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

This Guy Speaks For All of You

This individual, interviewed by FOX 29 on Friday as the Phillies arrived back at Citizens Bank Park, said it best. When asked how he felt regarding the Phillies, he told Steve Keeley that he was, "Stoked, baby!" The unidentified phanatic then proclaimed, "We are talking about the Fightins here, the Fightins! Said!" Check out the media player below, as the transcribed version certainly does not do this phireball of phandom justice. The Phillies forced game 6 of the National League Championship Series with a 4-2 victory over the Giants in San Francisco on Thursday night. Game 6 will feature Roy Oswalt vs. Jonathan Sanchez in a return pitching match up from game 2. First pitch is scheduled for 7:57 pm EST at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Be sure to tune in on 97.3 ESPN's Weekend Sports Guide with Tyrone Johnson this afternoon around 1:15pm to hear me chatting about the Phillies! 97.3 is based in Atlantic City. You can listen live online HERE . _________

Who is Your Favorite Willie 'Mays' Hayes?

PhoulBallz.com is wondering which individual who has portrayed Willie "Mays" Hayes is the favorite of the public. Hayes, of course, is the character made famous in the Major League motion picture series. In Major League , Willie "Mays" Hayes was portrayed by budding Hollywood actor Wesley Snipes, who would go on to action movie superstardom. Snipes has starred in major motion pictures like the Blade trilogy, Passenger 57 , Undisputed and many more. Snipes remains an impact Hollywood actor, despite legal troubles related to income tax evasion. Snipes was replaced for the sequel, Major League II when his busy career, and possibly the film's budget, would not allow him to return, by Omar Epps. Another budding actor, Epps had previously worked with director David S. Ward, on the film The Program , and landed the role of Hayes, who had become a Hollywood action star over the off-season that occured between the two films. Epps' career portraying athletes rol

Wassup with dat? Vito Friscia edition

Friscia, image- Jay Floyd What's up with that Vito Friscia guy?  Well, he's a 24-year-old righty batting catcher that was drafted by the Phillies out of Hofstra University in 2019 with the team's final selection, 1200th overall, in the 40th round. But what's his deal?  Friscia opened the season with Class A Advanced Jersey Shore, where, in 16 games, he notched a .264 batting average with a pair of home runs, five doubles and seven RBI.  Last week, when Triple-A Lehigh Valley needed a reserve backstop, Friscia was promoted to fill their void.  When Rafael Marchan returned from a short stint in the big leagues, Friscia was assigned to the Double-A Reading roster.   Is he just a backup catcher?  For now, it seems that's his role.  But check out this quote from BlueClaws skipper Chris Adamson from earlier this month when I asked him about which player stood out to him as a guy that deserved recognition, but may not be getting it. "Vito Friscia is a guy that, earl