1979 Philadelphia Phillies season
- 1 Offseason
- 2 Regular season
- 3 Player stats
- 4 Farm system
- 5 References
- 6 Further reading
Prior to the 1979 season, Pete Rose signed a four-year, $3.2-million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, temporarily making him the highest-paid athlete in team sports. The Phillies were in the middle of the greatest era in the history of the franchise when Rose came on board. They had won the National League East three years running (1976–78) two of which were won with 101 win seasons.
The Phillies entered the 1979 season with one of the strongest lineups in the league with the addition of Rose but with numerous injuries on the pitching staff. AP sports writer Hal Bock picked the Phils to finish second behind the Pirates as the Phillies would enter the season with pitchers Larry Christenson, prospect Jim Wright, and Dick Ruthven all injured.
- December 4, 1978: Jeff Schneider was drafted from the Phillies by the Baltimore Orioles in the 1978 rule 5 draft.
- December 5, 1978: Carmelo Castillo was drafted by the Cleveland Indians from the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1978 minor league draft.
- December 5, 1978: Pete Rose was signed as a free agent by the Phillies.
- December 6, 1978: Joe Charboneau was traded by the Phillies to the Cleveland Indians for Cardell Camper.
- January 9, 1979: Mark Davis was drafted by the Phillies in the 1st round (1st pick) of the secondary phase of the 1979 Major League Baseball Draft.
- February 23, 1979: Barry Foote, Ted Sizemore, Jerry Martin, Derek Botelho, and Henry Mack (minors) were traded by the Phillies to the Chicago Cubs for Manny Trillo, Greg Gross and Dave Rader.
- March 27, 1979: Richie Hebner and José Moreno were traded by the Phillies to the New York Mets for Nino Espinosa.
- March 27, 1979: Rudy Meoli was signed as a free agent by the Phillies.
- March 28, 1979: Dan Boitano was traded by the Phillies to the Milwaukee Brewers for Gary Beare.
- March 29, 1979: Del Unser was signed as a free agent by the Phillies.
On May 17, 1979, the Phillies beat the Cubs 23-22 at Wrigley Field in ten innings with a 30-mph wind blowing out to left field. After the game, the Phils were 14 games over .500 and in first place by 3½ games over the Montreal Expos.
On July 10 Del Unser hit his third consecutive pinch hit home run. Unser tied a Major League Baseball record with homers in three straight pinch at bats. The at bats were on June 30, July 5, and July 10.
By August 29, the team had fallen to fifth place and two games under .500, 12½ games behind the Pirates. Mid-season injuries to Manny Trillo, Larry Bowa, and Greg Luzinski contributed to hurt the club. The team's decline led to the firing of manager Danny Ozark on August 31 who was replaced by Dallas Green. Green was named interim manager, a position made permanent shortly after the end of the season.
The Phillies front office introduced an alternate all-burgundy version of the team uniform for the 1979 season to be worn for Saturday games. They were called "Saturday Night Specials", in a derisive nod to cheap handguns then called by that name and were worn for the first and last time on May 19, 1979, a 10-5 loss to the Expos. The immediate reaction of the media, fans, and players alike was negative, with many describing the despised uniforms as pajama-like. As such, the idea was hastily abandoned. Mike Schmidt would wear the uniform during the MLB All-Star Tour of Japan following the 1979 season.
|St. Louis Cardinals||86||76||12||.531|
|New York Mets||63||99||35||.389|
- April 3, 1979: Todd Cruz was traded by the Phillies to the Kansas City Royals for Doug Bird.
- May 11, 1979: Jim Kaat was purchased from the Phillies by the New York Yankees.
- June 5, 1979: Roy Smith was drafted by the Phillies in the 3rd round of the 1979 Major League Baseball Draft. Player signed on July 30.
- June 16, 1979: Jim Lonborg was released by the Phillies.
- June 29, 1979: Rudy Meoli was purchased from the Phillies by the Minnesota Twins.
|1979 Philadelphia Phillies|
Starters by position
Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in
|1B||Rose, PetePete Rose||163||628||208||.331||4||59|
|2B||Trillo, MannyManny Trillo||118||431||112||.260||6||42|
Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in
|Gross, GregGreg Gross||118||174||58||.333||0||15|
|Meoli, RudyRudy Meoli||30||73||13||.178||0||6|
|Rader, DaveDave Rader||31||54||11||.204||1||5|
|Poff, JohnJohn Poff||12||19||2||.105||0||1|
Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts
|Carlton, SteveSteve Carlton||35||251||18||11||3.62||213|
|Espinosa, NinoNino Espinosa||33||212||14||12||3.65||88|
|Christenson, LarryLarry Christenson||19||106||5||10||4.50||53|
|Larson, DanDan Larson||3||19||1||1||4.26||9|
Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts
|Bird, DougDoug Bird||32||2||0||0||5.16||33|
|Brusstar, WarrenWarren Brusstar||13||1||0||1||6.91||3|
|AAA||Oklahoma City 89ers||American Association||Lee Elia|
|AA||Reading Phillies||Eastern League||Jim Snyder|
|A||Peninsula Pilots||Carolina League||Ron Clark|
|A||Spartanburg Phillies||Western Carolinas League||Bill Dancy|
|Short-Season A||Central Oregon Phillies||Northwest League||Tom Harmon|
|Rookie||Helena Phillies||Pioneer League||Roly de Armas|