Since it was made an official offensive statistic in 1954, a Phil had led the National League in hitting sacrifice flies seven times. It would be accomplished by six different Phils.
The first Phil to win the honor was Don Demeter, who did it in 1962, as he hit eleven sac flies. The next Phil to lead the NL in sac flies would be Clay Dalrymple, who, in 1964, the year of the infamous late season collapse, hit eight sac flies. The third Phil to be the league’s leader in sac flies would be Willie Montanez, who would hit thirteen of them in 1971. The fourth Phil would be Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt, who, in 1979, would finish the season in a three-way tie with Cesar Cedeno of the Houston Astros and Dave Parker of the Pittsburgh Pirates, as all three would hit nine sac files. Schmidt would then lead the league by himself in 1980, the year that the Phils would win their first World Series Championship, as he hit thirteen sac flies. The fifth Phil to lead the league would be Garry Maddox, as he lead the league in the strike-shorten season of 1981 with eight sac flies. The sixth, and so far, last Phil, to lead the NL in sac flies was Rico Brogna, who, in 1998, would end the season in a three-way tie with Derek Bell of the Astros and Jeff Kent of the San Francisco Giants, who all ended the season with ten sac flies.
Of the six Phils who had led the league in sac flies, only one would be a Hall of Famer (Mike Schmidt). All seven times that a Phil would lead the NL in sac flies would take place in the 20th Century. Of the seven, two would be in a three-way tie (Schmidt in 1979 and Rico Brogna in 1998). The Phil to win with the most sac fies would be Willie Montanez with thirteen in 1971 and Mike Schmidt, also with thirteen, in 1980, while Caly Dalrymple, in 1964, and Garry Maddox, in 1981, would hit the least with eight.
Who would be the next Phil to lead the National League in sacrifice flies? I really have no idea at this point.
During the team’s previous 127-year history, twelve Phillies players have led the National League in at-bats a total of 20 times, with four of them winning it more than once.
The first Phil to lead the NL in at-bats was Hall of Famer Sam Thompson, who would win it in 1893 with 600 at-bats. The next Phil to lead the NL would be Duff Cooley, who in 1897 ended up in a four-way tie with Gene DeMontreville of the Washington Senators, Fred Tenney of the Boston Beaneaters and George Van Haltren of the New York Giants, who all finished that year with 566 at-bats. The third Phil to lead the NL in at-bats was Eddie Grant, who would do it in two straight seasons, with 598 at-bats in 1908, and leading again in 1909 with 631 at-bats. The fourth Phil to lead the league in at-bats would do so twenty-four years later, as Chick Fullis would have the most at-bats in 1933 with 647 of them. Phils nos. five and six would be tied for the lead in 1949 as Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn and Granny Hamner would both end the season in a tie for first with 662 at-bats. The next Phil to lead the NL was Larry Bowa, who ended the 1971 season with 650 at-bats. Phil no. eight would be Dave Cash, who would lead the league in three straight years, 1974 (687), 1975 (699) and 1976 (666), helping to lead the team to the first of three NL Eastern Division pennants that year. The ninth Phil to lead the league in official at-bats would be Juan Samuel, who, like Cash, would lead the NL in three seasons, 1984 (701), 1985 (663) and 1987 (655). The next Phil to lead the league in at-bats was Lenny Dykstra, who did so in 1993, the year that the Phils won the NL pennant, with 637 at bats. The eleventh Phil to lead the league would be Doug Glanville, who would have 678 at-bats in 1998. The twelfth, and presently last, Phil to lead the NL in at-bats is Jimmy Rollins, who would lead the lead in at-bats in four different seasons, 2001 (656), 2002 (637), 2007 (716), the year that he won the MVP as he help lead the Phils to their first NL Eastern Division title since 1993 and 2009 (672), the season that the Phils would win their first back-to-back NL pennants.
During the twenty times that a Phil had led the league in officials at-bats, three had done so while tied with another player, in 1897 (4-way tie) and 1949 (2-way tie between two Phils). Phils would lead the NL twice in the 19th Century, fifteen times in the 20th Century and four times, so far, in the 21st Century. Two of the Phils to lead the league were Hall of Famers (Sam Thompson in 1893 and Richie Ashburn in 1949). Jimmy Rollins had done it the most times with four, followed by both Juan Samuel and Dave Cash, who have each done it three times, then Eddie Grant, who did it twice. The rest have done it only once. Jimmy Rollins would have the highest total of at-bats with his 716 in 2007 and Duff Cooley would have the least with his 566 official at-bats in 1897.
Who would most likely be the next Phil to lead the NL in at-bats? Most likely Jimmy Rollins, if he can keep from getting injured.