Saturday, January 31, 2015

Phillies Quadruple-Double Club

It's not the rarest feat in the game, but it does take a special player with a special and varied set of tools to join the "Quadruple-Double Club", something accomplished by just 19 players in the 132 seasons of Philadelphia Phillies baseball.
The Quadruple-Double is accomplished when a player reaches double-digits during a season across four categories: doubles, triples, homeruns, and stolen bases. 
To accomplish the feat, a player needs to have both power and speed. Without at least a certain amount of the former, he probably doesn't reach 10 homers, and without the latter he may not reach that mark in steals, certainly not in triples.
The first player to accomplish the feat was George Wood in 1887. Mostly an outfielder during a 13-year big league career, Wood played with the Phils from 1886-89. Wood drilled 22 doubles and 14 homers that season, while racing to 19 triples and swiping 19 bags.
Phillies Quadruple Double Schmidt
Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt joined the Quadruple-Double Club in 1977
The Quadruple-Double was accomplished eight more times by four different players in the 19th century. Roger Connor became the 2nd to do it in 1892. 
Then between 1893-96, Hall of Famers Ed Delahanty and Sam Thompson each accomplished the feat three times. In 1900, Elmer Flick closed the century by joining the club.
For the first six decades of the 20th century, the Quadruple-Double was accomplished just five times, never twice by the same player. 
Baseball Hall of Famer Chuck Klein did it in 1932, when he won the NL Most Valuable Player award. Phillies Wall of Famers Gavvy Cravath (1913), Sherry Magee (1914), and Cy Williams (1920) all did it once.
Curt Walker, who mostly played rightfield over a dozen big league seasons, played for the Phillies from 1921-24. In 1922, Walker smacked 36 doubles, and joined the Quadruple-Double Club by edging past the other marks with a dozen homers, and with 11 triples and steals.
From the 1960's through the 1980's, another half-dozen players joined the club. Johnny Callison barely made it in 1962 when he had 10 triples and steals. 
In 1977, Gary Maddox and Baseball Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt became just the 2nd set of Phillies teammates, the first since Delahanty and Thompson back in 1893, to join the club in the same season. Their teammate, Bake McBride, joined the club in 1979.
A pair of players accomplished the feat multiple times during this three decade period. In the 1960's it was Dick Allen each year from 1965-67. In the 1980's, Juan Samuel became the first Phillies player to ever reach the magic marks in four different seasons, every year from 1984-87.
Phillies Quadruple Double Victorino
The Flyin' Hawaiian was a 3x member of the Quadruple-Double Club with the Phillies (Photo Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports)
In the last decade and a half, three different players have accomplished the Quadruple-Double feat a total of 10 times. 
Bobby Abreu did it in both 1999 and 2000, and centerfielder Shane Victorino joined every year from 2009-11.
Jimmy Rollins became the only player in franchise history with five Quadruple-Double seasons, accomplishing the feat in 2001 and 2002, 2004 and 2005, and again during his National League Most Valuable Player season of 2007. 
In that MVP campaign his 38 doubles, 30 homers, 20 triples, and 40 stolen bases was the most impressive all-around offensive season ever put together by a Phillies player.

It's hard to see a current Phillies player capable of accomplishing what has been done 35 times. While Chase Utley has always had the ability, he never did reach the total marks required in any given season, and now at 36 years of age, he is not likely to. 
But at some point in the future a player will come along to become the 20th in franchise history to join the prestigious Quadruple-Double Club. Who will it be?

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