In the team’s 128 years history, the Phils would win 90 games or more only fourteen times.
The team has won 100 games or more only twice in its history, as they would win 101 games twice. The first time occurred in 1976, when the team would win 101 games, losing only 61, as they would win the first of three straight NL Eastern Division titles, before losing to the World Champions Cincinnati Reds 3-0 in the NL Championship Series. They would duplicate that record the following year, 1977, as they would win their second straight NL Eastern Division crown, before falling to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Championship Series, 3-1.
Their third highest victory total would be 97 games, which they would do twice. The first time would occur in 1993, when they would unexpectively win the Eastern Division that season with a record of 97-65, then win the NL title by defeating the National League Champions Braves in the NL Championship Series, 4-2, before finally falling to the World Champions Toronto Blue Jays in the World Series, 4-2. They would then duplicate the record this year as they would win their fourth straight NL Eastern Division crown, the first time that they would do that in the team’s history, before defeating the Cincinnati Reds in the NL Divisional Series, 3-0, and then losing to the San Francisco Giants in the NL Championship Series, 4-2.
The fifth best team was the 1899 Phillies, who finished that season in third place with a 94-58 record, the team’s best record for the 19th Century, ending up nine games behind the first place Brooklyn Superbas. The sixth best team was the 2009 team which finished with a record of 93-69, winning the team’s third straight Eastern Division title, doing so for the second time in the team’s history, before defeating the Colorado Rockies in the Divisional Series, 3-1, then beating the Dodgers in the NL Championship Series, 4-1, winning the team’s second straight NL title, doing so for the first time in the team’s history, before losing their World Series crown to the American League Champions New York Yankees in the World Series, 4-2.
The next two teams ended up with identical records of 92-70, giving them both the seventh best winning total. The first one was the 1964 team, the one that had the most infamous late season collapse in baseball history, until the Mets team of 2007. That team would end up being tied for second place with the Reds, a game behind the St. Louis Cardinals. The other team to win 92 games was the 2008 Phils, who would win their second straight Eastern Division title, before defeating first the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Divisional Series, 3-1, then the Dodgers in the NL Championship Series, 4-1, and then the American League Champions Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series, 4-1, winning the team’s second World Championship.
The team with the ninth best record was the 1980 Phils, who ended the season with a record of 90-72, finishing first in the Eastern Division, before first defeating the Houston Astros in the NL Championship Series, 3-2, then defeating the American League Champions Kansas City Royal, 4-2, winning the team’s first World Championship. The tenth best team was the 1916 team which ended the season with a 91-62, finishing in second place, two and a half-games behind the Brooklyn Dodgers.
The eleventh team to win at least 90 games was the 1950 ‘Whiz Kid’ who won the pennant in 1950 with record of 91-63, only to lose the World Series to the World Champions Yankees, 4-0. The twelfth team was the 1915 team, which won the Phils’ first National League pennant with a record of 90-62, only to lose the World Series to the Boston Red Sox, 4-1. The final two teams would end up with identical records of 90-72. The first one was the 1978 team, which won the National League Eastern Division title, the third straight for the team, doing so for the first time in the team’s history, before losing the NL Championship Series to the National League Champions Dodgers, 3-1. The fourteenth, and final team, with 90 or more wins, was the 1983 team, nicknamed the ‘Wheeze Kids’, who would win the NL East, then defeat the Dodgers in the NL Championship Series, 3-1, before losing the World Series to the American League Champions Baltimore Orioles, 4-1.
Will the 2011 team become the fifteen team to win 90 games or more? Maybe, maybe not, but we won’t know for sure until next year comes and goes.
In the Phillies’ 126-years history as a National League team, Phillies’ players have had the best slugging percentage among the league’s batters twenty times. The title was won by nine different players, with a few of them actually winning it several times in their careers.
The first Phillie player to win the title was Hall of Famer Ed Delahanty, who won his first slugging title with a .495 slugging percentage in 1892 and then repeated it in 1893 with a .583 slugging mark. The second Phil to win the title, the third overall for the team, was Delahanty’s fellow Hall of Famer Sam Thompson, as he won it in 1895 with a slugging percentage of .654. Delahanty regained the title in 1896 with a .631 slugging percentage. Hall of Famer Nap Lajoie made it three years in a row that a Phil won the title as he won it in 1897 with a .569 slugging percentage. Delahanty won his fourth and final title as a Phil in 1899 with a .582 winning percentage. The next Phil to win the title, the fourth Phillie player to do so, was Sherry Magee, who won the title in 1910 with a .507 slugging percentage. Gavvy Cravath became the fifth Phil to win the title, winning it in 1913 with a 568 slugging percentage. Magee regained the crown in 1914 with a .509 slugging percentage. Cravath took the title back the following year, 1915, as he help lead the Phils to their first National League title with a .510 slugging mark, making it the second time that Phillie players would win the title three years in a row. The next Phillie player to win the title was Cy Williams, winning the crown in 1926 with a .568 slugging percentage. The seventh Phil to win the title was Hall of Famer Chuck Klein, winning the first of three straight slugging titles with a .584 slugging percentage in 1931, one season after having set the Phillies’ single season slugging percentage with a slugging mark of .687. He repeated during his Most Valuable Player season of 1932, winning it with a .646 slugging percentage. He won the crown for a third straight time during his Triple Crown year of 1933, winning the title with a .602 slugging mark. It would be thirty-two years before another Phil won the title. In 1966, Dick Allen became the eighth Phil to win the title, with a slugging percentage of .632. The ninth, and presently, last Phil, to win the title was Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt, doing it five times during his long career. He won his first title in 1974 with a .546 slugging percentage. He then won the title in three straight seasons, the second Phillie player to do so, by first hitting .624 in 1980, helping to lead the team to its first World Series title, then hitting .644 in the strike-shorten year of 1981, and finally with a .547 mark in 1982. Schmidt won his fifth and final title in 1986 with a .547 slugging percentage. No Phil has won the title since then.
Of the twenty titles, all but six titles were won by Hall of Famers, with Mike Schmidt winning the most titles with five wins. Ed Delahanty was next with four, followed by Chuck Klein with three title wins. The Phil who won the title with the highest slugging percentage was Chuck Klein with his .646 slugging percentage during his MVP season of 1932, while Ed Delahanty won it with the lowest percentage as he hit only .495 in 1892. The Phils have won six titles in the 19th century, fourteen in the 20th and, so far, none in the 21st Century.
Who would be the next Phil to win the title? Unless Ryan Howard can do the deed within the next few years, it may be a few more seasons before a Phil will slug his win into the title.
In the club’s 126 years existence as a member of the National League, members of the team would win the doubles title eighteen times. The title would be won by thirteen difference Phils, with at least one Phil winning it four times, while three Phils would win the title with another National Leaguer.
The first Phil player to hit the most doubles in one season was Hall of Famer Sam Thompson, winning it in 1890 with 41 doubles. The second Phil to win the title was fellow Hall of Famer Roger Connor, who won the title in 1892 with 37 doubles. In 1893, Thompson regains the crown, hitting 37 doubles that season. Two years later, in 1895, Hall of Famer Ed Delahanty becomes the third Phil to win the title as he wins the first of his four double titles, winning it with 49 doubles. He would make it two years in a row by winning the title again in 1896 with 44 doubles. In 1898, Hall of Famer Nap Lajoie becomes the fourth Phil to win the title, slugging 43 doubles. The following year, 1899, Delahanty regains the title, as he hits 55 doubles. Delahanty wins his fourth and last doubles title as a Phil in 1901, tied for the lead with Tom Daly of the Brooklyn Superbas (now the Los Angeles Dodgers) with 38 doubles. Sherry Magee becomes the fifth Phil to win the title, as he hits 39 doubles in 1914. Two year laters, in 1916, Bert Niehoff becomes the next Phil to win the title, doing it with 42 doubles. Hall of Famer Chuck Klein becomes the seventh Phil to win the doubles crown, hitting 59 doubles in 1930, setting the club record for most doubles in a season. He would regain the title in 1933, the year of his Triple Crown performance, as he slugged 44 doubles. In 1934, Ethan Allen would become the eighth Phil to win the title, as he ended the season tied with Hall of Famer Kiki Cuyler, with the two men both hitting 42 doubles. It would then be another 32 years before another Phil would win the title. Johnny Callison becomes the ninth Phil to win the title, winning it in 1966 with 40 doubles. Willie Montanez wins the title next, becoming the tenth Phil to win the title, tied with César Cedeño of the Houston Astros in 1972, with each man hitting 39 doubles. Pete Rose becomes the eleventh Phil to win the doubles title, as he hits 42 doubles in 1980, helping lead the Phillies to the World Series title that season. The twelfth Phillie player to win the title would be Von Hayes, as he hits 46 doubles in 1986. Bobby Abreu would be the thirteenth, and at the moment, last Phil to win the doubles title, as he hits 50 two-baggers in 2002.
Of the eighteen titles, five Hall of Famers would win ten of them, with one of the wins being a shared title win. Chuck Klein wins the title with the most doubles hit by a Phillie player, hitting 59 two-baggers in 1930, setting the franchise record in the process. Roger Connor and Sam Thompson are the Phils who win the title with the least number of doubles hit, as both men hit 37 doubles in 1892 and 1893, respectively. Ed Delahanty wins the most titles as a Phil with four, followed by Thompson and Klein with two title wins each. The Phils would win the title seven times in the 19th Century, ten times in the 20th Century, and, so far, once in the 21st Century.
Who will be the next Phillie player to win the title? I have no guess at this time.
When we have last seen Kid Gleason, he has just been traded by the Baltimore Orioles to the New York Giants after the 1895 season. Gleason is made team captain after the trade. During his first season with the Giants, 1896, he would go 162 for 541 in 133 games, tied for the team lead with Mike Tiernan and George Van Haltren, compling a batting average of .299, with a slugging percentage of .372 and an on-base percentage of .352. He would that year knock in 89 runs while scoring 79. He would have 17 doubles, 5 triples and 4 home runs, walk 42 times, strike out 13, steal 46 bases and be hit by the pitch two times. This is presently the last season for when his strike out totals are known. From 1888 to 1896, Gleason is known to have struck out 131 times. After that, his strike out totals are unknown. The following year, 1897, would be his best season as a regular. Playing in 131 games, the team leader in that category, mainly at second base, Gleason would go 172 for 540 for a .319 batting average, with a slugging percentage of .369 and an on-base percentage of .353. He would have 16 doubles, 4 triples and 1 home run, knocking in 106 runs while scoring 85. Gleason would walk 26 times, steal 43 bases and be hit by the pitch three times. In 1898, his batting average would drop to .221, along with a slugging percentage of .253 and an on-base percentage of .278, as he would go 126 for 570 in 150 games. Gleason would record only 8 triples and 5 doubles, getting just 62 RBIs while scoring 78 runs. He would walk 39 times, steal 21 bases and be hit six times. The following season, 1899, Gleason’s average would rise to .264, along with a slugging percentage of .302 and an on-base percentage of .293, as he would go 152 for 576 in 146 games. He would hit 14 doubles and 4 triples, collect 24 walks and steal 29 bases. In 1900, his last year as a Giant, Gleason’s average would drop again, as he would hit .248, with a slugging percentage of .295 and an on-base percentage of .280, as he would go 104 for 420 in only 111 games. He would get 11 doubles, 3 triples and 1 home run, along with 17 walks, as he would steal 23 bases while being hit twice.
Before the start of the 1901 season, Gleason would jump to the upstart American League, becoming the Detroit Tigers’ first starting second baseman. During the season, he would play in 135 games, going 150 for 547 with a .274 batting average, a .364 slugging percentage and a .327 on-base percentage. He would hit 16 doubles, 12 triples and three home runs, as he knocked in 75 RBIs while scoring 82 runs. Gleason would also walk 41 times while stealing 32 bases and being hit twice. He would be tied for the team lead in most games played with Jimmy Barrett, while being the team leader in at-bats and triples. In his second season as a Tiger, Gleason’s batting average would drop to .247, with a .297 slugging percentage and a .292 on-base percentage as he would go 109 for 441 in 118 games. He would hit 11 doubles, four triples and one home run, knocking in 38 runners while crossing the plate 42 times, as he would also walk 25 times, steal 17 bases and be hit three times. After peace was made between the American and National Leagues, the Tigers would, on March 2, 1903, trade Gleason to the Giants for Heinie Smith. But, at some point between then and the start of the 1903 regular season, Gleason would be let go by the Giants, and then rejoined his old team, the Phillies, now as their starting second baseman.
During his first season back as a Phil, Gleason’s batting average rebounded as he would go 117 for 412 in 106 games for a .284 average, with a .367 slugging percentage and a .326 on-base percentage. Kid would collect 19 doubles, six triples and 1 home run, knocking in 49 RBIs while scoring 65 runs, as he also walked 23 times, stole 12 bases and was hit by the pitch three times. The next year, 1904, he would appear in 153 games, going 161 for 587 for a .274 batting average, a .334 slugging percentage and a .319 on-base percentage. Gleason would get 23 doubles and six triples, as he knocked in 42 RBIs while crossing the plate 61 times, as he also walked 37 times, stole 17 bases and was hit twice. In that season, he would lead the Phillies in games played, at-bats and hits. 1905 would see the start of a slow decline, as Gleason, although playing in 155 games, would only go 150 for 608 as his battling average slides to .247, with a .303 slugging percentage and a .302 on-base percentage. He would get 17 doubles, 7 triples and 1 home run, as he would knock in 50 RBIs while scoring 95 runs. He would walk 45 times, while stealing 16 bases, and be hit by the pitch three times. Gleason would lead the club in at-bats while being tied with Ernie Courtney and Sherry Magee for the most games played. The following season, 1906, as he played in 136 games, he would only go 112 for 494 for a .227 batting average, a .269 slugging percentage and a .281 on-base percentage. Gleason would hit 17 doubles and two triples, knocking in 34 RBIs while scoring 47 runs. He would walk only 36 times while stealing 17 bases and being hit two times. In 1907, he would appear in just 36 games, going 18 for 126 for a .143 average, a .167 slugging percentage and a .200 on-base percentage, as he would hit only three doubles and six RBIs while scoring just 11 times. He would also receive just seven walks and steal only three bases. In his last year as a Phil, 1908, he would appear in just two games, going 0 for 1 with a .000 batting average. Between 1908 and 1911, Gleason would be in the minors, acting mainly as a player-manager, before being signed by the Chicago White Sox as a coach.
His first year as a coach, 1912, would also be the last time he would make an appearance on the field, as he would play in one game at second base, going 1 for 2 for a .500 batting average, slugging percentage and on-base percentage.
During his twenty-two years as a pitcher and a player, Gleason would play in 1966 ballgames, going 1944 for 7452 for a career .261 batting average, a .317 slugging percentage and a .311 on-base percentage. He has a career total of 216 doubles, 80 triples, 15 home runs, 823 RBIs, 1020 runs scored, 500 walks, 328 stolen bases and been hit by the pitch 38 times, as he becomes one of the few players in major league history to play in four difference decades (1880s, 1890s, 1900s, 1910s).
As the coach of the White Sox, starting in 1912, he watch the team land in fourth place in 1912, fifth in 1913, and sixth in 1914, before watching it rise to third place in 1915, second in 1916 and first place in 1917. In the 1917 World Series, the White Sox would face the National League Champion, the New York Giants, in a best of seven series. The White Sox would win the World Series over the Giants, 4-2, becoming the baseball champs for 1917, with him be given credit for much of the White Sox’s success that season. (Here is a graphic showing the 1917 pennant race: http://www.baseballrace.com/races/MLB-1917-AL-Normal.asp) The following season, Gleason would be dropped as the team’s coach. He would watch the White Sox drop down to sixth place during the war shortened season of 1918. Gleason would be called back by White Sox owner, Charles Comiskey, who would make him the team’s manager for the 1919 season.
I will continue Gleason’s story with the third and final part, which will look at the 1919 season, Gleason managerial career at the Black Sox Scandal and his years as a coach for Connie Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics.
Sources: Wikipedia, Baseball-reference.com, Retrosheet.org, The Delaware Valley Rhythm & Blues Society, Inc. (DVRBS.com), BaseballRace.com
During the Phillies’ 126 years as a member of the National League, the team have had a member outhit the rest of the league only sixteen times in its existence. Eleven players would win the title, with one player actually doing it three times, while two others, who would both win the title twice, would both win one title while tied with another National Leaguer.
The first Phillie player to win the title would be Hall of Famer Sam Thompson, who would do it in 1890, as he would get 172 hits, tying him for the lead with Jack Glassock of the New York (now San Francisco) Giants. The next Phil to be the NL hits leader would be fellow Hall of Famer Billy Hamilton, who would win the title the following year, 1891, as he would get 179 hits. Thompson would regain the title in 1893, as he would get 222 hits. The third Phil to win the team’s fourth hits title would be Hall of Famer Ed Delahanty, who would get 238 hits in 1899. The fourth Phillie player to win the hits title would be Gravvy Gravath, who would win it in 1913 with 179 hits. The following year, 1914, Sherry Magee would become the fifth Phil to become the hits champ, as he would get 171 hits that season. Lefty O’Doul would become the sixth Phil to win the title, as he would get 154 hits in 1929, which is still the franchise record for the most hits in a season. The seventh Phillie player to win the hits title would be Hall of Famer Chuck Klein, who would get 226 hits in 1932. Klein would follow that up by winning his second straight hits title during his Triple Crown season of 1933, as he would get 223 hits that year. The Phillies would not will the title again for eighteen years. Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn would then become the eighth Phil to win the team’s tenth hits title as he would win the title in 1951 with 221 hits. He would then win his second hits title two years later, in 1953, as he would get 205 hits. Ashburn would then get his third and final hits title as a Phil as he would get 215 hits in 1958. Dave Cash would become the ninth Phil to win the title, as he would win it in 1975 with 213 hits. Pete Rose would win the title in the strike year of 1981, become the ten Phillie player to win it, as he would get 140 hits that season. The eleventh, and presently the last Phil, to win the title would be Lenny Dykstra, who would win the title first in 1990, tied for the lead with Brett Butler of the San Francisco Giants, with both men getting 192 hits, and winning it by himself in 1993 with 194 hits, as he help lead the Phils to the National League pennant that year. The Phillies have not won a hits title since 1993.
Of the eleven men to win the titles, five of them would be hall of famers, who together would win nine of the sixteen hits titles. O’Doul would win the title with the most hits (154 in 1929) while Pete Rose would win it with the least hits (140 in 1981). The Phillies have won four titles in the 19th Century and twelve in the 20th, and, so far, none in the 21st Century.
Who would be the next Phil to win the hits title? I have no idea at this point, but I wouldn’t put it beyond either Chase Utley or Jimmy Rollins as being the one to do it.
One of the rarest of hitting accomplishments is batting .400 during the regular season. Not done since 1941, when Hall of Famer Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox hit .406 that season, batting .400 has been done only twenty-eight times since 1876. All but six of the men to reach .400 are now members of the Hall of Fame. The first player to do it would be Ross Barnes of the Chicago White Stockings (now the Chicago Cubs), who would bat .429 in the first National League season of 1876, winning the batting title for that year. Hall of Famer Hugh Duffy of the Boston Beaneaters (now the Atlanta Braves) would have the highest .400 average, as he would hit .440 in 1894. Fellow Hall of Famer Ty Cobb of the Detroit Tigers would have the lowest .400 batting average, hitting .401 in 1922. Cobb is tied with fellow Hall of Famers Ed Delahanty and Rogers Hornsby for the most times a player would have hit over .400 in his career, with all three men doing it three times a piece.
In the history of the Phillies, four Phils have officially hit .400 or better six times, three times by the above mentioned Delahanty, and once each by fellow Hall of Famers Billy Hamilton and Sam Thompson and Tuck Turner. Delahanty would hit .400 for the first time in 1894, as he would hit .407 that season. Hamilton would also reach .400 for the only time in his carrer that same year as he would bat .404, along with fellow outfielders Thompson (.407) and Turner (.416), being the only outfield in baseball history that would bat over .400 during the same season. None of them would win the batting title that year, as they would all be outhit by Duffy’s .440. Delahanty would hit .400 again in 1895, hitting .404 in 1895. Delahanty would become the last Phil batter to hit over .400, as he would hit .410 in 1899, winning his first batting title in the process. Although Delahanty is listed as the Phil with the highest batting average in the team’s history (his .410 in 1895), Turner’s .416 is recognized by major league baseball as a .400 batting average, although he only played part-time in 1894.
Among the 28 .400 hitters, Phillies are ranked at number 9 (Turner, 1894), 11-T (Delahanty, 1899), 16-T (Thompson, 1894), 18 (Delahanty, 1894), 20 (Hamilton, 1894) and 21 (Delahanty, 1895).
Will another Phil ever reach .400? I seriously doubt it, as such a person would have to avoid running into a major slump during the entire season.
During the team’s 126 years existance in the National League, the Phillies would be just as successful producing RBI leaders as they would be creating home run champs. Thirteen Phils would combine to win a total of twenty-three RBI titles for the ballclub, including one title that would be won in a tie with another National Leaguer.
The first Phil to win an RBI title would be Hall of Famer Ed Delahanty, who would win the title in 1893 as he knocked in 146 runs. The next Phillie batter to win the crown would be fellow Hall of Famer Sam Thompson, who would capture the title in 1895 as he would bring home 165 men. Delahanty would regain the title the following year, 1896, as he would send 126 runnerrs home. Hall of Famer Nap Lajoie would become the third Phil player to win the fourth title in the team’s history as he would drive in 127 players in 1898. Delahanty would capture his third RBI title in 1899 by driving in 137 runs. Hall of Famer Elmer Flick would make it three RBI titles in a row by Phillies batters, as he would become the fourth Phil to capture the crown, knocking in 110 runners in 1900. Sherry Magee would become Phils’ RBI champ number five, as he would knock in 85 batters in 1907. He would then win title no. seven for the organization by knocking in 123 runs in 1910. In 1913, Gavvy Cravath would become the sixth Phil RBI champ, as he would knock in 128 players. Magee would win his third RBI title, and title number nine for the Phils, as he would plate 103 runs in 1914. Cravath would win his second title in 1915, making it the second time in the organization’s history that the Phillies would capture the title three years in a row, as he would send home 115 runs, as he would help lead the team to its first National League title. Hall of Famer Chuck Klein would become the seventh Phil to win the title, just one year after knocking in the team’s record 170 RBIs, but falling short to Chicago Cub Hack Wilson, who had knocked in the major league record 191 RBIs in 1930, as he would knock in 121 RBIs in 1931. In 1932, Don Hurst would win the title, becoming the eighth Phil to do so, as he would knock in 143 RBIs that season. Klein would regain the title during his triple crown season of 1933, knocking in 120 runs, as the Phils would win the title for three straight seasons for the third time in the organization’s history. It would be seventeen years before another Phil would win an RBI title. When it is, it would be done in 1950, by Whiz Kid Del Ennis, as he become the ninth Phil to win the title, sending home 126 runners, as he would help lead the Whiz Kids to the National League pennant. The tenth Phil to win the RBI crown, for the sixteenth time in the organization’s history, would be Greg ‘the Bull’ Luzinski, who would knock in 120 runs in 1975. Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt would become the eleventh Phil to win the title in 1980, as he would knock in 121 RBIs as he would help lead the Phils to their first World Series Championship. He would recapture the title in the strike-shortened season of 1981, as he would knock in only 91 RBIs. He would regain the title in 1984 as he would tie for the lead with fellow Hall of Famer Gary Carter of the Montreal Expos (now the Washinton Nationals (III)) with 106 ribbies. Schmidt would then win his fourth and final title, the twentieth in the club’s history, in 1986, as he would knock in 119 batters. In 1992, Darren Daulton would become the twelfth Phil to win the RBI crown, as he would knock in 109 runners. Ryan Howard would become the thirteenth Phillie batter to win the RBI title as he would knock in 149 runs during his NL Most Valuable Player season of 2006. He would recapture the title, winning the club’s twenty-third title in the process, in 2008, as he would lead the league by bringing home 146 runners, as he would help lead the Phils to their second World Series title.
Among the thirteen title winners, six would win it at least twice, with Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt winning the most titles with four, followed by fellow Hall of Famer Ed Delahanty with three. Six Hall of Famers would win the title while playing for the Phillies (Delahanty, Sam Thompson, Nap Lajoie, Elmer Flick, Chuck Klein, Schmidt). Ryan Howard’s 149 RBIs in 2006 would be the most ribbies knocked in by a Phil who would win the RBI title, while Sherry Magee’s 85 in 1907 would be the least. The Phillies would win five RBI titles in the 19th Century, seventeen in the 20th Century and two so far in the 21st Century. Three times in the team’s history (1898-1900, 1913-1915, 1931-1933), the Phils would win the title three years in a row, with the first time being done by three different players, all now Hall of Famers (Lajoie (1898), Delahanty (1899), Flick (1900)).
Who would be the most likely Phil to win the next RBI title? Like with home runs, it would most likely be the big man, Ryan Howard.
During the club’s 126 years of existance, the team has won only nine batting titles. The nine titles have been secured by seven men, two of whom have won it twice: Hall of Famer Billy Hamilton in 1891 and 1893 and Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn in 1955 and 1958. One of the seven, Harry ‘the Hat’ Walker, would win the title in 1947, after being traded from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Phils early in the season. Ed Delanhanty’s 410 average would be the highest batting average among Phils’ title winners. The Phil with the lowest batting average to secure the title would be Sherry Magee with his .331 average. Of the seven, four are now members of the Baseball Hall of Fame: Hamilton, Delahanty, Chuck Klein and Ashburn, while a fifth, Magee, was on the Baseball Hall of Fame Veterans Committe’s pre-1943 Hall of Fame Ballot for 2009. The last Phil to secure the batting title was Ashburn, who did it in 1958.
The first Phillie to win the batting title would be Billy Hamilton, who would win it in 1891 with a .340 batting average, beating out Bug Holliday of the Cincinnati Reds. Hamilton would then win a second batting crown as a Phil, doing it in 1893, with a .380 batting average, as he beat out fellow Phils Sam Thompson and Ed Delahanty. The second Phil to win the honors would be Delahanty, who would win the title in 1899 with a .410 average, beating out Jesse Burkett of the St. Louis Perfectos. The next Phil batter to win the batting title would be Sherry Magee, winning the crown in 1910 with a .331 average, as he beat out Vin Campbell of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The fourth Phil to capture the batting crown would be Lefty O’Doul, doing it in 1929 with an average of .398, beating Babe Herman of the Brooklyn Robins. Chuck Klein would be the fifth Phil to win the batting title, doing it in 1933, the year that he won the triple crown, hitting .368, to go along with his league leading 28 home runs and 120 RBIs, beating out fellow Phil Spud Davis. The sixth Phillie batting champ would be Harry Walker, who would win the title with a .363 batting average, beating out Bob Elliott of the Boston Braves, after being traded to the Phillies by the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday, May 3, 1947, along with Freddy Schmidt, in exchange for Ron Northey. The last Phil who would win the batting title would be Richie Ashburn in 1955, as he beat out Willie Mays of the New York Giants, with a .338 average. Ashburn would then win his second and last batting title in 1958, batting .350, as he once again beat out Mays, this time in a tighter race. No Phil has won the batting title since.
Could another Phillie batter win the batting crown? To be honest, I don’t know.
Sources: Wikipedia, Baseball-reference.com, Retrosheet.org
Ed Delahanty, a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, would probably be considered one of the first, if not the first, major star to put on a Phillies uniform.
‘Big Ed’, as he was nicknamed, was born on October 30, 1867, in Cleveland, Ohio, the oldest of seven brothers, five of whom, including himself, would eventually play professional baseball. He would go to high school at Central High School, in Cleveland, Ohio, and then go on to college and graduate from St. Joseph’s, before he started playing professional baseball with Mansfield in the Ohio State League. He would then play ball in Wheeling, West Virginia, before having his contract bought early in 1888 by the Philadelphia Phillies as the replacement for the recently deceased Charlie Ferguson. Delahanty would make his major league debut on May 22, 1888 at the young age of 20. Appearing in 74 games, mostly at second base, he would hit a low, for his eventual 16-year career, .228 (66 for 290), with a slugging percentage of .293 and an on-base percentage of only .261, as he would hit just 12 2Bs, 2 3Bs and 1 HRs and steal only 38 bases, as he scored just 40 runs while he knocked in 31.
In his second season as a Phil, his batting average would rise to .293 (72 for 246), as he would play in only 56 games. His slugging percentage would also rise to .370, while his on-base percentage would increase to .333, as he would also hit 13 2Bs and 3 3Bs, while stealing 14 bases. ‘Big Ed’ would also score 37 runs while knocking in 27. In his third season as a major league ballplayer, he would be among the players who would jump from either the National League or the American Association to join the short-lived Players’ League, which was formed in revolt against the reserve clause. Playing for his home town Cleveland Infants of the upstart league, ‘Big Ed’ would start to show his prowess, as he would play in 113 games, batting .296 (153 for 517), with a slugging percentage of .414 and an on-base percentage of .337. He would hit 26 2Bs, 13 3Bs and 3 HRs, while stealing 25 bases, and would score 107 runs while knocking in 64. After the PL’s collapse, he would rejoin the Phillies for the 1891 season. In 128 games, his batting average would dip to .243 (132 for 543), as did his slugging percentage (.339) and his on-base percentage (.296). His power numbers would also drop, as he would only hit 19 2Bs, 9 3Bs and 5 HRs, while he would steal 25 bases, score 92 runs and knock in 86.
The 1892 season would see Delahanty start to become a hitting threat, as he would end the season with his first .300+ batting average as he would hit .306 (146 for 477) in 123 games, with a slugging percentage of .495, leading the league in that category, and an on-base percentage of .360, as he would hit 30 2Bs, 21 3Bs (league leader) and 6 HRs, with 29 stolen bases, while scoring 79 runs as he knocked in 91. In 1893, his batting average would rise to .368 (219 for 595) in 132 games, while his slugging percentage would increase to .583, once again the league leader, and his on-base percentage would rise to .423, as he would hit 35 2Bs, 18 3Bs and 19 HRs (league leader), with 37 steals, as he knocked in 146 runs (league leader) while scoring 145. The following season, his batting average would rise to .400 for the first time in his career as a member of the .400+ Phillies outfield of Billy Hamilton (.404), Sam Thompson (.407) (both hall of famers) and Tuck Turner (.416), as he would hit .407 (199 for 489) in 114 games, ending up in fourth place behind league leader Hugh Duffy (.440, the major league record), with a .585 slugging percentage and a .423 on-base percentage. That year, he would hit 39 2Bs, 18 3Bs and 4 HRs, and steal 21 bases, while also scoring 147 runs as he knocked in 131. In 1895, in 116 games, Delahanty’s batting average would drop a little to .404 (194 for 480), while both his slugging (.617) and on-base (.500, league leader) percentage would rise, as he would hit 49 2Bs (league leader), 10 3Bs and 11 HRs, while stealing 46 bases, as he scored 149 times, while knocking in 126.
In 1896, his ninth season as a major leaguer, and his eighth as a Phil, Delahanty would perform several feats. On July 13, 1896, he would go five for five in one game, four of which would be home runs, all of them inside-the-park, thus in one day becoming, so far, the only man to hit four inside-the-park home runs, the second man in major league history to hit four home runs in one day, after Bobby Lowe of the Boston Beaneaters did it on May 30, 1894, and the first player to do so in a losing cause, as the Phillies would lose to the Chicago Colts (now Cubs), 9-8. Overall, in 116 games, his batting average would be .397 (198 for 499), with a slugging percentage of .631 and an on-base percentage of. 472. He would hit 44 2Bs, 17 3Bs and 13 HRs, while stealing 37 bases, as he scored 131 runs while knocking in 126, leading the league in slugging, doubles, home runs and RBIs. In 1897, his ninth year in the National League, his average would drop down to .377 (200 for 530), as he would play in 129 games that season, having a slugging percentage of .538 and an on-base mark of .444, as he would hit 40 2Bs, 15 3Bs and 5 HRs, while also swipping 26 bases, as he crossed the plate 109 times while knocking in only 96 runs. The following season, 1898, in 144 games, ‘Big Ed”s batting average would fall to .334 (183 for 548), with similar drops in slugging (.454) and on-base percentage (.426). He would hit 38 2Bs, 9 3Bs and 4 HRs, while stealing 58 bases (league leader), as he scored 115 times while knocking in just 92 runs.
1899, his tenth season as a Phil, would be his best season as a major leaguer, as he would play in 146 games, winning his first batting title with a .410 average (238 for 581), with a .582 slugging mark and a .464 on-base percentage. Delahanty would hit 55 2Bs, 9 3Bs, and 9 HRs, as he scored 135 runs while knocking in 137. ‘Big Ed’ would lead the National League in slugging percentage, hits, doubles and RBIs, as well as total bases (338), while also being among the leaders in on-base percentage (2), runs scored (4), home runs (3), singles (165, 5). He would also that year hit safely in 31 straight games, while also hitting four doubles in one game, becoming the only man in major league history to hit both four home runs in one game and four doubles in another, as well as collecting 10 straight hits. After his career season, his numbers would dropped as a member of the turn of the century (1900) Phils. In 131 games, his batting average would drop to .323 (174 for 539), as would his slugging (.430) and on-base percentage (.378), as he would hit only 32 2Bs, 10 3Bs and 2 HRs, while stealing just 16 bases, as he would cross the plate just 82 times while knocking in 109. In 1901, in what would turn out to be his thirteenth and final season with the Phillies, Delahanty would play in 139 games, as his batting average rose to .354 (192 for 542), as would both his slugging (.528) and on-base (.427) percentage, as he would hit 38 2Bs (league leader), 16 3Bs and 8 HRs, crossing the plate 106 times while knocking in 108.
In 1902, he would jump to the American League, becoming a member of the Washington Senators, soon having his best season since his 1897 season, as he would win the AL batting title, the only man to so far do it in both major leagues in major league history as he would end a 123 games season with a .367 average (178 for 473), while slugging (.590) with an on-base percentage (.376), both being the league leader. ‘Big Ed’ would that season hit 43 2Bs (league leader), 14 3Bs and 10 HRs, while he would score 103 times while knocking in 93 RBIs, placing him among the league leaders in hits (4), triples, home runs, RBIs, runs scored (all 5) as well as total bases (279, 4). The following season, 1903, Delahanty would appear in only 42 games, going .333 (52 for 156), with a .436 slugging and a .388 on-base percentage, as he would hit 11 2Bs, 1 3Bs and 1 HRs, as he would cross the plate 22 times while knocking in 21.
Ed Delahanty, although a good ballplayer, would be plagued with a personal life marred by alcohol and gambling. His debts would get so big that at one point he would threathen to commit suicide so that his fellow teammates would have to bail him out. In fact, his mother would at one point travel with him to make sure that he wouldn’t kill himself. On the night of July 2, 1903, Delahanty would be taking the train from Detroit to New York so that he could once again jump leagues, this time to join the National League’s New York Giants of John J. McGraw. During the trip, as the train reached Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, he would get himself kicked off of train by the train’s conductor, after making himself a general nusiance by getting drunk. Delahanty, according to eyewitness accounts, then attempted to cross the International Bridge in the dark. He would then get into a confrontation with Sam Kingston, the bridge’s watchman, before running away. Kingston claimed that he then heard a splash. Delahanty would be missing for several days, before his nude, lifeless form would appear at the base of the falls on July 9, later identify by M.A. Green, a stockholder of the Senators.
‘Big Ed”s body would be sent home to Cleveland to be buried, with his entire family attending the funeral, along with several friends whom he had made while in the majors, with McGraw acting as one of his pallbearers.
In a 16-year career, ‘Big Ed’ still has the fifth highest batting average in baseball history (.346) (2596 (75th) for 7505). He is also 13th in triples (185), 32nd in on-base percentage (.411), 36th in doubles (522), 44th in runs scored (1599), 47th in stolen bases (455), 54th in RBIs (1464), 81st in singles (1788) 85th in slugging percentage (.505), and 97th in total bases (3791), while also playing in 1835 games, mostly as an outfielder, and hitting 101 HRs. In his career, he would win two batting titles, lead the league in slugging percentage and doubles five times, in on-base percentage, total bases and home runs twice, in hits, triples and stolen bases one time each, and in rbis four times. As a Phil, in 13 full seasons, he is still the team leader in 2Bs (442) and 3Bs (157), is 2nd in batting average (.348), total bases (3230), runs scored (1367) and RBIs (1286), 3rd in hits (2213), 4th in at-bats (6359), 6th in games (1555), 8th in slugging percentage (.510), and 28th in HRs (87).
In 1945, he would be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee, to help clear up a log jam of players who mainly played in the 19th Century. Teammates Hamilton and Thompson would join him in the Hall in 1961 and 1974 respectively
Wikipedia Biography: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_Delahanty
National Baseball Hall of Fame Bio: http://baseballhall.org/hof/delahanty-ed
Hall of Fame Vote, 1945: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baseball_Hall_of_Fame_balloting,_1945
Baseball.com Biography: http://www.thebaseballpage.com/players/delahed01.php
Baseball-reference.com stats: http://www.baseball-reference.com/d/delahed01.shtml
Ed Delahanty’s Obits (NY Times): http://www.thedeadballera.com/Obits/Obits_D/Delahanty.Ed.Obit.html