Thursday, April 30, 2009

1987 Topps All-Star Glossy (60) #28 Mike Schmidt

A couple of cool things happened today. First, Doug got to see where his Dad works. He's seen my office before, but I think this is the first time he's put it all together. (He really didn't seem too impressed until the cookies arrived).

Second, I received a package in the mail from Dinged Corners. Within this package was a very complimentary note regarding The Phillies Room blog and a wonderful stack of Phillies cards.

I'm going to feature several cards from this magical package over the next few days. I'm also very excited to put together a return package containing various Mets, David Wright, Curtis Granderson and Barry Zito cards. Thank you Patricia and Lucy!

1955 Bowman #292 Marv Blaylock

Did someone mention Marv Blaylock? Marv was the regular 1st baseman for the 1956 Phillies, yet he did not appear in the 1956 Topps set. Wearing #12, Marv played with the Phils from 1955 to 1957. In 1956, Marv's best season, he hit .254 with 10 home runs and 50 RBI.

I may need to feature some more of these '55 Bowman cards . . .

2007 Topps Heritage #436 Rival Fence Busters

Bring it on.

Tomorrow night marks the first 2009 meeting of the Phillies and the Mets. Both teams are off to so-so starts, with the Phils (11-9) faring slightly better than the Mets (9-12).

As far as the "rival fence busters" pictured here, Ryan Howard has hit 4 home runs so far in 2009, while David Wright has one lone home run on the season. This card is an homage to the original Rival Fence Busters card from the 1958 Topps set (#436), featuring Willie Mays and Duke Snider.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

2007 Chachi #52 Russell Branyan

How about that Russell Branyan? The Seattle Mariners' starting first baseman is currently hitting .358 with 4 home runs and 10 RBI. He went 5 for 5 against the White Sox on Tuesday night, and the surprising Mariners are currently in 1st place in the AL West.

Russell spent the month of August 2007 with the Phillies after being acquired from the Cleveland Indians for cash. He appeared in 7 games with the Phils, hitting a few key home runs during the 2007 stretch drive. Upon Chase Utley's activation from the DL in late August, Russell was the odd man out, and he was designated for assignment. A few days later, he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for a player to be named later. (It must be much later, since I can't find if a player was ever actually named).

2006 Chachi #25 Tom Gordon

Welcome back Flash. Tom Gordon was activated by the Arizona Diamondbacks a few days ago, and pitched a scoreless inning for them on Tuesday night. It was his first big league appearance since July 5, 2008, when he blew a save opportunity against the Mets. The Mets would go on to beat the Phils 9-4 in that game. (In retrospect, no big deal).

Flash spent significant time on the DL during his tenure with the Phillies (2006-2008). His best year by far was his first year, when he saved 34 games, made the NL All-Star team, and held opposing hitters to a .233 average.

1956 Philadelphia Phillies

The 1956 Philadelphia Phillies finished the year with a sub-.500 record (71-83), good enough for 5th place in the National League. (Keep in mind it was only an 8 team league at the time). Stan Lopata was the offensive force in 1956, followed by Del Ennis and Puddin' Head Jones. Richie Ashburn had a typically stellar year as well. The pitching staff was led by Robin Roberts and Curt Simmons.

Listed below are all of the '56 Phils, followed by the number from their '56 Topps card, if they had one.

Mayo Smith, manager (#60)
Benny Bengough, coach
Maje McDonnell, coach
Wally Moses, coach
Whit Wyatt, coach

Starting Line-Up
Stan Lopata, c (#183)
Granny Hamner, ss (#197)
Willie Jones, 3b (#127)
Del Ennis, lf (#220)
Richie Ashburn, cf (#120)
Elmer Valo, rf (#3 with the Athletics)

Pitching Rotation
Harvey Haddix (#77 with the Cardinals)
Saul Rogovin
Stu Miller (#293 with the Cardinals)

The Bench
Jim Greengrass, of (#275)
Solly Hemus, 2b
Andy Seminick, c (#296)
Roy Smalley, ss
Frank Baumholtz, rf (#274)

The Bullpen
Bob Miller (#334)
Jack Meyer (#269)
Ben Flowers
Duane Pillette

Supporting Cast: Glen Gorbous, rf (#174); Bobby Morgan, inf (#337); Ed Bouchee, 1b; Joe Lonnett, c; Bob Bowman, of; Wally Westlake, ph (#81); Mack Burk, c; Jim Owens, p (#114); Murry Dickson, p (#211); Herm Wehmeier, p (#78); Jack Sanford, p; Angelo Lipetri, p; Turk Farrell, p; Bob Ross, p

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

1956 Topps #337 Bobby Morgan

And that brings us to Bobby Morgan, the last Phillies card in the 1956 Topps set. I somehow managed to purchase this card in January 1999 from a baseball card show in Raleigh, NC.

A former Brooklyn Dodger, Bobby played with the Phillies in 1954, 1955, part of 1956 and part of 1957. In May 1956, he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for Solly Hemus. However, the Phillies re-acquired Bobby in November 1956 in the trade that sent Del Ennis to the Cardinals.

There you have it . . . the 1956 Topps Phillies team set. (Thanks Dad. We did it.)

What team will be featured next on The Phillies Room blog? There's not much time left to vote!

1956 Topps #334 Bob Miller

Christmas 2003 saw the arrival of this Bob Miller card from Kit Young Cards.

Bob played in parts of 10 seasons with the Phillies, from 1949 to 1958. His best season was the pennant winning 1950, when he won 11 games for the Phils and pitched to a 3.57 ERA. Bob wore #19 through most of his Phillies career. A number now worn, of course, by Greg Dobbs.

This is one of 2 "Bob Miller" cards in the 1956 Topps set. The other is the Tigers' Bob Miller at #263.

1956 Topps #296 Andy Seminick

Andy Seminick made his debut with the Phillies in 1943 at the age of 22. He played with the Phillies from 1943 until 1951, and again from 1956 until 1957. (Andy caught with the Reds from 1952 to 1955). He was the Whiz Kids' starting catcher in 1950, a year in which he hit .288 with 24 home runs and 68 RBI. Following his playing career, Andy coached for the Phillies from 1957 to 1958 and again from 1967 to 1969. He remained with the Phils until the mid-'80s as a roving minor league instructor.

This was another August 1989 Bridgeton baseball card show purchase, acquired for $1.50.

2009 Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee Mini #OPC-10 Chase Utley

Let's focus on the positives tonight, shall we? If the Marlins hang on tonight to beat the Mets, the Phillies are still a ½ game out of first place. Chase Utley hit 2 home runs tonight, to raise his season total to 7. Raul Ibañez continues to smoke the ball and he hit his 7th home run tonight as well. Jimmy Rollins stole his first base of the year. Chad Durbin salvaged the Phillies' bullpen tonight by pitching 3.2 innings of 1-run ball. The Phillies have won 5 in a row.

Brad Lidge, Chooch Ruiz and Cole Hamels will all be just fine. Everything is fine.

Monday, April 27, 2009

2009 Phillies Team Issue #29 Raul Ibañez

RAUUUUUUUUUUUUL!!

Somehow, the Phillies came back again and again to win tonight's game against the Nationals, 13-11. A 5th inning grand slam from Ryan Howard tied the game at 6-6. The Nationals would go up 11-7 in the 8th . . . until Raul Ibañez stepped to the plate against Joel Hanrahan.

Raul's grand slam sealed the deal for the Phils. It was the first time 2 Phillies had hit grand slams in the same game since September 9, 2003, when both Tomas Perez and Jason Michaels hit slams. Ryan Madson pitched the 9th for his first save of the season. Is Brad Lidge OK? Charlie?

1982 Donruss #273 Del Unser

Only Del Unser and Darold Knowles played with the Phillies, the Montreal Expos and the Washington Senators. Strangely enough, both were also coaches for the Phillies at one point.

Del had 2 stints with the Phillies - from 1973 to 1974, and again from 1979 to 1982. Primarily a pinch-hitter, Del hit a clutch, game-tying double in the ninth inning of 1980 World Series Game 5 to score Mike Schmidt. He coached with the Phils from 1985 until 1988, and he's currently a professional scout with the organization. Del wore #25 throughout his Phillies' playing and coaching career.

(On a side note, I've always loved the 1982 Donruss set.)

2007 Topps Trading Places #TP17 Jeff Conine

Maybe it's because he only played 28 games for the Phillies in 2006. Maybe it's because we were rather busy in December 2006. I guess I never realized how upset Jenna was at the departure of Jeff Conine on December 21, 2006.

In an attempt to make it right, I'd like to present this card. Jeff is pictured with his new team, the Reds. He seems happy, he seems confident. He seems to say, "Thank you Phillies fans for the time I spent in your fine city attempting to win the 2006 Wild Card. However, I'm with the Reds now, ready for new challenges. It will be OK. Thank you for your support, Jenna." And thank you Jeff.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Nationals at Phillies: April 27th through April 29th

Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday 7:05

Records: Nationals 4-13, Last Place in N.L. East; Phillies 9-8, 2nd Place in N.L. East (1 ½ games behind the Marlins)
Played with the Nationals and Phillies: Per Baseball Reference.com, 84 players have played for both the Nationals (previously the Montreal Expos) and the Phillies, including: Rheal Cormier, Darrin Fletcher, Kevin Gross, Pete Rose, Matt Stairs, Manny Trillo, Del Unser & Ugueth Urbina
Notable: Tuesday night is Charlie Manuel bobble-head night. Carlos Ruiz is scheduled to rejoin the team on Wednesday after a brief rehab assignment with AAA Lehigh Valley.
Nationals Probables: Shairon Martis, John Lannan, Scott Olsen
Phillies Probables: Joe Blanton, Cole Hamels, Brett Myers

1973 Topps #271 Tom Hutton

Throughout the mid-'70s, Tommy Hutton was the Phillies' back-up first baseman. He played in 653 games for the Phils, batting .253.

This is my favorite Phillies card of Tommy's because it shows the old color scheme for the different levels of seating at Veterans Stadium. (Back in the early '70s, this seemed like a wonderful idea).

Tommy is in his 28th year of broadcasting, the last 12 years spent as a broadcaster with the Marlins.

Did you know?:
Tommy is married to Dick Ruthven's twin sister Debby.

1984 Donruss Champions #29 Tony Perez

Hall of Famer Tony Perez played with the 1983 Wheeze Kids, a team comprised mostly of veterans and 3 former members of the mid-70's Big Red Machine. At the age of 41, Tony played in 91 games for the '83 Phils, hitting .241 with 6 home runs. Tony's arrival necessitated Bob Dernier's switch from #24 to #29 for the 1983 season. As of this writing, Tony ranks 50th all-time in hits with 2,732.

Tony briefly managed in the Majors with the Cincinnati Reds (1993) and the Florida Marlins (2001).

Saturday, April 25, 2009

2009 Chachi #29 Phillies Coaches

Sam Perlozzo, 3rd base coach
Phillies debut: As a coach - April 5, 2009
Major League debut: September 13, 1977
Former teams: As a player - Minnesota Twins 1977, San Diego Padres 1979; As a coach - New York Mets 1987-1989, Cincinnati Reds 1990-1992, Seattle Mariners 1993-1995, Baltimore Orioles 1996-2005, Seattle Mariners 2008; As a manager - Baltimore Orioles 2005-2007

Mick Billmeyer, bullpen coach
Phillies debut: As a coach - April 5, 2004

Tim Gradoville, bullpen catcher
Phillies debut: As a coach - April 5, 2009

Pictured: All pictures are from the 2009 Phillies Team Issue set.

2009 Chachi #28 Phillies Coaches

Pete Mackanin, bench coach
Phillies debut: As a player - September 14, 1978; As a coach - April 5, 2009
Major League debut: July 3, 1973
Former teams: As a player - Texas Rangers 1973-1974, Montreal Expos 1975-1977, Philadelphia Phillies 1978-1979, Minnesota Twins 1980-1981; As a coach - Montreal Expos 1997-2000, Pittsburgh Pirates 2003-2005; As an interim manager - Pittsburgh Pirates 2005, Cincinnati Reds 2007

Milt Thompson, hitting coach
Phillies debut: As a player - April 7, 1986; As a coach - April 5, 2004
Major League debut: September 4, 1984
Former teams: As a player - Atlanta Braves 1984-1985, Philadelphia Phillies 1986-1988, St. Louis Cardinals 1989-1992, Philadelphia Phillies 1993-1994, Houston Astros 1994-1995, Los Angeles Dodgers 1996, Colorado Rockies 1996

Davey Lopes, 1st base coach
Phillies debut: As a coach - April 2, 2007
Major League debut: September 22, 1972
Former teams: As a player - Los Angeles Dodgers 1972-1981, Oakland Athletics 1982-1984, Chicago Cubs 1984-1986, Houston Astros 1986-1987; As a coach - Texas Rangers 1988-1991, Baltimore Orioles 1992-1994, San Diego Padres 1995-1999 and 2003-2005, Washington Nationals 2006; As a manager - Milwaukee Brewers 2000-2002

Pictured: All pictures are from the 2009 Phillies Team Issue set.

2006 Chachi #57 Jeff Conine

Mr. Marlin . . . Jeff came to the Phillies in a late August 2006 trade with the Baltimore Orioles for infield prospect Angel Chavez. He was a huge part of the 2006 stretch run that saw the Phillies fall just short of a Wild Card berth in the Postseason.

He played in 28 games for the Phils, hitting .280 with 17 RBI.

The arrival of Jayson Werth in December 2006 led to Jeff's trade to the Reds a few days later.

Friday, April 24, 2009

2009 Goose Joak Original Eric Bruntlett

I love this card. This card appeals to me as a Phillies fan, as a father, as a husband, as someone with a beard, and as someone who spends entirely too much time creating his own baseball cards.

Before starting this blog, I spent a lot of time surfing, reading, exploring and enjoying the baseball card blogs of others on the interwebs. Somehow, I stumbled upon Dave's Goose Joak blog and I spent several hours reviewing his custom creations from the past few months.

In January, Dave decided to launch his own original 2009 card set. You can read about the 2009 Goose Joak card set and the impetus behind the project here. You can enjoy the many Phillies cards appearing in the inaugural 2009 set here. Who would have thought my 2 favorite baseball card sets from 2009 would take their names from a few lucky dogs?

2008 Chachi #2 Shane Victorino

Any questions? Shane Victorino just hit a 9th inning grand slam off the Marlins' Matt Lindstrom to give the Phillies a 6-3 lead over the Marlins. (This was quickly followed by a solo home run from Chase Utley).

Unfortunately for the Marlins' fans, this ruined a perfectly enjoyable "Bark in the Park" night in which 1,540 dogs attended the game. That's right. 1,540 dogs.

Brett Myers pitched well enough, surrendering only a 3-run home run to Dan Uggla in the 1st inning.

1956 Topps #290 Curt Simmons

For some reason, I think we met Curt Simmons at a baseball card show at some point in the mid-'80s. I could be wrong . . .

This is one of 7 1956 cards delivered by Santa (via Kit Young Cards) in 1994. Curt was the only Phillie included in the lot which contained the Roy Campanella card.

Curt pitched for the Phillies from 1947 to 1950, served our country in the Korean War (missing the 1950 World Series and the 1951 season), and came back to the Phillies from 1952 to 1960. He was an NL All-Star in 1952, 1953 and 1957. Curt ranks in the Phillies' all-time Top 10 for career wins (115), innings pitched (1,939.2), and strikeouts (1,052).

1966 Topps #170 Cookie Rojas

Cuban born Cookie Rojas played with the Phillies from 1963 until 1969, wearing #16. Primarily a 2nd baseman, Cookie played every position for the Phillies (including pitching an inning in 1967) during his tenure. 1965 was his best year, as he was named to the NL All-Star team and finished 8th in the NL in batting with a .303 average.

After his retirement, Cookie served as a coach and scout for various teams, and he managed the California Angels in 1988. He's currently providing color commentary for the Florida Marlins' Spanish radio broadcasts.

Phillies at Marlins: April 24th through April 26th

Friday & Saturday 7:10, Sunday 12:10

Records: Phillies 6-8, 3rd Place in N.L. East; Marlins 11-4, 1st Place in N.L. East
Former Phillies with the Marlins: Third baseman Wes Helms (2007), Broadcaster Tommy Hutton (1972-1977), Spanish Broadcaster Cookie Rojas (1963-1969), and Special Assistants to the President Tony Perez (1983) and Jeff Conine (2006). Catcher Ronny Paulino doesn't count. Sorry Ronny.
Did You Know?: The Phillies were 7-7 through 14 games in 2008. So relax.
Key Questions: Where is the Phillies' offense? Is Cole Hamels OK? Is Matt Stairs for real?
Phillies Probables: Brett Myers, Chan Ho Park, Jamie Moyer
Marlins Probables: Josh Johnson, Chris Volstad, Graham Taylor

Thursday, April 23, 2009

2007 Chachi #6 Wes Helms

There were snow flurries in Philadelphia on April 5, 2007. The Phillies were playing the Braves in the 3rd game of the new season in a 3:10 Thursday afternoon game. According to the official box score, the game time temperature was 43 degrees with a 24mph wind blowing from left to right. I should have been at work, but I was at the game.

Up to this point, I had attended hundreds of baseball games. Up to this point, I had never obtained a foul ball.

In the bottom of the 8th, facing the Braves' Tyler Yates, Wes Helms sent a high, majestic foul ball into the third level of Citizens Bank Park along the first base line. The ball was heading for my section. It was snowing. The only people remaining in my section at this point in the game were me and two older ladies a few rows behind me, huddled under a large fleece blanket. This was not their foul ball. Oh no my friends, this was not their foul ball.

The ball landed a few rows behind me. Through the snow and wind, I lunged over the seats, grasping for the ball. My hand closed around the ball and I held it aloft to proclaim to the masses that this foul ball was now mine and mine alone.

The two older ladies, still under their blanket, politely clapped. I triumphantly sat back down in my seat, but not before tipping my cap in their direction. They never had a chance.

1956 Topps #275 Jim Greengrass

A World War II veteran, Jim played for the Phillies in 1955 and 1956. According to the back of this card, he hit a home run in his first game as a Phillie. A little research turned up that this took place on May 1, 1955 (the first game of a double header at Shibe Park) and he hit the home run off the Cubs' Hy Cohen.

We purchased this card at a Bridgeton baseball card show in August 1989 for $1.50.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

2000 Topps #P18 David Newhan

The Phillies signed David Newhan to a minor league deal yesterday. David will serve as a player/coach for the Phils' AAA team in Lehigh Valley. He was originally acquired from the San Diego Padres in August 2000 for infielder Desi Relaford. David played a whopping 17 games with the Phillies in 2000 and 2001, hitting .217 with 1 RBI. He's played with the Orioles, Mets and Astros since.

I wanted to post a Phillies card of David, but the only Phillies card he had was a 2000 Pacific Omega card where he's pictured in a Padres' uniform. This original 2000 Topps card was created using his picture from the Phils' 2001 Yearbook.

2008 Chachi #68 Clinch Playoffs HL

With the defeat of the Brewers in the NLDS, the Phillies advanced to the NLCS for the first time since 1993. Jimmy Rollins, Joe Blanton, Pat Burrell and Brad Lidge starred for the Phils in the series clincher. Doug especially enjoyed waving his rally towel during the clinching game.

2008 Chachi #67 NLDS Game 4/Pat Burrell

NLDS Game 4 - October 5, 2008
Phillies 6, Brewers 2

From the Phillies.com report of the game: The Phillies rode four homers to a berth in the NLCS, starting with Jimmy Rollins' leadoff shot. Pat Burrell and Jayson Werth went back-to-back in the third to support a stellar Joe Blanton, and Burrell added a solo shot in the eighth.

Jimmy Rollins: "We haven't broken through anything yet, we just stepped over one hurdle. We have a lot of work to do. We're celebrating now, enjoying the moment, but as soon as we get on the plane, I guarantee we'll be ready to play ball against L.A."

2008 Chachi #66 NLDS Game 3/Jamie Moyer

NLDS Game 3 - October 4, 2008
Brewers 4, Phillies 1


From the Phillies.com report of the game: Jamie Moyer's night started off with two walks and a wild pitch, and both runners eventually scored as the Phillies couldn't put an end to the NLDS in three games. A ninth-inning rally was cut short when an obstruction call against Shane Victorino took a run off the board.

Jamie Moyer: "I wanted to be down in the zone and throw strikes. I just couldn't get any consistency. I felt better [after the first inning] throwing to both sides of the plate and forcing contact. It was too late then."

Manager Charlie Manuel: "We've got to hit. We've got to score runs. We're supposed to hit, and when we don't, I'm concerned. That's what the playoffs are about; you don't have time to go into slumps. You've got to be playing good. In order for us to go to the World Series, we've got to hit."

2008 Chachi #65 NLDS Game 2/Shane Victorino

NLDS Game 2 - October 2, 2008
Phillies 5, Brewers 2

From the Phillies.com report of the game: Shane Victorino's first career grand slam - the Phillies' first in their postseason history - broke a tie in the second inning and helped put the Phils one win away from a trip to the NLCS. Brett Myers settled down after control issues in the first for the win.

Shane Victorino: "I stayed aggressive. I took a first pitch. He [CC Sabathia] threw it for a ball. He threw the next pitch for a fastball for a strike. He left me a slider up to hit."

Brett Myers, who was on base for Victorino's slam, after battling Sabathia for a 9 pitch walk: "I didn't really hear [the crowd]. If I would've, I probably would've swung at some of those pitches. I wasn't trying to be a hero. I was just trying to work him. We were just trying to get his pitch count up."

2008 Chachi #64 NLDS Game 1/Cole Hamels

NLDS Game 1 - October 1, 2008
Phillies 3, Brewers 1

From the Phillies.com report of the game: The Phillies pounced on a Brewers error for three third-inning runs, and that's all a brilliant Cole Hamels needed for his team to win Game 1 of the Division Series. Hamels struck out nine while allowing just two hits in eight innings.

Cole Hamels, the staff ace: "I knew the importance of the game. Because of last year, I learned what it really takes - kind of mellow out, not have that sort of excitement where you can't really control everything."

Brewers' outfielder Mike Cameron, who couldn't catch up to Chase Utley's 2-run double: "You could just see the drizzle . . . Somehow, when I cut across it kind of took off a little bit."

Jim Jr. and Jim Sr. attended the game, watching several innings on the concourse TVs during the periods of heavier rain.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

1992 Bowman #367 Dale Sveum

The first time I saw Dale Sveum's 1986 Topps Traded card, I thought to myself, "I have absolutely no idea how to say this guy's name". Dale Svee-um? Dale Se-veum?

It wasn't until many years later, when I finally heard an announcer somewhere pronounce it Dale "Swaim" that I thought, "Well of course".

Dale's Phillies career was short. Wearing #8, he appeared in 54 games with the Phils in 1992 after being acquired from the Brewers for Bruce Ruffin on December 11, 1991. Good things happen on December 11th. This probably wasn't one of them.

2008 Chachi #37 R.J. Swindle

True story about R.J. Swindle . . . In desperate need of a good picture of R.J. for his 2008 Chachi card, I spent a good 2 innings taking pictures of him as he warmed up in the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs' bullpen during a game last year. In the end, unhappy with any of my pictures, I settled for this mug shot from the Iron Pigs' website. If R.J. was slightly freaked out by my picture taking, I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize.

R.J. was on the Phillies active roster for 8 days last year, making it into 3 games and compiling a 7.71 ERA. Needless to say, he was not invited back for the World Champion's Ring ceremony a few weeks ago.

Brewers at Phillies: April 21st through April 23rd

Tuesday & Wednesday 7:05, Thursday 1:05

Records: Brewers 4-8, 5th Place in N.L. Central; Phillies 5-6, 4th Place in N.L. East
Former Phillies with the Brewers: Our old friend R.J. Swindle (2008) was recalled from AAA Nashville on Thursday. Dale Sveum (1992) is now the Brewers' hitting coach after serving as the team's interim manager in 2008's NLDS against the Phillies. Bob Uecker (1966-1967) is entering his 39th year as a broadcaster for the Brew Crew.
The Phillies Room Keys to the Games: The Phillies need to score more runs than the Brewers in each game.
Brewers Probables: Manny Parra, Braden Looper, Dave Bush
Phillies Probables: Jamie Moyer, Joe Blanton, Cole Hamels

Monday, April 20, 2009

1956 Topps #274 Frank Baumholtz

This is the final card in the October 1987 Hummell's purchase trilogy, along with Mayo Smith and Murry Dickson.

Frank Baumholtz played in 76 games for the Phils in 1956, and only 2 games for the Phils in 1957. In 1952 with the Cubs, Frank finished 2nd in the NL in batting average (.325) behind Stan Musial (.336). He wore #16 for the Phillies, but he's pictured sliding into 2nd Base on this card wearing #7 - the number he wore with the Cubs. (And shouldn't there be an infielder somewhere in this picture?)

1986 Topps Traded #112T Milt Thompson

Milt Thompson is enjoying his third stint with the Phillies. In December 1985, Milt was traded with Steve Bedrosian from the Atlanta Braves for Pete Smith and Ozzie Virgil. In 1987 and 1988, Milt was the Phils' regular center fielder. In December 1988, Milt was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for Curt Ford and Steve Lake. He played with the Cards until coming back to the Phils via free agency prior to the 1993 season. He platooned with Pete Incaviglia in left field until his trade to the Houston Astros in July 1994.

Milt has been a coach with the Phillies since 2004, starting as the 1st base coach (2004) and now as the hitting coach (since 2005).

2007 Topps Chrome #361 Tim Gradoville AU

Tim Gradoville retired after the end of the 2008 season, having bounced around the Phillies' and Texas Rangers' farm systems since 2002. In a case of so close . . . yet so far away, the Phillies purchased Tim's contract from Reading on September 6, 2006, and he was assigned #38. He watched from the bench for the remainder of the 2006 season and did not appear in a game. If you look in the 2009 Phillies Media Guide at the team's all-time roster, Tim's name does not appear between Mike Grace (1995-1999) and Mike Grady (1894-1897), which I think stinks. (It's logical of course, since Tim never officially played for the Phils, but it still stinks).

Wearing #60, Tim is back with the Phillies in 2009 as the team's bullpen catcher.

1979 Burger King Phillies #17 Pete Mackanin

Pete Mackanin was named the Phillies bench coach on November 21, 2008, following the departure of former bench coach Jimy Williams. Pete appeared briefly with the Phillies in 1978 and 1979, playing in 18 games. In his last game with the Phillies, on September 26, 1979, Pete hit a solo home run off the Cardinals' Bob Sykes.

Pete previously served as an interim manager for both the Pirates (September 2005) and the Reds (July 2007 through the remainder of the season).

Sunday, April 19, 2009

2009 Topps Phillies #PHI7 Raul Ibañez

Rauuuuuuuuuuuul!!

Raul Ibañez' 9th inning walk-off home run gave the Phils a 5-4 victory today over the Padres. Raul has been hot so far this year, hitting .386 (17 for 44) with five home runs and 10 RBI. Raul's .864 slugging percentage leads the Majors.

Not that anyone is comparing Raul to Pat Burrell, but Pat is currently hitting .225 with 1 home run and 4 RBI.

2009 Chachi #27 Rich Dubee CO

I believe pitching coach Rich Dubee was one of the unsung heroes of the 2008 World Champion Phillies. For that reason, and because the 1980 Topps template I'm using for the Phillies' coaches will picture 3 coaches each and the Phillies have 7 total coaches, Rich gets his own Chachi card this year.

Phillies debut: First appeared as the Phillies pitching coach on April 4, 2005
Former team: As a coach - Florida Marlins 1998-2001
Pictured: Rich monitors Spring Training action from this picture from the 2009 Phillies Team Issue set.

2009 Chachi #26 Phillies Team/Charlie Manuel MG

Each year, the toughest card to complete for the Chachi set is the Phillies team card. It's just hard to find a good team picture anymore. For now, I'm using the 2008 Phillies team picture for this card until the 2009 team picture is taken and made available to fans. Fortunately, finding a picture of Charlie Manuel is much easier.

Charlie Manuel, manager
Phillies debut: Managed first Phillies game on April 4, 2005
Major League debut: April 8, 1969
Former teams: As a player - Minnesota Twins 1969-1972, Los Angeles Dodgers 1974-1975; As a manager - Cleveland Indians 2000-2002
2008 Postseason: Guided the Phillies to their second World Championship in franchise history.
Pictured: October 27, 2008 - World Series Game 5a, Pregame

2009 Topps Phillies #PHI15 Phillie Phanatic

Happy birthday Phanatic! Each year (usually a Sunday in April or May) the Phillie Phanatic celebrates his birthday with a pregame extravaganza. The ceremony usually includes live animals, other mascots, hijinks, and general silliness. Apparently, the theme this year was "magic" and an on-field magic show took place.

Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot of magic so far in the game, as the Padres lead 3-0 in the 3rd inning.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

1988 Fleer #318 Kent Tekulve

Brad Lidge just blew his first save since September 2007 and the atmosphere has been a little heavy in The Phillies Room over the past week. So I thought I'd lighten things up a little with a good Kent Tekulve card. Thanks Tek. I needed that.

1956 Topps #269 Jack Meyer

Jack Meyer was a Wake Forest Demon Deacon before signing with the Phillies in 1951. Originally from Philadelphia, Jack pitched with the Phils from 1955 until 1961. He retired after the 1961 season due to complications from a lingering back injury. Wearing #42, Jack's best season was his rookie season of 1955 when he led the NL in saves with 16. Sadly, Jack died of a heart attack at the age of 34 in 1967.

This was another Hummell's purchase from February 1988.

1987 Donruss Highlights #2 Mike Schmidt

"Swing and a long drive, there it is, number 500! The career 500th home run for Michael Jack Schmidt!" - Harry Kalas, April 18, 1987

"I believe [he] was recently greeted at heaven's gate with, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant'" - Mike Schmidt at the Harry Kalas memorial service, April 18, 2009

A Quick Note on the Poll & Jack Taschner

Jenna will cast the tie-breaking vote, if needed.

Also, the Jack Taschner non-Phillies photo nightmare is temporarily over.

Thank you,
The management

Friday, April 17, 2009

2009 Chachi #31 Lou Marson

Lou Marson was the winner of the Phillies' 2008 Paul Owens Award as the best player in the Phillies minor league system. I expect Lou will spend most of the season with the Phils' AAA team in Lehigh Valley, but he's up with the big club right now while Carlos Ruiz is on the DL.

Phillies debut: September 28, 2008
How acquired: Selected by Phillies in the 4th round of June 2004 draft
2008 Postseason: Lou worked out with the team before home games, but he was not on the active Postseason roster.
Pictured: September 28, 2008 - Lou is congratulated by former third base coach Steve Smith after hitting his first Major League home run.

2009 Chachi #25 Brad Lidge

The perfect season . . . Phillies closer, #54 Brad Lidge. Brad finished 4th in the 2008 NL Cy Young voting and 8th in the NL MVP voting. He converted 41 of 41 save opportunities during the regular season.

Phillies debut: April 6, 2008
Major League debut: April 26, 2002
Former team: Houston Astros 2002-2007
How acquired: Acquired from the Houston Astros with Eric Bruntlett for Michael Bourn, Geoff Geary and Mike Costanzo, November 7, 2007
2008 Postseason: Became the all-time NLCS saves leader (8) with his 3 saves against the Dodgers. In 9 Postseason appearances, went 7 for 7 in save opportunities with a 0.96 ERA and 13 strikeouts.
Pictured: October 2, 2008 - NLDS Game 2