First Game: Providence 4, Philadelphia 3 (May 1, 1883) Cy Young Winners: Steve Carlton, LH, 1972, 1977, 1980, 1982 John Denny, RH, 1983 Steve Bedrosian, RH, 1987 N.L. MVPS: Chuck Klein, OF, 1932 Jim Konstanty, P, 1950 Mike Schmidt, 3B, 1980, 1981, 1986 Rookies of the Year: Jack Sanford, P, 1957 Dick Allen, 3B, 1964 Scott Rolen, 3B, 1997 Retired Uniforms: No. 1, Richie Ashburn, OF No. 20, Mike Schmidt, 3B No. 32, Steve Carlton, P No. 36, Robin Roberts, P League Champions: 1915, Lost to Red Sox 1950, Lost to Yankees 1980, Defeated Royals 1983, Lost to Orioles 1993, Lost to Blue Jays World Series Champions: 1980, Kansas City, 6 games
THE STORY It took the Phillies 32 years to win their first pennant and 97 to win their first world championship. They have finished last in their league or division 28 times—one season in four. In the nine years from 1975 through 1983, though, they were one of the most formidable teams in baseball. Alfred J. Reach, a sporting goods entrepreneur and former player, and Colonel John Rogers, a Philadelphia lawyer and politician, organized the Phillies in 1883 to bring Philadelphia back into the National League after a six-year absence. In their first season, the Phillies won only 17 of 98 decisions to finish an eighth-place last, as far out of seventh as the seventh-place team was from first. As bad as the Phillies have sometimes been since, their 1883 winning percentage of .173 remains their very worst. Reach hired the respected Harry Wright to manage the Phillies in 1884, and while Wright failed to lead them to a pennant in his 10 years at the helm, he did make them respectable. His fourth-place 1886 team, in fact, compiled a winning percentage of .623 that remained the club's best for 90 years. In 1887 the Phillies, with three pitchers winning more than 20 games, finished second, just 3˝ games behind Detroit—their closest finish until their first pennant 28 years later. The Phillies remained in the upper division 12 of the next 14 years. For the five years from 1891 through 1895 they fielded an outfield of Ed Delahanty, Billy Hamilton, and Sam Thompson—Hall of Famers who rank among the top hitters of all time. In the three heavy-hitting seasons that followed the lengthening of the pitching distance to its present 60-feet-6-inches in 1893, Delahanty, Hamilton, and Thompson—with help from players like catcher Jack Clements (.394 in 1895) and utility outfielder Tuck Turner (.416 in 1894)—sparked the Phillies to three team batting titles with batting averages of over .300. In 1894 the big three joined Turner in batting over .400 and the team hit .349—still the major league club record. In 1899, with Delahanty's .410 leading the way, the Phillies once again topped .300 to lead the league. Though the team finished third, they won 94 games, a club high they would not surpass for 77 years. President Reach sold his interest in the club after a dispute with co-owner Rogers, and Rogers lost star second baseman Larry Lajoie in a salary dispute to the Athletics (Philadelphia's new entry in the rival American League). But the Phillies chased front-runner Pittsburgh through much of 1901. Though they slumped in August, they recovered to finish second. It was the end of an era. Delahanty deserted to the AL the next season, and the Phillies dropped to seventh. Rogers sold the club to a syndicate. By 1904 the team was in last place, losing 100 games for the first time. They rose into the first division the next season, but didn't mount a serious pennant run until 1911, when the pitching of rookie Grover Cleveland Alexander kept them in the thick of the race into midseason. Two years later they enjoyed first place through most of June before fading to a distant second. One-Two NL Sluggers In 1915 Alexander brought his ERA down by more than a run per game to a league and career best of 1.22, hurling 12 shutouts among his 31 wins. Right fielder Gavvy Cravath and first baseman Fred Luderus finished one-two among NL sluggers, and Cravath won home run and RBI crowns. For half a season all eight clubs were in the thick of a tight race, with the Cubs and Phillies at the top of the heap. But in July the Cubs folded, and in August and September the Phillies took off to outdistance the late-surging Boston Braves by seven games for their first pennant. The World Series was a Phillies heartbreak. Four of the five games were decided by a single run—but the runs belonged to the Boston Red Sox, who swept four after the Phillies had taken the opener. Alexander shut out a record-tying 16 opponents the following year, winning a career-high 33, and teammate Eppa Rixey had his first big year with 22 wins. Through most of the season, the club trailed the leading Dodgers, but caught them in September, only to fall away again in the final week. After Alexander's 30 wins had brought the Phillies another second-place finish in 1917, the club dealt him to Chicago and embarked on 31 years of wandering in the desert. After 14 losing seasons (8 of them in last place), they climbed to fourth, two games above .500, in 1932, but dropped back the next year into the second division (including nine last-place finishes) for 16 more years. Several outstanding players spent time in Philadelphia during these years: Dave Bancroft (a rookie in their pennant season), Cy Williams, Freddy Leach, Chuck Klein, Lefty O'Doul, and Dick Bartell. Of these, only Williams and Klein retired as Phillies. The financially strapped management traded away the ohers at the height of their careers in deals that included cash as well as players. Even Klein—perhaps the greatest of them all—was sold twice before returning a third time to Philadelphia to end his career. The Phillies in 1930 produced a season that ranks among the most extraordinary of all time. With Klein and O'Doul leading the way at .386 and .383, every regular hit at least .280 to give the Phillies a team batting average of .315. But Phillie pitchers yielded a record 1199 runs while compiling the worst big league ERA ever—6.71. The club lost 102 games and finished last. Shibe Park The Phillies' move in 1938 out of tiny, antiquated Baker Bowl into the Athletics' Shibe Park did nothing for attendance—or for performance, as the team strung together a club-record five consecutive last-place finishes from 1938 to 1942, in which they averaged 107 losses per season and finished between 43 and 62˝ games out of first. In February 1943 the league took control of the debt-ridden club and sold it to a group headed by New York sportsman William D. Cox. Cox didn't last long; before the year was out he was barred from baseball for betting on the Phillies. His controlling interest was sold to Robert M. Carpenter, who installed his son, Robert Jr., as president. The younger Carpenter hired former pitcher Herb Pennock as general manager with instructions to build a farm system, and a new era began in the club's history. Outfielder Del Ennis had come up to hit .313 in 1946, but Pennock died (in January 1948) before he could see the full fruits of his labor. First baseman Dick Sisler would be purchased in March; rookie outfielder Richie Ashburn would lead Phillie batters in 1948 with a .333 batting average. Willie Jones wouldn't nail down third base for another year, and rookie pitchers Robin Roberts and Curt Simmons wouldn't overawe the opposition for a couple of seasons yet. But the team that would be dubbed the "Whiz Kids" was gathering. Triple A manager Eddie Sawyer was brought up in late July. In 1949, the loss of first baseman Eddie Waitkus (shot in the chest by a crazed fan) and midseason complacency threatened to strand the Phillies in the second division. But Sawyer fired up his players in a special team meeting, and the Phillies rallied to finish third with the club's best record in 32 years. With new red-pinstripe uniforms and a recovered Eddie Waitkus, the 1950 Phillies pulled away from a tightly bunched first division in July and August, but late in September fell to within two games of onrushing Brooklyn. The Dodgers took the first game of a season-ending two-game series to narrow the gap to one. But in the finale the Phillies' Sisler homered to break a tenth-inning tie. When Brooklyn failed to score in the bottom of the tenth, the Whiz Kids had their pennant. Curt Simmons, who was called up for military service in September after winning 17 games, missed the World Series. As in 1915, the result for Philadelphia was frustration and heartbreak, as the Phillies were swept by the Yankees—in the first three games by a single run. Roberts's pitching kept the Phillies in the first division for four of the next five years, but the team made no serious run at another pennant. And when Roberts began to lose his effectiveness the team sank farther, to fifth for two years, then to four years in the cellar, culminating in 1961 with the longest big league losing streak of the century: 23 games. Mauch's Phillies The club stuck with new manager Gene Mauch, and the 1962 Phillies edged above .500 for the first time in nine years (though finishing seventh in a league newly expanded to 10 teams). In 1963 they moved up to fourth with a strong second half. In 1964, with the acquisition of pitcher Jim Bunning from Detroit and infielder Dick Allen's productive rookie season, Mauch's Phillies moved way out in front in August. But they blew their lead with 10 straight losses in late September while Cincinnati was winning nine and St. Louis eight in a row. Only victories in their final two games salvaged a second-place tie. The Phillies produced winning seasons the next three years but never challenged the leaders. With Mauch replaced as manager during the 1968 campaign, the team embarked on seven straight losing seasons, including three years at the bottom of the NL East. Pitcher Steve Carlton, acquired from St. Louis in an off-season trade, accounted for nearly half the Phillies' 59 wins in 1972. His 27 victories for the league's worst team gave the club a ray of hope for the future and earned Carlton the Cy Young Award. Carlton lost a league-high 20 games the next year, but as he regained his form over the next three seasons, so too the Phillies gradually rose to the top of the division. In 1974 sophomore third baseman Mike Schmidt burst to the forefront of the league's power hitters. The Phillies dropped out of contention in August, but wound up third, their best finish since the league split into divisions in 1969. The next year outfielder Greg Luzinski joined Schmidt among the league's top sluggers, and the club rose to second, with their first winning season since 1967. The Phillies had entered their golden age—nine straight winning seasons (a club record), including five division titles, two pennants, and their first world championship. In 1976 they enjoyed their finest regular season ever. With Schmidt and Luzinski providing the power, Carlton returning to the ranks of 20-game winners and Jim Lonborg climaxing a long comeback with 18 wins, the Phillies took the division lead in May and pulled away, recovering from a late-season dive to finish well ahead of Pittsburgh. Their 101 wins,.623 winning percentage, and nine-game margin of victory remain club records. The Phillies were swept by Cincinnati in the LCS, but came back the next season to duplicate their record 101 wins for another comfortable first-place finish. Carlton won 23 (and his second Cy Young Award), and Luzinski enjoyed the best season of his career, driving in 130 runs. After defeating Los Angeles in the NLCS opener, though, the Phillies lost the pennant with three straight losses. A Division Title In 1978, even though Schmidt and Carlton had off years, the Phillies led much of the season and captured the division title a third straight time. But it was a tight race, and they barely survived a late-season Pittsburgh surge to finish 1˝ games in front. For the third time, their triumph in the East was followed by defeat in the LCS—for the second time at the hands of Los Angeles in four games. Danny Ozark, in his seventh year as Phillies manager, was replaced by Dallas Green late in a disappointing 1979 season that saw the club stumble after a strong start before rallying in September to finish fourth. But Schmidt was back in top form, and Pete Rose had arrived via free agency to add his bat and hustle. In a three-way race in 1980 that remained close through August, the Phillies hung tight without being able to move into the lead. But as Pittsburgh folded in late August and early September, the Phillies edged in front briefly, then battled back and forth with Montreal. Tied with the Expos as the clubs met in Montreal for the season's final three games, Philadelphia took the first 2-1, then the second in 11 innings, to clinch their fourth division title in five years. Schmidt, in perhaps his finest season, drove in 121 runs and was named National League MVP; Carlton, with 24 wins, won his third Cy Young Award; and veteran reliever Tug McGraw enjoyed his best season in years. In an LCS in which four of the five games went into extra innings, the Phillies prevailed over Houston, capturing their first pennant since the Whiz Kids era 30 years earlier. And in the World Series, fortune finally smiled on the team as they overcame Kansas City in six games. The Phillies won the first half of the strike-divided 1981 season. In the special intradivision playoff against Montreal, Philadelphia fought back to tie the series after losing the first two games, only to lose the finale. The Carpenter family—citing the prohibitive cost of running a major league club—sold the team. Manager Dallas Green also left and was replaced by Pat Corrales, who kept the club in the thick of the 1982 race until the final month, when the Phillies slipped 3˝ games back, to second. And Steve Carlton did it again: his 23 wins earned him a record fourth Cy Young trophy. Mike Schmidt again dominated the Phillies offense in 1983, but Carlton yielded to John Denny as the team's pitching ace. Newly acquired reliever Al Holland emerged as one of the league's best. After General Manager Paul Owens took over for Corrales as manager in midseason, the Phillies came alive and took the division title by six games. Carlton dominated the LCS with an 0.66 ERA and two wins as the Phillies won their fourth pennant. But their golden age ended with the World Series, when Baltimore triumphed in five games. Fourth Place in 1984 The Phillies dropped to .500 and fourth place in 1984, and suffered a losing fifth-place season in 1985. They rebounded to second in 1986 (but 21˝ games behind New York), then dropped back below .500 in 1987. Mike Schmidt continued to power the offense—the only member of the 1980 world champions still a Phillie. Despite an impressive lineup of players in 1988, the Phils collapsed, finishing in the division cellar for the first time in 15 years. Unable to recover from a shoulder injury, Mike Schmidt retired in May 1989, and despite several midseason trades the Phillies again finished last in the NL East. In 1990, though, the flaming start of one of the players acquired in mid-1989—outfielder Len Dykstra, who was batting above .400 as late as June—lit the Phillies' competitive fire. But as Dykstra cooled off to mere excellence, the Phillies fell out of contention and finished 18 games back, tied for fourth. A 13-game winning streak in July-August 1991 came too late to propel the Phillies into the thick of the race, and although they rose to third place in the season's final week, they finished 20 games out. In 1992 they played at the bottom of the NL East much of the season and finished there for the third time in five years. Strengthened by the signing of several free agents and sustained by solid performances throughout the roster, in 1993 the Phillies reversed course. Led by Dykstra's peak season at the plate, the team grabbed the division lead at the start of the year and never let go, fending off Montreal's late-season surge to take the NL East title by three games. In the LCS they won their fifth NL pennant, defeating Atlanta in six games, but in the World Series they blew a pair of late-inning leads and fell in six games to repeat champion Toronto. Plagued by illness and injury, the Phillies never caught fire in 1994, finishing a distant fourth in the NL East. In 1995 they finished tied for second (but 21 games back). In a season where the Phillies went 67-95, there were few bright spots. Exceptions were the stellar play of catcher Benito Santiago, who slammed a career-high 30 home runs and led the club with 85 RBI, and closer Rickey Bottalico who saved 34 games for a team that won only 67. Battling with the odds after shoulder surgery, Curt Shilling led the NL in complete games with eight. In 1997, Phillies 3b Scott Rolen won the NL Rookie of the Year Award, and Curt Schilling became the all-time NL right-handed strikeout king, but the Phillies tied the Chicago Cubs for the worst record in the NL. They also recorded their lowest atten- dance in 25 years. 1997 saw the trade of C Darren Daulton to the Florida Marlins. By the beginning of the the 1998 season, they traded away both Mickey Morandini and Kevin Stocker, as yet another rebuliding program had begun. Before the 2001 season the Phillies replaced manager Terry Francona with former Phillies player and coach Larry Bowa. The Phillies responded by missing the division title by two games. Bowa was named manager of the year. 2002 saw All-Star 3b Scott Rolen traded to the St. Louis Cardinals as the Phillies slipped in the standings following a dismal first half of the season. Information taken from Total Baseball IV: The Official Encyclopedia of Major League Baseball and the 1997 Official Major League Baseball Fact Book, published by the Sporting News.

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