Saturday, November 28, 2009

2009 Chachi #86 Checklist 1-86

In my opinion, all good baseball card sets need a checklist and that checklist should be part of the set. As a set collector growing up, I never minded whenever I'd get a checklist in a pack of cards. It was the roadmap. It was a necessary tool. Without the checklists, I'd have no idea who I needed to complete a set, let alone how many cards comprised the complete set.

The 2009 Chachi set marks the fifth year I've put together a complete team set chronicling the year that was for the Phillies. This set marks the first year I haven't created backs for each card in the set. Creating the backs was an extremely time-consuming endeavor, and the maintenance of this blog took precedence this past season. (The blog is more fun than creating the card backs for every card.) However, I needed a back for the checklist card in order to capture the complete 86-card checklist. There are some "insert" cards listed as well, some of which found their way on to the blog over the past year.

The number of cards in a complete Chachi set varies from year to year, depending on the number of Phillies players, highlights and Postseason appearances. The inaugural 2005 set contained 63 cards, followed by 71 cards in 2006, 73 cards in 2007 and 87 cards in 2008. There's no way to tell how many cards will be included in the 2010 Chachi set, but card #1, featuring the 1974 Topps design, will debut on Opening Day 2010.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Baseball Cards Magazine Repli-Cards

1992 Baseball Cards Magazine Repli-Cards #40 John Kruk
1993 Baseball Cards Magazine Repli-Cards #8 Darren Daulton

I recently completed the enjoyable task of updating my checklists and putting away the great Phillies cards received via a trade with Rhubarb_Runner. I've previously featured the Baseball Talk Robin Roberts card he sent my way.

Along with a few other oddball Phillies cards were three "repli-cards" masterfully trimmed from cardboard inserts stapled within past issues of Baseball Cards Magazine. From 1984 until 1993, Baseball Cards Magazine included these cards on cardboard panels in the center of each issue. The cards I received represent the first cards from this collection to make it into my Phillies' baseball card binders.

But here's the thing . . . I have all these cards. Stored chronologically in white magazine boxes in the corner of my basement is pretty much the full run of Baseball Cards Magazine since its inception in 1984. (I loved the early years of this magazine, but that's a post for another day.) So here's my quagmire - do I cut the Phillies repli-cards from their homes within the magazine to display within my Phillies baseball card binders? Or do I leave them as is, preserved as nature intended, but rarely viewed and enjoyed?

1991 Topps Toys R Us Rookies #6 Pat Combs

It's 3:15 in the morning and my wife is shopping. The plan was for her to meet her friend Michele at Toys R Us to scope out the Black Friday Doorbuster deals by half past three. (The Toys R Us in our area opened at midnight.) After that, it's on to Target, Best Buy and maybe Kohl's. I'm annually impressed by her enthusiasm for Black Friday and the crazy amount of money she saves on Christmas gifts in exchange for a lack of sleep.

Me? I'm still sleeping. I've scheduled this post to appear just in case Jenna decides to take an early morning shopping break and check the blog. (The chances of this happening are slim.)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

2008 Upper Deck Phillies World Series Champions Jumbo

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today I'm thankful for my family, our family's (improving) health, friends, our jobs, the 2008 and 2009 Phillies, baseball cards, the remastered White Album, Doug's toys and Peter Pan's Flight in the Magic Kingdom.

May you and yours have a wonderful day and enjoy the turkey!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

2008 Chachi #17 Jamie Moyer

Jamie Moyer was hospitalized again tonight due to "recurring symptoms from his groin surgery in September." Here's hoping Jamie is out of the hospital and feeling better soon.

NL MVP: Albert Pujols won the 2009 award, but the Phillies had four players in the top 20 in this year's MVP voting. Ryan Howard (3rd), Chase Utley (8th), Jayson Werth (17th) and Shane Victorino (18th) all received votes. The last time the Phils had four players in the top 20 of the MVP voting was 2005 - Pat Burell (7th), Jimmy Rollins (10th), Chase Utley (13th) and Bobby Abreu (14th).

The New Bruntlett: Juan Castro, who played with the Dodgers last year, has agreed to a contract with the Phils to serve as the team's back-up infielder in 2010, pending a physical. The 15-year veteran hit .277 in 57 games in 2009. In Game 2 of the NLCS, Juan pinch-ran for Jim Thome in the 8th inning. Unlike his predecessor, Juan Castro does not sport an impressive beard.

Minor Matters: The Phils signed outfielder DeWayne Wise, formerly with the White Sox, and infielder Wilson Valdez, formerly with the Mets, to minor league contracts today with invitations to Spring Training. Wise is best known for his leaping catch to preserve Mark Buehrle’s perfect game in July.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

2009 Topps #107 Pedro Feliz

Early reports indicate former Phillies third baseman Pedro Feliz could be heading to the Baltimore Orioles where he would replace the outgoing Melvin Mora. I had originally thought the signing of a Mark DeRosa or an Adrian Beltre or a Placido Polanco would be an immediate upgrade over Feliz. He drove me crazy all summer (and in the Postseason) with his complete lack of discipline at the plate. Granted, he's a rock defensively at third base, but wouldn't it be nice to upgrade offensively at the hot corner? So I was happy with the team's decision to decline his option and begin the search for his replacement.

Then I read this blurb from Bill Conlin's article in the Philadelphia Daily News this afternoon:

There are 16 free-agent third basemen. The most topical for Phillies purposes is Pedro Feliz, who showed up in Charlie Manuel's starting lineup in 158 of 162 regular season games coming off back surgery. The rocket-armed veteran gave Ryan Howard letter-high throws at first and was the most productive No. 7 hitter in the NL with 82 RBI while leading the Phillies with a .336 average when batting with runners in scoring position. [Phillies GM Ruben] Amaro set off a lively debate among his front-office advisers when he declined to pick up Pedro's $5 million option for 2010. For a few days, I thought Ruben was crazy like a fox. With the glut of free agents at the position, it seemed unlikely Feliz would be offered a starting job for that kind of money. I envisioned a scenario where Amaro would sign good-fit 3B/utility jack-of-most-positions Mark DeRosa. Then he might be able to re-sign Feliz to play third and late innings for a lower number when DeRosa is plugging other holes. However, I'm told Feliz was so hurt by being dumped after playing for two World Series teams he would not consider returning.

Wait a minute. Pedro led the team with a .336 average with runners in scoring position? And 82 RBIs is actually pretty darn good for a guy hitting behind Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth and Raul Ibañez. Should the Phils have hung on to this guy?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

1999 Pacific Invincible #111 Doug Glanville

Following a release or a waiver, it's easy for me to click on the current Phillies roster in the sidebar of this blog and delete a player's name. I'm guilty of sometimes forgetting the players I'm deleting are real people with real families. The recently departed such as Brett Myers, Eric Bruntlett and Pedro Feliz not only have to find new employers for 2010, in some cases they'll need to find a new house, a new school for their kids, a new doctor's office, a new everything.

Doug Glanville found himself in a similar position following the 2002 season. He recently wrote a fascinating piece for the New York Times in which he discusses his last year with the Phillies and his ultimate decision to leave the team. I love reading stuff like this and it would have been great to have been a fly on the wall to hear the conversation between Glanville and his mentor, Garry Maddox. I'll try to keep the human element of this offseason in mind the next time I delete a player's name from the ever-evolving 40-man roster.

Postscript: Glanville did get the chance to start with the Rangers in 2003, but a hamstring injury caused him to miss half of April and all of May. At the July 31st trade deadline, he was dealt to the Cubs to assist with their stretch run as a bench player. He came back to the Phils for one more season, serving as Marlon Byrd's back-up in 2004. In 2005, after failing to make the Yankees out of Spring Training, he signed a one-day contract with the Phillies in order to retire as a member of his home-town team.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

1951 Bowman #221 Dick Whitman

This is the third of three '51 Bowmans that found their way into my collection as birthday presents from my Dad.

Prior to the 1950 season, Dick Whitman was purchased by the Phillies from the Brooklyn Dodgers where he had played from 1946 until 1949. From 1950 until 1951, he played in 94 games with the Phils, primarily as a pinch hitter. He led the National League in pinch hits with 12 in 1950, although he went 0 for 3 as a pinch-hitter in the World Series. In June 1951, he was traded back to the Dodgers, but he wouldn't appear in another game with them. Dick bounced around the minor and independent leagues until 1957 when he called it a career.

Did You Know?: Dick served in the U.S. Army during World War II, seeing action in the Battle of the Bulge. He was awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for his service.

Almost There: There are 324 cards in the 1951 Bowman set and 25 of those cards are Phillies. I'm now just 6 cards short of a complete team set. Three of the last cards I need are in the difficult to find (and expensive) high series, so the quest may take a while.

1951 Bowman #149 Emory "Bubba" Church

This is the second of a trio of '51 Bowman Phillies cards received from my Dad for my birthday a few weeks back.

From 1950 until the beginning of the 1952 season, Bubba Church pitched in 71 games for the Phillies, splitting his time as a starter and a reliever. On September 15, 1950, his rookie season was cut prematurely short when a Ted Kluszewski line drive hit Bubba square in the face and landed in right field. The back of this Bowman card makes mention of the injury, "which required an operation," and caused Bubba to miss the 1950 World Series.

He was traded to the Reds in May 1952 for Kent Peterson and Johnny Wyrostek. Bubba played with the Reds for a few seasons (1952-1953) and finished his career with the Chicago Cubs (1953-1955).

Did You Know?: Bubba pitched a one-hitter in 1951 against the Pirates. The Pirates' lone hit came on a bloop single from Ralph Kiner which just eluded the glove of Phillies' first baseman Dick Sisler.

Friday, November 20, 2009

1951 Bowman #113 Bill "Swish" Nicholson

For my birthday in early October, my Dad added three more '51 Bowmans to the growing Phillies team set. This is one of them. Swish was born on December 11th - a very good day.

Swish played the final five seasons (1949-1953) of his 16-season career with the Phillies, serving mainly as a left-handed power bat off the bench. He gained his nickname due to his penchant for seemingly either striking out or hitting a home run each time at-bat. Swish wore #12 during his days with the Phils - the number most recently worn by another Phillie, also a left-handed power bat off the bench, with a penchant for strike outs and home runs.

Before his stint with the Phillies, Swish was a five-time All-Star with the Chicago Cubs, twice leading the league in home runs and RBIs (1943 & 1944).

Swish missed the 1950 pennant race and World Series, due to his struggles with diabetes. He retired following the 1953 season with 235 career homers and 948 career RBIs.

Did You Know?: On July 23, 1944, after hitting four consecutive home runs against the Giants in a double header, Swish was intentionally walked with the bases loaded in the 7th inning of the second game. The Giants would hang on to defeat the Cubs, 12-10. He is one of only six players in Major League history to be intentionally walked with the bases loaded. Barry Bonds (1998) and Josh Hamilton (2008) are the two most recent players in this group of six.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

1982 TCMA Baseball's Greatest Sluggers #40 Cy Williams

My Nana turned 90 today, and even though I'm fairly certain she doesn't frequent my blog, I wanted to wish her a very happy birthday. Happy birthday Nana! (Birthday wishes were also conveyed in person.)

During Nana's first summer, the 1920 Phillies were not a very good team. With a record of 62 and 91, the Phils finished last in the National League, 30½ games behind the Brooklyn Dodgers.

One of the bright spots on the '20 Phillies was center fielder Cy Williams. Cy led the NL in home runs with 15 (that's right - 15), and finished fifth in the league with a .325 average. He played 19 seasons in the big leagues - 13 of those seasons with the Phillies from 1918 until 1930. In 1986, he was inducted posthumously into the Phillies Wall of Fame.

Other Cool Stuff: He attended Notre Dame and played football with Knute Rockne . . . Cy was the first National League player to reach the 200 home run plateau . . . Entering the 2008 season, Cy appears on the Phillies all-time top 10 lists for hits, RBIs, home runs and slugging percentage . . . His 41 home runs and 114 RBIs in 1923 are still the top marks in a season for a Phillies center fielder.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2009 Topps Update & Highlights #UH30 J.A. Happ

NL Rookie of the Year voting was announced on Monday and the Marlins' Chris Coghlan edged out the Phillies' J.A. Happ for the award. Happ faltered somewhat in September and made only one start in the Postseason, but he still had an incredible rookie year. Happ finished with a 12-4 record, a 2.93 ERA (8th in the NL) and he tied for 1st in the NL in shutouts with 2. (Five NL pitchers had shutouts in 2009, including Cole Hamels.)

Happ joins Kyle Kendrick (5th in 2007), Marlon Byrd (4th in 2003), Jimmy Rollins (3rd in 2001) and Pat Burrell (4th in 2000) as Phillies receiving ROY votes in the '00s, but not enough votes to win.

Four Phillies have won the award since its inception in 1947, as voted on by the Baseball Writers' Association of America: Jack Sanford (1957), Richie Allen (1964), Scott Rolen (1997) and Ryan Howard (2005).

Welcome: The Phils added three prospects to their 40-man roster today - lefty pitcher Yohan Flande, righty pitcher Jesus Sanchez and outfielder Quintin Berry. Rosters need to be set by Friday to protect players from the annual Rule 5 draft and the Phils currently have 10 open spots to fill.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Favorite On-Card Autos - Memories of Ocean City

1982 Ocean City Baseball Card Show Postcard - Del Ennis
1983 Girard Great Phillies Moments #3 Art Mahaffey

The proprietors of Dinged Corners recently asked fellow baseball card bloggers to list their three favorite on-card autographs. These are cards on which the autograph landed by placing pen to cardboard, instead of the signor signing a sticker and someone from the card company affixing the sticker to cardboard. Autographed baseball cards the way autographed baseball cards are supposed to be.

My all-time favorite on-card autograph was recently featured following the Phillies World Series Game 5 victory. His Whiteness signed his '59 Topps card for me in person at a baseball card show we attended in Cherry Hill - I think. (Why do I think it was Cherry Hill?)

I've often waxed nostalgic for the long gone Ocean City baseball card shows. Both cards featured here were obtained in person, with my Dad, while attending past Ocean City shows. (I know the Del Ennis autograph isn't technically on a baseball card, but it's still one of my most prized possessions.) I clearly remember standing in line at those shows, waiting for Del Ennis' and Art Mahaffey's autographs. You could hear the waves crashing and gulls calling through the open windows on the Music Pier and I most likely took a break from flipping through Diamond Dust's '75 Topps binder to get these autographs. I didn't really know who these guys were at the time, but my Dad seemed to be in awe of them, so I knew they were special.

I've added dozens of on-card autographs to my Phillies collection since then, but they don't mean nearly as much as these three.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

1989 Topps Baseball Talk #40 Robin Roberts

Thanks to the wonders of the internet and my ability to figure out how to download updated drivers for my scanner, scanning capabilities have returned to The Phillies Room. (I don't know what a driver is, what caused it to depart my computer, or how it affects my scanner, but it is now updated.)

A week prior to our Disney trip I completed a trade with David, aka Rhubarb_Runner. In exchange for a stack of Twins cards from his wantlists, David sent over a wonderful collection of Phillies cards from my wantlists, and included a few oddball cards I had never seen. Featured here is one of those cards. This "card" is from a 164-card set issued jointly by Topps and LJN Toy Co. in 1989. According the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards, the plastic disc on the back featured a short biography that could be heard by inserting the card into a hand-held player. The biographies are narrated by either Don Drysdale, Joe Torre or Mel Allen. I totally missed these when they first came out, and this is the first time I've ever seen one of these "Baseball Talk" cards. Pretty cool.

Thanks to David's generosity, I've added several '63 Topps, a few '70 Topps and 20 or so '74 Topps cards that look as if they're straight from a vending box to my Phillies collection. Along with the Roberts oddball card, David also included several "repli-cards" masterfully cut from the inserts of a few early '90s Baseball Cards Magazines. I hope to feature a few of these cards in the coming weeks. Thanks again David!

Friday, November 13, 2009

2009 Chachi #84 World Series Game 6/Defeated

World Series Game 6 - November 4, 2009
Yankees 7, Phillies 3

This is not a game I particularly care to remember or to recap. Suffice it to say, it was not an enjoyable game. The Yankees soundly defeated the Phillies in Game 6, winning their 27th World Championship.

The Damn Yankees took a 2-0 lead in the 2nd when Hideki Matsui golfed a Pedro Martinez fastball into deep right. In total, the eventual World Series MVP would explode for 6 RBIs on three hits in the game. The Phils got a run back in the 3rd when Chooch tripled and Jimmy Rollins drove him in with a sac fly. But that was pretty much the extent of the Game 6 excitement for a Phillies' fan.

In the bottom of the 3rd, the Yankees started another rally when Shane Victorino misplayed a Derek Jeter fly ball, resulting in a single for the Yankees' captain. Matsui knocked in two more with the bases loaded in the inning, making in 4-1 Yankees. After the Yanks scored three more in the 5th, to give them a commanding 7-1 lead, it was all but over. Ryan Howard hit a 2-run homer in the 6th, but it wouldn't be enough.

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera recorded the last five outs of the game for the save. I watched the first two outs of the top of the 9th inning, but as of this writing I have yet to see the final out. I saw Shane Victorino send a weak grounder to second and I turned off the TV and went to bed.

Down and Out: This was also the day I started figuring out I was sick. What I thought was a simple cold turned out to be the flu, and our Disney trip took a significant detour. Doug caught it too and we spent the final days of our trip in various stages of grumpiness and/or slumber. I beat it first and then Doug beat it and thankfully Jenna never caught it.

Best Tweet: From beat writer Andy Martino at phillieszone - Robin Roberts in clubhouse. Would be fully rested for a potential Game 7.

Mission Accomplished: The Phillies didn't accomplish their mission, but Doug certainly did. He informed us prior to leaving for "Mickey's House" that he wanted to say hello to Buzz and Woody during his visit. Not only did he get to tell them hello, he also gave them hugs and high fives and informed Woody, "There's a snake in my boots!" Woody seemed amused. And for the record, by my unofficial tally, there were many, many more Phillies fans in Disney than Yankees fans.

2009 Chachi #83 World Series Game 5/Chase Utley

World Series Game 5 - November 2, 2009
Phillies 8, Yankees 6

No matter what the outcome, tonight's ballgame was going to be the last game played in Philadelphia in 2009. Staff ace Cliff Lee came through again, pitching 7 solid innings and ensuring the Phils would make a trip to the Bronx for Game 6.

Lee was erratic in the 1st, perhaps weighed down by the magnitude of this potential elimination game for the Phils. The Yankees scored first in the top of the 1st when Johnny Damon scored on an Alex Rodriguez double. The Phils would quickly jump back into things in the bottom of the inning. Jimmy Rollins singled, Shane Victorino was plunked and Chase Utley homered (the first non-solo home run for the Phillies this series) and the good guys led, 3-1.

The Phils chased Yankees starter A.J. Burnett in the 3rd, scoring twice more and taking a 5-1 lead. Chase Utley's solo home run in the 7th gave the Phils a 7-2 lead and landed Chase in the record books with his 7th career World Series home run. Phillies announcer Larry Andersen christened Chase as the first "Mr. Octember." Just to make sure the last few innings were comfortable for the bullpen, Raul Ibañez added a solo shot a few batters later to make it 8-2 . . . and they would need the cushion. The Yankees would score four times in the 8th and 9th innings, but the Phils hung on to force one more game.

He is the Man: Chase Utley's fifth home run of the 2009 World Series tied him with Reggie Jackson for most home runs in a single World Series. Reggie accomplished the feat in 1977.

Public Service Announcement: If you have a toddler and are weighing your dining options while at Disney's Animal Kingdom, you should steer clear of the Rainforest Cafe. Doug was terrified, terrified, of the swinging monkeys, roaring elephants, dangling snakes and the overall noise of the place. We switched tables a few times, but eventually made our exit. Earlier in the day, Doug loved the Kilimanjaro Safari. As we rode through the safari, he turned to me with a huge grin and exclaimed, "This is cool!" And of course, he loved giving Mickey a high five.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

2009 Chachi #85 Gold Gloves HL

The 2009 National League Rawlings Gold Glove winners were announced this afternoon and both Jimmy Rollins (shortstop) and Shane Victorino (outfield) retained their places on the team. This is the third consecutive Gold Glove for Jimmy and it's Shane's second in a row.

Jimmy became the fifth Phillie to win at least three Gold Gloves, joining the elite group of Mike Schmidt (10), Garry Maddox (8), Manny Trillo (3) and Scott Rolen (3). Shane became the first Phillies outfielder to win consecutive Gold Gloves since the original Secretary of Defense accomplished the feat from 1975 to 1982.

Fare Thee Well, Eric: I happened to check the Transactions tab on the Phillies website today and noticed Eric Bruntlett had been dropped from the team's 40-man roster. He's currently listed as a minor league free agent. Eric will be forever remembered as the guy who scored the game winning runs in Games 3 and 5 of the 2008 World Series. He also turned a memorable unassisted triple play earlier this year.

The Complete Set: Unless J.A. Happ wins the NL Rookie of the Year honors on Monday, the 2009 Chachi set will have only three more cards - #83 World Series Game 5, #84 World Series Game 6 and the Checklist at #86.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

2009 Chachi #82 World Series Game 4/Pedro Feliz

World Series Game 4 - November 1, 2009
Yankees 7, Phillies 4

The Phillies lost their first ever game played in November in excruciating fashion, giving the Yankees a commanding 3-1 lead in the World Series. In terms of painful losses, this loss could be compared to the agonizing 1993 World Series Game 6 loss courtesy of Mitch Williams and Joe Carter. (I just used excruciating, painful and agonizing in the first paragraph - this should be a great post.)

The Yankees jumped on Phillies starter Joe Blanton early, scoring two in the 1st inning. The Phils quickly got one back in the bottom of the 1st on a Chase Utley RBI-double. After that, Blanton and Yankees starter CC Sabathia settled in for a few innings. In the 4th, after Ryan Howard singled and stole second to start the inning, Pedro Feliz singled him home to tie the game. The tie would be short-lived however when Blanton walked Nick Swisher to start the Yankees' 5th, and he'd ultimately come around to score. (Don't walk the lead-off guy after your team ties the game, Joe!) The Yankees would eventually score twice to regain the lead, 4-2.

CC's final pitch of the night resulted in a Chase Utley solo home run in the 7th, to make it 4-3 Yankees. With two outs and a full count in the bottom of the 8th, Pedro Feliz lined a solo home run to left off Joba Chamberlain, and I may have awakened a zebra. (More on that later.)

And then it all went horribly wrong. Brad Lidge retired the first two Yankees in the top of the 9th, and had two strikes against Johnny Damon. It all happened so fast: Damon bloops a single to left, Damon steals second, notices no one is covering third and steals third, Teixeira gets drilled, A-Rod doubles, Damon scores, Posada singles to left, scoring Teixeira and A-Rod, 7-4 Yankees, Mariano Rivera pitches 1-2-3 bottom of 9th, game over. Excruciating.

In the Jungle: We watched this game from our room at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. Unbelievably, zebras, giraffes and gazelles were roaming the savanna during the game, viewable from our balcony. Earlier in the day, we grooved with Frozone and Mr. Incredible at the Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It Street Party at the Magic Kingdom. Jenna's highlight was watching Doug react to the 4-D Mickey's Philharmagic movie, especially during the "Be Our Guest" segment.

Monday, November 9, 2009

2009 Chachi #81 World Series Game 3/Jayson Werth

World Series Game 3 - October 31, 2009
Yankees 8, Phillies 5

Had this been 2008, an early 3-run lead with Cole Hamels on the mound would be all the Phillies would need to practically guarantee a victory. Unfortunately, this is 2009 and the night quickly turned into Cole's Halloween Horrors.

The home crowd was electric as Cole finally took the mound an hour and twenty minutes after the scheduled start of the game, due to the obligatory World Series Game 3 rain delay. Jayson Werth put the Phillies on the board first with a solo home run to lead off the 2nd inning. Jimmy Rollins drew a bases loaded walk for the Phils' second run of the game and one batter later, Shane Victorino's sac fly to left scored the third run.

Cole's night started to unravel in the 4th inning after he had retired 10 of the first 11 Yankee batters. Following a walk to Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez got the Yankees within a run with an instant-replay reviewed and approved 2-run home run. The Yanks plated three more in the 5th and Cole's night was over. The Phillies bullpen then allowed solo runs in the 6th, 7th and 8th innings.

Solo home runs from Jayson Werth (his second of the night) in the 6th and Carlos Ruiz in the 9th closed the gap a little, but it was not enough. With the 8-5 win, the Yankees took a 2-1 lead in the World Series.

He Said What?:
Following Game 3, when asked to comment upon his disappointing 2009 season, Cole Hamels reportedly responded he "can't wait for it to end." This is not the type of quote that will endear you to Phillies fans, Cole.

MIA: After three games, Ryan Howard is 2 for 13 with 9 strikeouts. Jimmy Rollins is 2 for 10.

Downtown Disney on Halloween: If you're considering spending Halloween in Downtown Disney next year - don't. The place was a madhouse since there were various free candy pick-ups scattered throughout the marketplace. And the heat (88 degrees) precluded Doug from donning his Buzz Lightyear costume. All was not lost as we made a pitstop at the Lego store and added a Lego circus train to Doug's growing collection.

2010 Chachi Ex-Phillies

2010 Chachi Ex-Phillies #X1 Brett Myers
2010 Chachi Ex-Phillies #X2 Pedro Martinez

Twenty-eight people cast their votes in the poll to help decide which Topps set should be used as the basis for the 2010 Chachi set. Amazingly enough, the results fell in line with how I was hoping the poll would turn out (voters could vote more than once):

1974 Topps - 11 votes
1983 Topps - 10 votes
1971 Topps - 8 votes
1982 Topps - 2 votes

To commemorate the 1974 Topps set's victory, I'm featuring the first two ex-Phillies of the offseason. Brett Myers and Pedro Martinez filed for free agency on Friday, and they join Miguel Cairo and Pedro Feliz as members of the 2009 NL Champs who most likely won't return next year. I thought Brett Myers had pitched his final game as a Phillie back in May, but to his credit, he worked his way back from injury. It was a fun ride with Pedro, although I'm not convinced he was the right choice to start Game 6.

There's still some unfinished business with the 2009 Chachi set - I need to complete the World Series cards (unfortunately) and a checklist is needed. The 2010 Chachi set will debut on Opening Day, April 5, 2010.

Friday, November 6, 2009

1982 Donruss #585 Phillies Finest

We planned our Disney trip months in advance, without once considering the Phillies would be in the midst of their second consecutive World Series. With the Series tied at a game a piece, and with my rally towel packed, we arrived Saturday afternoon at the Happiest Place on Earth. We were ready for a week filled with rides and character greetings during the day and Phillies baseball at night. I was ready for a week of sensory overload.

The night before departing for our trip, my scanner died, perhaps overwhelmed by the Braulio Castillo baseball card I had forced it to endure. Fortunately, before it had fizzled out, I had scanned in a number of cards to post in order to celebrate each Phillies victory. Unfortunately, I was able to post just one celebratory baseball card following the team's Game 5 victory on Monday night. Presented here is one of my favorite Phillies baseball cards, which would have appeared had Pedro Martinez not been abused by Hideki Matsui in Game 6.

I'm disappointed in the outcome of the World Series - as are most non-Yankees fans. However, this is indeed a great time to be a Phillies fan, and there's a lot to look forward to during the Hot Stove season. I'm certainly not wishing away the winter, but it will be a happy day in February when the calendar tells us, "Pitchers and Catchers Report".

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

1999 SkyBox Premium #274 Scott Rolen

Pitchers and catchers will report to Spring Training in a little over three months.

The Phillies: Doing it again in '10.

Phillies at Yankees: November 4th through November 5th

Wednesday & Thursday 7:57

The Glass is Half Full: A win Wednesday night will force a Game 7. A win Thursday night will give the Phillies a World Championship title for the second year in a row.
Phillies Probables: Pedro Martinez, Cole Hamels
Yankees Probables: Andy Pettitte, CC Sabathia