The Phils officially started spring training on Thursday, February 13, as pitchers and catchers arrived at Clearwater, followed this week by the rest of the squad, although a large number of players had been at Clearwater during the off-season, getting ready for the 2014 season, especially first baseman Ryan Howard, who has been trying to get back into playing shape.
On Friday, February 14, former ballplayer and ex-Phil manager Jim Fregosi passed away at age 71 from multiple strokes. Fregosi, who broke into major league baseball as a shortstop in September 1961, had an 18-year career playing for the Los Angeles/California Angels, the New York Mets, the Texas Ranger and the Pittsburgh Pirates. A six-time All-Star and a gold glove winner (1967), he would play in 1902 games, having a .265 career batting average (1726 for 6523) as he hit 264 2Bs, 78 3Bs and 151 HRs, knocking in 706 RBIs, while scoring 844 times. He would also walk 715 times. After retiring from baseball during the 1978 season, he would be hired as the manager of the team that he had begun his playing career, the Angels, starting a career that would end in 2000, during which he would be the manager of the Angels (1978-1981), the Chicago White Sox (1986-1988), the Philadelphia Phillies (1991-1996) and the Toronto Blue Jays (1999-2000), compiling a managerial record of 1028-1094 .484, as he managed a total of 2122 games. He would lead the Angels into the playoffs in 1979 as they won the American League West, but losing the AL Championship Series, 3-1, to the Orioles, and he would lead the Phils in 1993 to the World Series, before losing the series, 4-2, to the Blue Jays.
On the 16, the Phils finalized their one-year deal with A.J. Burnett, in which they would give the veteran pitcher $15 million dollars plus a $1 million buyout on a mutual option for 2015. Burnett also has a player option for $7.5 million if he exercises his option. With the buyout options and other incentives, Burnett could end up receiving a two-year contract worth $ 33.5 million. He also has a partial no-trade clause, in which he would have to sign off on any possible trade involving nine other teams. In order to make room for Burnett on their roster, the Phils placed left-handed reliever Joe Savery on waviers, awaiting reassignment. On Monday the 17, the A’s picked Savery off of waivers. Selected by the Phils in the first round of the draft back in 2007, Savery has pitched for the Phils for parts of three seasons (2011-2013), appearing in 41 games, with a 3-2 record and a 3.15 ERA, as he pitched in 47.2 innings, giving up 42 hits and 28 runs, 22 of which were earned, as he struck out 32 batters, while walking 19.
As spring training continues, former Phil Roy Holladay has come to camp as a special pitching instructor, offering advice to the team’s younger players. Hopefully they’ll listen to the future Hall of Famer.
The Phils have officially announced their newest member to enter the Phils’ Walk of Fame, and it is former catcher, Darren ‘Dutch’ Daulton, a mainstay of their teams of the late ’80s and ’90s.
Darren Daulton, born in Arkansas City, Kansas, on January 3, 1962, was drafted by the Phils in 1980, the year that they won their first World Championship. He made his major league debut on September 25, 1983, before joining the main club to stay in 1985. He played for the Phils fulltime from 1985 to 1997, before being traded to the Florida Marlins on July 21, 1997, becoming a member of the Marlins’ first World Championship team. He retired after the ’97 season.
In about 14 years of service with the Phils, Daulton played in 1109 games, compling a .245 career batting average as a Phil, as he collected 858 hits, of which 189 were doubles, 23 were triples and 134 were home runs, while he had 567 RBIs and scored 489 runs. He also walked 607 times. As a Phils, he won the RBI title in 1992, knocking in 109 RBIs, becoming the fourth catcher in major league history to do so, as he also won a Silver Slugger that season. Daulton then knocked in 105 RBIs in 1993, thus being the only Phils’ catcher to knock in more than 100 runs in two seasons or more. He was a three-time member of the NL All-Star team, doing so in 1992-1993 and 1995, each time as a Phil. This would tie him with Bob Boone for the most All-Star selections by a Phil’s catcher. In 1997, as a member of both the Phils and the Marlins, he was named the NL Comback Player of the Year. He was a member of the 1993 NL Champions Phillies, as one of the team’s leaders, to go along with his being a member of the 1997 World Champions Marlins.
Among the records that he set as a catcher for the Phils, he received the most walks by a catcher during a season by receiving 117 free passes in 1993. He knocked in the most RBIs by a catcher in a season with 109 in 1992, the year that he won the title. Also, in 1993, he hit the most doubles by a Phil’s catcher, 35, made the most putouts by a catcher, 981, and started the most double plays by a catcher, 19. As a Phil, he caught 965 games, to place him fourth on the team’s all-time list. He was also named the starting catcher of the all-Vet team during the year that Veterans Stadium was officially closed, 2003.
Daulton will be inducted into the Walk of Fame on August 6, prior to the Phils-Mets game, at 7:05 pm Eastern.
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.
In 126 years as a National League team, the Phillies have won the runs scored titled only fifteen times. Eleven Phils have crossed the plate more times than other players in the league, with two of them being shared titles.
The first Phil to win the title would be Hall of Famer Billy Hamilton, who would cross the plate 141 times in 1891. He would win the title two more times, in 1894 and 1895, when he would cross the plate 192 and 166 times respectively, setting both the Phillies and Major League records for the most runs scored by a player in a season in 1894. The second Phil to win the title would be Roy Thomas, who would score 132 runs in 1900. The next Phillie player to win the crown would be Sherry Magee, who, in 1910, would score 110 times. The fourth Phil, and the six title winner over all, would be Gavvy Cravath, who would do it in 1915 as he would score 89 times. The fifth Phil to win the title would be Hall of Famer Chuck Klein, who, in 1930, would score 158 times. Klein would then make it two years in a row as he would tie with fellow Hall of Famer Bill Terry of the New York (now San Francisco) Giants, as he would score 121 runs in 1931. He would make it three years in a row as he would score 152 times in his MVP season of 1932. It would be 32 years before another Phillie player would win the title. Richie Allen would become the sixth Phil to win the team’s tenth runs scored title as he would score 125 runs in his NL Rookie of the Year season of 1964. Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt would become Phil number seven to win the title as he would score 78 times in the strike shorten season of 1981. The next Phil to score the most runs in a season would be Von Hayes, as he would tie with Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn of the San Diego Padres, as he would cross the plate 107 times in 1986. The ninth Phillie to win the title would be Lenny Dykstra as he would cross the plate 143 times in 1993, as he help lead the Phillies to the National League pennant that year. Phillie number ten to win the title would be Chase Utley, as he would cross the plate 131 times in 2006. A year later, Jimmy Rollins would win the title as he would become the eleventh Phil to win it, as he would touch home plate 139 during his MVP season, while helping to lead the Phils to the National League Eastern Divison pennant.
Of the eleven men to win the title, so far only three are Hall of Famers: Billy Hamilton, Chuck Klein and Mike Schmidt. Hamilton would score the most runs to win the title, setting both the Phillies and Major League records, as he crossed the plate 192 times in 1894, a feat more than like never to be reached. Mike Schmidt would score the least number of runs to win the title, scoring only 78 times in 1981, thanks to the strike. Hamilton and Klein have won the most titles, each winning three titles, although Klein would share one of his titles with another ballplayer. The rest would win the title only one time each.
Who would most likely be the next Phil to win the title? Utley and Rollins are the most likely candidates to win the title during the next several years, as long as they can stay healthy and get on base in front of the big man, Ryan Howard.