Although only 5'8"and 150-pounds, Phil became one of the best clutch left-handed pitchers in the Akron area. From his youth playing days in the Firestone Park area, Phil led the South Akron All-Stars (Little League), Akron All-Stars (Pony League), and Post# 209 (American Legion League), to numerous City, State, and Regional championships. At Garfield High he continued his pitching and hitting success, leading the Rams to two City titles, including 1962 when he posted a 7-0 record and batted .620. After being named All-City three times at Garfield, Phil became a seven time All-Star in eleven years in the AA League, beginning in 1962 with Krispy Kreme. The highlight of his rookie year was outdueling Dave Young of the Black Labels in a 15-inning, 5-3 win. Phil also toiled for the champion Black Label and Airmatic Valve teams, winning three games in the AABC World Series in Battle Creek during his stint with the Labels. He also pitched for the Dairy Queen, Co-op and Field Merchants teams.