Monday, February 20, 2012

1995 Phillies - The Missing Links

1996 Leaf Signature Extended Autographs (#190), 1995 Topps Traded #90T,
1995 Fleer Update #U-120 and 1996 Score #238
This little project of mine really picked up some speed with the rogue's gallery that made up the 1995 Phillies team.  There were 50 players who appeared at some point with the 1995 Phillies, so it's only natural that some of them would never be represented on cardboard as Phillies.  Couple the large number of players with decreased baseball card production in 1995, and there are quite a few missing links.

3 or More Cards
36 Players

1995 Phillies Team Issue #5 and
1996 Phillies Team Issue #37
2 Cards
Russ Springer (14 games in 1995 and 51 games in 1996) - 1996 Leaf Signature Extended Autographs and 1996 Phillies Team Issue #33
Dave Gallagher (62 games in 1995) - 1995 Phillies Team Issue #17 and 1995 Topps Traded #90T
Gene Harris (21 games in 1995) - 1995 Fleer Update #U-120 and 1995 Phillies Team Issue #33

Springer was actually a key contributor to the 1996 squad, but as a middle reliever he was among the first to get cut by the card companies when it came to player selection.  Gallagher wrapped up his 9-year career with a decent season with the Phillies.  He hit .318 as the team's fourth outfielder.  Harris was shipped to the Orioles in June for Andy Van Slyke.  By the time his Fleer Update card was released, he was already an ex-Phillie.

1 Card
Gary Varsho (72 games in 1995) - 1995 Phillies Team Issue #5
Steve Frey (9 games in 1995 and 31 games in 1996) - 1996 Phillies Team Issue #37
Andy Carter (20 games in 1994 and 4 games in 1995) - 1994 Phillies Team Issue Update #50
Kevin Flora (24 games in 1995) - 1996 Score #238
Ryan Karp (1 game in 1995 and 15 games in 1997) - 1994 Bowman #552
Paul Fletcher (1 game in 1993 and 10 games in 1995) - 1993 Bowman #272

Varsho appeared on a number of team-issued cards between 2002 and 2006 during his time as a Phillies coach, but he had only one card with the Phillies as a player.

1994 Bowman #552,
1995 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons Team Issue (#6), (#20) and (#22)
0 Cards
Kevin Elster (26 games in 1995)
Omar Olivares (5 games in 1995)
Chuck Ricci (7 games in 1995)
Dennis Springer (4 games in 1995)
Jim Deshaies (2 games in 1995)

1995 Pacific #410
If you remember Elster and Deshaies playing with the Phillies, than you are truly a die-hard Phillies fan.  Elster came to the Phillies in July after bouncing from the Yankees and Royals organizations in June.  The Beckett database shows that Elster didn't appear on one single baseball card in 1994 or 1995, and by the time he was featured on a few 1996 cards he was already with the Rangers.

The only thing I remember about Olivares' stay with the Phillies is that he wore #00.  Ricci actually won a game with the Phillies, and the only Phillies-related card I have of him doesn't even feature a photo of the guy.  Dennis Springer (no relation to Russ) started his 8-year career with 4 games with the 1995 Phillies.  His claim to fame is that he gave up Barry Bonds' 73rd home run back in 2001.  He's featured in the same all-painting minor league set as Ricci.

Deshaies caught on with the Phillies in a last-ditch effort to keep his career going after 11 seasons spent mostly with the Astros.  He started two games with the club in late July, going 0-1 with a 20.25 ERA in 5 1/3 innings.  He was released on July 31st.

So there were five Phillies from the 1995 season who never appeared on a Phillies baseball card.  I have a feeling that number is about to jump once we hit the dark days of 1996, 1997 and 1998.

Past Missing Link Posts
1991 Phillies - Dave LaPoint

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