Wednesday, October 31, 2012

1999 UD Ionix Hyper #H13 Scott Rolen

We interrupt the regularly scheduled Phillies-related off-season posts to allow me to share how excited I am with yesterday's news that Disney had acquired LucasArts.  With the announcement of the acquisition also came news that Star Wars Episodes VII, VIII and IX would be hitting the big screen beginning in 2015.  If details of the plot points of these new movies are now floating around, I have yet to find them.  But I love that there's a good chance we'll get to follow the stories of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia to their conclusions.

I was a Star Wars fanatic growing up, and I've passed my love of Star Wars onto my oldest son Doug.  My youngest son Ben will be initiated into the ways of the Force as soon as he's old enough to properly swing a light saber.  (See here, here and here for past Star Wars-related posts.)

I don't share the view that George Lucas ruined the Star Wars universe by making Episodes I, II and III.  In fact, these prequels are what drew Doug into the saga in the first place and he's much more interested in the adventures of Anakin and Obi-Wan in the Clone Wars than he is in the Battle of Endor.  If given the choice, and this may shock a lot of traditionalists, he'd choose to watch Episode I over any of the movies in the original trilogy.

So why this particular Scott Rolen card at the top of the post?  I needed something that somehow related to Star Wars and I thought this card from the UD Ionix brand fit the theme.  And I'm hoping we get to see Han and Chewbacca fire up the Hyper Drive one last time in the Millennium Falcon in 2015.  Besides, I didn't have any Phillies cards in my collection with the word "Force" in the title.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

2012 Chachi #63 Stolen Base Leaders - Juan Pierre & Jimmy Rollins

This post is scheduled to publish on Tuesday morning.  I'm hoping we still have electricity by then as we're getting battered by Hurricane Sandy.  Stay safe everyone!

As expected, the Phillies exercised their option on catcher Carlos Ruiz' contract yesterday, locking him up for the 2013 season at $5 million.  It's expected that the Phils will decline their options on reliever Jose Contreras and third baseman Placido Polanco, who both missed significant time this past season due to injuries.  Ty Wigginton could also find himself without a home as the Phils could decline his option following a disappointing 2012 campaign.*

137 players became free agents immediately following the end of the craptastic 2012 World Series, with Juan Pierre and Brian Schneider both on that list of initial filings.  Pierre had a great season, and I would think the Phillies would want to bring him back to help round out the bench in 2013.  In 130 games, Pierre batted .307 and led the team with 37 stolen bases.

2012 Phillies Team
Issue 2 #23
To date, Pierre has received Phillies cards in the Allen & Ginter's set (both a base card and an insert in the What's in a Name set), the Topps Series 2 set and the two Phillies team issued postcard sets.  Per the checklist I saw for the soon to be shipped Topps Heritage High Numbers boxed set, he's the lone Phillie appearing in that set.

Schneider was limited to just 34 games in 2012 and he hit just .225.  Erik Kratz is his heir apparent to back-up Ruiz in 2013.  Despite his three seasons with the club, Schneider's sole standard size Phillies card is his relic card from the 2010 Topps 206 release.

Moving On
Jason Pridie (10/6/12) - Filed for free agency
Tyson Brummett (10/18/12) - Claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays
David Herndon (10/23/12) - Claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays
Juan Pierre (10/29/12) - Filed for free agency
Brian Schneider (10/29/12) - Filed for free agency

*As soon as I had hit Publish on Monday afternoon, the announcement came that Wigginton's and Contreras' options were declined.  I'll give them a separate departure post.  Later in the evening, the Phillies announced they had also declined Polanco's option.

Monday, October 29, 2012

2001 Topps Combos #TC17 Southpaw Greatness

We're hunkering down in The Phillies Room, preparing for the wrath of Hurricane Sandy.  When I ran a Zistle search for cards in my Phillies collection containing the name "Sandy," the card you see here was the only thing that came up.

These 2001 Topps combo card inserts were an interesting concept, but they just weren't executed very well.  Topps did a better job with the combo cards found as inserts in the 2012 Topps Archives release.

In any event, if you're in Sandy's path, please be careful out there.

2012 Topps 1987 Topps Minis #TM-72 Hunter Pence

Bugger it all.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

2013 Chachi Preview #4 Jimmy Rollins

Thanks again to everyone who voted and left comments in the 2012 Phillies Room Help Pick the 2013 Chachi Set Design and Maybe Get Free Stuff contest!  As announced yesterday, the 1973 Topps set will be the design I use for the 2013 Chachi set, which will make its debut on Opening Day 2013.  Per the official contest rules, there will be two winners of The Great American Baseball Card Flipping, Trading and Bubble Gum Book:

1.  One winner objectively selected at random, based on the number of entries earned.
2.  One winner subjectively selected based on the best comment left on the original post. 

The first part is easy.  There were 18 entries earned for the 18 comments on the post, less two for anonymous comments, and two additional entries gained via cross-blog promotional posts.  After inputting the 18 total entries into a random list generator, the first winner is . . .

Congratulations Nick!  Nick runs the fantastic Dime Boxes blog, and he's quickly approaching his one-year anniversary within the baseball card blogosphere.

The second part is not so easy and in retrospect, I shouldn't have left this up to so subjective a criteria as "best comment" left on this post.  What does that mean exactly?  Does "best" equate to the funniest or the most well-thought out or the longest comment?  I honestly consider every comment to be a great comment as it's always terrific to get feedback from everyone and interact with my fellow Phillies fans and/or baseball card collectors.

So I'm copping out and instead of picking the "best" comment, I'm just going to click Again! on the list randomizer, and . . .

Congratulations Reds Card Collector!  True to its name, the Reds Card Collector blog documents the journey of a . . . Reds baseball card collector.

Nick and Reds Card Collector, please e-mail your mailing address to me at Ringo73 dot msn dot com, and I'll ship your new books out to you as soon as the Frankenstorm set to batter the East Coast has died down.  Thanks for reading!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

2013 Chachi Preview #3 Carlos Ruiz

The voters have spoken and The Phillies Room Executive Committee has agreed with their choice.  The 2013 Chachi set will be based on the often overlooked, but always appreciated, 1973 Topps set.

I was out of town for a few days this past week, and when I checked the results of the Pick the 2013 Chachi Set Design poll on Thursday morning, the image you see to the right is what greeted me.  Stinkin' Blogger.  Fortunately, I had checked the poll on late Wednesday afternoon, and unless there was a crazy surge in the voting between 5pm and 8pm, I think these were the results I remember seeing:

1973 Topps - 19 votes
1988 Topps - 16 votes
1985 Topps - 8 votes
1971 Topps - 4 votes

(Plus or minus a few votes here and there.  Good thing this poll wasn't too important!)

As I mentioned earlier in the week, I'm a little surprised at the love shown to the 1973 Topps set.  But here were some of the favorable comments the set received:

"I voted for 1973 because that's a 1970's set that doesn't get enough love.  I also know that, unlike the 'throwback people' at Topps, we can trust you to use the right icon for left- and right-handed pitchers." - shlabotnikreport

"I vote for 1973.  I've always loved the photos in that set.  But you have to do one thing if you do it--have some ridiculously far away, but exciting, action shots (maybe with cars and a chain-link fence in the background) . . . " - Steve F.

"I went with the '73.  Just a classy look to it.  Big phan of the position silhouette which gives it something that most sets haven't done and has been overlooked." - Brian Conrad

For further reading on the 1973 Topps set, please see my post on the 1973 Topps Phillies cards as well as this critique of the various Mike Schmidt rookie card reprints attempted by Topps over the years.  There's also the wonderful 1973 Topps Photography blog, hosted by the late, great Chris Stufflestreet and the wonderfully designed 1973 Topps Baseball Set Builder blog.

So who won the 2012 Phillies Room Help Pick the 2013 Chachi Set Design and Maybe Get Free Stuff contest, you may be asking yourself?  If Hurricane Sandy allows it, that's coming tomorrow.  It's the off-season, and I need to pace myself with my posts.

Friday, October 26, 2012

2012 Phillies Team Issue 2 Update #28 Kevin Frandsen

Thanks to some detective work and good old fashioned stick-to-it-ness from Steve F., I was able to add Phillies Team Issue 2.1 to my collection recently after a simple phone call to the Phillies merchandising department.  (See the comments here for the world class sleuthing that took place.)  Much to my surprise, they shipped me two sets for the price of one, and the second set has already made its way to 14,000 Phillies Headquarters.

As pointed out in a comment by Brian S. in the same post, the following changes were made between sets 2.0 and 2.1:

Dropped from the set - Shane Victorino, Hunter Pence, Mike Fontenot, Jason Pridie, Brian Sanches and Joe Blanton

Added to the set - Michael Martinez, Domonic Brown, Nate Schierholtz, Kevin Frandsen, Josh Lindblom and B.J. Rosenberg

Both Martinez and Brown were featured in the first team issued set, available at the ballpark during the first half of the season.  The Frandsen and Rosenberg cards are their first and only Phillies baseball cards to date.  With these two players receiving their first Phillies cards, the 2012 Missing Links list is down to Phillippe Aumont, Tyler Cloyd and Steven Lerud.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

2012 Choice Lehigh Valley IronPigs Update #4 Tyson Brummett

The 2012-2013 Moving On list gained its second member last Thursday, when the Blue Jays claimed reliever Tyson Brummett off waivers from the Phillies.  Brummett pitched 2/3 of an inning for the Phils in their last game of the season, giving up two hits and striking out two.  Drafted in 2007, Brummett spent six seasons toiling in the Phillies minor league system.

His only Phillies cards appear in the 2009 Bowman Prospects insert sets - both the regular and Chrome varieties.

A few days ago, a third player was added when reliever David Herndon was also claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays.  Ironically, to make room for Herndon on their 40-man roster, the Jays designated Brummett for assignment.

2010 Bowman #194
Herndon missed most of the 2012 season following Tommy John surgery, and he's expected to miss at least half of the 2013 season.  The righty reliever appeared in 97 games between 2010 and 2012 with the Phillies, and he was one of the team's most reliable relievers last season, going 1-4 with a 3.32 ERA.

Herndon made appearances in the Phillies Team Issue sets over the past three seasons and his only two standard size Phillies baseball cards appeared in the 2010 Bowman and Topps sets.

Moving On
Jason Pridie (10/6/12) - Filed for free agency
Tyson Brummett (10/18/12) - Claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays
David Herndon (10/23/12) - Claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

2006 Bowman Draft Picks #DP53 Quintin Berry

Reminder:  There are just a few hours left to vote for your choice for the 2013 Chachi set design.  Click here and let your voice be heard!

* * *

My interest in this year's World Series isn't low enough for me to re-do the list I put together a few years ago.  But it's still pretty low.  I was hoping for an Orioles-Reds World Series, a rematch of the 1970 Fall Classic, but it was not to be.

That being said, I'll be rooting for Quintin Berry and the Tigers when Game One's first pitch is thrown tonight in San Francisco.  I have nothing against the Giants*, but the pain of them knocking the Phillies out of the postseason back in 2010 still lingers.  (*Actually, that's a lie.  I can't stand the Giants.)

Berry was originally selected by the Phillies in the 5th round of the 2006 amateur player draft.  In his first full season in 2007, he won the Paul Owens Award as the best position player in the Phillies minor league system.  He slowly climbed through the team's system for parts of five seasons, making it as high as Double-A Reading in 2010.

In July 2010, the Phils placed him on waivers in order to free up a spot on their 40-man roster.  He landed in the Padres system, and then bounced around the minors with the Mets, Reds and finally the Tigers.  He got the call to the Majors in May of this year, and he performed well enough to earn a spot on the Tigers postseason roster.

Berry's trip from waivers to World Series is a great story.  It would be even greater if he was still with the Phils and the first pitch tonight was being thrown in Citizens Bank Park.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

2013 Chachi Set - Poll, Giveaway, Excitement, Two More Days!

This is it!

The poll and contest for the 2012 Phillies Room Help Pick the 2013 Chachi Set Design and Maybe Get Free Stuff closes tomorrow night before the start of Game 1 of the World Series.

If you haven't entered yet, please go here and leave a comment after voting in the poll in the sidebar to the left.

To date, both Section 36 and The Phillies Collector have earned extra entries by promoting the contest on their blogs.  (If you've promoted the contest and I've missed it, please let me know.)

Will the dark horse candidate, the 1973 Topps set, come from nowhere to run away with this thing?  Will a beloved set from the '80s win the fan's vote?  Or will the recently overexposed 1971 Topps set pull out an amazing come from behind victory at the last moment?

More importantly, will we completely ignore the results of the poll and go with our original choice for the 2013 Chachi set?

The answers to these questions and the winners of the The Great American Baseball Card Flipping, Trading and Bubble Gum Book will arrive on Friday Saturday.

Go Tigers!

Monday, October 22, 2012

2010 Choice Lehigh Valley IronPigs Series 2 #23 Ryan Vogelsong

Here's a brief baseball history of Giants right-handed pitcher Ryan Vogelsong:

June 1998 - Drafted by the Giants in the 5th round of the amateur player draft after pitching at Kutztown University.

September 2, 2000 - Made his Major League debut with the Giants.  Vogelsong would appear in 17 games for the 2000-2001 Giants, going 0-3.

July 31, 2001 - Traded by the Giants to the Pirates as part of the deal that brought Jason Schmidt to San Francisco.  He would spend the next six seasons in the Pirates organization, going 10-19 with a 6.00 ERA at the big league level.

2007 - 2009 - Vogelsong spent three seasons in Japan, pitching with the Hanshin Tigers and the Orix Buffaloes.

January 7, 2010 - Signed as a minor league free agent with the Philadelphia Phillies.

July 15, 2010 - Released by the Philadelphia Phillies after posting a 2-5 record and a 4.91 ERA in 25 games and 7 starts with the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

Since Then - Spent some time in the Los Angeles Angels system before coming back to the Giants in January 2011.  Made the National League All-Star team in 2011 and has gone a combined 27-16 with a 3.05 ERA for the Giants over the past two seasons.  Vogelsong finished fourth in the league in ERA in 2011, earning him a spot on this card.  Both Phillies featured on that card are now sitting at home while Vogelsong pitched brilliantly in Game 6 of the N.L.C.S. last night, forcing a Game 7 showdown between the Giants and the Cardinals.  But I'm not bitter or anything.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

1992 Pinnacle #284 - Dale Murphy & Wally Joyner

Last week, the Phillies named Wally Joyner their assistant hitting coach, rounding out their new and hopefully improved 2013 coaching staff.  Joyner will assist Steve Henderson as both former sluggers attempt to find a pulse from the Phillies aging offense.  A few random thoughts upon Joyner joining the Phils:

- I believe this "assistant hitting coach" position is relatively new in baseball, right?  I may have made this up, but I thought teams were only permitted to have six coaches in uniform.  So does the "assistant" tag mean that Joyner isn't officially a coach?

- I'm assuming Joyner will earn a card within the team's 2013 photo card set, but for now the card featured here is the sole Joyner card in my Phillies collection.

- Joyner will wear #21 with the Phillies.  During his best years,  from 1985 through 1991, he wore #21 with the California Angels.  That number was recently vacated by Greg Gross, the team's former hitting coach.

- Joyner's 1986 rookie cards were like gold back in the day.  The 13-year-old kid in me thinks it's awesome that Wally World is coming to Philly.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

2010 Topps Legendary Lineage #LL-43 Mike Schmidt & Alex Rodriguez


1.  The Phillies will need a new third baseman in 2013.  Placido Polanco is most likely done, and the team has reservations about starting the season with Kevin Frandsen as the main guy at the hot corner.

2.  The Phillies could use a right-handed bat with some pop in the fifth spot in their line-up.

3.  Rumors are swirling that a certain team from the Bronx could be looking to move a certain former (tainted) All-Star, absorbing the bulk of his remaining salary due to him through 2017.

Most intriguing.

Friday, October 19, 2012

1954 Topps #212 Mickey Micelotta

I wrote a few weeks ago about the awesome birthday present I received from my Mom.  To recap, she tracked down 10 different 1954 Topps cards needed for my collection, leaving me one card shy of a full Phillies team set.

Last Sunday, my family gathered at my sister's house to spend time together and reminisce about my Dad.

My Mom came bearing gifts for her grandchildren . . . and for me.  After handing out her goodies to the younger kids, she produced the card featured here for her oldest kid.  And with the addition of Mickey Micelotta to my collection, my 1954 Topps Phillies team set is complete!

She's done an unbelievable job carrying on my Dad's tradition of tracking down cards for my collection.  I'm one lucky kid.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


1949 Bowman #205

"They're all bums," would have been Dad's assessment of the 2012 Phillies season.

"Trade 'em all, fire Charlie and Ruben and bring back Bowa," he would have said before adding a few moments later, "Of course I have no idea what I'm talking about."  Then he'd most likely give me a mischievous smile and perhaps even burst into song.

Dad passed away one year ago today.  And it was hard some days over this past year to keep it together.

Opening day was particularly rough, as was the night of the All-Star Game.  Baseball aside, I missed him at Christmas, riding Peter Pan's Flight at Disney World, at every family get-together, on the boardwalk this summer, on Doug's first day of Kindergarten and on countless other occasions.

I think about my Dad every day, and there have been particular moments over the past year when I can hear his voice with such clarity that it actually feels as if we’re having a conversation.  I know that everyone grieves differently and part of my healing process has involved smiling at particular moments and imagining how my Dad would have reacted.

Without fail, at the end of every family get-together, Dad would say to no one in particular, "Boy, I love this stuff.  This was really great, you know?"  I've heard myself saying that out loud this year and whenever I do, I hear his voice and he's there.

He’s also there with me whenever Doug, his first grandson, asks me to play catch with him in our backyard.  And you better believe he was there with me when Doug and I attended our first baseball card show together recently.  Doug is only five, but he knows what he wants.  Doug wants to play soccer and tee ball and he wants to learn to be a better swimmer and a better reader and he wants to be a police officer when he grows up because he wants to help catch bad guys.  And by God, I’ll support him 100% in whatever endeavor he chooses to pursue because that's exactly what my Dad did for me.

My Dad is there with me whenever Ben, his second grandson, recites the alphabet for the 100th time in a row.  Ben is only two but he loves letters and numbers and spelling, and I can practically see his little wheels turning whenever he figures out how and why certain letters come together to make words he recognizes.  He's got a brain that works very methodically (like his Dad's) and his fits of sudden laughter and joy whenever he learns something new would have thrilled my Dad.

And my Dad is there with me whenever Molly, the granddaughter he never met and my favorite niece, smiles.  She lights up a room with her smile and she's destined to break many a suitor's heart in the coming years.  As she grows up, I'm going to bore her (and her cousins) with stories of growing up on 12th Street.  Her Pop-Pop and Mimi provided her Mom and me with an amazing childhood and like it not, we're going to tell the same stories over and over again about Christmas mornings and Disney trips and the Chocolatetown Motel.

Doug, Ben and Molly are going to grow up without their Pop-Pop, but they'll know him.  They'll know him through the funny stories I'll tell, the happy memories I'll share and the qualities of being a good father I learned from him that I'm trying my best to emulate.

I've said it before, and I'll never stop saying it:  Thank you Dad, and you're very much missed.

November 2008 - Doug & Pop-Pop
May 2010 - Ben & Pop-Pop
October 2012 - Molly & Uncle Jimmy

Friday, October 12, 2012

2012 Topps Update #US199 Nate Schierholtz

If you've been following along at home, you may recall that I was very interested in whether or not the Phillies would produce an updated version of their second postcard set this year.  I had previously referred to this hypothetical set as Team Issue 2.1.  On September 8th, I attended a Phillies game and actually thumbed through one of the team sets available for sale at the ballpark and confirmed there had been no changes.  There was no card for Kevin Frandsen.  Likewise, reliever Josh Lindblom was also cardless.  And there was definitely no card for Nate Schierholtz.

However . . . Alert reader Steve F. recently clued me in to a current eBay auction offering up a signed Schierholtz card featuring the design of Phillies Team Issue 2.  He contacted the Phillies directly and received this reply:
The card that you found on e-bay was from the Phillies Phestival that supports ALS. That card most likely came from a mystery grab bag and not added in the second series set of cards. Those cards would have gone through the community outreach department and not merchandising as it was for the Phestival.
But Steve astutely realized that Schierholtz joined the Phillies two days after the Phestival, so that information can't be accurate.

I contacted the eBay seller directly and received this response yesterday:
It came from the updated postcard set you get at the stadium.
Wait what?

So Phillies Team Issue 2.1 exists?  Will this be yet another White Whale search for me, akin to the 1984 or 1988 Tastykake Update sets or the 1990 Tastykake set?  Will one of these sets hit eBay and if so, will the seller be savvy enough to differentiate between Team Issue 2.0 and Team Issue 2.1?  Maybe the set is currently for sale at the Majestic Clubhouse Store at the ballpark?  And how awesome is my wife for appearing to be genuinely interested in this pressing matter when I explained to her the discovery of what could be a potential Schierholtz card from Team Issue 2.1?  It boggles the mind.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Et tu, Raul?

2009 Topps Unique #113 and #32
These guys decided to provide their postseason memorable moments three years too late.  Where you both in 2009 when we needed you?

Go O's!

2012 Chachi #61 Home Run Leaders - Jimmy Rollins & Hunter Pence

The last time the Phillies team leader in home runs had less than 30 home runs was back in 2000 when Scott Rolen led the club with 26.  The last time the Phillies had a home run leader with less than Jimmy Rollins' 23 home runs in 2012 was during the dreadful 1997 season when Rolen led the way again with only 21 round trippers.  Hunter Pence, who was traded to the Giants way back on July 31st, still managed to finish second in the team home run race with 17.

Here's the rest of the top ten for 2012:

1.  Jimmy Rollins - 23
2.  Hunter Pence - 17
3.  Carlos Ruiz - 16
4.  Ryan Howard - 14
6.  Chase Utley - 11
6.  Ty Wigginton - 11
8.  Shane Victorino - 9
8.  Erik Kratz - 9
10.  Domonic Brown - 5
10.  Jim Thome - 5

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

2016 Topps Heritage Preview

This is a friendly reminder that the 2012 Phillies Room Help Pick the 2013 Chachi Set Design and Maybe Get Free Stuff Contest has only two weeks remaining.  The polls close right before the first pitch of the 2012 World Series on October 24th.  See here for details.

To date, I'm more than a little surprised at how the voting is going.  I would have thought the 1971 Topps set would have been the run-away favorite to be the design for the 2013 Chachi set.  And quite frankly, the set that currently holds the lead, the 1973 Topps set, was a last minute throw-in because I needed a fourth card to balance out the poll.

Like the 1979 Topps set before it, the 1973 Topps set could come out of nowhere to win this thing.

The card I've featured here is for Jim from Downingtown, who suggested via write-in vote that I should consider the 1967 Topps set as the design for the 2013 Chachi set.  Although an action shot doesn't look right in the '67 Topps set, it actually doesn't look all that bad . . .

But sorry Jim, I'm going to stick with the four choices for now - 1971, 1973, 1985 and 1988 - and leave the 1967 set for the good people at Topps to officially celebrate in 2016.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

2012 Phillies Team Issue 2 #16 Jason Pridie

Jason Pridie, we hardly knew you.  The first player on the 2012-2013 offseason transaction list won't raise many eyebrows, but Pridie's departure kicks off The Phillies Room offseason player movement tracker.

Signed as a minor league free agent in mid-June, Pridie appeared in 10 games with the Phillies in July.  He had previously seen time in the Majors with the Twins and Mets.  In his sole start (in center field) on July 8th against the Braves, Pridie went 2 for 3 with a home run and 3 RBIs.  Guys like Pridie have no business appearing on a Phillies baseball card, but amazingly enough, the team granted him a card in the second series of their postcard set.  It's a safe bet this will be his only Phillies baseball card appearance.  (Other than his Chachi card, which doesn't really count.)

Moving On
Jason Pridie (10/6/12) - Filed for free agency

Monday, October 8, 2012

1954 Topps Phillies - Only 1 Card Remains

I've previously established on this blog that my Mom rocks.  However, if you're new to the blog or if you'd like a quick recap of the reasons for this sentiment:

1.  She is unconditionally supportive and loving and has had my back since the day I was born.
2.  She checks my want lists and finds me old Phillies baseball cards for Christmas, my birthday or other special occasions.
3.  See statement 1.

I recently celebrated a birthday and my Mom's gift selection abilities amazed me yet again.  Thanks to her, I'm now just one card away from a complete 1954 Topps Phillies team set.  The 10 cards featured here have been added to my collection, courtesy of my Mom's continued awesomeness.

(Yes, the Herman Wehmeier card is a Reds card, but he pitched part of the 1954 season with the Phillies, so into the 1950s Phillies binder it goes.)


Sunday, October 7, 2012

1982 Phillies - The Missing Links

1983 Donruss #525, 1982 TCMA Oklahoma City 89ers #9 and #7, and 1983 TCMA Portland Beavers #23
The 2012 game summary posts are done, the offseason is upon us and I'm dusting off a few draft posts to fill the Phillies void while other teams battle it out in the postseason.  My last Missing Links post was published way back in June, when I looked at the 1981 Phillies players with little to no cardboard appreciation.  This post examines the 1982 squad, of which all but 3 of the 37 total Phillies that year ended up on a Phillies baseball card.

1982 Fleer #486
3 Cards to More
32 Players

Willie Montanez didn't appear on any Phillies cards during his short 18-game swan song with the Phillies in 1982, but he appeared on plenty of Phillies cards during his initial stint with the club in the early '70s.

Dave Roberts and Bob Molinaro also barely make it onto the "3 Cards or More" list thanks to their inclusion in Phillies Tastykake sets.

1 Card
Julio Franco (16 games in 1982) - 1983 Donruss #525
**Jay Baller (4 games in 1982 and 8 games in 1992) - 1993 Donruss #356

Franco began his 25-year Major League odyssey with 16 games at short and third base for the 1982 Phillies.  In December 1982, he, along with Baller and three other players were shipped to Cleveland in the infamous 5-for-1 Von Hayes deal.  I first posted my attempt at a 1982 Topps cards for Franco back in the blog's infancy.

If I was doing this post back before 1993, which would have been pretty impressive given that only the government was using a version of the internet at the time and all, Baller would have appeared as a Missing Link.  However, Donruss somehow deemed his 8-game performance with the 1992 Phillies as worthy of a Phillies card, despite his 8.18 ERA in his 11 innings pitched.

0 Cards
1982 Topps #PR9
Alejandro Sanchez (15 games from 1982-1983)
Jerry Reed (11 games from 1981-1982)
Stan Bahnsen (8 games in 1982)

All three players had their share of cardboard with other teams - especially Bahnsen - but they've never been featured on a proper Phillies baseball card.  The awesome Cards That Never Were blog created a 1982 Topps Bahnsen card back in June, linked here.

I created a custom 1982 Topps card for Reed using his picture from the 1982 Phillies Yearbook.  Reed was traded to the Indians in September 1982 as part of the John Denny deal, and he'd go on to enjoy a 9-season career in the Majors.  My sole recollection of Reed's tenure with the Phillies was that it forced Ron Reed to add an "R." to the back of his jersey.

Past Missing Link Posts
1981 Phillies - Jerry Reed

1993 Phillies - None

2000 Phillies - Clemente Alvarez, Kirk Bullinger, Mark Holzemer and Bryan Ward

**UPDATE (6/19/15) - I know now that Baller had an additional Phillies baseball card in the 1992 Medford Phillies ALS Phillies Phestival/Late Season set.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

2012 Phillies Team Issue 2 #18 Mike Fontenot

I've looked back at the players who arrived or departed during the 2011-2012 offseason, and this post lists out those players who arrived or departed during the course of the actual season.  Similar to last offseason, I'll start tracking the Phillies player moves (and their baseball cards) following the World Series.  This year's hot stove season can't come soon enough.

Arrived During the Season
Mike Fontenot (4/13/12) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the San Francisco Giants
Jason Pridie (6/15/12) - Signed as a minor league free agent formerly with the Oakland Athletics' organization
Josh Lindblom (7/31/12) - Acquired with Ethan Martin and a player to be named later (Stefan Jerrin) from the Los Angeles Dodgers for Shane Victorino
Nate Schierholtz (7/31/12) - Acquired with Seth Rosin and Tommy Joseph from the San Francisco Giants for Hunter Pence

Departed During the Season
Jim Thome (6/30/12) - Traded to the Baltimore Orioles for Gabriel Lino and Kyle Simon
Chad Qualls (7/1/12) - Traded to the New York Yankees for a player to be named later or cash
Shane Victorino (7/31/12) - Traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Josh Lindblom, Ethan Martin and a player to be named later (Stefan Jerrin)
Hunter Pence (7/31/12) - Traded to the San Francisco Giants for Nate Schierholtz, Seth Rosin and Tommy Joseph
Brian Sanches (8/2/12) - Released (Signed with the Houston Astros' organization)
Joe Blanton (8/3/12) - Traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a player to be named later (Ryan O'Sullivan)
Mike Fontenot (8/5/12) - Released
Hector Luna (8/30/12) - Granted free agency (Signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates' organization)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Meet the New 2013 Phillies Coaches

1979 Topps #445, 1985 Topps #460 and 1989 Topps #443
Yesterday, the Phillies filled the coaching vacancies created with the dismissal of Pete Mackanin (bench coach), Greg Gross (hitting coach) and Sam Perlozzo (first base coach).  Here's a look at the newest Phillies coaches and a brief history of their cardboard appearances.

2012 Choice Lehigh Valley
IronPigs Update #26
Ryne Sandberg (third base coach) - Hall of Famer Sandberg managed the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs the past two seasons, leading them to the play-offs in 2011.  If he's not snatched away to manage another team, he's the early favorite to take the helm for the Phillies when Charlie Manuel's contract expires at the end of the 2013 season.

The Beckett database lists 4,861 different cards for Sandberg.  Even though he started his career with the Phils, he never received a proper Phillies card until after his retirement.  He's been featured in the IronPigs' team sets over the past two years.

Steve Henderson (hitting coach) - Henderson served as the organization's roaming hitting coordinator in 2011 and 2012, which I believe means he traveled through the minor league system offering his help as needed.  In 2010, he served as the Phillies' outfield/baserunning coordinator.  Before that, he spent four seasons as the hitting coach for the Tampa Bay Rays, where he had a dugout view of the glorious 2008 World Series.

Henderson spent 12 seasons in the Majors with the Mets, Cubs, Mariners, A's and Astros.  He appeared in Topps sets beginning in 1978 through 1986, and he had his final cards as an active player in the 1988 Score and Topps sets.  (On a side note, if you're keeping score at home, the 1979 Topps with Phillies connections tally is now at 112.)

2012 Choice Lehigh Valley
IronPigs Update #28
Rod Nichols (bullpen coach) -  Nichols was Sandberg's pitching coach at Lehigh Valley, and he's worked his way up through the team's minor league system since starting with the Low-A Piedmont Boll Weevils in 2000.  He pitched in parts of seven seasons between 1988 and 1995 with the Indians, Dodgers and Braves.  His rookie cards can be found in the 1989 Donruss and Topps releases, and his last proper card as a player is in the 1993 Topps set.

What's interesting to note is that the Phils are now without a bench coach and they've created the puzzling position of "catching coach" for longtime bullpen coach and catching instructor Mick Billmeyer.  Juan Samuel, the team's third base coach for the past two seasons, will move over to coach first.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

2012 Chachi #59 Tyson Brummett

Nationals 5, Phillies 1
Game 162 - Wednesday Afternoon, October 3rd in Washington
Record - 81-81, 3rd Place, 17 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies closed out their 2012 season with a lethargic loss to the division champs.

What It Means:  The team's streak of nine straight winning seasons is over.  The last time the Phils finished with an 81-81 record was back in 1984 under manager Paul Owens.  Hopefully, the 2013 Phillies will have more success than the 1985 squad that finished with a 75-87 record under new manager John Felske.

2012 Phillies Team
Issue 2 #5
What Went Wrong:  The offense had another rough day, going 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position.  Nate Schierholtz (3 for 3) and Kevin Frandsen (2 for 4) tried their best, but it wasn't enough.  Cliff Lee finished the season with a 6-9 record after allowing three runs on eight hits in six innings of work.

The first move of an upcoming busy offseason was the dismissal of three coaches.  Bench coach Pete Mackanin, hitting coach Greg Gross and first base coach Sam Perlozzo did not have their contracts renewed.  Ryne Sandberg is expected to take one of the open positions unless he ends up with a manager's job next season.

Featured Cards:  After Jonathan Papelbon suffered through his latest and final flame-out of the season, righty Tyson Brummett made his Major League debut and recorded the final two outs of the eighth inning.  He became the eighth player to make his debut this season, which is the most for the Phils since 15 players debuted in 1996.  With Brummett's Chachi card produced, the only cards remaining from the 2012 Chachi set are some team leaders cards and the set's checklist.

Tyson Colby Brummett
Relief Pitcher

Bats: Right  Throws: Right  Height: 6'0"  Weight: 185
Born: August 15, 1984, Columbus, MS
Home: Salt Lake City, UT
Drafted: Selected by Phillies in 7th round of June 2007 draft
Teams: Phillies 2012
Acquired: Via draft
Contract Status: Pre-arbitration eligible