Dave Philley

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Dave Philley
Dave Philley.jpg
Dave Philley as an Oriole, 1955
Born:(1920-05-16)May 16, 1920
Paris, Texas
Died: March 15, 2012(2012-03-15) (aged 91)
Paris, Texas
Batted: BothThrew: Right
MLB debut
September 6, 1941, for the Chicago White Sox
Last MLB appearance
August 6, 1962, for the Boston Red Sox
MLB statistics
Batting average .270
Home runs 84
Runs batted in 729

David Earl Philley (May 16, 1920 – March 15, 2012) was an outfielder who played in Major League Baseball. [1] A switch hitter who threw right-handed, he debuted on September 6, 1941 and played his final game on August 6, 1962. He was born in Paris, Texas.

Outfielder defensive position in baseball

An outfielder is a person playing in one of the three defensive positions in baseball or softball, farthest from the batter. These defenders are the left fielder, the center fielder, and the right fielder. As an outfielder, their duty is to catch fly balls and/ ground balls then to return them to the infield for the out or before the runner advances, if there is any runners on the bases. As an outfielder, they normally play behind the six players located in the field. By convention, each of the nine defensive positions in baseball is numbered. The outfield positions are 7, 8 and 9. These numbers are shorthand designations useful in baseball scorekeeping and are not necessarily the same as the squad numbers worn on player uniforms.

Major League Baseball Professional baseball league

Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization and the oldest of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. A total of 30 teams play in the National League (NL) and American League (AL), with 15 teams in each league. The NL and AL were formed as separate legal entities in 1876 and 1901, respectively. After cooperating but remaining legally separate entities beginning in 1903, the leagues merged into a single organization led by the Commissioner of Baseball in 2000. The organization also oversees Minor League Baseball, which comprises 256 teams affiliated with the major league clubs. With the World Baseball Softball Confederation, MLB manages the international World Baseball Classic tournament.

In baseball, a switch hitter is a player who bats both right-handed and left-handed, usually right-handed against left-handed pitchers and left-handed against right-handed pitchers.


A well-travelled and -regarded clutch hitter, Philley played for eight different teams in a long, 18-season career. He was considered one of the game's premier defensive outfielders before Gold Gloves were awarded. A hustler with good range and an outstanding arm, he led American League outfielders in assists three different years (1948, 1950, 1953) and once in outs (1950). A highly disciplined hitter, as well, he had a short and compact swing with occasional power and was a daring and intelligent base runner. Still, Philley is best remembered for his pinch-hitting heroics in the late 1950s. [2]

A clutch hitter is a baseball player with a knack for coming up with a hit in high pressure circumstances, or in the clutch, sometimes a home run, often coming with two outs, although it can be any hit or play with a significant impact late in a game. However, a clutch hit could come as early as the first inning. Being known as a clutch hitter is a position of high honor and responsibility, as the clutch hitter is recognized as the "go-to guy" for the team. His exploits in pressure situations are celebrated by both fans and players alike and can become a factor in contract negotiations.

American League Baseball league, part of Major League Baseball

The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or simply the American League (AL), is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball (MLB) in the United States and Canada. It developed from the Western League, a minor league based in the Great Lakes states, which eventually aspired to major league status. It is sometimes called the Junior Circuit because it claimed Major League status for the 1901 season, 25 years after the formation of the National League.

In baseball, an assist is a defensive statistic, baseball being one of the few sports in which the defensive team controls the ball. An assist is credited to every defensive player who fields or touches the ball prior to the recording of a putout, even if the contact was unintentional. For example, if a ball strikes a player's leg and bounces off him to another fielder, who tags the baserunner, the first player is credited with an assist. A fielder can receive a maximum of one assist per out recorded. An assist is also credited if a putout would have occurred, had another fielder not committed an error. For example, a shortstop might field a ground ball cleanly, but the first baseman might drop his throw. In this case, an error would be charged to the first baseman, and the shortstop would be credited with an assist.

Philley reached the majors in 1941 with the Chicago White Sox. He spent four years in military service during World War II, rejoining the White Sox in 1946 and playing 17 games for them that year. [3] Philley was with the White Sox for five-and-a-half years before moving to the Philadelphia Athletics early in the 1951 season. [1] After playing for Philadelphia in the 1951 through 1953 seasons, he next played for the Cleveland Indians in 1954. He was acquired by the Baltimore Orioles during the 1955 season and finished the year with a .299 batting average, leading the Orioles in batting. [1] Later in his long career, Philley played for the Detroit Tigers, Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants, and Boston Red Sox, including second stints with Chicago and Baltimore. His most productive season came in 1953 with the Athletics, when he posted career-high numbers in batting average (.303), hits (188), doubles (30), and games played (157). [1] From 1947 to 1953, he averaged 27 doubles per season, and in 1950 with Chicago hit 14 home runs with 80 runs batted in, also career highs. While in Cleveland, he appeared in the 1954 World Series.

The 1941 Chicago White Sox season was the White Sox's 41st season in the major leagues, and their 42nd season overall. They finished with a record 77–77, good enough for 3rd place in the American League, 24 games behind the first place New York Yankees.

Chicago White Sox Baseball team and Major League Baseball franchise in Chicago, Illinois, United States

The Chicago White Sox are an American professional baseball team based in Chicago, Illinois. The White Sox compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) Central division. The White Sox are owned by Jerry Reinsdorf, and play their home games at Guaranteed Rate Field, located on the city's South Side. They are one of two major league clubs in Chicago; the other is the Chicago Cubs, who are a member of the National League (NL) Central division.

Military service Performing the service in the armed forces of a state

Military service is service by an individual or group in an army or other militia, whether as a chosen job (volunteer) or as a result of an involuntary draft (conscription).

As he got older, Philley became more of a pinch-hitting specialist. In 1958, playing for the Phillies, he collected 18 pinch hits, including a streak of eight straight to close the season.

The 1958 Philadelphia Phillies season was the 76th in franchise history. The Phillies finished the season in last place in the National League. It was the Phillies third losing season in five seasons, and their fourth losing season during the 1950s.

Dave Philley holds his Orioles' "Most Valuable Player" trophy, awarded in 1955 for leading the club in hitting with a .299 batting average Dave Philley2.jpg
Dave Philley holds his Orioles' "Most Valuable Player" trophy, awarded in 1955 for leading the club in hitting with a .299 batting average

He also had a pinch-hit double opening day 1959, for an actual total of nine straight, a major league record that still stands today. While playing for Baltimore in 1961, he had a season total of 24 pinch hits in 72 at-bats, which are also American League records. [4]

The 1959 Philadelphia Phillies season was the 77th season in the history of the franchise. During spring training, manager Eddie Sawyer told the press, "We're definitely not a last place club... I think the biggest thing we've accomplished is getting rid of the losing complex. That alone makes us not a last place club." The Phillies finished in last place in 1959, seven games behind seventh-place St. Louis and 23-games behind the pennant and World Series winning Dodgers.

The 1961 Baltimore Orioles season involved the Orioles finishing 3rd in the American League with a record of 95 wins and 67 losses, 14 games behind the AL and World Series champion New York Yankees. The team was managed by Paul Richards and Lum Harris, and played their home games at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium.

A 42-year-old Philley was signed off the Baltimore roster by the expansion Houston Colt .45's during the 1961–62 offseason, but a few hours later, Houston sent him to the Boston Red Sox. Philley spent most of 1962 on the bench for Boston and retired at the end of the season.

The 1962 Boston Red Sox season was the 62nd season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished eighth in the American League (AL) with a record of 76 wins and 84 losses, 19 games behind the AL pennant winner and eventual World Series champion New York Yankees.

In an 18-season career, Philley was a .270 hitter with 84 home runs and 729 RBI in 1,904 games. He also collected 1,700 hits, 276 doubles, 72 triples, 789 runs, 101 stolen bases, and a walk-to-strikeout ratio of 1.078 (594 to 551). [5] As a pinch hitter, he batted .299 (93 for 311).

Philley holds the record for the most at-bats in an American League regulation-inning doubleheader, having 13 at-bats for the White Sox against the Browns on 30 May 1950. [6]

After his playing days, Philley worked as a manager for the Houston minor league system from 1963 to 1964, and spent 1965 managing the Durham Bulls, where he won a Carolina League division title. He found employment for 1966 in the Red Sox organization, where he managed the Class A Waterloo Hawks and served as a scout. Until his death, Philley lived in his native Paris, Texas. [7]

See also

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  1. 1 2 3 4 Paul Welsh and John Lancaster (1956). "Official Oriole Profile, Photo and Data Book". New York: Big League Books: 19.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. Bill Peterson (July 25, 1964). "You Have to Be Father, Mother..." The Florida Times. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
  3. John Branch (July 6, 2006). "60 Years and 1,000 Tales Since 14 Were Ejected". The New York Times . Retrieved 2009-04-28.
  4. Pinch hitting records at Baseball Almanac
  5. Dave Philley at Baseball Reference
  6. "Game At-Bats Records". baseball-almanac.com. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-08-17. Retrieved 2014-10-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)