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Break Up The Phillies
Pinky Whitney sat on the edge of his bed, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes, and thinking with pleasure about the doubleheader he would play today. It was June 17 and his Philadelphia Phillies team would be playing the Boston Braves for the 9th time this early in the season; the Phillies had the edge so far, 5-4. Pinky’s pleasure was due entirely to the fact that he loved to play baseball, certainly not to anything related to the current state of the team which, after the first 55 games of the season, had managed to win only 19. The fact that he had missed 25 of those games (Injury? Holdout?) might have had something to do with it. Pinkey Whitney was a top-ranked major league thirdbaseman; beginning in his rookie year, 1928, he had driven in 100 or more runs every year except 1931 when he only played 130 games. He was also a very good defensive player, so his absence from the lineup weakened the team in all ways.
Pinky thought about his team; about what fun it was to hit 5th in the lineup behind Chuck Klein, and Don Hurst, and ahead of Spud Davis. He and these three had been together on the Phillies since they all broke in at the same time in 1928, five years ago; it had also been the rookie year for manager Burt Shotton. Pinky shook his head thinking about this group of players – they had been enormously productive all those years, in the league’s top echelon in batting average, homeruns, runs batted in, extra base hits, all that – just last year, Hurst, Klein, and himself, had finished 1-2-3 in runs batted in for the entire league. But they could get no higher in the standings than last year’s fourth place finish. It was frustrating.
Pinky stood up and began to dress – maybe today would be the day they began to turn it around. If they could take two from the Braves today they would pull to within a couple of games behind them in the standings. It would be a start.
When Pinky arrived at the ballpark he was greeted by Manager Shotton, who had a simple message: “You have been traded to the Braves.” The breakup of the Phillies had begun.
Pinky Whitney had six hits that day, batting cleanup in the Braves lineup, against the Phillies futile flingers. The Braves won both games.
After the trade, the Phillies went 41-56 to finish 7th ; the Braves went 58-40 and finished at 83-71 in fourth place after a tight four-team race won by the Giants.
July 6 - The first American versus National All-Star game was played in Chicago at Comiskey Park, the American league won 4-2. Babe Ruth homered off Wild Bill Hallahan. The Phillies had two players in the National League starting lineup – Rightfielder Chuck Klein, batting 3rd had a single in four at bats; Shortstop Dick Bartell was 0-1. Jimmie Wilson was the National League’s starting catcher
Chuck Klein won the triple crown, leading the league in batting average - .368, homeruns – 38, and RBIs – 137.
November 15 – Spud Davis and Eddie Delker traded to St.Louis for Jimmie Wilson.
November 21 – Chuck Klein traded to Chicago Cubs for two worn out veterans, a rookie, and $125,000.