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January 30 2007

Ryan Howard hit 58 long balls last season, shattering the Phillies' single-season record set by Mike Schmidt in 1980.  For all that Howard accomplished last year and all of his excellence with the bat, there are some single season Phillies' records that he is simply never going to break.  Most of them belong to Chuck Klein.

 

  Chuck Klein 1930 Phillies Rank All-Time Ryan Howard 2006 Phillies Rank All-Time
SLG .687 1 .659 2
OPS 1.123 1 1.084 T-5
TB 445 1 383 5
2B 59 1 25 -
RBI 170 1 149 3
XBH 107 1 84 T-4
HR 40 T-8 58 1

The 1930 Phillies were absolutely awful, going 52-102 and finishing in last place in the National League, 40 games behind the St Louis Cardinals.  At age 25, right fielder Chuck Klein hit 386/436/687 with 40 home runs and 59 doubles.  He drove in 170.  He led the NL in doubles and was second in home runs are RBI.  Neither the NL or the AL selected an MVP in 1930 -- Klein would finish second in 1931 and 1933 and win the award in 1932.

As this article points out, the left-handed Klein was a monster in the Phillies' home stadium, the Baker Bowl.  The Baker Bowl featured a scant 280 feet down the right field line -- Klein hit .439 for the season at home and more than a hundred points lower, .332, on the road.  Klein's fellow lefty in the lineup, Lefty O'Doul, also put up huge numbers for the Phils in 1930, hitting 383/453/604 with 22 home runs.  The right-fielder Klein also took advantage of the short right field defensively, recording 44 outfield assists in '30.

Klein's 44 outfield assists either is or isn't the major league record, depending on who you ask.  Hardy Richardson had 45 outfield assists for the Buffalo Bisons in 1881, but a lot of people have trouble taking 1881 seriously.  1882, for example, gives it hardly any respect and can be downright cruel in constantly bringing up 1881's inability to discover the bacterium responsible for tuberculosis.

This article suggests the Phillies should wait till they know Hamels is healthy before trading a pitcher.  If they do, they could be going with six starters until about 2014 or so.

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