The story of the astounding Whiz Kids told by Hall-of-Famer Robin Roberts
The Whiz Kids and the 1950 Pennant
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With a Special Tribute by James A. Michener
Robin Roberts and C. Paul Rogers, III, foreword by Pat Williams
The 1950 Phillies unexpectedly captured the hearts and imaginations of Philadelphians. A young upstart teamin fact, the youngest major league baseball team ever fieldedthey capped a Cinderella season by winning the pennant from the heavily favored Brooklyn Dodgers in Ebbets Field on the last day of the season. It was the first National League pennant for the team since 1915. With that dramatic victory the 1950 Phillies went into the history books, known forever as the Whiz Kids.
This inspiring era in Phillies history comes alive with the personal reflections of Robin Roberts, a Hall of Famer and arguably the best right-handed pitcher in Phillies history. Roberts recounts the moves, the trades, and the developments that put this young and talented team together. Co-author C. Paul Rogers III interviewed many of the other players from that memorable season, and even manager Eddie Sawyer. Their recollections, accompanied by more than 80 black-and-white photographs, offer an uncommon look at what went into building the extraordinary Whiz Kids. Rich with anecdotes never before published from players like Hall-of-Famer Richie Ashburn, Bubba Church, Andy Seminick, Curt Simmons, Del Ennis, Dick Sisler, Russ Meyer, and many others, this book relives the success of the Whiz Kids in all their glory.
"Roberts and Rogers have turned what might have been just a dull diary into a fascinating account...It is Roberts who tells the Whiz Kids' story here, aided by Rogers' exhaustive research. The pitcher's detailed recall of people and games provides an insider's view, and Rogers' interviews of all the available personnel add immesurably to the story."
"Reading Roberts' and Rogers' book was a pure delight for me. It was like finding an album of long-forgotten letters and photographs in a dusty attic and being transported backward in time to a stage of my youth when all things seemed possible and men-children in red pinstripes were truly larger than life."
"When your read the [Whiz Kids'] book, you could be sitting in the dugout next to the great right-hander, just swapping stories...so if you're one of those who get sort of a glazed look when they hear names like Rich Ashburn, Ralph "Putsy" Caballero, Emory "Bubba" Church, Granville "Granny" Hamner, and Willie "Puddinhead" Jones, then pick up The Whiz Kids and follow them through the season to the 1950 pennant and a matchup against the Yankees."
"Paul Rogers' exhaustive research and the storehouse of memories shared by Robin Roberts and his teammates preserve this Cinderella story to be savored by all Phillies fans."
"...the Whiz Kids' accomplishment is one of those that endures, and this book tells their story well. It is, in fact a three-base hit: one part Roberts, recollections, one part reminiscences by his teammates and others, and one part Rogers' narrative. Together, they create a very pleasing whole."
A Special Tribute by James A. Michener
Robin Roberts is a former all-star pitcher with the Philadelphia Phillies. He played on the 1950 team and is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame with 286 career wins.
C. Paul Rogers, III is Dean of the Law School at Southern Methodist University.
In the series
Baseball in America, edited by Rich Westcott.