Thirty-three years after their first National League season, the Phillies finally reached the World Series. They did it in 1915 with a powerful team led by first-year manager Pat Moran. The Phils swept to the pennant with a 90-62 record, leading most of the way and finishing seven games ahead of the defending world champion Boston Braves. Grover Cleveland Alexander won 31 games and pitched four one-hitters, Erskine Mayer won 21, and Gavvy Cravath (photo at right) set a Major League record with 24 home runs while also leading the league in RBI and runs scored. The home run record would last until Babe Ruth broke it in 1919. After Alexander and the Phils won the first game of the World Series, the club lost four straight to the Boston Red Sox, the end coming when Harry Hooper bounced his second ground-rule home run of the game into the center field bleachers for a 5-4 Red Sox victory, Boston's fourth straight one-run triumph.
It was otherwise, mostly a splendid decade for the Phillies until the later years. Sherry Magee led the league in batting, RBI and runs scored in 1910. The following year, the Phils signed Alexander, and the future Hall of Famer won 28 games as a rookie. Two more future Hall of Famers, pitcher Eppa Rixey in 1912 and shortstop Dave Bancroft (photo at left) in 1915 joined the club. In 1913, Doc Miller set a club record with 20 pinch-hits and Tom Seaton won 27 games as the Phils leaped into second place. And the slugging Cravath won six home run crowns between 1913 and 1919.
The Phils lost key players to the Federal League and to World War I during the decade. They also lost another owner. Horace Fogel, an ex-sports writer, was banned from baseball for life for injudicious comments about the league. In 1913, former New York City police commissioner William Baker became the team's seventh president since Reach left in 1903. Baker had Philadelphia Park renamed Baker Bowl, but more significantly would destroy a fine team after its second straight second place finish in 1917. His worst move was trading Alexander, after he had won 30 or more games in three straight years, to the Chicago Cubs for two nobodies. Alexander had been drafted into the Army, and Baker was afraid that he might not make it back as a player.
The Phils set an attendance record in 1916 of 515,365 that stood until after World War II. In 1918, slugger Cy Williams arrived in one of the Phillies' best trades, the club had its longest game in history, a 21-inning, 2-1 loss to the Cubs, and Moran (photo at right) was fired. By 1919, the Phils had slipped to eighth place as a long, dreary era began. That year, Joe Oeschger pitched all 20 innings of a 9-9 tie with the Brooklyn Dodgers.