Deacon Phillippe

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Deacon Phillippe
Born: (1872-05-23)May 23, 1872
Rural Retreat, Virginia
Died: March 30, 1952(1952-03-30) (aged 79)
Avalon, Pennsylvania
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 21, 1899, for the Louisville Colonels
Last MLB appearance
August 13, 1911, for the Pittsburgh Pirates
MLB statistics
Win–loss record 189–109
Earned run average 2.59
Strikeouts 929
Career highlights and awards
  • League leader in Opposing Batting Average: 1900 (.289), 1903 (.263)

Charles Louis "Deacon" Phillippe (originally Phillippi) (May 23, 1872 – March 30, 1952) was a Major League Baseball pitcher who played for the Louisville Colonels and the Pittsburgh Pirates.


Born in Rural Retreat, Virginia to Andrew Phillippe and Jane Margaret Hackler,[1] Phillippe first appeared in pro baseball with the National League's Louisville Colonels in 1899. He had a 21–17 record that year, which was highlighted by a no-hitter in his seventh career game.

The Colonels disbanded after the season, before which owner Barney Dreyfuss moved a number of Louisville players, including Phillippe, to the Pirates, a team Dreyfuss co-owned. Phillippe won 20 games for four straight seasons as the Pirates won three straight National League pennants from 1901 to 1903.

Phillippe earned the honor of starting the first World Series game for the Pirates against the Boston Americans in 1903. In a complete game victory, Phillippe struck out 10 batters and earned the win against Cy Young to start the best-of-nine series.[2] He single-handedly guided the Pirates to a 3–1 series lead, earning the wins in each game, but when his arm wore down due to overuse, the Americans came back to win the series 5 games to 3, with Phillippe losing the last two. His five decisions in the World Series are still a record for a pitcher.

He missed half of 1904 due to a sore arm, before winning 20 for a sixth time in 1905. His years as an ace ended in 1908, when he suffered from another sore arm and missed nearly the entire season.

Phillippe returned in 1909 to play a bit role on a Pirate team which went 110–42. In 1910, he was primarily used as a relief pitcher and had a 14–2 record. He retired after the 1911 season after making only three appearances that year.

In 1912, he managed the Pittsburgh Filipinos, which were named after him, and began play in the United States Baseball League. The team then moved to the new Federal League in 1913 and, for a short time, was later renamed the Pittsburgh Stogies. The Filipinos finished in first place during the league's inaugural season, which lasted only one month, with a 19-7 record.

Phillippe was widely renowned for his control. No pitcher who has debuted since 1893 (when the pitching mound was moved to its present distance of 60 feet and 6 inches away from home plate) has averaged fewer walks per nine innings than Phillippe.[1]

Deacon is a distant relative of actor Ryan Phillippe, who named his first son Deacon in honor of the pitcher in 2003.

He was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 1982.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Armour, Mark. "Deacon Phillippe". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved 2008-09-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "October 1, 1903 World Series Game 1 at Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds Box Score and Play by Play". Sports Reference, LLC via Retrosheet. Retrieved 2008-09-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Preceded by
Walter Thornton
No-hitter pitcher
May 25, 1899
Succeeded by
Vic Willis