Philadelphia Phillies, dating back to 1883, are the oldest professional baseball team. Based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, they are a unique named, one-city team in all the professional American sports. The Phillies compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League East Division (NL).
First known as the “Quakers”, they later changed their name to “Philadelphias” both due to their location and due to the convention of the times. Obviously, this was shortened to “Phillies”, this name has stuck to the team since then and they continue to be known by this name.
What is strange to note is that despite their fame, the Phillies only won their first pennant in 1915 under the pitching of Grover Cleveland Alexander and the batting of Gavvy Cravath. Gavvy set the modern Major League single-season record for home runs with 24. Sadly, ineffectual management sank the team back into relative obscurity for the period 1918 to 1948 with only one winning season.
William B. Cox bought the team in 1943, then the Phillies rose out of obscurity for the first time in five years whereby fan base and attendance showed a considerable increase.
However, it was later discovered that Cox was betting on the team, and banned from baseball. It was the new owner, Bob Carpenter Jr. who polished the team’s image and attempted to change its name to “Bluejays” but somehow the name did not stick and was dropped by 1949.
Carpenter then turned his concentrated efforts to the minor league for the purpose of player development. From here came the “Whiz Kids”, a line up of young players from them came two MLB Hall of Fame players namely; Richie Ashburn and Robin Roberts.
It was thought that the advent of the “Whiz kids” would be a streak or success but that was not the case and the team continued to flaunt until the 70’s and the team continued to be at the lower end of the NL standings.
With the beginning of 1980 and while facing Kansas City Royals in 1980 World Series, the Phillies won the first World Series Championship, thanks to the hitting of Mike Schmidt and Pete Rose. And in the 1983 season, the Phillies beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championships capturing their fourth pennant but lost to the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series.
The team fell from grace for quite an extended period and were back in the low over the next five seasons which took them into 1993 when they beat Atlanta Braves in 1993 NLC, four games to two, and the fifth NL pennant in franchise history. But luck was against them with the 1994 – 1995 MLB strike. And it was not until 2001 that they had a winning season under manager Larry Bowa. The Phillies managed their second World Series title in 2008 where they defeated Tampa Bay Rays.
Their luck stayed from then on especially with their move to a new home - Citizens Bank Park and till 2012 is known as their Golden Era with Charlie Manuel holding the stern after Bowa. Stars have risen and been traded but the team has been holding its own.