Number of Cards: 39
Card Size: 4 7/8" x 6 1/4"
Description: The Phillies broke the mold for their 1988 set and went with a set of supersized cards. The fronts of the cards feature full color action photos while the backs contain biographical information and complete minor and Major League statistics. The cards found in the update set have blank backs. I've always thought this was one of the more impressive team issued sets released by the Phillies, but I guess the larger size may have indirectly led to less cards in the set.
How Distributed: The 2001 Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards states that these cards weren't available in set form, but I'm deferring to the Phillies SGA database which shows the set being given away on the April 9th home game at Veterans Stadium. The set given away to fans included 30 cards and another nine cards were issued later in the season as an update set.
For what it's worth, and I believe it's wrong, the checklist for the set currently found at Beckett.com lists three different Elia cards.
Complete Standard Checklist (30): The cards are unnumbered, but I've presented them below ordered by uniform number.
First Appearances (7): Bradley, Gutierrez, Harris, Jordan, Miller, Palmer, Young
Returning Players (22): Aguayo, Bedrosian, Calhoun, Carman, Daulton, Dernier, Frohwirth, G. Gross, K. Gross, Hayes, James, Jeltz, Maddux, Parrish, Rawley, Ritchie, Ruffin, Russell, Samuel, Schmidt, Tekulve, Thompson
Veteran infielder Almon played his final 20 games with the Phillies before getting released in mid-June. The card in this set is his sole Phillies card. Miller appears on the eight-player prospect card in the base set and on a solo card in the update set.
The First Appearance designation is for players who have never before appeared within a Phillies team issued set. These players may have already appeared on other Phillies baseball cards.
Manager (2): Elia - both versions
Coaches (3): The coaches card in the base set includes Dave Bristol, Claude Osteen, Mike Ryan, Tony Taylor, Del Unser and John Vukovich. Bowa and Vukovich get solo cards in the update set.
Phillie Phanatic (1): The Phanatic is once again pictured atop his ATV.
Broadcasters (1): Features Richie Ashburn, Harry Kalas, Garry Maddox, Andy Musser and Chris Wheeler
Phillies Prospects (1): Features eight prospects on one card - Tom Barrett, Brad Brink, Steve DeAngelis, Ron Jones, Keith Miller, Brad Moore, Howard Nichols and Shane Turner. DeAngelis and Nichols never played for the Phillies.
Other Cards (1): Team card
Variations/Rarities: I'd personally consider the update set to be rare, as I've never come across a set for sale on eBay. As collector Rick e-mailed me, there's also a regular-sized Schmidt card available, featuring the same photo as his regular 1988 Tastykake card, but on a smaller scale.
Also See: 1988 Topps Phillies - Missing Links
Trivia: The Phillies fired third base coach Bristol and hitting coach Unser on July 15th. Vukovich, who had been serving as Elia's bench coach, moved over to third for a few games before the Phillies hired old friend Bowa who had recently been let go as the Padres manager. Vukovich would switch jobs again on September 23rd, taking over as interim manager when Elia was fired. Bowa apparently wore #16 in his first stint as a Phillies coach, before assuming #2 at the start of the 1989 season.
Resources: Phillies SGA 1988; Beckett.com; Philly.com - Bristol and Unser Are Fired