Tuesday, August 3, 2010

1983 Topps Phillies - The Missing Links

1983 Topps #PR5 Darren Daulton

I've always been fascinated by the player selection in the "Big 3" baseball card sets of the early '80s. I spent hours upon hours in my bedroom on 12th Street sorting and resorting each year's Topps, Fleer and Donruss sets to figure out who was in the Fleer set, but not in the Topps set. I would get annoyed when I would figure out that a certain player had a Donruss baseball card in a given year but he did not have a Topps card. Even worse was when a player had been completely omitted from all 3 major sets.

I've been following along with the Ultimate Baseball Card Set blog as its proprietor tackled the 1981 and 1982 sets and he's now moved on to the 1983 sets. The purpose of the blog's project is to create the ultimate baseball card set for a given year by keeping one card per player, per year, starting with the Topps set as the cornerstone and then building from there. I love this idea, and each post has been a fascinating read so far.

By my unofficial tally, the Phillies had 13 players in 1983 who played at least a game with the team but did not appear in the 1983 Topps set - see my checklist below. A few years ago, I set about remedying this horrible oversight by making cards for these players using either pictures from other sets or from the team's Yearbooks, and I've included a few of my favorites here. (I've previously featured the Sixto Lezcano card from this series.)
1983 Topps #PR11 Juan Samuel

Former Orioles manager Juan Samuel made his Major League debut in August 1983, and the highly touted prospect appeared in 18 games for the NL Champs. He'd have to wait until the 1984 Topps Traded and Fleer sets for his first cards as a Phillie. I created this '83 Topps card using Sammy's picture from the 1984 Phillies Yearbook and the close-up picture is borrowed from his '84 Fleer card.

Darren Daulton made his debut in September 1983 as a late season call-up when rosters were expanded. He appeared in just 2 games with the Phils that year, and he didn't make it back to the Big Leagues until 1985. His '83 Topps card that should have been was created using his picture from the team's '83 Yearbook (the big picture) and the '84 Yearbook (the little picture).

1983 Topps #PR6 Tony Ghelfi

Finally, right-handed pitcher Tony Ghelfi started just 3 games for the '83 Phils in September. He had baseball cards in a few regional and minor league sets, but he never appeared within a major card release. For 9 seasons (1980-1989), he bounced around the Phillies', Indians' and Padres' organizations, never once making it back to the Majors following his September 1983 cup of coffee. I created his '83 Topps card using Ghelfi's shot from the '84 Phillies Yearbook (big picture) and his card from the team's 1984 Tastykake team issue.

1983 Topps - The Phillies Room Complete Collection: PR1 Larry Andersen, PR2 Don Carman, PR3 Steve Comer, PR4 Tim Corcoran, PR5 Darren Daulton, PR6 Tony Ghelfi, PR7 Kevin Gross, PR8 Charles Hudson, PR9 Steve Jeltz, PR10 Sixto Lezcano, PR11 Juan Samuel, PR12 Alejandro Sanchez, PR13 Jeff Stone


Anonymous said...

OOhh more custom cards. Awesome work.

Someday, when I'm finished with my 1982 blog, I'm going to dive in '83 if nobody's gotten to it by then.

BTW, did I ever tell you I rooted for the Phils in the World Series in '83?

Jim said...

Glad to hear you were pulling for the Wheeze Kids in '83 and I would love to follow an '83 Topps blog.