Philadelphia Phillies

Fri, 07 Nov 2008 20:14

The history of the Philadelphia Phillies

Information about the MLB team Philadelphia Phillies.

The Philadelphia Phillies are a Major League baseball team under the National League’s East Division. They are the champions in the 2008 World Series. The first time that the Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series was in 1980. The year 2008 is the second win of what is said to be the “losing-est team” in major league baseball history.

The Philadelphia Phillies are based in South Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park. They are the oldest team and have kept to their name, franchise, and city throughout the years.

The Philadelphia Phillies: The early history

The Philadelphia Phillies were originally called the Quakers when they were founded in 1883. This was changed to “Philadelphias” and then to Phillies. The Philadelphia Phillies didn’t win a pennant until more than 30 years after, in 1915. They owed it to Grover Cleveland Alexander’s pitching and Gavvy Cravath’s batting.  

For the rest of the years until 1948, the Philadelphia Phillies suffered from defection to the American League and the neighboring major league baseball team. Likewise, the team had to contend with poor financial management. They dwelled in obscurity until they finally got a winning season in 1949, finishing thirst with 81-73.  

Philadelphia Phillies: The 1950s and the 1960s

It was in 1950 when the “Whiz Kids” joined the Philadelphia Phillies. The Whiz Kids were young bloods who were all children of Philadelphian farmers. These included Richie Ashburn, Del Ennis, Robin Roberts, Willie Jones, Curt Simmons, and Granny Hamner. The Whiz Kids and the veterans of Philadelphia Phillies made up the new Philadelphia Phillies. This more powerful team won their second pennant and faced the New York Yankees in the World Series. They lost to the Yankees but played a great game, nonetheless.

Unfortunately, the team was unable to maintain their performance for several years. The rest of the 50s was dismal, with on and off good game plays. Sometimes, the team would finish with commendable scores that got them to third places. The Philadelphia Phillies were unsteady as a team, and marred by prolonged losing streaks.

The wind seemed to change in 1964, when finally the Philadelphia Phillies were playing great games. Richie Allen, NL Rookie of the Year, was spearheading the team toward a pennant win. At the same time, Philadelphia Phillies' Jim pitched a perfect game against the New York Mets in their home stadium. All these pointed to an easy time getting to the playoffs. They had a six-game lead, with just 12 games to go. However, in one of their classic falls, the Philadelphia Phillies lost 10 straight games, making it only to second place.

Since 1964, the Philadelphia Phillies faded into obscurity. The team’s manager Gene Mauch was fired in 1968 – fans had blamed him for the 1964 fall.

The Philadelphia Phillies in the 1970s

For the Philadelphia Phillies, the 70s began with a court battle against Curt Flood. Flood was acquired in a trade, in exchange for Richie Allen. Flood refused to play for the Philadelphia Phillies because of their tainted records when it came to their treatment of minority players. Flood questioned the reserve clause typical in a baseball player’s contract – stating that they weren’t properties that should be traded off anytime the team owners want. Even when Flood lost his case, his struggle paved the way for Free Agency in baseball.

In 1972, the team acquired pitcher Steve Carlton. Carlton would win the Cy Young award for that year for winning 27 games and having a 1.98 ERA. However, his great game play could not compensate for the rest of the team. The Philadelphia Phillies finished at the bottom, with 71-91.

The Philadelphia Phillies rose up again in 1974 through 3B Mike Schmidt. Schimdt had 36 homers that season. This put the Phillies in the running for the eastern Division championship. But then again, they would lose by eight games to the Pirates. The two teams met again in the 1975 Eastern Division title games, with the Philadelphia Phillies losing by six and a half games.

The bicentennial year of 1976 saw great game play from the Philadelphia Phillies. The team was in full force as they battled the Cincinnati Reds in the NLCS. They lost but posted one of their best plays ever, breaking the 100 winning-games mark.

The year 1977 saw the team head for the NLCS again, this time facing the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, the team failed to take advantage of lead in the third game. The Dodgers won the NLCS, as well as the World Series. This would repeat in 1978, when the Philadelphia Phillies  again lost to the LA Dodgers in the NLCS. Fortunately, Carlton won another Cy Young award for 23 wins in 1977.

In 1979, Pete Rose was added to the team’s roster of great players.

The Philadelphia Phillies in the 1980s and 1990s

The year 1980 was to be a great year for the Philadelphia Phillies. Schmidt led with 48 home runs, earning him the NL MVP award. Likewise, Carlton won his third Cy Young award for a 24-9 record. They started poorly in the season but caught up toward the end, gaining first place.

The Philadelphia Phillies faced the Houston Astros in the NLCS. Their win meant the first NL pennant for the Phillies in 30 years. It would also meant the team’s first time World Series. Their fans wanted a win badly. And true enough, the whole city went crazy as the Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series for the first time in 97 years.

The Philadelphia Phillies continued their winning streak, gaining top ranking until 1983. They even vied for the division championship in 1981 and 1983. The team was however, getting old. They’d even been dubbed by the local press as the “Wheeze Kids.”
By 1984, the Philadelphia Phillies had its long overdue infusion of new and young players. This though had resulted in unstable or lackluster game plays. In 1986, age had really seeped into the plays of the likes of Carlton, who pitched a 1-8 season. He was later let go. Contrary to this though, Schmidt was still smacking away at the plate, with 35 homeruns in the series. He earned his 3rd MVP in 1987. Schmidt would however retire in 1989, citing sore knees as the reason. This somehow started another downward trend in the performance of the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Philadelphia Phillies: The 1990s until today

The start of the 1990s was a struggle for the Phillies, having lost their key veteran players. In 1991, after only 13 games, new manager Nick Leva was fired. The Philadelphia Phillies had a dismal 78-84 record that year.

The year 1993 was a different story though. A new group of powerful players had taken over the Philadelphia Phillies, with the likes of Darren Daulton, John Kruk, and Lenny Dykstra at the helm. The Philadelphia Phillies blazed through the Eastern Division finals and won against the San Diego Padres. They faced the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS and won.

Just making it to the World Series that year was a big step for the team who was previously at the bottom rank. In the 1993 World Series, they faced the Toronto Blue Jays. The Philadelphia Phillies lost but ended up helping post the highest scores in the World Series, 15-14.

It was downhill after this. 1994 had a number of key players suffering injuries. They also posted dismal scoring record that kept them from the top ranks. This series of hits and misses went on until their historic World Series win in October of 2008.