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Philadelphia Phillies: Comparing the Current Lineup to the 1983 'Wheeze Kids'

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Philadelphia Phillies: Comparing the Current Lineup to the 1983 'Wheeze Kids'
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
The 2013 Phillies infield, consisting of SS Jimmy Rollins, 2B Chase Utley and 1B Ryan Howard is not unlike the Pete Rose led squad from 1983.

Let's go back a couple of years to remember a certain Philadelphia Phillies team that will always live in the minds and hearts of the fans.

Ah yes, the year was 2008 and the team was coming off of a glorious and spirited World Championship run, one that won't quickly be forgotten. The year following, the expectations didn't at all waiver, yet, ultimately, the team came up short.

As the core that brought the city of Philadelphia a championship got older, the Phillies failed time and time again, coming up short in a run at another championship. The players got older and the expectations lessened.

So was the story of the post 2008 Phillies, a team that...

Wait... Stop me if you've heard this one before.

I'm willing to bet most of you have because that is exactly what is going on with the Phillies now. The 2013 team is in the same situation as a team from not too long ago; 30 years to be exact.

The year was 1983 and the Phillies were just three seasons removed from winning the first ever championship in franchise history. That said, in both '81, much like the '09, '10 and '11 Phillies teams, there were playoffs but nothing further. In '82, the team didn't even sniff the postseason, much like the 2012 Phillies, who missed out on winning an NL wildcard.

Besides a lack of playoff success, yet another similarity between both teams is age. The '83 team, whose average age topped out at over 32 (slightly older than the 2013 Phillies at 30 plus), was named the "Wheeze Kids." It was a team that consisted of an aging Mike Schmidt and a Pete Rose, Joe Morgan and Tony Perez reunited, yet all in the twilight of their careers. Not much was expected, but much was received.

That '83 Phillies team pulled off a minor miracle, doing something that the 2013 Phillies team hopes to repeat. They made it to the World Series, and although, they were easily ousted by the Baltimore Orioles, they really did prove that age is just a number.

So in the spirit of that team's 30th anniversary and the similarities between the two squads, let's take a look at how the players compare position by position.

The window may be basically closed shut, but if history means anything (and in baseball it often means everything), then the 2013 Phillies should not be counted out.

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