Who were the best and worst managers in Philadelphia Phillies history?
55 managers, to be exact.
It’s not the most by any franchise in MLB history; Oliver Marmol will be the St. Louis Cardinals’ 65th manager, and their franchise is exactly one season older than the Phillies. But by comparison, in a much shorter franchise history, the New York Yankees have employed 35 managers. They’ve also won 27 championships in a much shorter span (1923-2009), but that’s a topic for another day.
Thanks to the ongoing MLB lockout, we have the time to examine each of the Phillies skippers’ tenures. There’s a lot of bad, a little bit of good, and some random facts and tidbits sprinkled in.
Best-named Phillies managers
The early decades of baseball had the best names and nicknames, and the Phillies skippers were no exception.
In their inaugural season in 1883, the Phillies got off to a roaring start by needing two managers. Their second skipper was a man named Blondie Purcell, who managed the team to a 13-68 record.
In 1921, fresh off the first World War, the Phillies hired Irvin Key Wilhelm, whose nickname was Kaiser. That’s right, Kaiser Wilhelm. He also pitched for the Phillies while managing them. Much like the Germans in WW1, Wilhelm finished with a losing record (83-137).