Phil Regan enjoyed a successful 15-year major league career, first as a starter and later as a well-regarded reliever.
He wrote an essay as a freshman while attending Wayland High School in Michigan on what he expected to be doing in 10 years. His answer ‘pitching for the Detroit Tigers.’ And, indeed he was.
Phil Regan posted three straight winning seasons mainly as a starter from 1961-1963, including a very fine 15-9 record in 1963.
Traded to the LA Dodgers prior to 1966 he was trust into the reliever’s role. And quickly picked up the nickname of Vulture by Dodgers pitchers because he seemed to pick up easy victories while in relief of starters. The year 1966 for Phil Regan could be termed ‘The Year of Individual Achievement.’ His 13 game winning streak represented the majors longest streak of the season. And, his 14-1 record plus 21 saves in 65 games, along with a miserly 1.62 ERA earned him the ‘Sporting News’ Comeback Player of the Year Award. In the ’66 World Series Phil Regan struck out 2, yielded no hits in 1 2/3 innings.
After missing a few games of the start of the 1968 season because of rheumatoid arthritis he was traded by the Dodgers in April along with minor league outfielder Jim Hickman to the Cubs for Dick Savage and Jim Ellis. Chicago had Phil Regan diagnosed and found he had a 30-day variety of arthritis.
While pitching for the Dodgers and later the Cubs it was strongly suggested by opposing teams that he was throwing a spitball. As a fact: in August of 1968 while pitching for the Cubbies he was running on the base paths towards home and ran into Reds catcher Pat Corrales. And, Reds pitcher George Culver claimed after the play he found a tube of Vaseline and several slippery tablets around home plate. NL president Warren Giles conducted a hearing but afterwards league umpires were told to not check Phil Regan anymore. Baseball History