Monday, April 30, 2012

2012 Topps Opening Day Mascots #M-14 Phillie Phanatic

Cubs 5, Phillies 1
Game 22 - Sunday Afternoon, April 29th in Philadelphia
Record - 10-12, 4th Place, 4 games behind the Nationals and Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Matt Garza stymied the Phillies offense (which isn't hard to do these days) as the Cubs won, 5-1.

What It Means:  The loss guaranteed the team its first month with a losing record since June 2009, and its first April with a losing record since 2007.

What Went Wrong:  Jimmy Rollins hit a bloop single to lead off the first, and then the Phillies were held hitless until Hunter Pence's infield single in the ninth.  Those were the team's only two hits all afternoon.

Kyle Kendrick rebounded from his last horrific outing to allow three runs (two earned) over six innings.

Featured Card/Field Report:  My entire little family attended the game yesterday afternoon and it was my two-year-old Ben's first Phillies game.  Both Doug (age five) and Ben were understandably underwhelmed by the game.  The highlight for both boys was getting to sing happy birthday to the Phanatic (along with the rest of the fans in attendance) during a pre-game birthday ceremony.  I'm hoping the next game I take the boys to is a little more exciting, otherwise they're going to start to wonder why I'm such a baseball fanatic.  At least the cherry water ice and popcorn were delicious!

(The Phils are now 1-2 in games I've attended this year.)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

2000 Topps Phillies

2000 Topps #328, #38, #10 and #327
As of this writing, I have just 13 more of these posts to go to cover the Phillies baseball cards featured in each of the Topps flagship baseball card sets since 1951.  I'm a little relieved to be leaving the '90s and heading into happier times for the Phillies (and me).  But before we get to those happier times, there's the little matter of the year 2000.

2000 Topps #327 (Back)
The Set
Number of cards in the set:  There are 478 cards in the base set with no #7 in the set as Topps continued to honor Mickey Mantle.  If you count all the variations available for the Magic Moments subset, there are actually 520 cards in the set.  Topps released five different versions of each of the Magic Momemts cards featuring highlights from the careers of Mark McGwire, Hank Aaron, Cal Ripken, Jr., Wade Boggs, Tony Gwynn, Ken Griffey, Jr., Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez.  Topps also released a Traded Set with 135 cards.
My very brief thoughts on the set:  Remember how weird it was to first write out the year "2000"?  The Topps design team must of have wanted to make sure we knew we were collecting futuristic cards since they added the little "TOPPS 2000" bit above the player's name on the base cards.  This was the first time Topps ever featured the year of the card within the design of its base cards, and it's also the first time the word "Topps" is redundantly featured twice on the fronts of its base cards.  Other than the difficult to read gold foil, I really liked these cards when they came out.  The cards have a clean design and the appearance of the team logo is a plus.  Topps brought back vertical backs for the first time since 1993.
Notable competition:  There were a ton of baseball cards released in 2000.  With some disposable income available and eBay just a dial-up on the modem away, I added as many Phillies cards as I could.  This was also the year I began to catalog my growing Phillies collection in Excel spreadsheets.  By my unofficial tally, the card manufacturers released a large number of different baseball card sets, as follows:  Fleer (15 sets), Pacific (13 sets), Topps (18 sets), Upper Deck (16 sets).  The days of conceivably being able to add just about every baseball card released in a given year (circa 1980 to 1986) were now long gone.

2000 Topps Traded #T104, 2000 Topps #258, #102 and 2000 Topps Traded #T105
2000 Phillies
Record and finish:  The Y2K Phillies were terrible.  Just awful.  They finished in last place with a record of 65-97, equalling their loss total from the dreadful 1972 season.  The horrible season cost manager Terry Francona and his coaching staff their jobs at the conclusion of the season.  It was the team's 13th losing season in a 14-year span, with the only bright spot being the surprising 1993 season.  Fortunately, the Phils were about to turn the corner in 2001.
Key players:  Scott Rolen was limited to 128 games due to injuries (sprained ankle, sprained wrist and back issues throughout the season), but he still hit .298 with 26 home runs and 89 RBIs.  Bobby Abreu had his second straight strong season, hitting .316 with 25 home runs and 79 RBIs.  Pat Burrell (.260, 18 home runs, 79 RBIs) took over regular first base duties while Mike Lieberthal (.278, 15 home runs, 71 RBIs) enjoyed another decent season despite only playing in 108 games.  Randy Wolf led the pitching staff with 11 wins, followed by Robert Person's 9.  Jeff Brantley was the team's top closer, saving 23 games.
Key events:  Disgruntled star Curt Schilling asked for a trade and General Manager Ed Wade delivered, shipping the pitcher to the Arizona Diamondbacks in July for four question marks - Pitchers Omar Daal, Vicente Padilla and Nelson Figueroa and first baseman Travis Lee.  Wade wheeled and dealed all season, with not much to show in return.  By the end of the season, five of the Phillies' Opening Day starters were with other teams - First baseman Rico Brogna (Red Sox), second baseman Mickey Morandini (Blue Jays), shortstop Desi Relaford (Padres), left fielder Ron Gant (Angels) and pitcher Andy Ashby (Braves).  Wearing #29, Jimmy Rollins made his Major League debut on September 17, 2000, starting at short and collecting his first hit (a triple) off Marlins' pitcher Chuck Smith.

2000 Phillies in 2000Topps
Cards needed for a complete team set:  There are 14 Phillies cards in the regular set and another 7 Phillies cards in the traded series.  The total of 21 cards is a step up from the 16 Phillies cards available in 1999.
Who’s in:

  • Cards of the eight starting position players - 7 cards
#10 Mike Lieberthal (c), #T104 Mickey Morandini (2b), #258 Desi Relaford (ss), #328 Scott Rolen (3b), #102 Ron Gant (lf), #327 Doug Glanville (cf), #38 Bobby Abreu (rf)

Now we're talking.  After years of having just a few starters receive cards, Topps redeemed itself with a nice player selection in its regular and traded sets.  First baseman Burrell is featured on a multi-player Prospects card.

2000 Topps #120, #393, 2000 Topps Traded #T134 and 2000 Topps #166
  • Cards of the starting pitching rotation - 3 cards
#120 Curt Schilling, #393 Andy Ashby, #T134 Bruce Chen

Top starters Wolf and Person were completely shut out from the set for some reason.
  • Base cards of players who played with the Phillies in 2000 - 5 cards
#166 Paul Byrd, #273 Rico Brogna, #341 Marlon Anderson, #T105 Travis Lee. #T120 Omar Daal
  • Base cards of players who didn't play with the Phillies in 2000 - 4 cards
#63 Chad Ogea (Indians), #T11 Russ Jacobson, #T25 Brett Myers, #T87 Keith Bucktrot

The traded series was heavy with prospects and suspects and we got two Phillies cards for a couple of players who never sniffed the Majors.  Jacobson bounced around the team's minor league system until 2004 and Bucktrot lasted until 2005.  Myers was fist called up by the Phillies in July 2002.
  • Phillies appearing on multi-player Prospects cards - 1 card, #204 Pat Burrell
  • Phillies appearing on multi-player Draft Picks cards - 1 card, #213 Brett Myers
2000 Topps #341, #273, #48 and 2000 Topps Traded #T120
Who’s out:  Wolf and Person, as previously mentioned, should have had cards.  The bullpen got completely shut out, with nary a reliever in the set.  If I had to pick three relievers deserving of cards, I'd go with Brantley (55 games, 23 saves), Chris Brock (63 games, 7-8 record) and Wayne Gomes (65 games, 7 saves).  Bench mainstays Kevin Jordan (109 games) and Rob Ducey (112 games) were also left out.
Phillies on other teams:  Daal (#32 with the Diamondbacks), Morandini (#106 with the Cubs) and Lee (#377 with the Diamondbacks) made it into the traded series as Phillies while Kent Bottenfield (#48 with the Cardinals) did not.  Also, reliever Michael Jackson (#194 with the Indians) is in the set.  Jackson returned to the Phillies as a free agent in December 1999, hurt himself warming up on Opening Day, and never pitched during the season.
2000 Topps #204
What’s he doing here:  Jacobson and Bucktrot share the honors.
Cards that never were candidates:  It was always strange to me that Myers received a stand-alone card in the traded series, but Burrell didn't.  Here's a list of ten players deserving of cards that never were:  Burrell, Wolf, Person, Brantley, Brock, Gomes, Jordan, Ducey, Padilla and Rollins.
Favorite Phillies card:  Nothing really jumps out at me.  By default, I'll pick Byrd's card over Morandini's return to Phillies cardboard.  Chalk it up to the high socks.

Other Stuff
Recycled:  Topps re-used this design on a number of parallel sets in 2000 - Topps Chrome, Topps Limited Edition and Topps Opening Day.  I believe the Limited Edition cards were available only in factory set form, and they're supposed to somehow be glossier than the "regular" edition of Topps.  Opening Day featured silver foil in place of the gold foil found in the regular set.
Blogs/Websites:  I got nothing.  Maybe there's a kid somewhere out there who loves the 2000 Topps set and he or she is about to take the plunge and blog about this set.  Until then, here's a post I ran a few years ago pondering the decade of the '00s. 
Did You Know?:  Wade traded Rob Ducey to the Blue Jays and received . . . Rob Ducey in return?  And now you know.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

2012 Topps Gypsy Queen #113 Carlos Ruiz

Phillies 5, Cubs 2
Game 21 - Satuday Night, April 28th in Philadelphia
Record - 10-11, 4th Place, 4 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Carlos Ruiz and Jimmy Rollins provided the offense to back Joe Blanton's solid outing as the Phils won, 5-2.

What It Means:  Charlie Manuel tried yet another line-up combination tonight, and this one seemed to click.

What Went Right:  Ruiz starting the scoring in the fourth with a two-run single to center.  Rollins, back in the lead-off spot for the first time this year, followed a few batters later with a two-run double to give the Phils a 4-1 lead.  Ruiz added a solo home run in the sixth.

Blanton pitched into the eighth inning on the way to his second win of the season.  He scattered eight hits while allowing two runs and striking out eight.  Chad Qualls finished out the eighth and Jonathan Papelbon pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his seventh save.

Featured Card:  This is Chooch's card from the recently released Gypsy Queen set.  It's nice to see Ruiz getting included in more sets this year, as he's been all too often neglected in prior year sets.  He was left out of the inaugural Topps Gypsy Queen set last year.

1992 Leaf #473 Dale Sveum

Cubs 5, Phillies 1
Game 20 - Friday Night, April 27th in Philadelphia
Record - 9-11, 4th Place, 5 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  The Phils left their bats in Phoenix as the Cubs handled Roy Halladay, winning 5-1.

What It Means:  So much for the return of the offense.

What Went Wrong:  The Phillies threatened in the first when their first two batters, Juan Pierre and Placido Polanco, reached on singles.  They were both left stranded and their wasn't much more to cheer about until Ty Wigginton's solo home run in the seventh.  Jimmy Rollins, Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino went 0 for 12 in the middle of the line-up.  Cubs starter Paul Maholm, who entered the game with a 8.36 ERA, baffled the Phillies through 6 1/3 innings, allowing five hits while walking none.

Halladay (3-2) allowed three runs on six hits over seven innings, after starting the game by retiring the first 10 batters he faced.  He walked two and struck out five.

1992 Stadium Club #687
Featured Cards:  First year Cubs manager Dale Sveum was traded by the Phillies to the White Sox on August 10, 1992, after hitting .178 in 54 games.  Shortly after the trade, Sveum was asked if he missed Philadelphia, to which he replied, "Like a hole in the head."  When told of this, General Manager Lee Thomas responded, "Did he say anything about the hole in his bat?"

Sveum received four Phillies cards in 1992 for his troubles, including the card featured at the top of this post from the 1992 Leaf set.  His Bowman and Stadium Club cards featured shots of the disgruntled Phillie on the bench, and he was also featured in the team issued postcard set, sponsored by Medford.

Field Report:  Jenna and I were there last night and we were cold.  The Phillies are now 1-1 in games I've attended this year.  It would have been nice to have something to get excited about, but I found myself actually bored throughout portions of this game.  For the first time in years, the crowd seemed flat and there were quite a few empty blue seats despite the announced paid attendance of over 45,000.  It's got to get better.  As soon as the weather warms up.  Soon.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Cubs at Phillies: April 27th to April 30th

Citizens Bank Park - Philadelphia, PA
Friday and Saturday 7:05, Sunday 1:35, Monday 7:05

Cubs 6-13, 6th Place in the N.L. Central, 6 games behind the Cardinals
Phillies 9-10, 4th Place in the N.L. East, 5 games behind the Nationals

Cubs Probables:  Paul Maholm (1-2, 8.36), Randy Wells (0-0, 3.60), Matt Garza (1-1, 3.38), Jeff Samardzija (2-1, 4.13)
Phillies Probables:  Roy Halladay (3-1, 1.50), Joe Blanton (1-3, 4.34), Kyle Kendrick (0-1, 9.39), Vance Worley (2-1, 2.16)

At the Ballpark:  Sunday is the Phanatic's birthday party with all kids receiving a Phanatic Bank.  There will also be on-field, pre-game festivities to celebrate the Phanatic's big day.  (It's funny how his birthday always seems to fall on a Sunday.)  Monday night is another Dollar Dog Night.

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Juan Pierre - .339
Runs:  Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino - 10
Home Runs:  Shane Victorino - 4
RBIs:  Hunter Pence - 11
Stolen Bases:  Shane Victorino - 6

Wins:  Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels - 3
ERA:  Roy Halladay - 1.50
Strikeouts:  Cole Hamels - 30
Saves:  Jonathan Papelbon - 6

1979 Topps #398 and #210
1979 Topps Flashback:  Featured today are two players who were part of probably the worst Phillies trade in the franchise's history.  Not pictured is the throw-in included by the Phillies when they sent perennial All-Star shortstop Larry Bowa to the Cubs back on January 27, 1982 - future Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg.  Here are a few posts from several years back in which I cover the trade in a little more detail.

I didn't have Bowa's Topps card in 1979, but I definitely had his Burger King card which featured the exact same front.  That card was one of my early favorites in my small collection, and I would have been heart-broken had I known Bowa had just three more seasons remaining with the Phils.

2012 Topps Gypsy Queen #30 Cole Hamels

Phillies 7, Diamondbacks 2
Game 19 - Wednesday Afternoon, April 25th in Phoenix
Record - 9-10, 4th Place, 5 1/2 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies escaped the West with a 7-2 victory over the Diamondbacks.

What It Means:  It means that somehow, the Phils came out of this ten-game road trip, the longest of the season, with a 5-5 record.  All things considered, it could have been a lot worse.

What Went Right:  Cole Hamels pitched a great game, at one point retiring 18 straight Diamondbacks.  In his eight innings of work, he allowing two runs on four hits while striking out seven.  Placido Polanco and Carlos Ruiz both enjoyed three-hit games while Hamels and Hunter Pence both knocked in a pair of runs.

Featured Card:  I returned from my brief work-related road trip yesterday to find a bubble-lope waiting for me containing the Phillies team set from the 2012 Topps Gypsy Queen offering.  I had recently won the set on eBay and featured here is the card of Wednesday's winning pitcher.  I have mixed feelings about this year's Gypsy Queen set.  I enjoyed the inaugural set that Topps released last year, but I'm not sure if a second set was merited.  Like most of the Topps "specialty" sets these days, there are number of short-printed variation cards within the main set which will make it particularly difficult for set builder (or a team set builder) to compile a complete set.  I'll reserve my judgment on the set for now, seeing as I've only had a few hours (as of this writing) to digest this year's Gypsy Queen cards.

2012 Phillies Team Issue #19 Laynce Nix

Phillies 8, Diamondbacks 5
Game 18 - Late Tuesday Night, April 24th in Phoenix
Record - 8-10, Tied for 4th Place, 5 1/2 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  The offense came to life in a refreshing 8-5 win over the Diamondbacks.

What It Means:  Maybe this season isn't over yet after all.

What Went Right:  Hunter Pence was out of the line-up on Monday suffering from a bruised left rotator cuff.  He declared himself ready to play on Tuesday and he started the scoring with a two-run home run in the fourth.  Laynce Nix followed a few batters later with his own two-run home run.  Nix finished the night with three hits.  Pete Orr got the start at second and went 2 for 4 with three RBIs.

The offense's efforts helped Vance Worley notch his second win of the season.

Featured Card:  To date, this is the only Phillies card out there for Nix, who following this game, was hitting .333 with three doubles a homer and six RBIs.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

1996 Leaf Signature Autographs Bronze - Mike Mimbs

Diamondbacks 9, Phillies 5
Game 17 - Late Monday Night, April 23rd in Phoenix
Record - 7-10, 5th Place, 5 1/2 games behind the Nationals

First, a Word from our Sponsors:  Unbeknownst to the good people at Google who developed Blogger, I travel quite frequently throughout the spring and summer and I have to leave behind my trusty iMac and rely on my antiquated work laptop while out of town.  My work laptop runs a version of Internet Explorer which is at least six or seven versions behind the current version, and I'm expressly forbidden from updating my internet browser for fear that it would throw all of my work applications completely out of whack.  Therefore, when Blogger went to its new and improved (?) interface a few days ago, while I was out of town, I was left Blogger-less.  My work laptop's internet browser is unequipped to handle all the new bells and whistles.

What does all this mean?  Not much really, other than if more than a few days go by without posting current content, just realize that I'm either on vacation or traveling for work, all the while cursing my work laptop's inability to step into the year 2012.  And now back to the show!

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies were completely embarrassed by the Diamondbacks, 9-5.

What It Means:  I listened to the majority of this game from a hotel room in Mason, Ohio, and at the time I thought to myself, "This is the bottom.  It's got to turn around from here.  It will get better."  Fortunately, at least for the next two games, it did get better.

What Went Wrong:  The Phils were shut out for eight innings and then scored five times in the ninth to at least make the final score somewhat respectable.  Charlie Manuel would call the inning a "morale booster."  The big blow in the ninth was a three-run home run from Shane Victorino - the team's first home run of 2012 with runners in scoring position.  Carlos Ruiz followed with a solo home run.

Featured Card:  Kyle Kendrick made a spot start in place of the injured Cliff Lee and he allowed eleven hits and seven runs in his three-plus innings of work.  Todd Zolecki pointed out that he became "just the fourth Phillies starter since 1918 to allow 11 or more hits and seven or more earned runs in three or fewer innings."  The last pitcher to do it?  That would be Mike Mimbs, back on May 11, 1996, against the Braves.

Mimbs was featured on quite a few Phillies cards back in 1996, including this signed card from the ground-breaking Leaf Signature Autographs set.

2000 Phillies - The Missing Links

2000 Pacific Omega #253, 2000 Q Cards Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons #11, #23 and
2000 Multi-Ad Reading Phillies #2
IN THE YEAR 2000 . . . the Phillies used 51 different players, just three players shy of the franchise record 54 from 1996.  Four of those unfortunate players never appeared on cardboard as Phillies*.

One quick caveat before we begin the journey of The Missing Links of the '00s:  This list may not be complete.  I have a good handle on the Phillies cards released between 2000 and 2009, but their are definitely holes in my collection, especially towards the middle part of the decade.  Please leave a comment with any corrections or revisions needed.

3 Cards or More
36 Players

2001 Victory #289, 2000 Fleer Tradition Update #U99, 2000 Pacific Omega #248 and 2001 Ultra #250
2 Cards
Chris Brock (63 games in 2000 and 24 games in 2001) - 2000 Phillies Team Issue #55 and 2001 Phillies Team Issue #45
Brian R. Hunter (85 games in 2000) - 2001 Topps #13 and 2001 Victory #489
Tom Prince (4 games in 1999 and 46 games in 2000) - 1999 Phillies Team Issue #12 and 2000 Phillies Team Issue #22
Jason Boyd (30 games in 2000) - 2000 Fleer Tradition Update #U99 and 2001 Ultra #245
David Newhan (10 games in 2000 and 7 games in 2001) - 2000 Pacific Omega #248 and 2001 Phillies Team Issue #9
Mark Brownson (2 games in 2000) - 2001 Ultra #250 and 2001 Upper Deck Vintage #367

1 Card
Steve Schrenk (32 games in 1999 and 20 games in 2000) - 2000 Phillies Team Issue #52
Scott Aldred (29 games in 1999 and 23 games in 2000) - 2000 Phillies Team Issue #30
Ed Vosberg (31 games in 2000 and 18 games in 2001) - 2001 Phillies Team Issue #50
Trever Miller (14 games in 2000) - 2000 Phillies Team Issue #46
Carlos Reyes (10 games in 2000) - 2000 Phillies Team Issue #44
Thomas Jacquez (9 games in 2000) - 2000 Pacific Omega #253

2000 Phillies Team Issue #55 and
2001 Phillies Team Issue #50
2000 Phillies Team Issue #46 and #44
If you look up "journeyman reliever" in the dictionary, chances are there's either a picture of Vosberg or Miller.  Both pitchers enjoyed lengthy careers, due mostly to their ability to throw a baseball left-handed. Vosberg played for 8 different teams during his 10-year career spanning, in fits and starts, from 1986 through 2002.  Miller also played for 8 different teams, managing to stick around from 1996 until last year for three games with the Red Sox.

0 Cards
Mark Holzemer (25 games in 2000)
Bryan Ward (20 games in 2000)
Kirk Bullinger (3 games in 2000)
Clemente Alvarez (2 games in 2000)

2001 Phillies Team
Issue #55
Holzemer and Ward were two more lefty relievers who spent a brief amount of time in the trial by error Phillies bullpen of 2000.  Strangely enough, I actually remember both Holzemer and Ward pitching for the Phillies, but for the life of me, and I mean no disrespect to him, I have no recollection of Bullinger as a Phillie.  Bullinger actually made the squad out of Spring Training in 2000, after pitching 11 scoreless innings.  He appeared in three games with the Phillies before landing on the disabled list with a lower back strain.  He was reinstated from the DL in June and promptly sent down to Triple-A Scranton, where he'd spend the rest of the year.

Catcher Alvarez was recalled in mid-September following Mike Lieberthal's elbow injury.  He appeared in just two games and was the team's starting catcher for the final day of the season.  The day after the season ended, he elected to become a free agent rather than accept his outright assignment to Reading.  Alvarez ended up back with the Phillies in 2001 as the team's bullpen catcher and he appears within the team's 2001 team issued set as such.

*So technically, he does kind of have a Phillies card, but I'm making up these rules as a go along, and coach's cards don't count.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

2012 Chachi #11 Pete Orr

Peterson Thomas Gordon Orr
Infield - Outfield

Bats: Left  Throws: Right  Height: 6'1"  Weight: 195
Born: June 8, 1979, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada
Home: Newmarket, Ontario, Canada
Signed: Signed as an amateur free agent by the Atlanta Braves, July 3, 1999
Teams: Atlanta Braves 2005-2007, Washington Nationals 2008-2009, Phillies 2011-
Acquired: Signed as a minor league free agent, formerly with the Washington Nationals' organization, November 11, 2010
Contract Status: Pre-arbitration eligible

2012 Chachi #10 Brian Schneider

Brian Duncan Schneider

Bats: Left  Throws: Right  Height: 6'1"  Weight: 210
Born: November 26, 1976, Jacksonville, FL
Home: Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Drafted: Selected by Montreal Expos in 5th round of June 1995 draft
Teams: Montreal Expos 2000-2004, Washington Nationals 2005-2007, New York Mets 2008-2009, Phillies 2010-
Acquired: Signed as a free agent formerly with the New York Mets, December 1, 2009
Contract Status: Signed through the 2012 season

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

2012 Chachi #9 Roy Halladay

Harry Leroy Halladay III
Starting Pitcher

Bats: Right  Throws: Right  Height: 6'6"  Weight: 230
Born: May 14, 1977, Denver, CO
Home: Odessa, FL
Drafted: Selected by Toronto Blue Jays in 1st round of June 1995 draft
Teams: Toronto Blue Jays 1998-2009, Phillies 2010-
Acquired: Acquired from Toronto Blue Jays for Kyle DrabekMichael Taylor and Travis d'Arnaud, December 16, 2009
Contract Status: Signed through the 2013 season, with a vesting option for 2014

Monday, April 23, 2012

Phillies at Diamondbacks: April 23rd to April 25th

Chase Field - Phoenix, AZ
Monday and Tuesday 9:40, Wednesday 3:40

Phillies 7-9, 5th Place in N.L. East, 5 games behind the Nationals
Diamondbacks 8-8, Tied for 3rd Place in N.L. West, 4 games behind the Dodgers

Phillies Probables:  Kyle Kendrick (0-0, 1.93), Vance Worley (1-1, 2.37), Cole Hamels (2-1, 2.95)
Diamondbacks Probables:  Wade Miley (1-0, 3.12), Josh Collmenter (0-1, 10.22), Trevor Cahill (1-1, 2.84)

At the Ballpark:  The Diamondbacks have no give-aways scheduled during the series, and the only promotion is that Wednesday afternoon's game is a "Senior Day."  I'm not really sure what that means, although I'm assuming that perhaps senior citizens get a ticket discount?

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Shane Victorino - .274
Runs:  Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino - 8
Home Runs:  Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino -2
RBIs:  Hunter Pence - 7
Stolen Bases:  Shane Victorino - 6

Wins:  Roy Halladay - 3
ERA:  Roy Halladay - 1.50
Strikeouts:  Cole Hamels - 23
Saves:  Jonathan Papelbon - 5

1994 Topps Archives 1954 #212 Mickey Micelotta

One Day Catch-Up, Part 6 of 6

Padres 6, Phillies 1
Game 16 - Sunday Afternoon, April 22nd in San Diego
Record - 7-9, 5th Place, 5 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  The Phils pushed across a lone run in their latest loss to the last place Padres.

What It Means:  It means I'm caught up on the game summary posts that I missed while away on vacation, although it seems as if I didn't really miss all that much.  I could easily fall behind again over the next few days given the late games coming up in Phoenix.

What Went Wrong:  The Phils went 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position and they struck out 11 times.  Clean-up hitter Hunter Pence was 1 for 16 during the series.  Joe Blanton allowed six runs (three earned) in his six innings of work.

Featured Card:  I'm going through Magic (and quality family time) withdrawal today following my vacation to Walt Disney World.  Here's another card of one of the eight Mickeys to have played for the Phillies.  Hopefully the Phils start winning again soon so that I can feature cards of current players.

Robert Peter "Mickey" Micelotta, a shortstop, appeared in 17 games in 1954 and 1955 with the Phillies, going 0 for 7.  Micelotta served his country during the Korean War in 1951 and 1952.

1993 Leaf #77 Mickey Morandini

One Day Catch-Up, Part 5 of 6

Padres 5, Phillies 1
Game 15 - Saturday Night, April 21st in San Diego
Record - 7-8, 4th Place, 4 1/2 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Roy Halladay had a rare bad outing as the offensive struggles continued and the Padres won, 5-1.

What It Means:  This post over at Beerleaguer sums up the current situation perfectly.

What Went Wrong:  The Phillies were held to three hits and they went 1 for 6 with runners in scoring position.  Halladay pitched seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out five, but walking four.  In the second, Halladay walked three batters in a row for the first time ever.

Featured Card:  While the team's offensive woes continued, we spent Saturday at Disney's Hollywood Studios followed by a family birthday dinner at 'Ohana for my son Ben.  We truly enjoyed our latest visit to the House that Mickey Built, and I can't wait to go back again.

Speaking of Mickey, there have been eight Mickeys to play for the Phillies since their inception in 1883 -

1.  Mickey Doolin - 1905-1913
2.  Mickey Devine - 1918
3.  Mickey Haslin - 1933-1936
4.  Mickey Livingston - 1941-1943
5.  Mickey Micelotta - 1954-1955
6.  Mickey Harrington - 1963
7.  Mickey Morandini - 1990-1997, 2000
8.  Mickey Weston - 1992

There have also been plenty of Donalds, but no Minnies, Goofys or Plutos.

2012 Phillies Team Issue #10 Juan Pierre

One Day Catch-Up, Part 4 of 6

Phillies 4, Padres 1
Game 14 - Late Friday Night, April 20th in San Diego
Record - 7-7, 4th Place, 3 1/2 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  The Phils rallied late, winning their 13th in a row at Petco Park, 4-1.

What It Means:  Following the game, the Phillies were back at .500 and out of the National League East basement.

What Went Right:  Brian Schneider picked a nice time for his first hit of 2012 with an RBI-single in the seventh to tie up the game, 1-1.  Juan Pierre followed with a two-run single.  Shane Victorino added a solo home run in the eighth, which came a few pitches after he was denied first after being hit by a pitch.  (The home plate umpire ruled that Victorino had leaned into the pitch.)

Cole Hamels earned his second win of the season after allowing just a run in his six innings of work.  The bullpen trio of Jose Contreras, Chad Qualls and Jonathan Papelbon held the Padres scoreless over the final three frames.

Featured Card:  I may not have a lot of opportunities to feature many of Pierre's 2012 cards in game summary posts this year.  And that could be a good thing, given that this card, his card from the team issued postcard set, is his sole card so far this year.  Amazingly enough, following this game, Pierre's .316 average led the team.

2012 Topps #307 Vance Worley

One Day Catch-Up, Part 3 of 6

Phillies 2, Padres 0
Game 13 - Late Thursday Night, April 19th in San Diego
Record - 6-7, 5th Place, 3 1/2 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Vance Worley dominated the struggling Padres, striking out 11 on the way to a Phillies 2-0 victory.

What It Means:  A win's a win.  We'll take it.  And my family spent the day at the Magic Kingdom on Thursday, so it was a good day all around!

What Went Right:  The Phillies managed five singles and a Juan Pierre triple, scoring in the first and ninth innings.

Worley struck out a career high on the way to his first win of 2012.  Chad Qualls pitched a scoreless eighth and Jonathan Papelbon closed it out in the ninth to earn his fourth save.

Featured Card:  Finally!  A Phillies win and I get to feature the winning pitcher.  This is Worley's card from Topps Series One.

1981 Donruss #33 Steve Carlton

One Day Catch-Up, Part 2 of 6

Giants 1, Phillies 0 (11 Innings)
Game 12 - Late Wednesday Night, April 18th in San Francisco
Record - 5-7, 5th Place, 5 1/2 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Cliff Lee pitched a masterpiece, but the offense was completely absent in this extra-inning, deflating loss to the Giants.

What It Means:  I really wish I had been awake to see (or listen) to this game.  Although the outcome would have put me in a foul mood for our first full day at the Magic Kingdom on Thursday.

What Went Wrong:  Lee pitched 10 scoreless innings and struck out seven in his no-decision.  In the 11th, Antonio Bastardo allowed a single to Brandon Belt.  Belt went to second on a Ty Wigginton error and came around to score on Melky Cabrera's game-winning single.

The offense managed four hits.  They had a great chance to score in the 11th when Carlos Ruiz led off the inning with a double.  But after Freddy Galvis sacrificed Ruiz to third, Jim Thome struck out swinging and John Mayberry, Jr. grounded out weakly to short.

Featured Card:  Man, I would have loved to have featured a Lee card in this post, but I traditionally don't feature an active Phillies' card following a loss.  Lee became the first Phillies pitcher to pitch 10 shutout innings since Steve Carlton did it against the Expos back on September 21, 1981.

Adding insult to injury, Lee was added to the disabled list a few days following this start with a strained oblique muscle.

2008 Upper Deck World Series Champions #PP-11 Jamie Moyer

I'm returning from a quick family vacation to Walt Disney World, which I can once again confirm is the Happiest Place on Earth.  While we were in Disney, apparently the Phillies' bats were also on vacation.  In the series of posts to follow, I'll do a rapid-fire rewind of the week that wasn't for the Phillies.  Things have got to get better, right?

One Day Catch-Up, Part 1 of 6

Giants 4, Phillies 2
Game 11 - Late Tuesday Night, April 17th in San Francisco
Record - 5-6, 4th Place, 3 1/2 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies managed just two runs in another frustrating loss to the Giants.

What It Means:  At the time, it didn't mean much to me personally.  I was trying to catch a few hours of sleep before our trip to Disney, and I wasn't focused on Placido Polanco's .179 average or John Mayberry, Jr.'s slightly better .219 average.

What Went Wrong:  The Phillies went 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position.  Starter Joe Blanton gave up 11 hits and four runs in his five innings of work on the way to his second loss of the season.

Featured Card:  While the Phils were stinking it up in San Francisco, Rockies pitcher Jamie Moyer pitched seven solid innings against the Padres, earning the victory and becoming the oldest player in Major League history to win a game at 49 years young.  One of the coolest statistics I've seen pertaining to Moyer's impressive feat was that he's pitched to 1,419 different players, which is roughly 8% of all players to have appeared in the Majors since 1876.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

1990-1999 Phillies

1993 Donruss Diamond Kings #DK-17, 1993 Upper Deck #485,
1994 Fleer Pro-Visions #1 and 1992 Donruss Diamond Kings #DK-12
I'll be honest here - going through these last few series of posts for Topps Phillies cards from the late '90s was not an enjoyable exercise.  I'm also very anxious to get through the first few years of the '00s and move into the post-2006 era of Topps Phillies baseball cards.  Before moving into Y2K, here's a look back at the Phillies of the '90s.

Decade MVP
Mike Schmidt was the easy choice for the decade MVP of the '70s and '80s, but I don't think it's as clear cut for the '90s.  From the offensive side, I narrowed it down to Darren Daulton, John Kruk or Lenny Dykstra before deciding that Dutch was the appropriate choice.  He's at the top of all the major statistical categories and he was the clear leader of the team throughout his time with the club, including the magical 1993 season.

Curt Schilling was far and away the best pitcher for the Phils during the decade.  But it's telling that both Daulton (in 2010) and Kruk (in 2011) were elected to the Phillies Wall of Fame before Schilling.  Schilling is on the ballot for induction this year, but as I told Phungo a few weeks ago, I'd like to see either Jim Konstanty or Rick Wise get in before the Big Schill.

1994 Donruss #373, 1992 Score #892, 1993 Score #526 and 1994 Ultra Phillies Finest #9
Games - Mickey Morandini (874), Daulton (780), Kruk (663), Dykstra (644), Kevin Stocker (545)
Average* - Kruk (.306), Dykstra (.298), Gregg Jefferies (.287), Scott Rolen (.280), Morandini (.268)
Home Runs - Daulton (110), Rolen (82), Dave Hollins (67), Mike Lieberthal (67), Rico Brogna (64)
RBIs - Daulton (466), Kruk (352), Rolen (297), Brogna (287), Hollins (273)
Stolen Bases - Dykstra (152), Morandini (98), Doug Glanville (57), Jefferies (52), Bobby Abreu (46)

Games - Ricky Bottalico (234), Schilling (226), Mitch Williams (200), Wayne Gomes (181), Terry Mulholland (149), Toby Borland (149)
Wins - Schilling (95), Mulholland (58), Tommy Greene (36), Danny Jackson (26), Ben Rivera (23)
ERA** - Schilling (3.31), Jackson (3.53), Jose DeJesus (3.55), Mulholland (3.68), Greene (4.02)
Strikeouts - Schilling (1,458), Mulholland (510), Greene (429), Bottalico (280), Matt Beech (266)
Saves - Mitch Williams (102), Bottalico (75), Heathcliff Slocumb (32), Doug Jones (27), Roger McDowell (25)

*At least 1,700 ABs with the Phillies, completely subjective
** At least 300 IP, completely subjective

1990-1999 Topps
Total Phillies Players (1990-1999):  219.  There were 179 different Phillies in the '80s and 142 different Phillies in the '70s.
Total Phillies Players with Topps Phillies Cards:  105.  Only 36% of the players who suited up with the Phillies during the decade ended up on Phillies baseball cards between 1990 and 1999.  The success percentage was 63% in the '80s and 59% in the '70s.
Managers with Cards:  Nick Leyva (2 cards) and Jim Fregosi (3 cards).
Topps Phillies Cards of Non-Phillies:  5 cards - Jeff Jackson (1990), Chad McConnell (1993), Shane Pullen, Larry Wimberly and Rob Grable (all 1995).

1997 Topps Gallery #54, 1994 Pinnacle #159, 1991 Donruss Bonus Cards #BC-14, 1994 Triple Play #175
Card Statistics
Most Featured:  Schilling (10 cards), Daulton (9 cards), Dykstra (9 cards), Morandini (8 cards), Hollins (6 cards), Ricky Jordan (6 cards), Kruk (6 cards), Green (6 cards).

By comparison, Steve Carlton and Schmidt had the most Topps Phillies cards in the '80s with 26 each.

Most Games (Batter), No Phillies Topps Card:  Kevin Sefcik (325 games from 1995 through 1999), Alex Arias (174 games from 1998 and 1999), Mark Lewis (142 games in 1998), David Doster (138 games in 1996 and 1999), Todd Zeile (134 games in 1996), Mark Whiten (120 games in 1995 and 1996), Rob Ducey (104 games in 1999).

Sefcik and Ducey would have to wait until the 2001 Topps set for their first and only cards in a Topps base set.  While Arias, Lewis, Doster, Zeile and Whiten were never featured as Phillies within a Topps flagship set.

Most Games (Pitcher), No Phillies Topps Card:  Jerry Spradlin (145 games in 1997 and 1998), Larry Andersen (93 games in 1993 and 1994), Yorkis Perez (92 games in 1998 and 1999), Wally Ritchie (79 games in 1991 and 1992), Russ Springer (65 games in 1995 and 1996).

Andersen and Ritchie make the list because their tenure with the team in the '90s produced no Topps Phillies cards, but they appear within Topps sets in the '80s.  Andersen is in the 1985 and 1986 Topps sets, while Ritchie is in the 1987 Topps Traded and 1988 Topps sets.

1998 SP Authentic #153, 1998 Sports Illustrated Then and Now #128,
1998 Ultra #391 and 1997 Collector's Choice #192
The Phillies Topps 60
Here are the next ten cards in my checklist of the best 60 Topps Phillies cards since 1951.  By the time I'm done with this series of posts, I'm going to need to revamp this to the Topps 61.

41 - 1990 Topps #469 John Kruk
42 - 1991 Topps #345 Lenny Dykstra
43 - 1992 Topps #83 Tommy Greene
44 - 1993 Topps #235 Mitch Williams
45 - 1994 Topps #504 Jim Eisenreich
46 - 1995 Topps #2 Mickey Morandini
47 - 1996 Topps #85 Darren Daulton
48 - 1997 Topps #268 Scott Rolen
49 - 1998 Topps #94 Mike Lieberthal
50 - 1999 Topps #385 Curt Schilling

Cards That Never Were Series
This set is getting much bigger than I had originally anticipated, and I had to purposely cut back on the cards I'd include from the late '90s, in order to keep the latest batch of additions at 51.

141 - 1990 Topps Dale Murphy
142 - 1990 Topps Jose DeJesus
143 - 1990 Topps Sil Campusano
144 - 1991 Topps John Morris
145 - 1991 Topps Jim Lindeman
146 - 1991 Topps Wally Ritchie
147 - 1992 Topps Ben Rivera
148 - 1992 Topps Kyle Abbott
149 - 1992 Topps Jeff Grotewold
150 - 1992 Topps Juan Bell
151 - 1992 Topps Stan Javier
152 - 1992 Topps Don Robinson
153 - 1993 Topps Danny Jackson
154 - 1993 Topps Milt Thompson
155 - 1993 Topps Kevin Stocker
156 - 1993 Topps Jim Eisenreich
157 - 1993 Topps Larry Andersen
158 - 1994 Topps Coming Attractions Andy Carter
159 - 1994 Topps Billy Hatcher
160 - 1994 Topps Paul Quantrill
161 - 1994 Topps Fernando Valenzuela
162 - 1995 Topps Andy Van Slyke
163 - 1995 Topps Mark Whiten
164 - 1995 Topps Lenny Webster
165 - 1995 Topps Sid Fernandez
166 - 1995 Topps Gary Varsho
167 - 1996 Topps Benito Santiago
168 - 1996 Topps Todd Zeile
169 - 1996 Topps Ken Ryan
170 - 1996 Topps Toby Borland
171 - 1996 Topps Russ Springer
172 - 1997 Topps Terry Francona MG
173 - 1997 Topps Rico Brogna
174 - 1997 Topps Midre Cummings
175 - 1997 Topps Mark Leiter
176 - 1997 Topps Ruben Amaro, Jr.
177 - 1997 Topps Darren Daulton
178 - 1998 Topps Doug Glanville
179 - 1998 Topps Mark Lewis
180 - 1998 Topps Desi Relaford
181 - 1998 Topps Tyler Green
182 - 1998 Topps Mark Portugal
183 - 1998 Topps Yorkis Perez
184 - 1999 Topps Alex Arias
185 - 1999 Topps Marlon Anderson
186 - 1999 Topps Paul Byrd
187 - 1999 Topps Ron Gant
188 - 1999 Topps Kevin Jordan
189 - 1999 Topps Robert Person
190 - 1999 Topps David Doster
191 - 1999 Topps Kevin Sefcik

Links to the Past