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Thursday, 8 August 2013
BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY : THE PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES ARE A MAJOR LEAGUES BASEBALL TEAM : THEY ARE THE OLDEST CONTINUOUS ONE NAME ONE CITY FRANCHISE IN ALL OF PROFESSIONAL AMERICAN SPORT DATING TO 1883 :
BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY The Philadelphia Phillies are a Major League Baseball team. They are the oldest continuous, one-name, one-city franchise in all of professional American sports, dating to 1883. The Phillies are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. Since 2004, the team's home has been Citizens Bank Park in the South Philadelphia section of the city.
The Phillies have won two World Series championships (against Kansas City in 1980 and Tampa Bay in 2008) and seven National League pennants, the first of which came in 1915. The franchise has also experienced long periods of struggle. Once the modern World Series began in 1903, it took the Phillies 77 years from that point (and 97 years from the club's establishment) to win their first World Series—longer than any other of the 16 teams that made up the major leagues for the first half of the 20th century. The 77 years of drought is the fourth longest World Series drought in Major League Baseball history. The longevity of the franchise and its history of adversity have earned it the dubious distinction of having lost the most games of any team in the history of American professional sports.Notwithstanding the collectively poor performance over the years, the Phillies have performed much better in recent seasons, winning five consecutive division titles from 2007 through 2011.
The franchise was founded in Philadelphia in 1883, replacing the team from Worcester, Massachusetts in the National League. The team has played at several stadiums in the city, beginning with Recreation Park and continuing at Baker Bowl; Shibe Park, which was later renamed Connie Mack Stadium in honor of the longtime Philadelphia Athletics manager; Veterans Stadium; and now Citizens Bank Park.
The team's spring training facilities are located in Clearwater, Florida, where its Class-A minor league affiliate Clearwater Threshers play at Bright House Field. Its Double-A affiliate is the Reading Fightin Phils, which plays in Reading, Pennsylvania, and its Triple-A affiliate is the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, which plays in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
After being founded in 1883 as the "Quakers", the team changed its name to the "Philadelphias", after the convention of the times. This was soon shortened to "Phillies". "Quakers" continued to be used interchangeably with "Phillies" from 1884 until 1890, when the team officially became known as the "Phillies". Though the Phillies moved into a permanent home at Baker Bowl in 1887, they did not win their first pennant until nearly 30 years later, after the likes of standout players Billy Hamilton, Sam Thompson, and Ed Delahanty had departed. Player defections to the newly-formed American League, especially to the cross-town Athletics, would cost the team dearly over the next several years. A bright spot came in 1915, when the Phillies won their first pennant, thanks to the pitching of Grover Cleveland Alexander and the batting prowess of Gavvy Cravath, who set what was then the modern major-league single-season record for home runs with 24. Poor fiscal management after their appearance in the 1915 World Series, however, doomed the Phillies to sink back into relative obscurity; from 1918 to 1948 they only had one winning season. Though Chuck Klein won the Most Valuable Player Award in 1932 and the National League Triple Crown in 1933, the team continued to flounder at the bottom of the standings for years.
After lumber baron William B. Cox purchased the team in 1943, the Phillies began a rapid rise to prominence in the National League, as the team rose out of the standings cellar for the first time in five years. As a result, the fan base and attendance at home games increased. But it soon became clear that not all was right in Cox's front office. Eventually, it was revealed by Cox that he had been betting on the Phillies and he was banned from baseball. The new owner, Bob Carpenter, Jr., scion of the Delaware-based DuPont family, tried to polish the team's image by unofficially changing its name to the "Blue jays". However, the new moniker did not take, and it was quietly dropped by 1949.
Instead, Carpenter turned his attention to the minor league affiliates, continuing an effort begun by Cox a year earlier; prior to Cox's ownership, the Phillies had paid almost no attention to player development. This led to the advent of the "Whiz Kids," led by a lineup of young players developed by the Phillies' farm system that included future Hall of Famers Richie Ashburn and Robin Roberts. Their 1950 season was highlighted by a last-day, pennant-clinching home run by Dick Sisler to lead the Phillies over the Dodgers and into the World Series. Comparatively, the Athletics finished last in 1950 and longtime Manager Connie Mack retired. The A's would struggle on for four more years with only one winning team, and then abandon Philadelphia (under the Johnson brothers, who bought out Mack) and start play in Kansas City in 1955.
The Phillies sank back to mediocrity during the mid-1950s after the departure of the "Whiz Kids", their competitive futility culminating in a record that still stands: in 1961, the Phillies lost 23 games in a row (a record since 1900). But from this nadir bright spots began to appear. Though Ashburn and Roberts were gone, younger pitchers Art Mahaffey, Chris Short, and rookie Ray Culp; veterans Jim Bunning and screwballer Jack Baldschun; and fan favorites Cookie Rojas, Johnny Callison, and NL Rookie of the Year Richie Allen brought the team within a hairsbreadth of the World Series in 1964 after strong showings in 1962 and 1963. However, the Phillies squandered a six-and-a-half-game lead during the final weeks of the season that year, losing 10 games in a row with 12 games remaining and losing the pennant by one game to the St. Louis Cardinals. The "Phold of '64" is among the most notable collapses in sports history. One highlight of the season occurred on Father's Day, when Jim Bunning pitched a perfect game against the New York Mets, the first in Phillies history.
At the end of the decade, in October 1970, the Phillies played their final game in Connie Mack Stadium and prepared to move into newly built Veterans Stadium, wearing new maroon uniforms to accentuate the change. While some members of the team performed admirably during the 1970s, the Phillies still clung to their position at the bottom of the National League standings. Ten years after "the Phold", they suffered another minor collapse in August and September 1974, missing out on the playoffs yet again. But the futility would not last much longer. After a run of three straight division titles from 1976 to 1978, the Phillies won the NL East in 1980 behind pitcher Steve Carlton, outfielder Greg Luzinski, and infielders Mike Schmidt, Larry Bowa, and Pete Rose. In a memorable NLCS, with four of the five games going into extra innings, they fell behind 2–1 but battled back to squeeze past the Houston Astros on a tenth-inning, game-winning hit by center fielder Garry Maddox, and the city celebrated its first pennant in 30 years.
Facing the Kansas City Royals in the 1980 World Series, the Phillies won their first World Series championship ever in six games thanks to the timely hitting of Mike Schmidt and Pete Rose. Schmidt, who was the National League MVP that 1980 season, also won the World Series MVP award on the strength of his 8-for-21 hitting (.381 average), including game-winning hits in Game 2 and the clinching Game 6. Thus, the Phillies became the last of the 16 teams that made up the major leagues from 1901 to 1961 to win a World Series. The Phillies made the playoffs twice more in the 1980s after their Series win, in 1981 and 1983, where they lost to the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series, but they would soon follow these near-misses with a rapid drop back into the basement of the National League. The 1992 season, for example, would end with the Phillies in last place in the National League East. But their fortunes were about to change.
The 1993 Phillies started the season by going 17–5 in April and finishing with a 97–65 season. The Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves in the 1993 National League Championship Series, four games to two, to earn the fifth pennant in franchise history, only to be defeated by the defending league champion Toronto Blue Jays in the 1993 World Series. Toronto's Joe Carter hit a walk-off home run in Game 6 to clinch another Phillies loss. The 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike was a blow to the Phillies' attendance and on-field success, as was the arrival of the Braves in the division due to league realignment. Several stars came through Philadelphia, though few would stay, and the minor league system continued to develop its young prospects, who would soon rise to Phillies fame.
In 2001, the Phillies had their first winning season in eight years under new manager Larry Bowa, and their season record would not dip below .500 again from the 2003 season onward. In 2004, the Phillies moved to their new home, Citizens Bank Park, across the street from the Vet.
Charlie Manuel took over the reins of the club from Bowa after the 2004 season, and general manager Ed Wade was replaced by Pat Gillick in November 2005. Gillick reshaped the club as his own, sending stars away in trades and allowing the Phillies' young core to develop. After the franchise lost its 10,000th game in 2007, its core of young players, including infielders Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Jimmy Rollins and pitcher Cole Hamels, responded by winning the National League East division title, but they were swept by the Colorado Rockies in the Division Series. After the 2007 season, they acquired closer Brad Lidge.
In 2008, the Phillies clinched their second straight division title and defeated the Milwaukee Brewers in the Division Series to record the franchise's first post-season victory since winning the 1993 NLCS. Behind strong pitching from the rotation and stellar offensive production from virtually all members of the starting lineup, the Phillies won the 2008 National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers; Hamels was named the series' Most Valuable Player. The Phillies would then go on to defeat the Tampa Bay Rays in 5 games for their second World Series title in their 126-year history. Hamels was named both NLCS MVP as well as World Series MVP after going 4–0 in the postseason that year.
Gillick retired as general manager after the 2008 season and was succeeded by one of his assistants, Ruben Amaro, Jr. After adding outfielder Raúl Ibañez to replace the departed Pat Burrell, the Phillies retained the majority of their core players for the 2009 season. In July, they signed three-time Cy Young Award winner Pedro Martinez and acquired 2008 American League Cy Young winner Cliff Lee before the trade deadline. On September 30, 2009, they clinched a third consecutive National League East Division title for the first time since the 1976–78 seasons. The team continued this run of success with wins over the Colorado Rockies in the NLDS (3 games to 1) and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS (4 games to 1), to become the first Phillies team to win back-to-back pennants and the first National League team since the 1996 Atlanta Braves to have an opportunity to defend their World Series title. The Phillies were unable to repeat, falling to the New York Yankees, 4 games to 2. Nevertheless, in recognition of the team's recent accomplishments, Baseball America named the Phillies as its Organization of the Year.
On December 16, 2009, they acquired starting pitcher Roy Halladay from the Toronto Blue Jays for three minor-league prospects, and traded Cliff Lee to the Seattle Mariners for three prospects. On May 29, 2010, Halladay pitched a perfect game against the Florida Marlins.
In June 2010, the team's scheduled 2010 series against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre was moved to Philadelphia, because of security concerns for the G-20 Summit. The Blue Jays wore their home white uniforms and batted last as the home team, and the designated hitter was used. The game was the first occasion of the use of a designated hitter in a National League ballpark in a regular-season game; Ryan Howard was the first player to fill the role.
The 2010 Phillies won their fourth consecutive NL East Division championship despite a rash of significant injuries to key players, including Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, and Carlos Ruiz. After dropping seven games behind the Atlanta Braves on July 21, Philadelphia finished with an MLB-best record of 97–65. The streak included a 20–5 record in September, the Phillies' best September since winning 22 games that month in 1983, and a 11–0 run in the middle of the month. The acquisition of pitcher Roy Oswalt in early August was a key step, as Oswalt won seven consecutive games in just over five weeks from August 11 through September 17. The Phillies clinched the division on September 27, behind a two-hit shutout by Halladay.
In Game 1 of the 2010 National League Division Series, Halladay threw the second no-hitter in Major League baseball postseason history, leading the Phillies over the Cincinnati Reds, 4–0. The first no-hitter in postseason history was New York Yankee pitcher Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series. Halladay's no-hitter was the fifth time a pitcher has thrown two no-hitters in the same season, and was also the first time that one of the two occurred in the postseason. The Phillies went on to sweep the Reds in three straight games. In the 2010 National League Championship Series, the Phillies fell to the eventual World Series champion San Francisco Giants in six games.
On September 17, 2011, the Phillies won their fifth consecutive East Division championship, and on September 28, during the final game of the season, the team set a franchise record for victories in a season with 102 by beating the Atlanta Braves in 13 innings, denying their division rivals a potential Wild Card berth. Yet the Phillies lost in the NLDS to the St. Louis Cardinals – the team that won the National League Wild Card as a result of the Phillies beating the Braves. The Cardinals subsequently beat the Brewers in the NLCS and won the 2011 World Series in 7 games.
The 2012 Phillies experienced an up and down season. They played .500 ball through the first two months, but then slumped through a 9–19 stretch in June where they ended up at the bottom of the NL East by midseason. With any hope dimming, the Phillies traded key players Shane Victorino and Joe Blanton to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Hunter Pence to the San Francisco Giants before the trade deadline. However, a hot start in the second half of the season put the Phillies back on the postseason hunt, though any hope was eventually extinguished with a loss to the Washington Nationals on September 28, thus the Phillies missed the postseason for the first time since 2006.