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Tony Phillips

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Keith Anthony Phillips

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[edit] Biographical Information

When Albert Belle was acquired by the Chicago White Sox in 1997, he requested to wear Tony Phillips' uniform number, # 8. Phillips then stated that he was going to switch to a number that nobody would ever ask for again, and wore # 73 that season, even after being traded to the Anaheim Angels.

On June 5, 1994, playing for the Detroit Tigers, Phillips led off the bottom of the 1st inning with a homer off Scott Erickson of the Minnesota Twins, then hit a second homer off Erickson in the 8th in a game the Tigers won, 5-3. What made the game memorable was the Twins' own leadoff hitter, Chuck Knoblauch also homered to lead off the game, and added a second homer in the 7th inning. It was the first time that both leadoff hitters had gone deep to start the game, and homered again later in the contest. the feat was reproduced on August 13, 2013, by Brad Miller of the Seattle Mariners and Ben Zobrist of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Phillips was the 4th major leaguer to homer on his 40th birthday, following Bob Thurman (1957), Joe Morgan (1983) and Wade Boggs (just a year before Phillips). It was 13 years until Chipper Jones became the 5th.

Upon his retirement from baseball, he became the record holder for most games (2,161), plate appearances (9,110), at-bats (7,617), runs scored (1,300) and walks (1,319) among all players to never make an All-Star Game in the All-Star era.

In 2011, at the age of 52, Phillips was still active in professional baseball, playing 3B for the Yuma Scorpions of the independent North American League. He made national news on August 9th for starting a brawl with another former major leaguer, Chico Outlaws manager Mike Marshall. When order was restored, Yuma manager Jose Canseco decided to forfeit the game, fearing for his players' safety, he claimed. Phillips was handed a three-game suspension for his actions, as was Marshall.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • AL Runs Scored Leader (1992)
  • 2-time AL Bases on Balls Leader (1993 & 1996)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 1 (1995)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 4 (1992, 1993, 1995 & 1996)
  • Won a World Series with the Oakland Athletics in 1989

[edit] Further Reading

  • Mike Blum: "Baseball Hero Comes Home Again: World Series Star Tony Phillips Has Day in His Honor", The Atlanta Journal Constitution, December 28, 1989, pp. H14-.
  • Steve Dilbeck: "Tony Phillips, Two People", USA Today, Arlington, VA, July 22, 1997, pp. S12-.
  • Greg Guss: "All the Rage: Fiery Tony Phillips Ignites Yet Another Club", Sport, Volume 87, Number 10, October 1996, pp. 71-73.
  • Henry Hecht: "The A's Get a Tony Award", Sports Illustrated, Volume 64, Number 22, June 2, 1986. [1]
  • Johnette Howard: "Dynamite Tony Phillips, Anaheim's Diminutive and Explosive Star, Booms Out Hits and Invective", Sports Illustrated, Volume 86, Number 26, June 30, 1997. [2]
  • Tim Kurkjian: "No Futility in Utility", Sports Illustrated, Volume 75, Number 1, July 1, 1991, pp. 54. [3]
  • Tim Kurkjian: "The Feisty Phillips Has Ignited The White Sox", Sports Illustrated, Volume 84, Number 23, June 10, 1996. [4]
  • Eric Noland: "Alone at the Top: With Tony Phillips Hitting Leadoff, the Angels Sizzled in '95 so Is It a Surprise the White Sox Are Hot with Him there in '96?", Daily News of Los Angeles, June 19, 1996, pp. S1-. [5]
  • Bob Ryan: "Tony Phillips Masters Art of Gaining a Winning Edge", Baseball Digest, Volume 54, Number 12, December 1995, pp. 70-.
  • Paul Sullivan: "Tony the Tornado: Phillips Keeps Thing in a Whirl for the Sox", Chicago Tribune, June 23, 1996, pp. 1-.
  • "Tony Phillips Excels in Leadoff Position", Baseball Digest, Volume 54, Number 12, December 1995, pp. 72-.

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