The Bad, the Really Bad, and the Ugly

The 1941 Phillies were bad, I said the worst team in franchise history, but the 1942 team was really bad, and their franchise history low of 394 runs scored was ugly. Hans Lobert was running the team after Doc Prothro ran screaming from the field with his three-year total of 320 losses, after the last out in ’41. We thought 57 games out of first place was bad – the 1942 Phillies won 42, lost 109, and finished 62 ½ games behind the Cardinals and 18 ½ back of the 7th place Braves. Symbolic of the year, and indeed of more than two decades of bad baseball, on August 9th, 10th, and 12th, in games 3, 4, and 5 of a 9-game road losing streak, the team failed to score a single run.
All this was against a background of World War in 1942, and for the next four years. On September 16th, 1940, the U.S. Congress passed the Selective Training and Service Act, establishing the first peacetime draft in U.S. history. Hugh Mulcahy was selected, and on March 8, 1941 he put aside his losing ways (22 losses in 1940), and hooked up with an outfit that was more used to winning; the United States Army. He became the first major league regular to enter military service as a result of the draft act of 1940. He could look on it as a blessing -  he would not have to pitch for the more than dreadful 1941 Phillies. Nor, as it turned out, for the even more dreadful 1942 team.

Hughie must have believed that he was being jerked around by some dark hand of destiny when he was given an honorary discharge on December 5, 1941 only to be recalled immediately, following the December 7, 1941, Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Mulcahy, like many professional baseball players, spent much of World War II entertaining troops at military bases all around the world, playing with hand-picked teams. Thirty seven players who had been on Phillies’ rosters served in the military in the war years, 1942-1945. Some of the more familiar names were: Lee Grissom, Granny Hamner, Lefty Hoerst, Tommy Hughes, Si Johnson, Ernie Koy, Tony Lupien, Joe Marty, Pinky May, Heinie Mueller, Hugh Mulcahy, Danny Murtaugh, Ike Pearson, Ken Raffensberger, Schoolboy Rowe, Bennie Warren, and Max Wilson.      

By max blue

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Bennie Warren, Danny Murtaugh, Ernie Koy, Granny Hamner, Heinie Mueller, Hugh Mulcahy, Ike Pearson, Joe Marty, Ken Raffensberger, Lee Grissom, Lefty Hoerst, Max Wilson, Philadelphia Athletics, Pinky May, Schoolboy Rowe, Si Johnson, Tommy Hughes, Tony Lupien, World War II


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