Tuesday, March 8, 2011

2008 Topps Heritage #499 Cole Hamels AS

Phillies 4, Orioles 3
Spring Training Game 12 - Tuesday Afternoon, March 8th in Clearwater

One Sentence Summary:  Carlos Rivero's two-run, RBI-single in the ninth gave the Phils the victory and Cole Hamels overcame early difficulties to retire eleven consecutive Orioles.

What It Means:  Hamels started shaky, but then he turned things around.  The game started with two Oriole walks followed by a strike out, an RBI-double from Jake Fox and then a sacrifice fly.  Before fans could get settled on the berm at Clearwater, it was 2-0 Orioles.  Following Rivero's heroics in the ninth, the Phils are now an even 6-6 in Spring Training play.

Top Hitters:  Ryan Howard hit his third home run of the spring.  Shane Victorino went 2 for 3 with an RBI-double.  Rivero, who spent 2010 with the Indians' AA squad, played the last half of the game at third base went 2 for 2 with the clutch, game-winning hit.

Top Pitchers:  Hamels pitched well after the first, and Danys Baez turned in his third consecutive scoreless outing.

Featured Card:  The 2008 Topps Heritage set was released in two different series comprising 720 total cards.  The first series contained the first 500 cards of the set and it was released in February 2008.  The Update series followed in November 2008 with another 220 cards.  Of the 720 total cards, 220 are short-prints, meaning they were harder to find in packs than the other 500 cards.  (I forget what the exact short-print odds were, but I know there was maybe just one or two to a pack.)  This Hamels All-Star card is one of the 220 short-prints in the set, and it indirectly led me to stop collecting the Heritage sets.  My wife and I are close to completing master sets (short-prints, parallels and insert sets) of the Topps Heritage sets from 2002 through 2008.  But after spending a fortune to hand collate the 1958 Topps Heritage master set, we decided we had had enough.  We didn't collect the 2009 Topps Heritage set, and the streak was broken.

Other Stuff:  Domonic Brown had hand surgery this morning in Philadelphia, and he'll wear a splint for the next three to four weeks.  Jimmy Rollins continues to struggle at the plate, and he's hitting just .185 so far this spring.

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