Long before the Philadelphia Phillies were managed by a Hall of Fame infielder (Ryne Sandberg from August 2013 until his resignation in June 2015), the Phillies had future Hall of Fame outfielder Hugh Duffy at the helm. In 1906, Duffy was in his third season as Philadelphia’s skipper but the team had been a complete mess in terms of offense and defense.
Catcher Red Dooin committed 32 errors while shortstop Mickey Doolan misplayed 66 baseballs; the Phillies posted 271 errors (.955 fielding percentage) with 83 double plays. At the plate, the team’s batting averaged dropped 19 points from 1905 at .241, collecting 528 runs, 1,183 hits, a National League-leading 197 doubles, 47 triples, 12 home runs, 444 runs batted in, and 180 stolen bases.
Leftfielder Sherry Magee posted team-highs in average (.282), games (154), at-bats (563), hits (159), doubles (36), triples (eight), homers (six), RBIs (67), and steals (55); he was the only player on the Phillies to record more than one home run as six other Phillies tallied one four-bagger apiece. Magee recorded three steals twice in 1906, doing so against Pittsburgh on June 9 and against St. Louis on Sept. 20.
First baseman Kitty Bransfield posted the first inside-the-park grand slam in Phillies history for his lone homer in 1906. Center-fielder Roy Thomas drew 107 walks, the seventh consecutive season he walked 100-plus times with Philadelphia.
Pitching also provided some concerns with 1,201 hits and 436 walks in 1,354 innings but the staff compiled a 2.58 Earned Run Average (.23 lower than 1905), struck out 500 batters, and recorded 20 shutouts. John Lush (18-15, 2.37 ERA) completed 24 of the 37 games he pitched (281 innings) while allowing 254 hits, 119 walks, and 151 strikeouts. Tully Sparks (19-16) led the Phillies in wins, games (42), starts (37), complete games (29), innings (317), shutouts (six) and ERA (2.58).
Meanwhile, Togie Pittinger lost his 20-win touch by posting a record of 8-10 in 20 games (130 innings) with a 3.39 ERA, two shutouts, and 50 walks against 43 strikeouts. Bill Duggleby (13-19) pitched 42 games (30 starts, 22 complete games), walking 66 and fanning 83 in 280 innings with a 2.25 ERA. Lew Richie (9-11, 2.40 ERA) walked 79 and punched out 65 in 206 innings (33 games, 22 starts) with three shutouts.
Sparks (Aug. 13 vs. Cincinnati) and Lush (May 30 vs. Boston) each completed one-hitters. Lush no-hit Brooklyn on May 1 (a 6-0 Philadelphia road victory), the fourth no-hitter thrown by the Phillies. After Lush’s feat, the Phillies wouldn’t celebrate a no-hitter until June 21, 1964 when Jim Bunning achieved a perfect game at the New York Mets.
Duffy’s 1906 squad finished in fourth place at 71-82-1, 45.5 games behind the NL champion Chicago Cubs. Philadelphia’s Baker Bowl admitted 294,680 tickets one season after attracting 317,932. Once the 1906 season concluded, Duffy left the Phillies and headed to Providence; Duffy managed the Phillies to 535 victories, 671 defeats, and 15 ties from 1904 until 1906, while collecting 25 hits in 87 at-bats as an outfielder.
*Information about the 1906 Phillies can be found in “The Phillies Encyclopedia (Third Edition)” by Rich Westcott and Frank Bilovsky.