(WHTM) – The Philadelphia Phillies are one of the oldest franchises in all of baseball, but how many nicknames have they had and why did they settle on the Phillies?
According to MLB the Philadelphia Quakers began playing in 1873 as a part of the National Association. Only two years later in 1875, the National Association went under.
A year after the National Association going under the National League (NL) was formed. The Philadelphia A’s would join the NL.
The Philadelphia A’s didn’t last long in the NL though because when they refused to take a late-season road trip, the NL booted them out of the league.
The NL wanted a team back in Philadelphia even after they booted them out of the league. To make room for a team in Philadelphia the NL would need to lose a team, so the Worchester Brown Stockings would be no more.
In 1883 the Philadelphia National League Baseball Club would be born.
According to Sports Talk Philly sportswriters called them the Athletics, one called them the Quakers, and another called them the Phillies (a shorter version of “Philadelphias”). Both the Quaker’s name and the Phillies name were in the newspaper, but after reviews came back the Phillies’ name was preferred.
In 1943 the new proprietor of the Phillies was Robert Carpenter. Carpenter would hold a contest to rename the ballclub. This contest would be held with the fans and the results came back with the name Blue Jays winning.
Although the Blue Jays nickname won the only indicator of the Blue Jays was a patch on the shoulder. This didn’t click with fans after a horrid 1944 season resulting in 92 losses and a last-place finish.
A book called “The Philadelphia Phillies” was written by Fred Leib and Stan Baumgartner in 1953. Larry Shenk’s the Phillies vice president of communications at the time had researchers read the book.
Leib and Baumgartner wrote, “By general consent, the new team (1883) came to be known as the Phillies, one of the most natural and spontaneous of all big league nicknames. It was easily understood, as any of us could recognize a Phillie to be a player from Philadelphia. However, the nickname of the old National Association Philadelphias — the Quakers — persisted, and for years a number of Philadelphia dailies referred to the new ball team as the Quakers.”
According to MLB Al Reach who was the original owner of the franchise decided on the name Phillies in 1883 due to the fact it tells people who and where they are from since it’s short for Philadelphias.