Sunday, February 7, 2016

Surprise Package from Dan's Other World

1996 Pinnacle FanFest #30
1995 Studio Gold #44
I'll never get tired of getting surprise packages of baseball cards from fellow bloggers.  Dan was one of the first Phillies-related blogs I started following back in the day, and one of the first bloggers to reach out to me when I started The Phillies Room in 2009.

Dan was kind enough to send Doug nine of the cards he needs to complete his 2014 Topps Update set.  He also sent several Phillies cards for my collection, including this fantastic Darren Daulton card that has eluded my collection for 20 years and a never-before-seen (by me) gold parallel of Lenny Dykstra's 1995 Studio card.  You can probably tell from the scan that the Daulton card is of the lenticular persuasion.

Thanks Dan!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Phils Trade Biddle to Pirates for Medina

2013 Bowman Inception
Prospect Autographs #PA-JBI
2014 Topps Update #US265
 
Jesse Biddle's Phillies career came to end on Wednesday afternoon when the Phillies traded their former number one pick to the Pirates for right-handed pitcher Yoervis Medina.  Biddle, who will miss all of 2016 following Tommy John surgery, was designated for assignment last week to make room for Bobby LaFromboise.

Medina has been invited to spring training, increasing the camp head count to 65.  He split time last season between the Mariners and Cubs, appearing in 17 games with a 4.71 ERA.  Medina has appeared in both the 2013 and 2014 Topps Update sets with the Mariners.

I'm bummed to see Biddle go, and I certainly wish him nothing but success with the Pirates.  Unless of course he's pitching against the Phillies.  I have 33 Biddle cards in my collection dating back to 2010, four of which contain his autograph.  Sadly, unless he comes back to the organization later in his career, he'll never get to grace an official Chachi card.  I'm sure he's truly bummed about this too.

Player (position) - 2015 Organization - Last Major Baseball Card Appearance
1.  James Russell (lhp) - Cubs - 2015 Topps #255 (Braves)
2.  Emmanuel Buriss (inf) - Nationals - 2010 Topps Update #US-82 (Giants)
3.  Ryan Jackson (inf) - Royals/Angels - 2013 Panini Prizm #238 (Cardinals)
4.  Frank Hermann (rhp) - Angels/Pirates - 2010 Topps Update #US-89 (Indians)
5.  Chris Leroux (rhp) - Brewers/Phillies - 2013 Panini Select #205 (Pirates)
6.  Reinier Roibal (rhp) - Phillies - N/A
7.  J.P. Arencibia (c) - Orioles/Rays - 2014 Topps #627 (Rangers)
8.  Greg Burke (rhp) - Blue Jays - 2009 Bowman Chrome #103 (Padres)
9.  Ernesto Frieri (rhp) - Rays - 2014 Topps #240 (Angels)
10.  Gregory Infante (rhp) - Blue Jays - 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter #84 (White Sox)
11.  Angelys Nina (inf) - Rockies - 2012 Bowman Prospects #BP45 (Rockies)
12.  Andrew Bailey (rhp) - Yankees - 2013 Topps Heritage #344 (Red Sox)
13.  Edward Mujica (rhp) - Red Sox/Athletics - 2015 Topps #131 (Red Sox)
14.  Cedric Hunter (of) - Braves - 2011 Topps #554 (Padres)
15.  Mark Appel (rhp) - Astros - 2015 Topps Heritage Minor Leagues #219 (Astros)
16.  J.P. Crawford (ss) - Phillies - 2015 Topps Heritage Minor Leagues #208 (Phillies)
17.  Zach Eflin (rhp) - Phillies - 2014 Topps Pro Debut #184 (Padres)
18.  Andrew Knapp (c) - Phillies - 2014 Topps Heritage Minor Leagues #146 (Phillies)
19.  Gabriel Lino (c) - Phillies - 2012 Bowman Chrome Prospects #BCP199 (Phillies)
20.  Logan Moore (c) - Phillies - 2011 Bowman Draft Chrome Prospects #BDPP44 (Phillies)
21.  Brock Stassi (1b) - Phillies - N/A
22.  Jake Thompson (rhp) - Rangers/Phillies - 2015 Topps Heritage Minor Leagues #129 (Rangers)
23.  Nick Williams (of) - Rangers/Phillies - 2015 Topps Heritage Minor Leagues #175 (Rangers)
24.  David Lough (of) - Orioles - 2015 Topps #290 (Orioles)
25.  Yoervis Medina (rhp) - Mariners/Cubs - 2014 Topps Update #US265 (Mariners)

Friday, February 5, 2016

Setting the Record Straight: Phillies Wore Red in '92

1993 Fleer Team Leaders #NL8
Aaron Nola models the new red jersey
In an attempt not to be that guy, I've kept quiet over the past week after reading numerous articles about the Phillies planning to wear new all-red jerseys in a regular season game for the first time since 1979.  "Not true," I'd mutter to myself as I read these articles and watched the news reports. Even the Phillies official press release on their own website got it wrong:  "It will be the second time the Phillies have worn red jerseys during a regular-season game.  It last happened in May 1979, when the team wore an entirely all-burgundy uniform at Veterans Stadium."

This is wrong, and it's surprising to me that the Phillies have no one currently on their payroll who would know it was wrong.  (Or at least double check with Larry Shenk, the team's long-time employee and now team historian.)  Granted, in the grand scheme of things, very few of us actually give a fart about such things but I'm here to set the record straight.


When the Phillies sport their new red jerseys on April 14th this season, it will be the fourth time they've worn all-red jerseys in a regular season game, as follows:

1.  May 19, 1979 - The Saturday Night Special uniform was worn once and only once.
2.  July 9, 1992 - In an attempt to change up their luck, the floundering Phils wore their batting practice jerseys in a game against the Padres in San Diego.
3.  September 11, 1999 - The Phillies and Diamondbacks took part in the infamous Turn Ahead the Clock promotion with the Phillies wearing futuristic all-red jerseys.
4.  April 14, 2016 - The new all-red jerseys to be worn during week day afternoon games will make their debut.

I had to go deep within The Phillies Room's archives to scan this page from my 1992 Phillies Scrapbook, for photographic proof of the the 1992 red jersey appearance.  (You can click on either photo to enlarge.)

The newspaper headline from the game notes that "Phils change their tops," and I've clipped a photo of Mickey Morandini screaming at an umpire while wearing his all-red jersey.  (Yes, I kept a Phillies scrapbook during that awful 1992 season.)

I also clipped a quote from John Kruk, which I've enlarged here so that you can enjoy his thoughts on that game's wardrobe choice.

And now you know.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The First Phillie of 2016


I stopped by Target after work on Monday and Tuesday nights, only to find nothing but packs of football cards and Pokemon stuff where I had hoped to find blasters of 2016 Topps.  Last night, my wife Jenna stopped at Target and actually asked someone if packs of 2016 Topps were available for sale.  The clerk checked and found a still unopened box in the baseball card aisle.  It was opened there on the spot and my wife came home with 10 of the 36-card jumbo packs.

2016 Topps Gold #351
The only chore now was to split up the 10 packs among my two sons and me.  Ben, our youngest, was happy with two packs.  Doug, our oldest, took four packs leaving the remaining four packs for me.  Within Doug's first pack, three cards in, we had our first Phillie of 2016 - the Ryan Howard card featured at the top of this post.

I feel like an old-timer saying this, but I'm not yet sold on the new-fangled design direction of Topps' flagship set.  (And for the record, Doug and his nine years of experience isn't sold on the design either.)  My wife commented that they look Upper Deck-ish with full bleed, no border photos.  There are smoky touches on the corners and the backgrounds of each photo are blurred out.  I think I would have liked the design in a set of 300 cards, but as the design to the Topps flagship set I'm not so sure. I am happy about Topps' decision to once again use silver foil sparingly on the cards' fronts.  The players' names are easy to read which is helpful for me since there are quite a few names I no longer recognize.  The backs of the cards are reminiscent of the 2015 Topps card backs.

The Phillies have 10 players featured in Series One, and two of those players - Aaron Harang and Jeff Francoeur - won't be back in 2016.  I ended up getting seven of the Phillies cards in the set, which I traded away to Ben for a few Red Sox inserts to eventually ship up to Section 36.  (I've pre-ordered master team sets for Doug and me, which should arrive at some point next week.)  Ben also found a Jeremy Hellickson Diamondbacks card, which he wisely wouldn't trade to his older brother since Hellickson figures to see a lot of action with the Phillies in 2016.


Doug made out great too, and I traded him my base Chase Utley card since I was lucky enough to find the gold parallel version of this card in one of my packs.  I'm sure we'll buy some more packs in the coming days, but Doug has already announced his intention to once again collect the Opening Day and Archives sets.  He'll save the Topps flagship set as a request from Santa.

Play ball!

Past First Phillies

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

1961 Post #124 Gene Conley

Two-sport star Gene Conley is up today over at my 1956 Topps blog.  Conley spent two seasons pitching for the Phillies when he wasn't busy helping the Boston Celtics win the NBA Championship.

Right before the start of the 1959 season, on March 31st, the Phillies traded Ted Kazanski, Stan Lopata and Johnny O'Brien to the Braves for Conley, Harry Hanebrink and Joe Koppe. The new Phillies general manager was John Quinn and Quinn had spent the previous 13 years as GM for the Braves so he was familiar with the players he was acquiring.  Conley reported late to spring training following the trade as his Celtics were busy wrapping up their second NBA title.

Conley enjoyed one of his finest baseball seasons in 1959, making the N.L. All-Star team and finishing the season with a 12-7 record and a 3.00 ERA.  He pitched two perfect innings in the All-Star Game, striking out both Ted Williams and Yogi Berra.  At the end of the season, he was named the N.L. Comeback Player of the Year.

Conley's second and final season with the Phillies saw him post a record of 8-14.  When he refused to end his basketball career to focus solely on baseball, the Phillies sent Conley to the Red Sox on December 15, 1960 for Frank Sullivan.  Conley appeared on two Topps cards and within three oddball issues to mark his time in Philadelphia.  He's in the 1959 and 1960 Topps sets, as well as the 1960 Armour Coins and 1961 Post sets as a member of the Phillies.  He also has a postcard within the multi-year set released by the club throughout the 1950s and 1960s.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

LaFromboise Added to List of Bullpen Candidates

2016 Chachi New Additions #12
2015 Topps Pro Debut #47
2016 Chachi Departures #11
2016 Chachi Departures #12
The long list of Phillies offseason comings and goings got a little longer on Friday when the team claimed left-handed reliever Bobby LaFromboise off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels. LaFromboise appeared in 11 games last season for the Pirates, pitching to a 1.13 ERA over eight innings.  This is the fourth time in two years that he's been plucked from the waiver wire, having bounced from the Mariners to the Padres to the Pirates to Angels to the Phillies.

To make room for the new reliever on the 40-man roster, former top prospect Jesse Biddle was designated for assignment.  Biddle, who is from Philadelphia, was the team's #1 pick in 2010, but injuries have hampered his professional career so far.  He's set to miss the entire 2016 season following Tommy John surgery.

Finally, a few other former Phillies found homes this past week when the Rangers signed Jordan Danks and the Cubs signed Jonathan Pettibone.

Moving On - 2015-2016 Offseason
  • Chase d'Arnaud - inf (10/9/15) - Outrighted off 40-man roster, elected free agency and signed as a minor league free agent the Atlanta Braves, 11/24/15.
  • Justin De Fratus - rhp (10/9/15) - Outrighted off 40-man roster, elected free agency and signed with the Seattle Mariners, 12/2/15.
  • Erik Kratz - c (10/9/15) - Outrighted off 40-man roster, elected free agency and signed as a minor league free agent with the San Diego Padres, 11/8/15.
  • Sean O'Sullivan - rhp (10/9/15) - Elected free agency and signed as a minor league free agent with the Boston Red Sox, 12/11/15.
  • Kevin Correia - rhp (10/10/15) - Elected free agency.
  • Adam Loewen - lhp (10/10/15) - Outrighted off 40-man roster, elected free agency and signed as a minor league free agent with the Arizona Diamondbacks, 11/7/15.
  • Dustin McGowan - rhp (10/10/15) - Elected free agency and signed as a minor league free agent with the Miami Marlins, 12/10/15.
  • Seth Rosin - rhp (10/10/15) - Elected free agency.
  • Brian Bogusevic (10/26/15) - Outrighted off 40-man roster, elected free agency and signed with the Orix Buffaloes of the Japanese Pacific League, 12/9/15.
  • Domonic Brown (10/26/15) - Outrighted off 40-man roster and elected free agency.
  • Chad Billingsley - rhp (11/2/15) - Elected free agency.
  • Jeff Francoeur - of (11/2/15) - Elected free agency.
  • Aaron Harang - rhp (11/2/15) - Elected free agency.
  • Jerome Williams - rhp (11/2/15) - Elected free agency.
  • Cliff Lee - lhp (11/2/15) - Team option declined and elected free agency.
  • Jordan Danks - of (11/6/15) - Outrighted off 40-man roster, elected free agency and signed as a minor league free agent with the Texas Rangers, 1/19/16.
  • Ethan Martin - rhp (11/6/15) - Elected free agency and signed as a minor league free agent with the Atlanta Braves, 12/11/15.
  • Jonathan Pettibone - rhp (11/6/15) - Elected free agency and signed as a minor league free agent with the Chicago Cubs, 1/29/16.
  • Nefi Ogando - rhp (12/2/15) - Claimed off waivers by the Miami Marlins.
  • Ken Giles - rhp (12/12/15) - Traded with Jonathan Arauz to the Houston Astros for Mark AppelHarold ArauzThomas Eshelman, Brett Oberholtzer and Vincent Velasquez.
New Additions - 2015-2016 Offseason
  • Jeremy Hellickson - rhp (11/14/15) - Acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks for Sam McWilliams.
  • Michael Mariot - rhp (11/30/15) - Claimed off waivers from the Kansas City Royals.
  • Peter Bourjos - of (12/2/15) - Claimed off waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals.
  • David Hernandez - rhp (12/9/15) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
  • Tyler Goeddel - of (12/10/15) - Selected from the Tampa Bay Rays in the Rule 5 draft.
  • Daniel Stumpf - lhp (12/10/15) - Selected from the Kansas City Royals in the Rule 5 draft.
  • Charlie Morton - rhp (12/12/15) - Acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates for David Whitehead.
  • Brett Oberholtzer - lhp and Vincent Velasquez - rhp (12/12/15) - Acquired with Mark Appel, Harold Arauz and Thomas Eshelman from the Houston Astros for Ken Giles and Jonathan Arauz.
  • Bobby LaFromboise (1/29/16) - Claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels.
Already Gone - 2015-2016 Offseason
  • Dan Otero - rhp (11/3/15) - Claimed off waivers from the Oakland Athletics. (Designated for assignment, 12/12/15 and traded to the Cleveland Indians for cash considerations, 12/18/15.)
  • A.J. Achter - rhp (11/20/15) - Claimed off waivers from the Minnesota Twins. (Designated for assignment, 12/12/15 and claimed off waivers by the Los Angeles Angels, 12/17/15.)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

1950 Philadelphia Bulletin Pin-Ups Dick Sisler


Today would have been my Dad's 72nd birthday.  There's not a day that goes by that I don't think of him or wish that I could tell him something.  He would have loved the new Star Wars movie and he'd be amazed at how quickly his grandsons are growing up.  His oldest grandson Doug is showing signs of the athleticism that he possessed, although those skills skipped a generation since they missed me. Doug keeps busy with soccer and basketball and he'll enter his second year of Little League in the spring.

Dad's youngest grandson Ben is a knowledge sponge, soaking in everything he can about the 50 states and anything else that interests his five-year-old brain.  Ben says and does things on a daily basis that would send my Dad into hysterics.

As a continuing tribute to him, here's a Dick Sisler item I've never featured on this blog.  Sisler and Del Ennis were his favorite players as a kid and I never miss an opportunity to add one of their cards to my Phillies collection.

We miss you Sir and we'll be thinking about you today.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Phillies Get Lough

2014 Topps Heritage #278
It's probably no less active than any other January for the Phillies, but this January has seemed to be particularly quiet.  I didn't even receive a notification on my phone announcing the latest non-roster invitee signing yesterday afternoon, but I caught news of the signing on Twitter.

Outfielder David Lough joins the stable of non-roster invitees who will join the Phillies in Clearwater in a few weeks.  Lough appeared in 84 games for the Orioles last season, hitting .201 with 4 home runs.  Unless there's a rash of spring injuries, I imagine Lough open the season in the outfield for the IronPigs.  He's appeared on his share of recent baseball cards, with appearances in the 2014 Topps Heritage, 2014 Topps Update and 2015 Topps sets.

Player (position) - 2015 Organization - Last Major Baseball Card Appearance
1.  James Russell (lhp) - Cubs - 2015 Topps #255 (Braves)
2.  Emmanuel Buriss (inf) - Nationals - 2010 Topps Update #US-82 (Giants)
3.  Ryan Jackson (inf) - Royals/Angels - 2013 Panini Prizm #238 (Cardinals)
4.  Frank Hermann (rhp) - Angels/Pirates - 2010 Topps Update #US-89 (Indians)
5.  Chris Leroux (rhp) - Brewers/Phillies - 2013 Panini Select #205 (Pirates)
6.  Reinier Roibal (rhp) - Phillies - N/A
7.  J.P. Arencibia (c) - Orioles/Rays - 2014 Topps #627 (Rangers)
8.  Greg Burke (rhp) - Blue Jays - 2009 Bowman Chrome #103 (Padres)
9.  Ernesto Frieri (rhp) - Rays - 2014 Topps #240 (Angels)
10.  Gregory Infante (rhp) - Blue Jays - 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter #84 (White Sox)
11.  Angelys Nina (inf) - Rockies - 2012 Bowman Prospects #BP45 (Rockies)
12.  Andrew Bailey (rhp) - Yankees - 2013 Topps Heritage #344 (Red Sox)
13.  Edward Mujica (rhp) - Red Sox/Athletics - 2015 Topps #131 (Red Sox)
14.  Cedric Hunter (of) - Braves - 2011 Topps #554 (Padres)
15.  Mark Appel (rhp) - Astros - 2015 Topps Heritage Minor Leagues #219 (Astros)
16.  J.P. Crawford (ss) - Phillies - 2015 Topps Heritage Minor Leagues #208 (Phillies)
17.  Zach Eflin (rhp) - Phillies - 2014 Topps Pro Debut #184 (Padres)
18.  Andrew Knapp (c) - Phillies - 2014 Topps Heritage Minor Leagues #146 (Phillies)
19.  Gabriel Lino (c) - Phillies - 2012 Bowman Chrome Prospects #BCP199 (Phillies)
20.  Logan Moore (c) - Phillies - 2011 Bowman Draft Chrome Prospects #BDPP44 (Phillies)
21.  Brock Stassi (1b) - Phillies - N/A
22.  Jake Thompson (rhp) - Rangers/Phillies - 2015 Topps Heritage Minor Leagues #129 (Rangers)
23.  Nick Williams (of) - Rangers/Phillies - 2015 Topps Heritage Minor Leagues #175 (Rangers)
24.  David Lough (of) - Orioles - 2015 Topps #290 (Orioles)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Earlier Than Ever, Here are the New Uniform Numbers

2015 Topps #628
2015 Topps Heritage #516
2013 Topps #281
2014 Topps Heritage #80
In an unusual move, and a move that I suspect was designed by the Phillies solely to personally delight me, new players were assigned uniform numbers upon their arrivals beginning in mid-November.  There was another update to roster numbers in early December and then one-off updates as additional non-roster invitees were added.  In years past, the roster page on the Phillies website had the dreaded "--" in place of any uniform number for new arrivals until mid to late January.

As of this writing, there are still some corrections needed.  The Phillies currently have assigned #78 to non-roster infielders Angelys Nina and Brock Stassi.  Similarly, #61 is currently assigned to both pitcher Greg Burke and assistant coach Jorge Velandia.  I'm sure these duplicate assignments will be fixed before pitchers and catchers officially report on February 18th.  Finally, non-roster invitee Cedric Hunter doesn't even appear on the Phillies website yet and he'll need a number once spring training starts.

As I've done in the past, here's a look at the new uniform numbers for the 2016 edition of the Phillies. (Buckle up, because this is quite the long list.)

New Players - Under 60 Division
#2 Tyler Goeddel - Both Ben Revere and Chase d'Arnaud wore this number last season.  It's a good sign for Goeddel's chances of sticking with the Phillies that they assigned him such a low uniform number.

#15 Emmanuel Burriss - Burriss is going with the number last worn by Jordan Danks, since the #16 he wore last season with the Nationals is currently occupied by Cesar Hernandez.
#17 Peter Bourjos - Neither of Bourjos' prior numbers (#25 and #8) were available, so he takes over the number last worn by Brian Bogusevic.
#19 J.P. Arencibia - The last Phillies player to wear #19 was Tony Gwynn, Jr. in 2014.
#21 Ryan Jackson - Adam Loewen wore this number last season.
#28 Vincent Velasquez - Both Kevin Correia and Erik Kratz wore #28 in 2015.  Velasquez had worn #67 with the Astros last season.

#30 David Hernandez - Reliever Justin De Fratus had worn this number for the past two seasons.  Hernandez has worn this number with the Diamondbacks since 2011.
#31 Michael Mariot - Jerome Williams wore #31 for the past two seasons.  Mariot had previously worn #48 with the Royals.
#34 Brett Oberholtzer - Oberholtzer's more familiar #39 was unavailable, so he takes over the number last worn by Aaron Harang.  The pitcher first wore #65 in 2013 when he made his debut with the Astros.
#38 Andrew Bailey - Bailey had worn #38 last season for the Yankees.

2012 Topps Update #US138
2013 Topps #96
2015 Topps #296
2014 Topps Heritage #328
#40 James Russell - Non-roster invitee Russell takes over the number he's worn during six seasons with the Cubs, which means the old #40, Aaron Altherr, needs a new number.  (See below.)
#41 Ernesto Frieri - Originally assigned #44, Frieri assumes Wall of Fame member Charlie Manuel's number.  No player or coach had been assigned Manuel's number since the former manager's firing in August 2013.  The last Phillies player to wear this number was Gavin Floyd in 2004.  Frieri's switch to #41 was made after the Phillies had signed Edward Mujica.
#44 Edward Mujica - The often injured Jonathan Pettibone was the last player to wear this number.  Mujica last wore #44 as a member of the Cardinals in 2012 and 2013.
#47 Charlie Morton - Sean O'Sullivan's old number went to Morton, whose more familiar #50 is currently occupied by Hector Neris.  Let's watch to see if a deal is struck for Neris' #50 given Morton's veteran status.

#53 Daniel Stumpf - Ken Giles won't be needing #53 with the Phillies anymore, so his old number went to Stumpf.
#56 Frank Hermann - Nefi Ogando and Cesar Jimenez both wore this number last season for the Phillies.
#58 Jeremy Hellickson - The franchise's all-time saves leader won't be needing #58 this season, so Hellickson takes over the number.  Hellickson had previously worn this number with the Rays and Diamondbacks.

New Numbers
#23 Aaron Altherr - Altherr takes over the number last worn by departed manager Ryne Sandberg.  His old #40 went to non-roster invitee Russell.

New Coaches
1997 SP #139

#9 John McLaren - McLaren takes over the number that had been assigned to Domonic Brown since 2010.
#12 Mickey Morandini - In the least surprising number-related news, the new first base coach will wear the number he wore during his playing days with the Phillies.  The departed assistant hitting coach John Mizerock wore the number last season.
#33 Rick Kranitz - The new bullpen coach will wear the number last worn by Cliff Lee.

Phillies in Number Only
#30 A.J. Achter - Achter was property of the Phillies for less than a month this offseason before his roster spot was needed by Morton.  The roster page had assigned #30 to Achter before it ultimately went to David Hernandez.
#38 Dan Otero - Otero briefly assumed the number worn by Chad Billingsley in 2015.  The Giles trade required a roster opening and Otero was traded to the Indians for cash.

Highest number - Not counting Dalier Hinojosa and his #94, catcher Logan Moore wins the award this year with his #84 assignment.

Numbers available - The only real number under 60 currently available is the #3 worn by Jeff Francoeur last season.  As has been the case for the Phillies in recent years, they'll do everything to avoid assigning numbers of greats who have recently departed.  For that reason #11 (Jimmy Rollins), #26 (Chase Utley) and #35 (Cole Hamels) have yet to be reassigned and they most likely won't be in 2016.

If I had to guess, I'd say Hunter ends up with #3, Velandia switches to #62, and Nina and Stassi flip a coin to see who ends up with #76.

Memory Lane

Friday, January 8, 2016

Phillies Baseball Cards with Griffey & Piazza #HOF2016

2003 Topps 205 Triple Folder #TF33
I was happy to see that both Ken Griffey, Jr. and Mike Piazza were voted into the Hall of Fame last week and their election had me checking my Phillies baseball card inventory for their "Phillies" cards.  I'm sure there are other cards out there featuring both Griffey and Piazza with former Phillies players, but these are the cards I have currently in my collection.

Mike Piazza
The Phillies have commissioned beautiful oil paintings of all Phillies players in the Hall of Fame and all "native sons" in the Hall of Fame.  These paintings, which I believe have all been painted by Dick Perez, hang within the Phillies Hall of Fame Club inside Citizens Bank Park.  As Piazza is from nearby Phoenixville, his painting will now also grace the walls of the Phillies' Hall of Fame Club.

1995 Donruss Dominators #2 - with Darren Daulton and Ivan Rodriguez
2003 Topps 205 Triple Folder #TF33 - with Bobby Abreu
2003 Topps 205 Triple Folder #TF49 - with Bobby Abreu

1994 Pinnacle
Team Pinnacle #TP6
1994 Pinnacle
Team Pinnacle #TP6 (Back)
Ken Griffey, Jr.
Two of the three Griffey cards in my collection pair him with Phillies outfielder Lenny Dykstra.  The other card is in my collection because it includes Bobby Abreu.

1994 Pinnacle Team Pinnacle #TP6 - with Lenny Dykstra
1994 Topps #388 - with Lenny Dykstra
2004 Bazooka 4 on 1 Sticker - with Bobby Abreu, Torii Hunter and Garret Anderson

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

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Nine Top Prospects Invited to Camp

2015 Topps Heritage
Minor Leagues #219
2015 Bowman Scouts'
Top 100 #BTP-16
2015 Grandstand Reading
Fightin Phils Top Prospects #5
Nine of the Phillies top prospects were added to the list of non-roster invitees on Wednesday, increasing the total number of non-roster invitees to 23.  Unless there are any further roster additions or subtractions between now and February 18th, the Phillies will open spring training with 63 players competing for 25 roster spots.

As in the norm, I'll leave the reporting on these players' accolades to the experts.  What I'm most interested in is looking at their available baseball cards.

Mark Appel (rhp) - Acquired in December from the Astros in the Ken Giles deal, Appel will receive his first Phillies cards in 2016.

J.P. Crawford (ss) - I already have 22 cards of the Phillies top prospect in my collection.  He appeared on several Bowman inserts from 2015 along with cards in the Topps Pro Debut and Topps Heritage Minor Leagues sets.

Zach Eflin (rhp) - There are six different cards featuring Eflin available throughout the various Reading Fightin Phils team sets issued in 2015.

2015 Grandstand Clearwater
Threshers #13
2015 Choice Lehigh Valley
IronPigs Update #18
2015 Grandstand Reading
Fightin Phils #13
Andrew Knapp (c) - Knapp has 2015 cards in the Clearwater Threshers team set and the Reading Fightin Phils Holiday Set.

Gabriel Lino (c) - Lino has been appearing on Phillies minor league cards since 2012 and he's in both the 2015 Lehigh Valley IronPigs and Reading Fightin Phils team sets.

Logan Moore (c) - Moore has been around for a while, first appearing on a Phillies card back in 2011.  He's also in the 2015 Reading Fightin Phils team sets.

2015 Reading Fightin Phils
Holiday Set #25
2015 Reading Fightin Phils
Holiday Set #26
2015 Reading Fightin Phils
Holiday Set #27
Brock Stassi (1b) - Like Moore, Stassi has been appearing on Phillies minor league cards since 2011 and his 2015 cards can be found in the Reading Fightin Phils team sets.  He has yet to appear within a mainstream baseball card issue.

Jake Thompson (rhp) - Thompson's first Phillies card can be found in the Reading Fightin Phils Holiday Set.

Nick Williams (of) - Like Thompson, Williams' first Phillies card can be found in the Reading Fightin Phils Holiday Set.  I would suspect we'll see a lot more Phillies cards for both Thompson and Williams in 2016.

Player (position) - 2015 Organization - Last Major Baseball Card Appearance
1.  James Russell (lhp) - Cubs - 2015 Topps #255 (Braves)
2.  Emmanuel Buriss (inf) - Nationals - 2010 Topps Update #US-82 (Giants)
3.  Ryan Jackson (inf) - Royals/Angels - 2013 Panini Prizm #238 (Cardinals)
4.  Frank Hermann (rhp) - Angels/Pirates - 2010 Topps Update #US-89 (Indians)
5.  Chris Leroux (rhp) - Brewers/Phillies - 2013 Panini Select #205 (Pirates)
6.  Reinier Roibal (rhp) - Phillies - N/A
7.  J.P. Arencibia (c) - Orioles/Rays - 2014 Topps #627 (Rangers)
8.  Greg Burke (rhp) - Blue Jays - 2009 Bowman Chrome #103 (Padres)
9.  Ernesto Frieri (rhp) - Rays - 2014 Topps #240 (Angels)
10.  Gregory Infante (rhp) - Blue Jays - 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter #84 (White Sox)
11.  Angelys Nina (inf) - Rockies - 2012 Bowman Prospects #BP45 (Rockies)
12.  Andrew Bailey (rhp) - Yankees - 2013 Topps Heritage #344 (Red Sox)
13.  Edward Mujica (rhp) - Red Sox/Athletics - 2015 Topps #131 (Red Sox)
14.  Cedric Hunter (of) - Braves - 2011 Topps #554 (Padres)
15.  Mark Appel (rhp) - Astros - 2015 Topps Heritage Minor Leagues #219 (Astros)
16.  J.P. Crawford (ss) - Phillies - 2015 Topps Heritage Minor Leagues #208 (Phillies)
17.  Zach Eflin (rhp) - Phillies - 2014 Topps Pro Debut #184 (Padres)
18.  Andrew Knapp (c) - Phillies - 2014 Topps Heritage Minor Leagues #146 (Phillies)
19.  Gabriel Lino (c) - Phillies - 2012 Bowman Chrome Prospects #BCP199 (Phillies)
20.  Logan Moore (c) - Phillies - 2011 Bowman Draft Chrome Prospects #BDPP44 (Phillies)
21.  Brock Stassi (1b) - Phillies - N/A
22.  Jake Thompson (rhp) - Rangers/Phillies - 2015 Topps Heritage Minor Leagues #129 (Rangers)
23.  Nick Williams (of) - Rangers/Phillies - 2015 Topps Heritage Minor Leagues #175 (Rangers)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Camp Headcount Increases to 54

2011 Topps #554
There has been little to no Phillies news for the past few weeks, which is why I got excited yesterday morning when my Twitter feed started percolating with Tweets from the Phillies beat writers.  The news wasn't all that major, unless you happen to be a Cedric Hunter super collector.  Hunter, the sole outfielder among the now 14 Phillies non-roster invitees, will be joining the team in a little over six weeks in Clearwater.

Hunter spent all of last season with the Braves Triple-A club in Gwinnett, hitting .283 in 138 games with 12 home runs and 77 RBIs.  His sole big league experience in his 10 year professional career came in 2011 when he appeared in six games for the Padres.

With the addition of Hunter, the camp headcount now stands at 54.  Also of note is the fact that the Phillies, earlier than ever, have assigned new uniform numbers to the herd of new additions joining the roster so far this offseason.  Every player except Hunter has been assigned a uniform number per the Phillies website.  I'll have a post up soon looking at the uniform number assignments.

Player (position) - 2015 Organization - Last Major Baseball Card Appearance
1.  James Russell (lhp) - Cubs - 2015 Topps #255 (Braves)
2.  Emmanuel Buriss (inf) - Nationals - 2010 Topps Update #US-82 (Giants)
3.  Ryan Jackson (inf) - Royals/Angels - 2013 Panini Prizm #238 (Cardinals)
4.  Frank Hermann (rhp) - Angels/Pirates - 2010 Topps Update #US-89 (Indians)
5.  Chris Leroux (rhp) - Brewers/Phillies - 2013 Panini Select #205 (Pirates)
6.  Reinier Roibal (rhp) - Phillies - N/A
7.  J.P. Arencibia (c) - Orioles/Rays - 2014 Topps #627 (Rangers)
8.  Greg Burke (rhp) - Blue Jays - 2009 Bowman Chrome #103 (Padres)
9.  Ernesto Frieri (rhp) - Rays - 2014 Topps #240 (Angels)
10.  Gregory Infante (rhp) - Blue Jays - 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter #84 (White Sox)
11.  Angelys Nina (inf) - Rockies - 2012 Bowman Prospects #BP45 (Rockies)
12.  Andrew Bailey (rhp) - Yankees - 2013 Topps Heritage #344 (Red Sox)
13.  Edward Mujica (rhp) - Red Sox/Athletics - 2015 Topps #131 (Red Sox)
14.  Cedric Hunter (of) - Braves - 2011 Topps #554 (Padres)


Thursday, December 31, 2015

Santa Crossed 7 Cards Off My Most Wanted List (#SBWTMABCTJ)

1952 Topps #223
1953 Bowman Color #65
1953 Topps #146
For the fifth year in a row, my Mom took it upon herself to personally demolish the majority of my "Ten Most Wanted - Vintage" list found on the sidebar.  Here's what it looked like prior to Christmas, and as you can tell by the seven cards featured within this post, the list now needs seven new residents.

The Pre-SBWTMABCTJ List
I've always received baseball cards for Christmas, and I'm very lucky that my Mom has kept the tradition alive started by her and my Dad many years ago.  In recent years, our family has gathered at my Mom's house the day after Christmas to spend time together and exchange gifts.  This year, I was happy to unwrap the Star Wars book I asked for and I was also thrilled to receive the Beatles 1+ CD/Blu-Ray collection from my Mom.  But there's just something about unwrapping small packages shaped like baseball cards in top loaders that brings me back to those special Christmases from the 1970s and 1980s.

(As an aside here, I think it's fitting that my Mom's main Christmas presents to me this year were once again related to the Beatles, Star Wars and baseball cards.  This is pretty much what my typical Christmas gifts have consisted of for the past 35+ years.)

For past after-Christmas posts, I've spread out the haul from the annual Santa Brings Way Too Many Awesome Baseball Cards to Jim (#SBWTMABCTJ) over several posts.  This year, I wanted to keep these seven cards together in one post in order to maximize their collective awesomeness.

1950 Bowman #30
1952 Bowman #4
1950 Bowman #30 Eddie Waitkus
This card brings me down to needing just six cards to complete the 19-card 1950 Bowman Phillies team set.  The first line on the back of this card is still bizarre to read today:  "Eddie had appeared in 54 games last season and was hitting at a .306 clip when he was shot and seriously wounded by a demented girl fan."

1952 Bowman #4 Robin Roberts
This is one of two vintage Roberts cards I received this year, both representing two of the most valuable remaining cards standing in the way of me having a complete run of Phillies Bowman cards from 1948 to 1955.

1952 Topps #223 Del Ennis
This card may be my favorite of the bunch.  Featuring one of my Dad's favorite players, this is now the nicest 1952 Topps card in my collection.  The card is well-centered with no front or back blemishes and it has three sharp corners with only a minor ding on the lower left corner.  I still have a ways to go to complete the 1952 Topps Phillies team set, but this card gets me a little closer.

I need to mention again how pristine this card is.  This is pretty much what I imagine the 1952 Topps cards looking like when they were pulled out of a nickel pack over sixty years ago.

1953 Bowman Color #65 Robin Roberts
This is the second Roberts card from this year's haul, and now the only vintage Bowman card of the Hall of Famer that I'm currently missing is his 1949 Bowman rookie card.  This is one of those cards that I've seen for sale at card shows for years, but I've never owned.  I'm thrilled to finally have this card as part of my collection.

1953 Topps #146 Granny Hamner
The card's front reads Granville, but the card's back points out three times that the player's nickname is actually "Granny."  The 1953 Topps Phillies team set is now well within reach for me, as I need just four more cards.

1957 Topps #70
1959 Topps #317
1957 Topps #70 Richie Ashburn
This was one of two "modern" baseball cards I received from the SBWTMABCTJ and this is the final Ashburn Topps cards I needed to finish off my complete run of his Topps cards from 1951 to 1959.  For good measure, my Mom also added in the next card.

1959 Topps #317 N.L. Hitting Kings - Willie Mays & Richie Ashburn
Like the 1953 Bowman Color Robin Roberts card, this is one of those cards I had admired for years at various baseball card shows.  This card commemorates the 1958 N.L. batting title race, decided on the final day of the season when Ashburn went 3 for 4 to top Willie Mays' 2 for 5.  Ashburn finished at .350 with Mays at his heels with a .347 average.

And there you have it.  Thanks to my Mom's continuation of an annual tradition, I now have the pleasure of crossing seven more vintage Phillies cards off my want lists.

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

Posting will continue to be light as I continue my winter hibernation.  Happy New Year!