Thursday, November 14, 2013

1988 Phillies - The Missing Links

1989 Score Hottest 100 Rookies #67, 1989 Upper Deck #430,
1988 Donruss #487 and 1988 Fleer Update #U-108
An awful team with a large number of fringe, journeyman relievers results in the highest number of "Missing Links" Phillies thus far in our look back to the 1980s.  In the late '80s, Donruss, Fleer, Score and Topps were churning out more sets than ever and trying to cash in on the booming rookie card business.  For this reason alone, guys who probably wouldn't have a Phillies card today (and I'm looking at you, Alex Madrid) ended up with numerous Phillies cards over several brands and products.

Alas, as you'll see below, if you were a short-term bullpen plug or a fourth-string catcher for the 1988 Phillies, there's absolutely no cardboard proof of your time in marroon pinstripes.  However, thanks to my limited computer graphic design skills, I've created 1988 Topps Phillies cards for each player not appearing on a 1988 Topps card here and here.

3 Cards or More
35 Players

1988 Tastykake Phillies #15
Infielder Shane Turner squeaks onto this list.  Turner shares card space with seven other prospects on a multi-player 1988 Tastykake Phillies card, and he shares a Major League Prospects card in the 1989 Fleer set with Scott Service.  His lone solo Phillies card can be found in the 1989 Score Hottest 100 Rookies set.

Along with his appearance in the 1989 Fleer set, Service appeared on Phillies cards in the 1990 Bowman and Upper Deck sets.  Until researching this post, I had no idea that Service put together an impressive 12-year career.

2 Cards
Jackie Gutierrez (33 games in 1988) - 1989 Tastykake Phillies Update and 1989 Upper Deck #430

Gutierrez was the Super Michael Martinez of his day, hitting .247 in his 33 games with the 1988 Phillies, occassionally spelling Mike Schmidt at third or Steve Jeltz at shortstop.  Before coming to the Phillies, he played in parts of five seasons with the Red Sox and Orioles.

1 Card
Bill Almon (20 games in 1988) - 1988 Tastykake Phillies #15
Danny Clay (17 games in 1988) - 1988 Fleer Update #U-108

Almon wrapped his 15-year career with with the Phils, hitting .115 (3 for 26) in 26 games from April to mid-June.  Had he not been with the team on opening day, his 1988 Tastykake Phillies card probably wouldn't exist.  Clay was one of the two prospects acquired from the Twins in June 1987 for reliever Dan Schatzeder.  He made it into 17 games with the Phillies, compiling a 6.00 ERA thanks in part to his 21 walks in 24 innings.

1988 Score #337 and #328, 1987 Topps #98 and 1986 Donruss #489
0 Cards
Bob Sebra (3 games in 1988 and 6 games in 1989)
Bill Dawley (8 games in 1988)
Bill Scherrer (8 games in 1988)
Salome Barojas (6 games in 1988)
Al Pardo (2 games in 1988 and 1 game in 1989)

For some reason, I could have sworn Sebra spent more time with the Phillies than his nine games in 1988 and 1989.  My 15-year-old brain had him as one of the main pitchers with the '88 and '89 Phillies, but the fact is he really wasn't around that much.  Sebra was acquired from the Expos in September 1988 and traded away to the Reds in July 1989.  Given his short tenure with the club, it's no surprise that he doesn't have any Phillies cards.

1985 Fleer #482
Dawley and Scherrer are perhaps better known for their time with the Astros and Tigers, respectively.  Dawley pitched 8 2/3 total innings with the Phillies, going 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA before earning his release following the season.  Scherrer, who earned a World Series ring with the 1984 Tigers, signed with the Phillies in June 1988 after being released by the Orioles.  He lasted a little over a month with the team, pitching 6 2/3 innings with an ERA of 5.40 and was released on August 1st.

Perhaps the most obscure former Phillie on the 1988 squad was Mexican-born right-handed reliver Salome Barojas.  In between 16 seasons in the Mexican League, Barojas pitched for the White Sox (1982-1984), Mariners (1984-1985) and very briefly with the Phillies.  Barojas was purchased by the Phils from the Mexico City Reds on July 28th and he made six appearances with the club in September.  In 8 2/3 innings, Barojas compiled a 8.31 ERA and he was released immediately following the season.

Finally, catcher Pardo was a September call-up from Triple-A in both 1988 and 1989.  He went 0 for 3 in his 3 at-bats with the Phillies, understandably not earning any Phillies cardboard.

Past Missing Link Posts


Steve F. said...

Salome Barojas may be obscure, but in July 1982 he was the cover subject of Baseball Digest!

Jim said...

Not that I doubted you, but I actually had to Google that just to see it for myself!

Steve F. said...

I remember seeing that as a kid and thinking, "Who?" Somehow I have never forgotten that. I guess he had a good month or something.