• Steve Potter

The Phillies Carolina League Clubs


This past week was an especially distraught one for our Phillies - A Fan’s View family. Our buddy Mark Wylie’s mom passed away on Wednesday afternoon. Mark is one of our stellar photography partners who supplies us with great pictures of Phillies Minor League and Spring Training action each year. His photos always get great feedback so I thought I’d share this news with you all, our sincerest condolences to Mark and his family.


Yesterday Mark was reflecting on some of his memories of the Phillies minor league team in Portsmouth, VA ... he lived close by when they were there and also of the Peninsula Pilots squads. Mark told me he previously did a video shoot of the Pilots home in Hampton, VA - War Memorial Stadium. It was designed by the legendary Branch Rickey and the Newport News Dodgers played there from 1949 to 1958.


Baseball memories are often fond ones and also can serve as a temporary distraction from disheartening times ... Mark told me before that his mom really enjoyed the annual Phillies minor league digest that we publish and always would proudly point out to others his photos within it ... that’s what moms’ do, she sounds like she was a great one ...


This article will hopefully help our friend to remember earlier years a bit more. It is focused on the Carolina League.


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The Portsmouth Tides were an A level affiliate from 1966 to 1968 in the Carolina League. From 1969 to 1985 the Phillies also fielded league affiliations in Raleigh Durham, NC ( 1969), Rocky Mount, NC ( 1973-1975) and Hampton, VA - the Peninsula Phillies/Pilots ( 1970-1971, 1976-1985).

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The Portsmouth Tides - 1966 to 1968 :


1966 - Managers - Bobby Morgan & Lou Kahn


24 year old Ron Allen ( Dick’s brother ) played in 7 games making 24 plate appearances ... 18 year old RHP Lowell Palmer ( I remember him because he wore sunglasses 😎) appeared in one game ... 22 year old James Perkins was the hitting star stroking .312 in 369 AB’s with 12 doubles, 5 triples and 11 home runs.


1967 - Manager - Bob Wellman


20 year old Larry Hisle hit .302 with 23 home runs and 78 RBIs in 503 AB’s, he also stole 31 bases - Mark Wylie remembers Larry as a very nice person to everyone and also one who was very patient with kids seeking autographs.


Ron Allen returned for a full season and hit 24 homers with 100 RBIs and 23 year old Denny Doyle hit .278 in 493 AB’s ... 23 year old Terry Harmon was also on the squad as was 22 year old Mike Compton


Lowell Palmer returned to post a 2.30 ERA in 13 games ( 98 IP) while Barry Lersch went 6-1 in 9 games with a 1.69 ERA before being promoted to the Phillies that season


1968 - Manager - Bob Wellman


Catcher Mike Compton returned and hit .330 in 109 AB’s ... 20 year old slick fielding John Vukovich hit .280 in 66 games ( 225 AB’s ) ... 21 year old Joe Lis hit 34 home runs with 94 RBIs hitting .293 in 475 AB’s


RHP Billy Champion ( 20 yrs old ) went 15-5 in 24 games ( 177 IP ) with a 2.03 ERA

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1969 - Raleigh Durham Phillies - Raleigh, NC - Carolina League Champions - defeated the Burlington Senators 2 games to 1 ( 79-62 regular season record )


Manager - Nolan Campbell


21 year old Bob Boone hit .300 in 300 AB’s, he played third base at the time ... 18 year old first baseman Greg Luzinski hit 31 home runs and drove in 92 in 464 AB’s ... 26 year old Sam Parilla won the league batting crown with a .383 batting average in 328 AB’s, he hit 28 home runs and drove home 98. Parilla would play 11 games in the major leagues in 1970 for the Phillies ... the extent of his big league career


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Rocky Mount, NC - Rocky Mount Phillies - 1973 to 1975


1973 - Bob Wellman - MGR - 20 year old RHP Roy Thomas went 15-8 with a 2.24 ERA in 26 games ( 169 IP) - he pitched in the show in 1977 with Houston, 1978 to 1980 with the Cardinals and from 1983 to 1987 with the Mariners


1974 - Bob Wellman - MGR - 22 year old catcher John Stearns led the league in hitting with a .343 batting average in 230 AB’s - he played one game in the big leagues for the 1974 Phillies - was traded to New York on 12/3/74 as part of the trio sent to acquire Tug McGraw and played with the Mets in the show from 1975 to 1984


1975 - Cal Emery - MGR - the team was the league champions amassing a 91-51 regular season record - there were no playoffs as the league consisted of just four teams that season .... 23 year old RHP Warren Brusstar was 14-8 in 25 games ( 24 starts ) with a 2.22 ERA in 162 IP - he tossed 12 complete games and posted 2 shoutouts 😳 - Warren is now an annual favorite at Phillies Phantasy Camp - he pitched in the big leagues with the Phillies from 1977 to 1982, with the White Sox to finish the ‘82 season and then the Cubs from 1983 to 1985 amassing a 28-16 big league record in 340 games ( 484 2/3 IP). 👊🏻💪


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The Peninsula Phillies/Pilots - 1970-1971 (Phillies) , 1976-1985 (Pilots)


Managers :


Nolan Campbell - 1970

Howie Bedell - 1971

Cal Emery - 1976

Jim Snyder - 1977 to 1978

Ron Clark - 1979, 1984 to 1985

Bill Dancy - 1980 to 1982

Tony Taylor - 1983


Player/Team Highlights :


1970 - Mike Anderson ( 19 years old ) hit .313 in 402 AB’s with 22 home runs


1971 - League Champions - 85-53 record , defeated Kinston Eagles 2 games to 0 in championship series - Bob Bealle hit .314 in 452 AB’s


1976 - Bobby Brown ( 22 yrs old ) led the league with a .349 batting average ( 393 AB’s ) - he later played in the show for the Blue Jays, Yankees, Mariners and Padres from 1979 to 1985 ... RHP Don Fowler led the league in wins with 15


1977 - 20 year old RHP’s Dickie Noles and Bob Walk were on the staff ... 18 year old LHP Carlos Arroyo pitched in 32 games ... 24 year old LHP Jeff Schneider appeared in 64 games posting a 15-7 record with 22 saves and a 2.50 ERA in 119 IP - he pitched in the the big leagues for the Orioles in 11 games in 1981


The 1977 team was crowned league champions ... they went 71-67 in the regular season and defeated the Lynchburg Mets 3 games to 2 in the championship series


1978 - the team went 90-49 - best record in the league by a 16 game margin - they advanced to the league championship series where they lost to the Lynchburg Mets 3 games to 0 - 21 year old Ozzie Virgil hit 29 homers and drove in 98 ... 19 year old RHP Marty Bystrom was 15-7 in 26 starts amassing 197 IP with a 2.83 ERA


1979 - 22 year old Bobby Dernier stole a whopping 77 bases in 135 games 😳


1980 - League Champions - went 100-40 in regular season and defeated the Durham Bulls 3-1 in Championship Series ... 18 year old Roy Smith went 17-6 with a 2.60 ERA in 27 starts ( 163 IP) while 20 year old Jim Wright was 13-1 in 27 games with a 1.85 ERA in 136 IP .... 21 year old Julio Franco hit .321 in 555 AB’s with 11 homers and 99 RBIs - he also stole 44 bases and 22 year old Wil Culmer led the league in hitting with a .369 average with 18 homers and 93 RBIs


1981 - the team reached the league championship series losing to the Hagerstown Suns 3 games to 0


1982 - 23 year old RHP Charles Hudson dominated with a 1.85 ERA and a 15-5 record in 27 games ( 185 IP ) ... 21 year old Juan Samuel hit .320 ( 2nd in league ) in 494 AB’s with 28 home runs and 94 RBIs, he stole 64 bases ... fellow 20 year old Darren Daulton had 11 homers, 44 RBIs and 17 stolen bases in 110 games ... 21 year old Jeff Stone stole an incredible 94 bases ( 137 games ) to lead the league


1984 - 21 year old Keith Miller hit .323 in 226 AB’s - third best in the league


1985 - 22 year old RHP Shawn Barton went 12-4 with a 2.30 ERA in 22 games ( 140 2/3 IP) - he later pitched in the majors for the Mariners ( 1992 ) and Giants ( 1995 to 1996 )


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“Today is the oldest you've ever been, and the youngest you'll ever be again. So live life to the fullest today, and have no regrets.”


Till tomorrow ... Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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