Thursday, March 22, 2012

1998 Phillies - The Missing Links

1998 Pacific Online #569, 1998 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons 10th Anniversary (#15),
1995 Topps #254 and 1998 Q Cards Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons #9
This post adds two more unfortunate souls to the list of players who appeared with the Phillies during the mostly lost decade of the '90s, yet never appeared on cardboard with the team.

40 players suited up with the Phillies during the 1998 season.  Without checking Baseball Reference, I would have pegged that number a little higher, but 40 it is.

3 Cards or More
35 Players

Relievers Jerry Spradlin, Yorkis Perez and Billy Brewer all made the cut with exactly three Phillies cards.  Each of those guys were featured in a few Phillies Team Issue sets and the 1998 Pacific Online set.  When I was trying to create my Phillies Wall back in the late-90s, the 1998 Pacific Online set was a necessity.  Weighing in with 780 different cards, the set featured middle inning relievers and back-up catchers during an era when the other card manufacturers were ignoring those guys.  It's not a pretty set, but it definitely served its purpose.

2 Cards
Darrin Winston (7 games in 1997 and 27 games in 1998) - 1998 Pacific Online #576 and 1998 Phillies Team Issue #58

Winston already made the list in 1997.

1999 Sports Illustrated #61
1 Card
Mike Welch (10 games in 1998) - 1999 Sports Illustrated #61
Jon Zuber (30 games in 1996 and 38 games in 1998) - 1998 Phillies Team Issue (Special Edition)*

Welch had to share his sole Phillies card with Marlon Anderson and Gary Bennett.  Welch, a right-handed reliever was acquired from the Mets in December 1997 for minor leaguer Hector Mercado.

*See the comment after this post from reader Steve F. for more information.

0 Cards
Matt Whiteside (10 games in 1998)
Robert Dodd (4 games in 1998)

Pitchers Whiteside and Dodd join the infamous list.  Whiteside had been a mainstay in the Rangers bullpen for the better part of the '90s before the team unceremoniously released him in Spring Training 1998.  The Phils signed him a few days later.  He spent the bulk of the '98 season with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons, although he does not appear in the Red Barons team set; most likely because he actually opened the season on the Phillies active roster.  So Whiteside is the classic case of a player caught in the middle - he was acquired too late to be included within the team issued postcard set, and he was still with the Phillies when the Red Barons were compiling the checklist for their team set.

Dodd does appear in the Red Barons set, and he took Whiteside's spot in the bullpen when the team designated Whiteside for assignment in late May.  Dodd appeared in four games with the Phillies in late May/early June, winning a game, but allowing four earned runs in five innings (7.20 ERA).

Past Missing Link Posts


Steve F. said...

1998 Phillies team-issue update alert: Jon Zuber apparently had a photocard, perhaps made specifically for him to respond to autograph requests:

New item for us obsessives to add to our want lists!

Steve F. said...

It looks like Zuber also had at least one Phillies minor league card (Fleer/ProCards) with Clearwater in 1993.

Steve F. said...

And I promise not to comment on Jon Zuber anymore, but he also had a Front Row "Draft Pick '92" card that pictures him as a member of the Cal Bears baseball team--but that presumably on the backs says he was drafted by the Phillies (although i haven't confirmed it). So it's not that different from, say, that 1990 Jeff Jackson card except that it doesn't say "Phillies" on the front.

If and when I get that signed for my Phillies signed card collection, it will have to do....

Jim said...

Awesome find on the Zuber team issue card!

All told, I have 11 minor league cards of Zuber in my collection, but now I'll definitely be on the look-out for his one and only "true" Phillies card.

Steve F. said...

Hey, it made your top 10 most wanted! Who'd he knock out?

I went through my signed cards and didn't realize I actually have three signed by Zuber--that Front Row card and two minor league cards, both picturing him as a Batavia Clipper. On one of the cards, had they not shown the hat with a stylized "B" on it, you wouldn't know it wasn't a Phillies card--because the word Batavia is unreadable as it is made of foil! Looking at it in that light, I decided "Good enough" and moved it out of the minor league box and into my signed Phillies cards binder.....

Jim said...

Updated for the long-lost Zuber Phillies card!