Wednesday, February 08, 2006

February 8th, 1996

Del Ennis Dies

Ennis was an outfielder for the Phillies in the 40s and 50s; he had a reputation for being a good RBI man, driving in one hundred or more seven times. Ennis' best year was 1950 with a league leading one hundred and twenty-six for the "Whiz Kid" Phillies, although like nearly all the Phillies in the World Series that year he was shut down hitting just .143 with no RBIs. Of course, as a team the Phillies hit just .203 with three RBIs, so Ennis was hardly the only one at fault. The 1950 performance, Ennis was pretty consistent, a fact that the Philly fans--they were tough even then--apparently didn't like, expecting more out of a local boy so Ennis was consistently booed.

Ennis also had a reputation for being a fighter, having once been selected by Joe Garagiola as a member of the All-Star brawler team. Somewhat paradoxically, Ennis was also a teetotaler, although I suppose my image of all the tough guys in baseball going out, throwing some punches then throwing a couple down might just be all in my head. Either way, Ennis obviously learned some people skills, as he ran a bowling alley in Philly for several years after his playing career ended and died in Huntingdon Valley, just outside of the city proper.

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