Saturday, July 4, 2015

Doug's 2015 Topps Opening Day Want List

2015 Topps Opening Day #185
Do you have any of these cards for my son's 2015 Topps Opening Day set?  If so, please leave a comment or send me an e-mail and let's work out a trade!

14 - Michael Taylor
21 - Evan Gattis
27 - George Springer
33 - Eric Hosmer
42 - Anthony Rendon
45 - Bryce Harper
58 - Starlin Castro
63 - Adrian Gonzalez
81 - Aroldis Chapman
115 - Jason Kipnis
116 - David Freese
117 - Hector Santiago
119 - Craig Kimbrel
133 - Jose Molina
142 - Zack Wheeler
143 - Freddie Freeman
145 - Kolten Wong
147 - Carlos Martinez
150 - Hisashi Iwakuma
159 - Justin Morneau
160 - Kevin Kiermaier
172 - David Price
173 - Alex Cobb
174 - Michael Brantley
179 - David Robertson
191 - Jayson Werth
194 - Andrew Cashner


2015 Choice Lehigh Valley IronPigs #19 Adam Morgan

Braves 2, Phillies 1
Game 82 - Friday Night, July 3rd in Atlanta
Record - 27-55, 5th Place, 18 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Adam Morgan pitched a great ballgame, but two Braves solo home runs and a lack of run support led to the 2-1 Braves win.

What It Means:  The season is officially more than half way over and the Phillies are in the midst of a five game losing streak.

What Happened:  Morgan threw seven strong innings allowing just five hits, two of which were solo home runs to Jonny Gomes and Juan Uribe.  The Phillies scored their lone run in the fifth when Cesar Hernandez singled home Morgan, who had reached on an error.  Hernandez was thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a double and he would have come around to score a batter later when Maikel Franco doubled.

Featured Card:  This is the sole 2015 Morgan baseball card in my collection to date, and I would think Morgan is another good candidate for inclusion in the Topps Update set and/or the third series of the Phillies team issued photo card set, which seems inevitable.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Phillies at Braves: July 3rd to July 5th


Friday 7:35, Saturday 7:15 and Sunday 1:35
Turner Field - Atlanta, GA

Phillies 27-54, 5th Place in the N.L. East, 17 games behind the Nationals
Braves 38-41, 3rd Place in the N.L. East, 5 games behind the Nationals

Phillies Probables:  Adam Morgan (1-0, 1.59), Kevin Correia (0-2, 3.60), Cole Hamels (5-6, 3.22)
Braves Probables:  Julio Teheran (5-4, 4.94), Alex Wood (5-5, 3.17), Shelby Miller (5-4, 2.20)

At the Ballpark:  Fans purchasing a Star Wars Night ticket package to tonight's game will receive a special Jason Grilli Star Wars bobblehead.  There will be fireworks following tonight's and Saturday night's games.  Before the game on Sunday, former Braves (and Phillies) alumni Pete Smith, Todd Pratt and Paul Byrd will be signing autographs.  (Smith never played for the Phillies as he was traded in December 1985 to the Braves with Ozzie Virgil for Steve Bedrosian and Milt Thompson.)

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Ben Revere - .289
Runs:  Ben Revere - 43
Home Runs:  Ryan Howard - 13
RBIs:  Ryan Howard - 37
Stolen Bases:  Ben Revere - 19

Wins:  Cole Hamels - 5
ERA:  Cole Hamels - 3.22
Strikeouts:  Cole Hamels - 113
Saves:  Jonathan Papelbon - 14

Braves Leaders
Average:  Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis - .299
Runs:  Freddie Freeman and Andrelton Simmons - 43
Home Runs:  Freddie Freeman - 12
RBIs:  Freddie Freeman - 41
Stolen Bases:  Cameron Maybin - 14

Wins:  3 tied with - 5
ERA:  Shelby Miller - 2.20
Strikeouts:  Shelby Miller - 80
Saves:  Jason Grilli - 22

2015 Phillies Team Issue 2 #16 Cesar Hernandez

Brewers 8, Phillies 7 (11 Innings)
Game 81 - Thursday Night, July 2nd in Philadelphia
Record - 27-54, 5th Place, 17 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies mounted an impressive comeback only to have Luis Garcia give up the eventual winning run to the Brewers in the 11th inning.

What It Means:  The Phillies were swept in this four-game series by the second worst team in the Majors.  The worst team in the Majors?  That would be your 2015 Philadelphia Phillies.

What Happened:  Chad Billingsley struggled mightily in his return from the disabled list, allowing seven runs (six earned) over five innings.  Garcia couldn't shut the Brewers down in the 11th, and the offense went quietly in the bottom of the inning to close out the homestand and complete the sweep for the Brewers.

Featured Card:  ESPN had an interesting Tweet following this game, pointing out that the Phillies had four players with three hits a piece in the loss, which is the first time the club had accomplished that "feat" since 1958.  Youngsters Odubel Herrera, Cesar Hernandez, Cody Asche and Freddy Galvis were the four Phillies with nice nights at the plate.

Hernandez is now hitting .284 and has played fine defense at second in Chase Utley's absence.  He's never appeared in a flagship Topps release, so I have to imagine he's a good candidate to receive a card in this year's Topps Update set.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

2005 Bowman #313 Carlos Carrasco

Brewers 9, Phillies 5
Game 80 - Wednesday Night, July 1st in Philadelphia
Record - 27-53

One Sentence Summary:  The Brewers lined up for batting practice against Aaron Harang, winning their third in a row against the Phillies by a score of 9-5.

What It Means:  Sad tuba.

What Happened:  Harang had another awful outing, allowing eight runs on 14 hits.  He's lost eight consecutive starts and his ERA during that streak is 7.01.  On the bright side, Maikel Franco had three doubles and drove in a pair of runs.

Featured Card:  In former Phillies news, Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco was a strike away from a no-hitter against the Rays when Joey Butler singled to center to ruin his bid.  Carrasco was shipped to Cleveland in July 2009 along with three other prospects in the deal that first brought Cliff Lee to the Phillies.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

1997 Topps Stars #84 Curt Schilling

Brewers 4, Phillies 3
Game 79 - Tuesday Night, June 30th in Philadelphia
Record - 27-52, 5th Place, 17 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  The bullpen couldn't hang on to the lead for Cole Hamels as the Brewers came from behind to win, 4-3.

What It Means:  As reported on the Phillies television broadcast and by several Phillies beat writers, the month of June closed with only two starting pitchers recording wins for the club.  Phillies starting pitchers went 2-16 in June, marking the fifth time this has happened in the history of the franchise and the first time since the awful 1997 season.

What Happened:  Hamels departed after seven innings having allowed two runs on five hits while striking out seven.  Ken Giles couldn't hold the lead, allowing three straight singles and then walking home the go-ahead run.

Giles should have been out of the inning with the lead intact, but Carlos Ruiz called time just as Carlos Gomez was swinging and missing on what would have been strike three and the final out of the inning.  Gomez went on to single to load the bases and a short while later the Brewers had the lead.

Featured Card:  Curt Schilling won both those games for the Phillies in June 1997.

2015 Chachi #48 Jorge Velandia CO

#?
Jorge Luis (Macias) Velandia
Assistant Coach

This Phillies added Velandia to their coaching staff yesterday, giving him the ambiguous title of Assistant Coach.  He had previously served as the team's Special Assistant, Player Personnel and their Assistant Minor League Field Coordinator.

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  5'9"  Weight:  160
Born:  January 12, 1975, Caracas, Distrito Federal, Venezuela
Home:  Miami, FL
Signed:  Signed by the Detroit Tigers as an amateur free agent, January 15, 1992
Teams - As Player:  San Diego Padres 1997, Oakland Athletics 1998-2000, New York Mets 2000-2001, 2003, Tampa Bay Devil Rays 2007, Toronto Blue Jays 2008, Cleveland Indians 2008
Teams - As Coach:  Phillies 2015

2008 Topps Update #US323
 
2010 Choice Williamsport
Crosscutters #31
2 Velandia Baseball Cards in My Collection per Zistle
First Card:  2010 Choice Williamsport Crosscutters #31
First Phillies Card:  N/A
First Phillies Topps Base Card:  N/A
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  N/A
Latest Card:  2011 Choice Williamsport Crosscutters #31

First Topps Base Card:  2008 Topps Update #US323
First Chachi Base Card:  2015 Chachi #48

Velandia Games I've Attended per Hardball Passport



Cards and game statistics through 6/30/15.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

MacPhail Joins the Phillies

2015 Chachi #47
Brewers 7, Phillies 4
Game 78 - Monday Night, June 29th in Philadelphia
Record - 27-51, 5th Place, 16 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  The last place Brewers outslugged the last place Phillies, and the Brewers pitchers kept the Phillies off the board for the last seven innings in a 7-4 victory.

What It Means:  Pretty much more of the same stuff.

What Happened:  Starting pitcher Sean O'Sullivan saw his ERA increase to 5.76 by allowing six runs in five innings.  The Phillies jumped out to a 4-1 lead after two innings, but couldn't put anything else together the rest of the game.  Cesar Hernandez, now the everyday second baseman with Chase Utley out, stayed hot with two more hits.

Field Report/Featured Card:  My friend Tom and I took in this game from the Hall of Fame Club and we sat below the booth where soon-to-be club president Andy MacPhail was enjoying (?) the ballgame.  MacPhail was introduced at a press conference yesterday afternoon as Pat Gillick's replacement in the front office at the conclusion of the 2015 season.  It was a fairly monumental day for the franchise, and the Phillies website does a better job of summarizing the happenings than I would here and here.

I debated whether or not MacPhail should be part of the regular Chachi set this year, and I ultimately decided to go ahead and give him a card.  There was precedent to do this in the hallowed history of the Chachi sets, as both Gillick and Ruben Amaro, Jr. had received their own Chachi cards upon assuming the role of the team's general manager.  I figured MacPhail's hiring was bigger and more consequential than those hirings, so he gets a card.

And Andy, if you happen to read this:  Call or e-mail me.  I have ideas.

2005 Chachi #61
2008 Chachi #85

Planning the 2016 Chachi Set - Part Two

1982 Topps #713
1984 Topps #358
1986 Topps #183
1987 Topps #755
I'm continuing to take a look at the candidates for the 2016 Chachi set.  Here are my quick thoughts on each of the remaining Topps baseball card designs between 1980 and 1989 that haven't yet been used for a Chachi set.  Part One, looking at the remaining designs from 1970 to 1979 can be found here.  What does everyone else think?

1980 Topps - Design already used for the 2009 Chachi set.

1981 Topps - Design already used for the 2006 Chachi set.  Here's a little secret though . . . If I ever feel the need to go back and use a design for a second time, this would be the set I'd go back to.  I just love the little hats.

1982 Topps - I had once openly mocked this set's design as I just didn't think the pink and orange color scheme that Topps chose for the Phillies in this set would ever work with modern photos.  I'm completely re-thinking that prejudice and I'm shocked that this set has now crept to the top of the "defiintely possible" list for the 2016 Chachi set.

1983 Topps - Design already used for the 2011 Chachi set.

1984 Topps - I don't mind this design, but I'll let you know that finding two photos of some of the more obscure Phillies for the 2011 Chachi set was a royal pain.  (I'm looking right at you, Mike Zagurski.)  I can't imagine the 2016 Phillies are going to field a team of well known players with readily available photos, so I may need to pass on this design for a few more years.

1985 Topps - Design already used for the 2015 Chachi set.

1989 Topps #438
1986 Topps - I wouldn't have a problem using this set's design, but there are too many other sets available that I like more than this one.

1987 Topps - This is a great design and I'd love to finish up my project of creating a 1987 Topps style font.  I've got a good start on this project, but I just need to find a spare day to wrap it up.  I'll use this design at some point, but probably not in 2016.

1988 Topps - Design already used for the 2014 Chachi set.

1989 Topps - This set's design has never been one of my favorites, and it would be tough to replicate the script font used for the each team's name.  I've tried creating custom 1989 Topps cards before and I had a tough time with the spacing of the letters in each player's name.  Cross this one off the list for the foreseeable future.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Brewers at Phillies: June 29th to July 2nd


Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 7:05, Thursday 6:35
Citizens Bank Park - Philadelphia, PA

Brewers 29-48, 5th Place in the N.L. Central, 22 1/2 games behind the Cardinals
Phillies 27-50, 5th Place in the N.L. East, 15 1/2 games behind the Nationals

Brewers Probables:  Jimmy Nelson (4-8, 4.34), Taylor Jungmann (2-1, 2.74), Kyle Lohse (4-9, 6.28), Matt Garza (4-10, 5.52)
Phillies Probables:  Sean O'Sullivan (1-5, 5.34), Cole Hamels (5-6, 3.26), Aaron Harang (4-10, 3.56), Adam Morgan (1-0, 1.59)

At the Ballpark:  The Phillies' annual two (extremely impressive) fireworks shows take place on Wednesday and Thursday nights.

Brewers Leaders
Average:  Adam Lind - .291
Runs:  Ryan Braun - 42
Home Runs:  Ryan Braun - 15
RBIs:  Ryan Braun - 49
Stolen Bases:  Jean Segura - 10

Wins:  5 tied with - 4
ERA:  Mike Fiers - 4.14
Strikeouts:  Mike Fiers - 93
Saves:  Francisco Rodriguez - 15

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Ben Revere - .289
Runs:  Ben Revere - 40
Home Runs:  Ryan Howard - 13
RBIs:  Ryan Howard - 36
Stolen Bases:  Ben Revere - 18

Wins:  Cole Hamels - 5
ERA:  Cole Hamels - 3.26
Strikeouts:  Cole Hamels - 106
Saves:  Jonathan Papelbon - 14

1985 Topps #203
1985 Topps #556
1985 Topps Appreciation:  Bob McClure and Sixto Lezcano were teammates on the Brewers between 1977 and 1980.  Lezcano came to the Phillies in late August 1983 as an added bat off the bench for the pennant run and an occasional late-inning defensive replacement in the outfield.

McClure is the Phillies current pitching coach, although given the inevitable shake-up that's coming to the Phillies front office and coaching staff I hope he doesn't have a long-term lease on his place of residence in Philadelphia.

2015 Phillies Team Issue 2 #45 Pete Mackanin CO

Phillies 8, Nationals 5 (Game 2)
Game 77 - Sunday Afternoon, June 28th in Philadelphia
Record - 27-50, 5th Place, 15 1/2 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  The offense, led by Maikel Franco and Odubel Herrera, pounded out 16 hits in the 8-5 win over the Nationals.

What It Means:  Interim manager Pete Mackanin earns his first win at the helm for the Phillies.  The last place Brewers visit Citizens Bank Park for four games beginning tonight.

What Happened:  Franco went 2 for 5 with 3 RBIs, while Herrera went 3 for 5 with two runs scored.  Cesar Hernandez had his second career four-hit game.  Every starter in this game, including starting pitcher Severino Gonzalez, had a hit with the exception of the struggling Carlos Ruiz.

Gonzalez became the second Phillies starting pitcher, along with Adam Morgan, to win a ballgame since May 24th.  That's a span of 32 games.

Featured Card:  Mackanin had absolutely no clue he'd be managing the Phillies when he woke up on Friday morning.  This is his latest Phillies card, listing him as the third base coach, from the team's second series photo card set.  I'm very curious to see if a new set pops up at the ballpark this week, or if they'll go through the trouble of pulling the Ryne Sandberg card.

Transaction:  With the unexpected double header, the Phillies recalled Gonzalez and then immediately optioned him back to Lehigh Valley following the game.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

1970 Topps #149 Billy Champion

Nationals 3, Phillies 2 (Game 1)
Game 76 - Sunday Afternoon, June 28th in Philadelphia
Record - 26-50

One Sentence Summary:  Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals cruised to a 3-2 win over the Phillies in the first game of a double header.

What It Means:  With the rain-out yesterday, the Phillies and Nationals played two on Sunday.

What Happened:  Strasburg allowed two runs on four hits while striking out nine.  A costly error from Jeff Francoeur and a passed ball by Cameron  Rupp (actually a wild pitch from Jake Diekman) led to two unearned Nationals runs.

Featured Card:  The 2016 Chachi Set Planning Committee had some extra time this morning to meet, and it looks as if we might be leaning towards the 1970 Topps design for the 2016 Chachi set.  The fine proprietor of The Shlabotnik Report has weighed in with his thoughts (and a font tip - Koffee - thank you very much) but we're waiting to hear from everyone else.  What do you think?

Planning the 2016 Chachi Set - Part One

1970 Topps #486
1971 Topps #77
1972 Topps #43
1978 Topps #715
The 2016 Chachi Set Planning Committee is meeting much earlier this year than in normal years, given that we've all just about had it with the 2015 edition of these Philadelphia Phillies and we're already daydreaming about 2016.  As we've done a few years in the past, we've decided to share our thought process with you, those dozens of (tens of? few?) Chachi set fans who eagerly await the announcement of the next year's design each August or September.

I still have quite a few Topps baseball card designs to choose from between the years of 1970 and 1989, and I haven't yet reached that point where I'm willing to entertain set designs from 1990 onwards.  The Planning Committee and I have our favorites among the remaining designs, but I wanted to seek input from others as to the 2016 set's design.

This is part one of a three-part post, first looking at the Topps baseball card designs from 1970 to 1979.  Please leave a comment, share with others and let us know what you think!

1970 Topps - This is in my personal top four.  It's a simple design, easy enough for me to replicate given my basic knowledge of graphic design software.  (Even though I don't think I have the cursive font matched up exactly right on the prototype I'm working on.)  But it might be a little too simple, or perhaps a little too bland?

1971 Topps - This design really intrigues me as well, and I'm come very close to using it in the past.  I'm motivated to use this design for a set before Topps gets to it in 2020 for its Topps Heritage set.

1972 Topps - I love this set and I love this design, but I have no interest in using the design for a Chachi set.  I like to customize the designs for cards for my kids and special occasions, and this very unique design doesn't really lend itself to much customization.  (Unless you're this guy, who has way more talent than I do.)

1973 Topps - Design already used for the 2013 Chachi set.

1974 Topps - Design already used for the 2010 Chachi set.

1975 Topps - Design already used for the 2005 Chachi set.

1976 Topps - Design already used for the 2007 Chachi set.

1977 Topps - Design already used for the 2008 Chachi set.

1978 Topps - I've definitely threatened to use this design in the past, but similar to the 1972 Topps set, I fear I couldn't pull it off.  The script font for the team names is troublesome and although most post-1978 expansion team names are now available (with the exception of the Marlins), I wouldn't be able to customize the cards for my kids.  This is a minor hurdle to get over, which also places this set's design in my personal top four.

1979 Topps - Design already used for the 2012 Chachi set.

Of the designs remaining between 1970 and 1979, the realistic candidates are 1971 and 1978, with 1970 in there as a possibility.  I'll have a post up soon looking at the Topps baseball card designs from 1980 to 1989.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

2015 Chachi #45 Adam Morgan

#39
Adam Christopher Morgan
Starting Pitcher

Bats:  Left  Throws:  Left  Height:  6'1"  Weight:  195
Born:  February 27, 1990, Tampa, FL
Home:  Marietta, GA
Drafted:  Selected by the Phillies in the 3rd round of the June 2011 draft
Teams:  Phillies 2015
Acquired:  Via draft

2012 Grandstand Clearwater
Threshers #23
2013 Bowman Chrome Cream
of the Crop #CC-PP5
9 Morgan Baseball Cards in My Collection per Zistle
First Card:  2012 Grandstand Clearwater Threshers #23
First Phillies Card:  2013 Bowman Chrome Cream of the Crop Mini Refractors #CC-PP5
First Phillies Topps Base Card:  N/A
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  N/A
Latest Card:  2015 Choice Lehigh Valley IronPigs #19

First Chachi Base Card:  2015 Chachi #45

Morgan Games I've Attended per Hardball Passport

N/A

Cards and game statistics through 6/26/15.

Skipper Sandberg Resigns

2015 Phillies Team Issue 2 #23
Nationals 5, Phillies 2
Game 75 - Friday Night, June 26th in Philadelphia
Record - 26-49, 5th Place, 15 1/2 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Max Scherzer took a no-hitter into the sixth inning as the Nationals easily defeated the Phillies, 5-2.

What It Means:  Interim manager Pete Mackanin is 0-1.

What Happened:  Scherzer, who no-hit the Pirates in his last start, lost a perfect game when Freddy Galvis doubled to right with one out in the sixth.  Aaron Harang lost his seventh straight game.  Ben Revere hit his first career pinch-hit home run in the eighth.  Domonic Brown had an awful game in the field (dropped a fly ball leading to an unearned run) and on the basepaths (caught in a run down between third and home - to end the game - after ignoring a stop sign).

2015 Chachi #46
Featured Cards:  At 3:30 in the afternoon, 3 1/2 hours before game time, the Phillies hastily called a press conference so that Ryne Sandberg could announce he's quitting as the team's manager.  Sandberg's reasons for resigning were (1) he hates losing and (2) he knew a shake-up was coming soon and he didn't want to be in the way of the new regime.

Sandberg joins Eddie Sawyer and Bob Skinner as Phillies managers to have resigned and he leaves with a 119-159 (.428) record as manager.  That's actually the worst winning percentage for a Phillies manager since Skinner's .423 in 1968 and 1969.  Mackanin steps in as the interim manager (for now) with assistant hitting coach John Mizerock taking over as the third base coach.

This was a shocking development, as most of us assumed the 3:30 press conference was to announce the arrival of Andy MacPhail to the front office to attempt to right the sinking Phillies ship.  I certainly understand Sandberg's motivations and the whole ordeal is just one more strike against this already awful season.

The card at the top is Sandberg's likely last card featuring him as a manager of the Phillies, and Mackanin earns an interim manager card in this year's Chachi set.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Nationals at Phillies: June 26th to June 28th


Friday 7:05, Saturday 3:05 and Sunday 1:35
Citizens Bank Park - Philadelphia, PA

Nationals 40-33, 1st Place in the N.L. East, 3 1/2 games ahead of the Mets
Phillies 26-48, 5th Place in the N.L. East, 14 1/2 games behind the Nationals

Nationals Probables:  Max Scherzer (8-5, 1.76), Gio Gonzalez (5-4, 4.41), Stephen Strasburg (4-5, 5.90)
Phillies Probables:  Aaron Harang (4-9, 3.41), Adam Morgan (1-0, 1.59), Kevin Correia (0-1, 4.30)

At the Ballpark:  It's a good weekend to be a kid at Citizens Bank Park.  All kids will receive a W.B. Mason Phillies collectible truck on Saturday night and then they'll get a Phanatic alternate Phillies jersey on Sunday afternoon.

Nationals Leaders
Average:  Bryce Harper - .340
Runs:  Bryce Harper - 53
Home Runs:  Bryce Harper - 24
RBIs:  Bryce Harper - 58
Stolen Bases:  Denard Span and Michael Taylor - 8

Wins:  Max Scherzer - 8
ERA:  Max Scherzer - 1.76
Strikeouts:  Max Scherzer - 123
Saves:  Drew Storen - 21

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Ben Revere - .292
Runs:  Ben Revere - 39
Home Runs:  Ryan Howard - 13
RBIs:  Ryan Howard - 36
Stolen Bases:  Ben Revere - 18

1985 Topps #501
Wins:  Cole Hamels - 5
ERA:  Cole Hamels - 3.26
Strikeouts:  Cole Hamels - 106
Saves:  Jonathan Papelbon - 13

1985 Topps Appreciation:  On July 24, 1986, the Phillies traded Tom Foley and Lary Sorensen to the Montreal Expos for Dan Schatzeder and Skeeter Barnes.  The true tragedy of this deal is that Barnes never got a chance to play for the Phillies, finishing out his 1986 season with the Portland Beavers.  He became a free agent following the season, signing with the Cardinals and ending any hope of the Phillies franchise having two Skeeter's in its all-time player roster.

The other Skeeter, of course, being Skeeter Newsome, who played parts of two seasons with the Phillies in 1946 and 1947.

1974 Johnny Pro Phillies - Complete Set (at least by my standards)


Several years ago, I began a quest to collect a complete Phillies team set of 1974 Johnny Pro Phillies cards.  I was able to easily (and cheaply) add 11 of the 12 cards to my collection, but the twelfth card, the elusive (and expensive) Mike Schmidt card, remained the sole card I needed to complete this team set.

To provide a little more background on this set, here's what I wrote about it back in November 2012:
I wasn't aware of the awesomeness of the 1974 Johnny Pro Phillies set until adding the Bill Robinson card to my collection last month at the Valley Forge card show.  Johnny Pro Enterprises (not sure what they did back in the day) issued two regional baseball card sets in the early '70s.  Their first set was released in 1973 and featured 28 different Orioles cards on a green background.  In 1974, Johnny Pro issued 12 Phillies cards on a white background.
The player photos on these cards were designed to be perforated and displayed in a stand that could also be punched out of the white background.  Which brings us to the reason for this post.

A few weeks ago, I was browsing eBay and came across a partial set of eleven 1974 Johnny Pro Phillies cards for sale, but the photos had long ago been separated from their original white backgrounds.  The picture accompanying the auction is shown at the top of this post.  Most importantly to me, included in the lot was the Schmidt card I needed.  I was one of only two bidders, and I was a little surprised my low bid actually won the auction.  Sure, the Schmidt card is missing its background, but I'm now considering my 1974 Johnny Pro Phillies set to be complete.

A few of these cards may need to be upgraded at some point, but the full gallery of this terrific oddball set from 1974 is presented below.

Memory Lane
10/3/12 - Baseball Card Show Report - Valley Forge
11/8/12 - Two More Added
12/4/12 - Four More to Go