The first series of this tournament had the 1980 squad taking down the 1976 team. This series pits 2 teams from very different eras. The 1915 Phillies led by Pete (Grover Cleveland) Alexander, who won the team’s first pennant and the 1950 ‘Whiz Kids’, led by the rubber-armed Robin Roberts.
Game 1: 1950 Phillies 3, 1915 Phillies 1 – (1950 leads series 1-0)
In a pitching match-up pitting 2 of the best RHP to ever play the game, for any team, Robin Roberts outduels Pete Alexander at the Baker Bowl 3-1. Roberts goes 7 innings, giving up just 1 ER while Alexander goes the distance but surrenders 3 while striking out 8. The critical blow came in the 4th inning, when 2B Mike Goliat and 1B Eddie Waitkus each delivered RBI singles to give their team the lead for good. Jim Konstanty shut it down for Roberts with 2 innings of shut-out ball.
Game 2: 1915 Phillies 8, 1950 Phillies 0 – (Series tied 1-1)
With all the focus on Roberts and Alexander, Erskine Mayer steals the show with a 3-hit shutout of the 1950 team in Game 2. Mayer needed only 96 pitches to finish the game and didn’t walk a single batter while striking out 6. 1915′s offense came from LF Possum Whitted who had 4 RBI on 2 RBI doubles.
Game 3: 1950 Phillies 5, 1915 Phillies 2 – (1950 leads series 2-1)
Bob Miller gives up only 2 runs in 7 innings despite not striking out a single batter, leading the 1950 to a victory as the series arrives in Shibe Park. C Andy Seminick hit a big 2-run double in the 5th to give 1950 the lead for good and Dick Sisler added 5 hits and 2 RBI in the victory. Gavvy Cravath struggled from the plate for the 1915 team, going hitless and leaving 4 runners on base.
Game 4: 1950 Phillies 7, 1915 Phillies 5 – (1950 leads series 3-1)
The first game without a dominant pitching performance ends with the 1950 squad on the brink of advancing. 3B Willie Jones opened the scoring with a 2-run single in the 1st inning for 1950. C Bill Killefer had a chance to do some serious damage for 1915 in the 2nd, but he grounded into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded. With the game tied at 3 in the 7th, it was Jones again coming through for the 1950 team with a 3-run bomb that ended up being the deciding blow.
Game 5: 1915 Phillies 6, 1950 Phillies 2 – (1950 leads series 3-2)
It’s Roberts vs. Alexander again, but this time Alexander comes out on top. Both pitchers pitch all 9 innings and Alexander gives up only 1 ER on 7 hits. Meanwhile, 2B Bert Niehoff got to Roberts in the 2nd with a 2-run single and CF Dode Paskert and Killefer each had RBI hits in the 5th.
Game 6: 1950 Phillies 3, 1915 Phillies 2 - (1950 wins series 4-2)
Erskine Mayer tried his best to recapture his Game 2 magic, but the 1915 team falls just short despite his 2nd complete game of the series. 1915 took a 2-0 lead in the 1st on a 2-run HR by 1B Fred Luderus, but 1950 bounced back in the 4th as the winning pitcher, Curt Simmons, came up with a shocking RBI single to tie the game up. In the 6th, Del Ennis finally makes his presence felt in the series with the game-winning RBI, knocking in Granny Hamner.
I thought that the 1915 team was the darkhorse candidate with 1915 Pete Alexander (the best player in this tournament) leading the way, but Robin Roberts split his starts and 1950 won 3 of the other 4 games. The MVP goes to Jim Konstanty, who saved all 4 games for 1950, two of them 2 inning saves. He gave up only 3 hits, and didn’t allow a run in 6.2 IP.
The updated bracket is as follows with the 1950 team meeting up with 1980 in the semis…
NEXT UP! The most recent Phillies team, the 2009 version, takes on the mullet-wearing, shower-avoiding, likely-juicing 1993 squad.