Perhaps the highlight of his career was fielding a ground ball off the bat of the San Francisco Giants’ Brett Butler in the 1989 World Series to give the A’s a 4-0 sweep against their crosstown rivals.
The Oakland Athletics, the team with which Phillips spent the largest portion of his career, announced his death, but not a cause.
Phillips’ former A’s teammate Dave Stewart shared the news with Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. “And you could play him anywhere”.
When Phillips played for the Tigers, he played every position except pitcher and catcher.
“We all have fond memories of Tony making the final play in the A’s 1989 World Series”. He just played the game hard, and played it well for 18 seasons.
Those were fun Tigers teams in the early ’90s, with Phillips and Cecil Fielder and Mickey Tettleton, and Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker still hanging around.
Phillips spent two separate stints with the Angels.
“He had so much energy, he was so feisty, full of piss and vinegar – nothing fazed him”.
“I am in total shock”.
Tony Phillips, an underrated super utility man during his playing days, has passed away at the age 56, the Athletics have confirmed.
Phillips, like Zobrist, was vastly underrated.
He followed that with a five-year stay with Detroit from 1990-94 and also played for California (1995), Chicago-AL (1996-97), Anaheim (1997), Toronto (1998) and New York-NL (1998) before concluding his career with the A’s in 1999.
In 1993 with the Tigers, the switch hitter became the only player in big-league history to reach triple digits in walks (a league-leading 132), hits (177), runs (113) and strikeouts (102) while hitting fewer than 10 homers.
Phillips, who lived in Scottsdale, Arizona, continued to play baseball because he liked the game, playing for the Yuma Scorpions in the independent North American League before the team folded in 2012.