Results tagged ‘ 1884 ’

Philadelphia Phillies – Year 7: Dropping back down to fourth place.

The Phillies would begin their seventh year of existance trying to rebound from the previous season drop in the standings, as their manager, Harry Wright, would begin his sixth season as the Phillies’ skipper.

As the Phillies continue to play their home games in their home ballpark, the Philadelphia Base Ball Grounds, change is in the air in the National League as the league would be in a constant state of flux that will last the next several years. Early in the 1888 off-season, the Detroit Wolverine franchise would fold, it place in the National League to be taken by the American Association Cleveland Blues, who would soon change their name to the Cleveland Spiders. The league would then adopt a five-tier salary structure which would help to determine how much each player is paid. This move by the owners would have repercussions within two years, as it would lead to the Players’ revolt of 1890. Early in 1889, the National League would take control of the debt-ridden Indianapolis Hoosiers before an ownership group would finally take contol of the franchise. The Phillies’ opponents for the new season, besides the new Spiders and the Hoosiers, under new management, would be the Beaneaters, the Giants, the Nationals, the Alleghenys, and the White Stockings.

The Phillies would begin the 1889 regular season on Wednesday, April 24, against the Nationals in Washington, which the Phillies would win, 8-4, putting them in a tie for first place with the Beaneaters, the Hoosiers and the Alleghenys. The Phillies would then go home for a twenty-eight games home stand against all of their rivals, where they would play four straight four-games series with the Beaneaters, the Giants, the Nationals, the White Stockings, a two-games series with the Hoosiers, two straight four-games series with the Spiders and the Alleghenys and finally a second two-games series with the Hoosiers, which would last through the entire month of May. The Phillies would end April by splitting the first two games of their four-games series with the Beaneaters, losing 8-3, and then winning 7-6, ending April with a 2-1 record, in third place, trailing both the Giants and the Alleghenys by half a game.

The Phillies would begin May the same way they had ended April, by splitting the last two games of their four-games series with Boston, ending the series with a 2-2 record, while staying in third place as they now trailed the first place Giants by a game and a half. In their four-game series with their rival, the Giants, the Phillies would take three of the four games, including 9-4 and 11-2 victories in the first two games of the series, before being clobbered 13-9 in the series’ third game, putting them in a first place tie with the Beaneaters, half a game ahead of both the now third place Giants and the fourth place Alleghenys. The Phils would then proceed to split their series with the Nationals, which would keep them tied with Boston for first and still half a game ahead of the Giants. The Phils would then win their four-games series with their main western rival, the White Stockings, 3-1, as they fall into second place in the standings, a full game behind the first place Beaneaters. They would then sweep their two games with the Hoosiers, which keep them a game behind Boston in the standings. They would then win the first game of their four-games with the Spiders, giving them a five-games winning streak, before they would lose the next three games, thus losing the series to Cleveland, 1-3, as they fall three and a half games behind Boston, while staying in second place. The Phillies would then rebound, winning the first three games in their four-games series with the Alleghenys, including a doubleheader split on May 30, winning the opener by the score of 13-6, before losing the ‘nightcap’ by the score of 10-6. They would then sweep their second straight doubleheader, this one against the Hoosiers on May 31, by the scores of 11-8 and 11-4, thus ending the home stand with a record of 18-10 and the month with a 17-9 record. Their overall record of 19-10 would keep them in second place, now two and a half games behind the first place Beaneaters.

The Phillies would start off June by playing a four-games series with first place Beaneaters in Boston. The series would be a disaster, as they would lose the first three games in the series by scores of 7-2, 10-6 and 4-2, before leaving Boston with a 5-4 win, which would put the still second place Phils behind Boston by four and a half games. The Phillies would next play two straight three-games series with the Nationals, with the first three to be played in Philadelphia, and then the latter three in Washington, as part of a six-cities, twenty-two-games road trip to New York (2), Chicago (4), Cleveland (4), Pittsburgh (5) and Indianapolis (4), that would take the balance of June and the start of July to complete. The Phillies would win both of their series against the Nationals, going 2-1 both at home and in Washington, which would include a split of their third doubleheader of the season, losing the first game 6-3, and then winning the ‘nightcap’ 7-5. The Phillies would drop down to third place as they head for New York, a game behind the third place Spiders and three and a half games behind league leading Boston. The Phils would end up being swept in New York, which would drop them five and a half games behind the Beaneaters. The Phillies would then go to Chicago, where they would split their four-games series with the White Stockings, as they would now trail Boston by eight games, as the Beaneaters would appear to be running away from the rest of the league. The Phillies would next go to Cleveland, visiting the city for the first time since the collapse of the original Cleveland Blues franchise in 1884. The Phillies would end up losing the series to the Spiders, 1-3, which would dropped the Phils into fourth place, still trailing the Beaneaters by eight games, as the Giants would jump over them into third place. The Phils would then go to Pittsburgh, where their losing streak would increase to four games, including a doubleheader lost on June 29 by the score of 3-2 and 8-0. The Phillies would end June with an 8-15 losing record, and an overall record of 27-25, eight and a half games behind Boston in fourth place.

The Phillies would start July by losing the last two games of their series with Pittsburgh, losing the five-games series as their losing streak rises to six games, as they now trail Boston by nine and a half games. The Phillies would finally break their losing streak by winning the first game of their July 4th doubleheader with the Hoosiers, winning by the score of 5-4, before losing the ‘nightcap’ 6-0. They would then split the last two games in Indianapolis, splitting the series, as they would end the road trip with a losing record of 7-15, as they now trailed Boston by nine games, as they stayed a half game ahead of fifth place Chicago. The Phillies would then go back home to begin a seventeen-games home stand with the Hoosiers (3), White Stockings (2), the Spiders (3), the Alleghenys (3), the Giants (3) and the first place Beaneaters (3). The Phillies would start the home stand off with a seven-games winning streak as they would sweep first the Hoosiers, then the White Stockings, before the Spiders would finally end the winning streak by beating the Phils in the final game of their three-games series, 9-4. Their seven games winning streak would place the Phillies six games behind the Beaneaters, before their lost and Boston’s doubleheader sweep of the Hoosiers the next day would push them back to seven and a half games behind. The Phillies would then sweep their series with Pittsburgh and New York, which would put them four and a half game behind Boston as the Beaneaters came to town. The Phillies would proceed to lose the first two games with Boston, thus losing the series, 1-2, as they now trail the first place Beaneaters by five and a half games, as they moved into third place, a half game ahead of the Spiders and two games behind New York, as they end the home stand with a record of 14-3. The Phillies would then go back onto the road for a six-cities, thirteen-games road trip to Boston (2), New York (2), Pittsburgh (2), Cleveland (2), Chicago (3) and Indianapolis (2). The Phillies would start their road trip in Boston, where they would be swept by the Beaneaters, ending the month with a 16-9 record and with an overall record of 43-34, seven and a half games behind Boston, and tied for third place with Cleveland (who have played one game more than the Phils, which ended up as a tie.).

The Phillies would begin August still on the road as they visit rival New York, where they would be swept by the Giants as their losing streak rises to four games, as they fall to eight games behind, technically in third place as they lead the Spiders by .001. The Phillies would then sweep their series with the Alleghenys, before splitting their series with the Spiders, as they now trailed the Beaneaters by six and a half games, while in third place by themselves. The Phillies would then go to Chicago, where they would win the series with their western rival, 2-1, before heading on to Indianapolis, where they would split the series with the Hoosiers, ending the road trip with a respectible 6-7 record, seven games behind the Beaneaters, who were now trying to fight off a challenge for first from the Giants. The Phillies then went home for a short three-games series with the Nationals, which the Phillies would win, 2-1, as they now trailed Boston by seven and a half games. The Phillies then went back onto the road for a five-games series in New York, which they would lose to the Giants, 1-4, as they played two straight doubleheaders with them, splitting the first one on August 23, losing the first game, 7-3, before winning the ‘nightcap’ 11-2. They would then be swept in the doubleheader played on the 24, by the scores of 10-8 and 8-3. The Phils would stay in third place, but now trailing Boston by nine and a half games. They would then go home to face the Beaneaters for three games, seeing their losing streak go up to four games, before finally winning the series’ final game, as they lose the series, 1-2, as the Phillies now trailed the Beaneaters by ten and a half games. The Phillies then go back onto the road for three games with the Nationals, where they would lose the series, 0-1-1, tying the series’ middle game by the score of 2-2, as they would end the month with a record of 10-14-1, while having an overall record of 53-48-1, eleven and a half game behind Boston, and a half-game ahead of fourth place Chicago.

In September, the Phils would play a ten-games home stand with the White Stockings (4), the Spiders (3), the Alleghenys (1) and the Hoosiers (2). The Phillies would lose the series with their western rival, the White Stockings, 1-3, which would include a doubleheader split on the 2, losing the first game, 2-1, before winning the ‘nightcap’ 3-2. The series would see the Phillies drop back into fourth place, now twelve and a half games behind both Boston and New York, who were in a mathematical tie for first place, and a game and a half behind now third place Chicago. The Phils would then go on a five-games winning streak, sweeping their series with the Spiders, and then winning their one-game series with the Alleghenys, before splitting their doubleheader with the Hoosiers on the 14, winning the opener, 11-3, then losing the second game, 10-7, thus ending their home stand with a 6-4 record, as they regained third place, now twelve games behind Boston and three and a half games ahead of the fourth place White Stockings. The Phillies would then go to Boston for a three games series, which they would lose to the Beaneaters, 1-2, leaving them still twelve games behind the Beaneaters and the Giants, with the Giants leading by .003. The Phillies then went back home for a five-games series with the Giants, which they would lose 0-4-1, which would include a doubleheader split on the 20, as they would lose the first game, 5-1, then would be tied in the ‘nightcap’, 4-4. The Phillies were now sixteen and a half games behind the Giants, who were now a game ahead of Boston in the pennant race. The Phillies would now go onto the road for the rest of the season, to play eleven games in four cities, with three games in Cleveland, three in Pittsburgh, two in Indianapolis and the final three games of the season in Chicago. The Phillies would win the series in Cleveland, going 2-1, as they now trailed the Giants by seventeen and a half games. The Phils would then go to Pittsburgh, where they would be swept by the Alleghenys, ending the month of September with an 8-14-1 record, while their overall record went to 61-62-2, placing them in a mathematical tie with the White Stockings for third place.

In October, the Phillies would start the month off with a sweep of the Hoosiers, placing them a half game ahead of Chicago as the two teams now fought over third place, while the Phils now trailed both New York and Boston by eighteen games, as those two teams fought for the league’s crown. The Phillies would go to Chicago, and would end the first game in their three-games series in a 5-5 tie. They would then lose the final two games of the season to the White Stockings, ending the month with a record of 2-2-1, while their road trip would end with a record of 4-6-1, as they end the season in fourth place with a record of 63-64-3, a winning percentage of .496, a game and a half behind third place Chicago and twenty and a half games behind the league’s winner, the New York Giants, who would win the pennant on the last day of the regualr season.

The Phillies would play 130 games, with a home-road record of 43-24-1 at home and 20-40-2 on the road. They would play in front of 281,869 fans at home. They would have winning records with only three teams, with their best record being 13-4 against the Hoosiers, while also having losing records against three teams, with their worst being against the Beaneaters at 6-13. They would also have a 9-9 record with the Alleghenys. The Phillies would be 4-10 in shut outs, 17-13 in one-run games, and 21-24 in blowouts.

Offensively, they would end up being around the middle of the pack, ending up second in 2Bs (215), third in stolen bases (269), fourth in at-bats (4695), home runs (44) and batting average (.266), fifth in runs scored (742), hits (1248), on-base percentage (.323) and slugging percentage (.362), seventh in triples (52) and walks (393) and eighth in strike outs (353), as well as knocking in 605 RBIs, while 35 batters were hit by the pitch. Among pitching staffs, the Phils would also be near the middle of the league, as they would lead the league in home runs given up with 33, be third in saves (2) and strikeouts (443), fourth in runs allowed (748), fifth in ERA (4.00), innings pitched (1153), hits allowed (1288) and walks (428), sixth in shut outs (4), and eighth in complete games (106), while finishing twenty-four other games, giving up 512 earned runs, forty-seven wild pitches, and hitting twenty-seven batters.

Among the batters, Sam Thompson would lead the team in batting average (.296), slugging percentage (.492), total plate appearances (575), hits (158), total bases (262), doubles (36), home runs (20), where he was the league leader and RBIs (111), while Jim Fogarty would lead in on-base percentage (.352), runs scored (107), triples (17), walks (65), strikeouts (60), stolen bases (99), also leading the league in that category and hit by the pitch (7), Sid Farrar in games played (130), and Joe Mulvey in at-bats (544) and singles (121). Among the pitchers, Charlie Buffington would lead the pitching staff in ERA (3.24), wins (28), winning percentage (.636), games pitched (47), games started (43), complete games (37), shutouts (2), innings pitched (280), home runs allowed (10), walks (121), wild pitches (15) and batters faced (1661), while Kid Gleason and Ben Sanders would be tied for first with one save each, Sanders would also lead in hits allowed (406), losses (18) and earned runs allowed (138), and Gleason would lead in hit batters (9) and games finished (7). The Phillies would have only one twenty-game winner in 1889, Charlie Buffington, who would go 28-16, as Ben Sanders would just miss it, as he would go 19-18.

With the 1889 season over, the Phillies would have their first losing season since 1884, although staying in the first division for the fifth straight season under Harry Wright’s tenure. As the Phillies once again try to figure out what they would need to do to finally win a pennant, the Giants would face the Brooklyn Bridegrooms of the American Association in a post-season playoff, which the Giants would win 6-3, beginning what would become a long standing rivalry between the two clubs, as Brooklyn would join the National League for the following season, along with the Cincinnati Red Stockings (now the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Cincinnati Reds, respectively), as they would replace the just folded Nationals and Hoosiers franchises. Meanwhile, the Brotherhood of Professional Base Ball Players, the players’ union, still upset over the restructuring of the players’ salary structure, would formally revolt against the owners with the formation of the Players’ League on December 16. The players’ revolt would within two years have an outcome not expected by any of the players who would join any of the teams in the new league or those who would remain in either the NL or AA, or among the teams’ owners.

Sources: Wikipedia, Baseball Almanac.com, Retrosheet.org, Baseball-reference.com

Philadelphia Phillies – Years 1-6: Addenum.

You will not believe what I’d find on the internet last night. I’d found three sites that might be of interest to people, especially those who are reading my year-by-year look at the Phillies’ history.

First, I’d discovered that the Phillies had suffered a second no-hitter during their first six seasons in the National League which I did not know about until yesterday afternoon. On October 1, 1884, Charlie Getzien of the Detroit Wolverines pitched a six innings no-hitter against the Phils, defeating them 1-0.

Second, late last night, while I was looking at several baseball related websites, which included a couple of museums, one dedicated to Ty Cobb, and the other to Babe Ruth, I’d accidently stumble upon http://www.retrosheet.org/ which is an on-line website that, among other things, contains the day-by-day standings of every major league baseball season going back to 1871 and the National Association. That was the one thing that has been missing from my year-by-year look at the Phillies, to see how the team was doing in the daily standings during each National League season. Anyway, I am not going to go back to the previous six seasons. Instead, I will instead post a link to the first game that the Phillies’ played during the years 1883-1888 and let those of you who might be interested to follow the development of the pennant races for those six seasons.

1883: http://retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1883/05011883.htm

1884: http://retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1884/05011884.htm

1885: http://retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1885/05021885.htm

1886: http://retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1886/04291886.htm

1887: http://retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1887/04281887.htm

1888: http://retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1888/04201888.htm

I plan to start posting how the Phillies were doing daily in the standings starting with the 1889 season.

Lastly, I was lead, via retrosheet, to another website http://www.baseballgraphs.com/main/index.php/site/, which, as its front page says “…is dedicated to the better use and communication of baseball statistics.” It is the home to Historical Baseball Graphs http://www.baseballgraphs.com/main/index.php/site/histindex/ which gives a year-to-year graph for every National and American League season since 1901. For example, say you want to see the graph for the 1914 season, the year of the Miracle Braves. You would first go to section that reads, League Graphs by Year, which is on your left, then you would go to the National League Graphs, then press on it. It will give you several listings that covers several 10 years period. You would then go to the 1910’s listing and press on it. This will give you the listing for each individual year, starting with 1910. Since the year you want is 1914, you will now press on the listing for that season. This will give up several graphs to your left, as well as several listings to your right. The most interesting of these listings are first a Pennant Race graph which, in graphic form, shows you how each team in both leagues did during the regular season, including showing you how the Braves went from being in last place on the 4th of July to winning the pennant in the NL graph, as well as showing you how the Athletics broke away from the rest of the AL that same season. But the more interesting one is the one just under it which says The Pennant in Action. This one is an animated program which shows you how the pennant race developed that season in both leagues, from opening day, to the end, showing you, among other things, how each team did, their day by day position in the race, and, towards the end, when each team was eliminated from the race until the Braves secured the pennant. For best result, I would suggest pushing speed back to one, and doing the same with smooth.

I am enclosing a link to the animated 1914 pennant race so that you can watch it for yourself:  http://www.baseballrace.com/races/MLB-1914-NL-Normal.asp . When I get to the 1901 season, I will be adding a link to both the graph and the animation for that year into my history.

Anyway, I hope you folks will enjoy the graphs and the animation while I prepare to work on the 1889 Phillies season with the addition of the standings from retrosheet.

Sources: Wikipedia, Baseball Almanac.com, Retrosheet.org, Baseballgraphs.com. Baseballrace.com

Philadelphia Phillies – The Players: Charlie Ferguson, the Phillies’ unknown first star.

I’m sure that most Phillies fans have probably never even heard of Charlie Ferguson, or if they have, know very little about him. Well, to be rather frank, I was among those who have never even heard of him, until I’d started doing my year-by-year look at our loveable losers and discovered him for the very first time, while also discovering that before his untimely death in 1888, at a very young age, from typhoid fever, he was developing into the team’s first true pitching star, way before the more well known Hall of Famer Grover Cleveland Alexander.

Ferguson was born on April 17, 1863, in Charlotteville, Virigina, the home of American Presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe, and located near the strategic Shenandoah Valley, an area that during his youth would be constantly fought over by Northern and Southern troops during the country’s Civil War, while the city would itself be spared. Going to the University of Pennsylvania for his college education, where he would learn to play baseball, Ferguson would come back home after graduation and proceed to play for the Virginia member of the Eastern (now International) League in 1883. His team would win the Eastern League pennant that year, while his pitching would catch the eyes of the Philadelphia Quakers (now Phillies), who were preparing for their second year as a member of the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or the NL. After signing a contract, he would make his Major League debut on May 1, 1884, pitching against the Detroit Wolverine in Philadelphia at Recreation Park. He would be the game’s winning pitcher, as the Phillies would trounce the Wolverines 13-2. During his rookie season, he would pitch in 50 games, starting in 47 of them, and completing all but one of his starts, while finishing up three more. His record would be 21-25, thus becoming the franchise’s first twenty-game winner, as well as saving one other game, and throwing two shut outs, as he ended the season with an ERA of 3.54. Ferguson would pitch in 416.7 innings that year, giving up 297 runs, 164 of which would be earned, on 443 hits, as he struck out 194 batters while walking only 93 and giving up 13 home runs. In his rookie season he would be among the NL leaders in games (6), games started (6), complete games (6), games finished (3), wins (7), loses (2), saves (2), shut outs (10), innings pitched (6), strikeouts (7), hits allowed (6), walks (7), earned runs allowed (1), home runs allowed (7) and walks (7).

After helping lead the team to a 6th place finish in 1884, he would lead them to a third place finish in 1885, as he would have his second straight twenty-win season, as he would go 26-20 that year, with an ERA of 2.22. Ferguson would this time pitch in only 48 games, starting and completing 45 of them, of which five were shut outs, while finishing three other games. He would pitch in 405 innings, giving up just 197 runs, only 100 of which would be earned, on just 345 hits, as he would rung up 197 strike outs while walking just 81 batters and giving up only 5 home runs. On August 29, 1885, in Philadelphia, he would pitch the first Phillies’ No-Hitter, as he would blank the Providence Grays, 1-0. In his second season as a Phil, he would be among the league leaders in games (8), games started (9), complete games (8), games finished (1), wins (5), win/lost percentage (8), ERA (7), shut outs (6), innings pitched (7), strikeouts (6), hits allowed (10) and walks (10). He would also hit .306 for that year, in which he would play 15 games in the outfield for a grand total of 61 games.

1886 would be his breakout season, as he would become the Phillies’ first thirty-game winner as he would go 30-9, with a 1.98 ERA, in 48 games pitched, of which 45 would be starts,  completing 43. He would also pitch four shut outs that year, while he would finish two other games, and collect two saves. In 395.7 innings of work, he would give up just 145 runs, of which 87 would be earned, on only 317 hits, while striking out 212 batters and walking only 69, while giving up 11 home runs. In his junior year as a Phil, he would be among the leaders in games (7), games started (9), complete games (7), games finished (7), wins (6), win/lost percentage (2), saves (1), ERA (2), shut outs (2), innings pitched (7), strikeouts (8), and home runs allowed (6). Although his efforts would help to improve the team’s overall record, the Phillies would end the year in fourth place in the National League.

In 1887, his pitching record would drop as he would end the season going only 22-10 with an ERA of 3.00, in just 37 games, of which 33 would be starts, he would complete 31 of them, with 2 of them being shut outs, while he would finish four out other games, collecting a save. In only 297.3 innings of work, he would give up 154 runs, of which 99 would be earned, on 297 hits, while he would strike out 125 batters, while walking only 47 and giving up 13 home runs. In his fourth season as a Phil, he would be among the league leaders in only games finished (2), wins (8), win/lost percentage (3), saves (1), ERA (3), shut outs (5) and strikeouts (5).

The main reason for his pitching drop was because the Phillies’ manager, future Hall of Famer Harry Wright, an early strategist of the game, had decided to place Ferguson’s strong bat into the Phils’ regular lineup for the pennant run, as Ferguson would end up playing six games in the outfield, five games at third base, and twenty-seven ballgames at second base, playing that position for the final eight weeks of the season, as he would replace the bats of a couple of second baseman who were hitting a combine total of only .214. In 72 games, Ferguson would hit .337, going to the plate 264 times, knocking in 85 runs on 89 hits, while scoring 67 runs, Ferguson would hit 14 doubles, 6 triples and 3 home runs, while stealing 13 bases. He would walk 34 times while striking out only 19. He would miss out being the team’s leading batter for that year, because he would not have enough plate appearances. He would, though, end up leading the team in RBIs. Ferguson’s strong bat would help the Phillies end up a strong second to the Detroit Wolverines.

The Phillies’ strong finish at the end of the 1887 season, going 16-0-1 in their last seventeen games, would make the team confident of being able to challenge for their first NL pennant when the team entered spring training in 1888. Sadly, it was not to be as they would be struck an early blow in camp as Charlie Ferguson would be struck down by typhoid fever, dying to the dreaded disease on April 29, at the young age of 25. Ferguson would be sent back home to Charlotteville, Virginia, where he would be buried in Maplewood Cementery. During the 1888 season, in which the Phillies would drop to third place in the standings, the Phillies, the Giants, the Beaneaters and the Washington Nationals would all commemorate his passing by wearing a black crepe on their left shoulders of their team uniforms.

During his four years as a Phil, Charlie Ferguson would pitch in 183 games, starting in 170 and completing 165, while finishing 12 others. He would have a winning record of 99-64, with a winning percentage of .607, having 13 shut outs and four saves. In 1514.2 innings pitched, he would give up only 793 runs, 450 of which would be earned, on 1402 hits. He would strike out 728 batters while only walking 290, while giving up only 42 home runs. His career ERA would be 2.67. His career batting average would be .288 in 257 total games played, getting 191 hits in 963 at-bats, knocking in 157 runs while scoring 191. He would have a career total of 37 doubles, 13 triples and 6 home runs, while stealing 22 bases. Ferguson would walk 113 times while striking out 119. His 99 wins would land him in 8th place on the all-time Phillies’ win lists, trailing the likes of Hall of Famers Steve Carlton, Robert Roberts and Alexander, as well as Chris Short and possible future Hall of Famer Curt Schilling, while his 64 losses would have him tied for 24th place on that list. His ERA would place him 6th. Ferguson would also be 17th in games started, 4th in complete games, 11th in innings pitched and strikeouts and tied for 14th in shut outs, as well as be among the top 50 in several other pitching categories. 

With Ferguson’s death, the Phillies would lose a chance to win a NL pennant before the turn of the century. Although the team would remain a member of the first division, except during the period 1895-97, they would not reach second place again until 1901. His early death would also deny Ferguson a place among baseball immortals at the Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, N.Y., as it would be more than likely he would have won enough games, based on his winning 99 games in just four years with a then good Phillies team, to get the nod via the Veterans Committee, if not for his being stricken down by typhoid.

Main sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Ferguson_%281880s_pitcher%29 – Wikipedia page

http://www.19cbaseball.com/players-charlie-ferguson.html – Biography at Baseball History: 19th Century Baseball.com

http://www.baseball-reference.com//f/ferguch01.shtml – Stats at Baseball-reference.com

http://www.thedeadballera.com/Obits/Obits_F/Ferguson.Charles01.Obit.html – Charlie Ferguson’s Philadelphia Inquirer obit – TheDeadballEra.com

Other sources: Wikipedia, Baseball Almanac.com, Baseball-reference.com, Phillies.com: Team History, Baseball History: 19th Century Baseball.com  

Philadelphia Phillies – Year 3: Finishing in the first division for the first time, at third place.

With Harry Wright still the team’s manager and with second-year pitcher Charlie Ferguson becoming a rising star, the Quakers/Phillies would begin 1885 attempting its first serious run at the National League pennant, with a chance to meet the winner of the other recognized major league, the American Association, in a post season playoff system, which would be a precusor to today’s World Series, which was first established in 1884, where the National League Champions Providence Grays would end up defeating the American Association Champions New York Metropolitans, 3-0, in a best of three games series.

The Phillies would face a National League that would be slightly different from the one that they had joined in 1883, as the Cleveland Blues franchise would fold early in the year, while the New York Gothams would change their name to the Giants, based on a comment that was suppose to have been said by their player/manager Jim Mutrie, after a victory over the Phillies in the previous season: “My big fellows! My giants!” The franchise that would replace the Blues in the NL would be the best team from the failed third major league of the previous season, the Union Association Champions, the St. Louis Maroons. Along with the Maroons, the Giants and the ‘World Champions’ Grays, the Phillies in 1885 would face the Beaneaters, the Bisons, the Wolverines and the White Stockings.

The Phillies would begin the 1885 season with a twenty-three games home stand that would cover all of May and their first game in June. During this long home stand, they would play a game with the league champs Grays, followed by two with the Beaneaters, another game with the Grays, then two more with the Beaneaters, before playing eight straight two-games series with the Wolverines, the White Stockings, the Wolverines again, the White Stockings again, the Maroons, the Bisons, the Maroons again, the Bisons again, and then a single game with the Giants. The Phillies would start the season off on a sour note as they would lose their first three home games by scores of 8-2, 2-0 and 9-8, before going on a six-games winning streak, which would include a 15-5 crushing of Boston, followed by 10-3 and 17-8 drubbings of the Wolverines. After dropping two straight games to their western nemesis, the White Stockings, they would then win two straight games against the Maroons, winning the second game by the lop-sided score of 12-1, before losing the first game in their two-games series with the Bisons. The Phils would then go on a five-games winning streak, thus ending May with a winning record of 14-8, the team’s best start in its short history.

The Phillies would start off June, and end their home stand, with a lost to the Giants, giving them a 14-9 home stand. This game would be the start of a four-game, Philadelphia to New York and back again series between the two clubs. After defeating the Giants in New York, the Phillies would drop their second home game with New York, before dropping the second game in NY. The Phils would then go on an eight-games road trip to the east coast, meeting the Grays for two-games, the Beaneaters for two, and then going to Providence, Boston, Providence and then Boston again for the last four games of the trip. The Phillies would lose both of their games with the Grays, before finally breaking their four-games losing streak with a victory over Boston. After losing their second game with Boston, they would defeat the Grays, before losing the next two games in Boston and Providence. They would then end their nine-games road trip with a victory over the Beaneaters, thus ending their Eastern trip with a 3-7 record. After splitting another Philadelphia to New York series with the Giants, losing at home and winning in New York, the Phillies would go on their first trip to the west, planning to meet the White Stockings, the Maroons, the Bisons and the Wolverines for several four-games series, for the rest of June and the start of July. After losing the first two games, the Phillies would end their visit to Chicago with a series split, as they would win the last two games. Going to St. Louis for the first time in the organization’s existance, their would lose the first three games of the series, thus ending the month with a sour record of 7-14, while having an overall record of 21-22 for the season.

July would begin with the Phillies winning the final game of their first road series in St. Louis. After losing the first game of their series with the Bisons, the Phillies would sweep a July 4th doubleheader from them by the scores of 10-5 and 7-2, the first doubleheader sweep in the franchise’s history. The Phils would then lose the last game of their series with the Bisons, then lose their first two games with the Wolverines, before splitting the last two games, thus ending the road trip with a 6-10 record. The Phillies would then come home to play a twenty-games home stand for the rest of July and early August, in which they would play seven straight two-games series with the Beaneaters, the Grays, the Wolverines, the Maroons, the Wolverines again, the Maroons again, and the White Stockings, before playing a single game with the Bisons, followed by two more games with the White Stockings and then three more games with the Bisons, before they would go on another east coast road trip. The Phillies would start the home stand by splitting their series with Boston, before being swept by Providence. After splitting the next two series, they would sweep their second two-games series with Detriot, including a 19-2 rout, before being swept themselves by both the Maroons and the White Stockings, with the later two games being 2-0 and 9-0 shut outs. The Phillies would thus end July just as badly as they had ended June, with a 9-14 record, while their overall record would now be a somewhat respectible 30-36.

After starting August by defeating the Bisons, the Phillies would be swept once again by the White Stockings, before ending the home stand by winning two of their three games with the Bisons, thus ending the home stand with an 8-12 record. The Phils would then visit Boston, Providence and New York for three straight two-games series on the road. The Phils would sweep the Grays, then spilt their series with the Beaneaters, before being swept by the Giants, to end up with a 3-3 road trip. They would then participate in a six-games home stand with the Beaneaters for two games, the Grays for three and the Giants for one. After splitting the series with Boston, the Phillies would then proceed to sweep the Grays, starting it with a 2-0 blanking in the series’ first game, and ending it with Charlie Ferguson pitching a 1-0 no-hitter against the Grays on August 29, the first no-hitter in the franchise’s history. The Phils would then end their home stand by losing to the Giants for a 4-2 home stand and ending the month with an 11-11 record. The team’s overall record would now be at 41-47.

The Phillies would start off September by visiting the Giants, before playing against them at home for two more games. After losing the game in New York, the Phillies would sweep New York at home, which would be their last home games of the year, as they would now spend the rest of September and all of their October games on the road. With their two wins over the Giants, they would end the year with a 29-26 mark at home, while their overall record at this point would be 43-48. Their long twenty-games road trip would include two straight two-games series with the Grays and the Beaneaters, before ending with four four-games series with the four western teams, the Bisons, the Wolverines, the Maroons and the White Stockings. After splitting the series with Providence, they would sweep the two-games series with Boston. After losing the first game in Buffalo, they would win the next three games against the Bisons, before going to Detroit and losing the series with the Wolverines, 1-3. The Phillies would then go to St. Louis, where they would win their last game in September, to end the month with a 10-6 record, and an overall record of 51-53, now just two games under .500.

The Phillies would start October with a 3-3 tie against the Maroons, before sweeping the next two games to take the series at 3-0-1. In their last series of the year, against Chicago, after losing the first game, they would win their last three games of the season, to end the month with a 5-1-1 record, and the road trip at 13-6-1, as they would end the season at 56-54-1. This would land them in third place for the first time in the team’s history with a .509 winning percentage, three games ahead of the fourth place Grays, 28 games behind the second place Giants and 30 games behind the 1885 NL Champs, the White Stockings. The team’s road record would end up being 27-28-1.

The Phillies would meet the other teams in the National League sixteen times each, except for the Grays, whom they would meet fifteen times. They would have winning records against five of those teams (Beaneaters, Bisons, Wolverines, Grays and Maroons) with their best record being against the Bisons at 11-5. Their worst records would be against the White Stockings and the Giants, both ending up at 5-11. The Phillies would be 10-9 in shut outs, 13-12 in 1-run games and 17-19 in blowouts. The Phillies would play 55 games at home before 150,698 fans.

In 111 games played, Phillies batters would end up being second in doubles (156), fourth in walks (220), fifth in at-bats (3893), runs scored (513) and home runs (20) and sixth in hits (891), triples (35), strike outs (401), batting average (.229), slugging percentage (.302) and on-base percentage (.270), while also having 327 rbis. Among pitchers, the team ended up second in hits allowed (860), third in ERA (2.39), wins (56), complete games (108), shut outs (10), runs allowed (511), home runs allowed (18), walks given up (218), fourth in innings pitched (976), fifth in saves (0) and strike outs (378) and sixth in loses (54), while also finishing three games, giving up 259 earned runs, throwing 63 wild pitches and being called for three balks.

Individually, the team leaders in offensive categories would be Joe Mulvey at Batting Average (.269), Slugging Percentage (.393), Hits (119), Total Bases (174), Doubles (25), Triples and Home Runs (6 each) and RBIs (64), Ed Andrews in on-base percentage (.318), runs scored (77) and singles (94), Sid Farrar and Jim Fogarty in games played (111), Jack Manning in at-bats (445), total plate appearances (482) and walks (37) and Charlie Bastian in strikeouts with 82. Among pitchers, Charlie Ferguson and Ed Daily would be tied for the team lead in wins with 26, becoming the first pitchers to win 20 or more games in the same year in franchise’s history, while Daily would become the team’s second twenty-games winner. Daily would also lead the team in ERA (2.21), games pitched (50), innings pitched (440), home runs allowed (12), walks (90), hits allowed (370), loses (23), earned runs allowed (108), and wild pitches (40), while Ferguson led the team in strikeouts (197), shut outs (5) and games finished (3).

The Phillies’ third place finish would, for the moment, place them among the league’s elite, while they prepare to compete for a league pennant in 1886.

Sources: Wikipedia, Baseball Almanac.com, Baseball-reference.com, Baseball History: 19th Century Baseball.com

Philadelphia Phillies – Year 2: Trying to become a first division team.

In 1884, with Harry Wright, the future Hall of Fame manager, as the ballclub’s third manager, Reach and Rodgers would try to put together a team that they hope would become a better contender for the National League pennant than was the previous year’s team. Among the changes made would be a change in the team’s nickname, as the Quakers would now be known as the Philadelphias, following the naming convention of the time. The local sports writers would later shorten the team’s nickname down to the Phillies, which is today the longest used team nickname in American sports history. But, the local sports writers would continue to call the ballclub the Quakers in their reporting on the team, officially until 1890, using the two names interchangeably, and unofficially into the first couple of decades of the 20th century.

The Harry Wright-led Phillies would face in 1884 the same seven teams that they had faced the previous season: Boston, Providence, New York, Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit and Chicago. Their home ball park would remain Recreation Park.

The Phillies would begin the 1884 season as they have begun the disastrous 1883 season, in May, with a home stand. But, unlike the previous season, the Phillies would be involved in a twenty-one-games home stand, facing the Wolverines for two games, the White Stockings for four games, the Bisons for two games, the Blues for two games, then another two-games series with the Bisons, followed by a second two-games series with the Blues, two games with the Beaneaters, two games with the Grays, a second two-games series with Boston and finally a single game series with the Grays. The Phillies’ home opener with the Wolverines would see the Phillies win their first opening day game in the club’s history, as they pounded Detroit, 13-2. After winning the second game in their short series with the Wolverines, the team would win their third game in a row as they would beat the White Stockings in a close game, 9-8. The Phillies, after starting the season off on such a high note, would go back to their losing ways as they would lose their next three games with the White Stockings, followed by a lost to the Bisons, 9-7. After winning their next two games and then splitting the next four games of their home stand, the Phillies would find themselves mired in a long seven games losing streak, which would include seeing them being shut out three times, including a 13-0 defeat at the hands of the Beaneaters, before they would defeat the Grays in the final game of their long home stand, 4-3. Leaving Philadelphia with a record of 8-13, they would begin their first road trip of the season, a trip along the eastern seaboard, where they would face both the Beaneaters and the Grays for two two-games series, before ending the road trip with a two-games series against the Gothams in New York. Their first two two-games series against the Beaneaters and the Grays, which would include a doubleheader that was played first in Boston with the Beaneaters and then in Providence with the Grays on May 30, would see the Phillies end up losing all four games, thus ending the month of May with a losing record of 8-17.

June would begin just as badly for the Phils as May has just ended, as they would lose the two games of their second two-games series with Boston and then lose the first game of their second two-games series with the Grays, 4-0, before they would finally win their first road game of the year, a close 9-8 victory over the Grays. The Phillies would then start an eight-games series with the Gothams, that would include two two-games series in Philadelphia, as well as a second two-games series in New York. After losing the first two games in New York, thus ending their first road trip of the year with a 1-9 record, the Phillies would begin the first of their two two-games series with the Gothams in Philadelphia. The eight-games series between these two future rivals would see the Phillies playing the Gothams as competitively as they could, but when the eight-games series was over, the Phillies would leave Philadelphia having lost the series 3-5, although winning the second of the two-games series played in New York and splitting the second two-games series in Philadelphia. The Phillies would then begin their second major road trip of the year with a single game against the Grays, followed by a two-games series with the Beaneaters, then a second single game series against the Grays, before heading to Cleveland for four games with the Blues, followed by a four-games series in Buffalo, then four games against the White Stockings and then four games with the Wolverines, before finally ending the road trip with two games against the Gothams, for a total of twenty-two games from mid-June to mid-July. After losing the first game in Providence and then splitting the series with the Beaneaters, the Phillies would then lose the second game in Providence, before going on to Cleveland and losing their series with the Blues, 1-3. The Phillies would then drop the series with the Bisons, also 1-3, thus ending the month of June with a 7-17 record for the month, while having a season record of 15-34.

The Philles would begin July losing their four-games series with the White Stockings, 1-3, including losing a July 4 doubleheader by the scores of 3-1 and 22-3, before splitting the four-games series with the Wolverines and then losing the two-games series with the Gothams, ending their long road trip with a 6-16 record. After losing a two-games series at home against the Gothams, the Phillies would play four single games series, facing first the Grays, then Boston, then Providence again and then the Beaneaters once more, before coming home for a long home stand. The Phillies would split the four games, 2-2, losing the first two and then winning the last two. Their next home stand would see the Phillies play two games with the Grays, then two games with the Beaneaters, followed by a single game against the Grays, then two more games with the Beaneaters, followed by another single game series with the Grays, before they would face the Gothams for the final two games of the home stand with their east coast opponents. The Phils would begin the home stand by first losing the two games with the Grays, then losing the two with the Beaneaters, the two teams that would once again be fighting it out for the National League pennant, thus ending July on another losing note, as they would end the month with a dismal 5-15 record, while their season record would now be at 20-49.

The Phillies would start August with their losing streak going to six games as their would lose their game with Providence and then their first game with the Beaneaters, before finally ending the streak with a 6-2 victory over Boston. After losing the next game with Providence, the Phillies would split their two games with the Gothams, thus ending the home stand with a 2-8 record, before the two teams would head on to New York for another two games series, which would also end up as a split series. The Phillies would then go back home to Philadelphia for another long home stand, this time against teams from the west, starting with a five-games series with the Blues, followed by a four-games series with the Bisons, then a six-games series with the Wolverines, and then, finally, a four-games series with the White Stockings, for a grand total of twenty-nine games from late-August to mid-September. The Phils would begin the home stand by losing the opener to the Blues, and then tying the second game on August 20, 9-9. They would then win the next three games with Cleveland, including a 20-1 pounding of the Blues, thus winning their first series since their July 23 single series game with Boston, going 3-1-1. They would then lose the series with the Bisons, going 1-3, ending August with a somewhat good record of 7-9-1 and with an overall season mark of 27-58-1.

The Phillies would start off September on a high note as they would win their six-games series with the Wolverines, going 4-2, before getting creamed in their four-games series with the White Stockings, losing by scores of 15-10, 16-6, 19-2 and 5-2, thus ending their long home stand with a somewhat respectible record of 8-10-1. The Phillies would then conduct their second and final western road trip, facing the Bisons, the Blues, the Wolverines and the White Stockings for four games each. The Phillies would start their series against Buffalo by losing the first three games, increasing their losing streak to seven games, before finally ending it with a 3-0 shut out of the Bisons on September 20. The Phillies would then embark on a winning streak of their own, defeating the Blues for four straight games and then winning their first game with the Wolverines, for a six games winning streak, as they would end their first winning month in the team’s history by going 10-9, while increasing their season record to 37-67-1.

The Phillies would start October seeing their winning streak end as they lose to Detroit, 1-0, before going on to win their next two games, winning the series at 3-1. The Phillies would then go on to Chicago, where they would be swept in four games by the White Stockings. They would then come back home on October 15, to finish out the season by losing to the Grays, 8-0, ending the month with a 2-6 record and the season with a record of 39-73-1, with a winning percentage of .348.

In their second season of existance, the Phillies would end the year in sixth place, 23 games behind the fifth place White Stockings and 45 games behind the 1884 NL champions, the Providence Grays. The Phillies would end up playing sixteen ballgames with each of their opponents, except for the Blues, whom they would face in seventeen games. Their best season record would be with the Wolverines, against whom they would go 11-5, followed by the Blues at 10-6-1. They would have losing records with the rest of the league: Bisons and Gothams (5-11), Beaneaters and Grays (3-13) and White Stockings (2-14). The Phillies would go 3-13 in shut outs, 10-11 in 1-run games and 12-43 in blow outs. The Phillies would be 19-37-1 at home, while they would go 20-36 on the road, which would be improvements over their previous season’s home/road record, as they would go 9-40-1 at home and 8-41 on the road. The team’s home attendence for the year, at 100,475 fans, would be an increase over the team’s 1883 attendence mark of 55,992 fans.

In 1884, the team would play in 113 games, with the batters ending the season with a team batting average of .234 (7th), a team slugging percentage of .272 (6th) and a team on-base percentage of .301 (7th). The team batted 3998 times (6th) and had 934 hits (6th), as they scored 549 runs (6th) of which 343 would be by RBIs. Of their 934 hits, the Phillies would have 149 2Bs (5th), 39 3Bs (8th) and 14 HRs (8th). Phillies batters would receive 209 walks (5th), while striking out 512 times (4th). Pitching wise, the Phillies pitchers would have a team ERA of 3.93 (8th), with 106 complete games (7th), of which only three were shut outs (7th), while seven other games would be completed by another pitcher. The pitchers would convert one save (3rd) during the season. In 981 innings pitched (8th), they would give up 1090 hits (7th) and 824 runs (8th), of which 428 were earned. They would give up 38 home runs (6th) and walked 254 batters (6th), while striking out 411 (8th). They also committed 126 wild pitches.

Among the team’s batting leaders, Jack Manning would lead the team in batting average (.271), slugging percentage (.394), on-base percentage (.334), total bases (167), doubles (29), home runs (5), RBIs (52), walks (40), strikeouts (67) and extra-base hits (38), while Bill McClellan would lead the team in at-bats (450), total plate appearances (478), hits (116) and singles (98), Ed Andrews would lead in runs scored (74), Blondie Purcell would lead in triples (7), while McClellan and Sid Ferrar would be tied for most games played at 111. In pitching, Charlie Ferguson led the team in games pitched (50), games started (47), games finished (3), complete games (46), wins (21), loses (25), saves (1), shut outs (2), innings pitched (416.7) and strikeouts (194), while Bill Vinton would lead in ERA (2.23) and Jim McElroy in wild pitches (46).

Charlie Ferguson, in his first major league season, would become the first twenty-game winner in franchise’s history with his 21 victories.

Harry Wright would continue as the Phillies’ manager in 1885, as he continue to try to turn the team into a first division team in the eight team National League.

Sources: Wikipedia, Baseball Almanac.com, Baseball-Reference.com

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