No one could have realized it at the time, but when the Phillies were formed in 1883, history was in the making. Now, as the 21st century begins, the Phillies are the oldest, continuous, one-name, one-city franchise in all of professional sports.
The original Phillies began when the Worcester Ruby Legs were disbanded and the franchise was moved by the National League to Philadelphia. Al Reach, who in 1866 had become the first professional baseball player and was later a successful sporting goods dealer, became the Phillies first owner along with attorney John Rogers. Reach named the team the Phillies, a take-off on the team's geographic roots, "Philly."
The first Phillies game was played May 1, 1883 at Recreation Park on the corner of 24th Street and Ridge Avenue with the club losing 4-3 to the Providence Grays. The club would go on to win just 17 of 98 games that season, pitcher John Coleman losing 48 of them.
The Phillies fortunes changed in 1884 with the naming of the widely-known Harry Wright (photo at left) as manager. Wright, a future Hall of Famer, would lead the Phillies to respectability during the next decade, with the team finishing out of the first division only once during his reign.
Great players also began dotting the landscape. Charlie Ferguson, the first Phillies star, pitched the club's first no-hitter in 1885 and won 99 games in four seasons before dying of typhoid fever at the age of 25. Ed Delahanty (photo below) joined the team in 1888. The first of the Phillies' great hitters, he hit over .400 three times, winning a batting title with a .410 average in 1899, and finishing his career with a .346 mark, fourth highest in big league history.
Delahanty was also the first Phillies player to hit four home runs in one game when he slammed four round-trippers in 1896. Jack Boyle in 1893 and Delahanty in 1894 also had the Phillies' first six-hit games.
In 1894, the Phillies had three future Hall of Famers in the outfield, and each of them--Delahanty, Billy Hamilton and Sam Thompson--hit over .400. Hamilton won batting titles in 1891 and 1893, the same year Delahanty led the league in home runs with 19 and in RBI with 146. Thompson was the Phils' first home run king, twice leading the league, including in 1889 when he hit the unheard of total of 20. Hamilton also led the league four times in stolen bases, pilfering 111 in 1891. In 1894 he set a still-standing Major League record by scoring 192 runs and a club record by hitting in 36 straight games.
The Phils also had their share of good pitching, Camden's Kid Gleason set a club record with 38 wins in 1890. Gus Weyhing won 32 in 1892, Charlie Buffinton and Brewery Jack Taylor each had three straight 20-plus win seasons, and Red Donahue hurled a no-hitter in 1898.
For more than a decade, the Phils had a lefthanded catcher named Jack Clements (photo at left). They also had a lefthanded shortstop, Bill Hulen. Billy Sunday played briefly for the Phillies before becoming a world-famous evangelist. Until his death in 1943, pitcher Dan Casey claimed that he was the subject of the legendary poem, "Casey at the Bat." And long-time first baseman Sid Farrar had a daughter Geraldine who became a famous opera star.
The Phillies played at Recreation Park until moving in 1887 into a new stadium called Philadelphia Park at Broad Street and Lehigh Avenue. Built at a cost of $101,000, the park originally held 12,500 and was regarded as the finest baseball arena in the nation. A fire destroyed much of the park in 1894, but while the Phillies moved to a field at the University of Pennsylvania, it was rebuilt, using mostly steel and brick. The park, with a new seating capacity of 18,800, featured a cantilever pavilion, a radical new technique in stadium construction.
As the 20th century dawned, the Phillies had become one of the stronger teams in the National League, with good reason. The team had three future Hall of Famers in the lineup with Ed Delahanty at first base, Nap Lajoie (photo at right) at second and Elmer Flick in right field. In 1900, Flick led the league in RBI and was second in batting average with a .367 mark.
Hopes of the team's first pennant, however, were soon dashed when the American League was formed in 1901. Within two years, the new league had signed not only the Phillies' three star players but a handful of others, most of them going to the rival Philadelphia Athletics. In a cruel touch of irony, the first five American League batting champions would all be former Phillies with Lajoie winning three titles and Delahanty and Flick each one.
After placing second in 1901, their highest finish since 1887, the Phils slipped in the standings. To make matters worse, in 1903, a balcony at Philadelphia Park collapsed, sending 12 people to their deaths and injuring 232 others. Soon afterward, popular owner Al Reach and his partner John Rogers sold the team.
There were plenty of bright spots, though. Chick Fraser (photo at left) in 1903 and John Lush in 1906 pitched no-hitters. There would not be another Phillies no-hitter for 58 years. Sherry Magee (photo below) led the league in RBI in 1907 while hitting a lofty .328. Togie Pittinger won 23 games in 1905, Tully Sparks won 22 in 1907 and George McQuillan won 23 with a 1.52 ERA in 1908. That same year, rookie lefthander Harry Coveleskie earned the nickname "Giant Killer" by beating the New York Giants late in the season three times in six days to knock John McGraw's team out of the pennant.
The first City Series games between the Phillies and the A's were played in 1903. The series would be a popular attraction for Philadelphia baseball fans for more than 50 years.
As usual, the Phillies had their share of interesting personalities. Ponderous manager Billy Shettsline was a colorful figure who was in the midst of working his way from ticket-taker to club president. His arm gone bad, Kid Gleason had left the mound to become the team's second baseman. Norristown's Roy Thomas was a stellar outfielder and leadoff hitter, whistling catcher Red Dooin was a superb backstop and Kitty Bransfield was a solid player at first base. Toward the end of the decade, the Phillies' third baseman was a man named Eddie Grant. Some years later, having been traded to the New York Giants, Grant would become the first major league player killed in World War I.
By the end of the decade, the Phillies were starting to climb back up in the National League standings. Slowly, the team that would soon win the club's first pennant was being put together.
Thirty-three years after their first National League season, the Phillies finally reached the World Series. They did it in 1915 with a powerful team led by first-year manager Pat Moran. The Phils swept to the pennant with a 90-62 record, leading most of the way and finishing seven games ahead of the defending world champion Boston Braves. Grover Cleveland Alexander won 31 games and pitched four one-hitters, Erskine Mayer won 21, and Gavvy Cravath (photo at right) set a Major League record with 24 home runs while also leading the league in RBI and runs scored. The home run record would last until Babe Ruth broke it in 1919. After Alexander and the Phils won the first game of the World Series, the club lost four straight to the Boston Red Sox, the end coming when Harry Hooper bounced his second ground-rule home run of the game into the center field bleachers for a 5-4 Red Sox victory, Boston's fourth straight one-run triumph.
It was otherwise, mostly a splendid decade for the Phillies until the later years. Sherry Magee led the league in batting, RBI and runs scored in 1910. The following year, the Phils signed Alexander, and the future Hall of Famer won 28 games as a rookie. Two more future Hall of Famers, pitcher Eppa Rixey in 1912 and shortstop Dave Bancroft (photo at left) in 1915 joined the club. In 1913, Doc Miller set a club record with 20 pinch-hits and Tom Seaton won 27 games as the Phils leaped into second place. And the slugging Cravath won six home run crowns between 1913 and 1919.
The Phils lost key players to the Federal League and to World War I during the decade. They also lost another owner. Horace Fogel, an ex-sports writer, was banned from baseball for life for injudicious comments about the league. In 1913, former New York City police commissioner William Baker became the team's seventh president since Reach left in 1903. Baker had Philadelphia Park renamed Baker Bowl, but more significantly would destroy a fine team after its second straight second place finish in 1917. His worst move was trading Alexander, after he had won 30 or more games in three straight years, to the Chicago Cubs for two nobodies. Alexander had been drafted into the Army, and Baker was afraid that he might not make it back as a player.
The Phils set an attendance record in 1916 of 515,365 that stood until after World War II. In 1918, slugger Cy Williams arrived in one of the Phillies' best trades, the club had its longest game in history, a 21-inning, 2-1 loss to the Cubs, and Moran (photo at right) was fired. By 1919, the Phils had slipped to eighth place as a long, dreary era began. That year, Joe Oeschger pitched all 20 innings of a 9-9 tie with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
By the time the 1920s arrived, the Phillies were slipping into what would become the bleakest period in club history. It lasted for 31 years during which time the Phils had just one first division finish.
The decade of the '20s was especially dreary. The Phillies finished eighth five times and seventh three times. They lost more than 100 games four times, had six different managers and unwisely traded future Hall of Famers Dave Bancroft and Eppa Rixey before their primes.
On a more positive note, outfielder Cy Williams (photo at right) emerged as the Phillies' new slugger, winning three home run crowns. When he won his first Phillies title in 1920, Williams extended the club's record to seven home run crowns in an eight-year period.
Hitting home runs was easy at Baker Bowl where the right field wall stood just 272 feet down the line. In 1921, the Phils set a Major League team record with 88 homers. The Phils led the National League in homers in five straight years between 1919-23. Williams slammed 41 round-trippers in 1923, the same year the Phils lost a 20-14 decision to the St. Louis Cardinals in a game which featured a record 10 home runs.
In the early 1920s, Casey Stengel played with the Phillies. So did future Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame coach Earle (Greasy) Neale. Phils pitcher Lee Meadows was one of the first Major Leaguers to wear glasses.
The Phillies always had plenty of .300 hitters. In 1922, the same year the club lost a 26-23 shootout in Chicago to the Cubs in a game that still stands as a Major League record for most runs by two teams, outfielders Williams, Cliff Lee and Curt Walker all hit over .300. George Harper hit .349 in 1925.
The Phils were the victims of the major league's first unassisted triple play when the Boston Braves' Ernie Padgett turned the trick in 1923. In 1927, a section of the Baker Bowl grandstand collapsed, forcing the Phillies to play 12 games at Shibe Park.
The best news of the decade came in 1928. The team hired the highly respected Burt Shotton as manager, signed minor leaguers Pinky Whitney and Don Hurst, and--best of all--bought a kid named Chuck Klein for $5000. Klein went on to become one of the greatest players in Phillies history.
Klein paid immediate dividends by hitting .356, driving in 145 runs and leading the league with 43 homers in 1929. He was joined that year by Lefty O'Doul (photo at left), who led the league with a .398 batting average while collecting a record 254 hits to go along with 32 home runs and 122 RBI. Altogether six Phillies hit over .300 in 1929, four slugging more than 200 hits as the team placed fifth, its highest finish since 1917.
No period in Phillies history was more bizarre than the decade of the 1930s. On the one hand, the club had some of its worst teams. On the other hand, it had some of its best players.
A perfect example was the 1930 season. The Phillies hit .315 for the third highest team batting average in National League history. Five regulars hit above .300. Yet, the club still lost 102 games, thanks largely to a pitching staff that had an ERA of 6.71 and gave up an all-time record 1199 runs.
In 1930, Chuck Klein (photo at right) hit .386 with 40 home runs and 170 RBI in one of the best years any Phillie ever had. Lefty O'Doul added a .383 average during a year that also saw Grover Cleveland Alexander return to the team as a washed-up part-timer.
Klein was in the midst of one of baseball's finest first five-years. In 1931, he won his first of three home run titles with 31 homers while also leading the league in RBI, hitting .337 and being named the league's Most Valuable Player. After going .348-38-137 and winning another MVP award in 1932, Klein topped off his heroics in 1933 by winning the Phillies' only Triple Crown with a .368 average, 28 home runs and 129 RBI. He and fiery shortstop Dick Bartell (photo at right) were both starters in the first All-Star Game that year.
The Phils of the 1930s had loads of outstanding hitters. First baseman Don Hurst led the league with 143 RBI while hitting .339 in 1932. Spud Davis, Pinky Whitney (photo at left), Johnny Moore, Ethan Allen and Dolph Camilli were all heavy hitters as the decade progressed.
Good pitching, though, was a rarity. Jumbo Elliott in 1931 and Curt Davis in 1934 were 19-game winners. In 1935, manager and catcher Jimmie Wilson converted third baseman Bucky Walters (photo below) to pitcher, and he along with Claude Passeau became fine moundsmen. But it wasn't enough to keep the Phillies from four eighth place and three seventh place finishes during the decade.
The Phils' best season was in 1932 when they wound up fourth under manager Burt Shotton, the team's only first division finish between 1917 and 1949.
The Phillies of the '30s were noted for trading their top players to make ends meet. William Baker died in 1930 and he was eventually replaced by Gerry Nugent, who swapped everything that wasn't nailed down. Nugent's wife, Mae, became the first woman vice president in the National League.
In 1935, the Phils met the Cincinnati Reds at Crosley Field in the first Major League night game. That year, second baseman Chile Gomez became the team's first Latin American player. In 1938, the Phils finally moved out of Baker Bowl and into Shibe Park where one year later thay played in their first home night game.
From the way it began, it would've been impossible to predict how the decade of the 1940s would wind up for the Phillies. In an amazing turnaround, the team went from rock bottom to being a pennant-contender.
The franchise had its worst teams in the early 1940s. By 1942, the club had lost more than 100 games for the fifth straight season, including a club-record 111 in 1941.
More weak teams followed during the World War II years between 1942 and 1945. But by 1949, a pennant was just around the corner.
The decade began with a practicing dentist, Doc Prothro, as manager, and ended with a college professor, Eddie Sawyer (photo at right), as the skipper. The Phils entered the '40s with a pitching staff anchored by Hugh Mulcahy, who before he became the first Major Leaguer drafted in WWII, was known as "Losing Pitcher." They ended the decade with a future Hall of Famer named Robin Roberts leading the staff.
The Phillies of the early '40s had a kid from Chester who answered to Danny Murtaugh playing second base. Nick Etten was a solid first baseman. And in 1942, left fielder Danny Litwhiler (photo at left) became the first outfielder to play a whole season and field a perfect 1.000.
The 1942 season also launched an upheaval at the top. Team ownership went rapidly from debt-ridden Gerry Nugent to William Cox, who was soon banned from baseball for betting on his own team, to Bob Carpenter.
Under Carpenter and the club's first full-time general manager, Herb Pennock, improvement occurred quickly. A farm system, which later had working agreements with 15 teams, was developed. Youngsters Del Ennis, Andy Seminick and Granny Hamner (photo at right) were signed. And in a contest among fans to pick a new nickname for the team, Blue Jays was the winner. It never became the official nickname, and was phased out by 1949.
Ken Raffensberger became the first Phillies pitcher to win an All-Star game in 1944. Andy Karl set a league record in 1945 by appearing in 67 games. In 1946, first baseman Frank McCormick set a league fielding record with a .999 mark, the team drew 1,045,247, nearly double its previous attendance record, and Ennis was named Rookie of the Year.
The Phils began 1947 with their first Spring Training at Clearwater. Harry Walker won the league's batting championship with a .363 average, and a record 41,660 watched a doubleheader with Jackie Robinson and the Brooklyn Dodgers at Shibe Park.
Within the next year, Roberts and Richie Ashburn (photo at left) had arrived. So had Curt Simmons and veterans Dick Sisler and Jim Konstanty.
In 1949, with the soon-to-be named Whiz Kids virtually in place, the Phils wound up third, their highest finish since 1917. First baseman Eddie Waitkus was shot by a deranged woman in June, but that proved only a temporary setback as the Phillies continued their push upward.
If there was one thing that characterized the 1950s, it was the Whiz Kids. Purely and simply, the decade belonged to the Whiz Kids.
The Whiz Kids were Robin Roberts, Richie Ashburn and Del Ennis (photo at right). They were Granny Hamner, Willie Jones and Curt Simmons. All were products of the Phillies farm system, young, exciting players who with a handful of key veterans gave the franchise one of its most beloved teams.
Managed by Eddie Sawyer, and also featuring such solid vets as Andy Seminick, Dick Sisler and Eddie Waitkus (photo at left), who had returned from the previous year's gunshot wound, the Whiz Kids' star shone only briefly. The club won its first National League pennant in 35 years in 1950. Disappointingly, it could climb no higher than third place thereafter.
The 1950 season was one of unbounding excitement. The Phillies led most of the way, and with 11 games left to play had a seven-game lead. The team, however, went into a late-season tailspin, losing eight of 10 games. On the last day of the season, the Phils had a one-game lead.
Playing the final game against the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field, the Phillies won, 4-1, in 10 innings on Sisler's dramatic three-run homer. Roberts went 10 gritty innings to get the win, after Ashburn threw out Cal Abrams at the plate in the bottom of the ninth.
In the World Series, the Phils were no match for the New York Yankees, losing all four games, including the first three by one run. The highlight of the Series for the Phils came in the first game when Sawyer tapped Jim Konstanty (photo at right) as the starter, and the veteran reliever gave up just four hits before losing, 1-0.
Konstanty, who won 16 and saved 22, was named the National League's Most Valuable Player, the first reliever to win the award. Roberts won 20 in what would be his first of six straight 20-plus win seasons. Ennis led the league in RBI with 126.
After 1950, however, the Phils faded quickly. They were fifth in 1951, and by the end of the decade had drifted back to the bottom.
Roberts had a sparkling 28-7 record in 1952, Ashburn won batting titles in 1955 and 1958 and Ennis drove in more than 100 runs in six of seven seasons. Smoky Burgess (photo at right) hit .368 in 1954, Stan Lopata set a home run record for Phils catchers with 32 in 1956, pitcher Jack Sanford with a 19-8 mark and first baseman Ed Bouchee won top rookie honors in 1957 and Gene Freese hit three grand slams homers in 1959.
The Phillies played host to their first All-Star Game in 1952. Two years later, the Athletics moved away, and Shibe Park became the property of the Phils. In 1957 John Kennedy and Chico Fernandez became the Phillies first black players. John Quinn was named the team's general manager in 1959, replacing Roy Hamey. One of his first moves was to land Johnny Callison in a trade.
The 1959 Phils had a team that included Sparky Anderson (photo at left) at second and NBA player Gene Conley on the mound.
After the first game of the 1960 season, Eddie Sawyer, who had returned to the team two years earlier, abruptly quit his job as Phillies manager. "I'm 49," Sawyer explained, "and I want to live to be 50."
Sawyer had uncanny insight because what lay ahead for the Phillies was enough to test even the strongest of mortals. The decade of the 1960s turned out to be one of the most star-crossed eras in club history.
From a record losing streak in 1961, to the excruciatingly painful lost pennant in 1964, to a series of dismal teams in the late '60s, the decade was not a very pleasant one for the Phillies.
What made the decade somewhat palatable was the presence of some excellent players, especially Richie Allen (photo above), Johnny Callison and future Hall of Famer Jim Bunning (photo at left).
Gene Mauch, another name indelibly linked to the '60s Phils, replaced Sawyer. That same season the Phillies landed Tony Taylor and Tony Gonzalez (photo at right) in big trades. In 1961, while finishing last for the fourth straight year, the Phils set a Major League record by losing 23 straight games. The streak ended when John Buzhardt beat the Milwaukee Braves.
Also in 1961, Robin Roberts pitched his last game for the Phillies and Art Mahaffey struck out 17 Chicago Cubs in one game. Mahaffey won 19 in 1962 as the Phillies had their first winning season since 1953.
By 1963--with Richie Ashburn in his first year as a Phillies broadcaster--the team had been rebuilt into a contender by general manager John Quinn (photo at left). With the help of players such as Don Demeter and Wes Covington, the team finished fourth. But a pennant fever was growing.
The 1964 season turned out to be one of the most memorable in Phillies history. Allen arrived and with his brilliant hitting became National League Rookie of the Year. Bunning pitched a perfect game against the New York Mets and Callison's three-run homer in the ninth inning gave the National League a 7-4 victory in the All-Star Game.
Then there was the downside. After leading the league much of the season and owning a six and one-half game lead with 12 games to play, a seemingly certain pennant was snatched away as the Phillies lost 10 straight in late September. The collapse devastated the entire city.
In the years that followed, Quinn tried desperately to capture a pennant by bringing in a slew of veteran players. It didn't work, and the Phils sank to the lower levels of the standings.
Of the few bright spots, Chris Short (photo at right) won 20 games in 1966 and Bunning had his third straight 19-win season. Gonzalez finished second in the batting race in 1967 with a .339 average. In 1969, pitchers Jerry Johnson, Woodie Fryman, Grant Jackson and Rick Wise hurled four consecutive shutouts.
For the Phillies, the 1970s marked the start of the team's Golden Era. It was easily the most successful period the club ever had.
During the decade, the Phillies won three division titles while establishing the team that would eventually win the franchise's first World Series. The team moved into a new stadium and great players were everywhere.
The 1970s Phillies were future Hall of Famers Mike Schmidt (photo above) and Steve Carlton (photo at left). They were Greg Luzinski, Garry Maddox, Larry Bowa, Bob Boone and Tug McGraw. They were Bake McBride, Dave Cash, Jay Johnstone, Dick Ruthven and many others who became household names in Philadelphia.
Although the decade began slowly with three sixth place finishes and one fifth, the early years were not entirely dormant. In 1970, the Phils played their last game at Connie Mack Stadium. They moved into newly constructed Veterans Stadium the following year. That season, Rick Wise hit two home runs while pitching a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds and Deron Johnson (photo below) clubbed 34 home runs, while Willie Montanez socked 30.
Early in 1972, John Quinn in his last move as general manager, traded Wise to the St. Louis Cardinals for Carlton. Shortly afterward, Paul Owens became GM and Dallas Green was promoted to farm director.
Carlton, enroute to his first Cy Young Award, had one of the greatest seasons of any pitcher in big league history in 1972 when he won 27, posted a 1.98 ERA and became the first Phillies pitcher to strike out 300 batters when he fanned 310. The entire team won just 59 games.
Also in 1972, with vice president Bill Giles' (photo at left) spectacular promotional events occurring regularly at the Vet, world-famous Karl Wallenda walked across the middle of the stadium on a high-wire far above the highest bleacher seat. Later that season, Owens fired manager Frank Lucchesi and took over the team himself. Schmidt made his first appearance in a Phillies uniform, and after the season team president Bob Carpenter handed over the reigns to his son Ruly.
By 1974, with Danny Ozark (photo below) managing the team, the Phillies had become a contender. The club led the Eastern Division early in the season before finishing third. After hitting just .196 with 18 home runs as a rookie, Schmidt won the home run crown with 36 while Jim Lonborg won 17 games.
Wheeler-dealer Owens kept bringing in players to fill key gaps on the roster. First Cash and Johnstone in 1974, then Maddox and McGraw in '75 proved to be important additions. Johnstone hit .329 as the Phils placed second that year. Schmidt again topped the league in home runs with 38, and Luzinski led the circuit in RBI with 120 while slamming 34 homers and hitting .300. Gene Garber had an outstanding year in the bullpen with 10 wins and 14 saves in a league-leading 71 appearances.
The Phillies finally broke through in 1976, in the process passing two million in attendance for the first time with 2,480,150. It being the Bicentennial year, the club played host to the All-Star Game, won 7-1 by the National League. Then the Phils finished with a club record 101 wins, leading the division by nine games. Schmidt won his third straight home run title with 38, including four in a 10-inning, 18-16 Phillies win at Wrigley Field. Maddox hit .330 and Johnstone batted .318, while Carlton won 20 and Lonborg 18.
In the National League playoffs, the Phillies lost three straight to the Cincinnati Reds, managed by the 1959 Phillies' second baseman Sparky Anderson. The Phils lost the first two games 6-3 and 6-2 at the Vet and the third, 7-6, in Cincinnati.
The Phils, however, were back in the NLCS the following year after another 101-win season. Capturing the division title by five games, the team was led by Carlton's 23 wins and Larry Christenson's 19 wins. McBride, acquired in a trade, hit .339, Luzinski had a monster .309-39-130 season and Schmidt added 38 home runs again. Seven players homered in double figures and the Phils led the league with a .279 team batting average.
This time the Phillies lost three out of four in a controversial playoff series to the Los Angeles Dodgers. After capturing their first post-season win since 1915 in the first game, 7-5, and losing the second, 7-1, at Dodger Stadium, the Phils returned home only to lose the third game, 6-5, as Luzinski couldn't hold Manny Mota's drive to the left field wall. The fourth game, played in pouring rain, ended the series with the Phillies losing to Tommy John and the Dodgers, 4-1.
The Phillies made their third straight trip to the playoffs in 1978 after winning the division flag by just one and one-half games. The team clinched the title on the next to last day of the season as Randy Lerch hit two home runs and pitched the Phils to a 10-8 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. That year, the Phillie Phanatic (photo at left) made his debut and Luzinski had 35 homers and 101 RBI. But no Phillies player hit .300 and Carlton was the biggest winner with 16.
In another disappointing playoff, the Phillies again bowed to the Dodgers. The Phils lost the first two games, 9-5 and 4-0 at home. Carlton won in LA, 9-4, but the Phillies fell, 4-3, in the finale with a dropped fly ball by the usually sure-handed Maddox aiding the Dodger win.
In December 1978, the Phillies signed Pete Rose to a four-year contract. Pennant expectations soared. But despite Rose's hustle and .331 batting average, Schmidt's 45 homers and 114 RBI and the arrival in a trade of slick-fielding second baseman Manny Trillo, the Phils could do no better than fourth place. They beat the Chicago Cubs in a 23-22 slugfest at Wrigley Field during which the teams combined for 11 home runs. Late in the season, Ozark was fired as manager and Green moved down from the front office to take over the team.
No decade in Phillies history began more gloriously than the 1980s.
After 97 years, the Phillies finally reached the promised land in 1980 by winning their first World Championship. In a continuation of what had become the team's Golden Era, it was the climax of a memorable season in which the Phils captured their first National League pennant in 30 years by winning what is generally considered the most exciting League Championship Series ever held.
The 1980 season was full of outstanding performances. Mike Schmidt led the league in home runs with 48 and in RBI with 121 and was named the Most Valuable Player. Steve Carlton won the Cy Young Award with a 24-9 record. Outfielder Lonnie Smith was The Sporting News Rookie of the Year after hitting .339. Bake McBride hit .309 with 83 RBI. And the team got stellar performances from Manny Trillo, Pete Rose, Larry Bowa, Garry Maddox, Bob Boone and a pitching staff that included 17-game winner Dick Ruthven (photo at left), late-season callup Marty Bystrom and a strong bullpen led by Tug McGraw and Ron Reed.
The Phillies floundered through the first half of the season, but caught fire in mid-August. Then, winning 21 of 27 games, they clinched the division title on the next to last day of the season as Schmidt's two-run homer in the 11th inning defeated the Montreal Expos, 6-4.
Manager Dallas Green's club then defeated the Houston Astros in the LCS, three games to two. Four of the games were decided in extra innings. Behind two games to one, the Phillies won the last two, including a pulsating fifth game in which they had trailed, 5-2, against Nolan Ryan in the eighth inning. The Phils, who came back with five runs in the eighth, finally won in the 10th, 8-7, on Maddox's RBI single. Ruthven got the win in relief and Trillo was named the LCS MVP.
In the World Series, the Phillies defeated the Kansas City Royals in six games. They won the first two, lost the next two, then won games five and six. In the final game at Veterans Stadium, Carlton got his second win of the Series, but not before some late-inning heroics by Rose (photo at right), who caught Boone's dropped popup, and reliever McGraw, who fanned Willie Wilson for the final out. Schmidt, who hit .381 with two home runs, was the Series MVP.
The Phillies returned to post-season play in 1981 in a season interupted by a 50-day work stoppage. During the season, Rose broke Stan Musial's National League record for most hits when he laced his 3631st safety. Schmidt again won home run and RBI crowns and his second straight MVP. Because of the long gap, the season was divided into two halves with the Phillies winning the first half and entering a special playoff with the Expos. Montreal won the best-of-five series, three games to two with Steve Rogers blanking the Phils in the deciding game, 3-0.
After the season, Green resigned as manager to join the Chicago Cubs, and the Carpenter family sold the team to a partnership headed by vice president Bill Giles.
Carlton won his fourth Cy Young Award with 23 wins in 1982, and new catcher Bo Diaz had a fine season, hitting .288 with 18 home runs and 85 RBI. That winter, the Phils sent five players to the Cleveland Indians for outfielder Von Hayes (photo at left).
By 1983, many players from the 1980 team were gone. With a number of older players on the roster, the Phils were dubbed the "Wheeze Kids."
Schmidt again led the NL with 40 home runs, Carlton won his 300th game with a 6-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals and John Denny claimed the Cy Young Award with a 19-6 record. Joe Lefebvre hit .310, and Al Holland (photo at right), Willie Hernandez and Ron Reed led an outstanding relief corps.
GM Paul Owens again took over as manager of the team at mid-season, and with Joe Morgan sparking a hot streak in September, the Phils won 14 of their last 16 games to clinch the division title. The Phils then defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in four games with Carlton getting two of the three wins and Gary Matthews winning the MVP with his timely hitting. In the World Series, Maddox's home run gave the Phils and Denny a 2-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles in the first game. But the Phils then lost four straight with Scott McGregor pitching a five-hit, 5-0 win in the clincher.
The Phillies had no more pennant runs after '83. Individual highlights, however, continued. Two exciting young players burst on the scene in 1984 with Juan Samuel winning The Sporting News Rookie of the Year award and Jeff Stone hitting .362. That year, Tim Corcoran hit .341 and Greg Gross (photo at left) .322 in part-time roles.
The Phillies clobbered the New York Mets, 26-7, in a memorable game in 1985. Von Hayes slugged two home runs, including a grand slam, in the first inning to become only the second Phillies player ever to homer twice in one inning. Glenn Wilson ended the year by leading National League outfielders in assists and drove in 102 runs.
Schmidt won his seventh and last home run crown and his third and last MVP award in 1986 after slugging 37 homers and driving in 119 runs. Another Phils legend, Steve Carlton, was released in June, while Hayes had a fine season, batting .305 and driving in 98 runs.
In 1987, Schmidt hit the 500th home run of his career off the Pittsburgh Pirates' Don Robinson. Steve Bedrosian registered 40 saves to win the Cy Young Award, and Kent Tekulve (photo at right) set a club record by appearing in 90 games. Schmidt collected 35 homers and 113 RBI, Samuel had 28 home runs and drove in 100 runs and Milt Thompson hit .302.
Lee Thomas was named Phillies general manager in 1988. In 1989, John Kruk hit .331, switch-hitter Steve Jeltz became the first Phillie to hit a home run from each side of the plate in the same game, and Schmidt retired with 548 home runs.
From the standpoint of variety, it would be hard for the Phillies to top the decade of the 1990s. It was a decade that seemingly had a little bit of everything.
Another trip to the World Series. An All-Star Game at the Vet. Hall of Fame inductions, no-hitters, an unassisted triple play, a cycle, a Rookie of the Year, a strikeout record, and a change at the top all helped to make the final decade of the 20th century one of the liveliest in club history.
The highlight of the decade was surely the Phillies' fifth National League pennant in 1993. Led by a colorful group of hard-charging players headed by Lenny Dykstra (photo above), Darren Daulton (photo at left) and John Kruk, the Phils fielded an exciting team that captured the fancy of fans throughout the country.
After a blazing 45-17 start, the Phillies coasted to the Eastern Division title, holding first place all but one day. During the season, the Phils played a memorable doubleheader with the San Diego Padres that because of three rain delays ended at 4:40 a.m. Dykstra led the National League in runs (143) and hits (194), and for the first time the team drew more than three million fans.
The underdog Phillies downed the Atlanta Braves, four games to two in a pulsating League Championship Series, coming from behind to win the last three games. Curt Schilling (photo at right) was named Most Valuable Player in the series as the Phillies became only the third team in the 20th century to leap from last place the previous season to first.
In the World Series against the Toronto Blue Jays, manager Jim Fregosi's (photo at left) team fell behind early, and after losing a devastating 15-14 decision, trailed three games to one. Schilling pitched a gritty 2-0 win in the fifth game, but Joe Carter's three-run homer off Mitch Williams in the bottom of the ninth inning of game six gave the Blue Jays an 8-6 win and the Series victory.
The 1993 season would be the only year in the '90s in which the Phillies had a winning record. But while the team faltered, there were plenty of individual highlights.
The Phils had no-hitters by Terry Mulholland (photo at right) in 1990 and Tommy Greene in 1991. Mulholland's was the first Phillies no-hitter at home in the 20th century.
Dykstra and Daulton were involved in a serious auto accident in 1991, but Darren came back in 1992 to lead the National League in RBI with 109, just the fourth catcher in Major League history to do that. That same year, second baseman Mickey Morandini gave the Phils their first unassisted triple play and only the ninth ever achieved in the big leagues. Kruk hit .323 and Dave Hollins collected 27 homers and 93 RBI, while rookie Jeff Grotwold hit three pinch-hit home runs in three days.
Later, the Phillies grabbed a chunk of All-Star Game history. Phils relievers Doug Jones in 1994 and Heathcliff Slocumb in 1995 were the winning pitchers for the National League. In 1996, the game was held at the Vet with the Nationals again winning, 6-0.
The 1994 season also launched a parade of Phillies into the Hall of Fame. Steve Carlton was inducted that year, Mike Schmidt and Richie Ashburn the next, and Jim Bunning in 1996.
In 1995, Gregg Jefferies became the first Phillies player to hit for the cycle since 1963. One year later, the hugely popular Jim Eisenreich (photo at left) hit .361, the highest average for a Phils regular since 1954.
Scott Rolen (photo at right) made his big league debut late in the 1996 season, and went on to win Rookie of the Year honors the following year. The 1997 season was also noteworthy because the club hired Terry Francona as manager, Bill Giles stepped down as team president, passing the reigns to Dave Montgomery, and Schilling set a National League record for a righthander with 319 strikeouts. On a tragic note, Ashburn died suddenly in a New York hotel only hours after broadcasting a Phillies game.
Although they continued to struggle in the late '90s, the Phillies still made news. In 1998, Ed Wade was named general manager. Fanning an even 300, Schilling became just the fifth pitcher in major league history to strike out 300 in back-to-back seasons. Rolen had a big season, hitting .290 with 31 homers, 110 RBI and 120 runs while winning a Gold Glove. Rico Brogna drove in 104 runs, the highest total for a Phillies first baseman in 66 years. And the club signed number one draft pick Pat Burrell to a record $8 million contract.
The new century began with the dawn of a new era as the Phillies reached an agreement with the city to build a new 43,500-seat ballpark -- opening April, 2004 -- in South Philadelphia, across the street from Veterans Stadium. The 2000 season began with high expectations after the acquisitions of Andy Ashby and Mike Jackson, but the club fizzled early and finished 65-97 to end Terry Francona's four-year run as manager.
Former Phillie Larry Bowa took over the managerial reigns for 2001 and led the club to a 21-game improvement (86-76) and a second-place finish. The season was also memorable for the week that baseball stadiums fell silent. The Phillies' pennant chase -- and the rest of baseball -- was halted for a week as the nation recovered from the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11.
Rookie shortstop Jimmy Rollins (pictured left) was a perpetual sparkplug for the 2001 club, leading the league in stolen bases with 46, tying him with Colorado's Juan Pierre for the National League lead. Scott Rolen produced his third -- and second straight -- Gold Glove season and Bobby Abreu became the first Phillies player to record a 30 home run, 30 stolen base year.
In his second year as manager, Larry Bowa's Phillies regressed from a season that saw them finish two games behind the Braves in the NL East. The 2002 squad went 80-81 (a rainout was never replayed) and fell to third place, 21 1/2 games behind Atlanta. They were never able to recover from a 9-18 start in the April. Pat Burrell and Bobby Abreu continued to lead the team's offense, driving in 201 runs between them, and Mike Lieberthal appeared in 130 games, a welcome achievement considering he was coming back from major knee surgery that cost him all but 34 games of the 2001 season. Jimmy Rollins, who regressed a bit in his second full season, was voted to start in the All-Star game for the first time in his career. Randy Wolf also emerged as the staff ace, winning 11 games and compiling a 3.20 ERA. Especially impressive was August, when Wolf posted a 1.37 ERA and had a 27-inning scoreless streak. Philadelphia also cut the cord with prodigal son Scott Rolen in July, dealing him to St. Louis when it became obvious they couldn't sign him to a long-term contract. They netted Placido Polanco, Bud Smith and Mike Timlin.
Slugger Jim Thome (pictured right) wore the red pinstripes in 2003, and led the National League with 47 home runs -- all in his first season in Philadelphia. He also knocked in a career-best 131 runs. His clubhouse leadership was even more impressive, as his constant positive outlook was difficult to miss. Kevin Millwood also arrived in a trade from Atlanta and won 14 games, but stumbled in the final month. The Phillies contended all season -- and led the Wild Card race by 1/2 game with eight to play, but a 1-7 stretch ended their postseason dreams. Left fielder Pat Burrell, third baseman David Bell and closer Jose Mesa stumbled mightily, contributing to the near-miss season.
On Sept. 28, 2003, the Phillies played in their final game at Veterans Stadium, and gave the palace an emotional sendoff. Appearances by Paul Owens and Tug McGraw made the afternoon magical, as both would pass away in the coming months.
The Vet -- the site of the Phillies' first World Series Championship -- was imploded on March 21, 2004, ushering in the Citizens Bank Park era.
A team with high expectations was derailed by injuries and inconsistency in the 2004 season. New closer Billy Wagner was limited to 45 games and had two separate stints on the disabled list, and starters Randy Wolf, Vicente Padilla and Kevin Millwood missed large chunks as well.
Still, there were bright spots for a team that won 86 games, and had back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1982-83. Right fielder Bobby Abreu renewing his membership in the 30-30 club, rookie Ryan Madson won nine games and had a 2.34 ERA out of the bullpen and Jim Thome had a second fine season in Philadelphia, smacking 42 homers and driving in 105 runs.
The positives weren't enough to prevent the dismissal of manager Larry Bowa with two games left in the season.
For the Phillies, 2005 marked a third straight winning season, but a 12th straight year of missing the playoffs. Ryan Howard (pictured right) enjoyed a breakout season at first base, hitting .288 with 22 home runs and 63 RBIs in just 88 games, winning him Rookie of the Year honors. Pat Burrell also came alive, hitting 32 home runs with 117 RBIs, good for second in the NL. The Phillies enjoyed some hot stretches including a 12-1 homestand in June. Their downfall came with an 0-6 record against the Astros -- the team that beat them by one game for the National League Wild Card.
Just when the 2006 seemed irrelevant after the July trades of players Bobby Abreu, Cory Lidle, David Bell and Rheal Cormier, the Phillies who remained caught fire and made a run at the Wild Card. They got within a half-game of the lead by the season's final week, before being eliminated after Game 161. Individually, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley blossomed into team leaders, but they were trumped by Ryan Howard, whose 58 homers and 149 RBIs earned him the National League Most Valuable Player Award.
Helped by a historic collapse by the Mets, the Phillies went 13-4 in the final 17 games, overcoming a seven-game deficit and taking the National League East. Jimmy Rollins called the Phillies the "team to beat" before the season -- hoping it would motivate his teammates -- and wound up backing up those words with a season that earned him the NL Most Valuable Player Award. Perhaps exhausted by their charge, Philadelphia's first playoff appearance in 14 years was short-lived, as the even hotter Colorado Rockies swept them in three games in the Division Series.
Using the early playoff exit from 2007 as motivation, the 2008 squad entered the season with a goal of going "as deep as you can go," according to Rollins. They still needed a late-season charge when they trailed the Mets by 3 1/2 game on Sept. 12. Led by Ryan Howard's powerful September (.352, 11 homers, 32 RBIs), the Phillies overcame the deficit, clinching the division on the penultimate day of the regular season.
The postseason featured many amazing individual accomplishments, starting with Cole Hamels' dazzling 1.80 ERA in five starts. Brett Myers' nine-pitch walk off Milwaukee's CC Sabathia in Game 2 of the NL Division Series and Matt Stairs' pinch-hit, eighth-inning homer off Los Angeles' Jonathan Broxton in Game 4 of the NL Championship Series also jump out as legendary Philadelphia moments.
The World Series had plenty of moments, too, notably the clinching Game 5 that was suspended for 48 hours due to rain. When it resumed, Pedro Feliz eventually drove in the winning run with a single up the middle and Brad Lidge (pictured right) completed a perfect season -- 48-for-48 in save situations -- when he struck out Tampa Bay's Eric Hinske for the final out. The celebration gave the Phillies their first World Series championship since 1980.
In 2009, the Phillies made their second straight World Series appearance, a first in franchise history. They won their division for the third consecutive year and eliminated the Rockies and Dodgers to win a second straight NL championship. Fan support reached an all-time high with 3,600,693, including a record 73 sellouts.
For the fifth time in 30 years, the Phillies played in a World Series, matching the Cardinals and Braves for the most in the NL during that period of time. The Yankees, who led all clubs with eight World Series appearances in the same time frame, defeated the Phillies, 4-2.
The Phillies finished the 2010 season with the best record in baseball for the first time in franchise history. Roy Halladay threw the 20th perfect game in baseball history on May 29 against the Florida Marlins at Sun Life Satdium. The Phillies acquired Roy Oswalt before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline to give the Phillies arguably their strongest trio of starting pitchers (Halladay, Oswalt and Cole Hamels) in franchise history. Halladay threw a no-hitter in Game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Cincinnati Reds, but the Phillies would not play in their third consecutive World Series. The Giants beat them in six games in the NLCS to end their season.
The 2011 season opened with Roy Halladay, Joe Blanton, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels sitting in order at a dais at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla., where the Phillies introduced one of the greatest starting rotations in baseball history before the most highly-anticipated season in franchise history.
The Phillies lived up to the hype during the regular season. They won a franchise-record 102 games, cruising to their fifth consecutive National League East championship. But the season ended in disappointment after the St. Louis Cardinals bounced them for the National League Division Series in a dramatic five-game series.
In 2012, the Phillies missed the postseason for the first time since 2006 as a combination of injuries and subpar performances hurt them. They finished 81-81, their first non-winning season since 2002. Ryan Howard and Chase Utley missed about three months because of injuries. Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Vance Worley each spent time on the disabled list, with Halladay's right latissimus dorsi injury causing him problems the entire year. Things got so bad for the Phillies they traded Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino before the July 31 Trade Deadline. But the team finished 36-24 (.600), which was the fifth-best record in the National League after the July 31 Trade Deadline. Phillies starters ranked second in the league with a 3.39 ERA from July 31 through the end of the regular season after ranking ninth with a 4.07 ERA to that point. Phillies relievers ranked fourth in the league with a 2.81 ERA in that same timeframe after ranking 13th with a 4.50 ERA.
The Phillies entered 2013 hoping a healthier Roy Halladay, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley would propel them back to the postseason after missing October baseball in 2012 for the first time since 2006. But health was not in the cards for Halladay and Howard, and the front office's offseason moves failed to pay dividends. It led to Charlie Manuel being fired in August, and Ryne Sandberg taking over. In the end, the Phillies finished with their worst record since 2000. The bright spots? Utley generally stayed healthy. Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels pitched well. And Domonic Brown finally had his breakout season.
For the 2014 season, the Phillies finished in last place in the National League East for the first time since 2000, despite a franchise-record payroll. Nothing seemed to go right for the Phillies, who entered the season still believing they could compete with the best teams in the National League. But the rotation struggled to pitch deep into games, despite a masterful performance from Cole Hamels, and the offense failed to score consistently. Jimmy Rollins set the franchise's all-time hits record, passing Mike Schmidt. Other highlights included Ken Giles looking like the team's future closer.
The Phillies finished 2015 with the worst record in baseball with plenty of change along the way. Ryne Sandberg quit as manager in June with Pete Mackanin taking his place. Phillies partner John Middleton announced the following week that Andy MacPhail would replace Pat Gillick as team president after the season. The Phillies traded Cole Hamels, Chase Utley, Jonathan Papelbon, Ben Revere and Jake Diekman in July and August. MacPhail and Middleton announced in September that Ruben Amaro Jr. would not return as GM with MacPhail ultimately hiring Matt Klentak as Amaro's replacement. In between those leadership changes, the Phillies saw good things from young players like Maikel Franco, Aaron Nola, Odubel Herrera, Ken Giles and Jerad Eickhoff.
The Phillies made the 2016 season about the future, while also recognizing the tremendous accomplishments of the past. Ryan Howard played his final game with the Phillies on Oct. 2, and the Phillies acknowledged the moment with a memorable and emotional pregame ceremony. In fact, it might have been the highlight of the season as Howard was the final remaining player from the 2008 World Series championship team. The Phillies finished 71-91, an eight-game improvement from 2015 when they finished with the worst record in baseball. Former Rule 5 Draft pick Odubel Herrera made the National League All-Star team, the Phillies' only All-Star representative. New Phillies general manager Matt Klentak thinks the team has the makings of a solid rotation with Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff and Vince Velasquez. Other young pitchers like Jake Thompson, Zach Eflin and Alec Asher showed promise, too. Offensively, the Phillies had the worst offense in Major League Baseball, but they finished the season also believing they have some pieces that should be part of the next postseason contender, which includes Herrera and Maikel Franco.