|1976 Oklahoma City 89ers Team Issue #14, #4, #15 and #20|
One such recent search yielded me a set I had never seen offered for sale before, and it's now the oldest minor league team set* in my collection. The 1976 Oklahoma City '89ers set was issued by the Phillies Triple-A affiliate and it features 24 cards of the team's players and coaches. 1976 was the first season the '89ers franchise was affiliated with the Phillies, having spent the 1973 through 1975 seasons as the Indians' top farm club. According to my 2001version of the Standard Catalog, the set was handed out to the first 2,000 fans attending the 89ers' July 26th home game.
The team went 72-63 under their manager, future Hall of Famer Jim Bunning, finishing in second place in the West Division of the American Association behind the Denver Bears. It was Bunning's fifth and final season as a minor league manager in the Phillies organization. In 1977, Bunning was elected to the Fort Thomas, Kentucky city council in what would be the start of his political career. He retired from politics a few years ago after serving in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1987 to 1999 and in the U.S. Senate from 1999 to 2010.
|1976 Oklahoma City 89ers Team Issue #18, #6, #11 and #10|
*As I was putting together this post, I realized I only had 23 of the 24 cards in the set and the card of Dane Iorg was missing. I've contacted the seller, but I have yet to hear back from him or her as to the availability of the missing Iorg card. My guess is that I'm going to be stuck trying to track down the elusive Iorg card on my own. Frustrating, to be sure, but it's still a fantastic "set" to add to my collection.
Uniform Number, Player (Phillies Years/Major League Years)
1. Terrence Jones - of (NA)/(NA) - Jones spent six seasons in the Orioles and Phillies organizations.
2. Sergio Ferrer - inf (NA)/(1974-195, 1978-1979) - Ferrer played 125 games with the Twins and Mets.
3. Ron Clark - coach (1975)/(1966-1969, 1971-1972, 1975) - Clark played in one game with the 1975 Phillies before ending his playing career and serving as a coach for the '89ers.
4. Lonnie Smith - of (1978-1981)/(1978-1994) - Skates was a member of three World Series Champion teams, beginning with the Phillies in 1980.
6. Jim Morrison - inf (1977-1978)/(1977-1988) - Morrison enjoyed a 12-year career with the Phillies, White Sox, Pirates, Tigers and Braves.
7. Mike Buskey - inf (1977)/(1977) - A September call-up in 1977, Buskey appeared in 6 games for the Phillies, going 2 for 7 with a triple.
8. Dane Iorg - of (1977)/(1977-1986) - Iorg appeared in 12 games with the Phillies before being shipped to the Cardinals (with the next guy) as part of the Bake McBride deal.
10. Rick Bosetti - of (1976)/(1976-1982) - Bosetti appeared in 13 games with the Phillies before he and Iorg joined the Cardinals.
11. Jesus Hernaiz - rhp (1974)/(1974) - Hernaiz made 27 relief appearances for the 1974 Phillies, never making it back to the big leagues.
12. Fred Andrews - inf (1976-1977)/(1976-1977) - Andrews played in 16 games for the Phillies, before he was shipped to the Mets in March 1978 for Bud Harrelson.
|1976 Oklahoma City 89ers Team Issue #7, #12, #21 and #19|
14. Jim Bunning - manager (1964-1967, 1970-1971)/(1955-1971) - Bunning had his #14 retired by the Phillies in 2001.
15. Randy Lerch - lhp (1975-1980, 1986)/(1975-1984, 1986) - A member of the Phillies 1980 World Series squad, Lerch wasn't on the active roster for the postseason.
16. Dan Boitano - rhp (1978)/(1978-1982) - Boitano pitched one inning of one game for the Phillies in 1978.
18. Willie Hernandez - lhp (1983)/(1977-1989) - I had no idea Hernandez, who was a member of the 1983 Wheeze Kids, was once a Phillies farmhand. The Phils lost Hernandez to the Cubs in the 1976 Rule 5 draft. Hernandez enjoyed his best season in 1984, winning the MVP and Cy Young awards while helping the Tigers to a World Championship.
19. Bill Nahorodny - c (1976)/(1976-1984) - Nahorodny appeared in three games with the '76 Phils.
20. Ruben Amaro - coach (1960-1965)/(1958, 1960-1969) - Amaro Sr. also coached with the Phils in 1980 and 1981.
21. Dave Wallace - rhp (1973-1974)/(1973-1974, 1978) - Wallace appeared in 7 games with the Phillies, pitching to a 16.20 ERA in 6 2/3 innings. He spent eight seasons in the Phillies minor league system.
22. Wayne Nordhagen - of (NA)/(1976-1983) - Nordhagen put together an eight-year career with the White Sox, Blue Jays, Pirates and Cubs. He only spent a few months playing for the '89ers early in the 1976 season.
23. Quency Hill - lhp (NA)/(NA) - Hill was the player to be named later shipped to the Dodgers in the Ted Sizemore deal in December 1976. He never made it to the Majors.
24. Jack Bastable - c (NA)/(NA) - Bastable played 648 games in the minors making it as high as Triple-A Oklahoma City in 1976 and 1977.
25. John Montague - rhp (1975)/(1973-1975, 1977-1980) - Montague spent the majority of his seven-year career with the Expos, Mariners and Angels, but he did appear in 3 games with the Phillies in 1975.
26. Manny Seoane - rhp (1977)/(1977-1978) - Seoane appeared in 2 games with the Phillies in 1977 before he was traded to the Cubs for Jose Cardenal.
28. Larry Kiser - lhp (NA)/(NA) - Kiser pitched in the Phillies organization for 7 seasons, but he never donned the maroon pinstripes.
30. Bob Oliver (NA/1965, 1969-1975) - Oliver enjoyed his best seasons with the Royals in the early 1970s.
|1976 Oklahoma City 89ers Team Issue #3, #16, #25 and #26|