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Phil Cavarretta

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Philip Joseph Cavarretta

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[edit] Biographical Information

Nicknamed "Philliabuck", Phil Cavarretta reached the majors two months after his 18th birthday. Born in Chicago, IL, he played twenty years, mostly with the Chicago Cubs. He was National League MVP and led the league in hitting in 1945, the last time the Cubs reached the World Series. He was manager of the Cubs from 1951 to 1953, then moved across town to end his playing career with the Chicago White Sox.

He was the only player in the major leagues who was both active in 1934 when Babe Ruth was still playing for the New York Yankees, and also active in 1954 when Hank Aaron started. Oddly enough, he wasn't one of the five oldest players in the league when he played that season.

In his first full season with the Cubs in 1935, he played alongside the 36-year-old Kiki Cuyler and the 34-year-old Gabby Hartnett on a Cubs team that won the 1935 pennant with 100 victories. Eighteen years later, in his last year with the Cubs in 1953, he managed and also appeared in 27 games on a team that also featured the 22-year-old rookie Ernie Banks. When he finished out his career with the 1955 Chicago White Sox, his teammates included the 27-year-old Nellie Fox and the 32-year-old George Kell.

Cavarretta was later a coach with the Detroit Tigers from 1961 to 1963 and was a member of the New York Yankees staff in 1978. He also worked for the New York Mets organization from 1973 to 1978 as their full-time hitting instructor, roving the minor leagues after finishing spring training with the major league club.

He was the last surviving member of the 1935 and 1938 Cubs World Series teams, and, along with Lennie Merullo and Andy Pafko, one of the last three surviving members of the Cubs' last World Series team in 1945.

His son, Philip Cavarretta, pitched in the minor leagues in 1977 and 1978.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • 4-time NL All-Star (1944-1947)
  • NL MVP (1945)
  • NL Batting Average Leader (1945)
  • NL On-Base Percentage Leader (1945)
  • NL Hits Leader (1944)
  • NL Singles Leader (1944)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 1 (1944)

1944 1945 1946
Marty Marion Phil Cavarretta Stan Musial

Preceded by
Frankie Frisch
Chicago Cubs Manager
Succeeded by
Stan Hack

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