'Cup-of-coffee' Phillies briefly lived the dream

'Cup-of-coffee' Phillies briefly lived the dream

Millions of kids dream of being a big league ballplayer. Only a small percentage make it. Some have long careers. Mike Schmidt is the all-time leader with 18 seasons with the Phillies as a player. He is followed by Granny Hamner (16), Chuck Klein, Tony Taylor and Steve Carlton (15).

Then there's a very small group who have their small place in Phils history, experiencing a "cup-of-coffee" dream. According to Google: "A 'cup of coffee' is a North American sports idiom for a short time spent by a Minor League player at the Major League level."

Over 1,900 players have worn a Phillies uniform since the franchise was established in 1883. Hours of research located a total of 30 who have had a cup of coffee. Well, some careers were so short, their cup was more like an eye-drops' worth of coffee.

Five played during the Veterans Stadium-Citizens Bank Park era. Fourteen were pitchers, leaving 16 hitters. All 30 lived a dream, albeit a very quick dream. Here are the hitters:

1,000 club
This really is an exclusive club, just two players with a perfect 1.000 batting average -- one hit in one at-bat. Oddly, both are Philadelphia natives, outfielder Clarence "Ty" Pickup and catcher Bill Peterman, who was a graduate of Olney High School. And both hits came in Philadelphia.

Pickup was a defensive replacement for right fielder Gavvy Cravath, the cleanup hitter, on April 30, 1918, a 15-0 loss to the New York Giants at Baker Bowl. His one hit was a single. On defense, Pickup recorded one putout.

On April 26, 1942, the Phils played a doubleheader against the Brooklyn Dodgers at Connie Mack Stadium. Peterman, a catcher, entered the second game in the top of the ninth inning. He was the leadoff hitter in the bottom of the inning and singled. The Dodgers won both games, 3-1 and 10-2.

"Sure, I remember it," Peterman said in a 1983 Phillies Yearbook story. "I got the hit off Ed Head. It went up the middle, kind of had eyes. It happened in the first two, three weeks of the season before the Phillies went on their first Western trip. I got sent down before the trip."

Lonely group: One game, no at-bats
Another small group, four players who appeared in one game and never got an official at-bat.

Joe Bennett entered the game as defensive sub for third baseman Frank Parkinson (two at-bats) during a 16-12 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals at Baker Bowl, July 5, 1923. He did have one assist. Bennett was replaced by another third baseman, Russ Wrightstone (two AB).

Terry Lyons also entered the game as a defensive sub for first baseman Don Hurst (four at-bats) on April 19, the Phils' second game of the 1929 season. St. Louis won, 14-5, at Baker Bowl.

Fred Van Dusen at least reached the batter's box. He pinch-hit for pitcher Lynn Lovengurth with one out in the ninth and two runners on base in the first game of a doubleheader won by the Braves, 9-1, in Milwaukee's County Stadium on Sept. 11, 1955. Winner Humberto Robinson hit Van Dusen with a pitch on an 0-2 count. Van Dusen reached first base but was never seen again in a big league uniform.

Mickey Harrington was brought up by the Phillies on June 30, 1963, used as a pinch-runner on July 10 and sent back to the Minors five days later. Running for Roy Sievers, Harrington advanced to second on a Don Hoak single. Clay Dalrymple grounded to second for a force out, but Harrington was picked off third by the shortstop after making too big a turn.

.000 average
This group got to bat once in the big leagues with the Phils and didn't get a hit. It was the only game for each.

Frank Mahar was an outfielder on the 1902 Phillies. He batted once on Aug. 29 against the New York Giants at Baker Bowl. What Mahar did in that at-bat isn't known, as play-by-play isn't available.

Al Froehlich was a catcher on the 1909 club. His one at-bat game July 2 against Boston at Baker Bowl. There was a doubleheader that day, but without box scores, we don't know if Froehlich batted in Game 1 or 2.

Frank Fletcher pinch-hit for pitcher Ben Tincup in the second game, July 14, 1914, in Cincinnati and struck out against Rube Benton, according to the box score.

George McAvoy pinch-hit for catcher Red Dooin in St. Louis three days later. All we can tell from the box score is that he was hitless.

John Cavanaugh struck out in his one at-bat against the Cubs at Baker Bowl on July 7, 1919, first game. He had entered the game as a defensive replacement at third base.

Cecil (Turkey) Tyson batted once in the first game of an April 23, 1944, doubleheader in Boston and went hitless.

Jim Westlake pinch-hit for pitcher Jack Spring in the ninth inning against the Giants at the Polo Grounds on April 16, 1958, and struck out against Jim Hearn. It was the third game of the season.

Leroy Reams pinch-hit for pitcher Barry Lersch in the eighth inning against the Astros at Connie Mack Stadium and struck out against Larry Dierker. The date was May 7, 1969.

Larry Fritz pinch-hit for Larry Christenson with two out in the last of the ninth against the Astros on May 30, 1975, at Veterans Stadium and flew out to left field against Doug Konieczny.

Travis Chapman pinch-hit for third baseman Tomas Perez in the seventh inning at Turner Field in Atlanta on Sept. 9, 2003, and was retired on a fly ball to right off Jung Bong. He remained in the game at third base but never batted again. Since Chapman was on the roster, he got to participate in the closing ceremonies of Veterans Stadium. While he never batted at the Vet, he joined numerous Alumni and current players who got to touch home plate one last time.

Larry Shenk is the vice president of alumni relations for the Phillies. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.