“Don’t be too impressed with your athletic ability. Measure your worth in terms of your success in demonstrating Christian Science, whether on the athletic field or in any other aspect of life.”
Phil transferred to Principia College in 1938 from Northwestern University, where he had received an athletic scholarship. He played and excelled in football and basketball but achieved his greatest honors in baseball. During his first baseball season at Principia, Phil struck out an average of 14 players per game. In 1940, he pitched a perfect game, including 17 strikeouts, and as a result received an invitation for a tryout from the St. Louis Cardinals. In the first game of Phil’s senior season, scouts from both the Cardinals and Cubs watched him pitch another perfect game. Later that year, he received offers from both teams, which he declined in order to enter the Navy’s officers’ training program.