Sunday, October 13, 2013

2013 Phillies Team Issue 2 #5 Steve Henderson

Before we delve into reviewing the Phillies hitting coaches of the past four decades, I wanted to briefly comment on the ongoing playoffs.  For the record, I was hoping for a rematch of the very first World Series held 110 years ago in 1903 between the Boston Pilgrims and the Pittsburgh Pirates.  The Cardinals dispatched the Pirates in five games in their N.L.D.S., so now I'm left rooting for whichever National League team would be easier for the Red Sox, and Shane Victorino, to beat in the World Series.  It's hard for me to root for the Dodgers however, so instead I'm just going to sit back and (unfortunately) relax for the second October in a row.

But on to matters concerning the Phillies, which is why you're here!  Hitting coach Steve Henderson will be back in 2014 and he hopes to continue the work he started in 2013.  If all goes according to plan, the annoying folks at Fox will be breaking in live during crucial N.L.C.S. action next fall to discuss with Henderson how he was able to work his magic and reboot the bats of Ryan Howard, Darin Ruf and Carlos Ruiz.

As far as I can tell, the Phillies didn't have an official hitting coach until Billy DeMars was given that title in 1980.  Prior to that, and according to the Phillies Yearbooks, DeMars served as the team's third base coach and hitting coach.  But he held the full-time hitting coach position for two years in 1980 and 1981.  Deron Johnson and Del Unser also had double duty as the team's first base coaches and hitting coaches between 1982 and 1987.

2013 Phillies Team
Issue 2 #21
Wally Joyner became the team's first official assistant hitting coach last season.  His time with the club lasted only a season, and Joyner will look to take on a full hitting coach position with another team in 2014.  I wonder how long it will be until there are assistant pitching coaches?  Here's the list of full and part-time hitting coaches for the Phillies since 1970:

Billy DeMars 1969-1981 - DeMars also served as first base coach (1969-1972) and third base coach (1972-1979)
Deron Johnson 1982-1984 - Johnson also served as first base coach during his coaching tenure
Del Unser 1985-1988 - Unser also served as first base coach (1985-1987)
Denis Menke 1989-1996
Hal McRae 1997-2000
Richie Hebner 2001
Greg Gross 2002-2004; 2011-2012
Milt Thompson 2005-2011
Steve Henderson 2013-

Phillies Coaches 1970-2014


Anonymous said...


Steve Henderson was one of my favorite Mets when I was a kid. He finished a close second to Andre Dawson in the 1977 ROY voting and seemed destined for greatness.

I could write more, but I'm going to be selfish and save it for my own post.

Jim from Downingtown said...


I like your series highlighting all the Phillies coaches since 1970.

You recently mentioned that Bowa and Mackanin have joined the club of 2-time Philles coaches. That got me thinking that you should do a collage of 2-time Phillies' players. Off the top of my head, I can think of Turk Farrell, Tony Taylor, Dick Allen, Tim McCarver, Dick Ruthven, Bill Robinson, Del Unser, Charlie Hayes, Milt Thompson, and Mickey Morandini.

Jim said...

That's a great idea!

Doug Glanville, Ricky Bottalico, Jose Mesa, Chad Durbin, Jim Thome, Terry Mulholland and my favorite, Bob Dernier, all come immediately to mind.

Jim from Downingtown said...