Sunday, March 17, 2013

2005 Topps Phillies

2005 Topps #550, #194, #689 and #481
I recently covered my detour from baseball card collecting in 2005.  Revisiting my 2005 Topps set and the few cards within my 2005 Phillies binder, I honestly felt as if I had never seen some of the cards before.  This is definitely my collecting black hole year.

The Set
2005 Topps #44 (Back)
Number of cards in the set:  There are a total of 733 cards in both series of the set, with card #7 getting omitted again to honor Mickey Mantle.  The traded set was rechristened as the Update and Highlights set, and it contained 330 cards.  The combined 1,063 cards breaks the record set in 2001 when Topps issued a combined 1,055 cards in its base and traded sets.
My very brief thoughts on the set:  Holy smokes, the set's designers just went for it didn't they?  To summarize - Gold foil big names on the top, sideways player name and team name on the sides and team script logo with gold foil year and Topps logo on the bottom.  To tie it all together, there are two team color coded interlocking lines surrounding the player photo.  It's like they had ideas for two or three different card designs and just decided to combine all of them at once.  In preparation for this post, I flipped through the set a few times and I still can't figure out if I absolutely love or hate this design.  I think I'm just confused by it.
Notable competition:  This was the final year that Fleer issued baseball cards under its own banner as the company was acquired by Upper Deck in time for some 2006 releases.  As a result, there were only a handful of Fleer sets issued in 2005, but still a ton of Playoff, Topps and Upper Deck sets.

2005 Topps #170, #76, #44 and #420
2005 Phillies
Record and finish:  New manager Charlie Manuel did a little better than his predecessor, guiding the Phillies to a 88-74 finish, two games behind the Braves in the N.L. East and a game behind the Astros for the N.L. Wild Card.  They were in the hunt for a postseason berth until the final weekend of the season.
2005 Topps #117
Key players:  Once again, Pat Burrell (.281, 32 home runs, 117 RBIs) and Bobby Abreu (.286, 24 home runs, 102 RBIs) had fantastic seasons.  Abreu took the spotlight at the All-Star Game, winning the Home Run Derby with a then record 41 home runs.  Jim Thome was placed on the disabled list on July 1st with right elbow tendinitis, ending his season.  His replacement, rookie Ryan Howard, hit .288 with 22 home runs and 63 RBIs on his way to being named the N.L. Rookie of the Year.  Second baseman Chase Utley enjoyed his first full season as a starter, hitting .291 with 28 home runs and 105 RBIs.  New acquisition Jon Lieber led the pitching staff with 17 wins and Billy Wagner bounced back from injury to record 38 saves.
Key events:  For the first time in 73 years, the Phillies had three players with at least 100 RBIs - Burrell, Utley and Abreu.  Jimmy Rollins ended the season with a 36-game hitting streak.  It would reach 38 games at the start of the 2006 season.

2005 Phillies in 2005 Topps
Cards needed for a complete team set:  There are 27 Phillies cards in the base Topps set and another 13 Phillies cards in the Update & Highlights set.
Who's in:
  • Cards of the eight starting position players - 7 cards
#170 Mike Lieberthal (c), #481 Chase Utley (2b), #76 Jimmy Rollins (ss), #44 David Bell (3b), #550 Pat Burrell (lf), #420 Kenny Lofton (cf), #194 Bobby Abreu (rf)

First baseman Howard is in the set, but he's on a multi-player Prospects card with Cole Hamels.  Hamels spent the '05 season with High-A Clearwater and Double-A Reading.

2005 Topps Update #UH63, 2005 Topps #69, #588 and #630
  • Cards of the starting pitching rotation - 5 cards
#UH63 Jon Lieber, #69 Brett Myers, #588 Cory Lidle, #630 Vicente Padilla, #11 Randy Wolf
  • Base cards of players who played with the Phillies in 2005 - 13 cards
#2 Placido Polanco, #25 Jim Thome, #117 Billy Wagner, #257 Tim Worrell, #430 Ryan Madson, #482 Todd Pratt, #492 Tomas Perez, #514 Jason Michaels, #525 Marlon Byrd, #582 Gavin Floyd, #UH4 Michael Tucker, #UH78 Endy Chavez, #UH80 Ugueth Urbina
  • Base cards of players who didn't play with Phillies in 2005 - 4 cards
#64 Doug Glanville, #312 Chris Roberson, #UH287 Kelvin Pichardo, #UH288 Scott Mitchinson
  • Phillies appearing on Prospects cards - 2 cards, #689 Ryan Howard and Cole Hamels, #UH100 Greg Golson
  • Phillies appearing on Draft Pick cards - 2 cards, #686 Michael Bourn and #UH330 Mike Costanzo
  • Phillies appearing on Season Highlights cards - 1 card, #UH113 Bobby Abreu
  • Phillies appearing on 2005 League Leaders cards - 1 card, #UH143 Pat Burrell
  • Phillies appearing on 2005 MLB All-Star cards - 1 card, #UH185 Bobby Abreu
  • Phillies appearing on 2005 Home Run Derby cards - 1 card, #UH195 Bobby Abreu
  • Team card - 1 card, #659
  • Manager cards - 2 cards, #288 Larry Bowa and #UH87 Charlie Manuel
2005 Topps Update
Abreu received three cards commemorating his appearance at the 2005 All-Star Game, which is probably two cards too many.  Despite having been fired with two games remaining in the 2004 season, Bowa received a manager card in series one.  Back then, series one was still being released in November, so this is understandable.  However, the card back credits Bowa with a 86-76 managerial record in 2004 when in fact interim manager Gary Varsho guided the team for their final two games.

Who's out:  This was another good effort from Topps in terms of player selection.  Of course, they had 1,063 cards with which to work!  As is usually the case, it's the relievers who got left out.  Aaron Fultz (2.24 ERA in 62 games) had a fantastic year but he had to share his Topps Total card with Rheal Cormier, who was also left out of the flagship set completely.  Robinson Tejada (4-3 in 13 starts) and Geoff Geary (3.72 ERA in 40 games) also deserved cards.  Shane Victorino made his Phillies debut on September 3rd, so it would have been cool if he had somehow made it into the Update set.
Phillies on other teams:  Only Matt Kata (#71 with the Diamondbacks) didn't get a Phillies card in the Update set.  All of these guys did - Michael Tucker (#14 with the Giants), Jon Lieber (#149 with the Yankees), Endy Chavez (#511 with the Nationals) and Ugueth Urbina (#567 with the Tigers).
What's he doing here:  I'm getting fairly predictable in this category, as once again the honors for my "what's he doing here" go to prospects Pichardo and Mitchinson.  Pichardo was shipped to the Giants in August in the Michael Tucker trade and never reached the Majors. Australian Mitchinson never pitched above A-ball in his six years in the minors.
Cards that never were candidates:  I'd give Howard his own card, and I'd add cards for Fultz, Cormier, Tejada, Geary and Victorino.
Favorite Phillies card:  There are a lot of great action shots in this group of Phillies cards featuring the brand new Citizens Bank Park in the background, but it's hard to find a better card in the lot than the Howard/Hamels combo card.

2005 Topps Update #UH87, 2005 Topps #514, #430 and 2005 Topps Update #UH80
Other Stuff
Recycled:  I don't have enough baseball cards from 2005 to be able to tell if Topps used this design on sets other than its annual Chrome and Opening Day sets.  The Opening Day set replaced the gold foil with blue foil.
Did You Know?:  The Chachi set made its debut in 2005!  Did you know there's a page on this here very blog that serves as a portal to galleries of each of the Chachi sets?


night owl said...

I like this set more and more. I think the only thing preventing me from collecting it is I paid so little attention to baseball in 2005 that I have almost no connection to the players.

John Bateman said...

This was a set that brought me back to collecting. This is the first Topps set I own since 1992. Got all the cards (1063). I wish Howard would have gotten his own card in the update. Same Thing with Mr. David Wright. The action shots needed to be cropped a little tighter. Utley is an example.

Jim said...

Night Owl - I think I like the set more now than I did when it first came out. Still trying to figure it out . . .

John - Completely agree with you on the cropping. It seems as if all the Topps sets from the mid to late '00s suffered from this issue.

Steve F. said...

The mention of cropping reminded me of something I noticed as I opened my first packs of Topps base and Heritage this year--there really aren't miscut or off-center cards anymore. When did that stop exactly? Was it immediate, or was it more gradual? I don't really remember any off-center Upper Deck cards ever (or 1988 Score, the only Score set I have), so maybe when those two stepped up the game, that's when Topps started doing so?