Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday School: History Lesson 32

Del Ennis was an outfielder for the Philadelphia Phillies from 1946-1956. Ennis, a Philadelphia native, played for the "Class B" Interstate League team in Trenton, NJ for one season prior to enlisting in the Navy to serve during World War II. While serving, he played on a Navy Service team which included Pee Wee Reese, Mickey Vernon and other big name ball players.

Ennis was released from the Navy in early April 1946, and within a couple weeks was playing baseball with the Phillies. Ennis would become the Phillies' first rookie to be named an all star. By the end of the season, his .313 batting average and 73 RBI got him named The Sporting News Rookie of the Year.

The following season, Ennis' 81 RBI led the team. The next best total by a Phillie was 51. In 1949, Ennis was part of a record setting inning, when the Phillies struck 5 homers in the same inning. Ennis, Andy Seminick (who hit 2), Willie Jones and Lynwood "Schoolboy" Rowe completed the feat.

Ennis had his greatest season in 1950. A member of the famed Whiz Kids team, Ennis helped lead the Phillies into the post season that year with his .311 average, 31 HR and league leading 126 RBI. That year, when Del had 39 RBI in July, he drove in 7 in a single game against the Cubs. Ennis had two separate streaks where he bashed homeruns in 4 straight games, in 1950. In the World Series, Ennis was just 2-for-14 as the Phillies were swept by the Yankees.

In his 11 years as a Phillie, Ennis drove in over 100 runs 6 times. On top of that, he exceeded 25 homers 7 times with Philadelphia. Until Mike Schmidt came along, Del Ennis was the Phillies all time team leader in homeruns. Schmidt and Ennis are the only Phillies to drive in over 1,000 runs.

Following the 1956 season, Ennis was traded to St. Louis for Bobby Morgan and Rip Repulski. Ennis made a big impact with the Cardinals offense in '57 with 24 HR, 105 RBI and a .286 average. He played two more seasons in the majors before retiring. Del Ennis was inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame in 1982.


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