Showing posts with label Jeltz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jeltz. Show all posts

Sunday, October 19, 2014

1985 Tastykake Phillies


Number of Cards:  47
Card Size:  3 1/2" x 5 1/4"
Description:  Beginning in 1985, the team used the exact same card design for three straight years.  The only things differentiating the cards are the photos used and the copyright line on the bottom right of the cards' fronts.  The design removes the Phillies script logo found on the 1984 cards and adds the player's uniform number and position.
How Distributed:  All fans attending the Phillies game at Veterans Stadium on April 21, 1985, received a complete shrink-wrapped set with a header/checklist card on the top.  The back of the header/checklist card advertised that additional sets could be purchased from the Phillies via mail order for $3.50.  The Phillies raised the price of a complete set by fifty cents over the previous year.

Complete Standard Checklist:  The cards themselves aren't numbered, but I'm presenting the checklist below based on the numbered checklist found on the back of the header card.
  • Header Card/Checklist
  • John Felske MG
  • Dave Bristol CO
  • Lee Elia CO
  • Claude Osteen CO
  • Mike Ryan CO
  • Del Unser CO
  • Manager and Coaches
  • Pitchers
  • Catchers
  • Infielders
  • Outfielders
  • Larry Andersen
  • Steve Carlton
  • Dan Carman
  • John Denny
  • Tony Ghelfi
  • Kevin Gross
  • Al Holland
  • Charles Hudson
  • Jerry Koosman
  • Shane Rawley
  • Pat Zachry
  • Darren Daulton
  • Bo Diaz
  • Ozzie Virgil
  • John Wockenfuss
  • Luis Aguayo
  • Kiko Garcia
  • Steve Jeltz
  • John Russell
  • Juan Samuel
  • Mike Schmidt
  • Tim Corcoran
  • Greg Gross
  • Von Hayes
  • Joe Lefebvre
  • Garry Maddox
  • Jeff Stone
  • Glenn Wilson
  • Ramon Caraballo/Mike Diaz
  • Mike Maddux/Rodger Cole
  • Rick Schu/Chris James
  • Francisco Melendez/Ken Jackson
  • Randy Salava/Rocky Childress
  • Rich Surhoff/Ralph Citarella
  • Team Photo
One and Done (1):  Zachry
First Appearances (1):  Rawley
Returning Players (26):  Aguayo, Andersen, Carlton, Carman, Corcoran, Daulton, Denny, Diaz, Garcia, Ghelfi, G. Gross, K. Gross, Hayes, Holland, Hudson, Jeltz, Koosman, Lefebvre, Maddox, Russell, Samuel, Schmidt, Stone, Virgil, Wilson, Wockenfuss

This tells me there was very little roster turnover between the end of the 1984 season and spring training 1985, as Rawley and Zachry are the only two new additions to the set.  Along with Zachry's one and done Phillies card, this set includes the only Phillies baseball card of Rich Surhoff.

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.  (In fact, Rawley made his Phillies cardboard debut within the 1984 Fleer Update set.)

Manager (1):  Felske
Coaches (5):  Bristol, Elia, Osteen, Ryan, Unser
Phillie Phanatic (0)
Broadcasters (0)
Group Photos (5):  Manager and Coaches, Pitchers, Catchers, Infielders, Outfielders
Future Phillies (6):  Caraballo/Diaz, Maddux/Cole, Schu/James, Melendez/Jackson, Salava/Childress
Other Cards (2):  Header/checklist card, team photo

The set's designer's decided to try something different with group photos of coaches and players by position.  Batting practice pitcher Hank King is featured on the coach's card, making this (I believe) his sole Phillies baseball card.  Bill Campbell is featured on the pitcher's card and Ivan DeJesus is featured on the infielder's card, but both are omitted from the regular set.  As the regular season was about to begin, Campbell and DeJesus were traded to the Cardinals for pitcher Dave Rucker.

Of the players receiving solo cards in the regular set, Ghelfi was left off the pitcher's card, Wockenfuss was (sadly) left off the catcher's card, Garcia was left off the infielder's card and Lefebvre and Maddox were not on the outfielder's card.

Variations/Rarities:  There are no known variations or rarities to be found for this set.  Basically, once you have the original 47-card set, you're done.

Also See:  Scrapbook Sunday: September 1, 1985
Trivia:  The 1985 Tastykake Phillies set seems to be the most ubiquitous of all the team issued sets from the 1980s.  The sets can be readily found on eBay and at Citizens Bank Park.  The Memorabilia Store from Hunt Auctions located behind Section 126 had several of these sets for sale this past season.
Resources:  Phillies SGA 1985; Beckett.com

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Phillies at Marlins: September 23rd to September 25th

Tuesday and Wednesday 7:10, Thursday 4:10
Marlins Park - Miami, FL

Phillies 71-85, 5th Place in the N.L. East, 20 1/2 games behind the Nationals
Marlins 74-81, 4th Place in the N.L. East, 17 games behind the Nationals

Phillies Probables:  Cole Hamels (9-7, 2.47), Kyle Kendrick (9-13, 4.73), David Buchanan (6-8, 3.77)
Marlins Probables:  Henderson Alvarez (11-6, 2.82), Brad Hand (3-8, 4.59), Tom Koehler (9-10, 3.76)

At the Ballpark:  Thursday afternoon is the final 2014 home game for the Marlins, and all fans will receive a 2015 schedule magnet.

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Ben Revere - .308
Runs:  Jimmy Rollins - 78
Home Runs:  Marlon Byrd - 25
RBIs:  Ryan Howard - 93
1988 Topps #126 and #66
Stolen Bases:  Ben Revere - 47

Wins:  Cole Hamels and Kyle Kendrick - 9
ERA:  Cole Hamels - 2.47
Strikeouts:  Cole Hamels - 187
Saves:  Jonathan Papelbon - 37

1988 Topps Appreciation:  We're nearing the end of the road for the 1988 Topps Appreciation segments that have been featured throughout the season in these series preview posts.  Both Shane Rawley and Steve Jeltz had no other logical fit throughout the season, so here they are, tacked on like a cruel afterthought to this Marlins series preview post.  They both deserved better than this.  (Well Rawley definitely did.  Maybe not Jeltz so much.)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

1989 Topps Phillies

1989 Topps #385, #358, 1989 Topps Traded #49T and #63T
Happy new year!  Here's to a wonderful 2012 for you and your friends and family.

The 1989 season was a hot mess for the Phillies.  Mike Schmidt tearfully announced his retirement, fan favorites Chris James, Steve Bedrosian and Juan Samuel were all sent packing, and the team continued to underwhelm with another last place finish.  Here and now, with the 2012 Phillies about to begin their journey in about 45 days, I'm reminded again just how much distance there is between today's team and the team I somehow managed to root for some two decades ago.

1989 Topps #154 (Back)
The Set
Number of cards in the set:  For the eighth year in a row, Topps issued 792 cards in its base set and another 132 in its traded series.
My very brief thoughts on the set:  I never really cared for this set although I recently enjoyed flipping through the set with my son Doug.  For the record, and this is completely unofficial, there are three Doug's in the set - Dascenzo, Drabek and Jones.  We may have missed a few since we were too pre-occupied with the discovery that there are two guys named Candy in the set.  But I digress.

Was 1987 the last great Topps baseball card set (in my opinion, of course?)  When I look through the Topps base set cards from 1988 through 2011, there isn't one complete set that really stands out.  I like the 1993 set, but was it a great set?  I'm fine with chalking this observation up to the fact that the sets I like the most are sets I first encountered during my childhood.  But is there something more to it?  Has Topps produced a great, universally adored baseball card base set since 1987?  These are deep questions for a New Year's Day.
Notable competition:  Upper Deck entered the fold in 1989 with it's ground-breaking set, holograms on the back and all.  This next statement will make me sound crotchety, but baseball cards and baseball card collecting hasn't been the same since I opened that first foil-wrapped Upper Deck pack.  Fleer, Donruss and Score were all afterthoughts to me in 1989.  Topps resurrected the Bowman name in 1989 with an extra large, underwhelming set featuring the first Phillies cards of a lot of the players the team acquired prior to the start of the 1989 season.

1989 Topps #187, 1989 Topps Traded #119T, #27T and 1989 Topps #100
1989 Phillies
Record and finish:  Have I already mentioned that 1989 was a hot mess for the Phils?  The team started the year with what seemed like dozens of new faces and a bunch of more new faces would join the team before the season was over.  They managed to win two more games than in the prior year, going 67-95 on their way to a second straight last place finish.
Key players:  Von Hayes was the only consistent offensive threat in the line-up, putting up a respectable .259 average with 26 home runs and 78 RBIs.  When your next two offensive power houses are Ricky Jordan (.285, 12 home runs, 75 RBIs) and Dickie Thon (.271, 15 home runs, 60 RBIs), you know it's going to be a long year.  New second baseman Tommy Herr hit .287 and John Kruk hit .331 after being acquired from the Padres for James in June.  Ken Howell and Jeff Parrett led the pitching staff with 12 wins a piece and Roger McDowell saved 19 games for the Phils after they had shipped former closer Bedrosian to the Giants.  Rookie Pat Combs gave the team hope for the future when he won four games and pitched to a 2.09 ERA following his September call-up.
Key events:  In late May, future Hall of Famer Schmidt called a press conference in San Diego to announce his retirement.  Although he was hitting just .203 with 6 home runs at the time, his decision still came as a shock.  Steve Jeltz lost his starting shortstop job to Thon, but he did manage to hit two home runs from both sides of the plate in the same game, making him the first Phillie in history to do so.  As mentioned at the outset, GM Lee Thomas was extremely busy, trading away popular players and netting Kruk, Randy Ready, Lenny Dykstra, McDowell, Terry Mulholland, Dennis Cook and Charlie Hayes in three seperate trades.  And my hero, Bob Dernier, hit a thrilling, game-winning, inside-the-park home run against the Giants on May 15th.  The video is terrible, but it's hard not to get chills listening to the call from Harry Kalas:



1989 Phillies in 1989 Topps
Cards needed for a complete team set:  There are 28 Phillies cards in the base set and Topps added another 11 Phillies cards to its traded set.  
Who’s in:
  • Cards of the eight starting position players - 7 cards
#187 Darren Daulton (c), #358 Ricky Jordan (1b), #49T Tom Herr (2b), #119T Dickie Thon (ss), #63T John Kruk (lf), #27T Lenny Dykstra (cf), #385 Von Hayes (rf)

All three players (Mulholland, Cook and new third baseman Charlie Hayes) acquired from the Giants for Bedrosian were omitted from the traded set.  However, the players acquired from the Mets for Samuel (Dykstra and McDowell) on the same day as the Bedrosian deal, made it into the traded set as Phillies.  This baffles me.  (For the record, all three appear in Fleer's update set.)
  • Cards of the starting pitching rotation - 3 cards
#54T Ken Howell, #518 Bruce Ruffin, #154 Don Carman

1989 Topps Traded #54T, 1989 Topps #518, #154 and 1989 Topps Traded #80T
  • Base cards of players who played with the Phillies in 1989 - 19 cards
#20 Steve Bedrosian, #39 Mike Maddux, #100 Mike Schmidt, #268 Keith Miller, #298 Chris James, #349 Ron Jones, #418 Bob Dernier, #542 Todd Frohwirth, #575 Juan Samuel, #627 Greg Harris, #634 Marvin Freeman, #653 Tom Barrett, #707 Steve Jeltz, #65T Steve Lake, #79T Roger McDowell, #80T Larry McWilliams, #90T Steve Ontiveros, #95T Jeff Parrett, #102T Randy Ready
  • Base cards of players who didn't play with the Phillies in 1989 - 8 cards (with new teams listed)
#67 Dave Palmer (Tigers), #128 Milt Thompson (Cardinals), #202 Brad Moore (Phillies minors), #215 Kevin Gross (Expos), #438 Greg Gross (Astros), #470 Lance Parrish (Angels), #494 Shane Rawley (Twins), #608 Phil Bradley (Orioles)
  • Phillies Leaders card - 1 card, #489 with Mike Schmidt
  • Manager card  - 1 card, #74 Nick Leyva
1989 Topps Traded #79T, #95T, 1989 Topps #418 and #707
Who’s out:  As mentioned previously, Charlie Hayes, Mulholland and Cook were all left out, despite their prominent roles with the team, for better or worse, during the second half of the season.
Phillies on other teams:  Brace yourselves.  There are 16 players in the base set who played with the Phils in 1989 but appear on other teams.  First, here are the 11 who ended up as Phillies in the traded set - #93 Ken Howell (Dodgers), #176 Jeff Parrett (Expos), #235 John Kruk (Padres), #259 Larry McWilliams (Cardinals), #435 Lenny Dykstra (Mets), #463 Steve Lake (Cardinals), #551 Randy Ready (Padres), #692 Steve Ontiveros (Athletics), #709 Tom Herr (Twins), #726 Dickie Thon (Padres), #735 Roger McDowell (Mets).  And here are the 5 who didn't - #41 Terry Mulholland (Giants), #91 Floyd Youmans (Expos), #132 Curt Ford (Cardinals), #338 Jim Adduci (Brewers), #667 Dwayne Murphy (Tigers).
1989 Topps #74
What’s he doing here:  Parrish was traded to the Angels on October 3, 1988, the day after the 1988 season ended.  Of course, this was back in the day when the sets were coming out shortly after Thanksgiving, so it might have been too late to airbrush anyone even for a trade that early in the offseason.  But . . . the Phils hired new manager Leyva on October 3, 1988, and managed to airbrush him into a Phillies hat in time for his card to appear within the 1989 Topps set.
Cards that never were candidates:  There are a whopping 19 players who appeared with the Phillies during the 1989 season, but did not appear as Phillies in the 1989 Topps set.  I've narrowed the list down to seven players who should have had Phillies cards - Combs, Charlie Hayes, Mulholland, Cook, outfielder Dwayne Murphy (9 home runs in 98 games), outfielder Curt Ford (.218 average in 108 games) and reliever Randy O'Neal (appeared in 20 games with a 6.23 ERA).  On second thought, maybe O'Neal doesn't necessarily need a Phillies card.  Ford appears in the 1989 Bowman set as a Phillie.
Favorite Phillies card:  I have to go with Dernier's card.  It's his last major Topps baseball card and it's always been a favorite of mine.

Other Stuff
Recycled:  Schmidt's card is reprinted in the 2001 Topps Archives set.
Blogs/Websites:  For a very thorough overview of the 1989 Topps set, check out this post over at the Lifetime Topps Project.  
Did You Know?:  I was less than impressed the first time I ever saw an Upper Deck baseball card and my Dad ended up with a nasty bump on his head.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

1988 Topps Phillies

1988 Topps #600, #572, #705 and #95
This is the 38th post I've written about the Phillies appearing within the Topps baseball card sets since way back in 1951.  I've had a lot of fun researching and writing these posts and I'm looking forward to delving into the dark decade of the '90s.  Given the approaching yuletide season, the next Topps Phillies post may not appear until 2012.  You never know though . . . if there's some free time over the Christmas break and the boys are both happily playing with their new toys, I may just sneak away to rummage through my 1989 Topps binder.  (Also, this post is running a day early so that I can celebrate my son's birthday with tomorrow's post.)

1988 Topps #572 (Back)
The Set
Number of cards in the set:  Why mess with a good thing?  For the seventh straight year, Topps gave us 792 cards in the base set and a 132-card traded series.
My very brief thoughts on the set:  For the first time since 1980, Topps went back to the idea that the color purple was somehow associated with the Phillies.  There still wasn't a position listed on the front of the cards, but I liked the floating team name at the top.  It was only a few years ago that I realized that the team name is positioned just behind the top of each player's head or arm or bat.  I spent countless hours looking at these cards back in the day and I just never noticed that.
Notable competition:  The colorful Score set entered the fold in 1988, and I'll admit that some of my lawn mowing money went towards purchasing packs of the new kid on the block.  With a cool new set and my loyalty towards Topps, I pretty much ignored Fleer and Donruss in 1988.

1988 Phillies
Record and finish:  In their worst year since 1972, the Phillies finished with a record of 65-96, dead last in the East and 35 1/2 games behind the division-winning Mets.  The Phillies wouldn't lose 96 games again until 2000.
Key players:  Not one player finished with more than 20 home runs.  Right fielder Chris James had perhaps the best offensive output, hitting a lowly .242 with 19 home runs and 66 RBIs.  Mike Schmidt missed the last month and a half of the season, and his home run tally fell to 12.  Juan Samuel (.243, 12 home runs, 67 RBIs) and Lance Parrish (.215, 15 home runs, 60 RBIs) muddled along as best they could.  There were a few bright spots though as rookies Ricky Jordan (.308, 11 home runs) and Ron Jones (.290) made their debuts and Bob Dernier (.289) returned to the organization.  (Hooray!)  Kevin Gross led the pitching staff with 12 wins and Steve Bedrosian managed to save 28 games.
Key events:  The entire season was a mess.  Woody Woodward was brought in as the new GM during the offseason, but he was fired in June.  Lee Thomas was hired and he immediately started cutting personnel and players.  Manager Lee Elia and several of his coaches didn't make it through the season.  Coach John Vukovich was brought in on an interim basis to finish off the season and he went 5-4.

1988 Topps #215, #126, 1988 Topps Traded #18T and 1988 Topps #298
1988 Phillies in 1988 Topps
Cards needed for a complete team set:  There are 33 Phillies in the base Topps set and just another two Phillies cards in the traded set.  There are a ridiculous 42 Team USA cards in the traded set, which always really annoyed me.  Almost a third of the traded set were mostly guys I had never heard of before, while deserving Phillies such as Dernier, Jordan, Jones and reliever Greg Harris got shut out.
Who’s in:

  • Cards of the eight starting position players - 8 cards
#95 Lance Parrish (c), #215 Von Hayes (1b), #705 Juan Samuel (2b), #126 Steve Jeltz (ss), #600 Mike Schmidt (3b), #18T Phil Bradley (lf), #298 Milt Thompson (cf), #572 Chris James (rf)
  • Cards of the starting pitching rotation - 5 cards
#20 Kevin Gross, #415 Don Carman, #66 Shane Rawley, #79T David Palmer, #268 Bruce Ruffin

1988 Topps #20, #415, #66 and 1988 Topps Traded #79T
  • Base cards of players who played with the Phillies in 1988 - 10 cards
#38 Jeff Calhoun, #188 John Russell, #356 Luis Aguayo, #378 Todd Frohwirth, #440 Steve Bedrosian, #468 Darren Daulton, #494 Wally Ritchie, #518 Greg Gross, #543 Kent Tekulve, #756 Mike Maddux
  • Base cards of players who didn't play with the Phillies in 1988 - 7 cards (with new teams listed)
#154 Jeff Stone (Orioles), #203 Fred Toliver (Twins), #626 Glenn Wilson (Mariners), #651 Mike Jackson (Mariners), #731 Rick Schu (Orioles), #781 Keith Hughes (Orioles), #783 Ron Roenicke (Reds)
  • Phillies Leaders card - 1 card, #669
This card sums up the team's 1988 season perfectly.  Catcher Parrish looks like he'd rather be anywhere else than swatting while wearing a Phillies uniform and getting ready to catch one of the team's suspect pitchers.  Coach Mike Ryan looks on, appearing to be hot, tired and bored.
  • Phillies appearing on National League All Star Cards - 3 cards
#398 Juan Samuel, #406 Shane Rawley, #407 Steve Bedrosian
  • Manager card - 1 card, #254 Lee Elia
1988 Topps #440, #543, #268 and #642
Who’s out:  See above for my little rant about the Team USA cards in the 1988 Topps Traded set.
Phillies on other teams:  Bradley (#66 with the Mariners) and Palmer (#457 with the Braves) were the only two players to get Phillies cards in the traded series.  There were five other players in the set who spent time with the Phils in 1988 - #179 Greg Harris (Rangers), #328 Bill Dawley (Cardinals), #337 Bob Sebra (Expos), #393 Mike Young (Orioles) and #451 Bob Dernier (Cubs).
What’s he doing here:  Roenicke was released right after the 1987 season had ended, yet he's included as a Phillie in the 1988 Topps set.  I have to remind myself sometimes that this was back when the next year's releases were already in stores the preceding December.
1988 Topps #669
Cards that never were candidates:  Dernier, Jordan, Jones, Harris and probably Young - but only because he appeared in 75 games.  I'd make a manager card for Vukovich to commemorate his 9-game stint as interim manager.
Favorite Phillies card:  This is probably the toughest crop of Phillies cards from which to pick a favorite since the lackluster 1955 Topps set.  By default, I'll go with Bedrock's card since he was coming off his Cy Young season.  Schmidt's card may just be his worst Topps base card ever.

Other Stuff
Recycled:  A reprint of Tekulve's card appears in the 2001 Topps Archives set.
Blogs/Websites:  One of the original set blogs, 88 Topps Cards set the bar for all set blogs that have followed.
Did You Know?:  Long before Topps began its shenanigans with the Abe Lincoln variation cards found within packs of its 2010 set, there was of course the James K. Polk variations found within certain packs of 1988 Topps.  I'm still searching for the Frohwirth and Schu Polk variations.  Send me an e-mail if you have either of those cards available for trade.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

1987 Topps Phillies

1987 Topps #430, #255, #666 and #409
In the summer of 1987, I lovingly packed away my Star Wars and G.I. Joe men as I stood on the cusp of being a full-fledged, pimple-covered, annoying teenager.  I played video games on our Commodore 64, I played baseball (poorly), I collected baseball cards, and I started to think about girls a lot.  It was a big year for me, and a big year for Topps as they broke out the wood-grained borders for the first time since 1962.

1987 Topps #97 (Back)
The Set
Number of cards in the set:  It’s now six years in a row for the 792 base card and 132 traded card configuration.
My very brief thoughts on the set:  Love it.  I’m hoping it’s only a matter of time before Topps decides to put out another wood-grained-bordered base set. (Perhaps in 2013?)  The only minor quibble I had when the cards were first released was the lack of the player’s position on the front of the card.  Topps went with team logos on the fronts of the cards for only the second time since 1965 and they wouldn’t use team logos on their cards again until 1996.  The box containing the player’s name used the team’s actual colors, which was also a huge plus.
Notable competition:  Topps really set itself apart from the pack in 1987.   The Fleer and Donruss releases were re-hashes of their prior year sets and I remained unimpressed with Sportflics.

1987 Phillies
Record and finish:  The Phillies had a brutally disappointing season, finishing with a record of 80-82 and in fourth place behind the division winning Cardinals.
Key players:  Mike Schmidt had another great season (this would be his last great season), hitting .293 with 35 home runs and 113 RBIs.  He hit his 500th career home run on April 18th against the Pirates Don Robinson.  Juan Samuel was the offense's other bright spot, as the second baseman hit .272 with 28 home runs and 100 RBIs while stealing 35 bases.  Von Hayes (.277, 21 home runs, 84 RBIs) and Milt Thompson (.302, 46 stolen bases) also enjoyed solid seasons at the plate.  Shane Rawley led the pitching staff with 17 wins and Don Carman joined the rotation full-time, winning 13.  Closer Steve Bedrosian was awarded the National League Cy Young Award due to his stellar 40-save season in which he pitched to a 2.83 ERA in 65 games.  Kent Tekulve had another fine year out of the bullpen, appearing in a franchise record 90 games.
Key events:  The season had so much promise at the outset.  When the season started, the line-up boasted former All-Stars Lance Parrish and Mike Easler, both acquired during the off-season.  Both were busts.  Parrish hit .245 with 17 home runs and 67 RBIs in 130 games.  Easler hit OK (.282), but he was shipped back to the Yankees in June.  The big pitching acquisition was Joe Cowley, who was acquired from the White Sox in March for Gary Redus.  Cowley started 4 games, compiling a 0-4 record and a 15.43 ERA before injuries ended his season and ultimately his career.  The team's decline cost manager John Felske his job in June, and he was replaced by Lee Elia.

1987 Topps Traded #94T, 1987 Topps #294, 1987 Topps Traded #53T, 1987 Topps #97
1987 Phillies in 1987 Topps
Cards needed for a complete team set:  There are 29 cards in the base set and another 5 in the traded series for a total of 34 cards needed for a complete 1987 Topps Phillies team set.
Who’s in:
  • Cards of the eight starting position players - 8 cards
#94T Lance Parrish (c), #666 Von Hayes (1b), #255 Juan Samuel (2b), #294 Steve Jeltz (ss), #430 Mike Schmidt (3b), #53T Chris James (lf), #409 Milt Thompson (cf), #97 Glenn Wilson (rf)

Five of the eight starting position players had the photo appearing on their 1987 Topps card taken at a Spring Training game against the Expos.  When Schmidt came to bat, the photographer just pointed his camera and held down the button.
  • Cards of the starting pitching rotation - 4 cards
#771 Shane Rawley, #355 Don Carman, #499 Bruce Ruffin, #163 Kevin Gross

1987 Topps #771, #355, #499 and #163
  • Base cards of players who played with the Phillies in 1987 - 15 cards
#63 Fred Toliver, #209 Rick Schu, #329 Ron Roenicke, #379 John Russell, #532 Jeff Stone, #553 Mike Maddux, #636 Darren Daulton, #684 Kent Tekulve, #702 Greg Gross, #719 Tom Hume, #736 Steve Bedrosian, #755 Luis Aguayo, #789 Dan Schatzeder, #16T Jeff Calhoun, #103T Wally Ritchie
  • Base cards of players who didn't play with the Phillies in 1987 - 3 cards (with new teams listed)
#42 Gary Redus (White Sox), #191 Charles Hudson (Yankees), #471 Ronn Reynolds (Astros)
  • Phillies Leaders card - 1 card, #481
I was never a big fan of these cards, as I viewed these as taking spots in the set away from 26 additional players who could have had cards.  Instead of a card of Wilson, Samuel and Hayes standing around the batting cage chatting, we could have had a card of Todd Frohwirth.  We was robbed!
  • Phillies appearing on National League All Star Cards - 1 card, #597 Mike Schmidt
  • Manager cards - 2 cards, #443 John Felske and #32T Lee Elia

1987 Topps #736, #684, #702 and #209
Who’s out:  There wasn't a lot of turn-over following the 1986 season, and Topps did a great job with the Phillies player selection.  Easler could have been a good candidate for the traded set, but by the time the set was released, he was already back in the Bronx.
Phillies on other teams:  Cowley (#27) and Easler (#135) appear with the White Sox and Yankees, respectively.  Both Calhoun and Parrish ended up with Phillies cards in the traded set, but they're in the base set with the Astros (#282) and the Tigers (#791), respectively.
What’s he doing here:  I don't have any problems with Topps' Phillies player selection in the set.  Imagine that.
1987 Topps #481
Cards that never were candidates:  I'm not sure if Easler and Cowley "deserved" Phillies cards, but I'll list them here solely for the sake of completeness.  Keith Hughes made it into 37 games with the team, hitting .263.  He and reliever Michael Jackson (55 games, 3-10 record) would have to wait for the 1988 Topps set for their first Topps cards.
Favorite Phillies card:  Schu's card is great.  Gotta love a guy with a ripped knee-hole in his pants.

Other Stuff
Recycled:  Apparently, Topps is going to have an insert set with its 2012 release featuring the 1987 Topps design on mini cards.  I know I'm not alone in enjoying this recent resurgence of the mini cards.
Blogs/Websites:  There’s a 1987 Topps blog out there, but it’s been inactive since January 2010. The Godfather of Baseball Card Blogs, the aptly named The Baseball Card Blog, selected the 1987 Topps set as the best set of the 1980’s back in June 2006.
Did You Know?:  When I decided to create 1987 Topps cards for those Phillies missing from the base and traded series, the toughest part of the assignment was finding the right font to use for the players’ names.

White Sox Cards had done a really close approximation for his 1987 Topps creations using the Felt Marker font, so I tried that too.  But the names still looked a little off.  As this was in the era before I had two small boys, I decided to take the time to create a letter map, scanning and cropping each letter of the alphabet from actual 1987 Topps cards.  It was a painstakingly boring exercise, but in the end I was glad I had taken the extra step.  (Note there are a few letters missing.  Fortunately, I haven’t needed those letters yet!)  I’ll post my 1987 Topps Missing Links cards in a future post.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

1986 Topps Phillies

1986 Topps #200, #420, #736 and #475
As the Phillies continued their downward slide in 1986, I was stunned when several of my friends switched their allegiances from the Phils to other teams.  Most of these friends went on to become (gasp!) Mets fans.  Honestly, I still don't get it.  How do people just up and switch teams like that?  Sure, the Phillies of the mid to late-'80s were just plain awful, but to quickly leave behind your white and maroon for blue and orange?  The only good thing to come of this was that suddenly everyone wanted Mets cards and they were more than happy to trade away their Phillies for my Mets doubles.

I've lost touch over the years with most of my sixth grade friends, but I've wondered recently if they've since switched back to rooting for the Phillies.  The bandwagon started getting crowded again right around 2007.

1986 Topps #420 (Back)
The Set
Number of cards in the set:  For the fifth year in a row, Topps included 792 cards in its base set and added another 132 to the boxed traded set.
My very brief thoughts on the set:  1986 Topps cards were everywhere then and to an extent, they still are.  I think I could open any drawer in my house today and find a few 1986 Topps cards.  I loved the half-black border when the cards first came out, although I started to get sick of the design once I needed two 800-count boxes to house my doubles.
Notable competition:  Fleer and Donruss cards were also everywhere.  I'm not sure when the "junk wax" era officially began, but solely based on the pure amount of doubles in my collection between the years 1986 and 1989, I'm going to say the era began right around 1986.  Sportflics made its debut in 1986.  In order to buy packs of Sportflics though, we had to haul it over to the 7-11 way across town.

1986 Phillies
Record and finish:  The second place finish was nice and the 86-75 record was pretty good, but the Phils still finished 21 1/2 games behind those pesky Mets.
Key players:  This would be Mike Schmidt's last MVP-caliber season.  After moving back to third base, he won the National League MVP for the third and final time while hitting 37 home runs and driving in 119 with a .290 average.  Von Hayes took over at first and contributed 19 home runs, 98 RBIs and a .305 average in what was probably his finest season.  Juan Samuel (.266, 16 home runs, 78 RBIs, 42 stolen bases) and Glenn Wilson (.271, 15 home runs, 84 RBIs) also enjoyed fine years at the plate.  Rookie Bruce Ruffin was tasked with replacing a future Hall of Famer in the rotation, after Steve Carlton was released.  The future looked bright for the young Texan, as Ruffin compiled a 9-4 record in 21 starts with a 2.46 ERA.  The newly acquired Steve Bedrosian saved 29 games while Kent Tekulve appeared in 73 games as a solid set-up reliever.
Key events:  In mid-December 1985, the Phils traded Ozzie Virgil to the Braves for Bedrosian and Milt Thompson and then dealt John Denny to the Reds a day later for Tom Hume and Gary Redus.  Garry Maddox retired in May and Carlton was released in June, truly signaling the end of an era.  

1986 Topps #392, #453, 1986 Topps Traded #90T and #112T
1986 Phillies in 1986 Topps
Cards needed for a complete team set:  There are 32 Phillies cards in the regular set (same as 1985), but only 4 Phillies cards in the traded series, for a total of 36 cards.
Who’s in:
  • Cards of the eight starting position players - 8 cards
#392 John Russell (c), #420 Von Hayes (1b), #475 Juan Samuel (2b), #453 Steve Jeltz (ss), #200 Mike Schmidt (3b), #90T Gary Redus (lf), #112T Milt Thompson (cf), #736 Glenn Wilson (rf)
  • Cards of the starting pitching rotation - 4 cards
#764 Kevin Gross, #361 Shane Rawley, #792 Charles Hudson, #120 Steve Carlton

Ruffin would have to wait for the 1987 Topps set for his first Topps card, although he appeared in the 1986 Sportflics Rookies set.

1986 Topps #764, #361, #792 and #120
  • Base cards of players who played with the Phillies in 1986 - 14 cards
#16 Rick Schu, #39 Dave Rucker, #69 Luis Aguayo, #183 Larry Andersen, #264 Darren Daulton, #302 Greg Gross, #326 Kent Tekulve, #466 Tom Foley, #532 Don Carman, #585 Garry Maddox, #686 Jeff Stone, #689 Dave Stewart, #7T Steve Bedrosian, #47T Tom Hume
  • Base cards of players who didn't play with the Phillies in 1986 - 6 cards (with new teams listed)
#95 Ozzie Virgil (Braves), #158 Derrel Thomas (Retired), #418 Alan Knicely (Cardinals), #505 Jerry Koosman (Retired), #556 John Denny (Reds), #664 Tim Corcoran (Mets)
  • Phillies cards within The Pete Rose Years subset - 2 cards, #6 and #7
Charlie Hustle's 1980, 1981 and 1982 Topps cards are featured on card #6 and his 1983 and 1984 Topps cards are on card #7.
  • Phillies Leaders card - 1 card, #246
Carlton is pictured as the Dean of the Phillies on this card for his continuous service with the team since his acquisition from the Cardinals back in February 1972.  This would be a cool subset for Topps to resurrect.
1986 Topps #686, #16, 1986 Topps Traded #7T and 1986 Topps #326
Who’s out:  The big oversight is Ruffin, but Topps can probably be forgiven for not including the rookie in its traded set.  Ruffin came out of nowhere in '86, never having pitched above Double-A before his call-up in late June.  Ron Roenicke appeared in 102 games with the Phillies and while he merited a Phillies card in Fleer's Update set, Topps left him out of its traded set.  Catcher Ronn Reynolds (43 games) and pitchers Mike Maddux (16 starts, 3-7 record) and Dan Schatzeder (25 games, 1 save) should have also merited some consideration for inclusion within the Topps Traded set.
1986 Topps #63
Phillies on other teams:  There are eight cards in the 1986 Topps set featuring members of the 1986 Phillies squad on different teams.  First, the four players who ended up as Phillies in the traded set - #342 Gary Redus (Reds), #517 Milt Thompson (Braves), #573 Tom Hume (Reds), #648 Steve Bedrosian (Braves).  And the four players who didn't make it - #63 Ron Roenicke (Giants), #324 Dan Schatzeder (Expos), #414 Tom Gorman (Mets), #649 Ronn Reynolds (Mets).
What’s he doing here:  Thomas was granted free agency back in mid-November 1985, but he still had a card in the base Topps set.
Cards that never were candidates:  Ruffin, Roenicke, Reynolds, Maddux and Schatzeder should have cards, as should one of my personal favorites - Greg Legg.  Legg appeared in 11 games for the Phillies in 1986, going 9 for 20.  He's a life-long Phillie who is still in the organization today.  In 2011, he completed his 30th season within the organization as he served as a coach for the Single-A Lakewood BlueClaws.  He'll be back for his 31st season in 2012.
1986 Topps #246
Favorite Phillies card:  Wilson looks super mid-'80s suave with his stubble and shades, but I loved Kevin Gross' card as a kid.  I remember the Phillies had a flip-up sunglasses give-away day at The Vet, and I made sure my Dad got us tickets so that I could emulate Kevin Gross.  Ah, youth.

Other Stuff
Recycled:  Schmidt's card appears as a reprint in the 2010 Cards Your Mother Threw Out insert set.
Blogs/Websites:  The 1986 Topps Blog launched in March and it's been fun so far to follow along.  As much as I saw these cards when I was younger, I had forgotten there are some truly great cards within the set.  
Did You Know?:  49-year-old Jamie Moyer, who hopes to latch on with a team this spring and pitch in the Majors this season, made his Major League debut back on June 16, 1986 against the Phillies.  He earned the victory against Steve Carlton in what would be Lefty's penultimate appearance with the franchise.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

1985 Topps Phillies

1985 Topps #500, #454, #265 and #611
Name just about any Topps Phillies card from the 1980's and I can close my eyes and picture it in my head.  I wonder if the same could be said about kids and baseball cards today?  I sincerely hope there's some young collector out there who will one day have the same nostalgic memories about the Topps sets from the 2010s as I do about any Topps set from the 1980s.  

Go ahead and queue up "We Are the World," as we're about to look back to 1985.

1985 Topps #265 (Back)
The Set
Number of cards in the set:  Once again, it's a 792-card set with a 132-card traded set added at the end of the year.
My very brief thoughts on the set:  I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but I loved this set.  Team logos on the fronts of cards always make me happy and this set had a bunch of really cool subsets.  Had I not gone with the 1979 Topps design for the 2012 Chachi set (for sentimental reasons), the 1985 Topps design probably would have been chosen.
Notable competition:  1985 was the first year that I remember packs of Topps, Fleer and Donruss being readily available at our Wawa.  My Dad would bring home a pack or two or three upon each and every of his Wawa visits, and I was able to put together two complete Topps sets.  I collected the entire Fleer set as well, and I'm somewhat close to a second Fleer set.  (I believe Santa brought me the 1985 Donruss set.)  As kids, we loved the black borders on the Donruss cards and the gray borders on the Fleer cards.  Topps must have had a focus group of kids in place somewhere, as they decided to go with a partial black border with its 1986 issue.

1985 Phillies
Record and finish:  New manager John Felske led the Phils to a 75-87 record - the team's worst record since 1973.  They finished in fifth place, 26 games behind the Cardinals.
Key players:  By his own high standards, Mike Schmidt had an off year, hitting .277 with 33 home runs and 93 RBIs.  His ill-fated switch over to first base to make room for up-and-comer Rick Schu may have had something to do with his slight offensive drop.  Glenn Wilson led the team with 102 RBIs as his "Glennbo" commercials hit the airwaves.  Ozzie Virgil and Juan Samuel each had 19 home runs.  Steve Carlton was at the beginning of the end, as he went 1-8 with a 3.33 ERA in just 16 starts.  Kevin Gross led the pitching staff with 15 wins, followed by Shane Rawley's 13.  Kent Tekulve, acquired in a late April trade from the Pirates for Al Holland, led the team with 14 saves.
Key events:  One of the sole highlights of the season was the team's demolishing of the Mets on June 11th by a score of 26-7.  I highlighted the game in a previous Scrapbook Sunday post.  In what seemed like an earth-shaking trade at the time, the Phillies traded catcher Bo Diaz to the Reds in August for Tom Foley, Alan Knicely and Fred Toliver.

1985 Topps Traded #62T, #104T, 1985 Topps #476 and #68
1985 Phillies in 1985 Topps
Cards needed for a complete team set:  There are 32 Phillies cards in the regular set and another 7 in the traded set, for a total of 39 1985 Topps Phillies cards.  That's a seven-card drop from 1984.
Who’s in:
  • Cards of the eight starting position players - 8 cards
#611 Ozzie Virgil (c), #500 Mike Schmidt (1b), #265 Juan Samuel (2b), #62T Steve Jeltz (ss), #104T Rick Schu (3b), #476 Jeff Stone (lf), #68 Von Hayes (cf), #454 Glenn Wilson (rf)
  • Cards of the starting pitching rotation - 5 cards
#325 John Denny, #584 Kevin Gross, #636 Shane Rawley, #379 Charles Hudson, #15 Jerry Koosman

1985 Topps #325, #584, #636 and #379
  • Base cards of other players who played with the Phillies in 1985 - 14 cards
#39 John Wockenfuss, #117 Greg Gross, #185 Al Holland, #235 Garry Maddox, #302 Tim Corcoran, #360 Steve Carlton, #428 Larry Andersen, #663 Luis Aguayo, #737 Bo Diaz, #763 Kiko Garcia, #16T Don Carman, #98T Dave Rucker, #117T Kent Tekulve, #121T Derrel Thomas
  • Base cards of players who didn't play with the Phillies in 1985 - 7 cards (with new teams listed)
#130 Al Oliver (Dodgers), #157 Tug McGraw (Retired), #209 Bill Campbell (Cardinals), #531 Joe Lefebvre (Injured), #556 Sixto Lezcano (Pirates), #688 Len Matuszek (Blue Jays), #791 Ivan DeJesus (Cardinals)
  • Phillies appearing on Record Breaker cards - 1 card, #8 Juan Samuel
  • Phillies appearing on Father-Son cards - 1 card, #143 Ozzie Virgil
  • Phillies appearing on National League All Star cards - 1 card, #714 Mike Schmidt
  • Manager cards - 2 cards, #92 Paul Owens and #33T John Felske

1985 Topps #235, #302, #360 and 1985 Topps Traded #16T
Who’s out:  Phillies farm hands John Russell and Darren Daulton were again excluded from the Topps set, despite playing in 81 and 36 games respectively.  Reliever Dave Shipanoff appeared in 26 games with the club, but he didn't merit a card in the traded series either.  (Daulton made his debut in the 1985 Fleer Update set.)
Phillies on other teams:  There are three players who eventually made it as Phillies in the traded set - #125 Kent Tekulve (Pirates), #421 Dave Rucker (Cardinals) and #448 Derrel Thomas (Expos).  And three players who didn't make it - #57 Pat Zachry (Dodgers), #107 Tom Foley (Reds) and #723 Dave Stewart (Rangers)
What’s he doing here:  I don't have any qualms with the player selection.  McGraw receives a well-deserved final tribute card, as the lefty reliever had announced his retirement over the winter.  I guess Lezcano could have been replaced with another Phillie - he had become a free agent way back in November 1984.
Cards that never were candidates:  I've already shown off the ten cards that never were, but the four truly deserving players are Russell, Daulton, Shipanoff and Foley, who didn't join the club until August.
Favorite Phillies card:  Teke's first Topps Phillies card with The Vet in the background is very cool, but Wilson was a fan favorite in '85 and I have to go with his card.  Samuel's card receives an honorable mention.

Other Stuff
Recycled:  I'm sure I'm missing something here, but I can't find any instances where Topps has re-used this design for a Phillies card.  I tweaked the design with the team's modern colors for a Chachi Prototype card a few years ago.
Blogs/Websites:  Watch this space.  Night Owl has recently announced the creation of a 1985 Topps blog, set to debut in January 2012.  Totally awesome.
Did You Know?:  The big collecting hub-bub in the summer of '85 were the Team USA cards included as a subset within the 1985 Topps set.  No one in my young collecting circle was chasing the Mark McGwire card yet.  We were more interested in the cards of Oddibe McDowell, Cory Snyder and local product John Marzano.  Not one of the 15 players featured in the subset ever played for the Phillies, although Marzano played a year in the Phillies minor league system before becoming a very popular local sports personality.  Sadly, Marzano passed away in 2008 at the way too young age of 45.
Did You Know? Bonus:  I only just noticed this while placing cards from the base set next to cards from the traded series.  Topps tilted the Phillies logo a little to the right for the traded set.  I find that very strange and fascinating.

1985 Topps #8, #714, #92 and 1985 Topps Traded #33T