Sunday, February 10, 2013

1984 Phillies - The Missing Links

1987 Topps #357, 1984 Topps #603, 1983 Topps #772 and 1986 Fleer Update #U-65
A few days ago, I sat down to try to finally start a post on the Phillies cards within the 2001 Topps set.  My Topps Phillies series of posts has laid dormant since I published the 2000 Topps Phillies post way back in late April 2012.  Instead of focusing on the 2001 Topps Phillies post, however, I decided to tackle the next year in The Missing Links series - 1984.  These Missing Links posts are way more fun to research than the Topps cards of the Phillies teams from the 2000s.

1984 was a lost season for the Phillies, and they tried to plug various roster holes with a combination of fading veterans and suspicious prospects.  Four members of this squad join the ranks of cardboard-less Phillies.

3 Cards or More
33 Players

Al Oliver was acquired from the Giants in late August and appeared in just 28 games for the 1984 Phillies.  But he had Phillies cards in each of the big three sets - Donruss, Fleer and Topps - in 1985.

2 Cards
1984 Cramer Pacific
Coast League #199
Francisco Melendez (30 games in 1984 and 1986) - 1985 Tastykake Phillies and 1986 Tastykake Phillies

First baseman Melendez never had the pleasure of appearing on a Phillies card by himself.  He shares his 1985 Tastykake card with Ken Jackson and his 1986 Tastykake card with Ricky Jordan.  Both cards use the same picture of Melendez, just cropped differently.  He earned his first proper baseball card within the 1989 Donruss set as a member of the Giants.

1 Card
Dave Wehrmeister (7 games in 1984) - 1984 Tastykake Phillies Update
Steve Fireovid (6 games in 1984) - 1984 Tastykake Phillies Update

Ah, yes.  Dave Wehrmeister.  Please see this post for one of the finest pieces of investigative reporting ever attempted by this here blog.  The post includes my attempt at the 1984 Topps Wehrmeister card that should have been.

0 Cards
Renie Martin (9 games in 1984)
Jim Kern (8 games in 1984)
Mike LaValliere (6 games in 1984)
Steve Fireovid (6 games in 1984)

1984 Topps #PR5
Martin wrapped up his 6-year career with 9 uneventful games with the Phils late in the 1984 season.  He was the player to be named later sent by the Giants in the Oliver deal.  Former All-Star Kern spent a little less than two months as property of the Phillies, pitching to a 10.13 ERA in eight relief appearances in June and July.  I've never even seen a picture of Kern in a Phillies uniform.

Before playing in parts of 11 seasons with the Cardinals, Pirates and White Sox, LaValliere was a September call-up with the Phils in 1984.  He appeared in the 1983 TCMA Reading Phillies set, but I have yet to add that set to my collection.

Finally, Fireovid made a brief stop in Philly in the middle of his 16-year odyssey of a professional baseball career.  When all was said and done, Fireovid had spent time with 9 different organizations - Padres, Phillies, White Sox, Mariners, Blue Jays, Royals, Expos, Pirates and Rangers.  His 10 games with the Mariners in 1986 somehow merited him inclusion within the 1987 Fleer, Sportflics and Topps sets.  He also has a card in the 1992 Bowman set as a member of the Rangers.

UPDATE - Fireovid has a card in the very little known 1984 Tastykake Phillies Update set, although I've never actually seen the card for sale.

Past Missing Link Posts

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