Thursday, November 13, 2014

1996 Phillies Team Issue

I updated this post here in October 2020 and this original post is now outdated.

Number of Cards:  36
Card Size:  4" x 6"
Description:  The Phillies got wild and crazy with the design of their 1996 set, doing away with the red band and white lettering used since 1989 and instead using "scruffy" white lettering as described by the set's entry in the 2001 Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards.  The card backs feature biographical information along with complete career statistics, and the 1996 All-Star Game logo.

How Distributed:  The original 36-card set was available for sale at Veterans Stadium throughout the season.  The Catalog notes that the set was sold for $9, which seems high given that the 2014 set sold for $5.  For the second year in a row, there was no update set issued.

Complete Standard Checklist:  The cards are unnumbered, but I've presented them below ordered by uniform number.
  • 2 - Larry Bowa CO
  • 3 - John Vukovich CO
  • 4 - Lenny Dykstra
  • 5 - Mike Benjamin
  • 8 - Jim Eisenreich
  • 9 - Pete Incaviglia
  • 10 - Darren Daulton
  • 11 - Jim Fregosi MG
  • 12 - Mickey Morandini
  • 14 - Denis Menke CO
  • 18 - Benito Santiago
  • 19 - Kevin Stocker
  • 22 - Mark Whiten
  • 23 - Kevin Jordan
  • 24 - Mike Lieberthal
  • 25 - Gregg Jefferies
  • 26 - Lee Tinsley
  • 27 - Todd Zeile
  • 28 - Tyler Green
  • 30 - Dave Cash CO
  • 33 - Russ Springer
  • 34 - Howard Battle
  • 37 - Steve Frey
  • 41 - Mike Williams
  • 42 - Toby Borland
  • 43 - Dave Leiper
  • 44 - Mike Grace
  • 45 - Terry Mulholland
  • 46 - Johnny Podres CO
  • 47 - Michael Mimbs
  • 50 - Sid Fernandez
  • 51 - Ken Ryan
  • 52 - Ricky Bottalico
  • 54 - Carlos Crawford
  • 59 - Joe Rigoli CO
  • Phillie Phanatic
One and Done (4):  Benjamin, Crawford, Frey, Leiper
First Appearances (10):  Battle, Fernandez, Grace, Jordan, Ryan, Santiago, Springer, Tinsley, Whiten, Zeile
Returning Players (14):  Borland, Bottalico, Daulton, Dykstra, Eisenreich, Green, Incaviglia, Jefferies, Lieberthal, Mimbs, Morandini, Mulholland, Stocker, Williams

This is the only place to find Phillies cards for short-timers Benjamin, Crawford, Frey and Leiper.  The First Appearance designation is for players who have never before appeared within a Phillies team issued set.  These players may have already appeared on other Phillies baseball cards.

Manager (1):  Fregosi
Coaches (6):  Bowa, Cash, Menke, Podres, Rigoli, Vukovich
Phillie Phanatic (1):  The Phanatic returns to the set after a one year absence.
Broadcasters (0)
Commemorative Cards (0)

Variations/Rarities:  I'm not aware of any variations or rarities to be found connected to this set.  However . . . the Tinsley card has somehow eluded my collection for almost twenty years.  I'm convinced that the original set I purchased at the Vet was missing the Tinsley card, as I can't imagine somehow, for some strange reason, misplacing the card.

As an update to my Tinsley situation, please see Rick's comments to this post.  The Tinsley card was actually a card for fellow outfielder Glenn Murray, featuring his photo.  I'm wondering now if the Phillies pulled the card upon noticing the error, which would explain why the set I purchased didn't include the card.

The card was reissued later in the year with the same photo but correctly containing Murray's name.  Rick points out that the following cards were available at either the ALS fund raising event or they were made available to players to honor autograph requests.  Scott Rolen's number when he was first recalled was #6.
  • 6 - Scott Rolen
  • 15 - Ricky Otero
  • 17 - Desi Relaford
  • 35 - Bobby Munoz
  • 39 - Rich Hunter
  • 56 - Glenn Murray
  • 58 - Jim Wright CO
Also See:  1996 Phillies - The Missing Links1996 Topps Phillies, includes recollections from the 1996 All-Star Game at the Vet.
Trivia:  The Beckett database lists the entire 36-card set.
Resources:; Phillies collector Rick (@rickphils)


@Rickphils said...

There was no real Tinsley card. The card that said Lee Tinsley (front with his stats) actually showed a picture of Glenn Murray. They reissued the same photo with Murray's name on the front and stats on the back (#56). The corrected Murray was available at ALS. Other ALS cards included Rich Hunter (#39), Bobby Munoz (#35), Ricky Otero (#15), Desi Relaford (#17), Scott Rolen (#6) and Jim Wright. (#58) Wright was substitute pitching coach because Podres was on a leave of absence for health. Rolen and Relaford were issued the wrong numbers on their uniforms--something that was corrected the next season. Good luck finding these.

Anonymous said...

I had a problem similar to your Tinsley situation with my 1993 Team Issue set. In my case, it was the Podres card. I ended up purchasing the entire set a second time just to fill that hole. I was kind of hoping that it would be a late season printing of the set and have some of the updated cards. But, alas, that wasn't the case.

@Rickphils said...

Quick edit: Some of the cards I listed as ALS may have been made in the PR department but not distributed at the newstands in the stadium. They often did this so that the players could respond to fan mail. As I recall, I had a contact person that I called and asked if they had any new postcards for some of the new players and that is how I got the Otero, Rolen and Relaford cards. Murray was definitely at ALS as was Jim Wright. The Phillies have never really catered to collectors so the inconsistencies in what was available was not a problem that concerned them.

Jim said...

Thanks again Rick. I've updated the post to include the ALS/late season rarities.

Matt - Yet more cards to add to our want lists!

Steve F. said...

Rick, you once mentioned to me the possible existence of Ruben Amaro and Ron Blazier cards from the 1996 set. Do you think they exist somewhere? They both premiered with the Phils that year in May so it certainly seems possible that cards were issued for them at the ALS Phestival or for autographs.