After joining the TBOH staff at Fansided back in the summer of 2014, I decided that with a personal interest in history in general and now in my fifth decade of following Phillies baseball, that a regular series on the history of the team would be right up my alley.
I came up with the idea of running a regular series of Phillies mini-biographies. It would feature key figures, mostly players but also front office, ownership, broadcasters, and others of interest and importance in club history.
While the series would cover some items of interest in the personal lives and backgrounds of the individuals featured, I was looking mostly to focus on their involvement in baseball in general, and with the Phillies organization in particular.
And thus, “Philography” was born.
Since the first piece in the series published back in the fall of 2014 there have been 13 released to this point. It is my intention to produce about a half-dozen over the course of each off-season as we move forward.
So far in the series, I have tried to avoid the obvious greatest players in franchise history from the last half-century or so.
You won’t find a piece on Mike Schmidt, Richie Ashburn, Steve Carlton, Robin Roberts, or Jim Bunning – the five Phillies players who have their individual numbers retired based on service with the team, all of whom are Baseball Hall of Famers.
At least not yet.
What you will find is something that will continue to be a goal as the series moves forward – individuals from all across team history.
There have been two players from the early 20th century, two from the 1950 ‘Whiz Kids’, one from the star-crossed 1964 “collapse” team, and one gender barrier-breaking scout from the mid 20th century.
The series has covered three members of the 1970’s-era Phillies teams, all of whom helped win the 1980 World Series.
A pair of 1980’s-era players are featured so far, one of whom became perhaps the key player on the 1993 NL pennant-winning ‘Macho Row’ squad.
A second of those 1993 Phillies has also been featured, as was one player from the 2000’s who was a key throughout the decade – except that he did not play for the ’08 World Series champs.
As the series moves into the future, I am sure to begin incorporating those 2008 Phillies champs, though that may still be a few off-seasons down the road.
I will definitely begin to incorporate more from the 1980’s, and we will even take at least a couple of trips back to the 19th century.
The “Philography” series runs in the off-season, which ends with spring training. So enjoy catching up with the first thirteen chapters below, perhaps learning a little more about the history of our favorite ball club.
On the left you will find the date that each article was originally published. Click on those dates to read the original “Philography” piece.
Clicking on the player’s names will take you to their page at Baseball Reference, where you can view their career statistics and other relevant information.
After the coming 2016 Major League Baseball season ends, there will be plenty of off-season coverage, including the return of this series again in the fall.
December 12th, 2014: Grover Cleveland (Pete) Alexander
February 15th, 2016: Edith Houghton (no baseball reference)