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.
Okay, first here’s the question again: Name the last National League team among the classic eight (teams that were members of the NL since 1900) to win its first NL pennant and name the last of the classic eight to represent the National League in the World Series, also for the first time?
And the answer is: The St. Louis Cardinals. They won their first NL pennant in 1926, thus becoming the last of the classic eight to win a pennant, and thus, at the same time, becoming the last of the classic eight to represent the NL in the World Series.
Only one person made an attempt to answer the question, Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts, even if she got the question wrong, by being off by just one team.
Anyway, the other seven NL teams of the classic eight went like this: The Cubs (then the White Stockings) won the very first NL pennant in 1876, and made their first World Series appearance in 1906. The Braves (then the Boston Red Caps) won their first pennant in 1877 and made their first World Series appearance in 1914. The Giants first championship was in 1888 and their first Series appearance was in 1905 (technically it was in 1904, but manager John J. McGraw refused to play against the Boston Americans (now the Red Sox) of the American League, so no Series that year). The Dodgers (then the Bridgegrooms) won their first pennant in 1890 (a year after winning the American Association pennant) and made their first Series appearance in 1916. The Pirates won their first pennant in 1901 and was involved in the first modern World Series of 1903. The Phillies won their first pennant in 1915, and went on to represent the NL in the World Series that same year. The Reds would become the next to last of the classic eight to win the pennant, and thus reach the World Series, in 1919.