The Philadelphia Phillies Part 1 of 4: ‘The Franchise’

Friday August.17/2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history. 2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4.  The Team’s Payroll going into in 2013 and 5. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  To follow all of the updates, be sure to check my author page with a list of all archived articles here.

It took the Phillies 77 years to win their first World Series in 1980, however since that time, they have been to 4 more World Series:  In 1983, 1993, 2008 and 2009, while taking home the Trophy in 2008.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):  The Phillies started as a franchise in 1883 in the city of Philadelphia-and have the longest continued stretch as their original name.  It has been a club that suffered tremendous droughts for the player and fans alike.  Only in recent vintage (since 1975) has this team come into permanent prominence, with the now Hall of Fame Mike Schmidt entering  the league and turning the fortunes of the city.  From signing Pete Rose to put them over the top for their 1st World Series Trophy, to just re-signing Cole Hamels to a 144 Million Dollar Contract, the team has been adamantly aggressive in keeping its name amongst the elite in baseballs annals. 

One could even argue that the Phillies had been the best team in baseball from 2008 up until the start of this season.  I recently named this club the best team from the years 1980-1983 and then again for the years of 2008-2009.  But before the likes of: Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins, or Curt Schilling, Lenny Dykstra and Darren Daulton, or Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton and Pete Rose, they were plenty of other men who left a mark on this historic NL Franchise.  We will look at all of the significant players that ever played for the club as a pitcher or hitter.  The pitchers and hitters will be focused on solely in the next 2 weeks.  Let us look and how the team has fared in its history.

Here are the final pitches of the 2008 World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Tampa Bay Rays. Property of Major League Baseball & Fox.

For Part 2 of The 4 Part Philles Article Series: The Hitters, click here.

For Part 3 of  The 4 Part Phillies Article Series:  The Pitchers- click here

For Part 4 of the Phillies Article Series:  Team Payroll and Contractual Statuses click here

The Phillies played at Recreation Park from 1883-1887 before moving onto Bakers Bowl from (shown in this picture) 1887-1908, Schibe Park (later named Connie Mack Stadium) from 1909-1970, Veterans Stadium 1971-2003 to the present Citizens Bank Ball Park (opened in 2004.)

The Early Years 1883-1948.

They started as the Quakers in 1883, and played out of Recreation Park in the National League.  The Record in the year 1 was 17-81-1.  The team gradually increased their win total for the next five years and by 1887, they had the second best record in the League with a 75-48-5 record.  In the next few years, the team would see its first superstars in Ed Delahanty, Sam Thompson and Billy Hamilton.  From 1886-1901, the team only had one losing season.  Unfortunately, the best they could do was finish 2nd twice.  After Delahanty retired in 1901, the team endured 3 straight losing seasons.  Sherwood (Sherry) Magee led them back over .500 in 1905 with his 98 RBI.  In 1911 the club brought up Pete (Grover) Alexander, and then the club had added Gaavy Cravath. The team lost the 1915 World Series to the Boston Red Sox 4-1. Pat Moran was their best coach in this time (1915-1918, 323-257 for a .557 win pctg.) Poor management of the team after the 1915 year, caused the team to unravel for decades (although they followed up 1915 with two straight 2nd place finishes.)  Grover Alexander had led the league in wins the last 4 years from 1914-1917, before he was traded off to the Chicago Cubs.   During the next 30 years (1918-1947), the fans starved for a winner as the Phillies only had one winning season, for that was because of a great MVP effort out of Chuck Klein in 1932.  In 1948, the team started to turn around.  The franchise had the likes of:  Granny Hammer, Andy Seminick, Dale Ennis, Curt Simmons and Willie Jones.  These guys were a good core of youngsters, yet they needed three more players to take the team to the next level.

The Ashburn Days (Whiz Kids) 1948-1959:

In 1948, Richie Ashburn, Stan Lopata and Robin Roberts joined the club and while they finished 66-88-1 that year, Philadelphia knew that the team was heading for good things.  Just two years later, the Phighting Phils were back in the Fall Classic, yet had no chance in being swept by Yogi Berra, Joe Dimaggio and the powerhouse Yankees.  This core of talent stuck together for Philadelphia for basically the entire stretch Richie Ashburn was there in Philly.  As great as they had been in 1950, they were basically a .500 team for the rest of the decade.  Eddie Sawyer had managed the team from 1948-1952 before giving way to Steve O’ Neill.

1960-69 Post Ashburn and the Collapse of 64:

The Phillies begun the decade and ended the decade as a mediocre club.  The team said goodbye to a lot of veterans and were looking to the draft to replenish the team after Ashburn was gone.  Tony Gonzalez came up with the big club in 1960 in the same year as Johnny Callison. In 1961, the team lost 107 games, including an MLB record 23 games in a row.   Richie Ashburn joined the Phillies Broadcast team and Dick Allen came up later in 1963. Rick Wise came up in the 1964 season to help aid veterans Chris Short and Jim Bunning.  The team came blistering out of the gate and held a 6 and a half game lead to the Cardinals with just weeks left.  It spoiled the whole year and was considered the greatest collapse ever until last year when both the Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox squandered big leads in the last month by posting futile records.  Lost in the shuffle was Bunning throwing the teams first perfect game on Fathers Day.  This core team posted another 4 winning seasons before they posted 3 losing seasons to end the decade.

Philadelphia Phillies 1970-1983:

The Phillies began the process of drafting great young players again.  In 1971, they hired Play by Play Man Harry Kalas (he would would work for the club for 38 years, 27 of them with Richie Ashburn, before he died in the announcers booth at Nationals Park in 2009.) They had brought in Steve Carlton via trade with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1972 for Veteran Pitcher Rick Wise.  It would be a trade that would define the team for the next 12 years. Larry Bowa debut in the 1970 season with Greg Luzinski and finally-future Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt joined them in 1972.   The team had begun play at Veterans Stadium.  Soon players like: Jim Lonborg, Tug McGraw, Larry Christenson, Dick Ruthven, Bob Boone, Ron Reed and Gary Maddox all joined the club and they were challenging the ‘Big Red’ Machine and the Dodgers as the best teams in the National League.  Mike Schmidt was emerging as one of the best all-around players in the game and Steve Carlton  was asserting himself as the premier Left handed Pitcher in his own right.

The team was pretty good from 1976-1978 in winning 3 straight pennants before bowing out in the NLCS each time, but the Dodgers and the Reds were obviously better for those given years.  The team also came out with the most popular mascot in the MLB today with the Phillie Phanatic during the 1978 year.  In 1979, the club signed Pete Rose who would turn 38 the next year.  At that time, Rose’s 3.2 Million/4 year contract was the richest player salary in team sports.  The team also had perennial HR champ Mike Schmidt and Steve Carlton.  For these 4 years, the Phillies earned three division titles (one in the first half of the strike shortened season,) and two World Series appearances.  In 1980,  the club went 91-71 and then ousted the Houston Astos in the NLCS for their first NL Pennant in 30 years.  The team went onto beat the Kansas City Royals for their 1st World Series Title under manager Dallas Green. 

In 1981, they won the first half of the season with a 34-23 and ended with a 59-50 record for the year, before being bested in the 1st ever NLDS playoffs by the Montreal Expos.  In 1982, they went 89-73, but fell just short of the playoffs.  In 1983, they went 90-72 and made it to the World Series before the Baltimore Orioles and a young Cal Ripken beat them out.  The team had started the year 43-42, before team GM Paul Owens came down from the office (replacing Pat Corrales) to guide the team to a 47-30 record and their 7th Division Pennant. From 1980-1983, the Phillies were the best team in baseball.  This 4 year span could have gone to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Baltimore Orioles or even the St. Louis Cardinals.  In the end, I gave it to the Phillies for their 2 World Series births and one victory.

From Mediocre to the Bicycle Gang 1984-1993:

As the team’s core became older and retired, the Phillies relied heavily on Mike Schmidt to keep leading the team in going forward.  From 1984 to 1992, the closest the team came to a pennant was 1986(where they finished 2nd with a 86-76 but had to compete with the 108-54 NY Mets club.)  It was a struggle against their main rivals for the next 6 years.  1984 was the coming out party for Juan Samuel, who was one of the best catalysts at the top of the lineup for anyone in the MLB in this time period. Steve Carlton had finally slowed down in his career and was released in the 1986 season after a 5-16 stretch over 2 years.  Ozzie Virgil had preceded him out the door, however the team did pick up Steve Bedrosian and Milt Thompson for Virgil and Pitcher Pete Smith.    Von Hayes was one of their brightest young players in the outfield to go with Glenn Wilson, while Kevin Gross and Shane Rawley were providing them with decent pitching as starters in the mid-80’s.  Steve “Bedrock” Bedrosian was one of the best closers in the NL for the time that he pitched with the club (1986-1989.)

In 1989, the team was not doing well again in the NL East.  The club had some nice young pieces that had not quite performed to their ability and it was time to do some dealing.  To make matter worse, Mike Schmidt had just retired.  Out of a necessity, the great GM Lee Thomas GM from 1988-1997) had traded Bedrosian for third baseman Charlie Hayes and Starter Terry Mulholland.  A week before that, the Phillies would make yet another move that would shape their future in trading Juan Samuel for Lenny Dykstra and closer Roger McDowell.  To kick of that June, the Phillies had traded Randy Ready for big left handed hitter John Kruk.   The team continued its great recent history of trades by picking up Mitch Williams to start the 1991 Season.  This young core then said goodbye to veteran Von Hayes in a trade in August of 1991.  The 1991 club finished 78-84 but showed signs of promise.  They were able to re-sign Williams as a free agent.  Just like in 1991, the Phils picked up another pitcher in the 1st week of the season in 1992.  This time it was Curt Schilling, who they absolutely stole for Jason Grimsley.  1992 saw the team go 70-92, however these guys played worse than their record.   Schilling and Mulholland were good starters and Darren Daulton had a break out year hitting 27 HRs and driving in 109 RBI as a Catcher, third baseman Dave Hollins came from out of nowhere to hit 27 HRs and add 93 RBI.

In 1993, the Phillies went worst to first because of their long-haired, heavy hitting, never give up mental attitude. The team had a veteran manager in Jim Fregosi, that let them be themselves. Lenny Dykstra set the table as the lead-off hitter with an incredible 143 runs.  The team was solid from 1-8 in the lineup and the pitching was deep with all 5 starters having 12 wins or better.  Behind a strong NLCS from Mitch Williams, the team ousted the Atlanta Braves who had represented the NL in the previous two World Series. 

The 1993 World Series of the reigning champion Toronto Blue Jays and the upstart Phillies had a bunch of everything happen.  While it wasn’t pretty, it was certainly entertaining.  The teams split the 1st two meetings in Toronto before returning to Philadelphia.  The Blue Jays won game 3 and the Phils looked to tie it up, carrying a 14-9 Lead into the top of the 8th.  However the bullpen failed and The Jays rallied for a 15-14 win in the most high scoring game ever in a World Series contest.  Curt Schilling threw a 5 hit shutout against the powerful Toronto lineup in Game #5 to make the series 3-2.  In Game 6, Lenny Dykstra hit a 3 run homer to give the Phils a 6-5 lead very late in the game.  It was Lenny’s 6th HR in just 48 AB in the playoffs and his 4th World Series round-tripper in 6 games.  The Phillies looked to force a game 7 before Joe Carter a 3-run Walk Off Home Run off of Mitch Williams with 2 out and 2 on in the bottom of the 9th at Skydome,  to end the World Series 4-2 for the Blue Jays with a 8-6 victoy. It was the first walk off HR to end the Fall Classic since Bill Mazeroski did if for the Pirates in the 1960 World Series.

From Curt to Bobby 1994-2003:

Curt Schilling watched as the club lost all of their veterans after going to the 1993 World Series.  Between 1994 and 2000, the Phillies endured 7 straight losing seasons.  Not even great young players like Scott RolenBobby Abreu,  Gregg Jeffries and  Mike Lieberthal could help the team to a wining record.  Curt Schilling was putting up CY Young like numbers every year, only to garner little offensive help.   In 2001, Schilling left for Arizona and the team leadership was handed over to Rolen and Abreu.  The team had Randy Wolf as their best starter, with Robert Person backing him up from 1999-2002. Brett Myers picked up the slack out of the starting pitching when Person left and Vicente Padilla put up back to back 14 win campaigns in 2002 and 2003.  The teams closing situation had been up and down for 7 years after the players strike despite a couple of back to back 34 Save seasons from Ricky Bottalico.  Jose Mesa provided them with that steady relieving for the years between 2001-2003.  In a trade that involved Scott Rolen going to the Cardinals, the Phillies picked up Placido Polanco and Mike Timlin in the 2002 year.  Rolen went onto a couple of great seasons with the Cardinals before arm trouble plagued him.  That deal was only possible because Pat Burrell was emerging as a perennial power hitting outfielder from the right side.

Jimmy Rollins came into prominence in the 2001, where he finished 3rd in the league in Rookie of the Year Voting.  Doug Glanville had been patrolling CF from 1998-2002, however Marlon Byrd was waiting to take over for him.  Bobby Abreu was now the quintessential 5 tool player and the Phillies best player.  He was challenging the 30/30 club every year and he was a great average hitter and OBP guy as well.  The club was around a 85 win team and had been steadily improving every year since 2000.  Larry Bowa looked like he was heading for greatness as the teams manager.  He had taken over for Terry Francona after the 2000 season. In 2003, the Phillies signed Jim Thome to a 6 YR/85 Million Dollar Contract.  He quickly had rewarded them with 47 HRs and 131 RBI in 2003.  Heading into Citizens Bank Ball Park for 2004 season, the future certainly looked bright.

Philadelphia Phillies 2004-2012 Citizens Bank Ball Park Years:

The Phillies started a stretch of 85-88 win seasons and 2nd place finishes in the first few years at CBP.  Jim Thome put up another great year at 1B in 2004 before a devastating injury paved the way for young Ryan Howard to take the reigns at First Base at the age of 25.  After the 2005 year, the club loaded up on GM power by signing Pat Gillick to take over.  The new GM was so happy with Howard, they traded the injured Jim Thome, to the Chicago White Sox for Aaron Rowand.  Chase Utley had turned into the best hitting 2nd baseman in this time as well.  With Shane Victorino looking like a gamer, the Phils traded away Bobby Abreu to the New York Yankees in 2006.  The Phillies finally saw their 2002 Draft Pick-Cole Hamels rise to the Majors in 2006.  Near the trading deadline, the club also picked up 43 year old Jamie Moyer.  It was supposed to be just a depth move, however Moyer would be a key cog in the wheel moving forward for the next couple of years.

In 2007, the outfield hit 77 HRs between Aaron Rowand, Pat Burrell, Shane Victorino and 4th outfielder Jayson Werth.  That paled in comparison to Ryan Howard’s 47,  NL MVP Jimmy Rollins’s 30 and Chase Utley’s 22.  Brett Myers took over the closers role and provided some great work.  Only they ran into a fire hot Colorado Rockies club and were swept out in the NLDS.  Again, the future still looked promising. Rookie SP Kyle Kendrick had provided great depth in the starting rotation by going 10-4 for his rookie season.  

Prior to the 2008 year, the Phillies signed closer Brad Lidge, thus opting to put Brett Myers back into the pitching rotation.  The club was also confident in Jayson Werth replacing Aaron Rowand as a permanent left fielder.  The team also signed Pedro Feliz for 3rd Base duties. It was the 2nd year of their current 5 year division run. The Phillies were an offensive  force in the National League.  Ryan Howard was the best power hitter, RBI guy in the MLB and Chase Utley was putting up MVP like type numbers.  Shane Victorino provided some speed from the top of the lineup. In 2008, Brad Lidge converted every save that season and was the best closer in the game.  45-year-old Jamie Moyer stepped up huge for the club with a 16-7 season–and was able to taste champagne as the Phils won the World Series for the first time in 28 years. 

Prior to the 2009 year, the Phillies signed Raul Ibanez in the off-season.   The man rewarded the club with being the best player in the NL-with during the 1st 3 months with 20 HRs and 65 RBI by the end of June.  Jayson Werth took over as the power hitting right hander in the lineup with the exit of Pat Burrell.  Howard, Werth, Ibanez and Utley all topped the 30 HR list by years end.  Halfway through the season, the Phillies picked up Cliff Lee and then took off from the rest of the division.  In their 2nd straight World Series birth, Philadelphia ran into the buzz saw Bronx Bombers and a motivated Alex RodriguezThe Phils lost out to the Yankees in 6 games and have regressed every year since while still making the playoffs.  The Phillies have posted winning seasons for every year from 2003-2011.  Since Charlie Manuel took over in 2005, the team has gone 646-488 for a .569 Win Percentage  Their last losing season was in 2002 when they were only 1 game under .500 at 80-81.

In the last few seasons under team GM Ruben Amaro Jr.,  the club had traded for Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Hunter Pence, signed Placido Polanc0 (2010),  Jonathan Papelbon (2012) and had brought back Cliff Lee to the team for the start of the 2011 year.  The team has seen the offensive emergence of Carlos Ruiz, while they still await the young guns:  Domonic Brown and John Mayberry Jr. to emerge.  In 2010, they lost out in the NLCS to the Giants.  It was bad way to end Roy Halladay’s 1st season with the club  after he threw a perfect game in the regular season and a no-hitter in the NLDS.

Against the Cardinals in the 2011 NLDS, the team lost in the 1st round despite owning the best record in the MLB with a Franchise best 102 wins.  It has been a slow and steady regression.  The team has said goodbye to Raul Ibanez, Brett Myers, Hunter Pence, Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton, Jamie Moyer and Brad Lidge.  On Aug.06, their home sellout streak of 257 Games at CBP, officially came to an end.  It was the longest in NL History and the 3rd longest overall. They have led the MLB with 102% attendance over the last 4 years.

You can chalk up this year to a lot of injuries as they haven’t recovered from the injuries of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard in 2011.  As of today have a 54-64 for the 2012 year, yet there is hope folks!  Well, at least for 2013 that is.  The pitching staff will make about $80 million dollars next year between the 5 starters and Jonathan Papelbon.  When you add 12 Million for Utley,  $11 Million for Rollins $25 Million for Howard and 3.75 Million for Ruiz, you are pushing 120 Million Dollars in payroll.  That still leaves you with no $$ spent.  Hey Ruben Amaro Jr., how about you re-sign Juan Pierre right now.  He only makes 800,000.  So if the management can see Brown and Mayberry Jr thrive, it will solve them from having to go to free agency for that outfield and spend a fortune.  The time is ticking Phillies.  2013 is the biggest year ever in the Franchise.  However, the Phillies fans have made sure that this team will always be relevant for MLB Payroll.  Somehow, I never see 30 year futility run ever again like 1918-1948.  Philadelphia is here to stay!

***The Phillies have won 2 World Series in 1980 and 2008, while they have lost 5 Fall Classics (1915, 1950, 1983, 1993 and 2009).  Since Divisional play has started, the Phillies have won 12 division pennants (including 5 straight heading into 2011.)  The Phillies lost their 1st ever NLDS to the Montreal Expos in 1981.  The Phillies had won the 1st half of the strike shortened year and had played Montreal (who had won the second half of the year.)   The Phillies also sport a National League Championship Series Record of 5-4 .  They were the last team out of the original 16 American and National League Teams to have won a World Series.  They hold the worst winning percentage out of those said clubs too. The Phillies have an NLDS Record of 3-3.  Their lifetime won-loss record heading into action Aug.17/2002 is 9291 Wins and 10356 Losses (Most in MLB History) for a .473 Winning Lifetime Percentage.  This ranks them only ahead of the Mariners, Padres and Rays and has a lot more to do with the teams from 1918-1948 rather than the recent years of success .***

For Part 2 of The 4 Part Philles Article Series: The Hitters- click here.

For Part 3 of  The 4 Part Phillies Article Series:  The Pitchers- click here

For Part 4 of the Phillies Article Series:  Team Payroll and Contractual Statuses click here

For the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals Franchise 5 Part Series click here

Citizens Bank Ball Park Opened in 2004 and has routinely brought in 102% for attendance over capacity including a sell out streak that lasted 257 games from 2009-2012.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ***


 ***Thank you to our Lead Baseball Writer- Chuck Booth for preparing today’s feature on MLB reports.  To learn more about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames” and Chuck Booth, you can follow Chuck on Twitter (@ChuckBooth3024) and you can also follow Chuck’s website for his Guinness Book of World Record Bid to see all 30 MLB Park in 23 days click here  or on the 30 MLB Parks in 23 days GWR tracker at the Reports click here. To Purchase or read about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book, ” please click here ***

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About chuckbooth3023

I played competitive baseball until 18 years old and had offers to play NCAA Division 1 University Baseball at Liberty University. Post-concussion symptoms from previous football and baseball head injuries forced me to retire by age 19. After two nearly made World Record Attempts in 2008, I set a New World Record by visiting all 30 MLB Parks (from 1st to last pitch) in only 24 Calendar Days in the summer 0f 2009. In April of 2012, I established yet another new GWR by visiting all 30 Parks in only 23 Calendar Days! You can see the full schedule at the page of the . In 2015, I watched 224 MLB Games, spanning all 30 MLB Parks in 183 Days. Read about that World Record Journey at

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