This may seem familiar: the two quality pitchers were exchanged for each other because they were unable to agree to a contract with their original clubs.
But 50 years ago, on February 25, 1972, this exchange of disgruntled jugs proved to be one of the best deals in Phyllis history. That’s when Phyllis bought left-hander Steve Carlton from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for right-hander Rick Wise.
It was the last trade organized by Phillies general manager John Quinn, who spent 28 years as a major league grandmaster. He made it great.
The 27-year-old Carlton had a fresh season with 20 wins for the Cardinals, who finished second.
Wise, 26, was the winner in 17 games with Phyllis, who finished last. In 1971, Wise became the first and only pitcher in major league history not to score and score two home runs in one game.
At the time of his career, Carlton had 77 Premier League wins against 75 at Wise. Each sought an increase to $ 65,000, and both clubs refused.
Surprisingly, after the deal, Carlton, known as the “Lefty”, received a raise of $ 65,000 from Phyllis, and Wise almost as much from St. Louis, according to the New York Times.
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Agents, arbitration, free agency did not exist 50 years ago. The players negotiated their own contracts.
Phillies fans were unhappy because Wise was the favorite. Carlton was not happy because he did not want to leave the cardinals.
Quinn and Paul Owens, then-lower league directors and Phyllis scouts, dined the night before at the Garden Seat restaurant in Clearwater, Florida.
Quinn asked Owens, “Would you trade Wise for Carlton?” Owens replied, “What are we waiting for?”
The next morning, PR Phyllis staff gathered four writers from Philadelphia at the Fort Harrison Hotel to tell them about the trade.
There was no big press conference. TV and radio stations from the Branch did not go to spring training. There was no ESPN, talk radio, computers, cell phones or social networks. Heck, typewriters were manual, not electric.
Carlton’s first season with Phyllis was electric, one of the pitcher’s greatest solo performances.
►He finished with a record of 27-10, eight league results, a low league score of 1.98 ERA and a record for the club 310 clean-ups in 346 innings. He did it for a team that won just 59 games.
► His total victories became a major league record for the team that finished last. He also set an MLB record, receiving 45.8% of his team’s wins.
►He finished 30 of 41 starts. He was 14-5 at Veterans Stadium, 13-5 away. He won his first three starts, allowing two earned series, including 1-0 against former teammate Bob Gibson. The game took 1 hour 33 minutes.
►He did it all in the first shortened baseball season in which the first week was wiped out. Phyllis missed six games, which means Carlton missed two starts.
►Philis scored a total of 16 runs in his 10 defeats. Five of these losses occurred in a row (May 13-30). Yes, his 10 defeats included a series of five games.
►Sitting with a score of 5-6, Carlton held a record club series of 15 wins from June 7 to August 17. “When Lefty makes a serve, it’s victory day,” Larry Bova said.
►The series ended in a 2-1 and 11-half loss to the Braves at the Veterans Stadium on 21 August.
►During the 15-game winning streak he had three unresolved decisions. Phyllis lost 1-0 in 11 innings in Houston, 9-7 in Atlanta and won 11-4 in San Francisco. Carlton gave up four runs in five innings on that last outing, but Phyllis scored 11 times to take him off the hook.
►Five of 15 victories were unsuccessful: 1-0, 2-0, 2-0, 5-0, 2-0.
►He won the ERA title, allowing four earned runs in the last five starts (4-1). The last pitcher of Phyllis to head the National League in the ERA was Grover Cleveland Alexander from 1.83 in 1917.
►Only three of his victories saved the bullpen.
►Carlton was the unanimous winner of the Sai Young Award, which was voted for by the Baseball Writers Association of America. It was the first of four such awards in 15 Carlton seasons with Phyllis.
►Owens replaced Quinn as CEO in June 1972 and then took over as manager in July. He returned to the front office post at the end of the season. On January 16, 1973, Owens signed a $ 165,000 contract with Carlton, making him the highest paid baseball pitcher.
How times have changed.
Larry Schenk, a sports reporter for the News Journal in 1963, spent 40 years as head of the Phyllis public relations department. He was also vice president of the alumni liaison team.