SABR Digital Library: The Whiz Kids Take the Pennant: The 1950 Philadelphia Phillies

Add this new baseball book from the SABR Digital Library to your collection:

The Whiz Kids Take the Pennant: The 1950 Philadelphia Phillies
Edited by C. Paul Rogers III and Bill Nowlin
Associate editors: Len Levin and Carl Riechers 
Foreword by Curt Simmons
Special Contribution by Dr. Bobby Brown 
ISBN (paperback): 978-1-943816-31-6, $19.95 
ISBN (e-book): 978-1-943816-30-9, $9.99
366 pages, 8.5″ x 11″

The 1950 Philadelphia Phillies ― the “Whiz Kids” ― threatened to run away with the pennant, but slumped badly in late summer before finally beating the Brooklyn Dodgers in a thrilling 10-inning game on the last day of the season. That day at Ebbets Field they won only the second pennant in Phillies history and their first in 35 years. Between the two pennants, the Phillies were mostly dreadful, finishing in the first division only once between 1917 and 1949, and dead last 16 times between 1919 and 1945, including five straight years from 1938 to 1942, once finishing 28½ games out of seventh.

This book tells the stories of those Whiz Kids, a team with one of the most memorable nicknames in baseball history. Not only does this volume recap how their run to the flag was marked by clutch hitting and pitching in close games, it contains biographies of every player who appeared, including Richie Ashburn, Robin Roberts, Willie “Puddin’ Head” Jones, and Eddie Waitkus. Game stories and many other features about this unique team round out the volume. In addition to a foreword by Whiz Kid Curt Simmons, it even contains a “View From the Other Side” by Yankees third baseman and former American League President Dr. Bobby Brown.

This book is also the product of the dedicated, uncompensated work of 36 members of the Society for American Baseball Research, all of whom share a love of baseball and its rich history. Even for the most knowledgeable baseball fan, what follows is a treasure trove of fascinating anecdotes and facts about a bygone era of baseball when the uniforms were flannel, the players still left their gloves on the field between innings, and the games were played in two hours.

Contributors include: Ralph Berger, Dennis Brislen, Warren Corbett, Greg Erion, Charles F. Faber, Dan Fields, Jan Finkel, Eric Hanauer, Michael Huber, Bob Hurte, Seamus Kearney, Jimmy Keenan, Bob LeMoine, Len Levin, Jack V. Morris, Bill Nowlin, Gregg Omoth, Neal Poloncarz, James L. Ray, Carl Riechers, Paul Rogers, Steven D. Schmitt, Joe Schuster, David E. Skelton, Curt Smith, Ted D. Smith, Lyle Spatz, Mark S. Sternman, Andy Sturgill, Jim Sweetman, Clayton Trutor, Edward W. Veit, Cort Vitty, Steve West, John Wickline, and Gregory H. Wolf.


SABR members, get this e-book for FREE!

Buy the book


About the SABR Digital Library

For more than 40 years, SABR and its members have led the way in publishing the best baseball historical and statistical research. Our publications program is shifting to take advantage of new methods of publishing. Not only will we continue to publish new books like Can He Play? A Look At Baseball Scouts and Their Profession (released in December 2011); Detroit Tigers 1984: What A Start! What A Finish! (December 2012); Sweet ’60: The 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates (April 2013); Inventing Baseball: The 100 Greatest Games of the 19th Century (July 2013); Scandal on the South Side: The 1919 Chicago White Sox (June 2015); The Team That Time Won’t Forget: The 1951 New York Giants (December 2015); Nuclear Powered Baseball/The Simpsons (February 2016), Au jeu/Play Ball: The 50 Greatest Games in the History of the Montreal Expos (April 2016); Cuban Baseball Legends (July 2016), Baseball’s Business: The Winter Meetings: 1901-1957 (December 2016); Dome Sweet Dome: History and Highlights from 35 Years of the Houston Astrodome (February 2017), No-Hitters (May 2017), Puerto Rico and Baseball (June 2017), and Bittersweet Goodbye: The Black Barons, the Grays, and the 1948 Negro League World Series (July 2017), which showcase the best efforts of SABR’s members, chapters and committees, but new technology makes it possible for us to bring out-of-print titles like Run, Rabbit, Run: The Hilarious and Mostly True Tales of Rabbit Maranville (February 2012), Great Hitting Pitchers (March 2012), Nineteenth Century Stars (August 2012); Batting (January 2013); The Fenway Project (September 2013); ’75: The Red Sox Team That Saved Baseball (April 2015), and The 1967 Impossible Dream Red Sox: Pandemonium on the Field (June 2017) back again.

Books will be available in digital formats as well as paperbacks produced by “print on demand” (POD).

SABR members will get discounted rates for all Digital Library publications, including many for free. If you’re not a member, click here to join SABR.

Stay tuned throughout the year for new (and old!) titles that we’ll be adding to the SABR Digital Library. To learn more about SABR Publications, contact Publications Editor Cecilia Tan at


Having trouble downloading our e-books? To view PDF files on your computer, click here to download the free Adobe Reader software. Having trouble downloading e-books to your Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader or iPad? Click here for additional help.

Originally published: January 26, 2018. Last Updated: August 19, 2020.