I know, I know, we already said that, but this 1945 Philadelphia Bluejays team put up some numbers that are hard to match for baseball incompetence. They lost 108 games, finished in last place, 15 games behind the 7th place Cincinnati Reds, and 52 behind the winning Chicago Cubs. By the third week of the season they were already 10 games below .500, in the end they were 62 games under the break even point. They changed managers at mid-season, as if it would make any difference. Ben Chapman, one of the stars of the great early-thirties Yankee teams, relieved Fat Freddie on June 29, just in time to see his new team greet him with a 10 game losing streak.
Basically, the team performed, and seemed to be handled, as if they were a minor league farm club looking for players that might be able to help the major league team. They used 22 different pitchers – Dick Barrett pitched the most innings (190) and was a 20-game loser (8-20, 5.38 ERA). Jimmy Foxx, yes, old double X, pitched in nine games, starting two. Manager Chapman pitched seven innings in three games, and Hugh Mulcahy made it back from the war in time to start four games – he was the losing pitcher in three of them.
Following is a list of number of players at each position, and the one who played in the most games, plus the number of errors by position – pitchers made 22 errors.
Catcher - five. Gus Mancuso and Andy Seminick, 70 games each. 16 errors
1st base – five. Jimmy Wasdell, 62 games. 17 errors
2nd base – nine. Tony Daniels, 75 games. 44 errors
3rd base – ten. John Antonelli, 108 games. 37 errors
SS – seven. Bitsy Mott, 63 games. 67 errors
LF – seven. Coaker Triplett, 92 games. 17 errors
CF – five. Vince DiMaggio, 121 games. 5 errors
RF – five. Jimmy Wasdell, 38 games. 9 errors
In 1945, the team signed a couple of 18-year-old prospects: outfielder Richie Ashburn, and lefthand pitcher Tom LaSorda.
On April 25th, Ed Delahanty became the second Phillies’ player elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
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