Monday, February 29, 2016

2016 Topps #68 Odubel Herrera (Play Ball!)

Phillies 8, Spartans 3
Exhibition Game - Sunday Afternoon, February 28th in Clearwater

One Sentence Summary:  The new-look, 2016 Phillies took the field in an exhibition game win against the University of Tampa.

What It Means:  Almost a year ago to the day the Phillies lost to the Spartans,  In the grand scheme of things, this win doesn't mean much and the statistics won't count towards the official spring training numbers, but it's nice to get the win.  And baseball is back!

What Happened:  Odubel Herrera and Angelys Nina both had multi-hit games.  Jeremy Hellickson and Aaron Nola pitched perfect innings and only Edward Mujica was roughed up by the Spartans. Mujica allowed all three Spartans runs in his inning of work.

Featured Card:  I'm anxious to see if Herrera can repeat in 2016 with the success he had last year. His surprising 2015 season earned him the Future Star designation on his second Topps flagship card.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

1978 Hostess #29 Bob Boone (Burnell's Bombshell Bounty - Part Two)

While I'm very happy to have added the complete run of Topps Stickers Phillies sets from 1985 to 1990 to my collection, there was one card in the package I recently received from fellow collector Burnell that immediately sent me back to the summer of 1978.

I've been trying to track down a complete set of these 1978 Hostess Phillies cards since that summer, and thanks to Burnell I finally added the Bob Boone card to my collection.  There are a few online checklists that list this Boone card as a short-print, which is probably why I've had so much trouble finding it.  Growing up in a Tastykake household, Hostess products were alien to us so it's nice to finally be able to show off this entire team set.

1978 Hostess #8
1978 Hostess #29
1978 Hostess #49
1978 Hostess #71
1978 Hostess #113
1978 Hostess #133

Friday, February 19, 2016

Even Newer Uniform Numbers - 2016 New Numbers, Part Two

2016 Chachi Preview #4
Despite my recent Twitter plea, the Phillies still haven't updated their website's team roster page for their newer players' numbers.  Thankfully, @brismitty came through and sent me the final uniform numbers needed to update the 40-man roster and the non-roster invitees.

This summary finishes what was started in this initial post.

New Players - Under 60 Division
#3 Davd Lough - I had thought Cedric Hunter would wind up with this number, but that was before the Phillies had signed Lough.  The new outfielder takes the number worn by Jeff Francoeur last season.

New Players - Over 60 Division
#62 Bobby LaFromboise
#64 Cedric Hunter
#70 Yoervis Medina
#82 Taylor Featherston

Other Stuff - As suspected, Angelys Nina will take #76, leaving Brock Stassi with #78 all to himself.  Also, assistant coach Jorge Velandia will return to his non-field position in 2016, leaving his #61 to non-roster pitcher Greg Burke.

Numbers Available - As has been the case for the Phillies in recent years, they'll do everything to avoid assigning numbers of greats who have recently departed.  For that reason #11 (Jimmy Rollins), #26 (Chase Utley) and #35 (Cole Hamels) have yet to be reassigned and they most likely won't be in 2016.  The only other non-retired uniform number available between 1 and 80 is #69, which according to Baseball Reference has never been worn by a Phillies player.

Memory Lane
2013 New Numbers
2014 New Numbers - Part One and Part Two
2015 New Numbers
2016 New Numbers - Part One and Part Two

Camp Head Count - We're officially at 66, although pitcher Matt Harrison has been excused from camp as he will not pitch in 2016.  The 66 players is the highest number since 62 players reported to camp in 2013.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

1958 Hires Root Beer #60 Willie Jones #Report

Happy Pitchers and Catchers Day!

We made it through another long winter.  May your skies be blue and may your root beer be cold.

Here's hoping the Phillies can find some players to really sock the horsehide in 2016, much like Puddin' Head did in 1951.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Burnell's Bombshell Bounty - Part One

1985 Topps Stickers #178
1987 Topps Stickers #118 & #280
1988 Topps Stickers
Super Star Stickercards #8
1989 Topps Stickers #121
1990 Topps Stickers #112
Long-time readers of this blog are familiar with the past generosity of reader Burnell, a fellow Phillies baseball card collector.  Burnell has previously send me the scans from 2015 Topps Bunt seen here, and he is also responsible for my 1975 Topps Mini Phillies team set.  I believe the first package I ever received from him contained an awesome assortment of oddball, autograph and relic Phillies cards from 1965 to 2006.

Recently, Burnell e-mailed to ask me if I was still in need of the Topps Stickers Phillies team sets from the mid-1980s through 1990.  I responded that I definitely still needed these elusive Phillies "cards" since single stickers from these sets are rarely seen for sale, and the multi-player stickers make collating complete team sets a challenge.  He e-mailed me back that he (a) had complete team sticker sets to send my way, (b) he was adding in "a few other cards" from my want lists and (c) he didn't need anything in return.

Burnell's package arrived last week and here's a rundown of the sticker portion of the bounty:

1985 Topps Stickers (entire Phillies team set) - Included all 16 stickers featuring Phillies including the multi-player stickers.

1986 Topps Stickers (entire Phillies team set) - Included all 10 stickers featuring Phillies including the multi-player stickers.

1987 Topps Stickers (entire Phillies team set) - Included all 12 stickers featuring Phillies including the multi-player stickers.  I was also happy to add a never before seen (by me) Kent Tekulve Phillies sticker.

1988 Topps Stickers (entire Phillies team set) - Included all 13 stickers featuring Phillies including the multi-player stickers.  Also included the three Phillies Super Star Stickercards which were used as backing for the stickers.

1989 Topps Stickers (entire Phillies team set) - Included all 11 stickers featuring Phillies including the multi-player stickers.  Also included the Juan Samuel Super Star Stickercard which was used as backing for the stickers.

1990 Topps Stickers (entire Phillies team set) - Included all 11 stickers featuring Phillies including the multi-player stickers.  Also included the Von Hayes Super Star Stickercard which was used as backing for the stickers.

But wait, there's more!  I'm still in the process of sorting and crossing off the stacks of other Phillies cards Burnell sent me, most of which are of the relic or autograph variety.  There's a preview of what else was in the package in the photo above along with the stack of the complete run of Phillies from the Topps Stickers sets from 1985 to 1990.  I don't want to rush through these cards, so I'll have a future post (or two) showing off the newest additions to my collection thanks to Burnell's generosity.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Featherston Arrives, LaFromboise Departs

2016 Chachi New Additions #13
I'll say this for the Phillies this offseason . . . at least they're keeping active with roster shuffling.  The Phillies acquired infielder Taylor Featherston from the Angels on Wednesday for a player to be named later or cash.  To make room on the 40-man roster, pitcher Bobby LaFromboise was designated for assingment.  LaFromboise becomes the third pitcher this offseason (joining Dan Otero and A.J. Achter) to be claimed off waivers by the Phils and then discarded a short time later.

Each of the past few years, I've made a Chachi Additions insert set for players added to the 40-man roster during the offseason.  Last year's set had eight cards, and we're already up to 13 cards in the 2016 set.  The number of players slated to start spring training with the Phillies in a few weeks is at 65, although given this new administration's proclivity for roster moves we could see some more action before pitchers and catchers report on February 18th.

Featherston's first mainstream baseball cards can be found in last year's Topps Heritage and Topps Update sets.  He struggled last year at the Major League level, hitting just .162 in 101 games with the Angels.

Moving On - 2015-2016 Offseason
  • Chase d'Arnaud - inf (10/9/15) - Outrighted off 40-man roster, elected free agency and signed as a minor league free agent the Atlanta Braves, 11/24/15.
  • Justin De Fratus - rhp (10/9/15) - Outrighted off 40-man roster, elected free agency and signed with the Seattle Mariners, 12/2/15.
  • Erik Kratz - c (10/9/15) - Outrighted off 40-man roster, elected free agency and signed as a minor league free agent with the San Diego Padres, 11/8/15.
  • Sean O'Sullivan - rhp (10/9/15) - Elected free agency and signed as a minor league free agent with the Boston Red Sox, 12/11/15.
  • Kevin Correia - rhp (10/10/15) - Elected free agency.
  • Adam Loewen - lhp (10/10/15) - Outrighted off 40-man roster, elected free agency and signed as a minor league free agent with the Arizona Diamondbacks, 11/7/15.
  • Dustin McGowan - rhp (10/10/15) - Elected free agency and signed as a minor league free agent with the Miami Marlins, 12/10/15.
  • Seth Rosin - rhp (10/10/15) - Elected free agency and signed as a minor league free agent with the San Diego Padres, 2/8/16.
  • Brian Bogusevic (10/26/15) - Outrighted off 40-man roster, elected free agency and signed with the Orix Buffaloes of the Japanese Pacific League, 12/9/15.
  • Domonic Brown (10/26/15) - Outrighted off 40-man roster and elected free agency.
  • Chad Billingsley - rhp (11/2/15) - Elected free agency.
  • Jeff Francoeur - of (11/2/15) - Elected free agency.
  • Aaron Harang - rhp (11/2/15) - Elected free agency.
  • Jerome Williams - rhp (11/2/15) - Elected free agency.
  • Cliff Lee - lhp (11/2/15) - Team option declined and elected free agency.
  • Jordan Danks - of (11/6/15) - Outrighted off 40-man roster, elected free agency and signed as a minor league free agent with the Texas Rangers, 1/19/16.
  • Ethan Martin - rhp (11/6/15) - Elected free agency and signed as a minor league free agent with the Atlanta Braves, 12/11/15.
  • Jonathan Pettibone - rhp (11/6/15) - Elected free agency and signed as a minor league free agent with the Chicago Cubs, 1/29/16.
  • Nefi Ogando - rhp (12/2/15) - Claimed off waivers by the Miami Marlins.
  • Ken Giles - rhp (12/12/15) - Traded with Jonathan Arauz to the Houston Astros for Mark AppelHarold ArauzThomas Eshelman, Brett Oberholtzer and Vincent Velasquez.
New Additions - 2015-2016 Offseason
  • Jeremy Hellickson - rhp (11/14/15) - Acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks for Sam McWilliams.
  • Michael Mariot - rhp (11/30/15) - Claimed off waivers from the Kansas City Royals.
  • Peter Bourjos - of (12/2/15) - Claimed off waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals.
  • David Hernandez - rhp (12/9/15) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
  • Tyler Goeddel - of (12/10/15) - Selected from the Tampa Bay Rays in the Rule 5 draft.
  • Daniel Stumpf - lhp (12/10/15) - Selected from the Kansas City Royals in the Rule 5 draft.
  • Charlie Morton - rhp (12/12/15) - Acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates for David Whitehead.
  • Brett Oberholtzer - lhp and Vincent Velasquez - rhp (12/12/15) - Acquired with Mark Appel, Harold Arauz and Thomas Eshelman from the Houston Astros for Ken Giles and Jonathan Arauz.
  • Bobby LaFromboise (1/29/16) - Claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels.
  • Taylor Featherston (2/10/16) - Acquired from the Los Angeles Angels for a player to be named later or cash.
Already Gone - 2015-2016 Offseason
  • Dan Otero - rhp (11/3/15) - Claimed off waivers from the Oakland Athletics. (Designated for assignment, 12/12/15 and traded to the Cleveland Indians for cash considerations, 12/18/15.)
  • A.J. Achter - rhp (11/20/15) - Claimed off waivers from the Minnesota Twins. (Designated for assignment, 12/12/15 and claimed off waivers by the Los Angeles Angels, 12/17/15.)

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Surprise Package from Dan's Other World

1996 Pinnacle FanFest #30
1995 Studio Gold #44
I'll never get tired of getting surprise packages of baseball cards from fellow bloggers.  Dan was one of the first Phillies-related blogs I started following back in the day, and one of the first bloggers to reach out to me when I started The Phillies Room in 2009.

Dan was kind enough to send Doug nine of the cards he needs to complete his 2014 Topps Update set.  He also sent several Phillies cards for my collection, including this fantastic Darren Daulton card that has eluded my collection for 20 years and a never-before-seen (by me) gold parallel of Lenny Dykstra's 1995 Studio card.  You can probably tell from the scan that the Daulton card is of the lenticular persuasion.

Thanks Dan!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Phils Trade Biddle to Pirates for Medina

2013 Bowman Inception
Prospect Autographs #PA-JBI
2014 Topps Update #US265
Jesse Biddle's Phillies career came to end on Wednesday afternoon when the Phillies traded their former number one pick to the Pirates for right-handed pitcher Yoervis Medina.  Biddle, who will miss all of 2016 following Tommy John surgery, was designated for assignment last week to make room for Bobby LaFromboise.

Medina has been invited to spring training, increasing the camp head count to 65.  He split time last season between the Mariners and Cubs, appearing in 17 games with a 4.71 ERA.  Medina has appeared in both the 2013 and 2014 Topps Update sets with the Mariners.

I'm bummed to see Biddle go, and I certainly wish him nothing but success with the Pirates.  Unless of course he's pitching against the Phillies.  I have 33 Biddle cards in my collection dating back to 2010, four of which contain his autograph.  Sadly, unless he comes back to the organization later in his career, he'll never get to grace an official Chachi card.  I'm sure he's truly bummed about this too.

Player (position) - 2015 Organization - Last Major Baseball Card Appearance
1.  James Russell (lhp) - Cubs - 2015 Topps #255 (Braves)
2.  Emmanuel Buriss (inf) - Nationals - 2010 Topps Update #US-82 (Giants)
3.  Ryan Jackson (inf) - Royals/Angels - 2013 Panini Prizm #238 (Cardinals)
4.  Frank Herrmann (rhp) - Angels/Pirates - 2010 Topps Update #US-89 (Indians)
5.  Chris Leroux (rhp) - Brewers/Phillies - 2013 Panini Select #205 (Pirates)
6.  Reinier Roibal (rhp) - Phillies - N/A
7.  J.P. Arencibia (c) - Orioles/Rays - 2014 Topps #627 (Rangers)
8.  Greg Burke (rhp) - Blue Jays - 2009 Bowman Chrome #103 (Padres)
9.  Ernesto Frieri (rhp) - Rays - 2014 Topps #240 (Angels)
10.  Gregory Infante (rhp) - Blue Jays - 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter #84 (White Sox)
11.  Angelys Nina (inf) - Rockies - 2012 Bowman Prospects #BP45 (Rockies)
12.  Andrew Bailey (rhp) - Yankees - 2013 Topps Heritage #344 (Red Sox)
13.  Edward Mujica (rhp) - Red Sox/Athletics - 2015 Topps #131 (Red Sox)
14.  Cedric Hunter (of) - Braves - 2011 Topps #554 (Padres)
15.  Mark Appel (rhp) - Astros - 2015 Topps Heritage Minor Leagues #219 (Astros)
16.  J.P. Crawford (ss) - Phillies - 2015 Topps Heritage Minor Leagues #208 (Phillies)
17.  Zach Eflin (rhp) - Phillies - 2014 Topps Pro Debut #184 (Padres)
18.  Andrew Knapp (c) - Phillies - 2014 Topps Heritage Minor Leagues #146 (Phillies)
19.  Gabriel Lino (c) - Phillies - 2012 Bowman Chrome Prospects #BCP199 (Phillies)
20.  Logan Moore (c) - Phillies - 2011 Bowman Draft Chrome Prospects #BDPP44 (Phillies)
21.  Brock Stassi (1b) - Phillies - N/A
22.  Jake Thompson (rhp) - Rangers/Phillies - 2015 Topps Heritage Minor Leagues #129 (Rangers)
23.  Nick Williams (of) - Rangers/Phillies - 2015 Topps Heritage Minor Leagues #175 (Rangers)
24.  David Lough (of) - Orioles - 2015 Topps #290 (Orioles)
25.  Yoervis Medina (rhp) - Mariners/Cubs - 2014 Topps Update #US265 (Mariners)

Friday, February 5, 2016

Setting the Record Straight: Phillies Wore Red in '92

1993 Fleer Team Leaders #NL8
Aaron Nola models the new red jersey
In an attempt not to be that guy, I've kept quiet over the past week after reading numerous articles about the Phillies planning to wear new all-red jerseys in a regular season game for the first time since 1979.  "Not true," I'd mutter to myself as I read these articles and watched the news reports. Even the Phillies official press release on their own website got it wrong:  "It will be the second time the Phillies have worn red jerseys during a regular-season game.  It last happened in May 1979, when the team wore an entirely all-burgundy uniform at Veterans Stadium."

This is wrong, and it's surprising to me that the Phillies have no one currently on their payroll who would know it was wrong.  (Or at least double check with Larry Shenk, the team's long-time employee and now team historian.)  Granted, in the grand scheme of things, very few of us actually give a fart about such things but I'm here to set the record straight.

When the Phillies sport their new red jerseys on April 14th this season, it will be the fourth time they've worn all-red jerseys in a regular season game, as follows:

1.  May 19, 1979 - The Saturday Night Special uniform was worn once and only once.
2.  July 9, 1992 - In an attempt to change up their luck, the floundering Phils wore their batting practice jerseys in a game against the Padres in San Diego.
3.  September 11, 1999 - The Phillies and Diamondbacks took part in the infamous Turn Ahead the Clock promotion with the Phillies wearing futuristic all-red jerseys.
4.  April 14, 2016 - The new all-red jerseys to be worn during week day afternoon games will make their debut.

I had to go deep within The Phillies Room's archives to scan this page from my 1992 Phillies Scrapbook, for photographic proof of the the 1992 red jersey appearance.  (You can click on either photo to enlarge.)

The newspaper headline from the game notes that "Phils change their tops," and I've clipped a photo of Mickey Morandini screaming at an umpire while wearing his all-red jersey.  (Yes, I kept a Phillies scrapbook during that awful 1992 season.)

I also clipped a quote from John Kruk, which I've enlarged here so that you can enjoy his thoughts on that game's wardrobe choice.

And now you know.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The First Phillie of 2016

I stopped by Target after work on Monday and Tuesday nights, only to find nothing but packs of football cards and Pokemon stuff where I had hoped to find blasters of 2016 Topps.  Last night, my wife Jenna stopped at Target and actually asked someone if packs of 2016 Topps were available for sale.  The clerk checked and found a still unopened box in the baseball card aisle.  It was opened there on the spot and my wife came home with 10 of the 36-card jumbo packs.

2016 Topps Gold #351
The only chore now was to split up the 10 packs among my two sons and me.  Ben, our youngest, was happy with two packs.  Doug, our oldest, took four packs leaving the remaining four packs for me.  Within Doug's first pack, three cards in, we had our first Phillie of 2016 - the Ryan Howard card featured at the top of this post.

I feel like an old-timer saying this, but I'm not yet sold on the new-fangled design direction of Topps' flagship set.  (And for the record, Doug and his nine years of experience isn't sold on the design either.)  My wife commented that they look Upper Deck-ish with full bleed, no border photos.  There are smoky touches on the corners and the backgrounds of each photo are blurred out.  I think I would have liked the design in a set of 300 cards, but as the design to the Topps flagship set I'm not so sure. I am happy about Topps' decision to once again use silver foil sparingly on the cards' fronts.  The players' names are easy to read which is helpful for me since there are quite a few names I no longer recognize.  The backs of the cards are reminiscent of the 2015 Topps card backs.

The Phillies have 10 players featured in Series One, and two of those players - Aaron Harang and Jeff Francoeur - won't be back in 2016.  I ended up getting seven of the Phillies cards in the set, which I traded away to Ben for a few Red Sox inserts to eventually ship up to Section 36.  (I've pre-ordered master team sets for Doug and me, which should arrive at some point next week.)  Ben also found a Jeremy Hellickson Diamondbacks card, which he wisely wouldn't trade to his older brother since Hellickson figures to see a lot of action with the Phillies in 2016.

Doug made out great too, and I traded him my base Chase Utley card since I was lucky enough to find the gold parallel version of this card in one of my packs.  I'm sure we'll buy some more packs in the coming days, but Doug has already announced his intention to once again collect the Opening Day and Archives sets.  He'll save the Topps flagship set as a request from Santa.

Play ball!

Past First Phillies

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

1961 Post #124 Gene Conley

Two-sport star Gene Conley is up today over at my 1956 Topps blog.  Conley spent two seasons pitching for the Phillies when he wasn't busy helping the Boston Celtics win the NBA Championship.

Right before the start of the 1959 season, on March 31st, the Phillies traded Ted Kazanski, Stan Lopata and Johnny O'Brien to the Braves for Conley, Harry Hanebrink and Joe Koppe. The new Phillies general manager was John Quinn and Quinn had spent the previous 13 years as GM for the Braves so he was familiar with the players he was acquiring.  Conley reported late to spring training following the trade as his Celtics were busy wrapping up their second NBA title.

Conley enjoyed one of his finest baseball seasons in 1959, making the N.L. All-Star team and finishing the season with a 12-7 record and a 3.00 ERA.  He pitched two perfect innings in the All-Star Game, striking out both Ted Williams and Yogi Berra.  At the end of the season, he was named the N.L. Comeback Player of the Year.

Conley's second and final season with the Phillies saw him post a record of 8-14.  When he refused to end his basketball career to focus solely on baseball, the Phillies sent Conley to the Red Sox on December 15, 1960 for Frank Sullivan.  Conley appeared on two Topps cards and within three oddball issues to mark his time in Philadelphia.  He's in the 1959 and 1960 Topps sets, as well as the 1960 Armour Coins and 1961 Post sets as a member of the Phillies.  He also has a postcard within the multi-year set released by the club throughout the 1950s and 1960s.