Tuesday, February 14, 2017

WE MADE IT. Longest Offseason Ever Ends Today.

2017 Chachi Preview #5
After a winter of mostly discontent, you may feel a little like Freddy Galvis looks in this photo - tired, confused and slightly disheveled.

Well the good news is that pitchers and catchers officially report to Clearwater today and the welcome distraction of baseball is back.  Play ball!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Coghlan Joins Ranks of Non-Roster Invitees

2016 Topps Update #US274
Outfielder Chris Coghlan was signed by the Phillies on Friday to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training.  Coghlan has a decent chance of making the team's opening day roster as a back-up outfielder.  The 2009 National League Rookie of the Year while with the Marlins, Coghlan earned a World Series ring last season with the Cubs.  In 99 games with both the Cubs and Athletics, he hit .188 with 6 home runs and 30 RBIs.

Strangely enough, Coghlan's most recent mainstream baseball card can be found within the 2016 Topps Update set showing him with the Cubs although he already had a card within the first series of the flagship set also showing him with the Cubs.  Wrigley Wax covered this oddity in a post here. Coghlan also appeared in last year's Topps Heritage set.

Player (position) - 2016 Organization - Last Major Baseball Card Appearance
1.  Sean Burnett (lhp) - Nationals/Dodgers/Braves/Twins/Nationals - 2014 Topps #68 (Angels)
2.  Pedro Florimon (inf) - Pirates - 2014 Topps #568 (Twins)
3.  Hector Gomez (inf) - Korea - 2015 Topps Update #US229 (Brewers)
4.  Daniel Nava (of) - Angels/Royals - 2016 Topps Now #293 (Angels)
5.  Bryan Holaday (c) - Tigers/Rangers/Red Sox - 2014 Topps Update #US117 (Tigers)
6.  Cesar Ramos (lhp) - Rangers/Tigers - 2015 Topps Update #US293 (Angels)
7.  Victor Arano (rhp) - Phillies - 2015 Bowman Chrome Prospect Autographs #BCAP-VA (Phillies)
8.  Pedro Beato (rhp) - Orioles - 2011 Topps Chrome #199 (Mets)
9.  J.P. Crawford (inf) - Phillies - 2016 Bowman's Best Top Prospects #TP12 (Phillies)
10.  Taylor Featherston (inf) - Angels/Phillies - 2015 Topps Update #US148 (Angels)
11.  Dalier Hinojosa (rhp) - Phillies - 2015 Immaculate Collection #151 (Red Sox)
12.  Rhys Hoskins (1b) - Phillies - 2016 Bowman Draft #BD186 (Phillies)
13.  Scott Kingery (inf) - Phillies - 2016 Bowman Draft #BD128 (Phillies)
14.  Michael Mariot (rhp) - Phillies - N/A
15.  Logan Moore (c) - Phillies - 2011 Bowman Draft Chrome Prospects #BDPP44 (Phillies)
16.  Colton Murray (rhp) - Phillies - 2016 Topps #488 (Phillies)
17.  Chace Numata (c) - Phillies - N/A
18.  Cam Perkins (of) - Phillies - 2014 Bowman Chrome Prospects #BCP86 (Phillies)
19.  Andrew Pullin (of) - Phillies - 2012 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks #BDPP59 (Phillies)
20.  Brock Stassi (1b) - Phillies - N/A
21.  Ryan Hanigan (c) - Red Sox - 2016 Topps Heritage #694 (Red Sox)
22.  Chris Coghlan (of) - Cubs/Athletics/Cubs - 2016 Topps Update #US274 (Cubs)


Saturday, February 4, 2017

New Phillies Uniform Numbers (Getting Closer to Clearwater!)

2016 Topps Heritage #547
2016 Topps Heritage #590
2016 Topps Heritage #694
2016 Topps Heritage #575
At some point over the past few days, I checked the Phillies roster page on their official website and noticed that the dreaded "--" in place of a uniform number for all new players had been replaced with actual uniform numbers.  Friends, this is yet another milestone to the glorious promised land that is spring training.

Here's a look at the new uniform numbers assigned to the newest members of the 2017 Phillies.

New Players (and a Coach) - Under 60 Division
  • #5 Michael Saunders - Departed hitting coach Steve Henderson was #5 last year and the #21 Saunders wore the past few seasons with the Blue Jays had already been claimed by newcomer Clay Buchholz.
  • #15 Sean Burnett - Emmanuel Burriss wore this number in 2016.
  • #17 Pat Neshek - With Peter Bourjos moving on, Neshek reclaims the number he wore with the Twins from 2006 to 2010.
  • #18 Pedro Florimon - Florimon takes Darin Ruf's old number.
  • #21 Clay Buchholz - With #11 unofficially retired (see below), the new starting pitcher takes #21.  Buchholz has previously worn #11 and #61 with the Red Sox.
  • #25 Daniel Nava - Nava will wear the number worn by Cody Asche the prior four seasons.
  • #34 Ryan Hanigan - Hanigan takes over the number worn by both Brett Oberholtzer and A.J. Ellis last year.
  • #40 Matt Stairs - Mickey Morandini already has #12, the number Stairs wore as a player with the Phillies, so the new hitting coach claims the number worn briefly last season by James Russell.
  • #47 Howie Kendrick - No surprise here as the veteran has worn #47 for his entire 11-year career.  Charlie Morton wore the number last season for his four starts.
  • #53 Joaquin Benoit - Daniel Stumpf, Frank Herrmann and now Joaquin Benoit are the most three recent #53s for the Phillies.
  • #54 Pedro Beato - It appears as if Brad Lidge's number has been officially-unofficially retired.  I don't believe anyone has worn this number for the Phillies since Lidge's final appearance in 2011.  (Matt Harrison had been assigned the number when he came over from the Rangers in the Cole Hamels deal, but he never actually put on a Phillies uniform.)
  • #55 Cesar Ramos - David Buchanan last wore #55 during the 2015 season.
  • #59 Bryan Holaday - Elvis Araujo's old number goes to Holaday.
New Numbers
2016 Topps Heritage #542

  • #30 Taylor Featherston - With Buchholz taking #21, Featherston switches to the number worn by reliever David Hernandez last season.
Highest Number
No one touches Dalier Hinojosa and his #94, but Drew Anderson and his #86 comes the closest.

Numbers Available - Unofficially Retired Division
The Phillies have an unwritten tradition of not giving out the uniform numbers of recently departed franchise players.  For that reason, no one on the roster has been assigned #6 (Ryan Howard), #11 (Jimmy Rollins), #26 (Chase Utley), #35 (Cole Hamels) or #51 (Carlos Ruiz).

Numbers Available - Up for Grabs Division
Of the numbers still available, I'm surprised no one has claimed #3 which was worn last season by David Lough.  This could be reserved for Chris Coghlan, who wore the number last season with the Athletics and who was recently signed on Friday.  #41 (Jimmy Paredes) and #43 (Phil Klein) are still available, as is #52 (Severino Gonzalez).

Memory Lane
2013 New Numbers
2014 New Numbers - Part One and Part Two
2015 New Numbers
2016 New Numbers - Part One and Part Two

Friday, February 3, 2017

The First Phillie of 2017


My wife Jenna was kind enough to stop at Target on her way home from work this evening, and when I arrived home there was an assortment of 2017 Topps packs to be opened.  In what seems as if it's possibly the longest offseason in the history of the world, opening a fresh pack of the new year's baseball cards is pure joy.

2017 Topps #142
While this year's flagship design isn't great, I like it better than the 2016 design.  The smoky corners are gone and in their place we get a bunch of criss-crossing silver lines and rectangles.  I'm grateful (again) for the lack of silver foil on the front of the cards, but I don't like the distorted and smooshed team logos.  I get that Topps is going for a 3D-ish, futuristic design here but I'm still stuck wishing that every set looked something like the Topps sets from the 1970s.  I suppose the kids will like the design and (more importantly for Topps) the cards will work well in multiple colors on their Bunt app.  For the record, Doug (10 years old) really likes the cards and Ben (6 years old) just hopes that Ben Revere is included within the set.

Full career statistics are gone from the backs of the cards.  That doesn't bother me as much as I thought it would and I really like the full-bleed, team color-coded design on the backs.  Each player also has his Twitter or Instagram user name featured on the backs or if the player doesn't yet participate in social media there's a generic #TOPPSBASEBALL that appears.

Hector Neris was The First Phillie this year.  He was in the first pack I opened, and because of his lack of social media accounts he gets the #TOPPSBASEBALL treatment on the back of his card. Doug's First (non-official) Phillie card was Howie Kendrick (with the Dodgers) and Ben also pulled a Neris card as his First Phillie.

I could complain more about the collation (lots of doubles) or the non-essential inserts, but I won't.  I have new baseball cards to sort tonight and all is right with the world for a little while.


Past First Phillies

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Hanigan Joins List of Catching Candidates

The Phillies added their 21st non-roster invitee yesterday, announcing the signing of catcher Ryan Hanigan to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.  Hanigan served as a back-up catcher in Boston for the past two seasons, and he's logged 10 years in the Majors with the Reds (2007-2013), Rays (2014) and Red Sox.  His most recent baseball cards can be found in the Topps flagship and Heritage Hi Numbers sets.

Hanigan will provide some catching competition to the other potential back-ups in camp - Jorge Alfaro, Bryan Holaday and Andrew Knapp.

Player (position) - 2016 Organization - Last Major Baseball Card Appearance
1.  Sean Burnett (lhp) - Nationals/Dodgers/Braves/Twins/Nationals - 2014 Topps #68 (Angels)
2.  Pedro Florimon (inf) - Pirates - 2014 Topps #568 (Twins)
3.  Hector Gomez (inf) - Korea - 2015 Topps Update #US229 (Brewers)
4.  Daniel Nava (of) - Angels/Royals - 2016 Topps Now #293 (Angels)
5.  Bryan Holaday (c) - Tigers/Rangers/Red Sox - 2014 Topps Update #US117 (Tigers)
6.  Cesar Ramos (lhp) - Rangers/Tigers - 2015 Topps Update #US293 (Angels)
7.  Victor Arano (rhp) - Phillies - 2015 Bowman Chrome Prospect Autographs #BCAP-VA (Phillies)
8.  Pedro Beato (rhp) - Orioles - 2011 Topps Chrome #199 (Mets)
9.  J.P. Crawford (inf) - Phillies - 2016 Bowman's Best Top Prospects #TP12 (Phillies)
10.  Taylor Featherston (inf) - Angels/Phillies - 2015 Topps Update #US148 (Angels)
11.  Dalier Hinojosa (rhp) - Phillies - 2015 Immaculate Collection #151 (Red Sox)
12.  Rhys Hoskins (1b) - Phillies - 2016 Bowman Draft #BD186 (Phillies)
13.  Scott Kingery (inf) - Phillies - 2016 Bowman Draft #BD128 (Phillies)
14.  Michael Mariot (rhp) - Phillies - N/A
15.  Logan Moore (c) - Phillies - 2011 Bowman Draft Chrome Prospects #BDPP44 (Phillies)
16.  Colton Murray (rhp) - Phillies - 2016 Topps #488 (Phillies)
17.  Chace Numata (c) - Phillies - N/A
18.  Cam Perkins (of) - Phillies - 2014 Bowman Chrome Prospects #BCP86 (Phillies)
19.  Andrew Pullin (of) - Phillies - 2012 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks #BDPP59 (Phillies)
20.  Brock Stassi (1b) - Phillies - N/A
21.  Ryan Hanigan (c) - Red Sox - 2016 Topps Heritage #694 (Red Sox)

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Bagwell, Pudge & Raines - Phillies Cards

1993 Upper Deck Fun Pack All-Star Scratch-Off #AS2
2001 Fleer Triple Crown Glamour Boys #3
1985 Topps Rub-Downs #9
There will be five inductees to the Hall of Fame this summer in Cooperstown.  Unlike the last time I watched election results come in, the recent announcement that Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez received enough votes to make them Hall of Famers brought a smile to my face.  I'm not thrilled with, nor do I fully understand, the inclusion of former Commissioner Bud Selig in this year's class.  Rounding out the five inductees this year is former Braves General Manager John Schuerholz.

Each year when the new class is announced, I like to check my Phillies baseball card collection to see if any of the new Hall of Famers are represented.  I have no cards of Selig or Schuerholz in my collection, but I do have cards of the three players elected.

Jeff Bagwell
I only have one card of the Astros great in my collection and it's from the strangely titled Glamour Boys insert set from 2001 Fleer Triple Crown.

2001 Fleer Triple Crown Glamour Boys #3 - with Scott Rolen and Bernie Williams

Tim Raines
Raines appears on two different Topps Rub Downs in 1984 and 1985 that also happen to have Mike Schmidt on them.  He's also on a Doubles & Triples Superstar Special card with Juan Samuel in the 1987 Fleer set.

1984 Topps Rub Downs #23 - with Toby Harrah, Pat Putnam and Mike Schmidt
1985 Topps Rub Downs #9 - with Bill Buckner, Mike Schmidt and Ryne Sandberg
1987 Fleer #642 - with Juan Samuel

Ivan Rodriguez
The Pudge cards in my Phillies collection come courtesy of Darren Daulton's big year in 1992.  I have four insert cards from 1993 featuring this catching tandem, and another card from the 1995 Donruss Dominators insert set.

1993 Leaf Gold All-Stars #1 - with Darren Daulton
1993 Pinnacle Team Pinnacle #3 - with Darren Daulton
1993 Upper Deck Fun Pack All-Star Scratch-Off #AS2 - with Darren Daulton
1993 Leaf Gold All-Stars #U2 - with Darren Daulton
1995 Donruss Dominators #2 - with Darren Daulton and Mike Piazza

Memory Lane
2012 Inductees - Larkin and Santo
2013 Inductees - O'Day, Ruppert and White
2014 Inductees - Cox, Glavine, LaRussa, Maddux, Thomas and Torre
2015 Inductees - Biggio, Johnson, Martinez and Smoltz
2016 Inductees - Griffey and Piazza
2017 Inductees - Bagwell, Raines, Rodriguez, Selig and Schuerholz

Friday, January 20, 2017

Phillies Sign Saunders to Bolster Offense

2017 Chachi New Additions #7
On Thursday, the Phillies officially signed outfielder and former All-Star Michael Saunders to a one-year deal worth $9 million.  Saunders crosses left-handed, middle of the line-up power hitter off the Phillies off-season to-do list, and his arrival means that Phillies Room favorite Roman Quinn most likely starts the season in the minors.

I admittedly don't know a lot about Saunders, other than that he enjoyed a career year last season with the Blue Jays, hitting 24 home runs and driving in 57.  I was surprised to learn he's an eight-year veteran with his first six seasons spent in Seattle.  I was also surprised to see he had relatively few mainstream baseball card appearances in 2016.  His cards can be found within the Topps flagship, Heritage and Update sets.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Saunders, pitcher Severino Gonzlaez was designated for assignment.

Moving On - 2016-2017 Offseason
  • Cedric Hunter - of (10/3/16) - Elected free agency.
  • James Russell - lhp (10/3/16) - Elected free agency.
  • Emmanuel Burriss - inf (10/7/16) - Outrighted off 40-man roster, elected free agency and signed as a minor league free agent with the Washington Nationals, 12/13/16.
  • Frank Herrmann - rhp (10/7/16) - Outrighted off 40-man roster and elected free agency.
  • Jimmy Paredes - of (10/7/16) - Outrighted off 40-man roster, elected free agency and signed with the Chiba Lotte Marines (Japan), 1/15/17.
  • Patrick Schuster - lhp (10/7/16) - Outrighted off 40-man roster, elected free agency and signed as a minor league free agent with the Los Angeles Dodgers, 11/5/16.
  • Ryan Howard - 1b (11/3/16) - Team option declined and elected free agency.
  • Charlie Morton - rhp (11/3/16) - Team option declined, elected free agency and signed with the Houston Astros, 11/16/16.
  • Peter Bourjos - of (11/3/16) - Elected free agency.
  • A.J. Ellis - c (11/3/16) - Elected free agency and signed with the Miami Marlins, 12/12/16.
  • David Hernandez - rhp (11/3/16) - Elected free agency.
  • Darin Ruf - 1b-of and Darnell Sweeney - inf-of (11/11/16) - Traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Howie Kendrick.
  • Elvis Araujo - rhp (11/18/16) - Claimed off waivers by the Miami Marlins.
  • David Buchanan - rhp (11/23/16) - Released and signed with the Yakult Swallows (Japan), 12/20/16.
  • Cody Asche - of (12/2/16) - Designated for assignment, non-tendered and signed as a minor league free agent with the Chicago White Sox, 1/6/17.
  • Phil Klein - rhp (12/14/16) - Released and signed with the Yokohama BayStars (Japan), 12/20/16.
  • Severino Gonzalez - rhp (1/19/17) - Designated for assignment.
Coming Back
  • Jeremy Hellickson - rhp (11/3/16) - Elected free agency, accepted team's qualifying offer, 11/14/16.
  • Andres Blanco - inf (11/3/16) - Elected free agency, resigned by the Phillies to a one-year contract, 12/14/16.
New Additions - 2016-2017 Offseason
  • Pat Neshek - rhp (11/4/16) - Acquired from the Houston Astros for a player to be named later or cash considerations.
  • Howie Kendrick - lf (11/11/16) - Acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers for Darin Ruf and Darnell Sweeney.
  • Joaquin Benoit - rhp (12/6/16) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Toronto Blue Jays.
  • Clay Buchholz - rhp (12/20/16) - Acquired from the Boston Red Sox for Josh Tobias.
  • Michael Saunders - of (1/19/17) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Already Gone - 2016-2017 Offseason
  • David Rollins - lhp (12/2/16) - Claimed off waivers from the Texas Rangers.  Designated for assignment, 12/14/16.
  • Richie Shaffer - 3b (12/14/16) - Claimed off waivers from the Seattle Mariners.  Designated for assignment, 12/20/16.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Phillies Now Up to 20 Non-Roster Invitees

2011 Topps #639
2015 Topps Update #US293
2016 Topps Pro Debut #50
In a sure sign that we're inching closer to spring training, the Phillies announced 15 new additions to the non-roster invitee list yesterday.  I had originally missed the addition of left-handed pitcher Cesar Ramos, as he was signed to a minor league contract back on January 5th.  The majority of these players spent the bulk of 2016 within the Phillies organization, and the most notable name on the list is top prospect J.P. Crawford.

Here's a run-down of the now 20 players who will be wearing numbers in the 70s and 80s when camp breaks in February.

2016 Choice Reading Fightin
Phils Holiday #2
2016 Choice Lehigh Valley
IronPigs #10
2015 Immaculate Collection
Blue #151
2016 Topps Heritage
Minor League #184
Player (position) - 2016 Organization - Last Major Baseball Card Appearance
1.  Sean Burnett (lhp) - Nationals/Dodgers/Braves/Twins/Nationals - 2014 Topps #68 (Angels)
2.  Pedro Florimon (inf) - Pirates - 2014 Topps #568 (Twins)
3.  Hector Gomez (inf) - Korea - 2015 Topps Update #US229 (Brewers)
4.  Daniel Nava (of) - Angels/Royals - 2016 Topps Now #293 (Angels)
5.  Bryan Holaday (c) - Tigers/Rangers/Red Sox - 2014 Topps Update #US117 (Tigers)
6.  Cesar Ramos (lhp) - Rangers/Tigers - 2015 Topps Update #US293 (Angels)
7.  Victor Arano (rhp) - Phillies - 2015 Bowman Chrome Prospect Autographs #BCAP-VA (Phillies)
8.  Pedro Beato (rhp) - Orioles - 2011 Topps Chrome #199 (Mets)
9.  J.P. Crawford (inf) - Phillies - 2016 Bowman's Best Top Prospects #TP12 (Phillies)
10.  Taylor Featherston (inf) - Angels/Phillies - 2015 Topps Update #US148 (Angels)
11.  Dalier Hinojosa (rhp) - Phillies - 2015 Immaculate Collection #151 (Red Sox)
12.  Rhys Hoskins (1b) - Phillies - 2016 Bowman Draft #BD186 (Phillies)
13.  Scott Kingery (inf) - Phillies - 2016 Bowman Draft #BD128 (Phillies)
14.  Michael Mariot (rhp) - Phillies - N/A
15.  Logan Moore (c) - Phillies - 2011 Bowman Draft Chrome Prospects #BDPP44 (Phillies)
16.  Colton Murray (rhp) - Phillies - 2016 Topps #488 (Phillies)
17.  Chace Numata (c) - Phillies - N/A
18.  Cam Perkins (of) - Phillies - 2014 Bowman Chrome Prospects #BCP86 (Phillies)
19.  Andrew Pullin (of) - Phillies - 2012 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks #BDPP59 (Phillies)
20.  Brock Stassi (1b) - Phillies - N/A

2016 Choice Reading Fightin
Phils Playoff #29
2016 Choice Lehigh Valley
IronPigs #17
2016 Grandstand Reading
Fightin Phils #19
2016 Choice Lehigh Valley
IronPigs #20
2016 Grandstand Clearwater
Threshers #20
2016 Choice Lehigh Valley
IronPigs #21
2016 Reading Fightin
Phils Holiday #25
2016 Reading Phillies
50 Greatest Players #42

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Asche Signs with White Sox

2017 Chachi Departures #11
I was a little bummed back on December 2nd when it was announced that Cody Asche had been designated for assignment.  The move made sense, but Asche had been one of the more popular Phillies players over the past few years and he had assumed the quasi-official role as one of the team's spokesmen.  I believe he was one of the players this year (or maybe last year) who took the mic on fan appreciation day to thank the fans for their loyalty.  He seems like a good guy.

On Friday, Asche signed a minor league contract with the White Sox and he'll try to resume his career in the American League.

Cody Asche Chachi Checklist
2013 Chachi #53
2014 Chachi #8
2015 Chachi #7
2016 Chachi #45
2016 Chachi Photo Day #22
2016 Chachi IronPigs Signing Autographs #5
2017 Chachi Departures #11

Moving On - 2016-2017 Offseason
  • Cedric Hunter - of (10/3/16) - Elected free agency.
  • James Russell - lhp (10/3/16) - Elected free agency.
  • Emmanuel Burriss - inf (10/7/16) - Outrighted off 40-man roster, elected free agency and signed as a minor league free agent with the Washington Nationals, 12/13/16.
  • Frank Herrmann - rhp (10/7/16) - Outrighted off 40-man roster and elected free agency.
  • Jimmy Paredes - of (10/7/16) - Outrighted off 40-man roster and elected free agency.
  • Patrick Schuster - lhp (10/7/16) - Outrighted off 40-man roster, elected free agency and signed as a minor league free agent with the Los Angeles Dodgers, 11/5/16.
  • Ryan Howard - 1b (11/3/16) - Team option declined and elected free agency.
  • Charlie Morton - rhp (11/3/16) - Team option declined, elected free agency and signed with the Houston Astros, 11/16/16.
  • Peter Bourjos - of (11/3/16) - Elected free agency.
  • A.J. Ellis - c (11/3/16) - Elected free agency and signed with the Miami Marlins, 12/12/16.
  • David Hernandez - rhp (11/3/16) - Elected free agency.
  • Darin Ruf - 1b-of and Darnell Sweeney - inf-of (11/11/16) - Traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Howie Kendrick.
  • Elvis Araujo - rhp (11/18/16) - Claimed off waivers by the Miami Marlins.
  • David Buchanan - rhp (11/23/16) - Released and signed with the Yakult Swallows (Japan), 12/20/16.
  • Cody Asche - of (12/2/16) - Designated for assignment, non-tendered and signed as a minor league free agent with the Chicago White Sox, 1/6/17.
  • Phil Klein - rhp (12/14/16) - Released and signed with the Yokohama BayStars (Japan), 12/20/16.
Coming Back
  • Jeremy Hellickson - rhp (11/3/16) - Elected free agency, accepted team's qualifying offer, 11/14/16.
  • Andres Blanco - inf (11/3/16) - Elected free agency, resigned by the Phillies to a one-year contract, 12/14/16.
New Additions - 2016-2017 Offseason
  • Pat Neshek - rhp (11/4/16) - Acquired from the Houston Astros for a player to be named later or cash considerations.
  • Howie Kendrick - lf (11/11/16) - Acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers for Darin Ruf and Darnell Sweeney.
  • Joaquin Benoit - rhp (12/6/16) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Toronto Blue Jays.
  • Clay Buchholz - rhp (12/20/16) - Acquired from the Boston Red Sox for Josh Tobias.
Already Gone - 2016-2017 Offseason
  • David Rollins - lhp (12/2/16) - Claimed off waivers from the Texas Rangers.  Designated for assignment, 12/14/16.
  • Richie Shaffer - 3b (12/14/16) - Claimed off waivers from the Seattle Mariners.  Designated for assignment, 12/20/16.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Santa Tracks Down Two '80s Phillies Oddballs (#SBWTMABCTJ)

1986 Keller's Butter Phillies
1988 Drake's #17
I pride myself in having a fairly complete collection of Phillies baseball cards from the 1980s.  Cards from the major manufacturers - Topps, Fleer, Donruss and later Score and Upper Deck - are cheap and fairly easy to find.  But there are still a few oddballs from the decade that have eluded my collection.  I've already documented the 10 fantastic vintage Phillies cards my Mom added to my collection as part of the Santa Brings Way Too Many Awesome Baseball Cards to Jim (SBWTMABCTJ) extravaganza, but she also tracked down two cards from more recent times that I have never seen available for sale.

In 1986, packages of Keller's butter sold within the Philadelphia area came with one of six Phillies cards on the package.  I've been unsuccessful in adding the Mike Schmidt card to my collection since I first became aware of these oddballs back in 2011.  This Schmidt card completes my six-card set, and the other cards in the set are linked below.

1986 Keller's Butter Phillies
Steve Carlton
Von Hayes
Gary Redus
Juan Samuel
Mike Schmidt
Glenn Wilson

Another difficult to find (for me) food-issued oddball is the Von Hayes card from the 1988 Drake's set.  There are three Phillies cards within the 33-card set - Hayes, Juan Samuel and Mike Schmidt - and the cards were printed on the backs of Drake's snack products.  The Samuel and Schmidt cards have been in my collection for close to 30 years, but I could never track down the Hayes card.

Leave it to Santa (with help from my Mom) to track down these two cards and finally add them to my collection.  They're just little pieces of cardboard to most people, but to this day my Mom still knows exactly how to make me smile.

2011 Santa Brings Way Too Many Awesome Baseball Cards to Jim
Part 1 - Continuing a Tradition
Part 2 - 1971 Topps Set - 13 More Down
Part 3 - 1952 Topps Phillies
Part 4 - 1951 Bowman Phillies
Part 5 - Curt Simmons - Two New Bowman Cards
Part 6 - 1955 Bowman and Topps Phillies

2012 Santa Brings Way Too Many Awesome Baseball Cards to Jim
Part 1 - 1941 Double Play Litwhiler & May
Part 2 - 1963 Topps John Herrnstein rookie card (featuring Willie Stargell)
Part 3 - 1940 Play Ball Phillies - Part 1
Part 4 - 1940 Play Ball Phillies - Part 2
Part 5 - 1950 Bowman Del Ennis

2013 Santa Brings Way Too Many Awesome Baseball Cards to Jim
Part 1 - 1998 Upper Deck Scott Rolen
Part 2 - 1968 Topps Phillies Team Card
Part 3 - 1966 Topps Bob Uecker
Part 4 - 1955 Bowman Robin Roberts
Part 5 - 1965 Topps Johnny Callison
Part 6 - 1954 Bowman Richie Ashburn

2014 Santa Brings Way Too Many Awesome Baseball Cards to Jim
Part 1 - 1952 Bowman and 1953 Bowman Color Richie Ashburn
Part 2 - 1950 Bowman Roberts, 1951 Topps Blue Backs Jones, 1955 Bowman Wyrostek
Part 3 - 1995 Collector's Choice Hayes and 1999 Fleer Mystique Burrell

2015 Santa Brings Way Too Many Awesome Baseball Cards to Jim
Seven Phillies Cards from the 1950s Crossed Off the List

2016 Santa Brings Way Too Many Awesome Baseball Cards to Jim
Part 1 - 10 vintage Phillies cards added to the collection
Part 2 - 2 modern oddball Phillies cards find a new home

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2016 Topps - Phillies Cards (So Far)

2016 Topps Update #US112
2016 Topps Update #US199
2016 Topps #154
2016 Topps Update #US300
My wife and kids purchased a 2016 Topps factory set for me for Christmas and while this year's flagship design isn't my favorite, I still enjoyed looking through the set.  I believe in the adage of "Once a Phillie, Always a Phillie" which is why as I was going through the set I found myself absent-mindedly setting aside the past, current and future Phillies.  I ended up with a nice little stack of cards and for no other reason than I find this stuff interesting and entertaining, here's a list of the cards with Phillies connections in the 2016 Topps factory set, with the cards from the Update series thrown in for good measure.

This list will grow in future years, and I'm including four players (marked with an *) who haven't officially suited up for the team yet.

At some point in the coming weeks, I'll take a closer look at the 2016 Topps Phillies cards.  Until then, this page links to all my past Topps Phillies posts.

National League East (33 - 5 without Phillies)
Atlanta Braves (2) - #82 Michael Bourn, #US271 Jeff Francoeur
Miami Marlins (0)
New York Mets (0)
Philadelphia Phillies (28)
Washington Nationals (3) - #266 Jonathan Papelbon, #342 Jayson Werth, #US112 Ben Revere

National League Central (3)
Chicago Cubs (0)
Cincinnati Reds (0)
Milwaukee Brewers (1) - #152 Kyle Lohse
Pittsburgh Pirates (1) - #169 Charlie Morton
St. Louis Cardinals (1) - #US199 Brandon Moss

National League West (7)
Arizona Diamondbacks (1) - #104 Jeremy Hellickson
Colorado Rockies (1) - #US82 Chad Qualls
Los Angeles Dodgers (3) - #351 Chase Utley, #US245 Howie Kendrick*, #US300 A.J. Ellis
San Diego Padres (1) - #163 Joaquin Benoit*
San Francisco Giants (1) - #154 Hunter Pence

2016 Topps #449
2016 Topps #622
2016 Topps #512
2016 Topps Update #US116
American League East (7)
Baltimore Orioles (1) - #6 Jimmy Paredes
Boston Red Sox (1) - #77 Clay Buchholz*
New York Yankees (0)
Tampa Bay Rays (0)
Toronto Blue Jays (5) - #349 Ben Revere, #449 J.A. Happ, #655 Domonic Brown, #US35 Joaquin Benoit*, #US179 Ezequiel Carrera

American League Central (0)
Chicago White Sox (0)
Cleveland Indians (0)
Detroit Tigers (0)
Kansas City Royals (0)
Minnesota Twins (0)

American League West (6)
Houston Astros (2) - #270 Pat Neshek*, #622 Ken Giles
Los Angeles Angels (0)
Oakland Athletics (1) - #512 Ryan Madson
Seattle Mariners (0)
Texas Rangers (3) - #588 Cole Hamels, #US38 Cole Hamels AS, #US116 Jake Diekman

Memory Lane
1970 Topps - 114 cards with Phillies connections
1973 Topps - 107 cards with Phillies connections
1979 Topps - 111 cards with Phillies connections, plus one more
1985 Topps - 153 cards with Phillies connections
1988 Topps - 154 cards with Phillies connections
2016 Topps - 56 cards with Phillies connections, as of 1/2/17

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Thanks Santa! Time to Update My Most Wanted List (#SBWTMABCTJ)

1950 Bowman #121
1952 Topps #158
1952 Bowman #184
We made it!  It's 2017 and the sun is (sort of) shining, the coffee is hot and I've decided to spend the first day of the year sorting baseball cards.  My first order of business is to once again completely update my Ten Most Wanted - Vintage list on the sidebar, which until the day after Christmas looked like this:


For the past six Christmases, my Mom has been chipping away at my Phillies team set needs one card at a time.  For as long as I can remember, Santa (with help from my parents I suppose) has gifted me with amazing baseball cards each and every Christmas morning.  Through my college years, the Dark Times and even after I had married and had kids of my own, my Dad continued the tradition of hunting down baseball cards that would amaze me and become treasured additions to my collection. My Mom has continued that tradition since my Dad passed away in 2011.

She truly outdid herself this year for the annual Santa Brings Way Too Many Awesome Baseball Cards to Jim (SBWTMABCTJ) extravaganza, completely wiping out my Ten Most Wanted - Vintage list.  Here's a run-down of the 10 vintage cards from this year's haul.  (Click on any of the photos of the cards to enlarge.)

1950 Bowman #121 Andy Seminick
This brings me down to needing just two more cards to complete the 1950 Bowman 19-card Phillies team set.  Once I have the final two cards, I'll definitely be showing off the complete set in a gallery-style post.

1952 Bowman #184 Curt Simmons
I'm also close to completing the 16-card Phillies team set from 1952 Bowman.  After adding this Simmons card to my collection, I'm only four cards away.  The back of this card references Simmons' return from military service.  Although it's slightly miscut, this may be my favorite card of the bunch.

1952 Topps #158 Eddie Waitkus
The bio on the back of this card begins, "Shot by a crazed girl in June, 1949, Ed was close to death." Most of the remaining Phillies cards I need from the 1952 Topps set are from the scarce and pricey high number series.

1952 Bowman Black & White #58
1953 Bowman Color #133
1958 Topps #90
1959 Topps #8
1953 Bowman Black & White #58 Jim Konstanty
1953 Bowman Color #133 Willie Jones
It's always exciting to add cards of any of the Whiz Kids to my collection.  I've seen these two cards for years both at baseball card shows and online, and it's a fantastic feeling to have them both in my collection now.  Kids opening packs of baseball cards in 1953 had no idea how good they had it.

1958 Topps #90 Robin Roberts
1959 Topps #8 Phillies Team Card
With the exception of cards needed from the 1952 Topps set, I'm surprisingly close to having a complete run of Phillies cards from the Topps sets of the 1950s.  I'm pretty sure I have this Roberts card in my collection in reprint form, so it's nice to finally have the original.

1965 Topps #4
1967 Topps #560
1967 Topps #595
1965 Topps #4 N.L. Home Run Leaders
Johnny Callison's head appearing in the bottom left of this card meant that I needed it to complete my 1965 Topps Phillies team set.  It's also great to have an excuse to add a card featuring three Hall of Famers (Willie Mays, Billy Williams and Orlando Cepeda) to my collection.

1967 Topps #560 Jim Bunning
1967 Topps #595 Cookie Rojas
Wrapping up the vintage portion of the annual SBWTMABCTJ are two Phillies cards I needed for my 1967 Topps team set.  These are both from the tougher high-number series, and the Rojas card is a close runner up to the 1952 Bowman Simmons card as my favorite addition.

But wait, there's more!  My Mom also crossed off two extremely oddball wants from my Ten Most Wanted - Modern list and I'll feature those two cards in a future post.