|2008 Topps #100, #460, #30 and #615|
They met up with the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series and the pure joy I experienced on October 29, 2008, when Brad Lidge struck out Eric Hinske, easily marks the high-water mark in terms of my Philadelphia Phillies fandom. And five years later I'm still rooting and still hoping to feel that pure joy again.
|2008 Topps #238 (Back)|
My very brief thoughts on the set: With the cool multi-colored circle letters at the tops of each card spelling out team names, I should love this set. But the much-maligned and blog-documented Topps "logo bump" interfering with the photos is just too annoying for me to overcome. If you've never noticed this, please check out the Redefine the Design post from Uncle Doc's Card Closet from earlier this year. The redefined design is much, much better. And not to pile on, but some of the photo choices used for the Phillies cards are just bizarre. Rollins is literally just standing around, Utley is too far away and Lidge was the recipient of an awful Photoshop job.
Notable competition: Upper Deck folded the Fleer brand in 2007, so 2008 saw the release of card sets from just two major manufacturers - Upper Deck and Topps. In a way, it was good to not have to chase so many different card sets . . . but I still miss Donruss, Fleer, Pacific, etc.
|2008 Topps #281, 2008 Topps Update #UH250, 2008 Topps #238 and #521|
Record and finish: The Phillies finished the season with a 92-70 record, three games ahead of the second place Mets. They defeated the Brewers in the N.L.D.S., 3 games to 1, and then the Dodgers in the N.L.C.S., 4 games to 1. It took them five games - with game five being played over three days due to severe weather - to defeat the Rays in the World Series.
|2008 Topps #443|
Key events: I'd call winning the franchise's second World Championship in its then 125-year history pretty key.
2008 Phillies in 2008 Topps
Cards needed for a complete team set: Here's the break-down - 15 cards in series one, 9 cards in series two, and an impressive 12 cards in the update set. That's a total of 36 Phillies cards in the 2008 Topps and Topps Update sets.
- Cards of the eight starting position players - 8 cards
#281 Carlos Ruiz (c), #100 Ryan Howard (1b), #460 Chase Utley (2b), #30 Jimmy Rollins (ss), #UH250 Pedro Feliz (3b), #615 Pat Burrell (lf), #238 Shane Victorino (cf), #521 Jayson Werth (rf)
|2008 Topps #35, #173, #262 and 2008 Topps Update #UH228|
- Cards of the starting pitching rotation - 5 cards
- Base cards of players who played with the Phillies in 2008 - 12 cards
#184 Tadahito Iguchi, #443 Greg Dobbs, #496 Brad Lidge, #573 Tom Gordon, #UH63 Eric Bruntlett, #UH81 J.C. Romero, #UH93 Chris Coste, #UH158 Chad Durbin, #UH220 Geoff Jenkins, #UH228 Joe Blanton, #UH236 Chris Snelling, #UH278 So Taguchi
- Base cards of players who didn't play with the Phillies in 2008 - 3 cards
Both Helms and Lahey were on the Phillies active roster to start the season. Helms was designated for assignment following the season opener to make room on the roster for the recently signed reliever, Rudy Seanez. Lahey was designated for assignment four games into the season when Lidge was activated from the disabled list. I wrote about both Helms' and Lahey's short time with the 2008 Phillies in this post.
- Award cards - 1 card, #233 Jimmy Rollins (N.L. MVP)
- N.L. Leaders cards - 2 cards, #58 Ryan Howard (RBI Leaders) and #298 Ryan Howard (Home Run Leaders)
- Classic Combos cards - 1 card, #98 Ryan Howard and Chase Utley
- Home Run Derby cards - 1 card, #UH184 Chase Utley
- 2008 N.L. All-Star cards - 2 cards, #UH241 Chase Utley and #UH304 Brad Lidge
- Manager card - 1 card, #632 Charlie Manuel
|2008 Topps #496, 2008 Topps Update #UH81, #UH220 and #UH93|
Who's out: Relievers Ryan Madson (76 games, 3.05 ERA) and Clay Condrey (56 games, 3.26 ERA) were both key components of the Phillies strong bullpen, but both got left out of any Topps sets in 2008. He wasn't as effective, but Seanez appeared in 42 games for the Phillies and also got shut out. Matt Stairs was acquired too late in the season to be included within the update set, but his N.L.C.S. Game 4 heroics against the Dodgers will forever endear him to Phillies fans.
|2008 Topps #134|
What's he doing here: Without a doubt, it's got to be Lahey.
Cards that never were candidates: In order to have Topps cards of everyone on the Phillies 25-man World Series roster, we need cards of the following players - Stairs, Eyre, Condrey, Madson and J.A. Happ. Happ went 1-0 with a 3.69 ERA during the regular season and pitched three innings of relief against the Dodgers in the N.L.C.S.
Favorite Phillies card: I'll go with Howard's card. Just looking at it again for purposes of this post brings back such great memories of the beginning of the team's magical run. Blanton has a great card too, and the photo actually works well with the logo bump.
Recycled: Topps Opening Day was back again this year, and the cards have a garish all-red border. The release of Topps Chrome saw the use of slightly different photos compared to what was used in the regular base set. This was a welcome change. The Topps Phillies retail set contained 14 cards and the cards of Dobbs, Jenkins and Utley featured different or cropped photos when compared to their cards appearing in the base or update sets.
Memory Lane: To date, the only World Series game we've ever attended was Game 3 of the 2008 World Series. This was the game delayed over 90 minutes at the outset and started in a steady drizzle. We braved the elements, cheered for Moyer at the outset and erupted with everyone else when Bruntlett scored the winning run on Chooch's walk-off infield hit. We didn't mind that we didn't get home until almost 3 in the morning, and our babysitter made out very well that night too.