Phil Cavarretta

From BR Bullpen

Phil Cavarretta.jpg

Philip Joseph Cavarretta

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

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 Mets staff from 1975 to 1978. Starting in 1973, he had been the Mets' 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.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 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)

Year-by-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Playoffs Notes
1951 Chicago Cubs National League 27-47 8th replaced Frankie Frisch (35-45)
1952 Chicago Cubs National League 77-77 5th
1953 Chicago Cubs National League 65-89 7th
1956 Buffalo Bisons International League 64-87 8th
1957 Buffalo Bisons International League 88-66 2nd League Champs
1958 Buffalo Bisons International League 69-83 7th
1960 Lancaster Red Roses Eastern League 66-73 6th
1965 Salinas Indians California League 67-72 4th
1966 Reno Silver Sox California League 69-71 4th (t)
1967 Reno Silver Sox California League 56-82 8th
1968 Waterbury Indians Eastern League 19-38 -- -- replaced by Ray Mueller (33-50) on June 22
1970 Birmingham A's Southern League 73-65 3rd
1971 Birmingham A's Southern League 48-93 4th
1972 Birmingham A's Southern League 49-90 4th
1944 1945 1946
Marty Marion Phil Cavarretta Stan Musial

Preceded by
Frankie Frisch
Chicago Cubs Manager
Succeeded by
Stan Hack

Further Reading[edit]

  • Lawrence Baldassaro: "Phil Cavarretta", in Bill Nowlin, ed.: Van Lingle Mungo: The Man, The Song, The Players, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2014, pp. 140-144. ISBN 978-1-933599-76-2

Related Sites[edit]