Belly Up

In 1943, the Philadelphia Phillies suffered through a 64-90 season, their worst one since ... well, 1942, when they had gone 42-109. A major reason for their decline was owner Gerry Nugent's inability to pay back bank loans he has made; he simply couldn't afford any talent. Finally, the National League stepped in and bought back the club for $46,000. In the spring of 1943, They began looking for a new owner, as the Phillies entered into their road of disaster.

I Think A Change'll Do You Good

Finally, in June, they sold the organization to Bob Carpenter, the son of a Delaware old money family from colonial times with no business or baseball experience. He promptly announced he would hold a contest to rename the Phillies. Thousands of entries poured in: Daisies, Stinkers, Duds, Quakers (the name of the team from 1883-1889), and one plucky fan who suggested the Yankees in hope that that team's luck would rub off on the hapless Philadelphia squad.

Go Blue!

Eventually, a winner was announced: Elizabeth Crooks had submitted the Blue Jays, which Carpenter wholeheartedly approved of. He announced the team would change uniforms to a dark, brilliant blue and white, and that the two farm teams in Wilmington and Bradford would adopt similar nicknames. Mrs. Crooks won $100 and season tickets for her submission.

The team showed little improvement in 1944, going 61-92, including 2 forfeits due to the 10-run mercy rule still in effect. In 1945, Carpenter signed aging star Jimmie Foxx and traded for Vince DiMaggio, Joe and Dom's little brother. Foxx pinch-hit most of the season (and also pitched 8 games, with an ERA of 1.52!), and DiMaggio led the league in strikeouts - as a batter. Other than meager bullpen pro Andy Karl, the team had little bright spots: it finished 46-108.

In 1946, the team fared slightly better: they snapped Brooklyn's 18-game winning streak at their home field Shibe Park; first baseman Frank McCormack went 131 games without an error, a still-standing major league mark for first basemen; and the team won 69 games, but still finished woefully short of any pennant contention.

...Or Not

By now, Carpenter was quite upset as his team's inability to generate runs and win games. He gave up on his strategy, sold the team to a local Philadelphia syndicate, who gave the team their original moniker back. By 1950, they had won the World Series. Something of a Hawthorne effect, apparently.

New York Yankees | Philadelphia Phillies
Major League Baseball Teams

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