Tuesday, March 31, 2009

1956 Topps #60 Mayo Smith MG

Edward Mayo Smith managed the Phillies from 1955 until July 18, 1958, when he replaced by Eddie Sawyer. (It was Sawyer's 2nd tour of duty as the Phils' manager). Mayo's record as Phillies' manager was 264-281-2. He went on to manage the Reds and the Tigers in later years.

This card was purchased in October 1987 from Hummel's in Bridgeton, New Jersey. After visiting Hummel's, Dad and I probably visited "the Old Man" across the street who ran a combination baseball card store and used electronics boutique.

1956 Topps #7 Ron Negray

My Dad and I began collecting the 1956 Topps set in the summer of 1987. It's an amazing set, and I'm going to highlight each of the Phillies' cards from the set.

The Ron Negray card was purchased in December 1994 from Tommy's Collectibles in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. I paid $5 for the card. Ron played in parts of the 1955 and 1956 seasons for the Phils, primarily as a relief pitcher. In April 1957, he was traded with Elmer Valo to the Brooklyn Dodgers for Chico Fernandez. Ron wore #38 with the Phils. I'm assuming the stadium facade in the background is from Connie Mack Stadium?

2009 Upper Deck #298 Brad Lidge

Jenna and I are currently collecting the 2009 Upper Deck set. (Series 1 packs can be found at fine retail outlets everywhere, for anyone interested). I decided not to collect the Topps Heritage set this year for several reasons:

1. It's too expensive.

2. I'm tired of the short-printed cards.

3. Jenna likes Upper Deck.

I still need several cards from the 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008 Topps Heritage sets, and that's after buying at least 4 to 6 boxes each year. It was fun while it lasted, but I'm switching to Upper Deck.

2005 Chachi #22 Rheal Cormier

Jenna requested a post to honor Rheal Cormier, and I have agreed. In 2005, I produced my first full set of Chachi cards based on the legendary 1975 Topps design. The '75 Topps set was the first full complete set my Dad and I collected together, and it's still my all-time favorite baseball card set.

Rheal had a pretty good career with the Phils from 2001 to 2006 as a situational left-handed specialist out of the bullpen. He was traded to the Reds on July 31, 2006, which is still considered to be a very dark day in our household. Rheal was released by the Reds in early 2007, pitched briefly in the Braves' farm system, and retired before the end of the '07 season.

2009 Chachi Ex-Phillies #X9 Geoff Jenkins

Geoff Jenkins was released by the Phils today, so he will not be making the official 2009 Chachi set. Geoff struggled as a Phillie, hitting .246 in 115 games, with only 9 homers and 29 RBI.

Geoff will be best remembered for his lead-off double in World Series Game 5b, pictured at left. He was also one of the first guys off the bench during each and every on-field celebration. I'm sure he'll land somewhere else.

Monday, March 30, 2009

1951 Bowman #147 Ken Heintzelman

My Dad has been buying 1951 Bowman Phillies cards for "my" collection recently. I now have 14 of the 25 cards from the team set.

Ken Heintzelman pitched for the Phils from 1947 to 1952, wearing #27. The back of this card points out that Ken was voted the Phillies' most valuable player in 1949, going 17-10 with a 3.02 ERA. Ken started Game 3 of the 1950 World Series against the Yankees, pitching into the 8th inning and allowing only 1 earned run.

2009 Chachi Special Edition #MS Mike Schmidt

For the past several years, I've created my own Phillies cards. The major card companies no longer produce cards for players like Eric Bruntlett or Clay Condrey, so I took matters into my own hands.

I call my cards "Chachi" in honor of my dog Chachi. Just like you should never call Fleer cards "Fleers," you should never call Chachi cards "Chachis".

At left is a 2009 Chachi card produced for Mike Schmidt, now a special instructor for the Phils during Spring Training. Also pictured is Mike's 1980 Topps card (#270), which was used as the template for the 2009 Chachi set.

1988 Topps #P11 Ricky Jordan

He'll never make it . . .

Ricky Jordan played in 69 games for the 1988 Phillies, hitting .308 with 11 home runs and 43 RBI. My Dad predicted he would never make it as a Major Leaguer, and it became a running joke with us over Ricky's 8 years in the Majors.

Ricky's rookie card appeared in the 1989 Topps set, but I always felt he should have had a 1988 Topps card. Now he does.

1981 Topps #P4 Bob Dernier

This is the first in a series of "Phillies Cards That Never Were." Bob Dernier played in 10 games for the Phillies in 1981, and he appeared on his first Topps card in 1982.

If you've ever wondered what Bob Dernier's 1981 Topps card would have looked like . . . wonder no more.


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