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On This Date in Phillies History

No transactions, but some notable birthdays including the long-time minor league HR king.

Portrait of 'Buzz' Arlett in Baseball Uniform Photo by George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images

We are still in that period around the holidays when GMs get back to the office, see if their plant survived without water while they were out, and take a long lunch to return that Mike Trout jersey they asked for, but which no longer fits after almost two weeks of sitting, eating, and drinking.

So there’s not much that’s happened on this date in terms of transactions, but of course babies are born all the time, and a check of baseball-reference shows there were a few notable former Phillies born on January 3rd:

A.J. Burnett (40) -- After a year with the Phils in 2014 when he pitched virtually the entire season with a hernia, Burnett enjoyed a bounce back season with Pittsburgh in 2015, and even made his first All-Star team. He ended his career on that high note, calling it quits at the end of that season. Of course to many Phillies fans he’ll always be remembered for outdueling Pedro Martinez in Game 2 of the 2009 World Series and helping end the Phils’ dream of a repeat.

Darren Daulton (55) -- Daulton, leader of the improbable 1993 NL Champion Phillies, and one of the best catchers in franchise history, seems to be doing well after battling brain cancer.

Gus Suhr, born 1906 -- even during Gehrig's Iron Man streak, no one played in as many games as Suhr from 1932 through 1936, when he was the Pirates' first baseman. In a pattern that's become all-too-familiar in recent years, and which has been common throughout the Phils' history whenever they've stunk, Philadelphia was his last stop in the majors before finally being forced to call it a career. (In fact that sounds like an idea for a piece)

Buzz Arlett, born 1899 -- Arlett was a 32 year old rookie with the 1931 Phillies, and hit .313/.387/.538 (138 OPS+). He never appeared in another major league game. Did he get hurt, or worse? Did he throw it away to join the circus? The real story is both more mundane and more interesting.

The long version is at SABR.

A shorter version is on wikipedia.

If you’d rather not click through:

  • He started as a pitcher and went 106-93 in the minors with a 1.14 ERA
  • In 1984, the Society for American Baseball Research voted Arlett the most outstanding player in the history of minor-league baseball.
  • He was called the Babe Ruth of the minor leagues and was considered the all-time minor league home run king with 432. He held that record for 78 years, until just two years ago when Mike Hessman passed him with the final home run of his pro career (a grand slam off old friend Dustin McGowan and the Iron Pigs).