1950s Philadelphia Phillies Leading Players
The Famous "Green Box"
What's a green box and why is it so famous? Well, just like a baseball dugout, that's where the stories are told. The "Green Box" appeared on the Baseball Historian web site during our inception back in 1999 and has been holding kangaroo court ever since. Enjoy the stories...
|Curt Simmons... Bonus Baby - 1947-1967 |
|Pitcher, Left-handed; Philadelphia Phillies 1947-1960; U.S Army Reserves 1950-1951; St. Louis Cardinals 1961-1966; Chicago Cubs 1967 |
Statistically speaking, Curt Simmons belongs in baseball's Hall of Fame. He collected 193 wins and posted a career ERA of 3.54 in 569 games despite losing parts of two seasons in the Army Reserves. One of the baseball's first bonus babies, the left-handed Simmons created sensational headline news when at age 21 in 1950 for the Philadelphia Phillies he helped lead them to their first pennant n 35 years by going 17-8, 3.40 ERA. However, with only a few weeks left in the season he was called into the Army Reserves and missed the World Series.
High School Days in Pennsylvania - Relying on a hard-breaking curve ball Curt Simmons pitched his high school to three (3) district championships by throwing three no-hitters and averaged 17 strike outs per/game.
Signing a big bonus - On June 2, 1947, high school graduation Day - Phillies genetral manager brought the entire Philadelphia Phillies' team to town - Simmons faced them and allowed only five hits while fanning 12. Some four hours later, he graduated and then the Phillies signed him with a $65,000 bonus.
After pitching in the minors for the remainder of the 1947 season - the Phillies brought him up for the last game of the year, and he responded by hurling a complete game, five-hitter, one earned run, to beat the New York Giants
Returning to the Phillies after serving in the reserves - In '52, the hard throwing curve ball specialist went 14-8, 2.82 ERA... in '53 he was 16-13, 3.21 ERA... in '54, he was 14-15, 281 ERA... suffered arm problems in '55 but bounced back with 15-10, 3.36 ERA in '56. In May of 1960, plagued by a sore arm, the three-time All-Star, was unconditionally released by the Phillies. He then signed with the St. Louis Cardinals and by 1963 was one of the team's mainstays. In '63, Simmons posted a 15-9, 2.48 ERA and helped the Cardinals win the NL pennant in '64 with a 18-9, 3.43 ERA. In a career spanning 21 years, Curt Simmons was 193-183, ERA of 3.54, Started 461 Games, 163 GC, only 3313 hits in 3348.3 innings, 1697 strikeouts, 1063 walks, an .259 opp/bat/ave. Baseballhistorian.com - Green Boxes
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| ||Dick Sisler |
Outfielder, 1st Base; Philadelphia Phillies 1947-1955
|1950 - Philadelphia Whiz Kids. 'The last game of the season found the Philadelphia Phillies in Brooklyn, one game ahead of the Dodgers. A Phillie defeat, in other words, would create a tie for the pennant. Don Newcombe, Dodgers and Robin Roberts, Phils, were the mound opponents. With the score tied 1-1 in the 10th inning, lefthanded-hitting Dick Sisler sliced a homer to left and the Phillies won the flag.' 'The Home Run Book' by TOPPS Card Company' by Zander Hollander Editor 1981 Pocket Book |
Dick Sisler is the son of hitting legend George Sisler, a member of the Hall of Fame
Del Ennis - His long ball power provided many game winning runs in 1950 and throughout the decade. In 1950, Del Ennis hit 31 homers and knocked in 126 runs for the pennant winning Phillies. This All-Star right-fielder with his tremendous power was always feared by National League pitchers. "Del Ennis was the one hitter who could terrorize any pitcher during the '50's". Baseballhistorian.com
Right-handed Pitcher; Philadelphia Phillies, 1948-1961; Bal. Orioles, 1962-65; Houston Astros, 1966... Army Air Force 1944-45
Roberts was an outstanding, intelligent pitcher, great control, and his fastball helped him win 20 games or more for 6 straight seasons. In 1952, Robin was 28-7, the most wins in the National League since 1935; still a number that has not been equaled. His Michigan St. college coach, John Kobs, remarked "that his every throw was right on a dime and the ball moved like lightning." Roberts led the National League in strikeouts in 1953 and again in 1954.
In 1950, Roberts helped the Phillies win the National League pennant. His career record of 286 wins and 245 loses, would have been much better had he not pitched on second division teams. Roberts pitched in 4689 career innings and struck out 2357 batters; with a ERA of 3.41. This Hall of Famer had a blazing fastball with pinpoint control. He walked only 902 batters in 18 years.
Pitcher, Right-handed, Cincinnati Reds 1944, U.S. Navy 1944-46; Boston Braves 1946; Philadelphia Phillies 1948-54; New York Yankees 1955-56; St. Louis Cardinals 1956
Ranked by most historians as the best relief pitcher in baseball during the 1950s, Jim Konstanty was virtually a one-man bullpen wonder for the Philadelphia Phillies. In 1949, the bespectacled, 6'2 inches, 205-pounder went 9-5, 3.25 ERA.
In 1950 with his palm ball and 'sliding-slider', Konstanty was a main reason the Phillies won the pennant and he was honored by being voted the first-ever relief pitcher to win the Most Valuable Player Award. In that season he posted a brilliant 16-7 record, 2.66 ERA in 74 games, allowing only 108 hits in 152 innings (.205 opponents batting average).
He was traded to the New York Yankees in 1955 and his 7-2 record, 2.32 helped the Bronx Bombers win that year's pennant. Jim Konstanty lifetime mark: 66-48, .579 pct., 3.46 ERA, 433 Games, 269 Ws, 268 Ks in 945 innings.
|Andy Seminick.. Catcher - Phillies and Reds 1943-1957 |
|"Andy Seminick?... Oh sure, I remember him," recalls our email@example.com. "Seminick was a leading catcher for the Phillies during the late 1940s and 1950s. His steady play helped the young Phillies' pitchers and the team win the National League pennant in 1950... Gee, that's 50 years ago... time surely passes quickly." |
"Well, listen up... Seminick was a real battler behind home plate and he was a good hitter, for a catcher anyway," our manager said. "He played for the Phillies eight years before being traded to the Cincinnati Reds."
As a fact - our archives show, Andy Seminick joined the Philadelphia Phillies in 1943 and became their first-string catcher in 1946. He hit 10 or more homers eight consecutive seasons, 1946-1953. Seminick's most productive batting years were 1949 and 1950. He slugged 24 home runs along with 68 RBIs in each year - 1949 and 1950. In '50 he also hit 15 doubles, 3 triples and batted .288, and a nice .400 on-base-pct., and collected 68 base/on/balls while striking out only 50 times.
Seminick was born in Pierce, West Virginia on 9/12/1920. The son of a Russian-born coal miner who went through long periods of unemployment during the Depression of the 1930s. Seminick himself quit high school early to help support his family.
Young Andy moved to Detroit, got a job with the Carp Coal Co. and played semi-pro baseball on nights and weekends. Seminick failed in tryouts with the Detroit Tigers and New York Giants. "Finally, letters from both teams arrived," Seminick recalled later. "Both teams sent special delivery... telling me not to come out anymore... But, I wouldn't give up."
"In 1941 or so. I headed to Tallahassee, Florida, and signed with the Knoxville Smokies of the Southern Association," Seminick went on. "They sent me to Elizabethton of the Appalachian League. A lot of ballplayers were being drafted by the military with World War II going full-blast. I couldn't go because I had a bum knee."
Indeed, the bum knee that kept him out of military service was his ticket to the major leagues. Due to the large number of players being drafted, Seminick soon found himself as the backup catcher for the Philadelphia Philles (September, 1943).
Seminick arrived in Philadelphia via a long-about route. At the time, the then minor league Milwaukee Brewers' owner Bill Veeck was aware that the Phillies needed a backup catcher and were scouting Seminick. Records show - Veeck quickly bought him from Knoxville for $15,000 and within a few days sold him to Philadelphia for $35,000. "That Veeck was smart," our manager John Balazs says. "He had a great eye for talent and with his 'gift of gab' was able to purchase unknown minor league players and 'sing their praises' and sell them off to the major leagues. And you know what, more often than not, Veeck was right-on as a talent scout."
"Now when Seminick joined the Phillies he was only 23-years-old and still had plenty of rough edges," said our manager. "I mean, he did lead the National League in errors five times. But he was tough-as-nails and managed to stick with the Phillies because of his leadership behind home plate."
"During his first five years with the Phillies, Seminick played under the hard-driving, tongue-lashing Manager Ben Chapman."
"I don't know how we could play winning-ball under that Ben Chapman," recalled an ex-Phillie player.
"The always soft spoken, muscular Seminick seemed to vault into a fine catcher when rookie Manager Eddie Sawyer took over the team in 1948. Sawyer was well-liked and most of his players loved him," our manager further said.
Well, check this out - On June 2, 1949, Seminick hit two homers in a single inning. Six weeks later he lined a homer and a double in the same inning. From September 1949 thru July 1950 he pounded three (3) grand slams.
On September 27, 1950, Seminick severely damaged his ankle in a collision at home plate with Giants' star Monte Irvin. However, Seminick somehow managed to play all-through the world Series in which the New York Yankees took in four straight games.
After the home plate collision, Giants' manager Leo Durocher said of Seminick - "The more I thought about it afterward, the more I said to myself, 'Here's a real man!' He'll break your back if he has to while the game is on, and he expects you to do the same. Then, when it's all over, he'll shake your hand. That's the way it should be. He's my kind of ballplayer.
In December 1951, much to the dismay of Phillies' fans, Seminick was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in a seven player deal. He had three excellent seasons in Cincinnati. In 1952, he hit two grand slams and in '53 smashed 19 homers. On April 30, 1955 he was traded back to the Phillies and retired in '57.
In a poll taken in 1969 of Phillies' fans, Andy Seminick was voted the team's all-time catcher... Quite an honor.
After his playing days, Seminick served as the Phillies bullpen coach and also managed for years in the Phillies minor league system.
Andy Seminick career stats - Right-handed, 5'11", 188 lbs.; .243 BA, 953 hits in 3921 at bats, 139 Ds, 26 Ts 164 Hr, 495 Runs, 556 RBIs, 780 Ks, 582 Ws, .347 on-base-pct, .417 slugging, stole 23 bases, nailed only 7 times
Philadelphia Phillies 1943-1951, 1956-1957; Cincinnati Reds 1952-1955.