losing team every year.
For instance, you may recall that J.T. Realmuto hit a home run in last year’s game.
It would have been nice if the home run was meaningful toward the outcome, but that was just one of the NL’s two runs in a 5-2 loss.
Still, that was encouraging! Not only do Phillies not often win the MVP award, but home runs haven’t been all that plentiful either. Realmuto’s blast was only the fifth time a Phillies player has ever homered in the game. Perhaps that’s a sign that a new era of Phillies dominance is about to begin.
If that dominance will continue this season, it’s all in the hands of one man: Kyle Schwarber. As the only healthy All-Star on the Phillies (For some reason, Zack Wheeler keeps getting disrespected), Schwarber is the team’s only hope of doing something productive and maybe winning an MVP award.
One thing working in his favor: He’s likely not too tired out from the Home Run Derby on Monday night.
Kyle Schwarber hits 20 in OT, but ESPN forgets to count homerun #18.— Crossing Broad (@CrossingBroad) July 19, 2022
Robbery in the Ravine. pic.twitter.com/luIhUuWiRa
Is Schwarber up to the task? As a reserve player, there’s a chance that he could come up to the plate in a late-inning situation with the game on the line. Could he rip one deep into the night and propel the National League to victory?
We’re counting on you, Kyle! Earn that MVP award, so the ghost of Johnny Callison can finally rest!