Philadelphia Phillies: 50 greatest players of all-time
Del Ennis signed with the Phillies in March of 1943. He almost got the chance to start his major-league career later that year, but he joined the Navy instead. While in the Navy, he played well enough in exhibition games for the New York Yankees to offer him a contract for $25,000. He was paid only $50 by the Phillies, $364,216.76 versus $728.43 in today’s money.
After his military service ended, Ennis returned to the Phillies and made an immediate impact in his rookie year. In 141 games, the 21-year-old hit 17 home runs, drove in 73 runs, hit .313 and posted a .849 OPS (144 OPS+). He was the first Phillies rookie named an All-Star in franchise history and finished eighth in MVP voting.
Ennis earned two more All-Star appearances during his career and received MVP votes seven more times. He finished fourth in MVP voting in 1950, as he led the league with 126 runs batted in, hit 31 home runs, batted .311 and posted a .923 OPS, all career highs.
Over 11 years with the Phillies, Ennis hit 259 home runs, drove in 1,124 runs, scored 891 runs, racked up 1,812 hits and posted a .286/.344/.479 line.
His 162-game average for his career was 25 home runs, 109 runs batted in, 176 hits and 84 runs scored.
Ennis ranks fourth in total bases, fifth in hits, sixth in games played, at-bats, plate appearances and extra-base hits, and 10th in offensive wins above replacement and runs scored in franchise history. Ennis also holds the infamous record, as he is tied for the most times grounding into a double play in franchise history.
Ennis didn’t come close to Hall of Fame induction, but he was named to the Philadelphia Baseball Wall of Fame in 1982 and Phillies centennial team in 1983.