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Philadelphia Phillies Baseball History A clutch, long-ball hitter, Willie Puddin Head Jones was the top fielding third baseman during the 1950s. Playing with the Philadelphia Phillies, six times he hit over 20 doubles, nine times over 10 home runs, while setting a record for the most straight seasons leading NL third basemen in fielding percentage - 1953-1958 and he led the league seven seasons in putouts, and twice in assists and double plays during his 12 full years in the majors. And, his 2,045 career putouts are 10th highest in baseball history - as we enter year 2000.
He struck out just 541 times, while drawing 755 life-time walks. Puddin Head Jones spent three years proudly serving in the US Navy, then played in Terre Haute, Utica and Toronto (minors) and scouting reports compared him defensively with Hall of Fame third baseman Pie Traynor... and Traynor even stated he though Jones was better.
Whether it was his fun-sounding nickname that he picked up from the 1930s song - 'Wooden Head, Puddin' Head Jones - or his dramatic game-winning hitting, he was a popular player with baseball's young fans. In his first full big-league season, 1949, Jones, then just 23-years old, lined 4 doubles in one game against the Boston Braves, and later in the season powered a homer and a triple in the same inning. An All-Star selection in 1950 when he was capturing the attention of the nation's fans with game-winning homers, including a three-run, 9th-inning blast that beat Brooklyn and helped propel Philadelphia's 'Whiz Kids' to the World Series. In this season, Puddinhead Jones hit 28 doubles, 6 triples, 25 homers, and reached career-highs with 100 Runs and 88 RBIs. And, in a losing cause in the 1950 World Series, he batted .286. Willie Puddin' Head Jones career stats: .258 BA, 252Ds, 33Ts, 190 Hr, 786 Runs, 812 RBIs, 1,502 hits in 5,826 at-bats, baseballhistorian.com - Instant on-line access to major league baseball history.