Monday, March 2, 2015

Phillies Kick Off Exhibition Season

2014 Quarry Unlimited
Spartans 6, Phillies 2
Exhibition Game - Sunday Afternoon, March 1st in Clearwater

One Sentence Summary:  A team of mostly Phillies minor leaguers lost to the University of Tampa in the first unofficial game of the spring.

What It Means:  Baseball is back!  Doug and I tried to watch the webcast via Phillies.com and the University of Tampa's website, but the feed kept dropping out and the video was too choppy to be enjoyable.  Still, it was nice to see green grass, sunshine and some baseball.  Not that it matters, but this game won't count in the official spring training statistics or standings.

What Happened:  Nefi Ogando took the brunt of the damage from the Spartans, allowing four runs on two hits and two walks in the seventh inning.  Aaron Altherr had a couple of hits and a stolen base in the losing effort.

Featured Card:  Paul Clemens got the start for the Phillies and he pitched two scoreless innings before calling it a day.  Clemens is auditioning for the role of long-man out of the Phillies bullpen, and trying to assume the role occupied by Jeff Manship at the start of last season.  This is his sole baseball card from 2014 from the virtual 2014 Quarry Unlimited set.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

2014 Chachi #68 Stolen Base Leaders - Revere & Rollins


I read the article this morning in the Philadelphia Inquirer about Jimmy Rollins' first few days in Dodgers camp in Arizona, and I've now seen a few pictures of the Phillies former shortstop wearing Dodger blue.  It still doesn't seem right.

Rollins was second on the team in stolen bases (28) last year behind Ben Revere and Revere's total (49) was the highest for a Phillies player since Juan Samuel stole 53 bases in 1985.  However, Revere seems to be one of the few position players in danger of losing his starting job this spring as the Phillies plan to take a long look at Rule 5 draft pick Odubel Herrera in center.

In fact, Herrera is leading off and playing center this afternoon in the first baseball game the team has played since the last day of September.  Herrera's .372 average in the Venezuelan winter league earned him the league's batting title and MVP honors.

Here's the complete list of Phillies players with more than one stolen base last season:

1.  Ben Revere - 49
2.  Jimmy Rollins - 28
3.  Chase Utley - 10
4.  Domonic Brown - 7
5.  Carlos Ruiz - 4
6.  Marlon Byrd - 3
6.  Tony Gwynn, Jr. - 3

I'm very anxious for these exhibition games to start.  Let's get this thing going.

Friday, February 27, 2015

2014 Chachi #67 RBI Leaders - Howard & Byrd


As is often the case, the two players who led the team in home runs last season also led the team in runs batted in.  Ryan Howard fell five RBI short of hitting the century mark, which would have been the first time he's reached that threshold since 2011.  Here's the rest of the team's top nine in RBIs from the 2014 season:

1.  Ryan Howard - 95
2.  Marlon Byrd - 85
3.  Chase Utley - 78
4.  Domonic Brown - 63
5.  Jimmy Rollins - 55
6.  Cody Asche - 46
7.  Carlos Ruiz - 31
8.  Ben Revere - 28
9.  John Mayberry, Jr. - 21

Thursday, February 26, 2015

2014 Chachi #66 Home Run Leaders - Byrd & Howard


Last year's Phillies home run leader, Marlon Byrd, recently started his spring training in Goodyear, Arizona with his new team, the Cincinnati Reds.  He's the Reds biggest offseason acquisition and he hopes to help the team improve upon its fourth place finish in the N.L. Central last year.

Ryan Howard, who was second on the club in home runs last year, hopes to help his current team, still the Phillies, climb out of the cellar in the N.L. East.  Reports out of Clearwater are that Howard looks more "agile" and "quick" so far this spring which hopefully translates into "doesn't swing and miss out the outside junk away" during the regular season.

Here are the team's top nine home run hitters last year, which was the third year in a row the leader had less than 30 home runs.  Jimmy Rollins led the club with 23 home runs in 2012 and Domonic Brown took the honors in 2013 with 27 home runs.

1.  Marlon Byrd - 25
2.  Ryan Howard - 23
3.  Jimmy Rollins - 17
4.  Chase Utley - 11
5.  Cody Asche - 10
5.  Domonic Brown - 10
6.  John Mayberry, Jr. - 6
6.  Carlos Ruiz - 6
7.  Freddy Galvis - 4

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Shaking Off the Cobwebs

2014 Choice Lehigh Valley
IronPigs #15
With spring training games starting in a little under a week, I need to get myself back in the habit of regular posting.  The crapping out of my old iMac coupled with a busy few weeks at work have foiled my ability to deliver on any of my Coming Attractions.  I also haven't enjoyed reading the tales of woe coming out of Clearwater.  While the veteran players/trade bait all continue to say the right things, it's been hard for me to get too excited about this upcoming Phillies season.  Still, it will be nice to settle into the rhythm of a nightly baseball game in warmer weather.

Before the exhibition games start, I wanted to have one last look on the non-roster players currently in camp.  18 of the 58 players in Clearwater are non-roster invitees.  The 18th and final player added to this list was Cesar Jimenez, who was designated for assignment to make room for Chad Billingsley, but then resigned to a minor league deal and invited to spring training.

Player (position) - 2014 Organization - Last Major Baseball Card Appearance
1.  Andres Blanco (inf) - Phillies - 2007 Topps #659 (Royals)
2.  Brian Bogusevic (of) - Marlins - 2014 Topps #524 (Marlins)
3.  Russ Canzler (inf) - Yankees/Phillies - N/A
4.  Chase d'Arnaud (inf) - Pirates - 2012 Topps Heritage #323 (Pirates)
5.  Jeff Francoeur (of) - Padres - 2014 Topps Update #US-167 (Padres)
6.  John Hester (c) - Angels - 2010 Upper Deck #31 (Diamondbacks)
7.  Darin Mastroianni (of) - Twins/Blue Jays - 2013 Topps #528 (Twins)
8.  Xavier Paul (of) - Orioles/Diamondbacks - 2013 Topps Update #US-194 (Reds)
9.  Paul Clemens (rhp) - Astros - 2013 Panini Prizm #213 (Astros)
10.  Rene Garcia (c) - Astros - 2009 Bowman Prospects #BP81 (Astros)
11.  Koyie Hill (c) - Phillies - 2011 Topps Update #US13 (Cubs)
12.  Chris Nelson (inf) - Reds/Padres - 2014 Topps #101 (Angels)
13.  Cord Phelps (inf) - Orioles - N/A
14.  Chris McGuiness (1b) - Pirates - 2010 Topps Pro Debut #411 (Rangers)
15.  Sean O'Sullivan (rhp) - Phillies - 2011 Topps Update #US89 (Royals)
16.  Kevin Slowey (rhp) - Marlins - 2012 Topps Update #US94 (Indians)
17.  Jeanmar Gomez (rhp) - Pirates - 2013 Topps Update #US92 (Pirates)
18.  Cesar Jimenez (lhp) - Phillies - 2009 Upper Deck #857 (Mariners)

Memory Lane

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Happy Pitchers & Catchers Reporting Day!

2015 Topps Variations #163
We made it!  Here's hoping the Phillies will surprise us and not lose 100 games.

* * *

In other news, my old iMac is officially dead and my new iMac should be up and running at some point this weekend.  Semi-regular posting to resume shortly.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Coming Attractions & Blaming Kyle Kendrick

1972 Phillies Photocards
I blame Kyle Kendrick.

Shortly after finishing this post displaying a Chachi card with Kendrick on his new team, I shut down my computer and called it a night.  On Monday night, my iMac (four years old this past December) refused to turn back on.  It's with the Apple Store nearest to us now and I'm told it's either (a) partially dead which will be cheap to fix or (b) completely dead which will be expensive to fix.

While my iMac is in the shop, and as pitchers and catchers are getting ready to officially report, I thought I'd share my to-do list for The Phillies Room.

1.  Get all the 2014 Chachi cards out of my draft folder.  I have yet to post all the team leader cards or the final checklist card.  The sooner we can put the 2014 season in the rear-view mirror, the better.

2.  Keep going with my Team Issued posts.  I recently wrapped up my series of posts on the main team issued sets available from the early 1950s through last season.  I've added a list of other team issued sets I'd like to cover at the bottom of this page and I'll slowly get to these throughout the regular season.

I recently added the Steve Carlton card seen here to my collection, and the look on Carlton's face pretty much mirrors the look I had when my iMac refused to turn on.  I believe this is Carlton's first official Phillies card, most likely pre-dating his "Traded" card found within the 1972 Topps set.

3.  I need to update/finish my Missing Links series of posts.  Given what I now know about the team issued sets, a lot of these earlier posts contain inaccuracies that I'd like to correct.

4.  I'd also like to wrap up my look at the Phillies cards in the 2013 and 2014 Topps sets.  I've looked at the Phillies cards to be found in the 1951 through 2012 Topps sets already, and this project seriously stalled out once I got bored with the newer sets.

5.  Finally, I'll once again be posting daily or semi-daily game recaps beginning with the first spring training game on March 1st.  This will be the fifth full season I've done this and as long as it's fun for me (and it still is), I'll keep going.

I still blame Kyle Kendrick.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Happy Trails, Kyle Kendrick

2015 Chachi Departures #10
This past Wednesday, the Colorado Rockies signed pitcher Kyle Kendrick to a one-year, $5.5 million contract with additional incentives available if he reaches certain inning plateaus.  The articles I've read on the signing indicate that the Rockies hope Kendrick can be a back-of-the-rotation innings eater.

In parts of eight seasons with the Phillies between 2007 and 2014, Kendrick appeared in 226 games, going 74-68 with a 4.42 ERA.  He was frustratingly inconsistent, showing signs of brilliance in one start only to follow that up with a completely crappy performance in his next outing.  Kendrick only made one postseason appearance with the Phillies, getting lit up by the Rockies in Game 2 of the N.L.D.S.  Kendrick lasted just 3 2/3 innings before giving way to Kyle Lohse.  That was the first Phillies postseason game I ever attended, and I honestly think I'm still a little bitter about it.

I have 51 different Kendrick baseball cards in my Phillies collection, ranging from his 2004 Batavia Muckdogs card to his final Phillies card (as of right now) in the 2014 team issued second series.  One of my favorite Kendrick cards appeared in the 2008 Chachi set, documenting Kendrick's "trade" to Japan.

* * *
2015 Chachi Departures #9
2015 Chachi Departures #11
Also heading west is back-up catcher Wil Nieves who signed a minor league deal with the Padres.  Nieves hit .254 over 36 games in his one season with the Phillies, earning Phillies baseball cards in both team issued sets and the 2014 Topps Update set.

Finally, reliever B.J. Rosenberg becomes the third ex-Phillie to join the Dodgers this offseason, following Jimmy Rollins and Jeremy Horst.  Rosenberg appeared in 57 games for the Phillies between 2012 and 2014, going 4-2 with a 5.72 ERA.  His only two Phillies baseball cards can be found in the 2012 second edition team issued set and the 2014 first edition team issued set.

Moving On
Reid Brignac (10/2/14) - Elected free agency.  (Signed with the Miami Marlins organization 11/19/14)
Jeremy Horst (10/2/14) - Elected free agency.  (Signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers organization 1/27/15)
Jeff Manship (10/2/14) - Elected free agency.  (Signed with the Cleveland Indians organization 12/24/14)
Tony Gwynn, Jr. (10/10/14) - Outrighted off the 40-man roster and elected free agency.
B.J. Rosenberg (10/27/14) - Outrighted off the 40-man roster and elected free agency.  (Signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers organization 2/7/15)
Mike Adams (10/30/14) - Team option declined, making him a free agent.
Kyle Kendrick (10/30/14) - Elected free agency.  (Signed with the Colorado Rockies 2/4/15)
Wil Nieves (10/30/14) - Elected free agency.  (Signed with the San Diego Padres organization 2/3/15)
A.J. Burnett (11/3/14) - Declined option for 2015, elected free agency.  (Signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates 11/14/14)
Brad Lincoln (11/4/14) - Elected free agency.  (Signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization 11/18/14)
Antonio Bastardo (12/10/14) - Traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Joely Rodriguez.
Jimmy Rollins (12/19/14) - Traded with cash to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Tom Windle and Zach Eflin.
Marlon Byrd (12/31/14) - Traded with cash to the Cincinnati Reds for Ben Lively.

Coming Back
Andres Blanco (11/13/14) - Signed to a minor league contract and invited to spring training.
Koyie Hill (11/20/14) - Signed to a minor league contract and invited to spring training.
Sean O'Sullivan (12/16/14) - Signed to a minor league contract and invited to spring training.

New Additions
Elvis Araujo (11/13/14) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Cleveland Indians organization.
Joely Rodriguez (12/10/14) - Acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates for Antonio Bastardo.
Odubel Herrera (12/11/14) - Selected in the annual Rule 5 draft from the Texas Rangers.
Andy Oliver (12/11/14) - Selected in the annual Rule 5 draft from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Aaron Harang (1/5/15) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Atlanta Braves.
Jordan Danks (1/16/15) - Claimed off waivers from the Chicago White Sox.
Chad Billingsley (1/29/15) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The First Phillie of 2015

2015 Topps #309
I was pleasantly surprised last night to find packs of 2015 Topps Series One on the shelves of our local Target.  I had stopped on my way home from work fully expecting to come home empty handed.  I bought a few of the $9.99 mini blasters and some loose packs for each of my sons to open.  My wife Jenna also participated in the ceremonial opening of the first packs of the new year, and it was she who came across the First Phillie.  Maikel Franco took the honors this year, and he joins the prestigious ranks of those First Phillies who came before him, linked below.

Here are my other initial thoughts on the 2015 Topps set, in no particular order:

- Man, it's going to be hard to come up with a template based on this set's design in order to create custom cards.  I'm sure the more talented graphic designers will pull it off but I'll probably sit this one out.  Topps really decided to mix it up this year with gradients and all kinds of geometric design elements in the background of both the colored bottom borders and the lighter top borders.  I had originally thought the top portion of the card had a white border, but it's actually a light grayish border with splotches in it.

- I really like how easy it is to read everything on the fronts (and backs) of the cards.  The only gold foil to be found is within the Topps logo and I'm OK with that.  Past sets used foil lettering all over the place and you had to turn the card just right in some instances to make out the players' name or team.  The white text for the player's name is also a nice touch.

- The backs put me in mind of a early 2000s Fleer card, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.  "Series One" is clearly indicated over an easy-to-read number.  I don't think this series designation has ever been done before by Topps.

- Bummed that two of the five Phillies we found in our packs are now gone.  Along with Franco's card, we got cards for Cliff Lee, Carlos Ruiz, Marlon Byrd (now with the Reds) and Antonio Bastardo (now with the Pirates).
2015 Topps #300

- Mike Trout's card is fantastic, and I have a feeling this card will eventually disappear from my pile and make its way into my oldest son Doug's collection.

Past First Phillies

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

2014 Phillies Team Issue - 2nd Edition


Number of Cards:  38
Card Size:  4" x 6"
Description:  This is the fourth of four straight team issued sets featuring basically the same design elements.  The player's name, number and position are listed at the bottom of the card in a red and blue design with the Phillies script logo appearing in one of the top corners.  All photos used for this set were taken during 2014 regular season games.  The horizontal card backs feature biographical information and complete career statistics.

How Distributed:  The second series set was available for sale at the ballpark beginning in mid-August.  I purchased my set at the start of the Phillies-Mariners series on August 18th.

Complete Standard Checklist:  The cards are unnumbered, but I've presented them below ordered by uniform number.
One and Done (2):  Brignac, Manship
First Appearances (3):  Buchanan, Giles, Hollands
Returning Players (23):  Adams, Asche, Bastardo, Brown, Burnett, Byrd, De Fratus, Diekman, Gwynn Jr., Hamels, C. Hernandez, R. Hernandez, Howard, Kendrick, Lee, Mayberry Jr., Nieves, Papelbon, Revere, Rollins, Ruf, Ruiz, Utley

The First Appearance designation is for players who have never before appeared within a Phillies team issued set.  These players may have already appeared on other Phillies baseball cards.

Manager (1):  Sandberg
Coaches (7):  Bowa, Henderson, Mackanin, McClure, Mizerock, Nichols, Samuel
Phillie Phanatic (1)
Broadcasters (1):  Mike Schmidt returns to the team issued set on the broadcasters card, which also features Gregg Murphy, Scott Franzke, Tom McCarthy, Larry Andersen, Matt Stairs, Jim Jackson and Jamie Moyer.
Commemorative Cards (0)

Variations/Rarities:  I'm not aware of any variations or rarities available with this set, but that doesn't mean there weren't any.  If cards are to made for the likes of Jerome Williams, Grady Sizemore or Aaron Harang prior to the start of the 2015 season, they'll most likely be produced using the design of this set.

Trivia:  I'm still bummed that Sizemore was omitted from this set.
Resources:  This set hasn't made it yet onto any of the mainstream online checklists/databases.

Monday, February 2, 2015

2014 Phillies Team Issue - 1st Edition


Number of Cards:  41
Card Size:  4" x 6"
Description:  This is the third of four straight team issued sets featuring basically the same design elements.  The player's name, number and position are listed at the bottom of the card in a red and blue design with the Phillies script logo appearing in one of the top corners.  All photos used for this set were taken during spring training 2014.  The horizontal card backs feature biographical information and complete career statistics.

How Distributed:  The set was available for sale at the ballpark from the beginning of the season through mid-August when it was replaced with a new second series set.  I purchased my set on April 12th and it contained the apparently rare Bobby Abreu card.  Abreu was with the club throughout spring training but was released prior to the start of the regular season.

Complete Standard Checklist:  The cards are unnumbered, but I've presented them below ordered by uniform number.
One and Done (1):  Lincoln
First Appearances (7):  Asche, Burnett, Franco, Gwynn Jr., Nieves, R. Hernandez, Martin
Returning Players (23):  Abreu, Adams, Aumont, Bastardo, Brown, Byrd, De Fratus, Diekman, Galvis, Hamels, C. Hernandez, Howard, Kendrick, Lee, Mayberry Jr., Papelbon, Pettibone, Revere, Rollins, Rosenberg, Ruf, Ruiz, Utley

This is the only place to find a Brad Lincoln Phillies card.  The reliever made it into two games with the club, pitching to a 11.57 ERA over 2 1/3 innings.

The First Appearance designation is for players who have never before appeared within a Phillies team issued set.  These players may have already appeared on other Phillies baseball cards.

Manager (1):  Sandberg
Coaches (7):  Bowa, Henderson, Mackanin, McClure, Mizerock, Nichols, Samuel
Phillie Phanatic (1)
Broadcasters (1):  Newcomers Jamie Moyer and Matt Stairs join Gregg Murphy, Larry Andersen, Tom McCarthy, Scott Franzke and Jim Jackson.
Commemorative Cards (0)

Variations/Rarities:  I'm not aware of any variations or rarities available with this set, but based on collector Steve's experience I know that the Abreu card was pulled shortly after the set was issued.  Apparently most sets available for sale up until the issuance of the second series contain only 40 cards.

Trivia:  Maikel Franco made his Phillies debut on September 2, 2014, wearing #7.  His card in this set contains the #74 he wore as a non-roster invitee during spring training.
Resources:  This set hasn't made it yet onto any of the mainstream online checklists/databases.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Billingsley Arrives, Horst Departs

2015 Chachi New Additions #7
2015 Chachi Departures #8
On Thursday, the Phillies singed right-handed pitcher Chad Billingsley, who has missed most of the past two seasons due to injury.  Billingsley is expected to start the season on the disabled list, but he could join the starting pitching rotation by late April.  Phillies fans will remember Billingsley as the losing pitcher in all three N.L.C.S. games in which they faced him - Games 2 and 5 of the 2008 series, and Game 3 of the 2009 series.

Despite missing the entire 2014 season, Billingsley was card #623 in the 2014 Topps set.  He'll wear #38 with the Phillies, which of course was Kyle Kendrick's old number.  Cesar Jimenez was designated for assignment to make room for Billingsley on the 40-man roster, and Jimenez is currently in roster limbo.

Going the other way to the Dodgers, in a completely unrelated move, is Jeremy Horst.  The lefty reliever signed with the Dodgers as minor league free agent this past week.  Horst spent all of 2014 with the Triple-A IronPigs.  He was one of the team's most reliable relievers in 2012, going 2-0 with a 1.15 ERA over 32 games.  Horst's only three Phillies baseball cards can be found in the 2012 second team issued set and both 2013 team issued sets.

Moving On
Reid Brignac (10/2/14) - Elected free agency.  (Signed with the Miami Marlins organization 11/19/14)
Jeremy Horst (10/2/14) - Elected free agency.  (Signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers organization 1/27/15)
Jeff Manship (10/2/14) - Elected free agency.  (Signed with the Cleveland Indians organization 12/24/14)
Tony Gwynn, Jr. (10/10/14) - Outrighted off the 40-man roster and elected free agency.
Mike Adams (10/30/14) - Team option declined, making him a free agent.
Kyle Kendrick (10/30/14) - Elected free agency.
Wil Nieves (10/30/14) - Elected free agency.
A.J. Burnett (11/3/14) - Declined option for 2015, elected free agency.  (Signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates 11/14/14)
Brad Lincoln (11/4/14) - Elected free agency.  (Signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization 11/18/14)
Antonio Bastardo (12/10/14) - Traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Joely Rodriguez.
Jimmy Rollins (12/19/14) - Traded with cash to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Tom Windle and Zach Eflin.
Marlon Byrd (12/31/14) - Traded with cash to the Cincinnati Reds for Ben Lively.

Coming Back
Andres Blanco (11/13/14) - Signed to a minor league contract and invited to spring training.
Koyie Hill (11/20/14) - Signed to a minor league contract and invited to spring training.
Sean O'Sullivan (12/16/14) - Signed to a minor league contract and invited to spring training.

New Additions
Elvis Araujo (11/13/14) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Cleveland Indians organization.
Joely Rodriguez (12/10/14) - Acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates for Antonio Bastardo.
Odubel Herrera (12/11/14) - Selected in the annual Rule 5 draft from the Texas Rangers.
Andy Oliver (12/11/14) - Selected in the annual Rule 5 draft from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Aaron Harang (1/5/15) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Atlanta Braves.
Jordan Danks (1/16/15) - Claimed off waivers from the Chicago White Sox.
Chad Billingsley (1/29/15) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Friday, January 30, 2015

2013 Phillies Team Issue - 2nd Edition


Number of Cards:  40
Card Size:  4" x 6"
Description:  This is the second of four straight team issued sets featuring basically the same design elements.  The player's name, number and position are listed at the bottom of the card in a red and blue design with the Phillies script logo appearing in one of the top corners.  All photos used for this set were taken during 2013 regular season games.  The horizontal card backs feature biographical information and complete career statistics.

How Distributed:  The 40-card set was available for sale at the ballpark beginning in early July.  I bought my set on July 6th, and I reviewed the comings and goings in the set in this game summary post.

Complete Standard Checklist:  The cards are unnumbered, but I've presented them below ordered by uniform number.
  • 31 - Erik Kratz
  • 33 - Cliff Lee
  • 34 - Roy Halladay
  • 35 - Cole Hamels
  • 37 - Mike Adams
  • 38 - Kyle Kendrick
  • 40 - Michael Stutes
  • 41 - Charlie Manuel MG
  • 44 - Jonathan Pettibone
  • 47 - Jeremy Horst
  • 48 - Phillippe Aumont
  • 50 - Tyler Cloyd
  • 51 - Carlos Ruiz
  • 54 - Rod Nichols CO
  • 55 - Joe Savery
  • 58 - Jonathan Papelbon
  • 59 - Antonio Bastardo
  • 79 - Justin De Fratus
  • Phillie Phanatic
  • Phillies Broadcasters
One and Done (0)
First Appearances (3):  Cloyd, Hernandez, Pettibone
Returning Players (27):  Adams, Aumont, Bastardo, Brown, De Fratus, Frandsen, Galvis, Halladay, Hamels, Horst, Howard, Kendrick, Kratz, Lannan, Lee, Mayberry Jr., Nix, Papelbon, Revere, Rollins, Ruf, Ruiz, Savery, Stutes, Utley, D. Young, M. Young

The First Appearance designation is for players who have never before appeared within a Phillies team issued set.  These players may have already appeared on other Phillies baseball cards.

Manager (1):  Manuel
Coaches (7):  Billmeyer, Dubee, Henderson, Joyner, Nichols, Samuel, Sandberg
Phillie Phanatic (1)
Broadcasters (1):  The card features Tom McCarthy, Scott Franzke, Larry Andersen, Gary Matthews, Chris Wheeler, Gregg Murphy and Jim Jackson in suits.
Commemorative Cards (0)

Variations/Rarities:  I'm not aware of any variations or rarities available with this set, but that doesn't mean there weren't any.

Also See:  On August 10, 2013, with the Phillies floundering in the standings and having just released Delmon Young, I put together a list of which players should be added and which players should be dropped in a hypothetical Phillies Team Issue 2.1 set.  Alas, it never was and John McDonald, Zach Miner and Casper Wells had to go without team issued cards.
Trivia:  Beckett omits this set from its online database.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Update Your Scorecards - New Uniform Numbers are Here!


They're a little late this year, but I noticed yesterday that the team's roster on the Phillies website had finally been updated to assign new uniform numbers to the rogues' gallery of players who will report to Clearwater in a few weeks.  As cynical as I am at this point about the team's chances in 2015, I can't help to get a little giddy knowing that we're so close to kicking off a new season.

Here's a look at the new number assignments and a few other random thoughts.

New Players - Under 60 Division
#3 Jeff Francouer - The outfield hopeful, who last wore a single digit with the Braves in 2009 (#7) assumes Marlon Byrd's number.
#15 Jordan Danks - John Mayberry, Jr. had worn #15 for the Phillies since 2011.  Danks had been #20 with the White Sox, but that number is permanently taken in Philadelphia.
#17 Brian Bogusevic - Bogusevic takes over the number worn by Reid Brignac last season.
#19 Darin Mastroianni - Tony Gwynn, Jr. wore #19 last season for the Phils in honor of his late, great father.
#27 Chris Nelson - The infielder takes over the number worn for half a season last year by Roberto Hernandez.
#28 Xavier Paul - This number went unoccupied last season after Kevin Frandsen departed for Washington.
#34 Aaron Harang - It looked as if #34 would be unofficially retired by the Phillies last spring in honor of Roy Halladay, but A.J. Burnett took the number when he joined the club.
#37 Odubel Herrera - Reliver Mike Adams wore #37 last season.
#46 Jeanmar Gomez - This number also went unused in 2014, and Raul Valdes was the last #46 for the Phillies in 2013.
#52 Andy Oliver - Hopefully Oliver has more luck wearing #52 this season than Jeff Manship did last season.
#59 Kevin Slowey - If Slowey makes the team, he'll take over the number last worn by Antonio Bastardo.

New Numbers
I'm a little disappointed this year that not one holdover from last year decided (or was given the option to) change his number.  There's usually a little shuffling of the numbers each offseason but this year's returning players all opted to stick with their 2014 numbers.  Boring.

Other Stuff
- Non-roster invitee infielder Chris McGuiness wins the award for the highest spring uniform number with #77.  Zach Collier had been the previous recipient of this award for the #80 he sported in 2013 and 2014.

- I noted in last year's post that prospect Maikel Franco, who had been assigned #74 in spring training, would make an excellent #7.  That was the uniform number he was assigned when he made his debut with the Phillies in September.

- Between 1 and 60, the only non-retired numbers currently unassigned are #11, #21, #38, #39 and #41.  The Phillies have long had an unofficial policy of not assigning numbers of recently departed franchise icons.  For that reason, I would seriously doubt we'll see anyone wear #11 (Jimmy Rollins) or #41 (Charlie Manuel) in 2015.  The same can not be said for #21 (Wil Nieves), #38 (Kyle Kendrick) or #39 (B.J. Rosenberg).

- The cards featured here are from the fantastic, virtual 2014 Quarry Unlimited set created by Cards from the Quarry.  This is the third year in a row a complete set of cards has been created for every single player to have suited up during the season.  Check out the whole set!

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

Gomez was a late addition to the list of non-roster invitees, so this post will also serve to update the list which now stands at 17.

Player (position) - 2014 Organization - Last Major Baseball Card Appearance
1.  Andres Blanco (inf) - Phillies - 2007 Topps #659 (Royals)
2.  Brian Bogusevic (of) - Marlins - 2014 Topps #524 (Marlins)
3.  Russ Canzler (inf) - Yankees/Phillies - N/A
4.  Chase d'Arnaud (inf) - Pirates - 2012 Topps Heritage #323 (Pirates)
5.  Jeff Francoeur (of) - Padres - 2014 Topps Update #US-167 (Padres)
6.  John Hester (c) - Angels - 2010 Upper Deck #31 (Diamondbacks)
7.  Darin Mastroianni (of) - Twins/Blue Jays - 2013 Topps #528 (Twins)
8.  Xavier Paul (of) - Orioles/Diamondbacks - 2013 Topps Update #US-194 (Reds)
9.  Paul Clemens (rhp) - Astros - 2013 Panini Prizm #213 (Astros)
10.  Rene Garcia (c) - Astros - 2009 Bowman Prospects #BP81 (Astros)
11.  Koyie Hill (c) - Phillies - 2011 Topps Update #US13 (Cubs)
12.  Chris Nelson (inf) - Reds/Padres - 2014 Topps #101 (Angels)
13.  Cord Phelps (inf) - Orioles - N/A
14.  Chris McGuiness (1b) - Pirates - 2010 Topps Pro Debut #411 (Rangers)
15.  Sean O'Sullivan (rhp) - Phillies - 2011 Topps Update #US89 (Royals)
16.  Kevin Slowey (rhp) - Marlins - 2012 Topps Update #US94 (Indians)
17.  Jeanmar Gomez (rhp) - Pirates - 2013 Topps Update #US92 (Pirates)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

2013 Phillies Team Issue - 1st Edition


Number of Cards:  41
Card Size:  4" x 6"
Description:  This is the first of four straight team issued sets featuring basically the same design elements.  The player's name, number and position are listed at the bottom of the card in a red and blue design with the Phillies script logo appearing in one of the top corners.  All photos used for this set were taken during spring training 2013.  The horizontal card backs feature biographical information and complete career statistics.

How Distributed:  The 41-card set was available for sale at the ballpark up until early July when an entirely new set with a new design was issued.  I picked up my set on March 29th during one of the on-deck exhibition game with the Blue Jays.

Complete Standard Checklist:  The cards are unnumbered, but I've presented them below ordered by uniform number.
  • 31 - Erik Kratz
  • 33 - Cliff Lee
  • 34 - Roy Halladay
  • 35 - Cole Hamels
  • 37 - Mike Adams
  • 38 - Kyle Kendrick
  • 40 - Michael Stutes
  • 41 - Charlie Manuel MG
  • 43 - Ender Inciarte
  • 45 - Chad Durbin
  • 46 - Raul Valdes
  • 47 - Jeremy Horst
  • 48 - Phillippe Aumont
  • 51 - Carlos Ruiz
  • 54 - Rod Nichols CO
  • 58 - Jonathan Papelbon
  • 59 - Antonio Bastardo
  • 79 - Justin De Fratus
  • Phillie Phanatic
  • Phillies Broadcasters
One and Done (3):  Betancourt, Inciarte, Quintero
First Appearances (8):  Adams, Aumont, De Fratus, Lannan, Revere, Ruf, D. Young, M. Young
Returning Players (20):  Bastardo, Brown, Durbin, Frandsen, Galvis, Halladay, Hamels, Horst, Howard, Kendrick, Kratz, Lee, Mayberry Jr., Nix, Papelbon, Rollins, Ruiz, Stutes, Utley, Valdes

Betancourt and Inciarte never appeared in a game with the Phillies.  Betancourt was released in late March.  Inciarte was a Rule 5 pick from the Diamondbacks and he made the opening day roster.  However, the Phillies signed Ezequiel Carrera on the second day of the season and Inciarte was shipped back to Arizona having never officially appeared in a game with the Phillies.  The final One and Done is Quintero who appeared in 24 games with the Phillies before parting ways with the club in July.

The First Appearance designation is for players who have never before appeared within a Phillies team issued set.  These players may have already appeared on other Phillies baseball cards.

Manager (1):  Manuel
Coaches (7):  Billmeyer, Dubee, Henderson, Joyner, Nichols, Samuel, Sandberg
Phillie Phanatic (1)
Broadcasters (1):  The card features Tom McCarthy, Scott Franzke, Larry Andersen, Gary Matthews, Chris Wheeler, Gregg Murphy and Jim Jackson in their spring training gear.
Commemorative Cards (0)

Variations/Rarities:  I'm not aware of any variations or rarities available with this set, but that doesn't mean there weren't any.

Also See:  2013 Phillies Survival Guide
Trivia:  Beckett omits this set from its online database.
Resources:  14,000 Phillies; The Trading Card Database

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

1950-1952 Royal Desserts #19 Dick Sisler


I recently added this early oddball card to my growing Dick Sisler collection.  Whenever I track down a card like this, I like to try to find out as much as possible about the card and the set it comes from.

According to the 2012 edition of the Standard Catalog of Vintage Baseball Cards, these cards were issued one per box on the backs of various Royal Dessert products between 1950 and 1952.  24 total players were included in the set, although numerous variations exist as the makers of the cards either switched up the tint used for the photo (black or blue) or updated the player's biography.  There's also a nice summary of the set with a few more pictures over at Old Cardboard.

According to the Catalog, there are four different versions of the Sisler card available and the Beckett online database indicates that one of the latter versions was updated to mark Sisler's move to the Reds.  The only other Phillies card available from the set is a card for Andy Seminick.

I'm going to forgive the kid who haphazardly cut this Sisler card out of his box of pudding, solely because of what can be found on the back of the card.  The original owner included his or her own back of the card biography, which in my opinion makes this card even more fantastic.


Dick Sisler - OF
Philadelphia Phillies 
No. 19
Broke in with 
Cardinals was traded; 
Sisler caught fire 
and became one of the 
better hitters in baseball.

* * *

My Dad would have been 71 today, and he would have found this card to be equally fascinating.  He'd probably even have a story or two to tell me about his favorite brand of Royal Desserts.  I'm collecting these Sisler cards (and cards of his other favorite player, Del Ennis) as a continuing tribute to him and it makes me happy to be able to share these cards here.

We don't have any Royal Desserts products in our pantry, but I think tonight I'll have a big bowl of ice cream in my Dad's honor.

(P.S.  At some point during this offseason, my Dad would have intoned in a ridiculous, sarcastic voice that his new favorite Phillie was Odubel Herrera.  He would have then shook his head and said, "I mean, what are they even doing?")

Monday, January 26, 2015

Hall of Fame Class of 2015 - Phillies Cards

2002 Fleer Triple Crown Season Crowns #10
Before we get too far away from the announcement of this year's class of Hall of Fame inductees, I wanted to continue a tradition I started a few years ago and see if any of the current year class had any "Phillies" baseball cards.  Obviously, Pedro Martinez has a number of Phillies baseball cards given the half season he played with the club in 2009.

This isn't an exhaustive list, but merely a list of cards currently found within my Phillies collection.

2009 Sweet Spot #44
Pedro Martinez
Not including this awesome 2004 Bazooka 4 on 1 Sticker which includes four pitchers with Phillies connections, I have nine different Phillies cards of Martinez.  His Phillies cards started appearing mid-way through 2009 and he appeared on a few 2010 Phillies cards within the Upper Deck Season Biography insert set.  I also didn't count this 2003 Fleer Tradition Update card in my tally although technically I suppose I could.

2009 Phillies Fan Appreciation Day Postcards - header card with five other Phillies featured
2009 Phillies Team Issue Update #45
2009 SP Authentic #117
2009 Sweet Spot #44
2009 Topps Heritage #563
2009 Topps Update #UH93
2009 Upper Deck Update #U10
2010 Upper Deck Season Biography #SB-148
2010 Upper Deck Season Biography #SB-157

I'm sure he's on many more Phillies cards, but these are the nine currently in my collection.

2003 Topps Heritage Then and Now #TN9
Randy Johnson
Second to Martinez in terms of number of cards in my Phillies collection is Randy Johnson.  Of particular interest is the 2002 Fleer Triple Crown card featured at top of this post which includes Johnson, fellow inductee John Smotlz and potential future inductee Curt Schilling.

2001 Topps Combos #TC17 - with Warren Spahn, Sandy Koufax and Steve Carlton
2002 Fleer Triple Crown Season Crowns #10 - with Curt Schilling and John Smoltz
2002 Topps Heritage Then and Now #TN9 - with Robin Roberts
2003 Topps Heritage Then and Now #TN9 - with Robin Roberts
2004 Bazooka 4 on 1 Sticker #13 - with Randy Wolf, Mark Mulder and Johan Santana

John Smoltz
The only Smoltz card in my collection is the aforementioned Fleer Triple Crown insert card featuring him with Johnson and Schilling.

Craig Biggio
I don't have any Biggio cards in my collection, although according to the Beckett database he appeared on 11 multi-player Upper Deck cards with Chase Utley between 2005 and 2007.

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

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Thank You Mr. Cub! #LetsPlayTwo

2008 Topps Heritage High Numbers Then and Now #TN1
I've already read a number of tributes to Ernie Banks, Mr. Cub, who passed away yesterday at the age of 83.  I wanted to add my own small tribute in the form of one of the baseball cards in my Phillies collection that Banks graced.

Friday, January 23, 2015

2000 to 2014 Phillies Team Issued Sets Want List

2006 Phillies Team Issue Update
2000 Phillies Team Issue Update
  • 10 - Travis Lee
  • 16 - Marlon Anderson
  • 19 - Brian R. Hunter
  • 21 - Kent Bottenfield
  • 35 - Cliff Politte
  • 37 - Omar Daal
  • 39 - Bruce Chen
  • 41 - Jason Boyd
  • 44 - Vicente Padilla
  • 45 - Jeff Brantley
  • 50 - Ed Vosberg
2001 Phillies Team Issue Update
  • 3 - Todd Pratt
  • 13 - Turk Wendell
  • 19 - Johnny Estrada
  • 40 - Jose Santiago
  • 48 - Dave Coggin
  • 52 - Felipe Crespo
  • 56 - Brandon Duckworth
2002 Phillies Team Issue Winter Caravan
  • 19 - Greg Luzinski
  • 25 - Jim Thome
2004 Phillies Team Issue Special Edition/Winter Caravan
  • 41 - Charlie Manuel MG
  • 58 - Lou Collier
2005 Phillies Team Issue Special Edition
  • 80 - Chris Roberson
2006 Phillies Team Issue Update
  • 2 - David Dellucci
  • 15 - Milt Thompson CO (watching BP)
  • 17 - Mick Billmeyer CO (posed photo)
  • 34 - Gavin Floyd
  • 35 - Cole Hamels
  • 56 - Geoff Geary
2007 Phillies Team Issue Update
  • 6 - Ryan Howard (no MVP logo)
  • 9 - Michael Bourn
  • 16 - J.C. Romero
  • 38 - Kyle Kendrick
  • 49 - Jose Mesa
  • 54 - Francisco Rosario
  • 59 - Mike Zagurski
2007 Phillies Team Issue Special Edition
  • 10 - Geoff Jenkins
  • 54 - Brad Lidge
2008 Phillies Team Issue Special Edition
  • 12 - Matt Stairs
2009 Phillies Team Issue Special Edition/Home Run Derby
  • 3 - Lou Marson
  • 23 - Brian Schneider
  • 27 - Placido Polanco
  • 28 - Jayson Werth (Home Run Derby)
  • 34 - Roy Halladay
2010 Phillies Team Issue 2 Special Edition
  • 12 - Juan Samuel CO
  • 47 - Scott Mathieson
  • 81 - Jesus Tiamo CO
2011 Phillies Team Issue Update (Look for a 38-card set)
  • 5 - Pete Orr
  • 57 - David Herndon
2011 Phillies Team Issue 2 Special Edition
  • 19 - Laynce Nix
  • 24 - Ty Wigginton
  • 25 - Jim Thome
  • 53 - Dontrelle Willis
2012 Phillies Team Issue (Look for a 39-card set)
  • Broadcasters
2012 Phillies Team Issue 2 Special Edition
  • 21 - Wally Joyner CO

Monday, January 19, 2015

Thanks Steve!

1950s to 1969 Phillies Postcards
1981 Phillies Photocards
1981 Phillies Photocards
Recently, I was the lucky recipient of 12 fantastic Phillies team issue cards from fellow collector and frequent Phillies Room contributor Steve.  I've only been actively collecting these cards from the 1960s through the early 1980s for about six months or so, and I've discovered that it's relatively easy to accumulate doubles.  With no indication of the year on the cards and a similar design used for the sets issued between 1951 and 1981, it's easy to pick up duplicates.  Steve had 12 doubles laying around and he kindly sent them my way to aid in my quest to complete these hard-to-find sets.

Presented here are four of my favorites.  I've sent Steve the three doubles I had accumulated, and I'll be sure to set aside extras for him in the future.

As a reminder - If you have doubles of any of these team issued cards, or if you're just looking for a good home for any of these cards please let me know.  If I can't use them, I'd be more than happy to pass them along to Steve!

1978 Phillies Photocards