Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
In any event, until the day the 1919 W514 Pickles Dillhoefer card enters my Phillies collection, I now have a Chachi Original to tide me over.
Photo from the Encyclopedia of Baseball Catchers.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
In any event, the "card" feels more like a piece of old fax paper, and it’s flimsier than a standard postcard. There’s nothing on the back except a few 70-year-old stains. There are 5 Phillies cards in the set, including Dolph Camilli (2 cards), Pinky Whitney, Jimmie Wilson and Jose Gomez.
Listed at 5'10" and 165 pounds, Jose "Chile" Gomez played only three seasons in the Majors – 1935 and 1936 with the Phillies and 1942 with the Washington Senators. At the time of his debut, he was just the second Mexican-born player to play in the Majors and he's the first Latin American player to play with the Phils. As a middle infielder and wearing #22, Chile hit .231 as a Phillie with 44 RBI. He never hit a big league home run.
In his native Mexico, Chile played parts of 17 seasons in the Mexican League and he was elected into the Mexican Professional Baseball Hall of Fame (Salón de la Fama del Beisbol Profesional de México) in 1971. Chile died in 1992 at the age of 83.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
If not for a second blown save in as many nights, Ryan's extra inning heroics wouldn't have been needed. This time, it was Ryan Madson who did the honors, giving up a one-out solo home run to the Pirates' Brandon Moss in the bottom of the ninth as he blew his 5th game of the year. (Madson hasn't replaced Brad Lidge; Lidge had just pitched in four consecutive games.)
He finished in the top 20 in NL MVP voting three times (1928, 1929 and 1937) and he was named to the 1936 NL All-Star team. Pinky's 124 RBI in 1932 still stands as the Phillies single-season record for a third baseman. Entering the 2009 season, he was tenth on the Phillies all-time career batting average list. Pinky retired following the 1939 season.
Nostalgia: In recent weeks, my Mom has been painstakingly scanning my grandfather’s old slides into digital files. It’s been a blast looking at decades-old pictures, and I know my Pop-Pop would have loved this new technology and the fact my Mom is taking the time to share these pictures with the family. The old family pictures got me thinking about my Pop-Pop, and I wondered if Pinky Whitney was one of his favorite players growing up. Maybe he even owned this card at some point. Pinky's Phillies Encyclopedia entry notes he was the team's captain and he "was extremely popular." My Pop-Pop would have been in his late teens in Pinky's heyday.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Records: Phillies 72-50, 1st Place in NL East (7 games ahead of the Braves); Pirates 51-71, Last Place in NL Central (19 games behind the Cardinals)
Played with the Pirates and the Phillies: Per Baseball Reference.com, 227 players have played for both the Pirates and the Phillies, including – Boom-Boom Beck, Dave Cash, Midre Cummings, Spud Davis, Jose DeLeon, Murry Dickson, Mike Easler, Woodie Fryman, Dick Groat, Harvey Haddix, Richie Hebner, Chuck Klein, Mike LaValliere, Jason Michaels, Willie Montanez, Bill Robinson, Don Robinson, Kent Tekulve, Andy Van Slyke and Bob Walk
Put ‘Em Away III: The Phils went 3-0 against the Diamondbacks, 3-1 against the Mets, and now they face the Pirates – the third worst team in the NL behind the Padres and the Nationals. The Braves start a series against the Padres tonight and the Marlins face off against the Mets in Miami. After the Pirates’ series, the Phillies face the Braves for three games at home. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an 8 or 9 game lead when that series starts?
Phillies Probables: Joe Blanton, Cole Hamels, J.A. Happ
Pirates Probables: Ross Ohlendorf, Paul Maholm, Charlie Morton
Monday, August 24, 2009
Despite my busy schedule today, and my inability to fully concentrate on this afternoon’s game, the Phillies and Mets decided to play anyway. I did get to hear a few innings of Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen’s broadcast, so I’m grateful for that.
I heard Ryan Howard’s first home run in the 1st inning (his 33rd), but I missed his second home run in the 3rd inning (his 34th). I also heard the Mets score their only two runs of the game – an unearned pair in the 1st inning. Scott and Larry spent some time recapping the events from the day before, and both were still trying to grasp the reality of Eric Bruntlett’s unassisted triple play to end the game. (As am I.) Bruntlett's jersey from the game is on its way to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
I got to listen to Cliff Lee’s last inning of work (the 7th) as the broadcasters spoke with reverence about just how amazing he's pitched. The win improved his record as a Phillie to 5-0, and his ERA is now 0.68 in the NL, which is pretty darn good. Finally, I heard Brad Lidge pitch an uneventful 9th inning to close out the game, although it was a non-save situation.
The Phils leave New York having taken 3 of 4 from the plummeting Metropolitans. With both the Braves and Marlins idle today, the Phillies were able to increase their NL East lead to 7 and 8 games, respectively, over the two trailing teams. It’s an unfamiliar sensation to be almost to September and not be actively worrying about the Phillies place in the standings. I could get used to this.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Nelson’s journey has seen him spend time with the Diamondbacks, Phillies, Brewers, Pirates and Mets. With the Phillies in 2001, wearing #57, Nelson started 13 of his 19 games pitched, compiling a record of 4-5 with a 3.94 ERA. He was waived at the end of Spring Training 2002 and claimed by the Brewers. He’s found some pitching success in his travels, mainly during the offseason while pitching in the Caribbean Series, the Taiwan Series, the Dominican League playoffs, and the Mexican Pacific League.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Don't Worry Jenna: Greg Dobbs left the game in the 4th inning with a strained right calf.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Actual Results (UPDATE, August 17): I was a little off with my prediction. The Phils won last night by a final score of 4-1. Ryan Howard drove in all four runs, adding a 3-run home run in the 6th inning to add to his solo shot from the 2nd. J.A. Happ picked up his ninth win of the season, holding the Braves to one run on three hits.
Long-time Phillie player and coach John Vukovich wasn't included in the main 1980 Topps set, but he did get his own card when Topps collaborated with Burger King for the 1980 Burger King Phillies set. Other players (and a manager) featured in this set, but not included in the Topps base set: manager Dallas Green (a mini Dallas can be found on the Phillies team card in the base set), Keith Moreland, Lonnie Smith, and Kevin Saucier. (Kevin is featured on the Phillies Future Stars card in the base set, but he gets his own Burger King card.)
For the record, if I ever decided to start a blog highlighting each card from a set, I'd have a tough time deciding between the 1956 Topps set and the 1975 Topps set.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
With that in mind, I wanted to spotlight a few blogs I've been faithfully following: first Matt R.'s Project Baseball 1976 blog and in a later post, the Dean Family's 1980 Topps blog. Reading these blogs is like flipping through my 1976 and 1980 Topps sets, but with all the background information you could ever want on the player and card featured.
I've read each of Matt's well-researched posts and I'd gladly leave the comment, "Wow. I did not know that" for each post if I knew it wouldn't get redundant and a little annoying after a while. I especially appreciate when he passes along information he's found on where the player is now, or he'll provide a link to a recent interview with the player featured.
He's up to card #176 at this point, which means there's still time to follow along and look forward to Matt's commentary on the other 484 cards in the set - especially the Kurt Bevacqua bubble gum champ card. And if you happen to have card #525 (the Billy Williams card), that's the last card he needs to complete his '76 set.
(I borrowed the 1976 Topps design as a template for my 2007 Chachi set, and this Jimmy Rollins card is the first card of the set.)
Friday, August 14, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Pictured: Pedro pitches against the Chicago Cubs in his Phillies debut, August 12, 2009
Interesting facts about Porfirio:
- At the beginning of his career, he toyed with the idea of going by Pickles Altamirano.
- Porfi pitched in 36 games for the Phillies in 1982 and 1983, all in relief.
- He was the other guy in the Bob Dernier and Gary Matthews trade with the Cubs, when the Phils acquired Bill Campbell and Mike Diaz in March 1984.
- He was fine with the Porfi nickname, but he'd fly into a violent rage if someone called him just "Porf".
- He only appeared in five games with the Cubs in 1984 and was traded to the Yankees in December of the year. However, there's no record of Porfi playing anywhere in the Yankees' system in 1985.
- In his native Nicaragua, Porfi's nickname was "El Guajiro," or The Hillbilly.
- Porfi and Vicente Padilla are the only players of Nicaraguan descent to have played with the Phillies to date.
- Two of these interesting facts are complete fabrications. (The Hillbilly nickname is not one of the fabrications.)
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Picture it . . . Route 9 in South Jersey somewhere between Strathmere and Ocean City, Summer of 1989. It's hot. Driving with my Dad, we spot a sign in front of a rancher simply stating, "Baseball Cards." We decide to stop. We may have been collecting the '73s at the time, and we were two years into our quest for '56s.
We pull into the rancher's driveway and there are no indications as to where to find these "Baseball Cards." We decide to walk around to the back yard, at which point two very large black dogs begin their pursuit of the unwanted trespassers. Our walk becomes a run. Dogs barking and closing in, I spy an open garage door and I duck inside. My Dad also spots the same garage door, but he does not duck. The sound of his head cracking against the bottom of the not-fully-open garage door must have shocked the dogs because they both slowly retreat. My Dad, seeing stars, exclaims, "Ratzafratza nogood sonovammrrrrr."
Inside the garage now, the owner of the modest display of baseball cards apologizes for the behavior of Zeus and Apollo and he explains his garage door doesn't go all the way up. He invites us to check out his wares, and we're immediately not impressed. Nothing exciting here, just a few binders of late '80s Topps, Fleer and Donruss cards.
Sensing we're about to depart, the shopkeeper invites us to check out the new-fangled "Upper Deck" cards, just released. My first impression is that they're too thin and my second impression is that the foil wrapper makes them smell weird. The hologram on the back is cool, but there's no way I'm paying $3 for a pack of baseball cards. I'm still getting used to having Score around, and now I'm going to have to collect a fifth set? No thank you, I'll pass. We thank the man for his time, and we walk back out front to our car, dejected.
We never went back, but for years we'd pass through that stretch of Route 9 and one of us would always say, "Remember that time we stopped at that guy's house and those dogs chased us . . . "
Records: Phillies 61-48, 1st Place in NL East (3½ games ahead of the Marlins); Cubs 58-52, 2nd Place in NL Central (3 games behind the Cardinals)
Monday, August 10, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
- This Jimmy Rollins Allen & Ginter relic card from Night Owl officially joined my collection. (Thank you Night Owl!)
- Chase Utley went 1-for-10 and he looked incredibly grumpy all weekend.