Jack Phillips (first baseman)
September 6, 1921|
Clarence, New York
|Died: August 30, 2009
|August 22, 1947, for the New York Yankees|
|Last MLB appearance|
|April 25, 1957, for the Detroit Tigers|
|Runs batted in||101|
|Career highlights and awards|
Jack Dorn Phillips (September 6, 1921 – August 30, 2009) was an American professional baseball player whose career extended from 1943–59. In the Major Leagues, he was a backup first baseman who played for three different teams between the 1947 and 1957 seasons. Listed at 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) tall and 193 pounds (88 kg), Phillips was nicknamed "Stretch," and batted and threw right-handed.
Phillips entered the majors in 1947 with the New York Yankees, playing for them two and half years joining the Pittsburgh Pirates (1949–52) and Detroit Tigers (1955–57). His most productive season came in 1956 with the Tigers, when he posted career numbers in home runs (5), runs scored (25) and runs batted in (34), while hitting a .293 average in 69 games.
The highlight of Phillips’ career was his Ultimate Grand Slam home run. Phillips is one of just 23 players in major league history to accomplish the feat, joining the likes of Hall of Famers Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Roberto Clemente, Roger Connor, Mickey Mantle and Carlton Fisk, as well as All-Stars Tommy Henrich, Bobby Thomson, Derek Jeter and David Ortiz, between others. Nevertheless, Phillips remains the only player in major league history to accomplish this feat as a pinch hitter (July 8, 1950), as he was actually going to enter the game as a relief pitcher in the following inning if necessary.
A member of the 1947 World Champions New York Yankees, Phillips also earned Pacific Coast League Most Valuable Player honors in 1954, after hitting .300 with 17 homers for Triple-A Hollywood Stars. In 11 Minor league seasons, he hit a combined .278 with 104 RBI in 1212 games for five different teams between 1943 and 1959.
After a brief minor league managerial career, Phillips returned Clarkson University where he devoted himself to coaching baseball, spanning 24 seasons as the Golden Knights’ skipper, amassing nearly 200 victories and molding over 300 student-athletes in the sport of baseball. He also coached several hundred more in basketball, cross country and golf, guiding the golf team into the early 21st century as an assistant coach.
In 1992, Phillips became one of the first 15 inductees into the Clarkson University Athletic Hall of Fame. Additionally, he was awarded with professor emeritus status in 1988.
On May 3, 2008, Phillips received a long-overdue tribute when the Golden Knights dedicated the then upcoming field project in his honor, renaming the field Jack Phillips Stadium at Snell Field. Since then, the facility has seen numerous upgrades and will continue to see more refurbishments in the coming years, including a 27-foot-long (8.2 m), 10-inning scoreboard this autumn.
Phillips died in Chelsea, Michigan, at the age of 87.
- Phillips was nicknamed Stretch for his flexibility covering first base.