Pinky Whitney (not to be confused with his ultimate replacement at third base, Pinky May), played 12 seasons in the Majors with the Phillies (1928-1933), Boston Braves/Bees (1933-1936) and the Phillies again (1936-1939). During that time, he averaged 98 RBI a season while owning a career average of .295. He hit over .340 twice in his career – 1930 (.342) and 1937 (.341) – while playing in Philadelphia’s old Baker Bowl, a renowned hitter’s park.
He finished in the top 20 in NL MVP voting three times (1928, 1929 and 1937) and he was named to the 1936 NL All-Star team. Pinky's 124 RBI in 1932 still stands as the Phillies single-season record for a third baseman. Entering the 2009 season, he was tenth on the Phillies all-time career batting average list. Pinky retired following the 1939 season.
Nostalgia: In recent weeks, my Mom has been painstakingly scanning my grandfather’s old slides into digital files. It’s been a blast looking at decades-old pictures, and I know my Pop-Pop would have loved this new technology and the fact my Mom is taking the time to share these pictures with the family. The old family pictures got me thinking about my Pop-Pop, and I wondered if Pinky Whitney was one of his favorite players growing up. Maybe he even owned this card at some point. Pinky's Phillies Encyclopedia entry notes he was the team's captain and he "was extremely popular." My Pop-Pop would have been in his late teens in Pinky's heyday.
I have distinct memories of listening to Phillies games on the radio while driving with my Pop-Pop to Sea Isle in his big white van. He loved the Phillies and he’d keep track of their wins and losses on a daily basis on a Phillies calendar hanging in his bathroom. I still have those calendars and the picture from July 1983 is of the Phillies all-time greatest third baseman - Mike Schmidt, Willie Jones and Pinky Whitney.