Number of Cards: 36
Card Size: 4" x 6"
Description: The fronts feature full color photos with the player's, coach's or manager's name in large capital letters framing one of the corners of the card. Scott Rolen's card features a badge on the front celebrating his 1997 National League Rookie of the Year win, while Curt Schilling's card celebrates his league leading 319 strikeouts in 1997. The card backs feature biographical information with the Phillies wordmark logo in the background.
How Distributed: The 36-card set was available for sale at Veterans Stadium throughout the season. For the fourth 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 (12): Abreu, Arias, Beech, Brewer, Estalella, Glanville, Gomes, Lewis, McMillon, Relaford, Stephenson, Winston
Returning Players (16): Amaro, Bottalico, Brogna, Grace, Green, Hudler, Jefferies, Jordan, Leiter, Lieberthal, Parent, Portugal, Rolen, Schilling, Sefcik, Spradlin
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. (I'm including Beech and Gomes in this tally even though they had fairly rare "update" cards available at the 1996 ALS Phillies Phestival event.)
Manager (1): Francona
Coaches (6): Cisco, Cottier, Henderson, McRae, Mills, Vukovich
Phillie Phanatic (1)
Commemorative Cards (0)
Variations/Rarities: It could be said that this is the set that first tipped me off that variations and rarities existed for these team issued sets. For years, I was comfortable in the knowledge that once I purchased the complete set from the Vet, I was done for the year. As Steve F. pointed out back in the 1998 Phillies - The Missing Links post, Jon Zuber had a card produced in the same style as the rest of the 1998 team issued set, most likely to allow him to respond to autograph requests and making it his sole Phillies baseball card. I'd love to one day track down this card.
In Rick's comment below, he confirms the existence of two more cards issued at the ALS Phillies Phestival - Perez and Welch.
- 40 - Jon Zuber
- 45 - Yorkis Perez
- 47 - Mike Welch
Resources: Beckett.com; Phillies collectors Steve F. and Rick (@rickphils)