Whiz Kids Reunion

Seven members of the 1950 National League champion Phillies, best known as the Whiz Kids, will be part of the Alumni Night 6:30 pre-game festivities tomorrow night.

RHP Robin Roberts, LHP Curt Simmons, C Stan Lopata, RHP Bob Miller, INF Putsy Caballero, OF Jack Mayo and coach Maje McDonnell.

Father Time has taken the rest of the Whiz Kids, who won the pennant on the last day (October 1) in 1950. The Phillies were five games up with nine road games left on the schedule.

After losing back-to-back doubleheaders to the New York Giants, the Phillies headed across New York City to Brooklyn for the final two games and a two-game lead over the Dodgers.  Brooklyn won the next game setting the stage for a season-ending nail-biter.

Roberts, then 23 years of age, was going to start, his third start in the last five days.  Yes, three starts in five days, unheard of today.

Last of the ninth in a 1-1 game, Cal Abrams drew a leadoff walk.  Pee Wee Reese singled Abrams to second.  Duke Snider followed with a line drive single to center, Richie Ashburn came up throwing and nailed Abrams at home plate.  An intentional walk to Jackie Robinson loaded the bases but Roberts retired Carl Furillo (pop up to first base) and Gil Hodges (fly to right).  Extra innings.

Roberts started the 10th with a single.  Eddie Waitkus followed with another single bringing left fielder Dick Sisler to the plate.  He drove a 1-2 pitch off Don Newcombe into the left field seats for a pennant-winning, three-run homer, one of the most historic home runs in Phillies history. 

Roberts had a 1-2-3 10th and was carried off the field by his jubilant teammates.  Back in Philadelphia, Phillies faithful erupted. 

Players of the Week
A pitcher from the Clearwater Threshers and a young Brazilian outfielder on the Gulf Coast League Phillies are the Phillies minor league pitcher and player of the week, respectively, for July 28-August 3: http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080807&content_id=3267917&vkey=news_phi&fext=.jsp&c_id=phi

2 Comments

Robin Robrts…….I always had # 36 growing up. As a boy I would always listen on the radio to Gene Kelly or By Saum or Bill Campbell do the games. I remember the Atlantic Richfield, Tastycake and Ballentine Beer (3 ring sign) would sponser the games.

I remember Robin pitching a 1 hitter against SF where the Phillies third baseman at the time Ted Lepcio booted a ball but it was recorded as a hit and a game against Cinn. where he gave up a lead off HR and retired 27 in a row. I think the HR was by Bobby Adams their 2nd baseman but I am not sure.

Would love to met him one day and talk baseball.

I too remember a lot about the Phillies in the 1950’s – like Gene Kelly and Byrum Saum and the mentioned commercials. Got my Dad to take my brother and I to 3 games at Connie Mack in the mid 1950’s. One was against the NY Giants on a Sat. afternoon. Phils lost, but the two things I remember were a sharp line drive to center going right thru Willie May’s legs and Ritchie Ashburn beating out a medium speed grounder to short. We then saw a Sunday afternoon doubleheader against the Cardinals. Curt Simmons started the first game, and the Phils lost 8-4. Musial made a spectacular running catch in left center. The second game was tied 2-2 in the bottom of the ninth. Phils loaded the bases and Granny Hamner lined a shot over first for the win. The crowd went wild!! From watching TV I never realized how exciting this could be. I have lived and died with the Phillies since 1950. (Mostly died except for 1980). I had the good fortune of flying as the personal co-pilot for the Carpenter family in the late 1960’s. Got to know Ruly fairly well. He and his Dad are and were great people.

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