How can anyone hate the Philadelphia Phillies? Talk all you want about the curse in Chicago and how Boston fans suffered all those years, but it has really been the Phillies and the sports fans of Philadelphia who have seen the hardest times. The Phillies were established in 1883 and have won one World Series. One!
Heck, this week, they're playing in only their sixth World Series.
So here's a look at the best and worst of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Three greatest moments in Phillies history
1. We are the champions
It's easy to pick the No. 1 moment because they've won only one World Series. That was in 1980, when Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt won most valuable player honors in the regular season and the World Series. Led by Schmidt, Pete Rose and 24-game and Cy Young winner Steve Carlton, the Phillies beat George Brett and the Royals in six games.
2. The Whiz Kids
The 1950 Phillies were a young team and known as the "Whiz Kids.'' Led by future Hall of Famers Robin Roberts and Richie Ashburn, they won the National League pennant - their first in 35 years - on the last day of the regular season on Dick Sisler's homer. They were swept by the Yankees in the World Series, however. It should be noted that they lost three of those games by one run.
3. This year
This appears to be the Phillies' best chance at winning their second World Series. Led by sluggers Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard, the Phillies won the NL East again (and again with the help of a Mets collapse), then brushed aside the Brewers in four games and the Dodgers in five.
Three worst moments in Phillies history
1. The Phold
In 1964, the Phillies held a 61/2-game lead with 12 games remaining. They lost 10 in a row, including seven at home. The final three were a sweep by the Cardinals, who beat the Phillies and Reds by a mere game for the pennant.
2. 10,000 losses
On July 15 of last year, the Phillies dropped a 10-2 decision to the Cardinals on ESPN. What made the loss notable was it was their 10,000th loss, making them the first North American professional sports franchise to reach that mark.
3. Wild Thing
The '93 season crash landed in Game 6 of the World Series. Leading 6-5 in the bottom ninth, closer Mitch "Wild Thing'' Williams needed three outs to get to Game 7. After a walk and a single, he gave up a three-run homer to Toronto's Joe Carter.
Best trade in franchise history
Sending Rick Wise to St. Louis for Steve Carlton in 1972. Wise was not a bad pitcher. He won 15 or more games six times in his career. But Carlton is on the short list of the greatest lefties ever. With the Phillies, Carlton won four Cy Youngs and at least 20 games five times. Honorable mention for best trade is sending shortstop Kevin Stocker to the Rays for some kid named Bobby Abreu.
Worst trade in franchise history
Before the 1982 season, the Phillies desperately wanted Cubs shortstop Ivan DeJesus. So GM Paul Owens offered the Cubs veteran Larry Bowa and a prospect. The only prospect the Cubs wanted, and the one the Phillies traded? Ryne Sandberg, who went on to become a Hall of Famer and cement the worst trade in Phillies history.
Three reasons why a casual fan should root for the Phillies
1. They're good guys
Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Pat Burrell? They play the game the way it's supposed to be played.
2. Their manager
Charlie Manuel, 64, is another good guy and talk about a survivor. He once was hit in the face by a pitch while playing in the Japanese league. Told he would be out two months with a broken jaw, Manuel missed just 14 games. Since then he has survived a heart attack, quadruple bypass surgery and cancer. And his mother died Oct. 10.
3. It's Philly's turn
Not only have the Phillies struggled over their long history, but the city of Philadelphia has rarely celebrated a winner. The Eagles have never won the Super Bowl. The Flyers won two Stanley Cups, but that was way back in 1974-75. And the 76ers have only won two NBA titles since moving to Philadelphia in 1963. The last one came in 1983. That means there are 24-year-olds who were born and raised in Philly who have never seen a championship.
Not necessarily the best,but our five favoriteall-time Phillies
1. Richie Allen (1963-69, 1975-76)The personification of cool. The slugger, above, once criticized artificial turf by saying, "If a horse won't eat it, I don't want to play on it.''
2. Robin Roberts (1948-61)Not only one of the greatest pitchers ever (a six-time 20-game winner), but a special nod because he was USF's baseball coach from 1977-85.
3. Harry Kalas (1971-present)So he never played, but he's one of baseball's legendary announcers. So you got to give Harry a "case of Tastykakes!''
4. Michael Jack Schmidt (1972-89)Belted 548 homers, knocked in 1,595 runs and played third base as well as anyone. Has there been a better third baseman?
5. Greg Luzinski (1970-80)The guy looked like he should've been playing beer-league softball. He used to stand with his back to centerfielder Garry Maddox and told Maddox to get everything behind him and he would get the rest. "The Bull'' made four All-Star teams.
Five Phillies who always kind of bugged us
1. Pete Rose (1979-83)Do we really need to explain this one?
2. Larry Bowa (1970-81)A little too rah-rah for our taste. On the field acted like Pete Rose, except minus Rose's talent.
3. Steve Carlton (1972-86)Sure, one of the best pitchers in history, but he always seemed annoyed to be there. A prickly fella.
4. Curt Schilling (1992-2000)Even in those days, he never knew when to shut up.
5. Shane Victorino (2005-present)We didn't have a problem with him until he started mouthing off to poor Dodgers pitcher Hiroki Kuroda in the NLCS.