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The Beautiful Losers: An Oral History of the Philadelphia Phillies
July 02, 2007
The existentialist Samuel Beckett exhorted, "Fail better." And no professional sports team has ever failed better or with greater frequency than the Philadelphia Phillies. Failure has become synonymous with a franchise whose players have borne such nicknames as Losing Pitcher (Hugh Mulcahy) and What's the Use? (Pearce Chiles). If luck is on the Phils' side--and over 125 seasons it rarely has been--one day before the end of July they will record their 10,000th defeat, a milestone never before reached by any franchise in any sport. Through Sunday the tragic number stood at 9,991; the next most prolific losers, the Braves, are at 9,677.
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July 02, 2007

The Beautiful Losers: An Oral History Of The Philadelphia Phillies

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Loss number 2,657, June 29, 1921

"Not anymore. I've been traded to the Giants!"

-- Casey Stengel, gimpy-kneed Phillies outfielder, when asked if his leg hurt. Told of the swap in the Baker Bowl locker room during a rain delay, Stengel dashed half-clothed into the deluge and gleefully circled the bases, sliding into each bag.

Loss number 9,481, Sept. 24, 2000

"On Fan Appreciation Day my tires were slashed."

-- Terry Francona, manager

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