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A Phillies hitting record that will never be broken

With the designated hitter now firmly entrenched in the National League, there are a variety of historical hitting accomplishments by Phillies pitchers that are unlikely to be topped (unless of course they sign Shohei Ohtani or someone with his Babe Ruth-like abilities).

William Duggleby

Way back on April 21, 1898, a Phillies pitcher did something that has never been matched in franchise history.

Bill Duggleby, a 24-year-old righthander, easily won his major league debut, 13–4 over the New York Giants at the Baker Bowl. But his pitching was overshadowed by his hitting that day.

You see Duggleby got a hit in his first major league at-bat, and he did it in grand style: a grand slam home run.

Trailing, 3-0, Duggleby entered the history book when he came to bat for the first time in the second inning.

“Seymour appeared to hold Duggleby cheaply and shoved a couple straight ones over the pan. Duggleby caught the second one right on the pickle, and it sailed right out of the lot via the Broad Street wall, four runners scored,” reported the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The ball went over the right field wall, according to Phil Williams in Duggleby’s SABR biography. Duggleby also singled in a run during an eight-run inning.

While he had the thrill of homering for his first hit, he also experienced the agony of giving up the most runs in a Phillies game (17) on September 19, 1903. Manager Charles Zimmer must have been saving his bullpen for the second game of the doubleheader since he left Duggleby out there for all nine innings.

Duggleby also played for the Athletics and Pirates during his eight year major league career.



  1. Tom Dockery

    June 14, 2022 at 10:58 am

    It’s far more unlikely that anyone will ever equal Jamie Moyer’s record of going 22 years between hitting sacrifice flies,1987 to 2009.

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