07/30/2003 6:44 PM ET
1993 a special year at The Vet
PHILADELPHIA -- A record of 70-92 -- last place in the National League East
-- 26 games out of first place.
A record of 97-65 -- first place in the NL East -- an appearance in the
How did the Phillies go from one of the worst teams in the National League
in 1992 to representing the league in the World Series in '93?
"We just had a bunch of guys who were castoffs or tradeoffs," explained left-handed pitcher Danny Jackson. "Just a bunch of wild guys who liked to play the game and played it hard every day."
Jackson, in his first season with Philadelphia, became an integral part of
a pitching rotation that included Terry Mulholland, Tommy Greene, Ben Rivera
and then-26-year-old Curt Schilling.
All five starters recorded double-digit wins in '93, with Schilling and
Greene leading the way with 16 each. Rivera notched 13, while Mulholland and
Jackson each added 12.
While the pitching was solid all season, the team's hitting and defense
were up to the task as well.
The Phillies had an interesting thing happen in 1993 -- many of the team's
players simultaneously had the best year of their respective careers. Catcher Darren
Daulton believes the manager had a lot to do with that.
"We overachieved in so many areas as players and Jimmy [Fregosi] got the
most out of everyone of us," Daulton said.
The Phillies used a platoon at three positions, giving 11 players the
opportunity to regularly contribute instead of the usual eight. Milt
Thompson and Pete Incaviglia shared left field, Mariano Duncan and Mickey
Morandini took turns at second base and Jim Eisenreich and Wes Chamberlain
traded time in right field.
"It was an amazing team concept and I don't think you'll ever see that
again," Daulton said recently.
The team was led offensively by Daulton, Lenny Dykstra, John Kruk and Dave
Hollins. Dykstra, the team's leadoff hitter and offensive catalyst, led the
NL in hits (194), runs (143), walks (129) and at-bats (637) in '93. He also
posted career bests in home runs, doubles, RBIs and stolen bases.
Kruk set a career mark for hits, while Daulton had the most runs scored of
his career. The pair also had their career bests in doubles and walks in
1993. Hollins matched his career highs in RBIs and runs.
Daulton, Kruk, Hollins and Mulholland were members of the All-Star team,
while Dykstra was voted runner-up for the NL MVP Award.
Even rookie Kevin Stocker, a midseason callup at shortstop, contributed
to the team's success. Usually slotted eighth in the batting order, Stocker
hit .324 for the season.
The 1993 season had some unforgettable moments.
The team started the season on the right note, with Mulholland pitching a
complete game in a 3-1 victory over the Astros. It was the first time since
1984 that the Phillies won their opener.
The team went on to sweep the Astros, and the first series of the season
was a signal to Kruk, the Phillies first baseman.
"When we swept Houston in the first three games of the season I knew we had
a chance at something special," said Kruk.
The Phillies returned home to Veterans Stadium and rolled to 8-1, matching
the 1915 team for the best start in franchise history.
By Mike Gennaria / Special to MLB.com
"Just a bunch of wild guys who liked to play the game and played it hard every day."
-- Danny Jackson
After a West Coast trip, including series against the Padres, Dodgers and
Giants, the Phillies came back to the Vet for a three-game series with the
Cardinals, May 7-9. The team was 19-7 and steadily building momentum. Three
consecutive one-run wins helped the cause.
After a 4-3 victory in the series opener, the Phillies handed the ball to
Mulholland. The lefty came through with a 10-inning complete game, leading
Philadelphia to a 2-1 win.
Duncan punctuated the series with a two-out eighth-inning grand slam off
career saves leader Lee Smith. Duncan's homer capped a 6-5 win and the
On July 2, the Phillies were scheduled for a doubleheader versus the
Padres at the Vet. The second game ended at 4:40 a.m. after multiple rain delays, creating one of the longest nights in Major League history.
The Phils dropped the first game 5-2, and to make matters worse the second
game went into extra innings with the scored tied 5-5. But that's when Mitch
Williams came through at the plate. The closer nailed a Trevor Hoffman
offering with one out in the 10th for the game-winning RBI.
"That was fun," Williams said recently. "I do my best work at 4:40 in the
Williams' family flew in from Oregon that day, but unfortunately most of
them weren't around to see his hitting heroics.
"[My father] was the only one who roughed it. The rest of the family went
home midway through the first game," Williams said.
His father stayed at the ballpark, but went back to Williams' truck to
catch some sleep. However, when Williams awoke him in the truck after the
marathon doubleheader concluded, he had some trouble convincing his dad he
had the game-winning hit.
"When we got home, my wife was actually awake at six o'clock in the morning
waiting for me in the driveway, so [my father] believed me then," Williams
The Phillies cruised into the All-Star break with a record of 57-32.
The second half of the season was not as glamorous record-wise, but a
return to the playoffs for the first time in a decade was all that
The team clinched a spot in the playoffs with a 10-7 victory at Pittsburgh
on Sept. 28. Duncan again provided the drama. The second baseman hit
another grand slam, his 11th home run of the season, in the seventh
inning to propel the Phils to the postseason.
Williams saved his 43rd game of the season three days later to set a
"It was an amazing year," Daulton said. "It seemed like somebody different
every day helped us win a ballgame."
With a cast of characters that provided some heart-racing moments during
the regular season, the playoffs would be no different.
The Phillies faced the Braves in the NL Championship Series and many gave
the team from the City of Brotherly Love little chance against an Atlanta
squad that had racked up 104 wins.
But Schilling set the pace early for the underdog Phillies. He
struck out the first five Braves he faced to set an NLCS record.
Philadelphia took a 3-2 lead into the ninth inning when disaster seemingly
struck. Kim Batiste, inserted into the game at third base for his defense,
made a throwing error. The miscue would lead to an unearned run, a tie game
and extra innings.
Batiste redeemed himself with a game-winning RBI double in the 10th.
Batiste's hit scored Kruk and staked the team to a 1-0 series lead.
After losing Games 2 and 3 of the series, the Phillies handed the ball to
Jackson. The lefty outdueled John Smoltz and knocked in what turned out to
be the game-winning run in the fourth inning as the Phillies emerged with a
2-1 victory. Williams wiggled out of a two-on, one out jam in the ninth when
he got Ron Gant to ground into a double play to end the game. The series was
In the third and final game of the series at Atlanta's Fulton County
Stadium, Philadelphia took a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning.
The team looked assured of a win, but after allowing the Braves to score
three runs, the Phillies once again needed extra innings to pull out a
Dykstra drilled a homer off Mark Wohlers with one out in the top of the
10th and Larry Andersen retired the Braves in order in the bottom of the
inning to escape with a 3-2 series advantage. It was Andersen's only save of
The team returned to Philadelphia to clinch a spot in the Fall Classic. And
after three one-run victories in the series, Game 6 was a relative breeze.
Hollins hit his second home run of the series off Greg Maddux as the
Phillies sailed to a 6-3 win. Williams struck out Bill Pecota to end the
game and set off a frenzy throughout Philadelphia.
Schilling pitched 16 innings, gave up three earned runs and struck out 19
in two starts. Despite not getting a win, he was named the MVP of the
The Phillies met the defending champion Blue Jays in the 1993 World
Schilling started Game 1, but struggled through 6 1/3 innings. He gave up
seven runs as the Phillies lost 8-5 at Skydome.
The team bounced back in Game 2 behind a three-run homer from Eisenreich.
The long ball came off Dave Stewart and was part of a five-run third inning
for the Phillies. Philadelphia held on for a 6-4 victory with Mulholland
picking up the win.
After dropping Game 3 at the Vet 10-3, the Phillies and Blue Jays played
the highest-scoring game in postseason history. When it was over, the teams
combined for 29 runs and 32 hits, and the Phillies were on the wrong end of
a 15-14 decision.
After Toronto managed three runs off Greene in the top of the
first, Philadelphia rallied for four off Todd Stottlemyre in the bottom of
the inning. Thompson's three-run triple highlighted the scoring.
The Phillies added eight runs, including two two-run homers by Dykstra and
one by Daulton, in the next four innings and took a 12-7 lead into the
Philadelphia left the bases loaded in the seventh, but still held a 14-9
But the Blue Jays struck back for six runs in the eighth and held on for
the win and a 3-1 lead in the series.
Schilling was dominant in Game 5, tossing a five-hit shutout. He struck out
six as the Phillies won 2-0 and sent the series back to Toronto.
The Phils were down 5-1 after six innings in Game 6, but the offense awoke
in the seventh. Dykstra hit his fourth home run of the series and sixth of
the playoffs in a five-run outburst.
Then came the ninth inning.
Williams walked Rickey Henderson to start the inning, but then got Devon
White to fly out. Paul Molitor, the eventual series MVP, followed with a
single -- bringing up Joe Carter.
The Blue Jays cleanup hitter yanked a 2-2 pitch from Williams over the
left-field wall for an 8-6 win and the World Series title. Carter's homer
ended an unbelievable run for the '93 Phillies.
Despite giving up the long ball to Carter, Williams remembers his time in
"I have nothing but good memories of that season," Williams said. "It was
the most fun I ever had playing baseball."
The team drew 3,137,674 fans in '93, setting the season attendance record
for the Vet, and the players appreciated the support from Philly's diehard
"The fan base that we had as a team, and even when we left the field, was
great," Daulton said. "The city was going nuts."
Mike Gennaria is a contributor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.
"It was an amazing year. It seemed like somebody different
every day helped us win a ballgame."
-- Darren Daulton