Philadelphia Phillies – Awards: Hit Champs.
During the Phillies’ 126 years as a member of the National League, the team have had a member outhit the rest of the league only sixteen times in its existence. Eleven players would win the title, with one player actually doing it three times, while two others, who would both win the title twice, would both win one title while tied with another National Leaguer.
The first Phillie player to win the title would be Hall of Famer Sam Thompson, who would do it in 1890, as he would get 172 hits, tying him for the lead with Jack Glassock of the New York (now San Francisco) Giants. The next Phil to be the NL hits leader would be fellow Hall of Famer Billy Hamilton, who would win the title the following year, 1891, as he would get 179 hits. Thompson would regain the title in 1893, as he would get 222 hits. The third Phil to win the team’s fourth hits title would be Hall of Famer Ed Delahanty, who would get 238 hits in 1899. The fourth Phillie player to win the hits title would be Gravvy Gravath, who would win it in 1913 with 179 hits. The following year, 1914, Sherry Magee would become the fifth Phil to become the hits champ, as he would get 171 hits that season. Lefty O’Doul would become the sixth Phil to win the title, as he would get 154 hits in 1929, which is still the franchise record for the most hits in a season. The seventh Phillie player to win the hits title would be Hall of Famer Chuck Klein, who would get 226 hits in 1932. Klein would follow that up by winning his second straight hits title during his Triple Crown season of 1933, as he would get 223 hits that year. The Phillies would not will the title again for eighteen years. Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn would then become the eighth Phil to win the team’s tenth hits title as he would win the title in 1951 with 221 hits. He would then win his second hits title two years later, in 1953, as he would get 205 hits. Ashburn would then get his third and final hits title as a Phil as he would get 215 hits in 1958. Dave Cash would become the ninth Phil to win the title, as he would win it in 1975 with 213 hits. Pete Rose would win the title in the strike year of 1981, become the ten Phillie player to win it, as he would get 140 hits that season. The eleventh, and presently the last Phil, to win the title would be Lenny Dykstra, who would win the title first in 1990, tied for the lead with Brett Butler of the San Francisco Giants, with both men getting 192 hits, and winning it by himself in 1993 with 194 hits, as he help lead the Phils to the National League pennant that year. The Phillies have not won a hits title since 1993.
Of the eleven men to win the titles, five of them would be hall of famers, who together would win nine of the sixteen hits titles. O’Doul would win the title with the most hits (154 in 1929) while Pete Rose would win it with the least hits (140 in 1981). The Phillies have won four titles in the 19th Century and twelve in the 20th, and, so far, none in the 21st Century.
Who would be the next Phil to win the hits title? I have no idea at this point, but I wouldn’t put it beyond either Chase Utley or Jimmy Rollins as being the one to do it.