Tuesday, June 11, 2013

1986 Phillies - The Missing Links

1986 Tastykake Phillies #35 and 1987 Tastykake Phillies #11
I'm slowly making my way through the 1980s in this series of posts, detailing those unfortunate former Phillies with little to no cardboard representation, and then I'll tackle the 2000s.  And for those of you wondering if the Topps Phillies post will continue - they will.  It's just that I've had less free time to blog what with my new job (which is fantastic so far), my son's t-ball games and just general spring/summer fever.

3 Cards or More
37 Players

Randy Lerch's Major League swan song came in the form of four forgettable games with the 1986 Phillies.  In 8 innings, Lerch compiled a 7.88 ERA before earning his release in late June.  Lerch had a number of Phillies cards from his first stint with the club, but only one card - from the 1986 Tastykake Phillies set - commemorating his short second stint with the Phils.

2 Cards
Francisco Melendez (30 games in 1984 and 1986) - 1985 Tastykake Phillies and 1986 Tastykake Phillies
Rocky Childress (16 games in 1985 and 2 games in 1986) - 1985 Tastykake Phillies and 1986 Tastykake Phillies

I featured Melendez with the 1984 Missing Links post and Childress was featured within the 1986 Missing Links post, so there's no new ground to cover here.  Even though both players received two Phillies cards, the photos used for both remained the same in the 1985 and 1986 Tastykake Phillies sets.

1989 CMC Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons #19, 1998 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons
10th Anniversary #8, 2004 Multi-Ad Reading Phillies #25 and 2012 Multi-Ad Lakewood BlueClaws #30
1 Card
Greg Legg (11 games in 1986 and 3 games in 1987) - 1987 Tastykake Phillies #11

Legg has been a fixture in the Phillies organization for 31 years.  Legg was drafted by the Phillies in 1982 and he climbed through the minor league ranks before finally getting the call to the Majors in 1986.  His time with the Phillies was short-lived as he appeared in only 14 games throughout the 1986 and 1987 seasons.  He finished his big league career with a .409 (9 for 22) average.

Legg continued playing with the team's Triple-A affiliate through the 1994 season before retiring and permanently joining the minor league coaching ranks.  He has filled in briefly as an interim coach at the Major League level, with his most recent appearance coming during the team's 2008 championship season.  He's now a coach for Mickey Morandini's Low-A Lakewood BlueClaws.

Because of his longevity within the Phillies family and my penchant for collecting Phillies minor league cards, I'm the proud owner of 27 different Legg cards dating back to 1987.

0 Cards

Tom Gorman (8 games in 1986)
1986 ProCards Portland Beavers #1 and #7
Jeff Bittiger (3 games in 1986)

Bittiger made his Major League debut in September 1986 and he appeared in just three games with the Phillies - all as a starting pitcher.  The club released him in December 1986 and he'd go on to appear in parts of three seasons with the Twins and White Sox.

Gorman's time with the Phillies was a disaster, as the veteran southpaw appeared in 8 games with the Phils in late July and early August.  He was shipped down to the minors due to his 7.71 ERA in those 8 games and the Phillies released him following the season.  Gorman is probably best known to Phillies fans as the unfortunate Mets pitcher who was on the wrong end of a 26-7 thrashing courtesy of Von Hayes and several others back on June 11, 1985.  I covered the game and the resulting card back in a old Scrapbook Sunday post.

Past Missing Link Posts

1993 Phillies - None

As a public service for those dozens (or half-dozen, give or take a few) of collectors interested in this important and critical initiative, I've added a Missing Links label to all previous posts.


Anonymous said...

I saw Greg Legg play for the SWB Red Barons a couple of times. How can you not like a guy named Greg Legg?

Minor soapbox rant: "Railriders" is OK, I suppose, but I really liked the Red Barons name and cap logo.

Jim said...

I went to a bunch of Red Barons games in the late '90s/early '00s and I loved that stadium. It was a gorgeous setting and I enjoyed watching the future Phillies play. I forgot to mention it in my post, but I was there for "Greg Legg Night" when they retired his number.

I wonder if the Yankees kept his number retired after they took over the franchise?

Steve F. said...

In my Phillies signed cards collection, which I have organized by each player's first year as a Phillie, I prefer to get a standard-sized baseball card where possible, although I do have a fair number of photocards housed in separate sheets in the back. Greg Legg was one of the guys where I decided that a minor league card was "close enough". I think I got signed one of his R-Phils cards where his jersey has a Phillies P on it and maybe the R on his cap wasn't highly visible (maybe his 1988 R-Phils card?), and it now sits in the 1986 page of my Phillies binder, hoping that Chris James to his left and Mike Maddux to his right don't spill the beans that he is a Reading Phillie on the card....

Similarly, Gary Varsho's signed 2000 Acme/Nabisco Phillies card depicting him as a coach sits sheepishly on the 1995 page, hoping Andy Van Slyke and Lenny Webster don't call him "Coach" ahead of his time. (The 1983 Paul Owens manager card residing on the 1972 page has less trouble, as Owens always looked the same age--old.)

Jim said...

Steve - I always enjoy hearing about your collection and how it's organized!