There has been an awful lot of Phillies baseball that has been played since 1883- close to 20,000 games in fact. A lot can happen in 20,000 games, including broken records, quirky plays, once-in-a-lifetime performances and a tons of other historical gems that often go forgotten. In order to remember those days that shaped the history of the organization, here is the first of our new weekly post called This Week in Phillies’ History.
1923- Phils top Cards 20-14, combine for 10 home runs
The Phillies hit six of those home runs, including three bombs by Cy Williams, his 10th, 11th and 12th of the young season. He went on to lead the National League with 41 homers in 1923. Leadoff hitter Johnny Mokan hot two round trippers, while second baseman Frank Parkinson blasted one himself. Williams (7 RBI), Mokan (7 RBI) and Parkinson (5 RBI) were responsible for driving in all but one of the 2o runs scored. Phillies pitcher Petie Behan drove in the other, and won his first game of the season despite allowing eight runs on ten hits in five innings.
1960- Phils shut out 1-0 for third straight game
The first two losses came on May 11 and 12 at the hand of the New York Giants, with great performances by Jim Owens and Robin Roberts going to waste. The third game was the first of a four game set against Cincinnati. In the fifth inning, Vada Pinson tripled to center, driving in Billy Martin for the only run of the game. Jim O’Toole tossed a complete game for the Reds, scattering seven hits en route to the shutout. The Phillies made up for the lack of offense in the next two games, scoring 18 times and winning both contests against Cincinnati before eventually splitting the series.
1942 and 1977- Happy Birthday to Tony and Doc
Tony Perez, remembered for playing on the 1983 Phillies’ pennant winning team, was born on May 14 in 1942. In that 1983 season, a 41-year old Perez hit .241 with six homers and 43 RBI. It was his one and only season with the Phillies, as he returned to the Reds to finish his Hall of Fame, 23-year career.
Doc Halladay was also born on May 14, in 1977. His first two seasons with the Phillies (2010 and 2011) were among the best of his career. In 2010, of course, he won the N.L. Cy Young Award after posting a 21-10 record, 2.44 ERA, throwing a perfect game, as well as completing the second ever postseason no-hitter. In 2011, he won 19 games and lowered his ERA to 2.35, and was narrowly edged by Clayton Kershaw for the Cy Young Award. As a Phillies pitcher, despite two less-than-stellar years before retiring, Halladay was 55-29 with a 3.25 ERA.
1953- Leadoff single ends up being only baserunner against Curt Simmons
When Brewers’ center fielder Bill Bruton led off the game with a single, then one better late advanced on a passed ball, it didn’t look like the night was going to go the Phillies’ way. But pitcher Curt Simmons, who had already won five games in the young season, rebounded in the biggest way possible. Simmons mowed down the next 27 hitters he faced, 10 of them via strikeout, as he came as close to a perfect game as one can get. The performance lowered his season ERA to 1.42, and put him on the unfortunate list of near perfectos, right along with Ernie Shore in 1917, who retired all 27 batters he faced after Babe Ruth walked the leadoff batter and was ejected for arguing.
1984- Lefty hits slam off Valenzuela
Fernando Valenzuela was not all that easy to hit off of, but nobody told Steve Carlton that on May 16, 1984. Carlton, who was known for being able to swing the bat well, lifted off against Valenzuela for a grand slam in the fourth inning—his 10th career home run. Carlton also was the winning pitcher, as he allowed just one run and struck out six in seven innings. Since Lefty’s slam, only two Phillies’ pitchers—Jeff Juden in 1995 and Robert Person in 2002—have accomplished the feat.