The Philadelphia Phillies have appeared in the World Series seven times, and have won fourteen games in the Fall Classic over those appearances.
A year ago, I began a “Phillies Fall Classics” series presented in a Super Bowl format (Phillies Fall Classic I, II, III, etc) covering each of the fourteen games won by the Philadelphia Phillies franchise.
There have been seven different appearances by the Fightin’ Phils in the World Series over its now 134-year history: 1915, 1950, 1980, 1983, 1993, 2008 and 2009.
My series began last October with the very first World Series game in franchise history, a victory in the 1915 opener against the Boston Red Sox at Baker Bowl behind the pitching of Hall of Famer Grover Cleveland Pete Alexander.
Through 1915, the Phillies had been a moderately successful ball club (2,324-2,237) since first taking the field for the 1883 season. They would, in fact, continue to win big for two more years.
Between 1905-1917 there had only been three losing seasons for the Phillies and their fans. But beginning with a 55-68 mark in the 1918 season, a horrendous three-decade stretch of mostly cellar-dwelling campaigns would unfold.
The ‘Whiz Kids’ brought National League baseball excitement back to town for a few years from 1949 through the early 50s, including the club’s second-ever NL pennant in 1950.
Unfortunately that 1950 club was swept by the New York Yankees in the World Series, and was thus shutout of my series as well.
This would be the last Phillies team to reach the Fall Classic for three decades. The 1964 Phillies famously led the NL into the final week before collapsing, while the team would lose in the NLCS over three straight seasons in the late 1970s.
The 1980 Phillies would be the club to finally put an end to nearly a century of frustration, winning the first World Series crown in franchise history behind Hall of Famers Mike Schmidt and Steve Carlton, and veteran players such as Pete Rose and Tug McGraw.
The four wins from that 1980 Fall Classic stretched my Fall Classics series out to five, and then in 1983 a victory in the World Series opener thanks to a Gary Maddox home run against the Baltimore Orioles provided a sixth entry.
A decade later, a mullet-wearing band of scruffy misfits known collectively as ‘Macho Row’ led the 1993 Phillies to an improbable NL pennant, and two more World Series victories, before Joe Carter and the Toronto Blue Jays were finally able to deliver a knockout blow.
It would be a decade and a half longer before the homegrown core of Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Pat Burrell, Cole Hamels, Brett Myers, Ryan Madson and Carlos Ruiz led the 2008 Phillies to the second World Series crown in club history.
The following year, many of those players were back and bolstered by players such as Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez and lefty Cliff Lee, helping the Phillies reach the World Series in consecutive seasons for the first time.
That 2009 club was dethroned by the New York Yankees in six games, but not before providing the 13th and 14th World Series game victories for my Phillies Fall Classics.
Last offseason, I presented the first ten pieces of the series. Over the next week, the series will conclude. I’ll pick things back up with Game Four of the 2008 World Series between the Phillies and Rays in the next day or so.
I hope that, whether you are specifically a Phillies fan or not, that you enjoy this look back at some World Series history while the current Fall Classic is unfolding.
Presented below are links to each of the first ten pieces to date: