Wednesday, April 11, 2012

1999 Phillies - The Missing Links

2000 MLB Showdown 1st Edition #337, 1999 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons Team Issue #21 and #6,
1999 Multi-Ad Reading Phillies #6

I'm enjoying researching these Missing Links posts almost as much as I'm enjoying researching and composing my Topps Phillies series of posts.  I plan on continuing these posts through the 2000s, but with the caveat that I may need help as I move through that decade.  My baseball card collection from the '90s is much more comprehensive than what I currently own from the '00s.

But before we get to Y2K, here's a look at those members of the 1999 Phillies team with sparse to non-existent Phillies cardboard representation.  There were 41 different players to suit up with the Phils in 1999.

1999 Phillies Team
Issue #12
3 Cards or More
31 Players

2 Cards
Steve Montgomery (53 games in 1999) - 1999 Phillies Team Issue #57 and 2000 MLB Showdown 1st Edition #337
Tom Prince (4 games in 1999 and 46 games in 2000) - 1999 Phillies Team Issue #12 and 2000 Phillies Team Issue #22

This will sound very strange to all but a few of my readers, but I was beyond thrilled when I tracked down Montgomery's Phillies card from the MLB Showdown set.  It drove me batty that this guy appeared in so many games for the Phillies in 1999, yet he didn't have a proper (regular sized) baseball card.

1 Card
Steve Schrenk (32 games in 1999 and 20 games in 2000) - 2000 Phillies Team Issue #52
Scott Aldred (29 games in 1999 and 23 games in 2000) - 2000 Phillies Team Issue #30
Jim Poole (51 games in 1999) - 1999 Phillies Team Issue #41
Paul Spoljaric (5 games in 1999) - 1999 Phillies Team Issue #50

If not for the Phillies team issued postcard set, this quartet of relievers would have no Phillies baseball cards to their names.

1999 Phillies Team Issue #50 and #41
2000 Phillies Team Issue #52 and #30
0 Cards
Domingo Cedeno (32 games in 1999)
Torey Lovullo (17 games in 1999)
Joe Grahe (13 games in 1999)
Joel Bennett (5 games in 1999)

Cedeno never had a chance for a Phillies card as he falls into that black hole category of players acquired and released by the team within the same year.  He was acquired by the Phillies in early July from the Mariners as an emergency back-up for shortstop Alex Arias, who was forced into starting duties when Desi Relaford tore ligaments in his wrist.  Upon Relaford's return in September, Cedeno was unceremoniously released after posting a .152 average in 32 games.

1994 Topps #776
Lovullo was a September call-up for the Phillies.  He played the last of his 17 games in the Majors with the Phils, after enjoying seven seasons with the Tigers, Yankees, Angels, Mariners, A's and Indians.

Like Lovullo, Grahe was a veteran who had previously played in parts of six seasons with the Angels and Rockies.  He spent the 1999 season, his last in the Majors, between the Phillies and their Triple-A affiliate in Scranton.

Bennett was briefly forced into the starting rotation in May when Spoljaric was traded away to the Blue Jays in exchange for Robert Person.

Past Missing Link Posts


Kevin said...

I can't believe Torey Lovullo was still in the majors as late as 1999. I remember him as a rookie and Sparky Anderson was claiming he was going to be the next great thing....had to have been about 1988.

At some point I am going to get my blog going again, and am interested as well into what sets were out in the later 1990s and 2000s.

Section 36 said...

Great post.

Many years ago, I sent a TTM request to Mike Lieberthal. He sent back these oversized cards instead. I always wondered what they were. Now I see that one of them is from the 2000 team issue postcard set. The other one must be the 2001 version. Glad to finally solve the mystery!

Jim said...

I vaguely remember Lovullo playing with the Phils. I seem to recall he stuck around after his playing career and coached in the Phillies minor league system.

I think most of the Phillies players (if not all) now use these cards for autograph purposes. Every time I've gone to a team-sponsered event with players signing autographs, they've used these oversized cards.

Section 36 said...

Although, I notice yours are unsigned. I always assumed it was a fax sig on my Lieberthals. maybe not?

Jim said...

I don't think it is a facsimile - I think it's the real deal.

The cards have always been printed without facsimile autographs in order to allow space for the player's to sign.

Steve F. said...

I believe some of those cards that come back are pre-printed and not real, but others are really signed (presumably in advance for the team to deal with). For example, I just sent a card to Charlie Manuel and it came back unsigned but with an actually-signed 2011 team-issue card. But in the early 2000s I wrote to Bobby Abreu and it came back with what was clearly a printed autograph on the card (even though in all other respects the card was an exact replica of the team-issued card that year). So I think the team must get some extras printed up with autographs for the players who are too important to be bothered to even sign those in advance. I would bet that's the case with all of the stars on the team, but maybe not.

By the way, each time I've done that, I sent a self-addressed stamped envelope, and it came back in a Phillies envelope with their stamp on it. I wonder what the Phillies do with those SASEs, just toss them? Or do they count that as a perq for the interns who address the reply envelopes--"Feel free to steam off the stamp and keep it."

Steve F. said...

Check out Domingo Cedeno in that Blue Jays card. In Spanish, does Domingo mean "huge" and Cedeno mean "cap"?