Jim Rice

Tony Phillips, fiery leadoff hitter for Angels in 1995, dies of apparent heart attack at age 56

Tony Phillips, fiery leadoff hitter for Angels in 1995, dies of apparent heart attack at age 56

Tony Phillips, the feisty leadoff hitter and utility player who helped push the Angels to within one game of the 1995 playoffs, died Wednesday in Scottsdale, Ariz., of an apparent heart attack. He was 56.

The Oakland Athletics, for whom Phillips played eight big-league seasons (1982-89) to start his career, confirmed the news in a statement, saying the club “lost another member of our family this week with the unexpected passing of Tony Phillips.”

Phillips played 18 major-league seasons, accumulating 2,023 hits and 1,300 runs while finishing with a career average of .266 and an on-base percentage of .374. After helping the A’s win the 1989 World...

83°