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The Philadelphia Phillies are the defending NL East champions, winning their first crown since 1993. They came from 7.5 games behind the Mets with 17 games left to win the division on the final day of the season.
The Phillies began in 1883 by sporting goods owner Al Reach. They took the place of the Worchester Ruby Legs in the National League, although the two teams are not linked to one another. Although an initial team nickname was the "Quakers", they were also referred to as the "Phillies" and the name stuck. The nickname inohkogfdnhgns the longest lasting name in all of baseball. Their first game was played May 1, 1883, a 4-3 loss to the Providence Grays. It was the first of many the Phillies would have over the years. In their first season the Phils were 17-81. By their third season, the team would reach respectability, falling in the middle of the standings between 1885 and 1895 with Harry Wright as manager. The team of 1894 stands out for having three Hall of Fame outfielders, each of whom hit over .400: Ed Delahanty, Billy Hamilton and Sam Thompson.
At the turn of the 20th Century, the Phillies had one of the stronger teams in the National League. In 1901, the team finished a then-high second place with the bats of Delahanty, Nap Lajoie, and Elmer Flick. However, things turned for the worse for the Phils with the formation of the American League. In particular, the Philadelphia Athletics raided several of their best players, including Lajoie and Flick, while Delahanty would soon sign with the Washington Senators. The team soon fell to the bottom of the National League. In 1903, Reach sold the Phillies. One of the few standouts in the first decade of the 20th Century was Sherry Magee, an excellent deadball hitter who led the NL in RBI's in 1907. At the end of the decade, the team was finishing in the middle of the NL standings.
1915 was a big year of the Phillies, as they finally won the National League, 33 years after their first season. They finished the season 90-62, seven games ahead of the Boston Braves, the previous year's World Series winner. The '15 Phillies featured several Hall of Fame players, including Grover Cleveland Alexander (who won 30 games that season), Dave Bancroft, and Eppa Rixey. Gavvy Cravath hit 24 home runs that year as well, which would be the Major League record until Babe Ruth hit 29 in 1919. However, the Phillies would not succeed in winning the World Series, falling in five games to the Boston Red Sox.
After two second place finishing the following seasons, things took a serious turn for the worse for the Phillies. They would not reach any higher than 6th in the National League until 1929. They finished in last place seven times. One good thing happened in 1920's: in 1928, they purchased a young Chuck Klein for $5,000.
Despite Klein's brilliance, the Phillies had one of their worst decades in the 1930s. 1932 saw their only winning season (only a 78-76 record at that), with Klein voted NL MVP. The Phils finished last four times and seventh four times. In 1933, Klein hit a triple crown, with 28 home runs, 120 RBIs, and a .368 average. 1938 saw the Phillies moved out of the Baker Bowl and into Shibe Park, where they would inhabit for 32 years.
In 1942, ownership changed hands twice. First Gerry Nugent sold the team to William Cox. However, he was soon banned from baseball for betting on his Phillies. Bob Carpenter became the Phillies' new owner, who brought in several changes. He installed Herb Pennock as general manager. Pennock developed a farm system for the Philles before dying of a brain hemorrhage in 1948. One move that was not as successful was an attempt by Carpenter to change the team's name. The nickname "Blue Jays" was chosen in a fan contest. However, the name never caught on with media, fans, or the team itself and was dropped by the end of the decade. By the end of the decade, the players that would be the team's core for the 1950s, like Richie Ashburn, Robin Roberts, and Curt Simmons.
The Whiz Kids
Through the new farm system, the Phillies brought up players like Robin Roberts, Richie Ashburn, Del Ennis, Granny Hamner, Willie Jones and Curt Simmons. With Eddie Sawyer as manager, the Phils finished the 1950 season 91-63, winning their second pennant. The team garnered the nickname the "Whiz Kids", and with an average age of 26 were the youngest team to play in a World Series to that point. Reliever Jim Konstanty won the MVP award that year (the first reliever to do so) with 16 wins and 22 saves. The good times did not last into the World Series, as the Whiz Kids were swept by the New York Yankees.
"Phold" of 1964
The Phillies time at the top was short-lived, and by 1958 they returned to last place. In fact, they would finish in last for four years in a row, and were helped in 1962 from poor expansion clubs in Houston and New York. In 1964, however, things would seem to turn around. Dick Allen, Jim Bunning, Johnny Callison, and Chris Short would all feature in a title-contending team. Allen would win Rookie of the Year, Bunning pitch a perfect game (the only one in Phillies history), and Callison hit the walk-off home run in the All-Star Game. With twelve games to play, the Phillies were in first place with a 6 1/2 game lead.
Then, everything went wrong. They were swept by Cincinnati, then in four games by Milwaukee (both series at Connie Mack Stadium). In the last game against the Braves, the Phils lost their division lead to the St. Louis Cardinals. With a chance to regain the lead against the Cardinals, they failed to do so, and the Cardinals swept the series. The Phillies left St. Louis two and a half games behind. The Cards lost two in a row to the hapless Mets while the Phils finally got a win against Cincinnati, knocking the Reds out of a tie for first. On the last day of the season, with the Reds and Cards tied for the lead and the Phils a game behind, the Phils beat the Reds again, but the Cards finally solved the Mets and won the pennant.
Things remained bad for much of the 1960s, as attempts to stock the Phils with veteran players failed to produce any results.
The 1970s was the beginning of the best stretch in Phillies history. In 1971, the Phillies moved into Veterans Stadium, a multipurpose stadium they shared with the Philadelphia Eagles. They opened the Vet with a 4-1 victory over the Montreal Expos.
In addition to a new home, the pieces that would bring the Phillies their greatest success began to arrive in Philadelphia. In 1970, Larry Bowa and Greg Luzinski were called up from the minor leagues. 1972 saw the Phillies trade star pitcher Rick Wise to the St. Louis Cardinals for Steve Carlton, as well as the debut of catcher Bob Boone. And in 1973, Mike Schmidt debuted for the Phils. Although he only hit .196 the first year, he would eventually become the Phillies' greatest player in team history.
In 1975, the finished second in NL East, the first time since the ill-fated 1964 squad. The following season saw the Phillies win a team-record 101 wins and the division, which they matched the next season. 1978 brought only 90 wins but a division title notheless. The NLCS would be their undoing in all three season, losing to the "Big Red Machine" of Cincinnati in 1976 and to the LA Dodgers in 1977 and 1978.
A few more pieces were needed before the Phillies could reach the World Series again. In 1975, they acquired Garry Maddox, who would anchor the Phils' outfield for a decade. The coup came in 1978, when the Phillies signed "Charlie Hustle", Pete Rose, to a four year deal. They only mustered fourth place in 1979, at which time Dallas Green moved down from general manager to the dugout.
1980 was the greatest year in team history. It was a time of great individual success, as Schmidt lead the NL in home runs and RBIs to take home the MVP title, the first for a Phillie in 30 years. Steve Carlton had a 24-9 record and won the Cy Young Award, his third such award. While they fluctuating between first and third for most of the first four months of the season, August 11 began a hot streak where the Phillies won 21 out of 27 games. Fighting the Expos for the remaining weeks, a 6-4 victory over Montreal on the second to last day of the season saw the Phillies capture the NL East crown.
The Phillies would win their first pennant since the Whiz Kids season of 1950 with a 3-2 NLCS win over the Houston Astros. The series remains one of the most exciting League Championship Series in history, with four of the five games including the series decider went into extra innings.
The Phillies played the Kansas City Royals in the World Series. Defeating the Royals in Games 1 & 2 at the Vet, Kansas City would equalize in the first two games in Kansas City. Game 5 at Kaufmann Stadium saw the Phillies scored two runs in the ninth to take a 3-2 lead back to Philadelphia. Leading 4-1 in the ninth, reliever Tug McGraw struck out Willie Wilson to clinch the first (and so far only) World Series in Phillies history.
In the strike-shortened 1981 season, the Phillies won the first half crown for the NL East behind another MVP season for Schmidt. Pete Rose broke Stan Musical's NL career hits record by getting his 3,631st hit. In the playoff with the second-half Expos, the Phils fell 3 games to 2. Dallas Green left the team to manage the Chicago Cubs. Another front office change saw Bob Carpenter sell the team to David Montgomery and Bill Giles.
1982 saw the Phils finish in second place, with Carlton winning his fourth Cy Young Award.
By 1983 the Phillies team was getting much older, garnering the nickname "Wheeze Kids" in reference to the 1950 pennant winners. The team brought in a then 40-year old Joe Morgan, epitmozing a much older team. Schmidt hit 40 home runs, and Carlton reached 300 wins in his career. John Denny won the Cy Young Award with a 19-6 record. GM Paul Owens became manager mid-season, sparking a hot streak. Winning 14 of the last 16 games, they won their fifth division title. They then defeated the Dodgers in the NLCS 3-1, with Garry Maddox taking MVP honors. After winning the World Series opener against the Baltimore Orioles, the Phils failed to win again, losing the Series 4-1.
After 1983, the team that won five divisions, two pennants, and a World Series title began to scatter. Bowa was already gone, traded with then-prospect Ryne Sandberg for Ivan DeJesus, and Rose went back to Cincinnati. 1986 was a last gasp, with Schmidt's final MVP season. Maddox retired after that season, and Carlton left after that season. Schmidt would finally retired after the 1989 season.
1990s and 2000s
1993 National League Champs
The Phillies had three last place finishes between 1988 and 1992. Jim Fergosi became manager in 1991, and several major acquisition were made by GM Lee Thomas, bringing in John Kruk, Lenny Dykstra, and pitchers Curt Schilling, Terry Mulholland, and Danny Jackson. The team assembled in 1993 was a Mötley Crüe; ragtag, and full of colorful characters. It was also super successful, leading NL East for all but one day (April 9) of the entire season. Finishing 97-65, the Phillies clinched the division with a week to go.
On July 2–3, the Phillies played a memorable doubleheader against the San Diego Padres. Thanks to lengthy rain delays, the games did not end until 4:40 a.m., when closer Mitch Williams hit an RBI single, one of only three hits in his career.
The Phillies finished seven games behind the Atlanta Braves, making them underdogs against the Braves in the NLCS. They managed, however, to pull of the upset of the defending NL champs, 4 games to 2. They won the last three games in comeback fashion, with Curt Schilling winning MVP honors.
In the World Series, the Phillies faced off against the defending champion Toronto Blue Jays. Splitting with Toronto at the SkyDome, the Phils lost Games 3 & 4 at home. Game Four was particularly memorable, as the 15-14 loss was the highest scoring game in World Series history, the longest game, and the Phils set a record for the most runs by a losing team in Series history. After Schilling shut out Toronto in Game 5, the Phillies had a two-run lead in the ninth inning of Game 6. With two runners on, Blue Jays outfielder Joe Carter hit a home run off Mitch Williams to clinched the World Series.
The Phillies could not match the success of the 1993 season in 1994, leading the division only after the first game of the season. Ultimately, they finished fourth prior to the strike.
After returning in 1995, they took lead of the division in early May. In early July, 3 losing streaks of four or more saw them lose their lead for good. Although they were runners-up, they were 8 games under .500 and 21 games behind Atlanta.
In 1996 and 1997, the basement was home for the Phillies as mediocrity set in. Two bright spots on the field were Scott Rolen, the 1997 Rookie of the Year, and Curt Schilling, who managed a 17 game season in 1997. That same year, Fergosi was replaced as manager by Terry Francona. Under Francona, the team was mired in mediocrity, finishing only as high as 8 games under .500
Phillies great Larry Bowa took over as manager in 2001. In a year that was the final year at Veterans Stadium, the team sent off their home with a team that challenged for a division title. They finished 86-76, two games behind Atlanta. Shortstop Jimmy Rollins broke through with the club that season, leading the league with 46 stolen bases. Bobby Abreu had a 30-30 season, the first in team history.
The opening of the new Citizens Bank Park brought fans new hope. During Bowa's tenure, the team had three winning seasons. Despite the success, Bowa was fired after the 2004 season and replaced by Charlie Manuel. Manuel began his tenure with a pair of second place finishes, finishing higher than one playoff team each time (including the 2006 World Series champion Cardinals). Ryan Howard broke through in 2005, winning Rookie of the Year, following up in 2006 with an MVP award.
John Vukovich, coach for the Phillies under five different managers died in March 2007 of a brain tumor. Through the 2007 season, the team wore a patch saying "VUK".
2007: 10,000 losses and an incredible regular-season finish
The Phillies began the 2007 season with a 5-3 home loss on April 2 to the Atlanta Braves after 10 innings. After the first fifteen games, the Phillies limped to a 4-11 record, but then found a five game winning streak to put them back into contention in the National League East. After 40 games, the Phillies finally reached the .500 mark at, 20-20. They also became the first franchise in MLB to lose 10,000 games.
Heading into the All-Star break the Phillies split their win/loss record at 44-44, hampered by the loss of starting pitchers Freddy Garcia and Jon Lieber due to injuries that sidelined them for the remainder of the season. They found a bright spot in young pitcher Kyle Kendrick, who rose from the Phillies' AA team in Reading, Pennsylvania to the Phils starting rotation in 2007.
Three Phillies were named to the 2007 All Star Game in San Francisco, CA. Chase Utley was the starting second baseman for the National League squad and center fielder Aaron Rowand was named as a backup (his first All Star appearance). Starting pitcher Cole Hamels also appeared in his first All Star Game.
On July 15, 2007, the Phillies lost their 10,000th game, 10-2 to the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Phillies became the first North American professional sports franchise to lose 10,000 games.
On September 21, Jimmy Rollins became the first player in major league history to collect 200 hits, 15 triples, 25 home runs, and 25 stolen bases in the same season. Rollins also became the 4th player to have at least 20 home runs, 20 triples, 20 doubles, and 20 stolen bases in a season on September 30, securing the feat on the last day of the season with a sixth inning RBI triple.
On September 12, the Phillies were seven games behind the New York Mets in the National League East, and it appeared as if their division hopes were dashed. However, the Mets suffered an epic collapse on the likes of the "Phold of 1964," going 4-11 over the next fifteen games while the Phillies parried with a strong 12-3 record. The Phillies had defeated the Mets in eight consecutive encounters (between July 1, 2007 and September 16, 2007) and ultimately overtook the Mets by one game on September 28. The Phillies fell back into a first-place tie the following day with a Mets win and a Phillies loss, with only one game remaining in the regular season to decide the champion of the National League Eastern Division.
The Mets would lose their final game of the season while the Phillies won theirs, clinching the division for the Phillies for the first time in 14 years. The Phillies won the final game behind 44 year old Jamie Moyer, who in 1980 skipped a day of high school to attend that year's Phillies championship parade down Philadelphia's Broad Street.
After their historic comeback, they were swept in three games by the Colorado Rockies after losing 2-1 in Game 3 on October 6, 2007. It was the first time since 1976 that the Phils were swept in a postseason series.
Even though their sweep from the playoffs was a disappointment, the Phillies have already started on their quest for October baseball in 2008 by trading Michael Bourn, Geoff Geary, and Michael Costanzo to the Houston Astros for closing RHP Brad Lidge and utility player Eric Bruntlett. They have also re-signed relief pitcher J.C. Romero to a three-year deal, and they have re-signed Manager Charlie Manuel and the rest of the coaching staff.
On November 20, 2007, Jimmy Rollins was named National League MVP, edging out Colorado Rockies left fielder Matt Holliday by 17 votes, making this one of the closest contests since the voting format was adopted in 1938. Along with Ryan Howard, they are the first baseball club with back-to-back MVP winners since the San Francisco Giants's Jeff Kent and Barry Bonds in 2000 and 2001, respectively.
2008: World Series Champions
In 2008, the Phillies won their second World Series title. It was their first since 1980. The Phillies beat the Tampa Bay Rays in 5 games due to timely hitting and great starting pitching. Cole Hamels was the LCS and World Series MVP. The Phillies defeated the Brewers in 4 games in the NLDS and the Dodgers in 5 games in the NLCS.
- 1 Richie Ashburn (outfielder)
- 14 Jim Bunning (pitcher)
- 20 Mike Schmidt (third baseman)
- 32 Steve Carlton (pitcher)
- 36 Robin Roberts (pitcher)
- 42 Jackie Robinson (retired by MLB)
- P Grover Cleveland Alexander (pitcher)
- P Chuck Klein (outfielder)
- Alexander was from an era prior to numbers, and Klein never had a consistent number to be retired.
- Pat Gillick (2005–present)
- Ed Wade (1997-05)
- Lee Thomas (1988–97)
- Woody Woodward (1987–88)
- Tony Siegle (1985–87)
- Paul Owens (1972–84)
- John Quinn (1959–72)
- Roy Hamey (1954–59)
- Bob Carpenter (1948–54)
- Herb Pennock (1943–1948)
- Charlie Manuel (2005–present)
- Gary Varsho (2004)
- Larry Bowa (2001–04)
- Terry Francona (1997–2000)
- Jim Fregosi (1991–96)
- Nick Leyva (1989–91)
- Lee Elia (1987–88)
- John Felske (1985–87)
- Paul Owens (1983–84); also managed the Phillies in 1972
- Pat Corrales (1982–83)
- Dallas Green (1979–81)
- Danny Ozark (1973–79)
- Paul Owens (1972)
- Frank Lucchesi (1970–72)
- George Myatt (1969)
- Bob Skinner (1968–69)
- Gene Mauch (1960–68)
- Mayo Smith (1955–58)
- Terry Moore (1954)
- Steve O'Neill (1952–54)
- Eddie Sawyer (1948–52; 1958–60)
- Ben Chapman (1945–48)
- Freddie Fitzsimmons (1943–45)
- Bucky Harris (1943)
- Hans Lobert (1942)
- Doc Prothro (1939–41)
- Jimmie Wilson (1934–38)
- Burt Shotton (1928–33)
- Stuffy McInnis (1927)
- Art Fletcher (1923–26)
- Kaiser Wilhelm (1921–22)
- Wild Bill Donovan (1921)
- Gavvy Cravath (1919–20)
- Jack Coombs (1919)
- Pat Moran (1915–18)
- Red Dooin (1910–14)
- Billy Murray (1907–09)
- Hugh Duffy (1904–06)
- Chief Zimmer (1903)
- Bill Shettsline (1898–1902)
- George Stallings (1897–98)
- Billy Nash (1896)
- Arthur Irwin (1894–95)
- Harry Wright (1884–93)
- Blondie Purcell (1883)
- Bob Ferguson (1883)
- Chuck Klein (1932)
- Jim Konstanty (1950)
- Mike Schmidt (1980)
- Mike Schmidt (1981)
- Mike Schmidt (1986)
- Ryan Howard (2006)
- Jimmy Rollins (2007)
Rookie of the Year
- Steve Carlton (1972)
- Steve Carlton (1977)
- Steve Carlton (1980)
- Steve Carlton (1982)
- John Denny (1983)
- Steve Bedrosian (1987)
Record Per Season
- YEAR W L
- 1983 70 52
- 1984 81 81
- 1985 75 87
- 1986 86 75
- 1987 80 82
- 1988 65 96
- 1989 67 95
- 1990 77 85
- 1991 78 84
- 1992 70 92
- 1993 97 65
- 1994 54 61
- 1995 69 75
- 1996 67 95
- 1997 68 94
- 1998 75 87
- 1999 77 85
- 2000 65 97
- 2001 86 76
- 2002 80 81
- 2003 86 76
- 2004 86 76
- 2005 88 74
- 2006 85 77
- 2007 89 73
- 2008 92 70
- 2009 93 69
All Time Records
- Home Runs: Mike Schmidt, 548 (1972–1989)
- Runs Batted In: Mike Schmidt, 1,593 (1972–1989)
- Batting Average (minimum 1,000 plate appearances): Billy Hamilton, .361 (1890–1895)
- Hits: Mike Schmidt, 2,234 (1972–1989)
- Runs: Mike Schmidt, 1,506 (1972–1989)
- Doubles: Ed Delahanty, 442 (1888-9, 1891–1901)
- Triples: Ed Delahanty, 157 (1888-9, 1891–1901)
- Stolen Bases: Billy Hamilton, 508 (1890–1895)
- Walks: Mike Schmidt, 1,507 (1972–1989)
- Wins: Steve Carlton, 241 (1972–1986)
- Saves: Jose Mesa, 111 (2001–2003)
- Strikeouts: Steve Carlton, 3,031 (1972–1986)
- Earned Run Average: George McQuillan, 1.79 (1907–1910, 1915–1916)
Single Season Records
- Home Runs: Ryan Howard, 58 (2006)
- Runs Batted In: Chuck Klein, 170 (1930)
- Batting Average: Ed Delahanty, .410 (1899)
- Hits: Lefty O'Doul, 254 (1929)
- Runs: Billy Hamilton, 192 (1894)
- Doubles: Chuck Klein, 59 (1930)
- Triples: Sam Thompson, 27 (1894)
- Stolen Bases: Billy Hamilton, 111 (1891)
- Hitting Streak: Jimmy Rollins, 36 games (2005-)
- Walks: Lenny Dykstra, 129 (1993)
- Wins: Kid Gleason, 38 (1890)
- Saves: Jose Mesa, 45 (2002)
- Strikeouts: Curt Schilling, 319 (1997)
- Earned Run Average: Grover Cleveland Alexander, 1.22 (1915)
Minor League Teams
- Lehigh Valley IronPigs
- Reading Phillies
- Clearwater Threshers
- Lakewood BlueClaws
- Williamsport Crosscutters
- GCL Phillieshjhh
- VSL Phillies
- Phillies Stats at baseball-reference.com