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1975 Philadelphia Phillies

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[edit] 1975 Philadelphia Phillies / Franchise: Philadelphia Phillies / BR Team Page

Record: 86-76, Finished 2nd in NL Eastern Division (1975 NL)

Managed by Danny Ozark

Ballpark: Veterans Stadium

The Phillies nosed above .500 for the first time in eight years during Danny Ozark's third year as manager. For the first time, the intensive rebuilding strategy pursued by Ozark, farm director Dallas Green and GM Paul Owens bore fruit in terms of a winning season.

The team kept its young nucleus of players from the much-improved 1974 club intact. Two very young starters, Tom Underwood and Larry Christenson, entered the rotation, but the lineup stayed unchanged till early May. With the Phillies sputtering along near .500, Owens made a pair of key trades, sending Willie Montanez to San Francisco for Garry Maddox and, to replace Montanez at first base, re-acquiring Phillies' legend Dick Allen from Atlanta. The club responded by winning seven in a row in mid-May.

And then they lost six in a row; it was that kind of year. By early August, the Phillies were in a legitimate race with the perennial Eastern champion Pittsburgh Pirates, however. On 9 August, the Phillies stood just two games back, and actually caught Pittsburgh briefly on the 18th. By the first of September, the Phillies had fallen back into a four-team pack, and the month of September ended indifferently for them. A wealth of hitting could not compensate for an erratic starting rotation keynoted by Steve Carlton's mediocre 15-14 campaign.

But they won, something that hadn't been said in Philadelphia in a while. It was the first winning season they'd had in Veterans Stadium and in their new mod swirly-font uniforms, and it set the stage for the longest string of success that the franchise would ever have. Allen and Maddox, thoughtful and intelligent players with very different ways of expressing themselves, were key elements in the team's new success. Allen didn't contribute much on the field, but instilled a kind of all-out intensity in the younger Phillies. Maddox simply caught everything there was to catch in center field, and would do so for most of the decade to come.

Mike Schmidt won the home run title; Greg Luzinski led the NL in RBI and total bases. Second baseman Dave Cash led the league with 213 hits.


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