Sunday, February 28, 2010

Scrapbook Sunday: February 23, 1992

1992 Fleer ProCards #2462 Lee Elia

It's cold and gray in New Jersey. There has been snow on the ground for about a month. To counter this, I'm going with a scrapbook page from Spring Training 1992, featuring palm trees and two former Phillies managers in shorts.

Lee Elia managed the Phillies in 1987 and 1988, but new general manager Lee Thomas fired him with 9 games to go in the 1988 season. In 1989, Thomas brought in Nick Leyva who was only marginally more successful than Elia at the helm. Jim Fregosi was named the 44th manager of the Phillies on April 23, 1991, replacing Nick Leyva 13 games into the season.

After being fired from the Phillies, Lee Elia coached with the Yankees in 1989, managed the Class A Clearwater Phillies in 1990 and 1991, and entered Spring Training 1992 as the new manager of the Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes Barre Red Barons. (During his short tenure as a Yankees coach, the manager of the Yankees was none other than Dallas Green.)

All three men are still in baseball today. The Phillies fired Lee Thomas following the 1997 season and replaced him with Ed Wade. In 2009, Thomas served as a scout for the Houston Astros, reporting to Wade. Fregosi was fired by Thomas following the 1996 season. He interviewed for the Phillies managerial vacancy in late 2004, but Charlie Manuel would eventually win the job. Fregosi is currently working as the top advance scout for the Atlanta Braves. Finally, Lee Elia, who most recently served as a bench coach for the Seattle Mariners in 2008, is now serving as a special assistant to Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti.

I can't wait to wear shorts again.

Friday, February 26, 2010

1961 Topps #111 Jack Meyer

We're not going to collect the 2010 Topps Heritage set.

Beginning in 2001, Topps began producing Topps Heritage - a set completely based on a baseball card design from its past. The 2001 Topps Heritage set used the 1952 Topps design, and each year after has chronologically tracked the Topps' designs through its early years. For its 2010 offering, Topps is now up to its 1961 baseball card design.

The reason we're not collecting the set isn't because I don't appreciate the 1961 Topps design. To be clear, I think this is a gorgeous set and the scans I've seen of some of the base cards and the various insert sets are impressive. Topps has taken the extra step of including players who switched teams over the winter in their new uniforms, even though they've never actually worn those uniforms. As such, the set includes the first official Roy Halladay as a Phillie baseball card.

We're not collecting this set because Topps insists on including short prints within the set. Topps would tell you this is an effort to replicate the collecting conditions in the '50s and '60s when the high-numbered series were always more difficult to find. By the time Topps released its 6th or 7th series of baseball cards back then, kids had already moved on to the next year's football card releases. But I'm not buying it. (Pun intended.)

From 2002 through 2008, we bought several boxes of each year's Heritage sets. To date, we've managed to complete master sets of the 2002, 2003 and 2007 offerings, but we're still tracking down several elusive short prints from the 2004-2006 and 2008 sets. Last year, I made the call to stop the Topps Heritage set-collecting streak and the decision stands again this year. All this could change of course if Topps decides to forgo the short prints in 2011, or if it decides to fast forward 14 years to 1975. At that point, all bets are off and I'd probably buy a case of the stuff.

The Real One: In lieu of collecting this year's Heritage set, I'm going to focus on collecting the actual Phillies cards from 1961. I have 14 Phillies cards from the set, including this Jack Meyer card, but I need 16 more to complete the team set.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

2009 Bowman #4 Chase Utley

Section 36 recently asked a question about my checklisting procedures for my Phillies baseball card collection. I thought I'd take a moment to expand upon the method to my madness.

Back in the day, it was fairly easy to accumulate all the baseball cards from your team for a given year. Once you had the Topps, Fleer and Donruss Phillies cards, and you sprinkled in a few Drake's, Kellogg's or Topps specialty cards, you pretty much had a full run of every single Phillies card issued that year. To collect every single Phillies card from the early-90's onward is practically impossible. The advent of parallels, one of ones, cut signatures, super short prints, etc., has made the once easy task of the team collector a daunting proposition. So we have to set our limits.

Reason #171 why my wife Jenna rocks is that she knows exactly what I mean when I sometimes say, "I need to work on my lists." She knows this means a dozen or so baseball card sets have been released in the past few months and I haven't yet updated my Phillies baseball card checklists. I'll start to get itchy when my lists fall too out of date. I compile my lists in Word documents, these days relying mainly on the Beckett on-line price guide. (The prices are bollocks, but the underlying data is extremely useful.) I've posted the first page of my 2009 Phillies list as an example. I omit parallels, one of ones, cut signatures, and anything that doesn't interest me in the least - quad cut cards featuring Chase Utley and three other random players, as an example. I've created these Phillies checklists for every year from 1950 through 2010. (My 2010 checklist is in need of an update with the recent release of 2010 Topps Heritage. Jenna - I need to work on my lists.)

I collect cards of players who played with the Phillies in a given year, even if their baseball card features them on a different team. For that reason, you'll see I've added Cliff Lee's Indians cards to last year's checklist. Finally, I go through the list and determine the cards I'd like to add to my collection. These cards get highlighted in blue. I don't have an unlimited pool of resources to dedicate to the pursuit of every Ryan Howard relic card. However, it's not unreasonable to chase every Ryan Howard base card from 2009.

Finally, I'm constantly adding and revising my lists. Chances are some astute reader may notice I've omitted a Jimmy Rollins insert card from my 2009 SPx checklist, or that I've completely neglected some little known SP Something or Other set from the list.

I mentioned before that sometimes putting together these checklists can be more enjoyable for me than actually tracking down the cards. It may sound hokey, but I think this has deep philosophical roots - the journey is what matters, not necessarily the destination. In summary, my process of compiling baseball card checklists equates to a well-balanced, zen-like existence. (And it's fun.)

Monday, February 22, 2010

2010 Chachi Special Edition #JW Jayson Werth

The last time we saw Jayson Werth, being struck out by Mariano Rivera in the 8th inning of Game 6, he was sporting a tidy little soul patch on his chin and a few days' stubble growth.

A little over three months later, Jayson Werth arrived at Spring Training today sporting an impressive collection of new hair. The pure magnificence of his 2010 beard merits a Chachi Special Edition insert card. Eric Bruntlett may be in the Nationals' camp this year, but it's nice to see he bequeathed his beard-wielding rights to Mr. Werth.

Behold the glory.

2002 Phillies Want List

2002 Donruss #20
In December 2012, I added my complete 2002 Phillies Want List to Google Drive.

Where to start? Here are the 2002 sets from which I have few to no Phillies cards. I'm on the look-out for any and all Phillies cards from these sets:

Bowman Chrome, Bowman Heritage, Bowman's Best, Donruss Classics, Donruss Diamond Kings, Donruss Elite, Donruss Fan Club, Donruss Originals, Donruss Rookies, Finest, Fleer, Fleer Authentix, Fleer Box Score, Fleer Fall Classic, Fleer Focus Jersey Edition, Fleer Genuine, Fleer Hot Prospects, Fleer Showcase, MLB Showdown, MLB Showdown Pennant Run, MLB Showdown Trading Deadline, Playoff Absolute Memorabilia, SPx, Studio, Sweet Spot, Topps Archives Reserve, Topps Chrome Series 2, Topps Chrome Traded, Topps Gold Label, Topps Pristine, Topps Reserve, Topps Ten, Topps Tribute, Upper Deck Prospect Premieres, Upper Deck Rookie Debut, Upper Deck Rookie Update

Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects - BDP17 Hamels, BDP24 Bourgeois, BDP58 Segovia, BDP84 Blalcok, BDP89 Fisher
Bowman Heritage - 138 Polanco
Donruss - 43 Giambi, 151 Byrd
Donruss Best of Fan Club - 11 Burrell, 116, Giambi, 144 Anderson, 183 Estrada, 200 Abreu
Donruss Fan Club - 116 Giambi
Donruss Originals - What If - 12 Schmidt, 25 Carlton
Donruss Rookies - Best of Fan Club Rookies - 216 Junge, Classic Rookies - 203 Junge
E-X - 123 Byrd
Flair - 123 Byrd
Fleer - 105 Giambi, 271 Polanco, Rookie Flashback - 8 Estrada, 11 Duckworth, Golden Memories - 12 Burrell
Fleer Authentix - 130 Giambi
Fleer Box Score - 32 Giambi, Press Clippings - 7 Abreu
Fleer Hot Prospects - Co-Stars - 10 Rollins
Fleer Maximum - 229 Byrd
Fleer Platinum - 193 Giambi, Cornerstones - 6 Rolen
Fleer Premium - 186 Polanco, 226 Byrd
Fleer Tradition - 216 Polanco, 341 Giambi
Leaf Certified - 18 Person, 28 Duckworth, 54 Schmidt, 106 Giambi, 114 Burrell
Leaf Rookies & Stars - 208 Rolen, 321 Byrd, 329 Padilla, Statistical Standouts - 35 Burrell
MLB Showdown - Strategy - S12 Baserunner/Phillies
MLB Showdown Trading Deadline - Strategy - S12 Anderson
Playoff Absolute Memorabilia - 122 Giambi, Team Quads - 15 Abreu/Burrell/Byrd/Rolen, Team Tandems - 23 Burrell/Rolen
Playoff Piece of the Game - 6 Rolen, 49 Burrell
SP Authentic - 80 Abreu, 81 Burrell, 124 Zamora, 158 Machado, 159 Padilla
SP Legendary Cuts - 63 Ashburn
SPx - 211 Giambi
Stadium Club - 94 Polanco
Studio - 142 Giambi, Classic Studio - 4 Schmidt, 5 Carlton, Studio Stars - 4 Rolen
Topps Chrome - 236 Giambi, 268 Polanco
Topps Gallery - 101 Mesa, Gallery Heritage - GH-MS Schmidt
Topps Gold Label - 160 Polanco
Topps Ten - 97 Polanco
Topps Total - 304 Timlin, 335 Giambi, 516 Polanco, 518 Nickle, 872 Timlin
Topps 206 - 216 Rollins
Ultra - 280 Duckworth
Upper Deck - 75 Giambi, 152 Ledee, 299 Polanco, 338 Adams, 706 Padilla
Upper Deck 40-Man - 53 Giambi, 78 Plesac, 571 Polanco, 579 Timlin
Upper Deck MVP - 21 Giambi, 175 Polanco
Upper Deck Ovation - 79 Padilla, 80 Junge, 81 Machado
Upper Deck Rookie Debut - Solid Contact - SC-BA Abreu
Upper Deck Victory - 20 Giambi, 287 Polanco, 347 Adams, 509 Nickle
Upper Deck Vintage - 643 Junge
Upper Deck World Series Heroes - 122 Machado, 123 Padilla, 124 Junge, 162 Rolen

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Scrapbook Sunday: April 6, 1991

1991 Upper Deck #769 Mitch Williams

In the weeks ahead, the Phillies will whittle down their roster from the current 6o-something players, including non-roster invitees, to an opening day size of 25. It's a fascinating time for baseball fans, and it's always fun to try and predict who will make the opening day roster and who will not.

In the Spring of 1991, the Phillies were looking to upgrade at the closer role. Roger McDowell shouldered most of the closer's load in 1990, saving 22 games and winning the Rolaids Relief Man Award in April and May. Joe Boever and Darrel Akerfelds also spent brief amounts of time closing games for the Phils. But general manager Lee Thomas wanted to upgrade and rumors started flying around he was talking to the Cubs about reliever Mitch Williams.

The day after Thomas called the deal "dead," the Phils got their man, trading Chuck McElroy and Bob Scanlan to the Cubs. Wild Thing would save 30 games in 1991, good enough for 3rd in the National League. McDowell would be traded to the Dodgers in July.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

2010 Upper Deck #388 Kyle Kendrick

I've admitted to watching and enjoying Amazing Race already, so let's just get it out there that I'm also a fan of Survivor. We didn't watch last season, but we've enjoyed the first three hours of this season's Heroes vs. Villains installment. We had a rooting interest in Stephenie from the Heroes' tribe, as she's from our area and she's always been a fierce competitor. Sadly, the tribe spoke on Thursday night and Stephenie was voted out.

An observant viewer may have noticed Stephenie wearing a camo Phillies hat during her short stint on the show. As it turns out, Stephenie is engaged to be married to none other than Phillies 5th starter candidate, once traded to Japan, right-handed pitcher Kyle Kendrick. (Don't believe me? Then check this out.)

Kyle's been a bit of a story during the first few days of Spring Training 2010. It seems as if he's been following around new ace Roy Halladay so much that he's been given the clubhouse nickname, "Kyle Halladay." He worked out with Halladay weeks prior to the official camp opening, and he's even grown a small beard reminiscent of Doc's gunslinger whiskers. His main competition for the final rotation spot is Jamie Moyer, who has rebounded quicker than expected from a series of offseason surgeries. Jose Contreras, Andrew Carpenter and Ryan Vogelsong are also expected to get some consideration for the spot.

It's a long Spring, so we'll see if Kyle can "survive" the competition and earn the final spot. (See what I did there? I tied it all back together to Survivor and Kyle's fiancée and . . . oh never mind.)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

1976 SSPC #456 Joe Hoerner

I won't lie to you here - the last month or so at my chosen profession has been brutal. I've been so busy at work, I haven't even had a chance to read about the first day of pitchers and catchers. That's how bad it's been. This is serious.

Last season, whenever the Phillies encountered a rough patch, I'd feature a Kent Tekulve card in the hopes of turning their fortunes around. I even pulled out a Johnny Wockenfuss card when things looked particularly grim for the Phils.

I decided I needed to invoke my own personal mystical baseball card talisman in an effort to turn around my fortunes at work, and to stem the tide of horse malarkey that has made its way to my office door. To that end, I present a pensive Joe Hoerner in a floppy, fashionable women's summer hat. Work your magic, Joe.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

2002 Bowman #126 Eric Valent

The problem with the Phillies cards from 2002 is there's just too dang many of them. I'm slowly chronicling and checklisting my Phillies cards from the early '00s, as these years had been previously woefully neglected. Going through my 2002 Phillies binder and putting together a 2002 Phillies wantlist, I'm beginning to wonder if this year should continue to be neglected.

Amazingly, I have 677 different Phillies cards from 2002, and 208 of them are minor league cards. In a normal year, you'd think 469 different Phillies cards would get me close to having a complete run of cards from the year. In 2002, I'd estimate these 469 cards put me at less than half-way to the total Phillies baseball cards available. There are sets released in 2002 I have never heard of nor encountered, such as Donruss Fan Club, Fleer Focus Jersey Edition, Topps Ten and Upper Deck Ballpark Idols. Nevertheless, I'll be posting my 2002 Phillies wantlist shortly.

The other problem with the 2002 Phillies baseball cards is the dreadful crop of prospects dropped throughout the various card sets. I already have way too many cards of Anderson Machado (7 cards), Franklin Nunez (3) and Eric Valent (6), not to mention multiple cards of Eric Junge, Elio Serrano and Pete Zamora. But the sickness of being a team collector means my wantlists will feature requests for even more of these guys.

2004 Grandstand Clearwater Threshers #37 Cole Hamels

It's all behind us now. The Game 6 loss to the Yankees when Pedro and Doug and I were all suffering through the flu. The weeks of leaving for work every morning in the dark. Shoveling out of three snowstorms, each of which dumped over a foot of snow. Staying inside on the weekends because it was too cold outside. It's all history.

Today, the sound of fastballs hitting catcher's mitts can be heard in Clearwater and a new Spring is upon us. Every team is tied for first place. Every team is hopeful. Spring has officially sprung.

Catchers and pitchers have reported, and I couldn't be more thrilled.

Monday, February 15, 2010

1983 Topps 1952 Reprint #216 Richie Ashburn

You may have heard (or read) by now that Topps is in the midst of its promotional "Million Card Giveaway." Topps has scoured the planet for one million of its baseball cards from 1952 through 2009, and they are giving them away one card at a time. Topps has randomly inserted Million Card Giveaway contest cards within packs of its 2010 Series 1 product, and each contest card features a code on the back. The recipient of these contest cards can enter the code at to see which of the one million cards the code "unlocks." While the majority of us will undoubtedly receive common cards from the late '80s, early '90s, a few lucky collectors will receive a 1952 Richie Ashburn (the original, not the reprint pictured), a 1973 Mike Schmidt or a 1982 Bob Dernier card. Once a card is unlocked, the card holder has the option of having it mailed to him or her or trading it with other collectors on the Topps website.

I've opened 20 or so packs of 2010 Topps and I've been lucky enough to pull 6 of these Million Card Giveaway contest cards. I entered each code into the Topps website tonight, hoping for a few vintage Phillies cards to add to my collection.

Here, in chronological order, are the cards I unlocked with my contest card codes:
1972 Topps #336 Marty Martinez
1987 Topps #425 Tom Seaver
1987 Topps #743 Dwayne Murphy
1993 Topps #145 Eric Young
1995 Topps #236 Jeff Brantley
2003 Topps #307 Alexis Rios

Here's the deal - I'll gladly "trade" any of these cards for Phillies cards you may have unlocked. I'm particularly interested in Phillies cards from the '60s and '70s, so I'd be happy to package a few or all of these cards together if you're interested in a trade.

This could prove to be a fun little promotion put together by the folks at Topps. I'm looking forward to seeing if any of my fellow bloggers unlock a major Topps card from the past, and it's motivation for me to buy some more packs of 2010 Topps.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

2008 Phillies Team Issue #2 Steve Smith

I'm not a huge fan of reality TV, but I'll admit we've been long-time fans of the Amazing Race TV show. The show/race follows teams of two in a race around the world through a dozen or so episodes. Tonight is the season premiere of the show's 16th season, and we'll be tuning in to cheer on former Phillies coach Steve Smith. Steve is competing in the race with his daughter, Allison.

Steve was the team's third base coach in 2007 and 2008, so he's got himself a World Series ring. Following the 2008 World Series, manager Charlie Manuel made the decision to cut ties with Steve and Mark Perlozzo was named third base coach for 2009. Steve is currently the third base coach for the Cleveland Indians.

Best of luck to Steve and Allison!

Scrapbook Sunday: February 14, 1985

1985 Topps #157 Tug McGraw

25 years ago today, Tug McGraw held a press conference to announce his retirement from baseball. He was 40 at the time of his retirement. Following the 1984 season, Tug was granted free agency after 10 years with the Phillies.

Lahti's Travels: I couldn't find any record of pitcher Jeff Lahti being shipped to the Phillies on December 9, 1984 and then being shipped back a few days later. However, if you check catcher Mike LaValliere's Baseball Reference page, you can see he was shipped back and forth from the Cardinals as part of a "conditional deal." He'd eventually sign with the Cardinals in January 1985 as a free agent, and the Phils would receive pitcher Ralph Citarella from the Cardinals for some reason.

Red Shag: It's hard to see it unless you click and enlarge the image, but there's a few strands of my old red shag carpet next to the box announcing Al Oliver's trade to the Dodgers. I had a red shag carpet in my bedroom on 12th Street when I was growing up, and it occasionally makes a cameo within old 9-pocket baseball card pages or trapped within the pages of my scrapbooks. It's nice to come across small remnants of an old friend every few years.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The #4 Phillies Type Contest

2002 Topps Archives #7 Len Dykstra

For the past several weeks, I've been waking up every night right around 4 A.M. I'm not sure why this started, but I would like for it to stop. To try to exorcise the 4 A.M. demon, I'm announcing a little quiz/mini contest. The winner will receive a respectable package of baseball cards from the team or player of his or her choosing.

Here's the quiz:
Name the last Phillie to wear #4 before Lenny Dykstra and the 8 Phillies to wear the number since Lenny Dykstra. I'm looking for 9 names. (Full disclosure - This should be interesting . . . I would say 2 of the 9 names are easy, 1 of the names is obtainable and the other 6 are extremely difficult.)

The quiz/contest ends whenever someone leaves a comment with the 9 correct answers, or if no one gets all the answers, the person with the most correct names will be declared a winner next Friday.

And Who's Len?: Before there was Bob Abreu, there was Len Dykstra.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

1990 CMC #240 Mickey Morandini

Snowed in again? Blizzard of '10 got you down? First of all, it's comforting to think pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training next week, despite the 4 feet of snow currently on the ground in my yard.

Second, Steve78 recently left a comment on one of my Brian Hunter posts, which led me to his cool blog on the 1990 CMC minor league set. If you need something fun to read and if you're interested in learning more about former Phillies Bob Scanlan, Bob Sebra and Gordon Dillard, please head over to Steve's blog and check it out. I have one request for Steve - Is it possible to find out why the photographer for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons insisted most of the team remove their hats for their pictures? The Red Barons team set contains several tragic examples of the always embarrassing hat head.

Steve's got 880 subjects to cover in the 1990 CMC set, and I'll be there when he gets around to Mickey Morandini's card.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

2001 Phillies Want List

2001 Upper Deck Vintage #304

Bowman Chrome - 141 Jacobson, 199 Nickle
Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects - Futures Game Relics - CU Utley
Bowman Heritage - 344 Silva, 422 Byrd

Donruss - All-Time Diamond Kings - ATDK-3 Schmidt, 1999 Retro-Active - 94 Valent
Donruss Class of 2001 - 167 Nickle, 196 Valent, 207 Estrada, 209 Duckworth, 211 Byrd, 248 Rollins, 250 Michaels, 265 Perez, Rookie Team - RT3 Rollins, RT6 Estrada, Yearbook - YB-17 Rollins
Donruss Classics - 112 Estrada, 185 Roberts
Donruss Elite - 205 Duckworth, 224 Estrada, 229 Byrd, Passing the Torch - PT6 Rolen, PT19 Schmidt/Rolen
Donruss Signature - 112 Estrada, 154 Duckworth, 165 Michaels, 248 Perez, 267 Nickle, 271 Valent

E-X - 138 Estrada

Finest - 139 Richardson, Finest Moments - FM1 Burrell

Fleer Authority - 121 Estrada, 148 Duckworth, Authority Figures - 14 Rolen/Estrada
Fleer Futures - 222 Estrada
Fleer Platinum - 510 Duckworth
Fleer Premium - Decades of Excellence - 30 Schmidt, 47 Burrell
Fleer Showcase - 148 Duckworth, Showcase Sticks - 5 Burrell

Leaf Certified Materials - 112 Estrada, 119 Michaels
Leaf Limited - 157 Rolen, 199 Abreu, 267 Perez, 268 Nickle, 298 Michaels, 313 Duckworth, 332 Valent, 358 Rollins, 375 Estrada
Leaf Rookies & Stars - 216 Duckworth, 248 Nickle, 265 Estrada, 271 Perez

MLB Showdown 1st Edition - 284 Pratt, 288 Wendell
MLB Showdown Pennant Run 1st Edition - 33 Rollins, 124 Crespo

Pacific - 111 Hunter, Gold Crown Die Cuts - 26 Burrell, On the Horizon - 8 Burrell

SP Authentic - 122 Michaels, 132 Duckworth, 218 Nickle
SP Game Bat Milestone Edition - 79 Rolen, 81 Abreu
SP Game-Used Edition - 69 Duckworth, 73 Michaels
SP Top Prospects - 78 Baisley, 79 Rollins, 80 Valent
SPx - 143 Duckworth, 177 Rollins, 181 Estrada, 198 Punto

Stadium Club - Beam Team - BT24 Burrell, Super Teams - ST22 Phillies

Studio - 152 Estrada, 165 Rollins

Sweet Spot - 67 Rollins, 117 Burrell, 122 Estrada, 133 Duckworth

Topps - 156 Cook
Topps Chrome - Combos - TC17 Carlton
Topps HD - 10 Lieberthal, 43 Burrell
Topps Heritage - 347 Pratt, Clubhouse Collection Relics - RA Ashburn, SR Rolen, Grandstand Glory - RR Roberts, Real One Autographs - RW Wolf, CS Simmons, RR Roberts
Topps Reserve - 133 Madson, 142 Griggs
Topps Tribute - 17 Schmidt, 31 Roberts, 63 Bunning, 76 Ashburn, 87 Carlton

UD Reserve - 189 Duckworth, 201 Estrada, The New Order - NO6 Burrell

Ultra - Fall Classics Tier One - FC24 Schmidt

Upper Deck Evolution - 108 Duckworth
Upper Deck Gold Glove - 94 Estrada, 108 Duckworth, 111 Michaels
Upper Deck Pros & Prospects - 106 Duckworth, 129 Nickle
Upper Deck Ultimate Collection - 101 Estrada, 113 Duckworth

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

2001 Upper Deck Decade 1970's

2001 Upper Deck Decade 1970's #99 Mike Schmidt, Bellbottomed Bashers #BB5 Mike Schmidt, Disco Era Dandies #DE1 Mike Schmidt, 1970's Super Powers #SP5 Mike Schmidt

It's no secret I'm a huge fan of the 1975 Topps set. It was the first set my Dad and I collected together, and it's super groovy. So when the 2001 Upper Deck Decade 1970's set was released nine years ago, I was excited to collect the set. The design loosely mirrored the bright, multi-colored design of the '75 Topps set and it featured stars of the '70s. Excitement about the set quickly turned to disappointment once I actually added several Phillies cards from the set to my collection. Player selection was decent - the Phillies team set consists of Garry Maddox, Mike Schmidt, Greg Luzinski and Tug McGraw - all clearly Phillies stars from the '70s.

However, the most disappointing aspect of the cards is that most of the photos used are clearly not actually from the '70s. Another disappointing aspect is the use of the same picture on several different cards. I've featured several Mike Schmidt cards from the set, all featuring pictures taken several years after the Me Decade had ended.

It's hard not to like insert sets with names like Bellbottomed Bashers and Disco Era Dandies, but the cards fall flat when pictures from the mid to late '80s are used instead of actual pictures from the disco era.

2000 Phillies Want List

2000 Topps Gallery #74

Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects - Autographs - 1 Burrell, 39 Silva, 51 Bucktrot
Bowman's Best - Bets - BBS3 Burrell
Crown Royale - 9 Lee
Finest - 106 Myers, Ballpark Bounties - BB8 Rolen, BB14 Burrell
Fleer Focus - Fresh Ink - Brogna, Lieberthal, Rolen
Fleer Mystique - Rookie I.P.O. - 3 Burrell
Fleer Showcase - 109 Burrell
Fleer Tradition - 268 Bottenfield
Metal - 243 Chen
MLB Showdown 1st Edition - 18 Daal, 35 Hunter, 327 Abreu, 404 Bottenfield
MLB Showdown Pennant Run 1st Edition - 1 Bottenfield
Pacific - 18 Daal, 88 Morandini, 130 Jackson, 349 Bottenfield
Pacific Crown Collection - 11 Daal
Pacific Invincible - Ticket to Stardom - 15 Rolen
Pacific Omega - MLB Generations - 1 Burrell
Pacific Paramount - 14 Lee, 192 Bottenfield
Pacific Paramount Update - U6 Padilla, U79 Newhan
Pacific Revolution - 9 Lee, 10 Padilla, Foul Pole Net-Fusions - 14 Burrell
Pacific Vanguard - Diamond Architects - Rolen
SkyBox Autographics - Abreu, Burrell, Glanville, Rolen, Rollins
SkyBox Dominion - 68 Ashby, 150 Bottenfield, 154 Morandini, 201 Lee, Eye on October - EO13 Rolen, Hats Off - 13 Rolen
SP Authentic - 107 Burrell
SPx - 104 Burrell, 116 Chen, The Heart of the Order - H17 Rolen
Stadium Club Chrome - Capture the Action! - CA2 Burrell, Visionaries - V9 Myers
Topps - 32 Daal
Topps Chrome - 32 Daal, 48 Bottenfield, 377 Lee
Topps Gallery - Gallery Exhibits - GE28 Burrell, Proof Positive - P3 Burrell
Topps Gold Label - The Treasury - T20 Burrell
UD Ionix - 87 Chen
Ultra - 9 Morandini, 173 Bottenfield, 175 Daal, 220 Lee, Gold Medallion - 257 Wolf, 275 Burrell
Upper Deck - 38 Daal, 43 Lee, 211 Bottenfield, 303 Bottenfield
Upper Deck Black Diamond - 5 Lee
Upper Deck Gold Reserve - 239 Person, 269 Burrell, 24-Karat Gems - K2 Rolen
Upper Deck Hitter's Club - On Target - OT10 Rolen
Upper Deck MVP - ProSign - RB Brogna
Upper Deck Pros & Prospects - 178 Ashby
Victory - 107 Lee, 108 Daal, 348 Newhan

Most of the Travis Lee cards listed above feature him as a member of the Diamondbacks.  However, Mr. Lee came to the Phils in '00, so he belongs in my 2000 Phillies binder.  The same goes for Kent Bottenfield, Bruce Chen and a few others.  It's just how I roll.

Monday, February 8, 2010

2001 Fleer Legacy #73 Scott Rolen

Tallies from the 2001 Phillies binder . . .

It was close, but the total number of Phillies cards I own from 2001 wasn't enough to top the tally from 2000. The final tabulation shows I have 765 different 2001 Phillies cards as compared to 776 different 2000 Phillies cards.

The break-down for the starting nine is as follows: catcher Johnny Estrada (8 cards), first baseman Travis Lee (22), second baseman Marlon Anderson (7), third baseman Scott Rolen (93), shortstop Jimmy Rollins (29), left fielder Pat Burrell (73), center fielder Doug Glanville (21), right fielder Bobby "Don't Call Me Bob" Abreu (56) and staff ace Robert Person (17). Despite Person's status as the team's staff ace, the Phils managed a 2nd place finish during Larry Bowa's first year as manager. I have 6 different Bowa cards in the 2001 Phillies binder.

A disturbing trend in player selection started in 2001, as two of the stalwarts of the Phillies bullpen - Eddie Oropesa and Jose Santiago - were not featured at all as Phillies on any mainstream baseball card releases. Another new development was the prominence of former Phillies greats featured throughout 2001 baseball card releases. I have 32 different Mike Schmidt cards from 2001, and 11 different Steve Carlton cards.

Ryan Howard made his Phillies baseball card debut in 2001, as he's featured in the Upper Deck Prospect Premieres set as well as the Batavia Muckdogs team issued set.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Scrapbook Sunday: June 21, 1992

1993 Pinnacle #229 Bob Ayrault
1993 Score #30 Lenny Dykstra
1993 Stadium Club #34 Wes Chamberlain
1993 Topps #43 Ruben Amaro

Having hosted one successful Nostalgia Day in June 1991, the Phillies decided to take another trip back in time in June 1992. For this turn back the clock installment, the Phillies and Cubs wore uniforms from their 1948 seasons. The blue helmets and lack of pinstripes on the home uniforms had not been seen in these parts since just after World War II. The blue helmets would return (briefly) in 1994 and the Phillies would debut an alternate home uniform, based on their 1948 uniforms, for home day games starting in 2008.

Unfortunately, the Phils' retro-uniform record fell to 0-2 as pitcher Kyle Abbott lost for the 8th time. By 1992, I was using clippings from all over the place - the box score and daily standings are from Baseball Weekly, the game summary at the top is from The Phillies Report, the stats are from the Philadelphia Daily News and the other stuff is taken from the Atlantic City Press.

Retro Cards: I found the following baseball cards in my collection featuring Phillies cards from this game:

1993 Medford Phillies #17 Ricky Jordan, #37 Kyle Abbott, #53 Bob Ayrault
1993 Pinnacle #229 Bob Ayrault, #437 Ben Rivera
1993 Score #30 Lenny Dykstra (front & back), #99 Dave Hollins (back), #141 Ricky Jordan (back), #242 Ben Rivera, #289 Bob Ayrault, #415 Mickey Morandini, The Franchise #22 Darren Daulton (back)
1993 Score Select #329 Ben Rivera (back)
1993 Stadium Club #4 Bob Ayrault (back), #34 Wes Chamberlain (front & back)
1993 Topps #43 Ruben Amaro, #126 Bob Ayrault (front & back), #262 Mickey Morandini, #371 Mariano Duncan (back), #649 Tom Marsh (back), Black Gold #3 Darren Daulton (back)

Clearly, the Score and Topps photographers decided to focus on relief pitcher Bob Ayrault during the game! Darren Daulton is wearing a 1948 uniform on his 1992 Studio Heritage Series card (#BC-13), but it's a staged shot.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

2001 Phillies Team Issue #12 Brian L. Hunter

This afternoon, as I was shoveling out from our foot-plus of snow, for the third time this winter, my mind naturally wandered back to Brian Hunter. Brian L. Hunter was due to receive a card in the 2001 Topps Traded set, but was mistakenly omitted from the set when Topps featured a picture of Brian R. Hunter on his card.

So I got to thinking, "Did Brian L. ever have a Phillies card?" Fortunately for him, and us, Brian L. was featured in the Phillies' team-issued postcard set in 2001.

2001 Update: When I wasn't shoveling, playing Super Mario Wii or playing Legos with Doug today, I was updating and organizing my 2001 Phillies cards. Two years into the last decade, and two years into my little cataloguing project, and I have way more Phillies cards from those years than I realized. (Even Jenna spent some time enjoying the 2001 Phillies binder this afternoon, which is reason #543 that she rocks.)

What About Bob?: Why is it that Topps insists on calling old friend Bobby Abreu, "Bob"? Jenna found a few instances where they call him by the more familiar Bobby, but most Topps cards refer to him as Bob Abreu, which just sounds wrong. Jenna did point out that Bobby's 2001 Topps Heritage card features a facsimile autograph for "Bob Kelly Abreu," so maybe the Topps folks have always thought he prefers Bob over Bobby.

Friday, February 5, 2010

2001 Topps Brian Hunter (Part 1 & 2)

2001 Topps #13 Brian R. Hunter
2001 Topps Traded #T50 Brian R. Hunter

I've moved on to my 2001 Phillies binder, in an effort to catalogue and count the Phillies cards from the '00s in my collection. I'll follow-up with tallies and other fascinating thoughts in a bit, but for now I'm stuck pondering the strange case of Brian Hunter.

Which Brian Hunter you may ask? Why, both of them of course.

In April 2000, the Phillies signed part-time first baseman/corner outfielder Brian R. Hunter. Brian R. had bounced around the Majors for the previous eight seasons, spending most of his time as a member of the Braves. He played in 85 games with the 2000 Phils, compiling a .210 batting average mostly as a right-handed bat off the bench, but occasionally spelling Pat Burrell at first. He came back to the team in the spring of 2001, only to be released towards the tail-end of Spring Training.

Had he made the team, he would have joined Brian L. Hunter on the Phillies' 2001 roster. Known mainly for his speed, Brian L. was signed in January 2001. He played in 83 games with the Phils, hitting .276 as a pinch-hitter and back-up outfielder. He was the team's primary pinch-runner, stealing 14 bases.

Brian R. Hunter was featured with the Phillies on card #13 in the 2001 Topps set, and Brian L. Hunter also appeared in the set on card #199 as a member of the Reds. When the 2001 Topps Traded set rolled around, I was confused to find a second card of Brian R. Hunter, still with the Phillies. Turning the card over, I realized Topps had made the mistake of using a photo of Brian R., instead of a photo of Brian L. The stats on the back of this Brian Hunter Topps Traded card are clearly those of Brian L., but the pictures, both front and back, feature a smiling Brian R.

On a related note, I always wondered what the Phillies would have done had both Brian Hunters made the 2001 squad. Would they have worn "B.R. Hunter" and "B.L. Hunter" on the backs of their jerseys? It boggles the mind.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

2000 Fleer Tradition Glossy #334 Desi Relaford

Tallies from the 2000 Phillies binder . . .

Not that Dan was asking, but I have 12 different Desi Relaford cards from 2000, which is probably 11 too many. The break-down of the other starting eight is as follows:

Catcher Mike Lieberthal (48), first baseman Pat Burrell (84), second baseman Mickey Morandini (11 - 5 with the Phils, 6 with the Cubs), third baseman Scott Rolen (121), left fielder Ron Gant (12), center fielder Doug Glanville (34) and right fielder Bobby Abreu (60). Curt Schilling appears in the binder 52 times, and I have not one single 2000 card of closer Jeff Brantley. (Not necessarily a bad thing.)

Former prospects Brad Baisley (7), Keith Bucktrot (4) and Russ Jacobson (2) appear in various Topps products, but none of them would ever play for the Phillies.

In total, I have 776 different 2000 Phillies baseball cards, 167 of which are minor league cards.

Fascinating stuff. Hurry up Spring Training.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

1987 Topps #719 Tom Hume


In a shocking twist, tonight's episode of Lost revealed the "new" John Locke is none other than former Phillies relief pitcher Tom Hume, long-lost American brother of Desmond Hume. I for one did not see this coming at all, but I always knew you couldn't trust Tom Hume.

Relevant and insightful posts will return shortly. Thank you for your patience.

2000 Topps Stars #185 Pat Burrell

This just in . . . Moments ago, Pat Burrell emerged from his burrow and immediately saw his shadow. Pat retreated back into his burrow, signifying six more weeks of winter.

In an unrelated development, pitchers and catchers report in 15 days.