Major League Baseball team founded in 1883; member of the National League East division. Took longer to win their first (and only) World Series - 97 years - than any other major league team.
In 1883, the Worcester Brown Stockings of the National League folded, and most of the players were brought to Philadelphia by Al Reach (the first professional baseball player) to form the Phillies. In their first year, 1883, they finished with a record of 17-81, 46 games out of first. The following year Reach hired Hall of Famer Harry Wright to manage the team, and the team slowly improved.
Wright, however, failed to lead the Phillies to a pennant, as did many of his successors. It took the Phillies until 1915 to reach their first World Series, led by Gavvy Cravath's 24 homers (a major league record that would stand until 1919, when it was broken by some guy named George) and Grover Cleveland Alexander's 1.22 ERA. The Phils fell to the Boston Red Sox in five games, and wouldn't return to the World Series for another 35 years.
When the dead ball era ended in 1919, the Phillies found themselves playing in an anachronistic ballpark; the Baker Bowl's right field fence was an unseemly 280 feet from home plate, leading to an abundance of home runs. As a consequence many of the Phillies teams of the 20s and 30s featured great hitters and very bad pitchers. In 1930, the Phillies boasted a .315 team batting average - but a 6.71 ERA, and finished last in the National League.
In 1950, a young Philadelphia team dubbed "the Whiz Kids" beat the Brooklyn Dodgers on the last day of the season to win the pennant, led by pitcher Robin Roberts and sluggers Richie Ashburn and Del Ennis. But they were swept by the New York Yankees, and Philadelphia fans again had to wait three decades for another chance.
In 1964, it looked like the Phillies were going to get that chance. Led by Jim Bunning, who threw a perfect game on Father's Day, and Rookie of the Year Dick Allen, the Phillies had a 6 1/2 game lead on September 21, with only 12 games left to play. But the Phillies lost their next 10 games, while the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals had winning streaks of 9 and 8 games, respectively. The Phils won their final two games, but finished tied for second, completing one of the worst late season collapses in the history of baseball.
The Phillies fielded several great teams in the 70s, winning the NL East several times, but lost in the NLCS each time. In 1980, led by NL MVP Mike Schmidt and Cy Young award winner Steve Carlton, perhaps the two best Phillies in the history of the franchise, the Phillies reached the playoffs again. They were joined by free agent Pete Rose, and the Phillies won the NL East by taking the last series of the season from the 2nd place Montreal Expos. After winning a very close NLCS against the Houston Astros, the Phillies beat the Kansas City Royals in 6 games to win their first World Series.
The Phillies have returned to the World Series twice in the two decades since their first World Series win, losing in 1983 and 1993. The 1993 team, led by Lenny Dykstra, John Kruk, and Curt Schilling were a bunch of scrappy, tobacco-chewing, stumpy men who grabbed respect and disgust from the nation by utterly failing to look like athletes; their bid for glory fell short in Game 6, when Mitch "Wild Thing" Williams allowed a Series-clinching home run to Joe Carter of the Toronto Blue Jays.
World Series Championships: 1980, 2008
National League Pennants: 1915, 1950, 1980, 1983, 1993, 2008, 2009
1 - Richie Ashburn
14 - Jim Bunning
20 - Mike Schmidt
32 - Steve Carlton
36 - Robin Roberts
Other notable players and managers:
Ed Delahanty, Billy Hamilton, Cy Williams, Nap Lajoie, Lefty O'Doul, Jim Bunning, Tug McGraw, Gene Mauch, Greg Luzinski, Larry Bowa, Eddie Waitkus, Jamie Moyer, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Roy Halladay
1883-1886 Recreation Park
1887-1894 Philadelphia Base Ball Grounds
1895-1938 Baker Bowl
1938-1970 Shibe Park
1971-2003 Veterans Stadium
2004-present Citizens Bank Park