The Phillies will be going to the playoffs again this year, for the 4th year in a row. This will be the 11th time in their long history that the Phillies will go to the playoffs, the first time being in 1950. Most, except the 1950 team have been in my lifetime, and withing my adult lifetime. Lets take a look at these teams, position by position. We'll start with the catchers. I am not going to attempt to compare the players of different teams but I'll present their stats.
1950 Bowman Andy Seminick #15I own most of the cards I'm going to present in this series, but I don't own any 1950 Phillies. The National League consisted of 8 teams in 1950 and of course the winner of the league went directly to the World Series. Yankees won the 1950 series 4-0. At 29, Andy was one of the older "Whiz Kids" in 1950. He hit .288, and was third on the team with 24 home runs. In the 4 games of the Series, he was only 2 for 11.
1976 Topps Bob Boone #311
It would be 26 years until the Phillies made it back to postseason play. By now, the National League had expanded to 12 teams, in 2 6-team Divisions. The Phillies finished 1st in the NL East with a 101-61 record, the first time a Phillies team won 100 games or more. Unfortunately the Phillies lost the 5-game NLCS to the Reds in 3 straight games. The Reds, ironically would go on to beat the Yanlees in the World Series, 4-0. Bob hit .271 in the 1976 season with only 4 homeruns. In the NLCS he got 2 hits in 7 AB. Bob was also an All-Star in 1976.
1977 Topps Bob Boone #545
Another card I don't own. The 1977 Phillies were pretty much the same team as 1976 and won 101 games again. But again the team couldn't get past the NLCS, this year losing to the Dodgers 3-1. Bob had a better year in 1977, hitting .284 with 11 home runs, but did not get selected for the All-Star Team. He went 4 for 10 in the NLCS.
1978 Topps Bob Boone #176
The 1978 team, virtually the same as the previous two years, only won 90 games, but that was good enough for 1st place again in the NL East. And the team was good enough for another 3-1 loss in the NLCS to the Dodgers. Bob had another good year in 1978, hitting .284 with 12 home runs. He only was 2 for 11 in the NLCS.
1980 Topps Bob Boone #470
The Phillies made two big changes in 1979, bringing in Pete Rose at 1st and Manny Trillo at 2nd. The team overall was a disappointment however, winning only 84 games for a 4th place finish. But in 1980, the team, under new manager Dallas Green, won 91 games and finished 1st in the East. They went on to beat the Astros 3-2 in a hard fought NLCS and then met George Brett and the Royals in the World Series. They won the 1980 World Series 4-2. All the disappointments of the past 4 years were forgotten. Bob had a sub-par year in 1980, only hitting .229 with 9 home runs. He had a pretty good World Series, hitting .412 with 4 rbis.
1983 Topps Bo Diaz #178
Although Bob Boone was gone, the 1983 team was mostly the same as the 1980 team but older. And some of the newer players made the team even older, like Joe Morgan and Tony Perez. In fact, the 1983 team was nick-named the Wheeze Kids. They won 90 games to take the East and then beat the Dodgers 3-1 in the NLCS (revenging to some extent the losses in 1977 and 1978). But the World Series was a big disappointment, losing 4-1 to the Orioles. Bo hit .236 for the regular season with 15 home runs. He hit .250 for the playoffs with no HR or RBIs.
1993 Ultra Darren Daulton #86
10 years would pass before the Phillies would make it back to the postseason. 10 years of mostly terrible teams. And 1993 was an aberration. After winning only 78 games in 1992, good for last place, the 1993 Phillies won 93 games to take the East. 1992 had been a season where many players were hurt a lot. 1993 was a season where those same players had career years. The NLCS was 7 games in 1993 and the Phillies beat the Braves (the best team of the 1990s) 4-2 games to make it to the World Series. Darren hit .257 with 24 home runs in the regular season. The Phillies faced the 1992 World Series champs, the Blue Jays and went down 4-2 games. No Phillie fan will ever forget the Series winning home run hit by Joe Carter off Mitch Williams.
2007 Upper Deck Carlos Ruiz #868
Another long drought but at least the Phillies had been a competitive team since about 2001. Finally, in 2007, they put it all together, winning 89 games and the NL East. The playoff setup had changed again, with 3 divisions in each league, and a wild-card position. The Phillies dropped the NLCS to the Rockies in 3 games. Carlos was in his second year with the Phillies. He hit .259 with 6 HR. He was 3 for 9 in the NLCS.
2008 Topps Opening Day Carlos Ruiz #124
With much the same team as 2007, the Phillies again took the East with 92 wins. They then beat the Brewers 3-1 games in the NLCS and took out the Dodgers in the NLCS, 4-1 games. They then met the Devil Rays and won the World Series 4 games to 1. 28 years since their last Championship in 1980. Ruiz had an off year in 2008, hitting only .219 in 114 games. He went on to hit .313 in the NLCS and .375 in the World Series.
2009 O-Pee-Chee Carlos Ruiz #286
With 93 wins, the Phillies went on to top the NL East again. They faced the Rockies in a rematch of the 2007 NLCS but this year won the series 3-1. Then they once again took out the Dodgers, 4-1, in the NLCS. And then a rematch of the 1950 World Series, the Phillies vs the Yankees. The Phillies went down again, 4-2. But the Phillies have shone that they are a great team, by going to the World Series, 2 years in a row. Carlos snapped back in 2009, hitting .255 with 9 HR. But he had an even better postseason, hitting a combined .341 with 9 rbis and 2 HRs.
2010 Topps 206 Carlos Ruiz #19
The Phillies are losing the last game of the season as I write this but even if they do, they will have won 97 games, the most games they've won since the 101 games in 1977. Enough wins to ensure them home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Carlos has had a great season, going into this game hitting .302 with 8 HR.