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The Philadelphia Phillies  owe their birth in 1883 to the death of the old Worcester club. Worcester in Massachusetts had been deemed too small to support a major league team.

After three seasons in the National League, the club was disbanded and the franchise rights sold.

Needing a team to balance out their schedule, the NL awarded an expansion team to Philadelphia to begin play in the 1883 season.

Originally nicknamed the “Quakers”, the team was frequently referred to that season as the “Philadelphias”, which was shortened to “Phillies” on a regular basis.

Known as the “Phillies” and the “Quakers” through 1889, the former was embraced much more by fans and sportswriters, and so “Phillies” became the official nickname in the 1890 season.

The “Philadelphia Phillies” name remains the oldest continuous same city, same name professional sports team in American history.


The Phillies were a fairly successful club on the field for the better part of the first 35 or so years of their existence. In 1915, the team won their first National League pennant after having finished in second place three times and third place another half-dozen times prior.

Beginning in 1918, the fortunes of the team changed for the worse. Thanks to a series of poor ownership groups, the Phillies would experience just one winning season until 1949.

From the 1918 through 1948 campaigns, the Phils finished a combined 1,189 games below the .500 mark. For five straight seasons from 1938-42, the club lost at least 103 games each year. They would pass the century mark in losses in seven seasons between 1936 and the end of World War II.


The ‘Whiz Kids’, a young group of talented players, emerged to break the spell with a winning 1949. The following year they captured just the second NL pennant in franchise history, and continued playing competitively through the 1957 season.

After sinking back to the bottom of the league once again from the 1958-61 seasons, another group of youngsters emerged to form the next winning Phillies club.

The 1964 team infamously held a 6.5 game lead with just 12 games to play, only to collapse with 10 straight losses. That team would finish in second place, a game out.

Though the team had a winning record every year from 1962-67, they never came close other than that one ill-fated season.


Baseball expanded and began divisional play in the 1969 season. The Phillies again collapsed to the bottom of the standings, finishing in last place for five straight years through 1973.

Once again, a new group of homegrown players began to emerge. Supplemented by a series of astute acquisitions by a talented leadership group that included owner Ruly Carpenter, scouting director Dallas Green, and general manager Paul Owens, the Phillies built a sustainable winner.

From 1976-83 the Phillies were regular contenders. They won the NL East title six times in those eight seasons, counting the 1981 split-season.

Finally in 1980, the Phillies reached the pinnacle of Major League Baseball. In front of the home fans at Veteran’s Stadium, the team won the World Series, capturing the first championship in franchise history.


Following a second World Series appearance in four years in the 1983 season, the Phillies organization again began to scramble. A series of bad personnel moves resulted in a slow decline to another losing era.

The years 1987-92 were a mostly miserable half-dozen season stretch of failure. The club had a losing record every year. In fact, that futility would stretch out to the year 2000, with 13 of 14 losing seasons.

The one notable exception during that stretch of futility came during a worst-to-first 1993 season. In that year, a hard-scrabble core group of mullet-wearing players known as ‘Macho Row’ created summer long magic.

The Phillies led nearly wire-to-wire in the NL East that season in perhaps the most fun summer of baseball in franchise history. It was all capped by an upset of the heavily favored Atlanta Braves in the NLCS.

That 1993 Phillies team would then push the defending champion Toronto Blue Jays nearly to the brink in the World Series, finally being eliminated on Joe Carter‘s historic walkoff home run.


It would not be until the 2001 season that the Phillies would field another winner. That season began the greatest winning stretch in franchise history.

Over a dozen years, only the 80-81 record of the 2002 team was below the .500 mark. Thanks to a large group of homegrown stars largely put together by GM Ed Wade and supplemented by astute trades and signings by his successor Pat Gillick, the Phillies would capture five consecutive NL East crowns.

In 2011, the Phillies would win a franchise record 102 games during the regular season. The icing on the cake during that run came in 2008. Those Phillies matched the 1980 club by capturing just the second World Series championship in franchise history.

The Phillies rise thanks to that homegrown core ended almost as abruptly as it had begun. Most of that core aged out together after 2012, and the Phillies have not fielded a winning team since.

Now in the midst of a major rebuilding program, the Philadelphia Phillies are trying to emerge using that same proven formula: building from within. The club has improved their minor league system greatly, and put themselves in a strong financial position to contend within the next couple of years.


A look back through the history of this storied team shows long valleys of losing. But it also shows that over the last half-century, the Phillies have been one of the most successful teams in Major League Baseball.

There have been many greats to pull on a Phillies uniform in over a century of play. 32 players who have worn that uniform are now enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Nine of them played a significant portion of their careers with the Phillies.

Five Phillies have won the NL Most Valuable Player Award. Four pitchers have captured the Cy Young Award, while four more have been the NL Rookie of the Year.

There have been 16 different players to capture a Gold Glove Award, with the Phillies having seen one of their players win the honors at every position across the diamond.

The Phillies are a truly historic team, one of baseball’s “Classic Eight” franchises. If you opened the papers in 1883, you could read about a Philadelphia Phillies team. Now as we head towards 2017, fans can do the same, just as their great-great-great grandparents did before them.


When crafting an All-Time 25-Man Roster for a team with a long and storied a history as the Phillies, you are going to leave out some truly great players.

The Philadelphia Phillies Wall of Fame includes 35 men who have taken the field as a player with the team. Of those players, 17 did not make my Phillies All-Time 25-Man Roster.

To keep things more realistic, I have included two relievers and two catchers. To the following players, and dozens more, I truly apologize. None of these Phillies greats made my roster:

Roy ThomasDarren DaultonJohnny CallisonDel EnnisGavvy CravathCharlie FergusonEppa RixeyRoy HalladayJonathan PapelbonBrad LidgeRyan MadsonCy WilliamsTony TaylorSam ThompsonWillie JonesGarry MaddoxGreg LuzinskiJuan SamuelGranny HamnerPat BurrellBrett Myers.



Jim Bunning: 4th WHIP, 7th WAR & K’s, 11th IP, 12th ERA, 14th Wins, 2x NL All-Star, runner-up 1967 Cy Young Award, Hall of Fame, Wall of Fame, #14 retired

Grover Cleveland Alexander: 2nd ERA, BAA & WHIP, 3rd pitching WAR, Wins & IP, 6th K’s, 2x top ten NL MVP voting, numerous league and MLB leader, Hall of Fame, Wall of Fame

Steve Carlton: 1st pitching WAR, Wins & Strikeouts, 2nd IP, 6th BAA, 7x NL All-Star, 4x Cy Young Award winner, 4x top ten NL MVP voting, 1981 Gold Glove, Hall of Fame, Wall of Fame, #32 retired

Cole Hamels: 3rd K’s, 4th pitching WAR, 6th Wins & IP, 9th WHIP, 3x NL All-Star, 2008 World Series and NLCS MVP

Cliff Lee: 3rd WHIP, 11th pitching WAR & K’s, 13th ERA, 2x NL All-Star

Tug McGraw: 3rd RP WAR, 4th Games, 6th Saves, 14th WHIP, 17th ERA, Wall of Fame

Ron Reed: 1st RP WAR, 6th Games, 7th Saves, 10th WHIP, 15th ERA

Robin Roberts: 1st IP, 2nd pitching WAR, Wins & K’s, 11th WHIP, 7x NL All-Star, Wall of Fame

Curt Schilling: 3rd BAA, 5th pitching WAR & K’s, 7th WHIP & Wins, 9th IP, 3x NL All-Star, Wall of Fame

Chris Short: 4th IP, K’s & Wins, 8th pitching WAR, 19th BAA, 2x NL All-Star, Wall of Fame

Curt Simmons: 5th Wins & IP, 6th pitching WAR, 8th K’s, 3x NL All-Star, Wall of Fame


Dick Allen, 1B/3B: 8th OPS, 10th WAR & HR, 11th Triples, 19th RBI & BB, 1964 NL Rookie of the Year, 3x NL All-Star, Wall of Fame

Larry Bowa, SS: 6th Hits & SB, 7th Triples, 15th Runs, 5x NL All-Star, 2x Gold Glove Award, Wall of Fame

Ryan Howard, 1B: 2nd HR, 3rd RBI, 4th Slugging, 7th BB, 10th Doubles, 13th Hits & Runs, 16th OPS, 2005 NL Rookie of the Year, 2006 NL MVP & Silver Slugger, 2008 runner-up NL MVP, 2009 NLCS MVP, 3x NL All-Star

Jimmy Rollins, SS: 1st Hits, Doubles, AB & defensive WAR, 2nd Steals & Games, 3rd Runs & Triples, 6th WAR & BB, 3x NL All-Star, 4x NL Gold Glove Award, 2007 NL MVP & Silver Slugger

Mike Schmidt, 3B: 1st WAR, HR, RBI, Runs, Games & BB, 2nd Hits, 3rd Slugging, 5th OPS, 14th OBP, 15th Steals, 19th Triples, 12x NL All-Star, 10x Gold Glove Award, 6x Silver Slugger, 1980-81 & 1986 NL MVP, 1980 World Series MVP, Hall of Fame, Wall of Fame

Chase Utley, 2B: 3rd WAR, 5th Doubles, 6th Runs, 9th Hits, 17th Slugging, 19th OPS, 6x NL All-Star, 4x Silver Slugger


Bob Boone: among catchers – 3rd Games & Hits, 4th RBI, 7th HR & Runs, 3x NL All-Star, 2x Gold Glove Award, Wall of Fame

Mike Lieberthal: among catchers – 1st Hits, HR, Doubles & AB, 2nd RBI & Games, 3rd WAR, 4th OPS, 5th AVG, 2x NL All-Star, 1999 NL Gold Glove Award, Wall of Fame


Bobby Abreu: 2nd (t) OPS, 4th OBP & Doubles, 5th Slugging, 7th WAR & Steals, 10th Runs, 11th HR & RBI, 14th Hits, 2x NL All-Star, 2004 Silver Slugger, 2005 NL Gold Glove Award

Richie Ashburn: 3rd Hits, Games & AB, 4th WAR & Runs, 5th Triples, 8th OBP, 9th Doubles, 11th Steals, 4x NL All-Star, Hall of Fame, Wall of Fame

Ed Delahanty: 1st Triples, 2nd WAR & AVG, Runs & Doubles, 3rd Steals, 4th OPS & Hits, 5th OBP, 7th Slugging, Hall of Fame, Wall of Fame

Billy Hamilton: 1st AVG & Steals, 2nd (t) OPS, 9th WAR, 12th Runs, Hall of Fame, Wall of Fame

Chuck Klein: 1st OPS & Slugging, 5th AVG, HR, RBI, & Runs, 7th Hits & Doubles, 11th OBP, 12th WAR, 1932 NL MVP, 1931 & 1933 runner-up NL MVP, 1933 NL All-Star, Hall of Fame, Wall of Fame

Sherry Magee: 2nd Triples, 4th Steals, 5th WAR, 6th Doubles, 8th Hits, 9th RBI & Runs, 16th AVG, Wall of Fame

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