Thursday, September 24, 2009

1969 One Cub At A Time - #372 Adolfo Phillips

I really like the way this card looks. A good swing and a big smile.

But 1969 was a season with little for Adolfo Phillips to smile about. SInce coming to the Cubs from the Phillies in 1966 (in the same trade that brought Fergie Jenkins to the Cubs), great things were expected of Phillips. He was a speedy outfielder who could hit for power. He was going to make Cub fans forget about the Lou Brock trade.

He averaged 15 home runs and 18 stolen bases over three seasons. But his averaged dropped each year. He was also a very sensitive person, which isn't good when Leo Durocher is your manager.

The 1969 season did not start out well for Phillips. He broke his hand in spring training Leo was getting impatient with Adolfo's recovery and in May declared that Phillips was ready but doesn't want to play. By June, he had played in only 28 games and was hitting .228. The Cubs gave up on him and on June 11 he was traded to the Expos. In a three-way trade, the Cubs received utility infielder Paul Popovich from the Dodgers.

Adolfo Phillips was no Lou Brock. He played in 150 games with the Expos in '69-70. He was out of the majors in '71 and resurfaced with the Indians for 12 games in 1972 to wrap up his career.

Center field was a problem position for the 1969 Cubs. They really never had a consistent presence in center, as Phillips, and rookies Don Young and Jim Qualls manned the positiion, but never did much.

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