Baseball America, the national baseball publication and website, has named the Phillies the Organization of the Year for 2009. The announcement came yesterday at the Winter Meetings in Indianapolis, IN.
When the last decade ended, the Phillies were coming off six straight losing seasons and 732 wins for the 10-year period. But, their minor league system had young prospects that would work their way to the majors, Pat Burrell, Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Madson, Brett Myers, Carlos Ruiz.
Joining them this decade were Cole Hamels, J. A. Happ, Ryan Howard, Kyle Kendrick and Chase Utley. When the decade ended the Phillies had 850 wins for the 10-year-period, three consecutive NL East titles and back-to-back trips to the World Series. All were firsts in franchise history.
While credit starts with those in authority at the top of the Baseball Administration Department, the unsung heroes are some 80 people toiling in the trenches: scouts, managers, coaches, instructors, athletic trainers and conditioning coaches.
While I haven’t seen a chart of past winners, I do recall the Phillies winning the award in 1969. Things were bleak at that time but the farm system had the likes of Larry Bowa, Denny Doyle, Greg Luzinski, Bob Boone, Rick Wise and John Vukovich on the way to the majors.
The 1970-1980s era turned out to be a great one. We are living one even greater.
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