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1979 Philadelphia Phillies season: Wikis


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1979 Philadelphia Phillies
Major league affiliations
1979 information
Owner(s) Robert "Ruly" Carpenter III
General manager(s) Paul Owens
Manager(s) Danny Ozark, Dallas Green
Local television WPHL-TV
Local radio KYW
(Harry Kalas, Richie Ashburn, Andy Musser, Chris Wheeler)

The Phillies entered the 1979 season with one of the strongest lineups in the league with the addition of Pete Rose but with numerous injuries on the pitching staff. AP sports writer Hal Bock picked the Phils to finish second behind the Pirates as the Phillies would enter the season with pitchers Larry Christenson, prospect Jim Wright, and Dick Ruthven all injured.[1] The Phils were 14-games over .500 and in first-place on May 17 but had fallen to fifth place and two-games under .500 by August 29. Mid-season injuries to Manny Trillo, Larry Bowa, and Greg Luzinski contributed to hurt the club. The team's decline led to the firing of manager Danny Ozark on August 31 who was replaced by Dallas Green.[2] Green was named interim manager, a position made permanent shortly after the end of the season. [3]



Prior to the 1979 season, Pete Rose signed a four-year, $3.2-million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, temporarily making him the highest-paid athlete in team sports. The Phillies were in the middle of the greatest era in the history of the franchise when Rose came on board. They had won the National League East three years running (1976-1978) two of which were won with 101 win seasons.


Notable transactions

Regular season


Retired 1979[13]

On May 17, 1979, the Phillies beat the Cubs 23-22 at Wrigley Field in ten innings with a 30-mph wind blowing out to left field.[14]

The Phillies front office introduced an alternate all-burgundy version of the team uniform for the 1979 season to be worn for Saturday games.[15] They were called "Saturday Night Specials", in a derisive nod to cheap handguns then called by that name and were worn for the first and last time on May 19, 1979,[16] a 10-5 loss to the Expos.[17] The immediate reaction of the media, fans, and players alike was negative, with many describing the despised uniforms as pajama-like. As such, the idea was hastily abandoned. Mike Schmidt would wear the uniform during the MLB All-Star Tour of Japan following the 1979 season.

On July 10, 1979, Del Unser hit his third consecutive pinch hit Home Run. Unser tied a Major League Baseball record with homers in three straight pinch at-bats. The at-bats were on June 30, July 5, and July 10.[18]

Season standings

NL East W L GB Pct.
Pittsburgh Pirates 98 64 -- .605
Montreal Expos 95 65 2 .594
St. Louis Cardinals 86 76 12 .531
Philadelphia Phillies 84 78 14 .519
Chicago Cubs 80 82 18 .494
New York Mets 63 99 35 .389

Notable transactions


1979 Philadelphia Phillies roster
Pitchers Catchers


Outfielders Manager


Player stats


Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
1B Rose, PetePete Rose 163 628 208 .331 4 59
2B Trillo, MannyManny Trillo 118 431 112 .260 6 42

Other batters

Note: G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Gross, GregGreg Gross 118 174 58 .333 0 15
Meoli, RudyRudy Meoli 30 73 13 .178 0 6
Rader, DaveDave Rader 31 54 11 .204 1 5
Poff, JohnJohn Poff 12 19 2 .105 0 1


Starting pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Espinosa, NinoNino Espinosa 33 212 14 12 3.65 88
Larson, DanDan Larson 3 19 1 1 4.26 9

Other pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO

Relief pitchers

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Bird, DougDoug Bird 32 2 0 0 5.16 33
Brusstar, WarrenWarren Brusstar 13 1 0 1 6.91 3

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Oklahoma City 89ers American Association Lee Elia
AA Reading Phillies Eastern League Jim Snyder
A Peninsula Pilots Carolina League Ron Clark
A Spartanburg Phillies Western Carolinas League Bill Dancy
Short-Season A Central Oregon Phillies Northwest League Tom Harmon
Rookie Helena Phillies Pioneer League Roly de Armas

LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Central Oregon[23]


  1. ^ Hal Bock (1979-03-27). "Pitching holds key to Phillies' title defense". The Free-Lance Star.,3784829&dq=phillies&hl=en.  
  2. ^ "Phillies dismiss Ozark as manager". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 1979-08-31.,44631&dq=dallas+green+1979+phillies&hl=en.  
  3. ^ "Phillies to select Dallas Green". The Bulletin. 1979-10-18.,6163025&dq=dallas+green+1979+phillies&hl=en.  
  4. ^ Jeff Schneider page at Baseball Reference
  5. ^ Pete Rose page at Baseball Reference
  6. ^ Joe Charboneau page at Baseball Reference
  7. ^ Mark Davis page at Baseball Reference
  8. ^ Manny Trillo page at Baseball Reference
  9. ^ Jose Moreno page at Baseball Reference
  10. ^ a b Rudy Meoli page at Baseball Reference
  11. ^ Dan Boitano page at Baseball Reference
  12. ^ Del Unser page at Baseball Reference
  13. ^ The Official Site of The Philadelphia Phillies: History: Richie Ashburn
  14. ^ "Box Score of Game played on Thursday, May 17, 1979, at Wrigley Field". Retrieved 2009-10-13.  
  15. ^ Okkonen, Mark. "Dressed to the Nines: Uniform Database (1979)". National Baseball Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2008-06-07.  
  16. ^ Paul Lukas (2007-08-23). "Uni Watch: One and done". Uni Watch. Retrieved 2009-10-13.  
  17. ^ "Box Score of Game played on Saturday, May 19, 1979, at Veteran's Stadium". Retrieved 2009-10-13.  
  18. ^ The Ballplayers - Del Unser |
  19. ^ Todd Cruz page at Baseball Reference
  20. ^ Jim Kaat page at Baseball Reference
  21. ^ Roy Smith page at Baseball Reference
  22. ^ Jim Lonborg page at Baseball Reference
  23. ^ Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 2nd and 3rd editions. Durham, N.C.: Baseball America, 1997 and 2007

Further reading


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