At last…the MLB playoffs!
Posted by keithosaunders on October 6, 2010
As we turn the page on another disappointing Mets season it’s time to focus on the playoffs. The divisional series I’m most intrigued by is Phillies vs Reds — two classic teams which date back to before the turn of the 19th century.
The Reds won the Black Sox Series of 1919 — there probably should be an asterisk after that one – and they appeared in back to back Series in 1939 and ’40, winning in 7 games against the Tigers in 1940. They then endured a 21 year Series drought before losing to the Yankees in 5 games in 1961. They lost to the Orioles in 1970 and the As in ’72, but by 1975 the Big Red Machine was in full bloom and they won a classic 7 game Series against the Boston Redsox. Next year they would go on to sweep the Yankees. Throw in a sweep of the steroidally-infused Oakland As of 1990 and you are up to date with Reds Series history.
It’s a much simpler endeavor to chronicle the Philadelphia Phillies World Series appearances. In fact, until I was 20 years of age they had yet to win one. They first appeared in the Series in 1915, losing to the Redsox in 5 games. If you had been born in November of that year you would have had to wait until your 35th birthday to see them play post-season ball. That’s 1950, for those of you scoring at home, when the team known as the Whiz kids finally returned to the Series. They were the youngest National League champs in history with an average age of 26. Youth was not served, however, as they were swept by the Yankees, who were in the midst of winning 5 consecutive championships.
In the 70s the Phillies got good again. (note: I am magnanimously skipping over the great pennant race collapse of 1964.) With a nucleus of Mike Schmidt, Bake McBride, Larry Bowa, Steve Carlton, and Tug McGraw they appeared in 3 straight playoffs — from 1976 to ’78 — losing all of them. Just when it appeared they would never get over the hump, they beat the Houston Astros in the 1980 NLCS, a series in which 4 out of the 5 games went to extra innings! The Phillies would go on to win their first World Series ever, beating the Kansas City Royals in 6 games.
In 1983 the Phillies lost to the Orioles in 5 games, and in 1993 their Lenny Dykstra/John Kruk/Mitch Williams version lost to the Toronto Bluejays in 6 games. (I’ll thank you not to mention Joe Carter) That takes us into the current millennium in which the Phillies won their second Series, a 5 gamer against the upstart Tampa Bay Rays. Throw in last year’s loss to the Yankees in 6 games and you are up to date.
Now let the games begin!