A speedy team stuck at .500

1984: The marketing slogan was "Follow Us," a nod to all the speed accumulated by the Phillies, what with the arrival of burners like rookies Juan Samuel and Jeff Stone, along with Von Hayes and others.

Samuel had a monster rookie season, stealing 72 bases to go with 36 doubles, 19 triples and 15 home runs. Stone arrived around midseason, stealing 26 bases, and batting .363 to be immediately get stamped as a star in the making.

However, the Philllies were 81-81, never a real factor in a race eventually won by the Chicago Clubs, who were led by someone named Ryne Sandberg, whose great season was a constant source of angst for a Phils organization that had traded Sandberg to Chicago a few years previously, largely because ownership was mad at Larry Bowa for claiming the club had reneged on a new contract offer.

2008: The Phillies led the National League in stolen-base percentage (84.5 percent) for the second straight year, stealing 136 bases and getting caught 25 times.

Peter Pascarelli was the Phillies beat writer for The Inquirer in 1984. Joe Juliano writes about the 2008 team.

Remembering 1984

Average price of a gallon of gas: $1.20.

Phillies' record: 81-81, fourth place.

Phillies' attendance: 2,062,693.

Phillies' first-round pick: Pete Smith, RHP.

Remember this? The AIDS virus is identified.