1964 Philadelphia Phillies season

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1964 Philadelphia Phillies
1964 Philadelphia Phillies team photo.jpg
Team photo of the 1964 Philadelphia Phillies
Major League affiliations
Other information
Owner(s) Robert R. M. Carpenter, Jr.
Manager(s) Gene Mauch
Local television WFIL
Local radio WFIL
(By Saam, Bill Campbell, Richie Ashburn)
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The 1964 Philadelphia Phillies season was the 82d season for the franchise in Philadelphia. The Phillies finished in a second-place tie with the Cincinnati Reds. Both posted a record of 92-70, finishing one game behind the NL and World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals, and just two games ahead of fourth-place San Francisco. Gene Mauch managed the Phillies, as they played their home games at Connie Mack Stadium.

The team is notable as after being in first place in the National League since the opening day, the team suffered a drastic collapse during the final two weeks of the season. The "Phold", by which it became known, is one of the most infamous collapses in baseball history.


The team[edit]

From 1919 through 1947, the Phillies finished last a total of 17 times and next to last seven times. A 1962 cartoon in a baseball magazine depicted a ballplayer arriving at a French Foreign Legion outpost, explaining, "I was released by the Phillies!"

Things began to change slowly beginning in 1960 when Gene Mauch was hired as manager to replace Eddie Sawyer, who had resigned after the club's opening game of the regular season. During 1962 and 1963, the Phillies began to climb back to respectability. The front office, headed by John Quinn as General Manager had replaced most of the players of the 1950s with new, young talent.

Chris Short was a rookie on the 1959 team, and by the end of 1963 was the ace of the staff. He was joined by Art Mahaffey in 1960, Dennis Bennett in 1962 and Ray Culp in 1963 as starters. The bullpen had Ed Roebuck, who was purchased from the Washington Senators in April 1964, as the primary relief pitcher, along with John Boozer and Dallas Green. Rookie Rick Wise, primarily a reliever, was also a spot-starter, joined the club in June. Jack Baldschun (1961) was the closer.[2]

Thee infield had two fine shortstops in Bobby Wine and Ruben Amaro, and two fine second basemen in Tony Taylor and Cookie Rojas. Mach could and did platoon them depending on the pitcher they were facing. Richie Allen came up in September 1963 as a rookie showing much promise, and during spring training, made the club as the starting third baseman. Roy Sievers (1962) was at first. [3][2]

In the outfield Johnny Callison (1960) was in right field, Tony Gonzales (1960) in center, and Wes Covington (1961) was in right field.[2] The catching duties were platooned between Clay Dalrymple, who was the regular catcher since 1960 and Gus Triandos, who acted both as Bunning's personal catcher as well Dalrymple's backup, having come over from Detroit in the Bunning trade (below).[4]

The most important acquisition by the Phillies in the off-season of 1963 was the signing of Jim Bunning. Bunning had been with the Detroit Tigers since 1955 and was one of the best pitchers in the American League, throwing a no-hitter against the Boston Red Sox in 1958. However in 1963 he began having problems with the front office of the Tigers, and did not get along well with the Tigers new manager, Charlie Dressen. Also Bunning was having a mediocre season with Detroit, and Dressen believed that Bunnings career was over at the age of 31. Denny McClain, a rising star with the Tigers began to get Bunning's starts in September and by the end of the season after going 12-13, Bunning was asking the Tiger management for a trade. His wishes were complied with and was sent to the Phillies in exchange for outfielder Don Demeter and and pitcher Jack Hamilton.[3]

Regular season[edit]

Throughout the 1964 season, the Phillies seemed destined to make it to the World Series,. Since the beginning of the season, with 8-2 start, the team had been in first place, and had led the National League all season, sometimes by as many as nine or ten games.[5]

During the season Johnny Callision was having a career year and was the top contender for the National League Most Valuable Player award. Richie Allen was the leading candidate for Rookie of the Year (which he won in the post-season). In addition to his pitching, Bunning also added another dimension to the club. Chris Short had been the ace of the staff prior to Bunning joining the club. However, he never was comfortable being the leading pitcher and having that responsibility. With Bunning joining the staff, the pressure was off Short and he thrived as the number-two starter.[3]

The 1964 National League All-Star team had three Phillies, Chris Short, Jim Bunning, and Johnny Callision. Callision was named the game's Most Valuable Player, hitting a fast ball by Boston Red Sox ace Dick Radatz into the right field stands at Shea Stadium for a 3-run home run in the 9th Inning for the win. [6] Then in early August, the Phillies acquired Frank Thomas from the New York Mets and Vic Power from Los Angeles Angels to shore up the bench for the pennant run in September. The Phillies were having their best season since the 1950 "Whiz Kids" giving Pennant Fever to its fans for the first time in 14 seasons.

Jim Bunning's Perfect game[edit]

From opening day, Bunning thrived in the National League being 6-2 in the first two months of the season, and becoming the ace of the pitching staff. On Father's Day he got the start for the first game of a doubleheader against the New York Mets, and on that day, 21 June, he threw the first perfect game in the National League since 1880.

Jim Bunning striking out New York Mets player Johnny Stephenson for the final out of his perfect game against the Mets on Fathers Day 21 June 1964 at Shea Stadium, Long Island, New York.

Tracy Stallard started for the Mets in the first game of the doubleheader that day. As the game progressed, Philadelphia scored single runs in both the 1st and 2d innings and had a big inning in the 6th, scoring four runs to give him a 6-0 lead. On the mound, Bunning was having a strong performance against the Mets hitters striking out 10.[7]

For perhaps the only time in the stadium's history, the Shea faithful found themselves rooting for the visitors, caught up in the rare achievement, and roaring for Bunning on every pitch in the ninth inning.[8] His strikeout of John Stephenson for the last out capped the performance.

The perfect game was the highlight of Bunning's career in Philadelphia, becoming a fan favorite and the club's ace stater for the next four seasons. He was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates prior to the 1968 season, then returned to the Phillies for two mediocre seasons during 1970 and 1971. Largely on account of the perfect game and four 19-win seasons (1964-1966) with the Phillies, today Bunnning is memorialized in the Philadelphia Baseball Wall of Fame (1984), and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veteran's Committee in 1996.

The "Phold"[edit]


On 1 September the Phillies held a 5 1/2 game lead over the Cincinnati Reds and it seemed were in cruise mode to clinching the pennant.[9] TV Guide went to press with a World Series preview that featured a photo of Connie Mack Stadium. (Through the 1968 season, both first-place teams automatically went to the World Series, the only postseason play of that time.)

Unused 1964 Phillies World Series guide showing Connie Mack Stadium as a background. Note the white pennant flying below the Phillies pennant, this due to the American League team being unknown at the time of its publication in early September 1964.

On 7 September, Labor Day in Los Angeles, the Phillies split a doubleheader with the Dodgers while the Reds lost both games to the St. Louis Cardinals. That increased their lead to 6 1/2 games with 25 left to play. Then things started to go wrong, first with a string of injuries. The next game, Frank Thomas broke his right thumb sliding into second base against Maury Wills, the Dodger shortstop. The number four starter, Ray Culp, started to have problems with his right elbow; Dennis Bennett began having a sore arm. Art Mahaffey began to have control problems, being taken out in the first inning and then in his next start against the San Francisco Giants, again having to be taken out in the third.[3]

Things appeared to settle down on 13 September when Bunning beat the Giants for his 17th win, and Short and Bennett followed up with wins over the Houston Colt .45s. However, Bunning replaced Culp in the order on the 16th for the last game against Houston and pitching on two-day's rest lasted only four and 1/3 innings when Rusty Staub hit a three-run homer off Bunning[10] On 20 September, Bunning beat the Dodgers 3-2, throwing a five-hitter. Bunning remembered that the club had been shaky and almost blew the game in the ninth when Vic Power made an error and let the Dodgers score two unearned runs. Then Bunning finished the game by striking out the Dodger catcher, Johnny Roseboro. After the game, a reporter from Sports Illustrated photographed Bunning. It was to be on the cover of the magazine for its World Series edition in October.[3]

During the month, the club had gone 12-9[11] and the lead over Reds remained at 6 1/2 games with 12 games to play.[12] However, the win over the Dodgers on the 20th would be the last win by the Phillies in September.

"The Curse of Chico Ruiz"[edit]

On 21 September, the team returned to Philadelphia to begin a three-game series against the Reds as part of a seven-game homestand along with four against the Milwaukee Braves. Then the Phillies would end the season on the road against with three games in St. Louis and ending the season in Cincinnati.[5]

Art Mahaffey began his first start since the team losing 9-1 to the Giants on the 12th, pitching against John Tsitouris in the first game against the Reds. It was a pitcher's duel until the 6th inning when Chico Ruiz hit a single which was followed up by Vada Pinson hitting a line drive through the pitcher's box and past second base until Johnny Callison got the ball and threw out Pinson who tried to reach 2d base. Ruiz had made it to third. Frank Robinson then came up to bat who swung and missed for strike one. Ruiz on third noted that Mahaffey had not checked him before throwing to the plate. On the next pitch, Ruiz broke for home plate. Surprised, Mahaffey threw high and wild and the Phillies catcher, Clay Dalrymple jumped high but missed the ball, which went back to the screen. Ruiz successfully stole Home Plate, giving the Reds the lead and the game's only run. [3] Richie (later Dick) Allen said of the play: "The play broke our humps."[13]

Chico Ruiz's steal of home has evolved into a popular culture legend. Some Philadelphia sports fans still refer to the "Curse of Chico Ruiz" as the reason for many of their teams' misfortunes.[14]

The Collapse[edit]

1964 Philadelphia Phillies World Series Tickets. These were sold in early September 1964 to season ticket holders in anticipation of the club winning the National League Pennant. Note this is a complete set for all four home games to be played at Connie Mack Stadium.

The next game, manager Gene Mauch rode Robinson, Ruiz and the rest of the Reds hard from the dugout, yelling over at them constantly about Ruiz and his stealing home the night before. The Reds responded with Frank Robinson hitting a two-run homer off Chris Short, who had to be taken out in the fifth inning. The Phillies lead was down to 4 1/2 games. The third game of the series with the Reds things went from bad to worse, when Dennis Bennett lasted six innings with a sore arm as the Phillies lost again, 6-4 with Pinson and Ruiz hitting home runs. The lead was now down to 3 1/2.[3]

Milwaukee came in next and Bunning was the starter in game one. Joe Torre drove in three runs with two triples due to misplays in the outfield in a 5-3 loss, the fourth in a row. Then Chris Short, pitching on two-day's rest lost the next game and the losing streak was at five, with the lead now down to a game and a half. The Braves then beat Art Mahaffey 5-3, the lead now down to a half-game over the Reds. Bunning then came in for game four, also pitching on two-day's rest and lasted three innings in a 14-8 loss. With the fourth loss against the Braves and the 7th loss in a row, the Phillies dropped to second and Reds took first place by 1/2 game. The Cardinals were right behind a game and a half out. The Phillies had lost every game of their last season homestand.[3]

The crucial series came when the now second-place Phillies traveled to St. Louis to play the Cardinals after their losing home stand. They dropped the first game of the series to Bob Gibson by a 5–1 score, their eighth loss in a row, dropping them to third place. The Cardinals would sweep the three-game set and assume first place for good.[15][16][17]

The losing steak ended in Cincinnati during the last two games of the season with a 4-3 and a 10-0 win over the Reds to end the season. However there were no playoffs in 1964 and the second-place Phillies ended the season at 92-70. It was the best season by the Philllies since the 1950 pennant winning Wiz Kids, but there was no joy in the city of Brotherly Love. The "Phold," as the ten-game loss streak is known, is one of the most notable collapses in sports history.


Thirty years later, Senator Jim Bunning talked about The "Phold" to David Halberstam and said that to understand what happened, you had to be there and be caught up in the emotions and excitement of the pennant race. Also, there was a belief by the Phillies that they could prevail simply by sheer will. Pitching on short rest, the the injuries, and the reality that pitching with a good deal more fatigue than he recognized all led to a loss of confidence. Players began to have doubts when before there were no doubts. The team began to run the bases poorly and throw badly, missing easy plays and making errors they would not normally have made. [3]

The '64 Phillies are immortalized in American pop culture via numerous book chapters, magazine articles, and newspaper columns. At least three full length books are devoted to the '64 Phillies: non-fiction books The 1964 Phillies: The Story of Baseball's Most Memorable Collapse by John P. Rossi and September Swoon: Richie Allen, the '64 Phillies, and Racial Integration by William C. Kashatis; and a novel based on the '64 Phillies collapse titled '64 Intruder, by Gregory T. Glading, which centers on a Phillies fan going back in time and preventing Chico Ruiz from stealing home in the "Phold's" first loss.

The Phillies finished third in the National League in 1965, and began to slide back into mediocrity. It was not until the 1976 seaon, twelve seasons later, that the Phillies won the National League Eastern Division Championship; losing to the Reds in the playoffs. The 1977 and 1978 team also won the National League East, but both lost to the Dodgers in the playoffs; it wasn't until the 1980 Philadelphia Phillies won both the National League Pennant against the Houston Astros and also the World Series against the Kansas City Royals that the stigma of the 1964 "Phold" was fully erased after sixteen seasons. [3]

The Philadelphia Baseball Wall of Fame honors no less than five 1964 Phillies players, Richie Allen, Jim Bunning, Johnny Callision, Dallas Green and Tony Taylor. Manager Gene Mauch is also honored.

Season standings[edit]

National League W L GB Pct.
St. Louis Cardinals 93 69 -- .574
Cincinnati Reds 92 70 1 .568
Philadelphia Phillies 92 70 1 .568
San Francisco Giants 90 72 3 .556
Milwaukee Braves 88 74 5 .543
Los Angeles Dodgers 80 82 13 .494
Pittsburgh Pirates 80 82 13 .494
Chicago Cubs 76 86 17 .469
Houston Colt .45s 66 96 27 .407
New York Mets 53 109 40 .327

Opening Day lineup[edit]

Number Name Position
8 Tony Taylor Second base
6 Johnny Callison Right field
15 Dick Allen Third base
5 Roy Sievers First base
25 Tony González Center field
10 Danny Cater Left field
11 Clay Dalrymple Catcher
7 Bobby Wine Shortstop
23 Dennis Bennett Pitcher

Notable transactions[edit]


1964 Philadelphia Phillies
Pitchers Catchers



Other batters



Player stats[edit]

= Indicates team leader


Starters by position[edit]

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; R = Runs; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted In; SB = Stolen bases

Pos Player G AB R H Avg. HR RBI SB
C Dalrymple, ClayClay Dalrymple 127 382 36 91 .238 6 46 0
1B Herrnstein, JohnJohn Herrnstein 125 303 38 71 .234 6 25 1
2B Taylor, TonyTony Taylor 154 570 62 143 .251 4 46 13
3B Allen, DickDick Allen 162 632 125 201 .318 29 91 3
SS Wine, BobbyBobby Wine 126 283 28 60 .212 4 34 1
LF Covington, WesWes Covington 129 339 37 95 .280 13 58 0
CF González, TonyTony González 131 421 55 117 .278 4 40 0
RF Callison, JohnnyJohnny Callison 162 654 101 179 .274 31 104 6


Other batters[edit]

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; R = Runs; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted In; SB = Stolen bases

Player G AB R H Avg. HR RBI SB
Rojas, CookieCookie Rojas 109 340 58 99 .291 2 31 1
Amaro, RubénRubén Amaro 129 299 31 79 .264 4 34 1
Triandos, GusGus Triandos 73 188 17 47 .250 8 33 0
Cater, DannyDanny Cater 60 152 13 45 .294 7 26 0
Thomas, FrankFrank Thomas 39 143 20 42 .294 7 26 0
Sievers, RoyRoy Sievers 49 120 7 22 .183 4 16 0
Power, VicVic Power 18 48 1 10 .208 0 3 0


Starting pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Bunning, JimJim Bunning 41 284 19 8 2.63 219
Short, ChrisChris Short 42 221 17 9 2.20 181
Bennett, DennisDennis Bennett 41 208 12 14 3.68 125
Mahaffey, ArtArt Mahaffey 34 157 12 9 4.53 80

Other pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Culp, RayRay Culp 30 135 8 7 4.13 96

Relief pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Baldschun, JackJack Baldschun 71 6 9 21 3.12 96
Boozer, JohnJohn Boozer 22 3 4 2 5.07 51
Duren, RyneRyne Duren 2 0 0 0 6.00 5

Awards and honors[edit]

1964 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

Farm system[edit]

Level Team League Manager
AAA Arkansas Travelers Pacific Coast League Frank Lucchesi
AA Chattanooga Lookouts Southern League Andy Seminick
A Bakersfield Bears California League Moose Johnson
A Miami Marlins Florida State League Bobby Morgan
A Eugene Emeralds Northwest League Bob Wellman
A Spartanburg Phillies Western Carolinas League Louis Lieberman



  1. ^ Gus Triandos page at Baseball Reference
  2. ^ a b c 1964 Philadelphia Phillies
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Halberstam, David (1994) October 1964, Ballentine Books, ISBN: ISBN-10
  4. ^ Gus Triandos @ baseball-reference.com
  5. ^ a b 1964 Philadelphia Phillies Schedule
  6. ^ 1964 All-Star Game
  7. ^ Box Score of Jim Bunning Perfect Game, 21 June 1964
  8. ^ White, Gordon S. Jr. (June 22, 1964). "Bunning Pitches a Perfect Game; Mets Are Perfect Victims, 6 to 0". New York Times. p. 1. "The Phils won the contest...before 32,904 fans who were screaming for Bunning during the last two innings...Yesterday's perfect pitching turned the usually loyal Met fans into Bunning fans in the late innings. From the seventh inning on...Bunning had the crowd...behind him." 
  9. ^ National League Standings 31 August 1964
  10. ^ National League Standings 17 September 1964
  11. ^ 1964 Philadelphia Phillies Schedule
  12. ^ National League Standings 20 September 1964
  13. ^ Allen, Dick; Whitaker, Tim (1989). Crash: The Life and Times of Dick Allen. Ticknor & Fields. 
  14. ^ Costello, Rory. "Chico Ruiz". Society for American Baseball Research. 
  15. ^ Concannon, Mark (September 2, 2011). "Green remembers Phillies' collapse all too well". FSWisconsin. FOX Sports Interactive Media, LLC. Retrieved September 30, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Memorable swoons and surges (2 of 12): 1964 Phillies". FOXSports.com. September 12, 2011 (mis-dated; actually September 30, 2011, the day after Boston Red Sox lost wild card in Game 162). Retrieved September 30, 2011. "In an epic meltdown dubbed "The Phillie Phold" of 1964, Philadelphia saw a 6 1/2-game lead evaporate with 12 games to play." 
  17. ^ "Memorable swoons and surges (1 of 12): 2011 Boston Red Sox". FOXSports.com. September 12, 2011 (mis-dated; actually September 30, 2011, the day after Boston Red Sox lost wild card in Game 162). Retrieved September 30, 2011. "By season's end, the Red Sox had become the first team ever to blow a nine-game lead in September and fail to make the postseason." 
  18. ^ Darrell Sutherland page at Baseball Reference
  19. ^ Joe Lis page at Baseball Reference
  20. ^ Frank Thomas page at Baseball Reference
  21. ^ http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/PHI/1964.shtml
  22. ^ http://www.baseball-almanac.com/asgbox/yr1964as.shtml
  23. ^ Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 2nd and 3rd editions. Durham, N.C.: Baseball America, 1997 and 2007


External links[edit]