Freedom Rings In Philadelphia As We Remember The Phillies’ Past

Phillies Wall of Fame
PicturePhilly.com

After our long weekend there is only one thing on our mind: America.

Even though we are always at the top, cause we’re America, I think I can speak for all of us that we are feeling prouder than ever to be American due to our recent progress politically, economically, socially, and judicially. Right now it really is good to be an American, and we can only continue to look forward.

I won’t get into the politics of the country, and instead I’ll focus on the America you all want to talk about. The three things we all love the most about America: freedom, being number one, and sports. And, even better, these three subjects Americans love had even more significance in Philadelphia this past weekend.

One, we all got to be in the city where our freedom was founded. We were able to trace the footsteps of freedom that our fore founders paved for us.  We were able to admire the bell which rings in our liberty. We got to see a grand display of fireworks over the Philadelphia Art Museum to celebrate our freedom just minutes after our mayor, Michael Nutter, rapped to us all ‘Rapper’s Delight.’

Two, we all had the opportunity to see our Women’s National soccer team win the Women’s World Cup in high fashion in a 5-2 victory. But, the woman who brought home the victory to the United States with a hatch trick, Carli Lloyd, is a Philadelphia sports fan which just adds the icing on the cake for us Philadelphians.

https://twitter.com/CarliLloyd/status/419637955628892160

Third, the Sixers acquired Nik Stauskas for the price of almost nothing. Hopefully a starting piece to the end of the rebuild.

So, to say the least not only are we ever so proud to be Americans but it is safe to say we are proud to be Philadelphians as well – that is until you watch the next Phillies game.

But in a time of celebration, hope, and joy we must remember the illustrious baseball franchise that we have in Philadelphia as we reminisce not only of our freedom as Americans but also of our own Philadelphia Phillies’ past.

The Phillies are one of the oldest franchises in Major League Baseball, and they are the longest standing franchise with the same name and the same city: being located in Philadelphia since 1883 and being named the Phillies since 1890 – they were known as the Philadelphia Quakers for their first seven years in the league.

A name that often comes to mind when thinking about dominant baseball teams is the Big Red Machine, the Cincinnati Red’s powerhouse of the early 70’s. However, a team equal to the power and influence that the Big Red Machine had was the Phillies’ team of 1950, the Whiz Kids.

The Phillies had one of the more storied teams in baseball following World War II which proved to be very important for Major League Baseball as an organization. The Whiz Kids took off in 1950 as one of the best teams ever in Major League Baseball history accumulating a record of 91 wins and 63 losses. With the team’s great success during the regular season however, they were unable to beat the Yankees in the World Series. The team consisted of a core of very young players, averaging an age of only 26 years old, hence the team’s nickname, the Whiz Kids. The roster included names such as Richie Ashburn, Curt Simmons, Granny Hamner, Andy Seminick, and Robin Roberts.

Although the Phillies have only won two World Series championships, they have appeared in seven World Series Championships; that is the eleventh most World Series amongst all teams in Major League Baseball.

Individual players on the team have made a great impact in not only the city of Philadelphia but in the league as whole.

Throughout time, there have been 7 MVP titles, 7 CY Young awards, 4 Rookie of the Year awards, and 5 Manager of the Year awards brought home to the city of Philadelphia.

With that, the Phillies franchise has the eighth most life-time members in the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown with ten inductees. These members include Mike Schmidt, Sam Thompson, Steve Carlton, Ed Delahanty, Chuck Klein, and Jim Bunning just to name a few.

The Phillies’ franchise also has its name plastered to the walls of MLB records. Ed Delahanty and Billy Hamilton, two Phillie greats, are both in the top six best batting averages of all time. Billy Hamilton also has the third most steals and third highest OBP of any ballplayer in history. Phillies’ pitcher Steve Carlton, one of the most storied pitchers in baseball history, has the eleventh most wins and has started the sixth most games in baseball history. And, of course, one of the best Phillies’ players to ever play the game, Michael Jack Schmidt, has the 15th most home runs of all time.

More recently, the Phillies went on one of the strongest multiple season tears in baseball history. From 2007 to 2011 the Phillies accumulated 473 wins while only losing 337 – making the World Series two straight years and making the playoffs five straight years.

There is a reason why former Phillies Manager Ryne Sandberg reminisced about how “it was a dream opportunity for [him] to put on a Phillies major league uniform” even when he was hired during a rough spot in the organization. The Philadelphia Phillies franchise is one for the ages, one which will live on in baseball history. Although the Phillies may be one of the few things we cannot smile about currently in Philadelphia, we cannot forget about the storied role which our team has had in baseball history.

About Gregory Wagner 23 Articles
Greg is a sophomore at Fordham University in New York City, but hails from Jenkintown, PA - the great suburbs of Philadelphia. He is an avid baseball fan who has been brought up through the roller coaster years of the Phillies. He looks forward to contributing to the Philly Sports Cave.

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