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1984 Philadelphia Phillies

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[edit] 1984 Philadelphia Phillies / Franchise: Philadelphia Phillies / BR Team Page

Record: 81-81, Finished 4th in NL Eastern Division (1984 NL)

Managed by Paul Owens

Ballpark: Veterans Stadium


In 1984, the Phillies dismantled much of the veteran team that had reached six of the previous eight postseasons. Paul Owens stayed on as a caretaker manager for a final season. But he made a flurry of moves in the offseason. The year before, Von Hayes had arrived from Cleveland for five Phillies. Now another promising talent, Detroit's Glenn Wilson, came in return for 1983's sleeper star Willie Hernandez. (Wilson struggled all year in Philadelphia; Hernandez promptly won a Cy Young Award and an MVP.)

Jerry Koosman joined the Phillies rotation in exchange for reliever Ron Reed: hardly a youth-movement trade, but the 41 year old Koosman acquitted himself well in 34 starts. Most telling, however, for the long run, were promotions from within the organization. Many young home-grown players -- Juan Samuel, Ozzie Virgil, Jeff Stone, Kevin Gross, Marty Bystrom, Luis Aguayo, Steve Jeltz, and Rick Schu -- would see action for Philadelphia in '84.

Meanwhile, gone were Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez, Bob Dernier, and Gary Matthews. In Philly, John Denny, Bo Diaz, Garry Maddox, and Tug McGraw all saw their playing time reduced, either by injury or declining skills.

The team won four of its first six and loitered in the outskirts of the pennant race till late August. As the season wore on, the youth movement became less pronounced. Owens imported veterans Sixto Lezcano, Al Oliver, and Shane Rawley (from the Yankees for Bystrom) for a stretch drive that turned ugly in a hurry. The Phillies, losing their last 9 games, ended up 9-20 for the month of September and finished at an even .500. Meanwhile, a player they had given away as an afterthought in 1982, Ryne Sandberg, claimed the MVP award and Sandberg's Cubs took over as division champs.

Mike Schmidt won a Gold Glove and shared the home run and RBI titles. Samuel led the league in at-bats, triples -- and strikeouts.


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