Results tagged ‘ Major League Debut ’

Philadelphia Phillies – The Players: Ed Delahanty – The Phillies’ first major star.

Ed Delahanty, a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, would probably be considered one of the first, if not the first, major star to put on a Phillies uniform.

‘Big Ed’, as he was nicknamed, was born on October 30, 1867, in Cleveland, Ohio, the oldest of seven brothers, five of whom, including himself, would eventually play professional baseball. He would go to high school at Central High School, in Cleveland, Ohio, and then go on to college and graduate from St. Joseph’s, before he started playing professional baseball with Mansfield in the Ohio State League. He would then play ball in Wheeling, West Virginia, before having his contract bought early in 1888 by the Philadelphia Phillies as the replacement for the recently deceased Charlie Ferguson. Delahanty would make his major league debut on May 22, 1888 at the young age of 20. Appearing in 74 games, mostly at second base, he would hit a low, for his eventual 16-year career, .228 (66 for 290), with a slugging percentage of .293 and an on-base percentage of only .261, as he would hit just 12 2Bs, 2 3Bs and 1 HRs and steal only 38 bases, as he scored just 40 runs while he knocked in 31.

In his second season as a Phil, his batting average would rise to .293 (72 for 246), as he would play in only 56 games. His slugging percentage would also rise to .370, while his on-base percentage would increase to .333, as he would also hit 13 2Bs and 3 3Bs, while stealing 14 bases. ‘Big Ed’ would also score 37 runs while knocking in 27. In his third season as a major league ballplayer, he would be among the players who would jump from either the National League or the American Association to join the short-lived Players’ League, which was formed in revolt against the reserve clause. Playing for his home town Cleveland Infants of the upstart league, ‘Big Ed’ would start to show his prowess, as he would play in 113 games, batting .296 (153 for 517), with a slugging percentage of .414 and an on-base percentage of .337. He would hit 26 2Bs, 13 3Bs and 3 HRs, while stealing 25 bases, and would score 107 runs while knocking in 64. After the PL’s collapse, he would rejoin the Phillies for the 1891 season. In 128 games, his batting average would dip to .243 (132 for 543), as did his slugging percentage (.339) and his on-base percentage (.296). His power numbers would also drop, as he would only hit 19 2Bs, 9 3Bs and 5 HRs, while he would steal 25 bases, score 92 runs and knock in 86.

The 1892 season would see Delahanty start to become a hitting threat, as he would end the season with his first .300+ batting average as he would hit .306 (146 for 477) in 123 games, with a slugging percentage of .495, leading the league in that category, and an on-base percentage of .360, as he would hit 30 2Bs, 21 3Bs (league leader) and 6 HRs, with 29 stolen bases, while scoring 79 runs as he knocked in 91. In 1893, his batting average would rise to .368 (219 for 595) in 132 games, while his slugging percentage would increase to .583, once again the league leader, and his on-base percentage would rise to .423, as he would hit 35 2Bs, 18 3Bs and 19 HRs (league leader), with 37 steals, as he knocked in 146 runs (league leader) while scoring 145. The following season, his batting average would rise to .400 for the first time in his career as a member of the .400+ Phillies outfield of Billy Hamilton (.404), Sam Thompson (.407) (both hall of famers) and Tuck Turner (.416), as he would hit .407 (199 for 489) in 114 games, ending up in fourth place behind league leader Hugh Duffy (.440, the major league record), with a .585 slugging percentage and a .423 on-base percentage. That year, he would hit 39 2Bs, 18 3Bs and 4 HRs, and steal 21 bases, while also scoring 147 runs as he knocked in 131. In 1895, in 116 games, Delahanty’s batting average would drop a little to .404 (194 for 480), while both his slugging (.617) and on-base (.500, league leader) percentage would rise, as he would hit 49 2Bs (league leader), 10 3Bs and 11 HRs, while stealing 46 bases, as he scored 149 times, while knocking in 126.

In 1896, his ninth season as a major leaguer, and his eighth as a Phil, Delahanty would perform several feats. On July 13, 1896, he would go five for five in one game, four of which would be home runs, all of them inside-the-park, thus in one day becoming, so far, the only man to hit four inside-the-park home runs, the second man in major league history to hit four home runs in one day, after Bobby Lowe of the Boston Beaneaters did it on May 30, 1894, and the first player to do so in a losing cause, as the Phillies would lose to the Chicago Colts (now Cubs), 9-8. Overall, in 116 games, his batting average would be .397 (198 for 499), with a slugging percentage of .631 and an on-base percentage of. 472. He would hit 44 2Bs, 17 3Bs and 13 HRs, while stealing 37 bases, as he scored 131 runs while knocking in 126, leading the league in slugging, doubles, home runs and RBIs. In 1897, his ninth year in the National League, his average would drop down to .377 (200 for 530), as he would play in 129 games that season, having a slugging percentage of .538 and an on-base mark of .444, as he would hit 40 2Bs, 15 3Bs and 5 HRs, while also swipping 26 bases, as he crossed the plate 109 times while knocking in only 96 runs. The following season, 1898, in 144 games, ‘Big Ed”s batting average would fall to .334 (183 for 548), with similar drops in slugging (.454) and on-base percentage (.426). He would hit 38 2Bs, 9 3Bs and 4 HRs, while stealing 58 bases (league leader), as he scored 115 times while knocking in just 92 runs.

1899, his tenth season as a Phil, would be his best season as a major leaguer, as he would play in 146 games, winning his first batting title with a .410 average (238 for 581), with a .582 slugging mark and a .464 on-base percentage. Delahanty would hit 55 2Bs, 9 3Bs, and 9 HRs, as he scored 135 runs while knocking in 137. ‘Big Ed’ would lead the National League in slugging percentage, hits, doubles and RBIs, as well as total bases (338), while also being among the leaders in on-base percentage (2), runs scored (4), home runs (3), singles (165, 5). He would also that year hit safely in 31 straight games, while also hitting four doubles in one game, becoming the only man in major league history to hit both four home runs in one game and four doubles in another, as well as collecting 10 straight hits. After his career season, his numbers would dropped as a member of the turn of the century (1900) Phils. In 131 games, his batting average would drop to .323 (174 for 539), as would his slugging (.430) and on-base percentage (.378), as he would hit only 32 2Bs, 10 3Bs and 2 HRs, while stealing just 16 bases, as he would cross the plate just 82 times while knocking in 109. In 1901, in what would turn out to be his thirteenth and final season with the Phillies, Delahanty would play in 139 games, as his batting average rose to .354 (192 for 542), as would both his slugging (.528) and on-base (.427) percentage, as he would hit 38 2Bs (league leader), 16 3Bs and 8 HRs, crossing the plate 106 times while knocking in 108.

In 1902, he would jump to the American League, becoming a member of the Washington Senators, soon having his best season since his 1897 season, as he would win the AL batting title, the only man to so far do it in both major leagues in major league history as he would end a 123 games season with a .367 average (178 for 473), while slugging (.590) with an on-base percentage (.376), both being the league leader. ‘Big Ed’ would that season hit 43 2Bs (league leader), 14 3Bs and 10 HRs, while he would score 103 times while knocking in 93 RBIs, placing him among the league leaders in hits (4), triples, home runs, RBIs, runs scored (all 5) as well as total bases (279, 4). The following season, 1903, Delahanty would appear in only 42 games, going .333 (52 for 156), with a .436 slugging and a .388 on-base percentage, as he would hit 11 2Bs, 1 3Bs and 1 HRs, as he would cross the plate 22 times while knocking in 21.

Ed Delahanty, although a good ballplayer, would be plagued with a personal life marred by alcohol and gambling. His debts would get so big that at one point he would threathen to commit suicide so that his fellow teammates would have to bail him out. In fact, his mother would at one point travel with him to make sure that he wouldn’t kill himself. On the night of July 2, 1903, Delahanty would be taking the train from Detroit to New York so that he could once again jump leagues, this time to join the National League’s New York Giants of John J. McGraw. During the trip, as the train reached Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, he would get himself kicked off of train by the train’s conductor, after making himself a general nusiance by getting drunk. Delahanty, according to eyewitness accounts, then attempted to cross the International Bridge in the dark. He would then get into a confrontation with Sam Kingston, the bridge’s watchman, before running away. Kingston claimed that he then heard a splash. Delahanty would be missing for several days, before his nude, lifeless form would appear at the base of the falls on July 9, later identify by M.A. Green, a stockholder of the Senators.

‘Big Ed”s body would be sent home to Cleveland to be buried, with his entire family attending the funeral, along with several friends whom he had made while in the majors, with McGraw acting as one of his pallbearers.

In a 16-year career, ‘Big Ed’ still has the fifth highest batting average in baseball history (.346) (2596 (75th) for 7505). He is also 13th in triples (185), 32nd in on-base percentage (.411), 36th in doubles (522), 44th in runs scored (1599), 47th in stolen bases (455), 54th in RBIs (1464), 81st in singles (1788) 85th in slugging percentage (.505), and 97th in total bases (3791), while also playing in 1835 games, mostly as an outfielder, and hitting 101 HRs. In his career, he would win two batting titles, lead the league in slugging percentage and doubles five times, in on-base percentage, total bases and home runs twice, in hits, triples and stolen bases one time each, and in rbis four times. As a Phil, in 13 full seasons, he is still the team leader in 2Bs (442) and 3Bs (157), is 2nd in batting average (.348), total bases (3230), runs scored (1367) and RBIs (1286), 3rd in hits (2213), 4th in at-bats (6359), 6th in games (1555), 8th in slugging percentage (.510), and 28th in HRs (87).

In 1945, he would be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee, to help clear up a log jam of players who mainly played in the 19th Century. Teammates Hamilton and Thompson would join him in the Hall in 1961 and 1974 respectively

Wikipedia Biography: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_Delahanty

National Baseball Hall of Fame Bio: http://baseballhall.org/hof/delahanty-ed

Hall of Fame Vote, 1945: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baseball_Hall_of_Fame_balloting,_1945

Baseball.com Biography: http://www.thebaseballpage.com/players/delahed01.php

Baseball-reference.com stats: http://www.baseball-reference.com/d/delahed01.shtml

Ed Delahanty’s Obits (NY Times): http://www.thedeadballera.com/Obits/Obits_D/Delahanty.Ed.Obit.html

Philadelphia Phillies – Year 6: Falling back into third place, as Phils’ pennant hopes are dashed by a pre-season death.

As 1888 dawns, Harry Wright was starting his fifth year as the Phillies’ manager, leading a team that hoped to use their momentum from the previous season where they went 17-0-1 in their last 18 games, lead by their pitcher-second baseman Charlie Ferguson, to finally win the organization’s first pennant.

The 1888 National League would contain no changes among its membership. The Phillies’ opponents for the season would still be the Beaneaters, the Giants and the Nationals in the east and the Alleghenys, the Wolverines, the Hoosiers and the White Stockings in the west. The Phillies would continue to play their home games in the Philadelphia Base Ball Grounds.

But, before the season would officially start, the Phillies’ pennant chances would be struck a major blow, as their star player, Charlie Ferguson, would be struck down by tyhoid fever in spring training, and would die in late April, after the start of the 1888 season. The Phillies would spend the rest of the season wearing a black crepe upon their left shoulders in honor of their fallen comrade, as would their east coast opponents, the Giants, the Nationals and the Beaneaters. Ferguson’s place on the team would eventually be taken by future Hall of Famer, Ed Delahanty, who would be the oldest of five brothers who would all play the game professionally by the end of the 19th Century.

(For more information on Charlie Ferguson, go here: Philadelphia Phillies – The Players: Charlie Ferguson, the Phillies’ unknown first star.)

The Phillies, without Ferguson, would begin the 1888 season on April 20 at home with a four-games series against the Beaneaters, which would see the Phils being swept by Boston by scores of 4-3, 9-3, 3-1 and 7-1, with the Phils’ opening day pitcher being rookie pitcher Kid Gleason, who would later be the manager of the infamous 1919 Chicago White Sox. The Phils would then go to New York for four games with the Giants. After winning the first game 5-3, they would lose the next three, ending their short road trip, 1-3. They would then come back home for another short four-games series, this time with the Nationals, for the last day of April and the beginning of May. The Phillies would begin the series by winning the first game by the score of 3-1, ending April with a record of 2-7.

The Phils would begin May by continuing their short home stand with the Nationals. They would win the next two games, giving them a three games winning streak, before losing the final game in the home stand, giving them a 3-1 series win. The Phillies would then go west for a ten-games western road trip, playing against the Alleghenys for two games, the Wolverines for three, the Hoosiers for one and then their main western rival, the White Stockings, for four games, before going on to Boston for three more games for a thirteen-game road trip. Their two games series with their cross-state rival would end up being a two-games series win. The Phils would then move on to Detroit, where they would win the first game with the Wolverines, before losing the next two games, losing the series 1-2. They would then go into Indianapolis, losing the only game in that short series, before going on to Chicago, where they would lose the first game in their four-games series. The Phillies would then win the next two games, including the May 22 game which would feature the major league debut of Ferguson’s replacement, Ed Delahanty, thus breaking their four games losing streak, before losing the away game in their series, splitting their series with the White Stockings, 2-2. The Phils would then go to Boston, where they would sweep the three-games series from the Beaneaters, ending their road trip with a record of 8-5. The Phillies would then go home for a fifteen-games home stand for the last day of May and most of June, against the Wolverines (3), the White Stockings (4), the Alleghenys (4) and the Hoosiers (4). The Phillies would begin the home stand by playing a doubleheader with the Wolverines, which they would split, losing the opener by the score of 6-2 and then winning the ‘nightcap’ by the score of 5-4, thus ending May with a winning record of 11-7 and an overall win-lost record of 13-14.

The Phillies would then lose the final game of their series with the Wolverines, winning the series, 2-1. They would win the first game of their four-games series with the White Stockings, before being swept by them for three straight games, losing the series, 1-3. They would then win the next six games, sweeping their series with the Alleghenys, then winning the first two games with the Hoosiers, before splitting the final two games in the series, winning the series, 3-1, and the home stand, 10-5. The Phillies would then go to Washington for a four-games road trip, which they would lose to the Nationals, 1-3. They would then come back home for a two teams, seven-games, home stand with the Giants (4) and the Beaneaters (3) for the last days of June and the first day of July. The Phils would split their four-games series with the Giants, before winning the first two games of their series with Boston, ending the month with a winning record of 13-10, and an overall record of 26-24.

The Phillies would start July off by winning the final game of their series with Boston, sweeping the Beaneaters, and winning the home stand, 5-2. The Phils would then go on another western road trip, this time for twelve-games, for four three-games series with the White Stockings, the Hoosiers, the Wolverines and the Alleghenys, until the middle of the month. They would start the road trip off with a July 4 doubleheader with the White Stockings, losing the first game by the score of 10-8, ending their four-games winning streak, then winning the second game by the score of 6-5. They would then lose the away game, thus losing the series, 1-2. They would then go to Indianapolis to face the Hoosiers, losing that series, 1-2. They next went to Detroit, where they would end up being swept by the Wolverines, before going on to Pittsburgh, where they would sweep the Alleghenys, thus end the road trip with a record of 5-7. They would then return to Philadelphia for a six-games home stand of two three-games series with the Giants and the Nationals. After defeating the Giants in the opening game of their series, the Phillies would be defeated in the next five games, losing two in a row to the Giants and then being swept by the Nationals, ending the home stand with a 1-5 record. The Phillies would then go on an east coast road trip to face the Giants (3), the Beaneaters (3) and the Nationals (3), for the end of July and the beginning of August. The Phillies would start off the road trip by being swept by the Giants, with their losing streak going up to eight games, before finally ending the month by defeating the Beaneaters for the first two games of their series, thus snapping their losing streak, while ending the month with a losing record of 9-15 and an overall win-lost record of 35-39.

The Phillies would begin August by winning the final games of their series with the Beaneaters, thus sweeping the series. They would then go on to Washington, where they would lose the first game of the series, then win the next two games, winning the series, 2-1 and ending the road trip with a 5-4 record. They would then go back to Philadelphia for a sixteen-games home stand, which would include a two-games series with the White Stockings, three straight three-games series with the Wolverines, the Hoosiers and the Alleghenys, a two-games series with Boston and a three-games series with the Giants. The Phils would begin the home stand by splitting their series with the White Stockings, before sweeping their series with the Wolverines and the Hoosiers. The Phillies would then lose their series with the Alleghenys, 1-2, before being swept by the Beaneaters in their short two-games series. They then ended the home stand by losing their series with the Giants, after winning the first games in the series, 1-2, thus ending the home stand with a 9-7 record. The Phillies would then end the month by playing four of their next five games with the Nationals, two games in Washington and three more in Philadelphia. The Phillies would start things off by winning the two-games series in Washington, then winning the first game played in Philadelphia before having their three-games winning streak snapped by losing the final game to be played that month, thus ending the month of August with a 15-9 record and having a win-lost record of 50-48.

The Phillies would start off September by ending their road-home series with Washington, beating the Nationals, winning the series, 4-1. They would then go onto the road for twenty-one games for most of the month, facing the Giants (3), the Alleghenys (4), the Wolverines (4), the White Stockings (3), the Hoosiers (3) and the Beaneaters (4), They would start off their road trip by playing the Giants to an 0-0 tie, then losing the next two games for an 0-2-1 losing record. The Phillies would then split their series with the Alleghenys, before losing their series with the Wolverines, 1-3. They would then sweep their two three-games series, first with the White Stockings, including the September 18 game where their starter Ben Sanders would miss throwing a perfect game as he would give up a single in the ninth inning to Chicago pitcher Gus Krock in a 6-0 shut out, and then the Hoosiers, before losing their series with Boston, 1-3, ending the long road trip with a record of 10-10-1. The Phillies would then spend the rest of their season at home, facing the Alleghenys for two games in September and two more in October, followed by a three-games series with the Hoosiers, then two two-games series with the Wolverines and the White Stockings. The Phillies would end the month, and start the home stand, by losing the first two-games of their four games series to Pittsburgh, ending the month with an 11-12-1 record and with an overall record of 61-60-1.

The Phillies would then rebound and win their next two games with the Alleghenys, splitting the series. The Phillies would then sweep the Hoosiers, before splitting their series with the Wolverines and then ending the season with a sweep of their main western rivals, the White Stockings, with the last game being won via forfeit. The final home stand would end up a winning record of 8-3 and an overall season record of 69-61-1 for a .531 winning percentage, landing the Phillies back into third place, five and a half games behind second place Chicago and fourteen and a half game behind the league champ, the New York Giants.

The Phillies would play a total of 131 games, with a home-road record of 37-29 at home and 32-32-1 on the road. The Phillies had winning records against all but two of their opponents, with their best record being a 14-6 record against the Pittsburgh Alleghenys, followed by a 13-4 one with the Hoosiers. Their two losing records would be against the league champion Giants (5-14-1) and the Wolverines (7-11). The Phillies were 16-8 in shut outs, 28-16 in 1-run games and 19-17 in blowouts. The Phillies’ home attendence for 1888 would be 151,804 patrons.

The Phillies’ offense would in 1888 be ranked among the bottom of the league, being fourth in doubles (151), fifth in walks (268), sixth in runs scored (535), strikeouts (485), on-base percentage (.269) and slugging percentage (.290), seventh in hits (1021), triples (46), home runs (16), batting average (.225) and stolen bases (246) and eighth in at-bats (4528), as well as having 418 RBIs and having 51 hit batsmen. The Phillies’ pitchers would end the season being number one in saves (3), second in ERA (2.38), shut outs (16), hits allowed (1072), runs allowed (509), home runs allowed (26) and walks (196), fourth in strike outs (519), seventh in complete games (125) and eighth in innings pitched (1167), as well as finishing seven games, giving up 309 earned runs, throwing 50 wild pitches, hitting 25 batters and throwing 2 balks.

Among the team’s batting leaders, Jack Clements would lead the team in batting average, hitting .245. Jim Fogarty would lead the team in on-base percentage (.325), walks (53), strike outs (66) and stolen bases (58). George Wood would lead in slugging percentage (.342) and home runs (6). Sid Farrar would lead in games played (131), total bases (165), doubles (24), triples (7), RBIs (53) extra-base hits (32) and hit by the pitch (13), while being tied with Ed Andrews for the team’s lead in total plate appearances with 552. Andrews would also lead the team in at-bats (528), runs scored (75), hits (126), and singles (105). Among the team’s leader in pitching, Ben Sanders would lead the team in ERA (1.90), win-loss percentage (.655), and shut outs (8), also being tied for first in the league lead in that category with Tim Keefe of the Giants, as well as being tied with George Wood for the team’s lead in games finished with two. Wood would lead the team in saves with 2, also being the league leader in that category. Charlie Buffinton would lead the team in wins with 28, being the team’s only 20-game winner, games pitched and started (46), innings pitched (400.3), strikeouts (199), complete games (43), walks (59), hits allowed (324), wild pitches (15) and batters faced (1586). Rookie Kid Gleason would lead in home runs allowed (11) and hit batters (12). Dan Casey would lead the team in losses with 18 and earned runs allowed with 100.

The Phillies would end the season still among the league’s elite teams while still looking for their first team pennant. Meanwhile, the Giants would face the American Association winner, the St. Louis Browns, in a post-season series, which the Giants would win 6 games to four.

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

Philadelphia Phillies – Year 4: Still in the first division, but finishing in 4th place with a better record.

With Harry Wright now entering his third year as the Phillies’ manager, and with two 20 games winners in Charlie Ferguson and Ed Daily (although both pitchers were also 20 games losers), the Phillies would be positioned to improve on their third place finish of 1885.

The National League of 1886 would be a very much different league compared to the league at the end of 1885, as two franchises, the Providence Grays and the Buffalo Bisons, would both collapse during the off-season, leaving the league with only six teams for the ’86 season, including the Phillies: the Beaneaters, the Giants, the Wolverines, the White Stockings and the Maroons being the other five. That situation would be corrected by the league early in 1886 by first admitting into the fold the Washington Nationals (aka Senators, the first NL team to play in the Nation’s Capital) in January, and then in February by allowing the Kansas City Cowboys (the first NL team to play beyond the Mississippi River) into the league for a one-year trial. The Phillies would still play their home games at Recreation Park, although a new ballpark, the Philadelphia Base Ball Grounds, later known as Baker Bowl, would be built for them in 1887.

The Phillies’ season would start on April 29, with a three-games series against the new Nationals in Washington. The Phillies would spilt the two games that they would play with the Nationals in April, losing the first game 6-3, then winning the second game on April 30, 12-3, before losing the first game played in May, 9-2, starting May off on a losing note, while going home with a 1-2 record. The Phillies would then play a short four-games home stand, with three games being against the Giants and one game against the Beaneaters. The Phillies would win two of their three games with their rivals from New York, before defeating the Beaneaters, ending their short home stand with a 3-1 record and leaving Philadelphia with an overall record of 4-3, as they would begin a nine-games western road trip against St. Louis, Detroit and Chicago. In St. Louis, after dropping the first game, they would win the next two games with the Maroons, but they would then end the road trip mired in a six games losing streak, being swept first by the Wolverines, than by their nemesis the White Stockings, ending the road trip with a record of 2-7. They would then come home for a fifteen-games home stand for the rest of May and the first days of June, facing the Cowboys for the first time for four games, including a doubleheader on the 29, two games with Chicago, three games with the Maroons, three with the Wolverines and three with the Nationals. The Phillies would begin the home stand by winning three of four games from Kansas City, including a sweep of the twinbill, winning the two games by the scores of 1-0 and 9-3. They would then lose the last game of May to the White Stockings by the score of 4-3, thus ending the month of May with a record of 8-11, with an overall record for the season of 9-12.

The Phillies would then win their first game in June, defeating Chicago 3-0, thus splitting the two games of the series. The Phillies would then proceed to sweep their series with the Maroons, lose their series with the Wolverines, going 1-2, and then sweep their series with the Nationals, ending their fifteen-games home stand with a record of 11-4. The Phillies would then conduct a sixteen-games road trip for the rest of June and the beginning of July, which would see them visit New York City for two, the Beaneaters for three, Detroit for a game, Chicago for three, visit Kansas City for the first time for three games, St. Louis for three, then visit Detroit again for another game, before going back home. The Phils would start the trip off by splitting their two-games series with New York, then sweeping the Beaneaters in Boston. The Phillies would then lose their game in Detroit, then the first two games in Chicago before defeating the White Stockings in the third game of the series, thus ending June with a winning record of 13-6 and an overall season record of 22-18. The Phillies would then begin July with a sweep of their next two series with the Cowboys and the Maroons, including their second doubleheader win of the year, this time over the Maroons on July 5 by the scores of 6-1 and 3-2, before leaving St. Louis with a seven-games winning streak. The streak would be broken in Detroit as they would lose to the Wolverines by the score of 2-0, ending their road trip with an 11-5 record. The Phillies would then return to Philadelphia to face their east coast rivals the Giants and the Beaneaters for a five-games home stand, three games with New York and two with Boston. The Phils would lose the first game of the home stand to New York, before winning the next four games against New York and Boston, ending the home stand with a 4-1 record. They would then conduct a three cities, eight-games, east coast road trip to Washington (3), New York (3) and Boston (2). In Washington, they would increase their winning streak to six games by winning their first two meetings with the Nationals, before losing the final game in the series. They would then go on to New York, where they would lose their first two meetings with the Giants, before winning the going away game. The Phillies would then split their two-games series with the Beaneaters, thus ending their east coast trip with a 4-4 record.

The Phils would then come back home for a twenty-games home stand for the rest of July and the balance of August, facing the Cowboys for three games, the Wolverines for three, St. Louis for three, Chicago for two, the Nationals for three, Boston for three and the Giants for three. The Phillies would start the home stand off by sweeping the Cowboys and then losing the first of three games to Detroit, ending July with a record of 17-7 and with an overall record of 39-25. The Phillies would then begin August on a winning note by sweeping their next two games with the Wolverines. They would then lose their three-games series with the Maroons, 1-2. They would then split their series with the White Stockings before sweeping their series with the Nationals, and then winnings both of their series with the Beaneaters and the Giants, both 2-1, thus ending their twenty-games home stand with a record of 14-6. The Phillies would then go back onto the road for the rest of August and most of September, going to Detroit (3), Chicago (3), Kansas City (4), St. Louis (3), Washington (3), Boston (2) and New York (3) for eighteen games. They would win their series with the Wolverines, winning it by going 2-1, before being swept by the White Stockings, ending August with a record of 13-9 and an overall record of 52-34.

The Phillies would start off September by winning their series in Kansas City, 3-1. They would then lose their series in St. Louis 1-2, thus ending the western half of their road trip with a 6-7 record. They would then start the eastern half of their long road trip by winning the first game of their series with the Nationals, then losing the second game, which would be the debut game of future hall of fame manager Connie Mack, before ending up in a 3-3 tie in the series’ final game. The Phillies would then go on to Boston, where they would split the series, before heading on to New York, where they would end their road trip by losing the series 0-2-1, with the middle game of the series ending up as a 3-3 tie. The Phillies would end the eastern part of their road trip with a 2-4-2 record, ending the entire road trip with a somewhat respectible 10-11-2 record. The Phillies would then come home, where they would end their season with an eighteen-games home stand for the rest of September and October against the Nationals (3), the White Stockings (5), the Maroons (3), the Cowboys (3) and the Wolverines (4). The Phillies would start the home stand off by sweeping the Nationals, before defeating their western nemesis, the White Stockings in four of the five games they would play, with the other game, the third game in the five-games series, ending up as a 3-3 tie. The Phillies would then have their seven-games winning streak snapped by the Maroons in the first games of their three-games series, ending the month of September with a 13-8-3 record and with an overall season record of 65-42-3. The Phillies would then start off the month of October by winning the next two games with St. Louis, winning the series 2-1. They would then win their series with the Cowboys, going 2-0-1, with the final game of the series ending in a 6-6 tie. They would then start off their final series of the season with an 1-1 tie against the Wolverines, before losing the next game, and then ending the season with a two-games winning streak, ending the series with a 2-1-1 record, ending the home stand with a record of 13-1-2, ending October with a 6-1-2 record and ending the season with a combine record of 71-43-5, for a winning percentage of .623, finishing the 1886 season in fourth place, two and a half games behind the third place Giants and fourteen games behind the first place White Stockings.

In 1886, the Phillies would play 119 games, having winning records against all but three of their opponents, with their best record being a record of 14-2-1 against the Cowboys, followed by a record of 13-4-1 with the Nationals and a record of 10-3 against Boston. Their worst records would be against the second place Detroit Wolverines and the league winner Chicago White Stockings, both being records of 7-10-1. During the season, the Phillies would play 18 games apiece against four fellow NL teams (Nationals, Wolverines, White Stockings and Maroons), meet the Cowboys and the Giants for 17 games each and battle the Beaneaters only 13 times. The Phillies record in shut outs would be 10-5, 17-8 in 1-run games and 27-12 in blowouts. The Phillies home record would be 45-14-3, while their road record would be 26-29-2. Home Attendence for 1886 would be 175,623.

The Phillies’ batters would go to bat 4072 times (8th) getting 976 hits (6th) for a team batting average of .240 (5th), a team slugging percentage of .327 (5th) and a team on-base percentage of .289 (5th). The batters would knock in 621 runs (5th) on 424 RBIs, while hitting 145 2Bs (7th), 66 3Bs (4th) and 26 HRs (4th), while receiving 282 walks (3rd) while striking out 516 times (5th). The team would lead the league in stolen bases with 226. The Phillies’ pitchers would lead the league in team ERA with a 2.45 mark, as they would pitch a total of 1045 innings (6th), pitching 110 complete games (1st), while finishing 9 other games, having 10 shut outs (1st) and 2 saves (2nd). The pitchers would give up 498 runs (1st) of which 284 would be earned on 923 hits (1st). They would give up 29 home runs (4th), 264 walks (3rd) and 60 wild pitches, while striking out 540 batters (4th).

Among the team’s batting leaders, Jim Fogarty would lead the team in batting average with a .293 mark, on-base percentage with .385, and 42 walks, while being tied with George Wood for the team lead in slugging percentage with a .407 mark. Wood would also lead the team in at-bats (450), total plate appearances (473), hits (123), total bases (183), triples (15) and strikeouts (75). Sid Farrar would lead the team in games played with 118, as well as in doubles (19) and home runs (5). Ed Andrews would lead in runs scored with 93, singles (88) and stolen bases (56), also being the league leader in that category in 1886. Joe Mulvey would be the team’s RBI leader with 53. Among the pitchers, Charlie Ferguson would lead the team in most pitching categories. He would be the leader in ERA with a 1.98 mark, in wins with 30, becoming the team’s first 30-games winner, win-lost percentage with .769, games pitched with 48, games started with 45, games completed with 43, games saved with 2, while also being the league leader in that category, innings pitched with 395.7, strikeouts with 212, batters faced with 1582 and home runs allowed with 11, while being tied with Dan Casey for the team lead in shut outs with 4. Casey, who would win 24 games that season for the team, would also be the team leader in walks with 104, hits allowed with 326, losses with 18, earned runs allowed with 99 and wild pitches with 25. Ed Daily would lead the team in games finished with 4.

The Phillies, while still in the first division, and having improved on their previous season record, are still looking for their first division title, while watching the American Association’s St. Louis Browns defeat the National League winner, the White Stockings, in a seven-games post season contest, 4 games to 2.

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

Still in San Diego, trying to win a series on the left coast.

The Phillies (65-57) continue their three games series with the Padres (47-75, 5th National League West) with a night game. The game will be played at PETCO Park and will start at 10:05 pm Eastern (7:05 pm Pacific). The Phillies’ starter will be Kyle Kendrick (10-6, 4.74), who is coming off a recent disastrous start against the Dodgers on August 11, where he would only go three and a third innings, giving up seven earned runs on nine hits, in the Phillies’ 8-6 lost. In his only career start against the Padres, he would give up only one run in six innings of work. He will be trying once again for his eleventh win, while hoping to both bounce back from his previous start and for the Phillies’ bat to wake up. The Padres’ starter will be rookie Chad Reineke (0-0, -.–), making his major league debut, as he comes in to pitch in place of the original starter, Chris Young, who has just been placed on the disabled list. He is coming up from Triple-A Portland, where he has gone 5-10 with a 4.37 ERA in 22 games (21 starts), but, in his last three starts, he is 0-1 with a 4.41 ERA. He will be gunning for his first major league win, while trying to see what mischief he can cause the Phils.

The Phillies will be trying to make it two wins in a row while trying to stay close to the Mets after the disaster in Los Angeles. The Phillies have just gotten back Rudy Seanez, Greg Dobbs and Shane Victorino from injuries while Brad Lidge has claimed to have done some work on his mechanics during his enforced rest, and they wait for Pedro Feliz to return from his back injuries. Even with the good news, the Phillies are still waiting for their offense to finally wake up and show itself to be the monster of its pre-season press releases. Of course, that may only happen if the players start to take care of the little things instead of just thinking about hitting home runs and only home runs. But hey, I’m becoming that broken record again. I better stop before I start to stratch the record.

The Phillies are trailing the Mets by a game while they are ahead of the Marlins by two and a half games. They will be trying to see if they can win the series with the Padres with a victory tonight, before trying for a sweep, and end the road trip with a better record than they would’ve expected after getting out of L.A.

Pat the Bat goes deep as Eaton gets his second win.

Pat Burrell’s two-run home run would be the different as Adam Eaton pitches a great six and two-thirds innings to record his second victory of the year as the Phillies defeat the Reds, 3-2. The Reds would score the game’s first run, when, in the third, Edwin Encarnacion would hit his tenth home run of the year while leading off the inning, giving the Reds a quick 1-0 lead. The Phillies would quickly come back to tie the game in their half of the inning, when Chase Utley, who was unable to hit a home run tonight, would hit a RBI single, knocking in Jimmy Rollins, who has gotten on base earlier via a force out. The score would stay that way for the next couple of innings as Adam Eaton and Reds’ starter Aaron Harang would find themselves in the middle of a pitcher’s dual. The dual would end though, when, with a runner on second, and one out, Pat Burrell would hit his fourteenth home run of the season, a two-run shot which would score Utley, who has earlier doubled, to give the Phillies a 3-1 lead. In the eighth, the Reds would cut the lead to 3-2, as Javier Valentin hits a sacrifice fly, scoring Encarnacion, who has earlier tripled off of Tom Gordon. After Gordon is able to get out of further trouble in the eighth, Brad Lidge is handed the ball. In spite of giving up two walks, Lidge would get his fifteenth save in as many chances by getting Encarnacion to fly out to end the game.

Adam Eaton is the winning pitcher as he records his second win of the season as he goes six and two-thirds inning, giving up only one earned run on just three hits. His record is now 2-3 with a ERA of 4.63. J.C. Romero would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits, walking a batter and striking out one. Tom Gordon would pitch an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. Brad Lidge would pitched the ninth, giving up no runs on no hits, as he records his fifteenth save of the year. Aaron Harang is the losing pitcher for the Reds, as he would pitch six innings plus two batters, giving up three earned runs on nine hits. His record is now 2-8 wirh a 3.86 ERA. Rookie pitcher Danny Herrera would make his major league debut by coming in the seventh inning in relief of Harang with two runners on base with no one out, and would get out of the inning, leaving the bases loaded, as he gives up no runs on no hits. Jared Burton would also pitch an inning, giving up no runs on no hits.

The Phillies’ offense would get nine hits in the game, four of them being for extra-bases (3 (2B), 1 (HR)), but they would be held down to three runs as they were unable to break the game wide open in the seventh. Chase Utley was unable to hit a home run for the six straight game, but he would get an RBI for the ninth straight game in a row. Also, Eaton has pitched another good game, which led to another victory for him. It would appear that he has finally turned a corner. Let us hope that it stays that way. The Phillies have now won their third strength game in a row, their eighth in nine games and their eleventh in their last fifteen games. They are also now ten games over .500 for the first time this season. Ken Griffey, Jr. did not start for the second straight game, but did he come into the game in the eighth inning against Tom Gordon, who has already given up six home runs to him, to try and make it seven in an attempt to tie the game with one swing of the bat. He is instead walked by Gordon, who refused to give him something to hit. So, Junior will be trying again to hit number 600 tomorrow.

The third game in the four games series between the Phillies (35-25) and the Reds (28-31, 5th National League Central) will be played at Citizens Bank Park tomorrow night at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils’ starter will be Brett Myers (3-6, 5.52), who is coming off a recent win against the Marlins, where he would go eight innings, giving up only three earned runs, all coming in the first inning, on six scattered hits, while striking out eleven. This will be his second start against the Reds, having lost his first start against them back on April 6, as he would go five innings, giving up four earned runs on eight hits, in the Phillies’ 8-2 lost. He will be trying to improve his record while continuing what he did in the last seven innings of his last start. His opponent will be Endison Volquez (7-2, 1.46), who is coming off a recent no-decision against the Braves on May 30, where he would pitch six innings, giving up only two earned runs on five hits, in the Reds’ 3-2 win. He has already pitched against the Phillies this season, as he was Myers’ opponent in the April 6 game. He would recieve the victory as he would go five and one-third innings, giving up only one earned run on five scattered hits. He will be trying to put a stop to the Phillies’ offensive juggernaut while hoping that they won’t light him up.

The first place Phillies have increased their lead to two and one half games over the Marlins as they would loss once again to the Braves. The Braves, with their win over the fish, stay three and a half games behind the Phils. The Phils are presently leading the Mets by four and a half games as they have just won their game against the Giants. The Phillies will be trying to continue their winning way and to further increase their lead against the opponents.

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