Saturday, July 14, 2007

2 wins in a row but 10,000 still looms

The 2007 Philadelphia Phillies are sailing along nicely after the all-star break winning two games in a row in convincing fashion against the St. Louis Cardinals. This team looks like the break really gave some of the players a chance to get some rest and relaxation during the 4 day break they enjoyed. The team has one more hurdle or distraction to go through though.

The milestone of 10,000 losses would be the distraction. This team isn't responsible for it, nor did they come close to losing that many games but still it makes a good headline, and people are having some fun with it. Since the team first started in 1883 stats have been kept and it looks like this stat stands out the most at this point. Here are some interesting points to ponder though as the game changed throughout the years: (courtesy of the 1983 Phillies yearbook, the 100th anniversary of the Phils)

In 1883:
1. A batter was not awarded first base if he was hit by a pitch
2. No games were allowed to be played on Sundays
3. Catchers often stood 20 or more feet behind the batter and caught the ball on a bounce
4. Players did not wear uniform numbers
5. Home plate was a 12 inch square ( instead of the present day five sided 17 inch wide plate
6. Ballparks were made of wood and there were no outfield fences
7. There were no dugouts, players sat on benches along the side
8. A pitcher got credit for a strike even when his pitch bounced before passing through the strike zone
9. Beer was not permitted to be sold at the ballpark (now it's $6.50 a beer all you want!)
10. Batting helmets were not worn
11. Gloves were made of thin leather and did not cover the fingers

So over the years the game evolved, yes the first few seasons of the new "Phillies" franchise was not close to being successful, and they have only one World Series championship in their history. This Phillies team shouldn't be shown in a negative light for this milestone of losses, in fact it is a tribute to how long the Philadelphia Phillies have been an organized professional baseball team. To me, the recent milestone of 10 Million fans already filed in to see a baseball game at Citizen's Bank Park is a better milestone. Citizen's Bank Park only opened in 2004 and here just three and a half seasons later baseball in Philadelphia by the Phillies have drawn that many people.

Rich Baxter / Philly Sports Talk Now!

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