Phillies Record Book: Infield Putouts

Aug 13, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick (47) is forced out by Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins (11) on a fielder
Aug 13, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick (47) is forced out by Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins (11) on a fielder /

The Philadelphia Phillies organization has been playing baseball in the National League since the 1883 season.

In perusing the club record book, it would hard to find a more anonymous group to modern fans than the four players who hold the team records for Putouts in a season at each of the infield positions.

A player is credited with a Putout when he is the fielder in possession of the ball when an out is recorded. For instance, on a fly ball to center field today, if Odubel Herrera catches it on the fly, he is credited with a Putout. When a batter strikes out, the catcher is normally credited with the Putout, unless he mishandles the ball or there is a wild pitch. If he then throws to 1st and an out is recorded, the 1st baseman gets credit for the Putout.

Those players holding Phillies records and their Putouts record totals include 1st baseman Fred Luderus, who recorded 1,597 in the 1917 season, and whom I profiled here previously at TBOH as a player who is deserving of a plaque on the Phillies Wall of Fame.

More from Phillies History

The 2nd base record is held by Emil Verban, who produced 450 Putouts in the 1947 season. The 3rd base record of 229 was set by Ernie Courtney during the 1905 season. Finally, you have to go all the way back to the 19th century to find Monte Cross setting the shortstop record of 404 Putouts in the 1898 campaign.

To put these figures into some perspective for modern fans, we can compare them to the best seasons of some contemporary players at those respective positions for the Putouts category.

Ryan Howard‘s top season for Putouts at 1st base was 2008, when he recorded 1,408. Known as a glove man, Rico Brogna‘s best season was 1,240 in 1999. Pete Rose best season for the category was 1982, when he recorded 1,428. The best figure that John Kruk put together at the position was 1,226 in 1993. In the 2003 season, Jim Thome recorded 1,372 Putouts.

At 2nd base, Chase Utley had a high of 357 Putouts in the 2006 season. Manny Trillo‘s top figure was 360 during the 1980 season. Mickey Morandini had a high of 286 Putouts in the 1996 season. Tony Taylor had a high of 372 during the 1962 campaign.

Among shortstops, Jimmy Rollins had a 227 Putouts season in 2007, while Larry Bowa registered 272 in 1971. Ruben Amaro Sr registered 243 back in 1961, while ‘Whiz Kids’ shortstop Granny Hamner accumulated 293 in that magical 1950 season.

At the ‘Hot Corner’ of 3rd base, Scott Rolen had a high of 144 in 1997. Pedro Feliz had just 110 while playing in 155 games in 2009, and Dave Hollins had 120 in 1992. Even Mike Schmidt, the greatest player in club history, topped out at 139 in 1976.

As you can see, most of the best players in the modern era have not come close to the Phillies single season infield Putout records. The game has changed so much, and with strikeouts now dramatically increased and going away no time soon, it is not likely that any future Phils’ defender will make a legitimate run at one of the positions. But that’s the fun of records – you never know.

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