Monday, December 22, 2014

What I've Learned While Posting on the Phillies Team Issued Sets

1989 Tastykake Phillies Update #18
If you'll been following along on this blog over the past few months, I've been methodically working my way through a review and checklist post of each and every Phillies team issued set of cards since the early 1950s.  I started this exercise because I finally wanted to take the plunge and start collecting the relatively rare Phillies photocards from the 1970s and early 1980s, and I wanted to chronicle the known rarities and variations available from the sets of the 2000s and 2010s.

I'm nearing the end of this series of posts, so I thought I'd look back and reflect upon what I've learned and why I've undertaken this particular task.

2004 Phillies Team Issue #53
(white auto variation)
1.  I have no idea what constitutes a full and complete checklist for these sets.

I like to think of myself as a fairly knowledgeable Phillies baseball card collector, and until I began these posts I was confident in the knowledge that I knew exactly which Phillies photocards/team issued cards I needed in order to have a "complete" set.  I was so wrong.

Through comments and e-mails sent primarily from fellow collectors Rick and Steve, I've learned that there are a ton of late season additions, one time giveaways and blank backed or facsimile autograph cards that I had no idea existed.

I've also become more familiar with the photocards from the 1970s and I've added a couple dozen of these cards to my collection through eBay searches for "Phillies postcard," or "Phillies photo card," or even just "Phillies photo."

2.  The experts and the usual resources may not know what constitutes a full and complete checklist for these sets.

Despite the valuable resources The Trading Card Database and even Beckett have proven to be, these online checklists aren't complete.  As Rick points out in one of his comments, some of these cards were never meant for the public and he's obtained them either by luck or by knowing the right people and being in the right place at the right time.

As an example, catcher Brian Schneider was scheduled to appear at an autograph signing at the Majestic Clubhouse Store at Citizens Bank Park following his acquisition as a free agent in the 2009/2010 offseason.  Cards were made up for Schneider in the style of the 2009 Phillies Team Issue set, but the appearance had to be cancelled due to inclement weather.  Rick managed to snag a few of the unused and unissued Schneider cards and the rest of the cards were either recycled or presumably stored away in a box somewhere deep in the confines of the ballpark.

As many Phillies events that Rick attends, I can't imagine he's attended every single autograph signing or random alumni appearance over the past two decades so there are undoubtedly other one-off cards or card variations that have missed even his watchful eye.

1973 Phillies Photocards
3.  This is fun.

I'm a natural checklist maker.  I like taking a group of information that's seemingly disconnected and unorganized and putting it together into a meaningful, useful resource.  Anyone stumbling across my blog is now going to be able to click on the "Phillies Team Issued Sets" page link at the top and come to a gallery of linked profiles for each set.  It's been fun putting together these posts and interacting with fellow collectors.

4.  That guy had a Phillies baseball card?

Cy Acosta, Dane Iorg, Scott MunninghoffFelipe Crespo, Lou Collier and dozens of other short-time Phillies players have appeared on these team issued cards and I had no idea of the existence of these cards until recently.  There's something irrationally wrong about a grown, married man with children getting excited when discovering for the first time that Lou Collier does in fact have a Phillies baseball card.  But that's who I am, and so be it.

As a direct result of this project, I now know that . . .

5.  My Missing Links posts, detailing those Phillies players with no or only a few baseball cards, are wrong and outdated.

This is a project for another day.  I have players listed as having only one Phillies baseball card and I now know that they actually had several Phillies baseball cards sprinkled throughout these team issued sets.

Thanks again to everyone who has contributed to this project and thanks for following along.


Steve F. said...

Thanks for doing the project, Jim! Until you did this, my lists were created from my own collections since 1983 and, for the period from 1970-82, compiled by hand notes sent to me by the late, great collector Joe Harring (who, by the way, in an email to me in 2008 referred to our friend Rick as one of the two "experts on Phils postcards"--he was obviously right! My checklists are now 1000x better. Thanks again!

Jim said...

And thanks again for your help Steve!

Matt said...

Hey Jim,

Nice job with the team issued stuff! I actually was doing the same thing for my site, scanning all the cards in, and having a separate page for it and everything. Unfortunately I've a had a few deaths in the family and an health issue that have kept me from finishing that, and anything on my site at this time. With you starting this, I'm probably going to abandon my team issued page but at some point I will send along some information and scans I have of different cards. I'm enjoying reading back through the posts. Thanks for the shout outs you've given my site. Good luck with the project!

Jim said...

Thanks Matt and I certainly hope everything is OK with you and your family.

Any help you could provide is definitely appreciated!