First, the answer to last week’s trivia question, which no one even attempted to answer. First, the question: Name the first ex-Phil to be elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame? And the answer is: Nap Lajoie is the first ex-Phil to be elected into the Baseball Hal of Fame, as he was elected as a member of the 1937 class, receiving 168 votes or 83.58% of the vote in the second Hall of Fame election, being that year’s highest vote getter. Nap was a member of the Phils for four years, 1896-1900. A new weekly trivia question will be asked at the bottom of this post.
The 2009 regular season started last night as the 2008 World Champions Philadelphia Phillies faced one of their oldest rivals, the Atlanta Braves, in a night game at Citizens Bank Park, which included the raising of the 2008 banner and fireworks, as the Phils wore their special opening night uniforms with gold trim and the 2008 World Series patch.
Sadly, during the game itself, all of the fireworks were on the Atlanta Braves’ side as they torched Phils’ starter Brett Myers for four runs, via three home runs, in the first two innings. Things looked very promising for Myers as he easily got out the first two batters that he faced, via a fly out to center and a 6-3 ground out. Then Chipper Jones, with the count 3-2, hit a single to left, getting the first hit of the 2009 season. The next batter, Brian McCann then hit a 2-0 pitch into deep right field for a two-run home run, the first home run of the new season, as the Braves took a quick 2-0 lead. In the second, the Braves added to their lead as Jeff Francoeur hit his first home run of the year, a rocket into the left field seats, making it 3-0 Atlanta. One batter later, Jordan Schafer, in his first major league at-bat, made it 4-0 Braves as he slugged a 3-1 fastball into center field. Myers would settle down after that, giving up only five more hits as he pitched a total of six innings. While the Braves were raining on Myers’ parade, Derek Lowe was expertly handcuffing the Phils, giving up only two hits in his eight strong innings of work, a one-out ground-rule double to Carlos Ruiz in the third inning, the first Phillies’ hit of the season, who was then left stranded on second, and a two-out single to Jimmy Rollins in the sixth, who was then left on first as Jayson Werth lined out right to Lowe to end the inning. The Phils would finally score a run in the ninth inning, getting it off of reliever Mike Gonzalez. Pinch hitter Eric Bruntlett started the inning off with a pinch hit double. Rollins then flied out to right, sending Bruntlett over to third with one out. The next batter, Werth, then singled sharply to left, scoring Bruntlett, collecting the first Phillies RBI of the season, making it a 4-1 Braves’ lead. Chase Utley followed with a walk, sending Werth over to second, and bringing up the tying run to the plate in the person of Ryan Howard. Howard, who had been given a steady diet of off-speed pitches all night by Lowe, saw five straight sliders from Gonzalez, working the count full. Thus, Howard was caught off-guard when pitch no. six from Gonzalez was a fast ball, the first one he had seen all night, which was sent right down the pike, for a call third strike. Howard was followed by Raul Ibanez, who, like Howard, was looking for his first hit of the year, and seeing if he could help his new team out early in the season. Sadly, it was not to be, as he struck out, swinging, on a 3-2 fastball, ending the ballgame as a 4-1 Braves’ victory.
Brett Myers, in his six innings of work, gave up four runs on eight hits, including three home runs, and a walk while striking out six. His regular season record is now 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA. Jack Taschner, pitching in his first official game as a Phil, pitched a 1-2-3 inning as he struck out a batter. Scott Eyre followed him for two-thirds of an inning, recording a strikeout. Chad Durbin then pitched the final third of an inning, striking out the only batter he would face. Brad Lidge pitched the ninth for the Phils, pitching a 1-2-3 inning, including a strikeout. Derek Lowe pitched eight strong innings for the Braves, staying out of trouble all night, as he gave up only two hits to the Phils as he struck out four. His record is now 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA. Mike Gonzalez pitched an inning, giving up a run on two hits and a walk, while getting two very important strike outs to end the game.
At this point, Eric Bruntlett is leading the team in batting with a 1.000 batting average, as he went 1 for 1 with a double. Carlos Ruiz follows at .333, as he went 1 for 3 on the night with a ground-rule double. Jimmy Rollins and Jayson Werth follow with both men going 1 for 4 for a .250 batting average, with Werth having the Phils’, at the moment, only RBI of the season.
The short series will continued tomorrow night at Citizens Bank Park. The game will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound their ageless wonder Jamie Moyer, who record is presently 0-0 with a -.– ERA. The Braves will counter with Jair Jurrjens, who’s record is also 0-0 with a -.– ERA.
Now, here is this week’s trivia question: Name the first ten Phillies’ Opening Day Pitchers? You all know where to find the answer. The answer will be posted on Thursday.
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.
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.