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Sunday School: History Lesson 47

Tony Taylor played with the Phillies from 1960-1971, then again from 1974-1976. Originally signed by the Giants, Taylor was selected by the Cubs in the Rule 5 draft during the 1957-1958 offseason. Taylor made his Major League debut with the Cubs in 1958 and played two full season with Chicago before being traded to the Phillies along with Cal Neeman for Ed Bouchee and Don Cardwell in May 1960.

Taylor responded to the trade by batting .287 and stealing 24 bases in 127 games in his first season with the Phillies. He also made the all star team that year. In his time with the Phillies, Taylor would steal over 20 bases in a season four times and he stole home six times.

Taylor is the only man to play over 1,000 games at second base with the Phillies. Taylor spent his first five seasons with Philadelphia as the team's everyday second baseman, but came to fill more of a utility role when a young second baseman named Cookie Rojas made an impact with the team. Taylor's versatility was a plus and enabled him to continue contributing for the Phils. He filled in all around the infield and even spent some time in the outfield. In 1966, Taylor filled in at third for two months when Dick Allen was injured, and the following year he took over for first baseman Bill White when he was sidelined with an injury.

The best season of Taylor's career would come in 1970, when he had career highs in homers and RBI with 9 and 55. He also batted .301 that year. Despite the increased production, though, it would be Taylor's last season as an everyday player in the Majors.

In June 1971, the Phillies dealt Taylor to Detroit for two minor leaguers. The Tigers later released Taylor after the 1973 season and he returned to Philadelphia for three more seasons, where he would act as the team's primary pinch hitter. His 17 pinch hits in 1974 led the National League.

After retiring from playing, Taylor would go on to coach with the Phillies and later the Marlins. Taylor was inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame in 2002.

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