Skip to main content

Sunday School: Phillies History Lesson 60

William "Kitty" Bransfield was a first baseman with the Phillies from 1905-1911. A slick fielder, Bransfield developed a reputation for his solid defense when he established himself as a starter with the Pirates prior to landing in Philadelphia. With Pittsburgh, Bransfield won 3 straight NL Pennants from 1901-1903. Following the 1904 season, Pittsburgh traded Bransfield to the Phillies, along with Otto Krueger and Moose McCormick for Del Howard.

Pittsburgh would regret the trade, as they would struggle to find a suitable replacement for over a decade. The press and fans dubbed the deal "the Bransfield Curse".

Bransfield was known to play a considerably deep first base, positioning himself out near the edge of the outfield grass. He felt it gave him an advantage at fielding ground balls in the hole. However, it meant that if a ball was hit to any other infielder, Bransfield would need to drop his head and run hard to the first base bag, in hopes of arriving at the same time as an anticipated throw. Bransfield once told reporters that in his four season with the Pirates that he never once saw shortstop Honus Wagner field a ground ball.

1908 was Bransfield's best season with the Phils. That year, he batted .304 with 3 homers, 71 RBI and 30 steals.

On July 11th, 1910, Kitty drove in 8 runs in a game against his old team, the Pirates. That mark still stands as the top single game RBI total in team history, although it has been tied by 4 other players, most recently by Jayson Werth in 2008.

By the following season, Bransfield's contributions were on the decline as his age and a knee injury kept him from covering much ground in the field. That led to the Phillies sending Bransfield to the Cubs for cash. After playing in just 3 games with Chicago, Bransfield returned to the minor leagues as a player/manager. He also worked as an umpire in the minor leagues before he retired to his native Massachusetts.

-----------------------------------------

Follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter HERE.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Frosty Phillies Favorites: 2021 Edition w/ DJ Stewart

Season's greetings to all of you! It's that time of the year to celebrate and enjoy the holiday season. Every year at Christmas time, I survey a group of Phillies prospects about what they get excited for during the holidays.  This year, we focus on just one up and coming player, corner infielder DJ Stewart. The 22-year-old righty batter had a solid season in 2021. In 94 games combined with Class A Clearwater and Class A Advanced Jersey Shore, Stewart notched a .265 batting average with 14 home runs, 42 RBI and five stolen bases.  Recently, I talked with DJ to gain his feedback on all of his holiday favorites. Read ahead for that interview... -What's your favorite Christmas movie? My favorite is This Christmas.  My Mother and I would watch it together every Christmas, so it just stuck with me. -What is your favorite Christmas song and which version is best? This Christmas by Chris Brown.  It's the final song of my favorite Christmas movie. -What's your favorit

Biddle slated to make Reading return on Saturday

Jesse Biddle, image- Jay Floyd After a miserable stretch of starts in June, lefty pitcher Jesse Biddle was placed on Double-A Reading's temporary inactive list. On Saturday, he'll make his long awaited return to the FirstEnergy Stadium mound when he starts the first game of the Fightins' scheduled double header against Binghamton. The 22-year-old posted a 0-4 record with a 12.64 ERA in four June starts. It was clear that there was something quite wrong with Biddle, who had missed a start in late May after being pelted with hail and suffering a concussion. A mixture of feelings including confusion and anger were firmly settling in while Biddle's efforts on the mound were not. The Phils saw a need for the Philadelphia native and Germantown Friends School product to take a break. Exams discovered lasting impact on Biddle stemming from the concussion and time off was required. "For me it was an important time not only to take a mental break and to go down

Franco making case for September call up

Maikel Franco, image- Jay Floyd While the minor league season begins to wind down, Lehigh Valley third baseman Maikel Franco continues to go full throttle. As the IronPigs kicked off their final home stand of the season on Saturday with a double header against the division rival Syracuse Chiefs, Franco, who is hoping his season continues on beyond the final day on the regular season calendar, which is Labor Day, September 1st, continued to display his improved offensive efforts going 6-for-7 with two home runs combined in two games while recording a cycle in the night cap. The feat was certainly quite an achievement, but possibly more impressive because it was accomplished in just six offensive innings for the winning home club in game 2, as minor league double headers are slated as seven-inning contests. Franco, who turns 22 years old this week, struggled through the early part of his first Triple-A season, ending June with a .202 batting average and just 28 extra-base hits