Packing Time

1938 season openerApril 19, 1938— With the clubhouses located in center field, the Phillies (front of the band) and Brooklyn Dodgers (behind) marched in on opening day, the last opener at decrepit Baker Bowl. Phillies moved permanently to Shibe Park on July 4 of that season.

In that opener, 2B Heinie Mueller of Phillies and LF Ernie Koy of Brooklyn each hit a home run in first major league at bat in first inning of a 12-5 Brooklyn victory. Attendance was 1,000.

Camp Notes
Amidst a lot of fanfare, a large trailer truck left Citizens Bank Park for Bright House Field back in early February. The truck was loaded with equipment for spring training, including sun flower seeds.

Tomorrow morning, a 53-foot truck will be loaded quietly. Three more games are on the Grapefruit League schedule and less gear is needed. Extra bats, baseballs, uniforms, jackets, helmets and caps will be loaded by the clubhouse crew. Various vendors visited the players during camp, supplying multiple shoes and gloves. Excess of both aren’t needed for three games so they’ll go north. Personnel luggage from the players, staff, broadcasters and front office will also be on the truck.

Sun flower seeds? Completely consumed in spring training.

Third and last night game of the spring is on tap tomorrow, 7:05 in Tampa against the Yankees. Busses leave at 3 p.m. The MLB Network will televise the game. Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen will be on radio and leave Wednesday for home as they will not be broadcasting the Wednesday (Tigers) and Thursday (Blue Jays) Clearwater games.

Minor League Camp Notes
INFs Jim Negrych, Logan Pierce; LHP Kyler Burke, RHP Zach Cooper and C          Francisco Herrera, Josh Ludy and Justin Dalles were released yesterday morning. Benny Looper and Joe Jordan had the unpleasant task of telling the players the Phillies didn’t want them anymore. More cuts will come this week.

Two Class A clubs from the Yankees will play the Phillies tomorrow afternoon (1 o’clock) at Carpenter Complex. Last games at the complex are Friday.

Alumni Birthdays
Wednesday: LHP Al Neiger (75) . . . Thursday: 3B Tom Quinlan (46), RHP Dick Ruthven (63), RHP Mike Jackson (68) . . . Friday: RHP Shawn Boskie (47) . . . Saturday: SS Juan Bell (46), RHP Tom Hume (61).

Countdown to Opening Day
7 days (or a week) before the Phillies begin their 2014 season at the Texas Rangers.

Ted Kazanski, who received a $100,000 bonus to sign with the Phillies in 1951, wore #7 for the most seasons, six (1953-58, playing in a total of 417 games). Bobby Wine is next with five. When the Phillies acquired Dick Stuart in 1965, he was given #7 and Wine switched to #13. Stuart lasted one season and Wine got the number back again. As a coach, Wine wore #7 for 10 seasons. One other oddity for this number, four different players wore it in 1940.

Book Signing
I’ll be signing my new book, If These Walls Could Talk, on Wednesday at Bright House Field from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Official publication date by Triumph Books is May 1. That’s when it will be available on-line and in book stores. Thanks to Larry Bowa for writing the foreword.


Prior to the about 1930 players did not wear uniform numbers in the major leagues. This may have caused some problems for official scorers and maybe some misinformation in box scores and statistics.. The New York Yankees started the practice of wearing uniform numbers in 1929. Most teams followed suit by introducing uniform numbers in 1930.The Phillies, for whatever reason, were one of the last holdouts against providing their players with uniform numbers. They did not use uniform numbers until 1932.
Usually the low numbers 1 through 8 were reserved for the non-pitcher regulars and the numbers often corresponded to the players’ places in a typical batting order.
In their first season using numbers the Phillies used 30 numbers for 33 players. 29 numbers were worn by just one player apiece, but #20 seemed to be reserved for short-stay guys. Three players: Doug Taitt, Stew Bolen and Hugh Willingham, who were all with the team for just brief periods early in 1932, were assigned number 20, before the number was given to Hal Elliott who wore #20 for most of the season and became one of the team’s more heavily used relievers. Regular centerfielder and leadoff man George ‘Kiddo’ Davis had the lowest number (#1), while relief pitcher Ada Liska had the highest number (#30).
That 1932 Phillies team led the league in batting average with a .292 team mark, but also had the highest earned run average of the NL, with a 4.47 E.R.A. They finished at 78-76 to break a 14 year streak of under .500 ball (1918-1931), but the Phillies would then embark on a 16 year streak of losing records (1933-1948), so the 1932 team’s was the lone winning record between 1918 and 1948 (under .500 record for 30 of 32 seasons (1918-1948, except 1932). The Phillies earned a split of a doubleheader on the final day of the ’32 season to stay above .500. They lost the first game to have their record fall to 77-76, before winning the nightcap in a game called after 8 innings due to darkness.

In above comment it should be 30 losing seasons in a 31 year period, not 30 in 32 years. Sorry – my mistake.

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