The collapse of ‘64 had yet to happen, there was no such thing as a Met and there was a certain pride to being a singles hitter. The year was 1958, which was the last time a Phillie won a batting title.
Richie Ashburn, a classic singles hitter, took his second NL batting crown that season.
“It’s amazing that no other Phillie has done it since,” Ben Revere said. “Just think about how many great players were Phillies and none of them won the batting title since then. It’s hard to believe.”
Revere, a pure singles hitter, has a chance at winning the batting title, which is about all Phillies fans can hope for aside for perhaps rooting for Cole Hamels to finish with double digit wins or for Chase Utley to close out the campaign healthy.
The Phillies diminutive centerfielder was leading the league last week but entering Sunday’s game against the Marlins, Revere was hitting .308, 9 points off the pace.
“I’m just trying to hit the ball hard somewhere and hopefully I’ll get on base,” Revere said. “I don’t get caught up in the other stuff. You can’t worry about batting titles and things like that. You win them or you don’t. I’m not worried about the personal stuff. I’m about team goals. I would trade winning a batting title or another personal accomplishment in exchange for going to the playoffs.”
Well, that’s not happening this season. The Washington Nationals eliminated the Phillies from the NL East race. Against all odds, the team could make it as a second wildcard, if everything broke right for the Phillies and everything went wrong for the teams in front of them in the race for a playoff berth.
Even though Revere dreams about that possibility, it’s about as plausible as a 20-homer season in 2015 for the power-challenged leadoff hitter.
“You win one game after another and who knows what will happen,” Revere said.
The chances are much better that Revere takes the batting crown than a ridiculous Phillies surge and an utter collapse by a number of teams. Winning a batting title has to appeal somewhat to Revere, who is a history buff.
“I am all about looking back and history,” Revere said.”It’s cool. And part of the reason I love baseball is due to the history of the game.”
Can Revere make history and become the Phillies first batting champ in 56-years?
“I would rather make history as the team that beat the odds and made the playoffs at this point,” Revere said.
Being 9 games out with 13 left makes it nearly impossible for the Phillies to come within sniffing distance of the playoffs but if Revere gets hot down the stretch, he can score some hardware for the mantel.
“I’m not going to think about it,” Revere said .”Who knows what will happen by the end of the season?”