The Phillies would start the 1890 season with a major problem. Before the season even starts, as they start to officially call themselves the Phillies, the club would lose several of its players to the teams of the Players’ League, including a new team that the rebellious league had set up in Philadelphia, the new Philadelphia Quakers. This new team would challenge not only the Phils but also the American Association’s Philadelphia franchise, the Philadelphia Athletics, to see which team would reign surpreme in the Philadelphia baseball world.
As the National League finds itself unable to destroy the upstart league through the courts, as New York Supreme Court Justice Morgan J. O’Brien rules on January 28 in favor of John Montgomery Ward, formerly a star pitcher for the New York Giants and now a Hall of Famer, in his reserve clause case against the league, they decide to destroy it on the playing field, despite losing half of the people who had played for National League teams the previous season before the start of the regular season. The league would set things up so that they would end up playing most of their games on the same day as would the teams of their Players’ League opponents, beginning with opening day, April 19.
The Phillies’ opponents for 1890 would include the two franchises that had joined the National League from the weakening American Association, after the previous season, the Brooklyn Bridegrooms and the Cincinnati Reds, replacing the now defunct Washington Nationals and Indianapolis Hoosiers franchises, along with the Beaneaters, the Giants, the Alleghenys, the Spiders and the Chicago franchise, which has before the season changed its nickname from the White Stockings to the Colts. Every member of the league, except for Cincinnati, would face a challenge from a Players’ League franchise, while only Brooklyn and Philadelphia would also face teams from the more friendly American Association. The Phillies would continue to play their home games at the Philadelphia Base Ball Grounds, while Harry Wright would begin his seventh season as the team’s manager, trying to see if he can finally pilot the team to a league pennant.
The Phillies would begin their season on the road in April, playing four games against the previous season’s champ, the Giants, and one game against the former American Association champ, the Bridegrooms. The Phillies would win the season opener behind Kid Gleason, defeating the Giants 4-0. They would then lose the next game, 5-3, before winning the four- games series, 3-1, by defeating New York by the scores of 7-3 and 3-1, and landing in a three-way tie for first place with the Beaneaters and the Alleghenys. The Phils would then lose their game with the Bridegrooms, 10-0, ending their road trip with a record of 3-2 and landing in third place, trailing the Beaneaters by a game. They would then go back home to begin an eleven-games home stand with their eastern rivals the Giants (3), the Beaneaters (4) and the Bridegrooms (4). The Phillies would end the month of April by splitting the first two of their three games with the Giants, ending the month with a record of 4-3 while in a three-way tie with the Bridegrooms and Beaneaters for second place, as they all trailed the now leading Colts by half-a-game.
With the start of May, the Phillies would conclude their series with the Giants, winning the final game, and thus winning the series, 3-1, as they would end up in a four-way tie for first place with the Beaneaters, the Colts and the Reds, all four teams a full game ahead of the Alleghenys and the Bridegrooms. The Phils would then sweep their series with the Beaneaters, putting themselves in first place, a game-and-a-half ahead of the second place Colts. The Phillies would then win their sixth game in a row as they would defeat the Bridegrooms in the first game of their four-games series, 6-1. The Phils would then lose their next two games with Brooklyn, before winning the last game of the home stand, and splitting the series 2-2, while winning their home stand, 8-3, still in first place, but now leading the Colts by two full games. The Phils then go to Boston for a one-game series, which they would lose, 14-7, before coming back home for a long twenty-four games series against all of their league opponents that would last the rest of May and the early part of June. The Phillies would begin the home stand by losing their three-games series with the Reds, 1-2, leaving them just a half-game ahead of the Colts, as their western rival come into Philadelphia for a four-games series. The Phils would win the series, 2-1-1, including a suspended final game which had the Colts leading 10-8, which would end up leaving the Phillies still in first place, a game-and-a-half ahead of the Colts, the Bridegrooms and the Giants. The Phils would next face the Alleghenys for four games. They would sweep the series, including a doubleheader sweep on May 28, winning the games by the scores of 12-10 and 7-2, which would leave them still a game-and-a-half ahead of Brooklyn. The Phils would then end the month playing four games with the Spiders, including their second doubleheader of the month, played on May 30. After winning the first game of the series, they would be swept in the doubleheader, losing the two games by the score of 8-4 and 4-1, before winning the final game of the series, thus ending up splitting their series with Cleveland, 2-2. The Phillies would end the month of May with a 17-8 record, and with an overall record of 21-11-1, a game-and-a-half ahead of both the Reds and the Bridegrooms.
The Phillies would start June by winning their series with the Beaneaters, 2-1 and then with the Bridegrooms, also 2-1, before sweeping their three-games series with the Giants, ending the home stand with a winning record of 17-7, leaving them in first, but now only a-half-game ahead of the Reds. The Phillies would then go on the road for seven games with Boston (4) and Brooklyn (3). The Phils would lose the first game in their series with the Beaneaters, 8-5, having their four-games winning streak snapped, before losing the series overall, 1-3. They would then get swept by the Bridegrooms, becoming mired in a five-games losing streak, as they fall into third place, five-and-a-half games behind the Reds. The Phillies would then go back home for a four-games home stand with the Alleghenys. The Phils would win the short home stand 3-1, still in third, but now trailing by three-and-a-half games. The Phillies would then go on an eleven-games road trip to Cleveland (4), Chicago (4) and Cincinnati (3) for the rest of the month and the start of July. The Phils would go to Cleveland, winning the series there, 3-1, as they now stood in second place, still three-and-a-half games behind the Reds. The Phillies would then go to Chicago, where they would lose the first game of their series with the Colts, thus ending the month with a 13-11-1 record, and an overall record of 34-22-1, falling back into third place, but still three-and-a-half games behind the Reds.
The Phillies would start July off by winning two of their next three games with the Colts, ending the series with a split, before going on to Cincinnati for their first visit to the Queen City on the Ohio. The Phils would win their first road series against the Reds, 2-1, which would include a doubleheader split on July 4th, winning the first game 11-2, and then losing the ‘nightcap’, 7-1, thus ending the road trip with a record of 7-4, still trailing the Reds by three-and-a-half games, tied for second with the Bridegrooms. The Phils would then go back home for a fifteen-games home stand against the Reds, the Spiders, the Alleghenys, the Colts and the Alleghenys again, for five three-games series. The Phillies would start the home stand by winning their series with the Reds, 2-1, leaving them now just two-and-a-half games behind the Reds, while staying in third place. They would then sweep the other four series in their home stand, thus ending the home stand with a 14-1 record, returning to first place, now leading the second place Bridegrooms by two-and-a-half games. The Phillies would then go back on the road, for nine games with the Spiders (2), the Colts (3) and the Reds (4). The Phils would begin the road trip by sweeping the Spiders, increasing their winning streak to fifteen games, while increasing their lead over the Bridegrooms to three games. The Phillies would then go to Chicago, where their winning streak would be snapped by the Colts, 12-4, before they ended the series losing it, 1-2, with their lead over Brooklyn shrinking down to two games. The Phillies would then go on to Cincinnati, where they promptly lost the first game of their four-games series to the Reds, ending the month with a 21-6 record and an overall record of 55-28-1, now leading the Bridegrooms by just a game-and-a-half.
The Phils would start the month of August by losing two of three to the Reds, thus losing the series, 1-3, and the road trip with a 4-5 record, now in second place and a game behind the Bridegrooms, as the pennant race starts to heat up. The Phillies would then go back home for a short three-games home stand against the Giants (2) and the Beaneaters (1). The Phils would split their short series with the Giants, 1-1, before losing their game with Boston, ending the homestand, 1-2 and now three games behind Brooklyn, as they remain in second place. The Phillies then go back onto the road for nine games with Boston (2), New York (3) and Brooklyn (4). The Phillies go into Boston, where they are swept by the Beaneaters, dropping them into third, still three games behind Brooklyn. The Phils then go to New York, where they would lose the series to the Giants, 1-2, leaving them four games behind the Bridegrooms, before going into Brooklyn. The Phillies would then fall further behind Brooklyn, as they would lose three of their four games with the Bridegrooms, including a doubleheader lost on the 20, by the lopsided scores of 13-2 and 12-7, ending the road trip with a 2-7 record, now six games behind the first place Bridegrooms, as they fall into fourth place. The Phillies would then return home for a long nineteen-games home stand against all of their opponents for four straight three-games series (Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Chicago and Cincinnati), two straight two-games series (Boston and New York) and then a final three-games series with Brooklyn. The Phils would start the home stand by redeeming themselves as they would proceed to sweep first the Alleghenys and then the Spiders, putting them back into third place, now three games behind Brooklyn. They then had a setback as they got swept in turn by the Colts, ending August with a losing record of 10-14, and an overall mark of 65-42-1, in a technical tie for third place with the Reds, six games behind the league leading Bridegrooms.
The Phillies would start September off by spliting a doubleheader with the Reds on the 1, winning the first game, 2-1 and then losing the ‘nightcap’, 8-5, before winning the third game of the series to win the series, 2-1. They would then split their two-games series with the Giants, which was a doubleheader split on the 3, losing the first game, 9-6, then winning the ‘nightcap’, 9-5, leaving them in third place, eight games behind the Bridegrooms. The Phillies would then be swept by the Beaneaters in their two-games series, leaving them now eight and a half games behind Brooklyn, still in third place, as the Bridegrooms come to Philadelphia for three-games, giving the Phils one last chance to make up ground on first place Brooklyn. The Phils would proceed to sweep the Bridegrooms, winning the three games by scores of 4-3, 13-6 and 9-3, ending the home stand with a record of 12-7, now trailing the Bridegrooms by five-and-a-half games. The Phillies would then go on the road for the final time, to play fifteen games in Boston (3), Cincinnati (4), Chicago (2), Pittsburgh (2) and Cleveland (4), for the rest of September and the start of October. The Phillies would start the road trip off by taking two of three from the Beaneaters, leaving them still five-and-a-half games behind Brooklyn and now a game behind the second place Beaneaters. The Philles would then lose three of four to the Reds, watching them stay in third place, six-and-a-half games behind Brooklyn, with only an outside chance to win the pennant. The Phils would then go to Chicago, where they would sweep the Colts, seeing them move up into second place over the Colts, six games behind the Bridegrooms. The Phillies would then go to Pittsburgh, where they would split the two-games series with the Alleghenys, losing the second game by the score of 10-1, thus ending the month with a record of 12-9 and an overall record of 77-51-1, now in third place, seven-and-a-half games behind the Bridegrooms, as Brooklyn clinches the pennant on that same day, September 30, by defeating the Spiders, 4-3 while the second place Colts would lose to the Beaneaters, 6-4.
The Phillies would end the season playing four games in October with the Spiders. After tying the first game, 2-2, they would win the next game, 5-4, before ending the season by being swept in an October 4 doubleheader, losing by the scores of 5-1 and 7-3, ending the month with a record of 1-2-1, the road trip with a record of 7-7-1, and ending the season with a record of 78-53-2, two-and-a-half games behind the second place Colts and nine games behind the league champ, the Brooklyn Bridegrooms, so far the only Major League franchise to win a championship two years in a row in two difference leagues (AA 1889, NL 1890).
The Phillies would spend most of the year without their manager as Harry Wright would become blind on May 22. He would not be able to distinguish light from dark for ten days and would not return to manage the Phils until August 6. As Wright recovers, the Phillies would originally replace him with catcher Jack Clements, thus making him the fourth manager in Phillies’ history and the team’s second player-manager. Clements would be at the helm for only nineteen games, compling a record of 12-6-1 for a winning percentage of .667. Phillies co-owner, Al Reach, would replace him as the team’s fifth manager, leading the team for eleven games, compling a losing record of 4-7 for a winning percentage of .364. Reach then replaces himself as the team’s manager with shortstop Bob Allen, making him the team’s sixth manager and the third player-manager in franchise’s history. Allen would remain the team’s leader until Wright’s return, compling a record of 25-10 in thirty-five games, for a winning percentage of .714. Wright would return on August 6, leading the team during the final two-plus months of the pennant race, leading the Phils to its third third place finish, as he compiled a record of 36-31-1 in sixty-eight games, for a winning percentage of .537.
The Phillies would end up playing a total of 133 games, with a home/road split of 54-21-1 at home and 24-32-1 on the road, as 148,366 fans would come to watch them play at home. They would face the Spiders, the Reds and the Beaneaters twenty times each, the Colts and the Allghenys nineteen times, the Bridegrooms eighteen times and the Giants only seventeen times. The Phillies had winning records against four of their opponents, with their best record being against the Alleghenys, as they would go 17-2, followed by the Spiders at 14-5-1. They would have losing records with three teams, with their worst record being against the Bridegrooms, as they went 8-10, followed by both the Beaneaters and the Reds at 9-11. The Phillies would be 9-3 in shut outs, 17-9 in 1-run games and 30-17 in blowouts.
During the season, the Phillies would be either at the top, or near the top, in most offensive categories. The team would be first in doubles (220), batting average (.269) and on-base percentage (.342), second in hits (1267), walks (522), slugging percentage (.364) and stolen bases (335), third in run scored (823) and triples (78), fifth in at-bats (4707), sixth in home runs (23) and strikeouts (403), while also knocking in 631 RBIs, while 64 batters would be hit by the pitch. Meanwhile, the pitchers would also be near the top in most categories. They would be second in saves (2), shut outs (9), innings pitched (1194), home runs allowed (22) and strikeouts (507), fifth in complete games (122), and sixth in ERA (3.32), hits allowed (1210), runs allowed (707), and walks (486), as well as start 133 games, complete eleven games, allowed 440 earned runs, throw 45 wild pitches and commit two balks.
Team offensive leaders for the season would include Billy Hamilton in batting average (.325), on-base percentage (.430), runs scored (133), stolen bases (102), also leading the league in that category, and singles (137), being tied for the league lead with Cliff Carroll of the Chicago Colts. Clements would lead the team in slugging percentage (.472) and home runs (7). Allen would lead in games played (133), walks (87) and strikeouts (54), while being tied with Eddie Burke for triples with 11 each. Sam Thompson would be the team leader in at-bats (549), total plate appearances (599), hits (172), tied for the league lead with Jack Glasscock of the New York Giants, total bases (243), doubles (41), being the league leader, RBIs (102) and extra-base hits (54). Al Myers would lead in hit by the bat by being plunked 10 times.
Pitching wise, 1890 would be the coming out year for Kid Gleason, as he would be the team leader in most pitching categories. He would have the lowest ERA (2.63), win the most games (38, which is still the team’s single season record), highest win-lost percentage (.691), game played (60), saves (2), tied for the lead in that category with Dave Foutz of the Brooklyn Bridegrooms and Bill Hutchison of the Chicago Colts, innings pitched (506), strikeouts (222), games started (55), complete games (54), games finished (5), shutouts (6), hits allowed (479), earned runs allowed (148), while being tied with Tom Vickery for the team lead in home runs allowed (6). Vickery would also lead the team in walks (184), losses (22) and wild pitches (23). The Phils would only have two pitchers who would win twenty or more games, Gleason, setting a club record 38 wins and Vickery with 24.
As the Phillies continue to try to claim their first pennant, the National League Champ, the Brooklyn Bridegrooms, would face the American Association Champ, the Louisville Colonels in a seven-games post-season series, that would end up as a 3-3-1 tie between the two teams. Meanwhile, the Players’ League folds, as the league’s idea of having a revenue sharing-pool between the players would backfire, as the owners of the league’s eight teams are unable to make enough of a profit to stay in business. This would force the owners to sell the interest of their teams to the owners of the National League, who would in the process regain many of the players that they had lost to the revolt, such as the Phillies regaining Ed Delahanty from the Cleveland Infants. Meanwhile, as the Players’ League dies, the American Association would kick the Athletics out of the fold, for violating the league’s constitution. The Athletics would then be replaced in the AA by the Quakers of the Players’ League, leaving the Phillies with a rival. Noone, however, would have any idea how damaging the players’ revolt would be to the AA until 1891.
Sources: Wikipedia, Baseball Almanac.com, Baseball-reference.org, Retrosheet.org
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.
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.
The Phillies would begin their seventh year of existance trying to rebound from the previous season drop in the standings, as their manager, Harry Wright, would begin his sixth season as the Phillies’ skipper.
As the Phillies continue to play their home games in their home ballpark, the Philadelphia Base Ball Grounds, change is in the air in the National League as the league would be in a constant state of flux that will last the next several years. Early in the 1888 off-season, the Detroit Wolverine franchise would fold, it place in the National League to be taken by the American Association Cleveland Blues, who would soon change their name to the Cleveland Spiders. The league would then adopt a five-tier salary structure which would help to determine how much each player is paid. This move by the owners would have repercussions within two years, as it would lead to the Players’ revolt of 1890. Early in 1889, the National League would take control of the debt-ridden Indianapolis Hoosiers before an ownership group would finally take contol of the franchise. The Phillies’ opponents for the new season, besides the new Spiders and the Hoosiers, under new management, would be the Beaneaters, the Giants, the Nationals, the Alleghenys, and the White Stockings.
The Phillies would begin the 1889 regular season on Wednesday, April 24, against the Nationals in Washington, which the Phillies would win, 8-4, putting them in a tie for first place with the Beaneaters, the Hoosiers and the Alleghenys. The Phillies would then go home for a twenty-eight games home stand against all of their rivals, where they would play four straight four-games series with the Beaneaters, the Giants, the Nationals, the White Stockings, a two-games series with the Hoosiers, two straight four-games series with the Spiders and the Alleghenys and finally a second two-games series with the Hoosiers, which would last through the entire month of May. The Phillies would end April by splitting the first two games of their four-games series with the Beaneaters, losing 8-3, and then winning 7-6, ending April with a 2-1 record, in third place, trailing both the Giants and the Alleghenys by half a game.
The Phillies would begin May the same way they had ended April, by splitting the last two games of their four-games series with Boston, ending the series with a 2-2 record, while staying in third place as they now trailed the first place Giants by a game and a half. In their four-game series with their rival, the Giants, the Phillies would take three of the four games, including 9-4 and 11-2 victories in the first two games of the series, before being clobbered 13-9 in the series’ third game, putting them in a first place tie with the Beaneaters, half a game ahead of both the now third place Giants and the fourth place Alleghenys. The Phils would then proceed to split their series with the Nationals, which would keep them tied with Boston for first and still half a game ahead of the Giants. The Phils would then win their four-games series with their main western rival, the White Stockings, 3-1, as they fall into second place in the standings, a full game behind the first place Beaneaters. They would then sweep their two games with the Hoosiers, which keep them a game behind Boston in the standings. They would then win the first game of their four-games with the Spiders, giving them a five-games winning streak, before they would lose the next three games, thus losing the series to Cleveland, 1-3, as they fall three and a half games behind Boston, while staying in second place. The Phillies would then rebound, winning the first three games in their four-games series with the Alleghenys, including a doubleheader split on May 30, winning the opener by the score of 13-6, before losing the ‘nightcap’ by the score of 10-6. They would then sweep their second straight doubleheader, this one against the Hoosiers on May 31, by the scores of 11-8 and 11-4, thus ending the home stand with a record of 18-10 and the month with a 17-9 record. Their overall record of 19-10 would keep them in second place, now two and a half games behind the first place Beaneaters.
The Phillies would start off June by playing a four-games series with first place Beaneaters in Boston. The series would be a disaster, as they would lose the first three games in the series by scores of 7-2, 10-6 and 4-2, before leaving Boston with a 5-4 win, which would put the still second place Phils behind Boston by four and a half games. The Phillies would next play two straight three-games series with the Nationals, with the first three to be played in Philadelphia, and then the latter three in Washington, as part of a six-cities, twenty-two-games road trip to New York (2), Chicago (4), Cleveland (4), Pittsburgh (5) and Indianapolis (4), that would take the balance of June and the start of July to complete. The Phillies would win both of their series against the Nationals, going 2-1 both at home and in Washington, which would include a split of their third doubleheader of the season, losing the first game 6-3, and then winning the ‘nightcap’ 7-5. The Phillies would drop down to third place as they head for New York, a game behind the third place Spiders and three and a half games behind league leading Boston. The Phils would end up being swept in New York, which would drop them five and a half games behind the Beaneaters. The Phillies would then go to Chicago, where they would split their four-games series with the White Stockings, as they would now trail Boston by eight games, as the Beaneaters would appear to be running away from the rest of the league. The Phillies would next go to Cleveland, visiting the city for the first time since the collapse of the original Cleveland Blues franchise in 1884. The Phillies would end up losing the series to the Spiders, 1-3, which would dropped the Phils into fourth place, still trailing the Beaneaters by eight games, as the Giants would jump over them into third place. The Phils would then go to Pittsburgh, where their losing streak would increase to four games, including a doubleheader lost on June 29 by the score of 3-2 and 8-0. The Phillies would end June with an 8-15 losing record, and an overall record of 27-25, eight and a half games behind Boston in fourth place.
The Phillies would start July by losing the last two games of their series with Pittsburgh, losing the five-games series as their losing streak rises to six games, as they now trail Boston by nine and a half games. The Phillies would finally break their losing streak by winning the first game of their July 4th doubleheader with the Hoosiers, winning by the score of 5-4, before losing the ‘nightcap’ 6-0. They would then split the last two games in Indianapolis, splitting the series, as they would end the road trip with a losing record of 7-15, as they now trailed Boston by nine games, as they stayed a half game ahead of fifth place Chicago. The Phillies would then go back home to begin a seventeen-games home stand with the Hoosiers (3), White Stockings (2), the Spiders (3), the Alleghenys (3), the Giants (3) and the first place Beaneaters (3). The Phillies would start the home stand off with a seven-games winning streak as they would sweep first the Hoosiers, then the White Stockings, before the Spiders would finally end the winning streak by beating the Phils in the final game of their three-games series, 9-4. Their seven games winning streak would place the Phillies six games behind the Beaneaters, before their lost and Boston’s doubleheader sweep of the Hoosiers the next day would push them back to seven and a half games behind. The Phillies would then sweep their series with Pittsburgh and New York, which would put them four and a half game behind Boston as the Beaneaters came to town. The Phillies would proceed to lose the first two games with Boston, thus losing the series, 1-2, as they now trail the first place Beaneaters by five and a half games, as they moved into third place, a half game ahead of the Spiders and two games behind New York, as they end the home stand with a record of 14-3. The Phillies would then go back onto the road for a six-cities, thirteen-games road trip to Boston (2), New York (2), Pittsburgh (2), Cleveland (2), Chicago (3) and Indianapolis (2). The Phillies would start their road trip in Boston, where they would be swept by the Beaneaters, ending the month with a 16-9 record and with an overall record of 43-34, seven and a half games behind Boston, and tied for third place with Cleveland (who have played one game more than the Phils, which ended up as a tie.).
The Phillies would begin August still on the road as they visit rival New York, where they would be swept by the Giants as their losing streak rises to four games, as they fall to eight games behind, technically in third place as they lead the Spiders by .001. The Phillies would then sweep their series with the Alleghenys, before splitting their series with the Spiders, as they now trailed the Beaneaters by six and a half games, while in third place by themselves. The Phillies would then go to Chicago, where they would win the series with their western rival, 2-1, before heading on to Indianapolis, where they would split the series with the Hoosiers, ending the road trip with a respectible 6-7 record, seven games behind the Beaneaters, who were now trying to fight off a challenge for first from the Giants. The Phillies then went home for a short three-games series with the Nationals, which the Phillies would win, 2-1, as they now trailed Boston by seven and a half games. The Phillies then went back onto the road for a five-games series in New York, which they would lose to the Giants, 1-4, as they played two straight doubleheaders with them, splitting the first one on August 23, losing the first game, 7-3, before winning the ‘nightcap’ 11-2. They would then be swept in the doubleheader played on the 24, by the scores of 10-8 and 8-3. The Phils would stay in third place, but now trailing Boston by nine and a half games. They would then go home to face the Beaneaters for three games, seeing their losing streak go up to four games, before finally winning the series’ final game, as they lose the series, 1-2, as the Phillies now trailed the Beaneaters by ten and a half games. The Phillies then go back onto the road for three games with the Nationals, where they would lose the series, 0-1-1, tying the series’ middle game by the score of 2-2, as they would end the month with a record of 10-14-1, while having an overall record of 53-48-1, eleven and a half game behind Boston, and a half-game ahead of fourth place Chicago.
In September, the Phils would play a ten-games home stand with the White Stockings (4), the Spiders (3), the Alleghenys (1) and the Hoosiers (2). The Phillies would lose the series with their western rival, the White Stockings, 1-3, which would include a doubleheader split on the 2, losing the first game, 2-1, before winning the ‘nightcap’ 3-2. The series would see the Phillies drop back into fourth place, now twelve and a half games behind both Boston and New York, who were in a mathematical tie for first place, and a game and a half behind now third place Chicago. The Phils would then go on a five-games winning streak, sweeping their series with the Spiders, and then winning their one-game series with the Alleghenys, before splitting their doubleheader with the Hoosiers on the 14, winning the opener, 11-3, then losing the second game, 10-7, thus ending their home stand with a 6-4 record, as they regained third place, now twelve games behind Boston and three and a half games ahead of the fourth place White Stockings. The Phillies would then go to Boston for a three games series, which they would lose to the Beaneaters, 1-2, leaving them still twelve games behind the Beaneaters and the Giants, with the Giants leading by .003. The Phillies then went back home for a five-games series with the Giants, which they would lose 0-4-1, which would include a doubleheader split on the 20, as they would lose the first game, 5-1, then would be tied in the ‘nightcap’, 4-4. The Phillies were now sixteen and a half games behind the Giants, who were now a game ahead of Boston in the pennant race. The Phillies would now go onto the road for the rest of the season, to play eleven games in four cities, with three games in Cleveland, three in Pittsburgh, two in Indianapolis and the final three games of the season in Chicago. The Phillies would win the series in Cleveland, going 2-1, as they now trailed the Giants by seventeen and a half games. The Phils would then go to Pittsburgh, where they would be swept by the Alleghenys, ending the month of September with an 8-14-1 record, while their overall record went to 61-62-2, placing them in a mathematical tie with the White Stockings for third place.
In October, the Phillies would start the month off with a sweep of the Hoosiers, placing them a half game ahead of Chicago as the two teams now fought over third place, while the Phils now trailed both New York and Boston by eighteen games, as those two teams fought for the league’s crown. The Phillies would go to Chicago, and would end the first game in their three-games series in a 5-5 tie. They would then lose the final two games of the season to the White Stockings, ending the month with a record of 2-2-1, while their road trip would end with a record of 4-6-1, as they end the season in fourth place with a record of 63-64-3, a winning percentage of .496, a game and a half behind third place Chicago and twenty and a half games behind the league’s winner, the New York Giants, who would win the pennant on the last day of the regualr season.
The Phillies would play 130 games, with a home-road record of 43-24-1 at home and 20-40-2 on the road. They would play in front of 281,869 fans at home. They would have winning records with only three teams, with their best record being 13-4 against the Hoosiers, while also having losing records against three teams, with their worst being against the Beaneaters at 6-13. They would also have a 9-9 record with the Alleghenys. The Phillies would be 4-10 in shut outs, 17-13 in one-run games, and 21-24 in blowouts.
Offensively, they would end up being around the middle of the pack, ending up second in 2Bs (215), third in stolen bases (269), fourth in at-bats (4695), home runs (44) and batting average (.266), fifth in runs scored (742), hits (1248), on-base percentage (.323) and slugging percentage (.362), seventh in triples (52) and walks (393) and eighth in strike outs (353), as well as knocking in 605 RBIs, while 35 batters were hit by the pitch. Among pitching staffs, the Phils would also be near the middle of the league, as they would lead the league in home runs given up with 33, be third in saves (2) and strikeouts (443), fourth in runs allowed (748), fifth in ERA (4.00), innings pitched (1153), hits allowed (1288) and walks (428), sixth in shut outs (4), and eighth in complete games (106), while finishing twenty-four other games, giving up 512 earned runs, forty-seven wild pitches, and hitting twenty-seven batters.
Among the batters, Sam Thompson would lead the team in batting average (.296), slugging percentage (.492), total plate appearances (575), hits (158), total bases (262), doubles (36), home runs (20), where he was the league leader and RBIs (111), while Jim Fogarty would lead in on-base percentage (.352), runs scored (107), triples (17), walks (65), strikeouts (60), stolen bases (99), also leading the league in that category and hit by the pitch (7), Sid Farrar in games played (130), and Joe Mulvey in at-bats (544) and singles (121). Among the pitchers, Charlie Buffington would lead the pitching staff in ERA (3.24), wins (28), winning percentage (.636), games pitched (47), games started (43), complete games (37), shutouts (2), innings pitched (280), home runs allowed (10), walks (121), wild pitches (15) and batters faced (1661), while Kid Gleason and Ben Sanders would be tied for first with one save each, Sanders would also lead in hits allowed (406), losses (18) and earned runs allowed (138), and Gleason would lead in hit batters (9) and games finished (7). The Phillies would have only one twenty-game winner in 1889, Charlie Buffington, who would go 28-16, as Ben Sanders would just miss it, as he would go 19-18.
With the 1889 season over, the Phillies would have their first losing season since 1884, although staying in the first division for the fifth straight season under Harry Wright’s tenure. As the Phillies once again try to figure out what they would need to do to finally win a pennant, the Giants would face the Brooklyn Bridegrooms of the American Association in a post-season playoff, which the Giants would win 6-3, beginning what would become a long standing rivalry between the two clubs, as Brooklyn would join the National League for the following season, along with the Cincinnati Red Stockings (now the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Cincinnati Reds, respectively), as they would replace the just folded Nationals and Hoosiers franchises. Meanwhile, the Brotherhood of Professional Base Ball Players, the players’ union, still upset over the restructuring of the players’ salary structure, would formally revolt against the owners with the formation of the Players’ League on December 16. The players’ revolt would within two years have an outcome not expected by any of the players who would join any of the teams in the new league or those who would remain in either the NL or AA, or among the teams’ owners.
Sources: Wikipedia, Baseball Almanac.com, Retrosheet.org, Baseball-reference.com
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