1899 Philadelphia Phillies
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1899 Philadelphia Phillies / Franchise: Philadelphia Phillies / BR Team Page
Managed by Bill Shettsline
History, Comments, Contributions
The 1899 Philadelphia Phillies were an excellent team, winning 94 games and losing only 58. They finished six games behind the pennant-winning 1899 Brooklyn Superbas and one game behind the 1899 Boston Beaneaters. The team's attendance at the National League Park of 388,933 was the tops in the National League.
The team started strong in April but fell out of first place for the last time during a sub-.500 May. Thereafter, although they played .697 ball in June and later .677 ball in August, they couldn't catch the streaking 1899 Superbas who never left first place after getting there on May 22.
Although we remember National League Park, later nicknamed the Baker Bowl, as a hitters' park, in 1899 it was a bit of a pitchers' park compared to other fields that year. The Phillies batters, however, were the best in the league although they were the youngest team.
The Phillies had some truly famous names: Ed Delahanty, a 31-year-old veteran, hit .410; he led the league in batting average, slugging, hits, total bases, doubles, RBI, OPS+ and Runs Created. Nap Lajoie, at 24 years of age having his best year so far although he was able to appear in only 77 games, hit .378. Elmer Flick, even younger at age 23, hit .342. Catcher Ed McFarland hit .333, impressive for a catcher, and had his best year in the majors with the bat. Roy Thomas hit .325 and added 115 walks for an OBP of .457; Thomas also led the team with 42 stolen bases.
A notable back-up was Pearce Chiles, famous as a crook. He was only briefly in the majors (1899-1900) but in 1899 he was at his best, hitting .320 and slugging .462 in 356 plate appearances.
Among the pitchers, Al Orth had a record of 14-3 while leading the starters with an ERA of 2.49. Bill Bernhard, although his record was only 6-6, had an ERA almost as good at 2.65. Three other starters had ERA's around 3.40: Wiley Piatt (23 wins), Red Donahue (21 wins) and Chick Fraser (21 wins).
Manager Bill Shettsline had his best year as a major league manager. He managed the Phillies from 1899-1903. Shettsline, who never played in the majors, was born and died in Philly.
The Phillies had never won 94 games before (although their winning percentage in 1886, during a shorter season, was a little bit better). And it would be a very long time before they won 94 again - even though they won the pennants in 1915 and 1950, they did not win as many as 94 games in either season. Finally, in 1976-77 and again in 1993 they exceeded 94 wins in a season.