Thursday, January 31, 2013

2013 Topps #6 Ryan Howard

I was lucky enough to open my first packs of 2013 Topps last night, a sure sign that spring is right around the corner.  I could really relate to this post over at Uncle Doc's Card Closet celebrating the release of yet another year's Topps cards.  Like him, I clearly remember back in the day when suddenly the 1986 Topps packs were gone and packs of 1987 Topps cards were just "there" at Wawa.  No Tweets, no Facebook previews - the new cards just magically appeared one day.  And I liked it that way.

But enough of me sounding like a grumpy old-timer.

The 2013 Topps cards are out!  My Target blaster yielded just 2 1/2 Phillies - the Ryan Howard base card featured at the top of this post and two red parallels for Cliff Lee and Michael Young (featuring him with the Rangers).  The design of this year's card is very minimalist and my wife Jenna's initial thought was that the cards are reminiscent of something Upper Deck might have put out.  My only minor complaint with the design is that for the second year in a row, there's no position listed on the fronts of the cards.

Also similar to last year, the backs are very plain.  No logo, no second player photo - just a lot of text and numbers.  Topps' big marketing campaign this year is centered around "The Chase," which is supposed to entice collectors to chase down various hard to find inserts, autographs and relic cards in packs of their products.  They've gone with this theme with a line on the back of each player's cards giving a "Career Chase" update.  For Howard, the back of his card notes that he's 462 home runs away from Barry Bonds' all-time record of 762.  Ambitious, to be sure.

So there you have it . . . Another milestone of the offseason checked off the list and we're one step closer to pitchers and catchers reporting.

Past First Phillies
2010 Topps #300 Chase Utley
2011 Topps #242 Brad Lidge
2012 Topps #98 Domonic Brown

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

2013 Non-Roster Invitees - 7 More Added

2012 Topps Heritage Minors #115, #128 and #153
A sure sign that we're getting closer to pitchers and catchers reporting is that the official number of non-roster invitees now stands at 19.  Last week, the Phillies added five of their top prospects to the list of players who will wear numbers in the 60s and 70s while hoping to impress Charlie Manuel and the rest of the coaching staff.  They also added outfielder Joe Mather, who spent 2012 with the Cubs, and infielder Yuniesky Betancourt, who had a rough year last year with the Royals before earning his release in August.

For me, the most intriguing names on the list are Cody Asche and Tommy Joseph.  Asche is the heir apparent at third base for the Phillies and if all goes according to plan, he'll be manning the hot corner in 2014.  With Clearwater and Reading last season, he hit .324 with 12 home runs and 72 RBIs.  Joseph was acquired from the Giants in the Hunter Pence deal and MLB.com named him the organization's top position player.

Player (position) - 2012 Organization - Last Major Cardboard Appearance

2012 Bowman Chrome
Prospect Autographs
#BCP100
1.  Steven Lerud (c) - Phillies - 2004 Bowman #160 (Pirates)
2.  Michael Martinez (inf) - Phillies - 2012 Topps #64 (Phillies)
3.  Pete Orr (inf) - Phillies - 2008 Topps Update #UH72 (Nationals)
4.  Cesar Jimenez (lhp) - Mariners - 2009 Upper Deck #857 (Mariners)
5.  Zach Miner (rhp) - Tigers - 2009 O-Pee-Chee #314 (Tigers)
6.  Humberto Quintero (c) - Royals/Marlins/Brewers - 2012 Topps #590 (Astros)
7.  Andres Blanco (inf) - Phillies - 2007 Topps #659 (Royals)
8.  Josh Fields (3b) - Dodgers - 2010 Topps #387 (Royals)
9.  Jermaine Mitchell (of) - Athletics - 2012 Bowman Platinum Prospects Autographs #JM (Athletics)
10.  Rodrigo Lopez (rhp) - Cubs - 2007 Topps #348 (Rockies)
11.  Juan Cruz (rhp) - Pirates - 2012 Topps Update #US36 (Pirates)
12.  Aaron Cook (rhp) - Red Sox - 2011 Topps #230 (Rockies)

13.  Cody Asche (3b) - Phillies - 2012 Topps Heritage Minors #115 (Phillies)
14.  Justin Friend (rhp) - Phillies - 2012 Topps Heritage Minors #153 (Phillies)
15.  Tommy Joseph (c) - Giants/Phillies - 2012 Bowman Chrome Prospects #BCP100 (Giants)
16.  Joe Mather (of) - Cubs - 2012 Topps Update #US25 (Cubs)
17.  Adam Morgan (lhp) - Phillies - 2012 Topps Heritage Minors #128 (Phillies)
18.  Kyle Simon (rhp) - Orioles/Phillies - 2012 Bowman Chrome Prospects #BCP56 (Orioles)
19.  Yuniesky Betancourt (inf) - Royals - 2012 Topps Update #US47 (Royals)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

1979 TCMA Baseball History Series #18 Del Ennis


I was talking to my six-year-old son Doug recently about how his Pop-Pop's (my Dad's) birthday was coming up.  Dad would have been 69 today.

Doug asked if we'd still celebrate his birthday even though he wouldn't be here.  And I told him that we'd get together with his Mimi (my Mom) and his Aunt Caca (my sister) and her family to celebrate.  He thought about it for a few minutes and then he said, "I wish the Spirit of Pop-Pop could be there to blow out his candles kind of like how the Spirit of Obi-Wan visited Luke on Dagobah."

I smiled and I agreed with Doug that would definitely be awesome.  Then I heard my Dad's voice remind me, "You're a lucky man, Jimmy."

We miss you Sir.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

2013 Chachi Transactions #13 Delmon Young


Todd Zolecki's opening lines in the Phillies.com article announcing the signing of outfielder Delmon Young sums up the situation perfectly:

"The Phillies found a right-handed-hitting corner outfielder with power.  But this one comes with baggage."

Young enjoyed a decent season last year with the Tigers, hitting .267 with 18 home runs and 74 RBIs.  He had a fantastic postseason, winning the ALCS MVP honors while hitting .353 with 2 home runs and 6 RBIs against the Yankees.  Young's best season was his 2010 campaign with the Twins when he hit .298 with 21 home runs and 112 RBIs.  So the numbers have been there, but so have the problems.

Young was arrested last year in New York on aggravated harassment charges and he was suspended 50 games in 2006 for throwing his bat at an umpire.  So he's not exactly the kind of guy who makes you want to collect his baseball cards.  The other fall-out here is that the newly acquired Michael Young will now have to have "M." appended to the back of his Phillies jersey.

Moving On
Jason Pridie (10/6/12) - Filed for free agency (Signed a minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles, 11/6/12)
Tyson Brummett (10/18/12) - Claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays
David Herndon (10/23/12) - Claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays (Signed a split contract with the New York Yankees, 11/20/12)
Juan Pierre (10/29/12) - Filed for free agency (Signed with the Miami Marlins, 11/17/12)
Brian Schneider (10/29/12) - Filed for free agency
Jose Contreras (10/29/12) - Team option declined
Placido Polanco (10/29/12) - Team option declined (Signed with the Miami Marlins, 12/20/12)
Ty Wigginton (10/29/12) - Team option declined (Signed with the St. Louis Cardinals, 12/14/12)
Nate Schierholtz (11/30/12) - Non-tendered (Signed with the Chicago Cubs, 12/21/12)
Vance Worley (12/6/12) - Traded to the Minnesota Twins with Trevor May for Ben Revere
Josh Lindblom (12/8/12) - Traded to the Texas Rangers with Lisalverto Bonilla for Michael Young and cash

New Additions
Ender Inciarte (12/6/12) - Selected in the Rule 5 draft from the Arizona Diamondbacks
Ben Revere (12/6/12) - Acquired from the Minnesota Twins for Vance Worley and Trevor May
Michael Young (12/8/12) - Acquired from the Texas Rangers with cash for Josh Lindblom and Lisalverto Bonilla
Mauricio Robles (12/14/12) - Claimed off waivers from the Seattle Mariners
John Lannan (12/18/12) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Washington Nationals.
Mike Adams (12/20/12) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Texas Rangers.
Delmon Young (1/22/13) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Detroit Tigers.

Monday, January 21, 2013

1976 Oklahoma City 89ers Team Set

1976 Oklahoma City 89ers Team Issue #14, #4, #15 and #20
I've long held a certain affinity for minor league baseball cards, ever since I acquired the 1981 TCMA Oklahoma City '89ers set from the Card Doctor back in the day.  I'm not sure what draws me to minor league baseball cards.  It could be that they're harder to find (in some cases) and I enjoy the hunt.  Or it could be that I can imagine the players featured as full of hope and anxious for their shot at the Show.  Whatever the reason, I still try to track down minor league sets issued by each of the Phillies' affiliates every year.  I'll also take a break in my eBay searches for "Dernier refractor" or "Phillies oddball" and perform a search for "Oklahoma City team set" every once in a while.

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
The set is fascinating in that in features a host of former and future Phillies as well as a few players I never realized were once a part of the Phillies organization.  Only seven of the subjects featured never spent time with the Phillies, and only four of the players included in the set never made it to the Majors at all.  Since there are only 24 cards, I thought I'd take my time and look up some pertinent facts for each of the players or coaches featured.

*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

Friday, January 18, 2013

2012 Quarry Unlimited - Aaron Cook

The Phillies added two more non-roster invitees to their growing list last week, bringing the tally up to 12 players hoping to head north at the end of March.  Aaron Cook, who had just a plain awful season last year with the Red Sox and Juan Cruz, not to be confused with former Phillie Juan Perez, join the recently signed Rodrigo Lopez as veteran rightys who will get an extended look in Clearwater.

Cook spent the first 10 years of his career with the Rockies before signing with the Red Sox prior to the '12 season.  In 18 starts, he went 4-11 with a 5.65 ERA.  Over the past three seasons, he's 13-29 in 58 starts with a 5.54 ERA.  This is what is referred to as a low risk, high reward signing and if Cook can return to his All-Star form of 2008, everyone will be happy.  (Everyone except maybe Tyler Cloyd and John Lannan who are both hoping to earn the fifth spot in the rotation.)

Much to the disappointment (I'm sure) of the fans in Section 36, it appears as if Cook never received a proper Red Sox baseball card to memorialize his time in Boston.  This gave me a great excuse to feature a card from the fantastic, and comprehensive, 2012 Quarry Unlimited custom set created by the Cards from the Quarry blog.  If you haven't already checked out this awesome project, click here, and make sure you have a good half hour or so to browse the complete set.  You should also take the time to vote for your choice of the top 10 cards from the set.  I sincerely hope this project makes a return appearance in 2013.

Cruz has bounced around since 2001, pitching with the Cubs, Braves, A's, Diamondbacks, Royals, Rays and Pirates.  The Pirates released him in August last season after he refused to report to AAA following his demotion.  In 43 games with the Pirates, he pitched to a respectable 2.78 ERA over 35 2/3 innings.

Player (position) - 2012 Organization - Last Major Cardboard Appearance

1.  Steven Lerud (c) - Phillies - 2004 Bowman #160 (Pirates)
2.  Michael Martinez (inf) - Phillies - 2012 Topps #64 (Phillies)
3.  Pete Orr (inf) - Phillies - 2008 Topps Update #UH72 (Nationals)
4.  Cesar Jimenez (lhp) - Mariners - 2009 Upper Deck #857 (Mariners)
5.  Zach Miner (rhp) - Tigers - 2009 O-Pee-Chee #314 (Tigers)
6.  Humberto Quintero (c) - Royals/Marlins/Brewers - 2012 Topps #590 (Astros)
7.  Andres Blanco (inf) - Phillies - 2007 Topps #659 (Royals)
8.  Josh Fields (3b) - Dodgers - 2010 Topps #387 (Royals)
9.  Jermaine Mitchell (of) - Athletics - 2012 Bowman Platinum Prospects Autographs #JM (Athletics)
10.  Rodrigo Lopez (rhp) - Cubs - 2007 Topps #348 (Rockies)
11.  Juan Cruz (rhp) - Pirates - 2012 Topps Update #US36 (Pirates)
12.  Aaron Cook (rhp) - Red Sox - 2011 Topps #230 (Rockies)

Monday, January 14, 2013

1950 Bowman #31 Del Ennis


The final card to be featured in the "Santa Brings Way to Many Awesome Baseball Cards to Jim" series of posts is the final Bowman card I needed of one of my Dad's favorite players - Del Ennis.  For the better part of the past year, this card sat atop my Ten Most Wanted list until my Mom added it to my collection for Christmas.  One of my long-term collecting goals is to eventually have full runs of the Phillies cards featured in Bowman's sets between 1948 and 1955.  This fantastic card gets me one step closer.

To celebrate the fact that I now have all of Ennis' Bowman cards in my collection, I present below a mini-gallery of his 1950 through 1955 Bowman cards.

Thanks again Mom!

1950 Bowman #31
1951 Bowman #4
1952 Bowman #76
1953 Bowman
Color #103
1954 Bowman
#127
1955 Bowman
#17

Sunday, January 13, 2013

2009 Choice Lehigh Valley IronPigs #14 Rodrigo Lopez

The Phillies are going through an off-season transaction dry spell, having last made a move when they signed reliever Mike Adams way back on December 20th.  That changed yesterday when it was announced the team had inked former Phillie Rodrigo Lopez to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training.  Lopez will be in the mix with John Lannan and Tyler Cloyd for the fifth spot in the rotation.

Lopez earned a Chachi card back in 2009 when he briefly served as the team's fifth starter throughout July.  In total, he appeared in 7 games (starting 5), going 3-1 with a 5.70 ERA.  The Phils released him in early September 2009.

He pitched in the Cubs organization last season, making it into 4 games with the big club and surrendering 4 earned runs in 6 1/3 relief innings.  He becomes the team's 10th non-roster invitee to Spring Training.

Player (position) - 2012 Organization - Last Major Cardboard Appearance

1.  Steven Lerud (c) - Phillies - 2004 Bowman #160 (Pirates)
2.  Michael Martinez (inf) - Phillies - 2012 Topps #64 (Phillies)
3.  Pete Orr (inf) - Phillies - 2008 Topps Update #UH72 (Nationals)
4.  Cesar Jimenez (lhp) - Mariners - 2009 Upper Deck #857 (Mariners)
5.  Zach Miner (rhp) - Tigers - 2009 O-Pee-Chee #314 (Tigers)
6.  Humberto Quintero (c) - Royals/Marlins/Brewers - 2012 Topps #590 (Astros)
7.  Andres Blanco (inf) - Phillies - 2007 Topps #659 (Royals)
8.  Josh Fields (3b) - Dodgers - 2010 Topps #387 (Royals)
9.  Jermaine Mitchell (of) - Athletics - 2012 Bowman Platinum Prospects Autographs #JM (Athletics)
10.  Rodrigo Lopez (rhp) - Cubs - 2007 Topps #348 (Rockies)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

2012 Chachi #68 Jimmy Rollins HL


In late October, Jimmy Rollins nabbed his fourth Gold Glove award for his dazzling defense at shortstop.  It was his first Gold Glove since he won over three consecutive years in 2007, 2008 and 2009.  Only Mike Schmidt (10) and Garry Maddox (8) have won more Gold Gloves in franchise history.

Carlos Ruiz, who was a finalist for the award at catcher, lost out to Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina.

Here's a look back at a few other Chachi cards celebrating past Phillies Gold Glove winners:

2009 - Rollins & Shane Victorino
2010 - Victorino
2011 - Placido Polanco

Friday, January 11, 2013

2004 Phillies Want List

2004 Fleer InScribed #54
Bazooka - 4-on-1 Stickers - 26 Burrell, One-Liners - DA Allen, MS Schmidt
Bowman Chrome - 26 Millwood, 29 Lieberthal, 50 Thome, 114 Byrd, 123 Myers, 143 Abreu, 194 Giese, 219 Gonzalez, 290 Tejada
Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects - BDP169 Golson
Bowman's Best - BB-RT Tejada

Donruss Diamond Kings - Heritage Collection - 15 Carlton
Donruss Elite - Career Best - CB-23 Thome
Donruss Elite Extra Edition - 214 Carlton, 231 Happ, 292 Gamble, 301 Golson, 333 Jaramillo
Donruss Studio Update - 256 Milton
Donruss World Series - World Series - WS-74 Carlton

Fleer America's National Pastime - National Treasures - 1 Kalas
Fleer Authentix - 124 Simon
Fleer Genuine Insider - 111 Simon, 114 Howard
Fleer Greats - Glory of Their Time - 16 Schmidt
Fleer Greats Cut Signature Edition - Announcing Greats - 1 Kalas/Schmidt, Etched in Time - ET-RA Ashburn, ET-CS Short
Fleer Hot Prospects Draft Edition - 78 Golson, Hot Tandems - 2 Thome/Burrell
Fleer InScribed - 82 Schmidt
Fleer Patchworks - 109 Simon
Fleer Showcase - Hot Gloves - 13 Thome
Fleer Sweet Sigs - 78 Simon

Leaf Certified Cuts - 242 Schmidt
Leaf Certified Materials - 221 Schmidt
Leaf Limited - 216 Schmidt

MLB Showdown - 262 Thome, 263 Wolf
MLB Showdown Trade Deadline - 9 Glanville, 36 Worrell, 120 Ashburn, 125 Schmidt

Playoff Absolute Memorabilia - 207 Simon
Playoff Honors - 228 Simon
Playoff Prestige - Changing Stripes - 3 Thome, 5 Rolen, 9 Schilling
Playoff Prime Cuts - 80 Thome, 99 Carlton

Skybox Autographics - 89 Howard
Skybox LE - 145 Howard, 146 Simon

SP Game Used Patch - 30 Abreu, 62 Millwood
SP Top Prospects - 25 Abreu, 41 Burrell, 44 Thome, 303 Golson, 338 Jaramillo, 365 Happ, 392 Marson, 415 Baldwin
SPx - 110 Schmidt

Sweet Spot - 189 Thome, 225 Burrell/Thome, 240 Thome, 253 Burrell/Abreu
Sweet Spot Classic - Autographs - SSA-6 Kalas

Topps - Fall Classic Covers - FC1983 1983 World Series, FC1993 1993 World Series
Topps All-Time Fan Favorites - Autographs - Allen
Topps Clubhouse Relics - BWA Wagner, JRO Rollins, JT Thome, MS Schmidt, PB Burrell
Topps Cracker Jack - Take Me Out to the Ballgame - TB-BA Abreu, TB-JT Thome
Topps Heritage - Clubhouse Collection - BM Myers, JR Rollins, JT Thome, Double Header - 7 Thome, 26 Rollins
Topps Pristine - 1 Thome, 7 Wagner, 51 Wolf
Topps Total - Team Stickers - Phillies, Total Production - TP7 Thome, Total Topps - TT33 Thome, TT42 Abreu
Topps Tribute Hall of Fame Cut Signature Edition - 37 Klein

Ultra - 395 Floyd, Diamond Producers - 3 Thome

Upper Deck - Super Sluggers - SL-16 Thome
Upper Deck Diamond Collection Pro Signatures - 189 Michaels, Hall of Famers - HF-16 Schmidt
Upper Deck First Pitch - First & Foremost Jumbos - FF-MS Schmidt
Upper Deck Play Ball - Home Run Heroics - HH-MS Schmidt
Upper Deck Power Up - Shining Through - ST-59 Thome, ST-74 Abreu, ST-85 Millwood, Sticker Cards - PU-59 Thome, PU-73 Abreu, PU-81 Millwood, PU-87 Phillies Logo
Upper Deck Reflections - 156 Milton, 241 Millwood, 273 Thome, 326 Burrell
Upper Deck Ultimate Collection - 23 Schmidt, 30 Ashburn, 31 Roberts, 53 Abreu, 83 Thome
Upper Deck Vintage - 339 Byrd, 401 Abreu, 402 Burrell

Thursday, January 10, 2013

2012 Chachi #65 Strikeout Leaders - Cole Hamels & Cliff Lee


Presented here is the final team leader card from the 2012 Chachi set.  This year's leaders cards weren't as fun to create or present as in prior years since the totals in all offensive and pitching categories were largely underwhelming.  However, the strikeout leaders should be celebrated for doing something that has only been accomplished three other times in team history.

Cole Hamels set a career high with 216 strikeouts, crossing the 200-K threshold for the second time in his career.  He first did it back in 2010 when he struck out 211.  This was also the second 200-K season for Cliff Lee, but he wasn't close to his team leading 238 from 2011.

Hamels and Lee became the fourth duo in franchise history to both hit the 200 strikeout mark in the same season.  They join:

1965 - Jim Bunning (268) and Chris Short (237)
2010 - Roy Halladay (219) and Hamels (211)
2011 - Lee (238) and Halladay (220)

Here's the team's top ten from the soon to be forgotten 2012 season:

1.  Cole Hamels - 216
2.  Cliff Lee - 207
3.  Roy Halladay - 132
4.  Kyle Kendrick - 116
5.  Joe Blanton - 115
6.  Vance Worley - 107
7.  Jonathan Papelbon - 92
8.  Antonio Bastardo - 81
9.  Jeremy Horst - 40
10.  Michael Schwimer - 36

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

2003 Phillies Want List

2003 Bazooka #53
Similar to what I did for my 2002 Phillies want list, I've uploaded my complete 2003 Phillies list to Google Drive.  It can now be found here.

Once the cards needed are down to a more manageable level, I'll list them out in this post.  For now, I've highlighted in blue the cards in the document that I consider to be my most wanted.  The cards highlighted in yellow represent those cards that would probably be easiest to obtain via complete team set.  And just for fun, here are my very subjective ten "most wanted" Phillies cards from 2003:

1.  2003 Donruss Anniversary 1983 #7 Steve Carlton
2.  2003 Donruss Rookies Diamond King Rookies #195 Ryan Howard
3.  2003 eTopps #4 Jim Thome
4.  2003 Fleer Genuine #125 Chase Utley
5.  2003 SP Authentic #145 Jim Thome
6.  2003 SP Legendary Cuts #58 Jim Bunning
7.  2003 Topps Blue Backs Pat Burrell
8.  2003 Topps Transactions #TT-JT Jim Thome
9.  2003 Topps T205 #334 Jim Thome
10.  2003 Upper Deck 40-Man #942 Jeremy Wedel

Let's see if it takes me another 10 years to track these down.

As always, corrections or additions are very much welcome.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

1958 Topps #230 Richie Ashburn

Thanks to a tip from a family friend and my Mom, we found ourselves at the baseball card show scattered throughout the Deptford Mall on Saturday afternoon.  Jenna and Ben went in one direction while Doug and I set out to find some cool stuff.  And I'm happy to say, some cool stuff was found.

Armed with $40, a six-year-old, and all my want lists on my iPhone, I made my way to the first table.  Within 30 seconds, I spotted a cheese box jammed with top loaders and this sign sticking out the top:

"VINTAGE PHILLIES $ CHEAP $"

The card at the front of the box was the very 1951 Bowman card of Dick Sisler featured in the banner of my blog.  I took it as a sign and I also made a point to show the card to Doug.  "This was one of your Pop-Pop's favorite baseball players," I told him.  "It was?  Cool!", was his response.  He wanted to buy it, but I explained that we already had it in our collection.

The box was loaded with Phillies cards in decent shape spanning the years 1951 through 1969.  I went to work and added the following 9 cards to my collection for the grand total of $30.  The gem of the bunch was the 1958 Topps Richie Ashburn card featured at the top of this post.  Well-centered, with four nice corners and only a slight crease in the top right corner, the card set me back only $8.

1953 Topps #136 Ken Heintzelman
1954 Bowman #143 Willie Jones
1954 Bowman #223 Steve Ridzik
1955 Topps #46 Ted Kazanski
1955 Topps #167 Tom Casagrande
1958 Topps #230 Richie Ashburn
1959 Topps #452 Chico Fernandez
1959 Topps #546 Al Schroll
1962 Topps #550 Art Mahaffey

It was one of my more successful vintage baseball card hauls, and the whole thing took less than 10 minutes!

1954 Bowman #143, 1953 Topps #136 and 1954 Bowman #223

Monday, January 7, 2013

2012 Chachi #64 Victory Leaders - Hamels, Halladay & Kendrick


There are a few things wrong with this card.

Nothing against Kyle Kendrick, but when your staff boasts Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, there shouldn't be room for any other starting pitcher on a team leaders card.  Halladay and Kendrick both started 25 games during the 2012 season and it's still hard for me to wrap my brain around the fact that Kendrick's ERA (3.90) is more than a half a run less than Halladay's (4.49).  I thought it was appropriate that Halladay looks ticked off to be sharing box space with Kendrick on this card.

Hamels had a fantastic year, winning a career high 17 games and signing a six-year contract extension over the summer.

Lee started 30 games during the season, and it was very well documented that he didn't notch his first win until July 4th.  He finished with just 6 wins on the very disappointing season.  To remember happier times, please flash back to the 2011 Chachi Victory Leaders card.

Here are the rest of the team's leaders in wins for 2012:

1.  Cole Hamels - 17
2.  Roy Halladay - 11
2.  Kyle Kendrick - 11
4.  Joe Blanton - 8
5.  Cliff Lee - 6
5.  Vance Worley - 6
7.  Jonathan Papelbon - 5
8.  Raul Valdes - 3
9.  Four tied with - 2

Sunday, January 6, 2013

1986 Keller's Butter Phillies - 3 More Added


Having recently added several cool 1970s oddball Phillies cards to my collection, reader Jim (known in trading circles as mrhaverkamp) decided I also needed a few oddball Phillies cards from the 1980s.  The glorious "cards" presented here were available as part of a six-card set in 1986 attached to boxes of Keller's butter in the Philadelphia area.

I first became aware of these cards through a post over at 14,000 Phillies and shortly thereafter the proprietor of that blog sent me the Juan Samuel and Glenn Wilson cards.  With the addition of three more Keller's Butter cards, I'm now just a Mike Schmidt card away from a complete six-card set.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

2012 Chachi #62 RBI Leaders - Jimmy Rollins & Carlos Ruiz


The holidays are over, 2013 Topps Series 1 will be released soon and pitchers and catchers will report in a little over a month.  Yet I still haven't posted the final five cards from the 2012 Chachi set.  I'd love to knock these cards out before February, so here's the first of the five remaining cards.

It was very much a down year all around for the offense as it took just 68 RBIs from Jimmy Rollins and Carlos Ruiz to lead the team.  This is the first year since 2000 that the Phillies didn't have at least one player with 100 RBIs or more.  The last time that few RBIs led the team was in the strike-shortened 1994 season when Darren Daulton had 56.  Before that, we have to go back to Juan Samuel's team-leading 67 RBIs in 1988.

The rest of the top ten isn't exactly an offensive juggernaut:

1.  Jimmy Rollins - 68
1.  Carlos Ruiz - 68
3.  Hunter Pence - 59
4.  Ryan Howard - 56
5.  John Mayberry, Jr. - 46
6.  Chase Utley - 45
7.  Ty Wigginton - 43
8.  Shane Victorino - 40
9.  Domonic Brown - 26
9.  Erik Kratz - 26

Friday, January 4, 2013

Need More Machados (Maybe)

2002 Donruss Best of
Fan Club #242
Having decided to update my Phillies Want Lists for 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005, I recently began the exercise of starting at the beginning and typing into Blogger all the Phillies cards I needed from 2002.  I quickly realized a few things:

1.  This was a painful and extremely boring exercise.
2.  There were a lot of Phillies baseball cards issued during 2002 (and most likely the subsequent three years) that I really don't have a burning desire to add to my collection.  There's definitely a desire, but I'd call it tepid, at best.
3.  There's no way I'm going to type up full lists in a post (especially for 2002 and 2005) until I've parsed down the list through the purchase of team sets in lieu of going after each individual card.

So what to do?

I love the idea of having all my want lists in one central location, available to me whenever I stumble upon a random baseball card show at a Mall or if I happen to be innocently window shopping on eBay while at work.  (During lunch break, of course.)

So I'm going to try out the Google Drive thing and make my 2002-2005 Phillies want lists available for all to see.  Starting with 2002, I'll be uploading Word documents of my want lists over the coming weeks.

Please check it out and aid in my tepid quest to add more Anderson Machado, Johnny Estrada and Jorge Padilla cards to my collection!  My original 2002 Phillies Want List has also been updated with the new link.

(Additions and corrections are very much welcome.)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013 Chachi Transactions #13 Nate Schierholtz


2013 is in its infancy, and there are no new Phillies transactions to report.  However, I wanted to take this chance to post the latest Chachi Transactions card of former Phillie Nate Schierholtz and refresh the list of comings and going so far this off-season.  Hopefully the New Additions listing will see the inclusion of a corner outfielder and another reliever (or two) over the coming weeks.

Moving On
Jason Pridie (10/6/12) - Filed for free agency (Signed a minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles, 11/6/12)
Tyson Brummett (10/18/12) - Claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays
David Herndon (10/23/12) - Claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays (Signed a split contract with the New York Yankees, 11/20/12)
Juan Pierre (10/29/12) - Filed for free agency (Signed with the Miami Marlins, 11/17/12)
Brian Schneider (10/29/12) - Filed for free agency
Jose Contreras (10/29/12) - Team option declined
Placido Polanco (10/29/12) - Team option declined (Signed with the Miami Marlins, 12/20/12)
Ty Wigginton (10/29/12) - Team option declined (Signed with the St. Louis Cardinals, 12/14/12)
Nate Schierholtz (11/30/12) - Non-tendered (Signed with the Chicago Cubs, 12/21/12)
Vance Worley (12/6/12) - Traded to the Minnesota Twins with Trevor May for Ben Revere
Josh Lindblom (12/8/12) - Traded to the Texas Rangers with Lisalverto Bonilla for Michael Young and cash

New Additions
Ender Inciarte (12/6/12) - Selected in the Rule 5 draft from the Arizona Diamondbacks
Ben Revere (12/6/12) - Acquired from the Minnesota Twins for Vance Worley and Trevor May
Michael Young (12/8/12) - Acquired from the Texas Rangers with cash for Josh Lindblom and Lisalverto Bonilla
Mauricio Robles (12/14/12) - Claimed off waivers from the Seattle Mariners
John Lannan (12/18/12) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Washington Nationals.
Mike Adams (12/20/12) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Texas Rangers.