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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

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