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 team’s 126-year existance as a member of the National League, the Phils would have a lot more success producing home runs hitters than they would have producing batting champs. Eight Phils would win a total of twenty-eight home runs titles, including five titles that would be shared with another National Leaguer.
The first Phillie home run champ would be Hall of Famer Sam Thompson, who would win the title in 1889 when he would hit 20 home runs. The second Phil to win the title would be Hall of Famer Ed Delahanty, who would win the crown in 1893 when he would hit 19 roundtrippers. Thompson would win the third Phillie home run title, his second as a Phil, in 1895 when he would hit 18 homers that year. The following year, 1896, would see Delahanty regain the title as he would end the season being tied with Billy Joyce, who would spend the season playing for both the Washington Nationals (II) and the New York Giants (now the San Francisco Giants), with both men hitting 13 home runs. The next Phil to win the home run title would be Gavvy Cravath, who would run off a string of home runs crowns in the 1910s, winning the title outright in 1913, 1914, 1915, 1918 and 1919, and tying with Dave Robertson of the Giants in 1917, as he would hit 19 (’13 and ’14), 24 (’15), 12 (’17), 8 (’18) and 12 (’19) home runs respectively. The next Phillie player to win the crown (title no. eleven) would be Cy Williams, who would will the title in 1920 by hitting 15 homers. He would win his second home run title as a Phil, the twelfth title for the Phillies organization, in 1923, when he would hit 41 home runs. In 1927, he would win his third Phillie title, and the fourth in his career as he had won one in 1916 as a Chicago Cubs, as he ended the season tied with Hack Wilson of the Cubs, with both men knocking out 30 roundtrippers. Hall of Famer Chuck Klein would become the fifth Phil (winning title no. fourteen) to win the home run title as he would hit 43 home runs in 1929. Two years later, in 1931, Klein would regain the crown, as he would hit 31 balls out of National League ballparks. He would win the title again in 1932, as he would be tied with Mel Ott of the Giants, with both players knocking out 38 home runs. In 1933, the year when he would win the triple crown, Klein would lead the NL in home runs with 28, winning the organization’s seventeenth home run title. It would then be forty-one years before another Phil would win the home run crown. When it finally occurred, it would be done by Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt, becoming the sixth Phil to win the crown, as he would win the title outright in 1974, 1975, 1976, 1980, 1981, 1983 and 1986 and would be tied with Dale Murphy of the Atlanta Braves in 1984, as he would hit 36 (’74), 38 (’75 and ’76), 48 (’80), 31 (’81), 40 (’83), 36 (’84) and 37 (’86) home runs, while helping to lead the organization to its first World Series title in 1980. The seventh Phillie home run champ, as he would win home run crown number twenty-sixth for the club, would be Jim Thome, as he would knock out 47 home runs in 2003. The eighth Phil to win the title would do so three years later, as Ryan Howard would knock out 58 home runs, the present Phillies’ team record for home runs hit in a season, in 2006. In 2008, Howard would capture his second home runs title, the twenty-eighth one to be won in the organization’s long existance, as he hit 48 home runs, as he helped lead the Phils to their second World Series Championship.
Oh the eight Phils to win the home run title, all but one (Jim Thome) have won the title at least twice, with Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt winning it the most times, doing it eight times in the seventies and eighties, followed by Gavvy Cravath, who would do it six times in the teens. Four of the Phils to win the title (Sam Thompson, Ed Delahanty, Chuck Klein and Mike Schmidt) are now in the Hall of Fame. Ryan Howard has hit the most home runs as a Phils’ home run champ when he knocked out 58 dingers in 2006, while Gavvy Cravath has hit the least when he hit only 8 homers back in 1918. The Phils have won four home runs titles in the 19th Century, twenty-one in the 20th and three, so far, in the 21st.
Who would be the next Phil to win the title? More than likely Ryan Howard will do it again sometime during the next few years.
Like hitting for the cycle, pitching a no-hitter, or pitching a perfect game, another rare feat in baseball is hitting four home runs in one game. Even rarer is hitting four home runs in four consecutive at bats. In baseball history, hitting four home runs in one game has been done only fifteen times, making it one of the rarest feats to be performed by a ballplayer. Of those fifteen, three of them have played for the Phillies, one of only two teams, the other one being the Dodgers, to have more than one player in their organization’s history to have perform that particular feat.
The first Phillie player to perform the deed would be the second man to do it in major league history. On Monday, July 13, 1896, Ed Delahanty would have five hits that day, four of which would be home runs, with all of them being inside-the-park home runs, as the Phillies would lose to the Chicago Colts (now the Chicago Cubs), 9-8, at West Side Park (II) in Chicago. In peforming his feat, Delahanty would become the first and, so far, the only player in major league history to hit four inside-the-park home runs. He would also become the first player to hit four home runs in a losing cause, a feat that would not be equalled until Bob Horner of the Atlanta Braves would equal it on Sunday, July 6, 1986, as the Braves would lose to the Montreal Expos (now the Washington Nationals), 11-8. The second Phil to hit four home runs in one game would be the fourth major leaguer to do the deed. Chuck Klein would hit four home runs on Friday, July 10, 1936, as he would lead the Phils to a 9-6 extra-innings (10) victory over the Phillies’ cross-state rival, the Pittsburgh Pirates, at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh. The third, and last Phillie batter to perform the dead would be the tenth player to do the deed, as well as also being the fourth player in major league history to hit four home runs in consecutive at-bats. At Wrigley Field in Chicago, on Saturday, April 17, 1976, Mike Schmidt would lead the Phillies to a wild extra-innings (10) victory over the Cubs, leading the team back from a 12-1 defecit to an 18-16 victory over their old rival, as his fourth and final home run, a three-run shot, would seal the win. (Here’s the boxscore of that game, with the play-by-play, courtesy of retrosheet.org: http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1976/B04170CHN1976.htm.
All three Phils would perform their deeds on the road, twice in Chicago and once in Pittsburgh. Of the three, Delahanty would be the only one who did not perform his deed in an extra-innings game. In those three games, the Phillies are 2-1. Also, the deed has so far never been performed against the Phillies. And lastly, all three Phillies who have performed the feat are now members of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Sources: Wikipedia, Retrosheet.org
As mentioned in a previous article, there are several feats in baseball which is rare for baseball players to accomplish. Hitting for the cycle is one. Another is throwing a no-hitter. Throwing a perfect game is rarer still. In Major League Baseball History, as of 2008, there has been thrown only 256 no-hitters, of which only 1 has been perfect games. Four teams have so far not been able to throw a no-hitter, those teams being the New York Mets, the San Diego Padres, the Colorado Rockies and the Tampa Bay Rays. In Phillies’ team history, Phil pitchers have thrown only nine no-hitters, including one perfect game, while being the victim eighteen times, as well as being the victim in five other games that are now no longer considered no-hitters because of a rule change made in 1991 in which a no-hitter is now considered, “An official no-hit game occurs when a pitcher (or pitchers) allows no hits during the entire course of a game, which consists of at least nine innings.” The five that are no longer considered no-hitters were games that were stopped before being able to reach the now official nine innings, mainly because of either rain (or pre-1930s, because of the game being called because of darkness.) At this moment, I will concentrate on the nine no-hitters thrown by Phillies’ pitchers.
The first Phillies’ no-hitter would be thrown on Saturday, August 29, 1885, by Charlie Ferguson, as he would defeat Dupee Shaw of the Providence Grays, 1-0, at Recreation Park. The second Phillies’ no-hitter would occur on Friday, July 8, 1898, as Red Donahue would defeat the Boston Beaneaters, 5-0, at National League Park, aka Baker Bowl. The next Phillies’ no-hitter would be the first one thrown by a Phils’ pitcher in the 20th century as Chick Fraser would no-hit the Chicago Cubs in Chicago, 10-0, on Friday, September 18, 1903, at the second ballpark that the Cubs would name West Side Park, in the second game of a doubleheader split between the two old rivals. No-hitter number four would occur on Tuesday, May 1, 1906, in Brooklyn, as Johnny Lush would defeat the Brooklyn Superbas (now the Los Angeles Dodgers) at the second part that Brooklyn would call Washington Park, 6-0. The fifth Phillies no-hitter would not occur until Sunday, June 24, 1964 when Hall of Famer Jim Bunning would throw his father’s day perfect game against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium, winning 6-0. This would be the junior senator from Kentucky second no-hitter, as he threw an earlier one in 1958 as a member of the Detroit Tigers. The next no-hitter recorded by a Phillies’ pitcher would occur over seven years later, on Wednesday, June 23, 1971, as Rick Wise would help his own cause by hitting two home runs in a 4-0 defeat of Ross Grimsley of the Cincinnati Reds, in Cincinnati, at Riverfront Stadium. Phillies no-hitter number seven would be the first no-hitter to be thrown at Veterans Stadium, as Terry Mulholland would defeat Don Robinson of the San Francisco Giants 6-0, on Wednesday, August 15, 1990. No-hitter number eight, the last Phillies’ no-hitter of the 20th Century, would be the only no-hitter so far pitch outside of the U.S. by a Phillies’ pitcher as Tommy Greene would throw a no-no against the Montral Expos at Olympic Stadium, on Thursday, May 23, 1991, defeating Oil Can Boyd, 2-0. The Phillies’ ninth and most recent no-hitter, would also be the first no-no to be thrown by a Phils’ pitcher in the 21st Century, as well as the second and last one to be thrown at Veterans Stadium, as Kevin Millwood would defeat the Giants and Jesse Foppert, 1-0, on Sunday, April 27, 2003.
Phillies’ pitchers have thrown two no-hitters in the 19th Century, six in the 20th and one so far in the 21st Century. Of the nine no-hitters, four have been thrown in Philadelphia, one each has so far occurred in Chicago, Brooklyn, Cincinnati, and Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Two no-hitters were thrown at Veterans Stadium, with one each being thrown at Recreation Park, National League Park (Baker Bowl), West Side Park (II), Washington Park (II), Shea Stadium, Riverfront Stadium and Olympic Stadium. The main victim has so far been the San Francisco Giants, who have been no-noed twice, with the now defunct Providence Grays, Braves (as the Boston Beaneaters), Cubs, Dodgers (as the Brooklyn Superbas), Mets, Reds and the Nationals (as the Montreal Expos) being the victim one time each. Only one of the pitchers to throw a Phillies’ no-hitter, Jim Bunning, is now a member of the Hall of Fame.
Who will be the next Phillies’ pitcher to no-hit an opponent? No idea at this point in time, although the most likely person to do it would be Cole Hamels, the team’s present ace.
Sources: Wikipedia, Phillies.com, Baseball Almanac.com, Retrosheet.org
There are several things that are rear to do in Baseball. One is to pitch a no-hitter, whether its ends up being a perfect game or not. The other is hitting for the cycle. Of the two feats, hitting for the cycle is a very rare thing to do while being a member of the Philadelphia Phillies, as it has been accomplished only eight times by a Phil, with one player actually doing it twice.
For those of you who might not know what hitting for the cycle is, hitting for the cycle means that in one game, you have hit a single, a double, a triple and a home run, in at least four official at-bats. To date, hitting for the cycle has occurred only 248 times in Major League History. Players playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates have done it the most times with 23, while no players have so far done it for either the San Diego Padres, the Florida Marlins or the Tampa Bay Rays. The last major leaguer to have hit for the cycle has been Adrián Beltré of the Seattle Mariners, who had accomplished the feat on September 1, 2008, just hours after Stephen Drew of the Arizona Diamondbacks had done it.
Among the Phillies, the first one to hit for the cycle would be Lave Cross, who would perform the feat on April 24, 1894, in a 4-1 win over the Brooklyn Bridegrooms (now the Los Angeles Dodgers). Several months later, on August 17, Sam Thompson would become the second Phillie player to accomplish the feat, doing it during a 29-4 rout of the Louisville Colonels (Yes, Louisville, Kentucky, actually had a major league franchise before the start of the 20th Century.). It would be 33 years before the third Phillie to hit for the cycle, Cy Williams, who would win the National League home run title that same year, would do the deed, performing it on August 5, 1927, in a 9-7 victory over the Pirates. The fourth Phillie to hit for the cycle, Chuck Klein, would perform it on July 1, 1931, in a 11-6 win over the Chicago Cubs. Less than two years later, Klein would become the only Phillie player to perform the deed twice, as he would hit for the cycle again on May 26, 1933, during the year he would win the NL triple crown (batting average, home runs, RBIs), doing it in a 5-4 lost to the St. Louis Cardinals. The sixth Phil to join the club would be Johnny Callison, who would accomplish the deed on June 27, 1963, over 30 years after Klein’s second performance, doing it in a 13-4 rout of the Pirates. It would be another 32 years before the next Phil, Greg Jefferies, would hit for the cycle, doing it on August 24, 1995, during a 7-6 win over the Dodgers. The most recent Phillie player to do it, David Bell, would did it on June 28, 2004, in a 14-6 victory over the Montreal Expos (now the Washington Senators).
In the eight times that a Phil has hit for the cycle, the Phillies have won all but one of those games. The team that the cycle has been done against the most has been the Dodgers and the Pirates, who have both been on the wrong end twice, while the Louisville Colonels, the Cubs, the Cardinals (the only team to win when a Phil hit for the cycle) and the Nationals (as the Expos), have been the other four. Two Hall of Famers, Sam Thompson and Chuck Klein (who did it twice) have both hit for the cycle while being a Phil.
When will another Phil hit for the cycle? Your guess is as good as mines.
Sources: Wikipedia, Baseball Almanac.com
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