Sunday, May 20, 2012

1980 Phillies - The Missing Links

1980 Burger King Phillies #8, 1981 TCMA Oklahoma City 89ers #8 and #13 and 1980 Topps #624

I've been struggling to finish off my 2001 Topps Phillies post.  Every time I sit down to work on it, I'm reminded how much I really don't want to travel back to that year even it is just for the purpose of writing about the Phillies that appeared within the 2001 Topps baseball card set.

So I'm going to take a small break from the Topps Phillies posts and travel backwards with my Missing Links posts instead.  I've already completed Missing Links posts for 1990 through 2000, and now I'll turn my attention to those unfortunate Phillies who received little to no cardboard recognition during their stint in red pinstripes between 1980 and 1989.

A quick note about this particular post - I don't have the 1980 Phillies Postcards set, nor have I ever actually seen the set for sale.  I'm relying on the 34-card checklist available in the Beckett database for this post.  And as you'll soon see, the obscure regional set is a must-have for obtaining the only Phillies cards of three Phillies pitchers from 1980.

3 Cards or More
31 Players

2 Cards
**John Vukovich (153 games from 1970-1971, 1976-1977 and 1979-1981) - 1980 Burger King Phillies #8 and 1981 Fleer #22
Mark Davis (11 games in 1980 and 1981, 25 games in 1993) - 1982 Topps #231 and 1993 Ultra #437

Of course, Vukovich has over a dozen cards featuring him as a Phillies coach, but there were only two cards issued of him during his playing career as a Phillie.  Davis had to wait for his second stint with the club before he received a solo Phillies card.

1981 Topps #526 and 1982 Topps #231
1 Card
Lerrin LaGrow (25 games in 1980) - 1980 Phillies Postcards #14
Dan Larson (21 games from 1978-1981) - 1980 Phillies Postcards #15
Jay Loviglio (16 games in 1980) - 1981 Topps #526
Scott Munninghoff (4 games in 1980) - 1980 Phillies Postcards #21

It amazes me that Larson bounced around the Phillies organization for four seasons.  I honestly thought he had appeared in a few games in 1980 and that was it.  Larson appeared in a career-high 32 games with the 1977 Astros and was awarded with his one and only Topps card within that year's set.

LaGrow put together a 10-year career primarily as a relief pitcher, although he did lose 19 games as a starting pitcher for the Tigers in 1974.  His Topps card featured at the top of this post was the last card issued of him during his playing days, and I created a Phillies "card that never was" to celebrate LaGrow's 25 games with the Phils in 1980.

0 Cards
Orlando Isales (3 games in 1980)
Don McCormack (5 games from 1980-1981)

Only two players from the team's first World Championship year have been completely omitted from the Phillies baseball card universe.  Isales had toiled in the Phillies minor league system since 1975 when he was promoted to the team as a September call-up.  Overall, he went 2 for 5 in his Phillies career over three games.  He was the team's starting right fielder for the final regular season game in Montreal.

McCormack was another September call-up, although he didn't make his debut until September 30th.  With the Phils up 14-2 against the Cubs, catcher Keith Moreland was pulled from the game in the 9th and McCormack replaced him for an inning.  His only big league start came on the final game of the 1981 season.  Following his playing days, McCormack managed in the Phillies minor league system from 1988 through 1995.

**UPDATE (6/19/15) - I know now that Vukovich had additional Phillies baseball cards in the 1971, 1980 and 1981 Phillies Photocards sets.


Anonymous said...

It amazes me that Vukovich didn't receive a Phillies card during his first stint as a playe -- especially after appearing in 74 games in 1971.

Jim said...

Agreed. Topps could have easily squeezed him into the 1971 Topps high series.

Jim from Downingtown said...

...only if someone previously ticketed for the high series could be jettisoned due to early-season retirement or demotion.