Thrilling moments in baseball history are unanticipated, and the 1950 Philadelphia Phillies-—the "Whiz Kids"—were no exception. The Phillies had been suffering a slump towards the end of the season. Then, in an exciting Brooklyn Dodgers game that lasted ten innings during the last day of the last day of the season, the Phillies defeated the Dodgers on a three-run home run by Dick Sisler at the top of the tenth inning. They faced the New York Yankees in the World Series.
At 7:30 p.m. Thursday, August 23, the Allen Public Library hosts baseball historian C. Paul Rogers III to discuss his book The Whiz Kids Take the Pennant: The 1950 Philadelphia Phillies. Arrive early to listen to old fashion baseball organ theatre organ music.
“We felt pretty confident going into the 1950 World Series against the upstart Phillies,” former New York Yankees player Dr. Bobby Brown observes. “With the Yankees, we always felt like we could beat the other team, whether it was in the World Series or regular season. … We played under pressure during the entire season, always facing the best pitching day after day, so we didn’t tighten up in pressure games. …We did get a terrific break in not having to face Curt Simmons in the Series because his National Guard Unit was called to active duty. He had as good stuff as anyone in baseball and having to face him two or three times in the Series would have been a real challenge.”
Among the interesting facts in Paul Rogers’ book:
Five Whiz Kids in the Opening Day lineup were under the age of 25 – Granny Hamner (22); Richie Ashburn (23), Robin Roberts (23), Willie Jones (24) and Del Ennis (24). Also starting games in April were Curt Simmons (20), Stan Lopata (24), Putsy Caballero (22) and Bob Miller (23).
Also, those young kids were adept at winning one run games. For the season they were 30-16 in one run games (.652), best percentage in the majors.
The 1950 Pennant followed three decades (20’s, 30’s and 40’s) in which the Phillies had the worst winning percentage in the National League.
Sponsored by the Allen Public Library, the program is free. The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr. call 214-509-4911 for additional information.