Friday, August 27, 2010

2010 Phillies Team Issue 2

2010 Phillies Team
Issue 2 #26
Since the early '80s, the Phillies have issued an over sized baseball card set, for sale at the ballpark.  The sets feature the entire roster, coaching staff, the Phanatic and occasionally there's a card for a recent highlight or special event.  In certain years, even the broadcast team receives its own card.  The set has had a number of sponsors over the years (Tastykake and Medford to name a few), but in recent years the sets have been released without a sponsor.

The cards are difficult to store, as they're a non-standard size (usually 4 x 6) but I store the set in 2-pocket pages in the front of every year's Phillies' baseball card binder.  For years in which there is a notable player added, or when there's been a lot of player turnover, the team issues a 2nd Edition set or an update set.  In a typical year, the Phils would put out a 36-card set at the beginning of the season and issue an "update" set in August with these variation cards.  However, the bulk of the set remained unchanged, which means I have a lot of these sets in duplicate.  (Drop me a message if you're interested in any of these cannibalized sets.)

2010 Phillies Team
Issue 2 Phanatic
That was then.  In 2010, the Phillies made the bold move of releasing a completely new set, with a bold (?)new design.  This is unprecedented and I was somewhat stunned when I found this set for sale at the ballpark recently.  (My wife wasn't as impressed, as she completely failed to recognize the historic significance of such a monumental release.)

The "new" 38-card Phillies set added cards for Domonic Brown, Wilson Valdez and Roy Oswalt while removing the broadcasters' card found in the original series.  There are all new photos within this set, which means the entire set is being displayed at the front of my 2010 Phillies' binder behind the pages with the 1st Edition cards.  But just like any discerning baseball card collector, I found several flaws within this new set.

2010 Phillies Team
Issue 2 #11
Why is J.A. Happ in the new set?  He was traded for Oswalt, and Oswalt has his own card.  The Happ card could have been replaced with a Roy Halladay perfect game highlight card.  And why is Juan Castro in the set?  He was let go by the team in mid-July, a few weeks prior to Brown's promotion and the acquisition of Oswalt.  Why not replace the Castro card with a card of Cody Ransom?  Ransom was a decent fill-in for about a month and he had a few key hits to help the Phils win a few ballgames.  Also, had the team waited a week to print these, they could have included Mike Sweeney and replaced departed hitting coach Milt Thompson's card with a card for new hitting coach Greg Gross.  And I'm not even going to go into the design here. 

Message to the Phillies:  I'm happy to pay $5 for this new set, but please consult me next year with regards to player selection and design ideas.


Matthew Appleton said...

Like you, I have a lot of those canibalized update sets. I was always annoyed with the Phillies for not selling an update pack with just the new cards. I'm not sure how I feel about the idea of a complete design for the August update, but it does at least alleviate the issue of duplicates.

By the way, Ultra Pro does make sheets for 4-6 cards -- see The only flaw with these sheets is that you have to display every third card sideways. While I know that sometimes the Phillies issue some of these cards in a horizontal format, it's certainly not every third.

Jim said...

Back when I was putting these team sets into binder pages, I debated going with the 4x6 pages. But the sideways card would just bug me too much.