Sunday, October 30, 2011

1983 Topps Phillies

1983 Topps #300, #615, 1983 Topps Traded #77T and 1983 Topps #175
Topps won back my lawn mowing money in the summer of 1983 for a few reasons.  First, there were two pictures on the front of every base card.  As a nine-year-old, I thought this was really cool.  Second, the Super Veteran cards were amazing.  For the first time ever, I could have cards in my collection showing Pete Rose as a Red or Tug McGraw as a Met or Mike Schmidt without a mustache.  Third, I was disappointed with the 1983 Donruss set.  They couldn't fool us - Donruss just took its 1982 design, flipped the direction of the bat on the front of the card and substituted a glove for a baseball.  Finally, the 1983 Topps Phillies cards used colors (red and blue) that actually approximated the actual team colors.

1983 Topps #43 (Back)
The Set
Number of cards in the set:  Same as 1982, there were 792 cards in the set and an additional 132 cards in the Traded set.
My very brief thoughts on the set:  I loved this set.  I wasn't that familiar with the 1963 Topps set at the time, so two pictures on the front of the card was something I considered to be ground-breaking.
Notable competition:  Donruss and Fleer were back for a third round.  Honestly, I don't remember Fleer cards being readily available at our Wawa so I mostly opened packs of Topps, Topps Stickers and Donruss.

1983 Phillies
Record and finish:  The Phillies finished first in the East with a record of 90-72.  They defeated the Dodgers in the N.L.C.S., three games to one, but the Orioles overtook them in the World Series, four games to one.  And thus began a decade-long stretch of under performing, frustrating Phillies teams that severely tried my fandom.
Key players:  As was now the norm, third baseman Schmidt again powered the offense, hitting 40 home runs and driving in 109 while hitting .255.  After Schmidt, everyone else's power numbers and batting averages fell off a cliff, but center fielder Garry Maddox (.265), catcher Bo Diaz (15 home runs, 64 RBIs) and second baseman Joe Morgan (16 home runs, 59 RBIs) attempted to provide some punch.  For the first time in his Phillies career, Steve Carlton (15-16, 3.11) played second fiddle to another pitcher.  John Denny compiled a 19-6 record with a 2.37 ERA on his way to winning the Cy Young Award.  Al Holland, "Mr. T," saved 25 games while pitching to a 2.25 ERA.
Key events:  In December 1982, hopeful superstar-to-be Von Hayes was acquired from the Indians for five players.  Hayes had a sub-superstar year with the club, hitting .265 with 6 home runs and 32 RBIs.  The Phils reunited three members of the Big Red Machine when they acquired Morgan and Tony Perez to join Rose.  The club was quickly nicknamed "The Wheeze Kids" by the local media.  Manager Pat Corrales was fired mid-season, with the team in first place, and replaced by Paul Owens.

1983 Topps #100, #587, #780 and 1983 Topps Traded #40T
1983 Phillies in 1983 Topps
Cards needed for a complete team set:  There are 40 Phillies cards in the base set and another 8 Phillies cards in the Traded set, surpassing the prior year tally by two cards and setting a new high.  (And I'm not counting Fergie Jenkins' Super Veteran card in the count, using the same logic that excluded Sparky Anderson's 1978 Topps manager card.)
Who’s in:
  • Cards of the eight starting position players - 8 cards
#175 Bo Diaz (c), #100 Pete Rose (1b), #77T Joe Morgan (2b), #587 Ivan DeJesus (ss), #300 Mike Schmidt (3b), #780 Gary Matthews (lf), #615 Garry Maddox (cf), #40T Von Hayes (rf)
  • Cards of the starting pitching rotation - 3 cards
#211 John Denny, #70 Steve Carlton, #199 Marty Bystrom

Charles Hudson and Kevin Gross would have to wait for the 1984 sets to make their baseball card debuts.
1983 Topps #211, #70, #199 and 1983 Topps Traded #46T
  • Base cards of other players who played with the Phillies in 1983 - 20 cards
#43 Bob Dernier, #252 Luis Aguayo, #279 Greg Gross, #357 Len Matuszek, #383 Ozzie Virgil, #432 Porfi Altamirano, #459 Ed Farmer, #484 Dick Ruthven, #510 Tug McGraw, #564 Sid Monge, #664 Bob Molinaro, #668 Larry Christenson, #728 Ron Reed, #754 Bill Robinson, #36T Kiko Garcia, #45T Willie Hernandez, #46T Al Holland, #61T Joe Lefebvre, #72T Larry Milbourne, #85T Tony Perez
  • Base cards of players who didn't play with the Phillies in 1983 - 4 cards (with new teams listed)
#16 George Vukovich (Indians), #148 Dave Roberts, #331 Mike Krukow (Giants), #535 Manny Trillo (Indians)
  • Phillies appearing on 1982 Record Breaker cards - 1 card, #5 Manny Trillo
  • Phillies appearing on Super Veteran cards - 4 cards
#71 Steve Carlton, #101 Pete Rose, #301 Mike Schmidt, #511 Tug McGraw
  • Phillies 1982 Batting and Pitching Leaders - 1 card, #229 with Bo Diaz and Steve Carlton
  • Phillies appearing on National League All Star cards - 4 cards
#397 Pete Rose, #398 Manny Trillo, #399 Mike Schmidt, #406 Steve Carlton
  • Phillies appearing on 1982 Leaders cards - 2 cards
#705 Victory Leaders - Steve Carlton and LaMarr Hoyt (White Sox), #706 Strikeout Leaders - Steve Carlton and Floyd Bannister (Mariners)
  • Manager card - 1 card, #637 Pat Corrales
1983 Topps Traded #61T, #85T, 1983 Topps #279 and #43
Who’s out:  Hudson and Kevin Gross bolstered an injury-depleted rotation, but they're not in the 1983 Topps set.  Manager Paul Owens took control too late in the season to be included in the Traded set.
Phillies on other teams:  First, here are the eight players who eventually ended up with Phillies cards in the Traded set - #58 Al Holland (Giants), #91 Larry Milbourne (Indians), #198 Kiko Garcia (Astros), #325 Von Hayes (Indians), #568 Willie Hernandez (Cubs), #603 Joe Morgan (Giants), #644 Joe Lefebvre (Padres), #715 Tony Perez (Red Sox).  And there are three other players who didn't get Phillies cards in the Traded set - #234 Larry Andersen (Mariners), #353 Steve Comer (Rangers), #455 Sixto Lezcano (Padres)
What’s he doing here:  Infield stalwart Aguayo appeared in just two games with the 1983 Phillies, but he has a card in the set.  His 50 games with the club in 1982 earned him a card.
Cards that never were candidates:  Hudson, Kevin Gross and Owens should all have cards.  Lezcano and Andersen are in the set with other clubs, but they should have Phillies cards.  (Here is the card I made for Lezcano and a few other missing links.)  I'd also have rookie cards for three players who would come to define late '80s Phillies baseball, for better or for worse.  Darren Daulton, Juan Samuel and Steve Jeltz all made their debuts with the Phils in '83.
Favorite Phillies card:  The card we really wanted in our collection was the first Phillies card of old five-for-one, Von Hayes.

Other Stuff
Recycled:  Matthews has a card in the 2004 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites set that uses the 1983 design.  And I used the 1983 Topps template for my 2011 Chachi set.
Blogs/Websites:  The 1983 Topps Blog launched at the beginning of the month, and it's off to a great start.  Also, the 83F Project is attempting to collect an autographed version of every card in the 1983 Fleer set.
Did You Know?:  Reserve outfielder Bob Molinaro appears with the Phillies on his 1983 Topps and Fleer cards, but with the Cubs on his 1983 Donruss card.  Molinaro was acquired from the Cubs on September 1, 1982, a fact noted on the back of his Donruss card.  It always bugged me that the Donruss people couldn't have at least changed the script "Cubs" on the front of Molinaro's card to a script "Phillies."
1983 Topps #101, #301 and #511


Anonymous said...

I always thought that 90% of the '83 Phillies cards were snapshot at Shea. I don't know if that's true, but it made me like the Phils a little better as a 9 year old who watched a ton of Mets games.

BTW, I rooted for your Phillies in the '83 Series.

Jim said...

Glad to know you were rooting for the Phils. As I was going through the Phillies team set, it did seem as if there was an unusually high number of baby blue road unis in the mix.