Sunday, April 22, 2012

Player Profile: Charles "Deacon" Phillippe

The most well-known player of the 1897 Fargo team was future major leaguer Charles "Deacon" Phillippe. In 13 major league seasons, Phillippe went 189-109 with a 2.59 ERA. He pitched a record five complete games in the 1903 World Series (a best of 9 series), winning 3 games for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the series. The Pirates lost to the Boston Americans in this inaugural World Series, five games to three.

In the summer of 1897, while on loan from the Minneapolis Millers baseball team, the 25 year old posted a 3-4 record for Fargo before finishing the season with the Millers. The Fargo Forum and Daily Republican regularly praised his level of play and his promise as a young talent. During his time in Fargo, Phillippe pitching style was "of the 84 vintage, when the under-handed ball was in its prime."* He would later switch to a more conventional overhand delivery, which he used while pitching in the major leagues.

Interestingly, a teammate of Phillippe's on the 1903 Pirates team was Joe Marshall, who played for Grand Forks in 1897.

*The Moorhead Independent June 25, 1897 "First Game at Fargo" Front Page

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