Name: William B. Phillips
Induction: June 4, 1988
Born (date, year, place): April 1857 in St. John, New Brunswick
Died (date, year, place): October 7, 1900 in Chicago Illinois
Primary Position: First base
Years Played: 1879 to 1888
Teams Played: Cleveland Blues, Brooklyn Grays, Kansas City Cowboys
Born in St. John, New Brunswick, the Canuck first baseman debuted with the National League’s Cleveland Blues on May 1, 1879.
Often pictured with a big, bushy moustache, Phillips quickly established himself as a durable infielder, leading the National League in games played in 1881. During his six seasons in the Senior Circuit, Phillips finished in the top 10 in triples three times (1880, 1881, 1884) and topped National League first baseman in double plays in 1880, 1881 and 1882.
In 1885, Phillips was sold to the American Association’s Brooklyn Grays, where he continued to be productive, hitting a career-high .302 and leading the circuit in fielding percentage at first base that season. For an encore, he suited up for a league-high 141 games in 1886 and banged out a career-best 160 hits. In his final season in 1888, Phillips topped the league with 1,476 putouts. The hardy Maritimer retired as the first Canadian to record 1,000 hits in the majors.
Career Major League Statistics