The Life, Times and Troubles of Shufflin’ Phil Douglas

From Ray Deering at on September 20, 2011:

“Shufflin” Phil Douglas was raised in Cowan, Tenn. – about an hour west of Chattanooga – and lived for years in the Sequatchie Valley. Throwing a nasty spitball which struck fear in the hearts of sluggers like Babe Ruth, he rose to baseball prominence by leading the New York Giants over the cross-town Yankees in the 1921 World Series. Then, less than a year later, Douglas was suddenly and tragically banned from baseball for life by commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis.


As effective as he was most of the time on the mound, Douglas, known as “Shufflin Phil” because of his slow gait from the bullpen, had a contentious relationship with his managers while getting along well with his teammates. He didn’t enjoy being told what to do; he preferred to be left alone. His affinity for hard liquor led him to take what he called “vacations” for days at a time. Eventually he would return to the team and pitch well for a few weeks.

The fact that his managers could not count on his being ready to pitch on any given day generally led to Douglas being placed on waivers or traded outright to another club.  Because of his acumen on the mound, though, there was always a manager or owner willing to take a chance on him.

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Originally published: September 20, 2011. Last Updated: September 20, 2011.