Wednesday, February 29, 2012

1996 Phillies - The Missing Links

1994 Bowman #664, 1996 Leaf Signature Extended Autographs (#159),
1997 Pacific #381 and 1996 Fleer Update #U168
The mostly forgettable last-place 1996 Phillies fielded 54 different players during the season, and all but six of them appeared on a Phillies baseball card at some point.

3 Cards or More
40 Players

Jeff Parrett appeared on no Phillies cards during his second stint with the club in 1996, but I'm invoking the Dickie Noles rule given his appearance on a bunch of Phillies cards between 1989 and 1990.  The same goes for Terry Mulholland, but he actually appears on two cards (1996 Fleer Update and 1996 Phillies Team Issue) during his second stay with the Phils in 1996.

1996 Phillies Team Issue #43 and #54
2 Cards
Russ Springer (14 games in 1995 and 51 games in 1996) - 1996 Leaf Signature Extended Autographs (#190) and 1996 Phillies Team Issue #33
Larry Mitchell (7 games in 1996) - 1993 Stadium Club Murphy #39 and 1994 Bowman #664

Springer makes the list for the second year in a row, despite having appeared in almost a third of the team's games in 1996.  You'd think he would have somehow snuck into a 1997 Pacific or Score set along the way.

1 Card
Jon Zuber (30 games in 1996 and 38 games in 1998) - 1998 Phillies Team Issue #40 (Special Edition)
Steve Frey (9 games in 1995 and 31 games in 1996) - 1996 Phillies Team Issue #37
Mike Benjamin (35 games in 1996) - 1996 Phillies Team Issue #5
J.R. Phillips (35 games in 1996) - 1996 Leaf Signature Extended Autographs (#159)

Ricardo Jordan (26 games in 1996) - 1997 Pacific #381

Dave Leiper (26 games in 1996) - 1996 Phillies Team Issue #43
Carlos Crawford (1 game in 1996) - 1996 Phillies Team Issue #54

I've already featured Benjamin's sole Phillies card on the blog, the day after my second son was born.  Phillips had 12 hits during his tenure with the team, and 5 of those hits were home runs.  Former Phillie Ricky Jordan spent the season in the Mariners organization, but the Phils filled their R. Jordan quota by bringing aboard lefty reliever Ricardo Jordan.  Ricardo had a respectable 2-2 record and a 1.80 ERA in his 26 games with the club, but it still doesn't explain why Pacific chose to include him in their 1997 set over Springer.

I don't remember much about Leiper and I remember even less about Crawford.  It appears as if Crawford made an emergency start on June 7th, lasted less than 4 innings, picked up the loss and was optioned back to Scranton a few days later.  He'd never pitch in the Majors again.

1997 Best Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons #20, 1996 Stadium Club #401,
1996 Fleer Excel #203 and 1996 Best Reading Phillies #11
0 Cards
**Glenn Murray (38 games in 1996)
Manny Martinez (13 games in 1996)
Glenn Dishman (4 games in 1996)
Bronson Heflin (3 games in 1996)
Rafael Quirico (1 game in 1996)

How does Jon Zuber not have a Phillies card?  Seriously, did I miss something when reviewing my checklists?  Zuber was drafted by the Phillies in 1992 and he made his Major League debut on April 19, 1996.  In 68 games with the Phillies in 1996 and 1998, he hit .250 with 3 home runs and 16 RBIs.

UPDATE: Zuber has been moved up to the 1 Card section.  See the comment from reader Steve F. within the 1998 Missing Links post.

Not only are there no Phillies baseball cards of Murray and Martinez, but I don't have any Phillies-related baseball cards of either of those guys in my collection.  Murray appears within a 1996 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons team set that I don't have, and Martinez was shut out completely.  I find it interesting that Lee Tinsley played in 7 less games as a Phillie than Murray, yet Tinsley by my count is featured on three Phillies cards (1996 Ultra, 1996 Fleer Update and 1996 Phillies Team Issue).

Dishman was in the Phillies system for less than a month.  On September 12th, he was selected off waivers from the Padres and on October 3rd, he was selected by the Tigers off waivers from the Phils.  And if you could have picked Heflin and Quirico out of list of players who were former Phillies, I am equally impressed and frightened by your deep Phillies knowledge.

**UPDATE 2:  I now know that Murray has a card in the style of the 1996 Phillies Team Issue set that was issued either as a late season update or during the annual ALS Phillies Phestival.  Please see this post for further details.

Past Missing Link Posts


Matthew Appleton said...

I would have sworn that Quirico had a Pacific-issued card, but I'm probably mixing his name up with some other reliever whose time in Philly could have been measured on a stop watch.

By the way, I was at the two games where Murray hit his two Phillies home runs, and I have the ticket stubs to prove it. Don't ask me how I figured out this ridiculous little bit of personal trivia -- the fact that I even know this is frightening enough.

I was also at the last game of the season at Shea -- a game Dishman started. It's sad that what I remember the most about that year's team are the scrubs who were passing through.

Jim said...

I'm with you. I remember Benjamin and Zuber and Murray and Tinsley, but I would have been hard-pressed to name the team's primary starting third baseman (Zeile) before this little exercise.