Philadelphia Phillies scout Jim Randall was on a train in Pennsylvania when he overheard a conversation about a kid named Sherry Magee who was a local legend on the baseball diamond. Randall became interested in the kid, and after seeing Magee’s skills for himself, he immediately offered him a spot with the Philadelphia Phillies.
The very next day, Magee was in Philadelphia practicing with the team, and on June 29, 1904 he was starting in left field for the Phillies against the Brooklyn Superbas (Now the Los Angeles Dodgers).
Magee got off to a great start as a rookie in 1904, and batted .277 while collecting 101 hits and 57 RBI. He continued his success in 1905 where he batted .299. He set a precedent that this would be the production to expect from him, and it was certainly the production he gave.
After an average season in 1909, many speculated that Magee would be released by the Phillies to get a big return. The Phillies ended up holding onto Magee and they made the right decision.
1910 was Magee’s greatest season and one of the best seasons a Phillie has ever had. He led all of baseball in runs (110), RBI (123), batting average (.331), OBP (.445), slugging (.507), OPS (.952), and total bases (263).
Let’s take a look at some of Sherry’s greatest career achievements:
- Phillies Wall of Fame
- 166 career triples - 27th all time
- 441 stolen bases - 57th all time
- 33 double plays turned from left field - 9th all time
- Phillies team record: 387 stolen bases
- 55 stolen bases in a season - 1906
In 1914, Magee was named the captain of the Phillies. He was already an outspoken player, but now his words would mean something and be respected by coaches, teammates, and fans. He even managed to put himself at shortstop, second base, and first base for a few games defensively because he thought he could play those positions better than anyone else.
A mixture of his impressive skill and his position of leadership made him arrogant and he thought he deserved more from the game. He no longer wanted to play in Philadelphia with a losing team, so after the 1914 season he was traded to the reigning World Champion Boston Braves.
Ironically, in the 1915 season, the Phillies won their first ever NL Pennant, and fans believed that Magee was the jinx that held them back.
Magee spent 2 ½ seasons with the Braves, and was then sent mid-season to play for the Cincinnati Reds where he would play for a couple years before retiring from baseball in 1919.
Magee spent 11 of his 16 MLB seasons in a Phillies uniform. With the team, he batted .299/.371/.447 with an .818 OPS. He had 1,647 hits with 886 RBI and 387 stolen bases. Impressive numbers for players from any era of baseball.
He may not have been the most beloved player in the clubhouse, but Magee dominated the game of baseball. He would have been even more recognizable as the best hitter in the National League if it wasn’t for Honus Wagner. Magee ranks high amongst all-time Phillies hitters, and therefore earned his spot on the Phillies Wall of Fame where his accomplishments with the team can be celebrated forever.
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