The Hugh Duffy experiment as manager of the Philadelphia Phillies from 1904 until 1906 didn’t go according to plan. In 1907, the Phillies brought in Billy Murray to lead the team from the dugout.
One season after finishing 45.5 games behind first place in the National League at 71-82-1, Murray’s Phillies posted 83 victories, 64 defeats, and two ties. The Phillies finished 21.5 games behind the league champion in third place, the best position in the standings since 1902.
Eight of the nine starting positions players from the 1905 team returned for full-time duty; however, William “Kid” Gleason was the 1906 opening day second baseman at age 40 before giving way to Otto Knabe. Gleason, who appeared in 135 games the previous season appeared in 36 games, collecting 18 hits in 126 at-bats. Knabe batted .255 in 129 games with 67 runs, 16 doubles, nine triples, one home run, 34 runs batted in, and 18 stolen bases.
At the plate, the Phillies compiled a combined .236 batting average with 514 runs, 1,113 hits, a league-high 162 doubles, 65 triples, 12 homers, 424 RBIs, and 154 steals. Left-fielder Sherry Magee finished second in the NL behind Pittsburgh’s Honus Wagner in hitting at .328 and led the league in RBIs with 85; Magee also led Philadelphia in runs (75), hits (165), doubles (28), triples (12), round-trippers (four), and steals (46). Right-fielder John Titus (.275 in 145 games) also tallied 12 triples along with 72 runs, 144 hits, 23 doubles, three homers, 63 RBIs, and nine steals.
Titus collected two triples on May 25 against Brooklyn, the second time he accomplished that feat with the Phillies (the first being July 7, 1905 at Boston). Magee stole three bases on Sept. 9 at Brooklyn and Titus swiped three bags on Sept. 13 at Boston.
On the mound, the Phillies accumulated a 2.43 Earned Run Average in 1,299 innings with 110 complete games, 21 shutouts, 1,095 hits, 422 walks, and 499 strikeouts. The rotation included Buster Brown (9-16, 21 games, four shutouts, 2.42 ERA), Frank Corridon (18-14, 37 games, 131 strikeouts, three shutouts, 2.46 ERA), John Lush (3-5, eight games, two shutouts, 3.00 ERA), Lew Moren (11-18, 37 games, 101 walks, 98 strikeouts, three shutouts, 2.54 ERA) Togie Pittinger (9-5, 16 games, one shutout, 3.00 ERA), Lew Richie (6-6, 25 games, 117 innings, 88 hits, two shutouts, 1.77 ERA), and Tully Sparks (22-8, 33 games, 265 innings, 90 strikeouts, three shutouts, 2.00 ERA). Late call-ups George McQuillan (4-0, six games, 21 hits, 28 strikeouts, three shutouts 0.66 ERA) and Harry Covelski (1-0, four games, 20 innings, 10 hits, three walks, six strikeouts, 0.00 ERA) displayed what future Philadelphia rotations could include.
Corridon recorded two one-hitters and Pittinger, Sparks, and Moren also pitched one-hitters. Sparks and Corridon defeated every club in the eight-team league.
Philadelphia hit into two triple plays, doing so at Pittsburgh (Ernie Courtney batted for the Phillies) on July 27 and on September 23 at Chicago (Red Dooin was the hitter). Defensively, the Phillies committed 256 errors and turned 104 double plays.
The Phillies traded Lush to the St. Louis Cardinals on June 10 in exchange for Brown. Pitcher Bill Duggleby was sent to Pittsburgh on June 15 after going 0-2 in five games (29 innings) with a 7.45 ERA; in his Phillies career, Duggleby went 89-100 in 229 games with a 3.18 ERA. Baker Bowl attracted 341,216 fans, 46,536 more than the previous season.
*Information about the 1907 Phillies can be found in “The Phillies Encyclopedia (Third Edition)” by Rich Westcott and Frank Bilovsky.