The 1908 season was a hard act to follow, though the Cubs tried with 104 wins, not nearly enough, as the Pirates won 110. The Phillies were way back, in 5th place with a sub-.500 finish at 74-79. Attendance fell to 303,177, 7th in the eight-team league. Interest in the Phillies waned because of the drab team, and because the A’s had a new ballpark and a young, exciting team. Shibe Park, baseball’s first steel and concrete stadium, lasted for 62 years. The Phillies left Baker Bowl for Shibe Park in 1938. The A’s pushed the Tigers hard for a second place finish that attracted 674,915 fans, 31,160 on opening day, April 12th.
In 1909, the Phillies were never a factor in the race; against the now routinely top three, the Phillies were 7-15 against the winning Pirates, 6-16 versus the Cubs, and 10-12 against the Giants. The Phillies’ Eddie Grant, they called him “Harvard Eddie” because he was a Harvard student in the off-season, played a decent 3rd base (22 errors), and he collected 170 hits, two behind Giants’ second baseman Larry Doyle, who led the league with 172, and two ahead of Pirates’ superstar and batting champion, Honus Wagner. Catcher Red Dooin had a horrendously bad year; he hit only .224 and was charged with 40 errors, and 15 passed balls. But somebody liked the way he put on his shin guards for when the season ended, Dooin replaced Murray as manager and held the job for five years while building a 392 win, 370 loss record.
Detroit lost its 3rd straight World’s Series, this time four games to three, with Wild Bill Donovan, for the second year in a row, being shutout in the final game.
On November 26th, the Phillies were sold for $350,000 to a group headed by sportswriter Horace Fogel.By max blue
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- Bill Donovan, Chicago Cubs, Detroit Tigers, Eddie Grant, Larry Doyle, Philadelphia Phillies, Shide Park