Tuesday, April 8, 2014

#189 Tony Phillips

About the Front: Tony Phillips looks like he's running against a stiff wind. Cue the Bob Seger...

About the Back: That's a helluva one-two punch for the '61 Tigers. They won 101 games, but that was a firm second place behind the 109-win Maris-Mantle Yankees. How frustrating for Detroit.

Triple Play:

1. Tony switched to #73 with the White Sox in 1997 when Albert Belle joined the club and requested the #8 jersey that had previously belonged to Phillips. The utility player said that he picked a number that nobody else would ever want.

2. On August 10, 1997, Phillips was arrested in an Anaheim hotel room while in possession of $30 of free-base cocaine and a pipe. The charges were dismissed after he attended counseling and remained drug-free for a year.

3. As recently as 2012, a 53-year-old Phillips could be found playing in the independent North American League, where he maintained a .355 on-base percentage in 16 games with the Edinburg (TX) Roadrunners. The previous season, Tony made headlines as a member of the NABL's Yuma Scorpions after he brawled with ex-Dodgers outfielder Mike Marshall, who was managing the rival Chico Outlaws.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: I remember Tony Phillips being a pesky guy that you hated to see your team face. A check of his career splits shows that he batted .257/.352/.378 in 150 career games against my Orioles, which is actually a bit below his .266/.374/.389 overall stat line. Go figure.

Bill James Said: "He doesn't just play five positions; he plays five positions well, even spectacularly well."

On This Date in 1993: April 8. The Republic of Macedonia is admitted to the United Nations. Two years earlier, the tiny central Balkan state had declared its independence from the former Yugoslavia.

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