We get tons of questions at MLB.com. Naturally, most of them focus on the players, managers, coaches and front office. But sometimes we get a question that has us asking ourselves, “I don’t know, but I want to find out.” We will be answering some of those questions this offseason.
Here is the first: How many players born in Philadelphia played for the Phillies?
According to Baseball Reference, at least 38 people born inside Philadelphia’s city limits played for the Phillies (this does not include players born in the Philly suburbs): Dick Koecher (1946-48), Bucky Walters (1934-38), Del Ennis (1946-56), Jack Meyer (1955-61), Andy Carter (1994-95), Rick Schu (1984-87, '91), Ruben Amaro Jr (1992-93, '96-98), Ramon Martinez (2005), Monte Cross (1898-1901), Jimmie Wilson (1923-28, '34-38), Jack Clements (1884-97), Ty Pickup (1918), Eddie Feinburg (1938-39), Benny Culp (1942-44), Lefty Hoerst (1940-42, '46-47), Hal Kelleher (1935-38), Buster Hoover (1884), Al Maul (1887, 1900), Charlie Bastian (1885-88, '91), Cy Malis (1934), Elmer Burkart (1936-39), Bill Hoffman (1939), Hardie Henderson (1883), Jim Tyng (1888), John Coleman (1883-84), Bert Conn (1898, 1900), Lefty Weinert (1919-24), Mike Kilroy (1891), Phenomenal Smith (1890-91), Charlie Jordan (1896), Jack McFetridge (1890, 1903), Harry Shuman (1944), Sparrow Morton (1884), Ed Lennon (1928), Charlie Hilsey (1883), John Strike (1886), John Jackson (1933) and Ralph Caldwell (1904-05) are those known, according to the website.
Some tidbits about a few of these players:
Koecher, who died in February in Naples, Fla., at age 93, went 0-4 with a 4.91 ERA in seven appearances (three starts) in his big league career, which he spent entirely with the Phillies. The Temple University grad had the nickname "Highpockets."
Walters attended Germantown Academy. He lost a MLB-leading 21 games in 1936, but he made the '37 National League All-Star team. He joined the Reds in '38 and won the NL Most Valuable Player Award a year later, when he led the league in wins, strikeouts and ERA. (That’s the Triple Crown of pitching, folks.) He also made five NL All-Star teams with the Reds and helped them win the 1940 World Series.
Ennis, who attended Olney High School, is one of the best players in Phillies history, helping the "Whiz Kids" win the 1950 NL pennant. He made three All-Star teams and earned MVP Award votes in eight seasons.
Meyer, who attended Penn Charter, spent his entire career with the Phillies. He finished second for the NL Rookie of the Year Award in 1955, losing to the Cardinals' Bill Virdon.
Carter was born in Philadelphia, but he attended Springfield High School in Delaware County. He made 24 appearances for the Phillies in his only two seasons in the big leagues. Schu was born in Philly, but he grew up in California.
Amaro, of course, followed his father’s footsteps and played for the Phillies. He later became assistant general manager and general manager, helping Ed Wade and Pat Gillick build and supplement a talented core that won the 2008 World Series. Amaro later made trades to acquire Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Hunter Pence and Roy Oswalt. Amaro’s team won a franchise-record 102 games in '11.
Martinez was born in Philadelphia, but he went to high school in Puerto Rico and college in Texas. He joined the Phillies from Detroit in June 2005, when the Phillies traded Placido Polanco to the Tigers for Ugueth Urbina.
Wilson later managed the Phillies from 1934-38.