Number of Cards: 36
Card Size: 4" x 6"
Description: The Phillies got wild and crazy with the design of their 1996 set, doing away with the red band and white lettering used since 1989 and instead using "scruffy" white lettering as described by the set's entry in the 2001 Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards. The card backs feature biographical information along with complete career statistics, and the 1996 All-Star Game logo.
How Distributed: The original 36-card set was available for sale at Veterans Stadium throughout the season. The Catalog notes that the set was sold for $9, which seems high given that the 2014 set sold for $5. For the second year in a row, there was no update set issued.
Complete Standard Checklist: The cards are unnumbered, but I've presented them below ordered by uniform number.
First Appearances (10): Battle, Fernandez, Grace, Jordan, Ryan, Santiago, Springer, Tinsley, Whiten, Zeile
Returning Players (14): Borland, Bottalico, Daulton, Dykstra, Eisenreich, Green, Incaviglia, Jefferies, Lieberthal, Mimbs, Morandini, Mulholland, Stocker, Williams
This is the only place to find Phillies cards for short-timers Benjamin, Crawford, Frey and Leiper. 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 (1): Fregosi
Coaches (6): Bowa, Cash, Menke, Podres, Rigoli, Vukovich
Phillie Phanatic (1): The Phanatic returns to the set after a one year absence.
Commemorative Cards (0)
Variations/Rarities: I'm not aware of any variations or rarities to be found connected to this set. However . . . the Tinsley card has somehow eluded my collection for almost twenty years. I'm convinced that the original set I purchased at the Vet was missing the Tinsley card, as I can't imagine somehow, for some strange reason, misplacing the card.
As an update to my Tinsley situation, please see Rick's comments to this post. The Tinsley card was actually a card for fellow outfielder Glenn Murray, featuring his photo. I'm wondering now if the Phillies pulled the card upon noticing the error, which would explain why the set I purchased didn't include the card.
The card was reissued later in the year with the same photo but correctly containing Murray's name. Rick points out that the following cards were available at either the ALS fund raising event or they were made available to players to honor autograph requests. Scott Rolen's number when he was first recalled was #6.
Trivia: The Beckett database lists the entire 36-card set.
Resources: Beckett.com; Phillies collector Rick (@rickphils)