Saturday, June 30, 2018

2007-2009 Phillies Alumni Photo Cards


I've been feeling fairly accomplished recently having completed what I consider to be a relatively comprehensive checklist of Phillies Alumni photo cards issued since 2010.  In a recent eBay search, I was very surprised to see that Phillies Alumni photo cards existed prior to 2010 and these cards contained a completely different design.  Fellow collector Rick then shared with me his list of these cards, which is where the information below comes from.  Let the hunt continue!

2007 Copyright
  • Rico Brogna
  • Marty Bystrom (blank back)
  • Larry Christenson
  • Darren Daulton
  • Terry Harmon (blank back)
  • Von Hayes
  • Ricky Jordan
  • Dickie Noles (blank back, 5 x 7)
  • Mike Rogodzinski
  • Kent Tekulve
  • Bob Walk
  • Mitch Williams
Rick notes that the Tekulve card was created for an autograph signing with the ex-reliever that was ultimately cancelled due to inclement weather.

2008 Copyright
  • 1950 Phillies Team
  • Dick Allen
  • Larry Andersen
  • Ricky Bottalico
  • Jeff Brantley
  • Larry Christenson (same photo as 2007)
  • Gene Garber
  • Dallas Green
  • Terry Harmon
  • Tommy Herr
  • Tommy Hutton
  • Ricky Jordan
  • Garry Maddox
  • Jerry Martin
  • Gary Matthews
  • Mike Rogodzinski
  • Juan Samuel
  • Del Unser
  • Ozzie Virgil

2009 Copyright
  • Bob Boone
  • Ricky Bottalico
  • Bob Dernier
  • Jim Eisenreich
  • Jim Kaat
  • John Kruk
  • Mike Lieberthal
  • Mickey Morandini
  • Dickie Noles
  • Juan Samuel (same photo as 2008)
  • Tony Taylor

Friday, June 29, 2018

Game 79 - 2018 Phillies Team Issue 2 #27 Aaron Nola

Phillies 4, Nationals 3
Game 79 - Thursday Night, June 28th in Philadelphia
Record - 43-36, 2nd place, 2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Aaron Nola was in control for his 7 2/3 innings of work and Rhys Hoskins contributed another home run in this 4-3 win over the Nationals.

What It Means:  Can a series in late June/early July be crucial?  The Phillies are now 12-15 in the incredibly difficult (schedule-wise) month of June, which all and all isn't that bad.  A few more hits, a few less errors and some effective pitching from Jake Arrieta could have seen the team finish the month with a record over .500.

What Happened:  Nola won his 10th, striking out 8 in the process.  Tommy Hunter gave up a pair of runs in the 9th before Seranthony Dominguez entered for the final two outs and his 6th save.  The three-hit night from Hoskins included his 13th home run and his 19th double.

Featured Card:  Nola signed this photo card for me during the recent Phillies Phestival.  The young pitcher has an impressive, and readable, autograph.

Game 78 - 2018 Chachi Phillies Phestival #8 Zach Eflin

Phillies 3, Yankees 0
Game 78 - Wednesday Night, June 27th in Philadelphia
Record - 42-36, 2nd place, 2 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Zach Eflin shut down the powerful Yankees offense with a dominant six-inning performance and Rhys Hoskins hit a three-run home run to lead the Phillies to this 3-0 victory.

What It Means:  Eflin's extremely impressive numbers for the month of June - 5-0, with a 1.76 ERA.  His performance helped the team avoid the sweep at the hand of the Yankees.

What Happened:  Eflin allowed four hits and struck out six on the way to his 6th win.  Seranthony Dominguez threw two perfect innings to lock down the win and earn his 5th save.

Featured Card:  I've officially run out of Eflin cards to feature, so I'm going to take the unusual step of featuring a custom card of his for the second time.  As suspected, Eflin was very nice during the recent Phillies Phestival, and he took the time to pose for a photo with my son Doug.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Series Preview - Nationals at Phillies: June 28th to July 1st

1978 Topps #15
1978 Topps #360
Thursday and Friday 7:05, Saturday 6:05 and Sunday 1:35
Citizens Bank Park - Philadelphia, PA

Nationals 41-37, 3rd place in the N.L. East, 3 1/2 games behind the Braves
Phillies 42-36, 2nd place in the N.L. East, 2 1/2 games behind the Braves

Nationals Probables:  Tanner Roark (3-8, 4.27), Erick Fedde (0-3, 5.32), Jeremy Hellickson (2-0, 2.28), Gio Gonzalez (6-5, 3.68)
Phillies Probables:  Aaron Nola (9-2, 2.58), Nick Pivetta (4-6, 4.06), Vince Velasquez (5-8, 4.69), Jake Arrieta (5-6, 3.54)

At the Ballpark:  It's Throwback Thursday tonight with all fans receiving a Phillies Retro Drawstring bag.  Friday and Saturday will feature the incredibly impressive postgame fireworks shows.  All kids on Sunday will receive a solar powered Liberty Bell.

Nationals Leaders
Average:  Anthony Rendon - .284
Runs:  Bryce Harper - 44
Home Runs:  Bryce Harper - 19
RBIs:  Bryce Harper - 46
Stolen Bases:  Michael Taylor - 23

Wins:  Max Scherzer - 10
ERA:  Max Scherzer - 2.04
Strikeouts:  Max Scherzer - 165
Saves:  Sean Doolittle - 21

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Odubel Herrera - .294
Runs:  Cesar Hernandez - 55
Home Runs:  Odubel Herrera and Carlos Santana - 13
RBIs:  Rhys Hoskins and Carlos Santana - 46
Stolen Bases:  Cesar Hernandez - 12

Wins:  Aaron Nola - 9
ERA:  Aaron Nola - 2.58
Strikeouts:  Vince Velasquez - 104
Saves:  Hector Neris - 10

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Game 77 - 1982 Donruss #189 Sparky Lyle

Yankees 6, Phillies 0
Game 77 - Tuesday Night, June 26th in Philadelphia
Record - 41-36, 2nd place, 3 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Jake Arrieta's shaky outing, a dominant pitching performance from Luis Severino and a crucial error from Cesar Hernandez in the third inning led to this 6-0 Yankees win.

What It Means:  The Phillies will try to avoid the three-game sweep on Wednesday night.

What Happened:  Hernandez should have turned an inning-ended double play, but he threw wide to Scott Kingery and three unearned runs ultimately scored.  Arrieta also allowed home runs to Austin Hicks and Didi Gregorius.  Severino struck out 9 in his outing with the Phillies going 0 for 4 with runners in scoring position.

Featured Card:  I'm sticking with the Sparky Lyle theme until the Phils can beat the Yankees.

2018 Chachi #40 Austin Davis

#54
Austin Richard Davis
Relief Pitcher

Bats:  Left  Throws:  Left  Height:  6'4"  Weight:  224
Opening Day Age:  25
Born:  February 3, 1993, Scottsdale, AZ
Drafted:  Selected by the Phillies in the 1st and 12th round of the June 2014 draft
Teams:  Phillies 2018
Acquired:  Via draft

2015 Choice Lakewood
BlueClaws #5
4 Davis Baseball Cards in My Collection per The Phillies Room Checklist
First Phillies Minor League Card:  2015 Choice Lakewood BlueClaws #5
First Phillies Card:  N/A
First Topps Flagship Base Card:  N/A
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  N/A
Newest Card:  2017 Grandstand Reading Fightin Phils Update #55

First Mention on The Phillies Room:  June 19, 2018 - Prior to the game, the Phillies made the somewhat surprising move of optioning one-time closer Hector Neris to Lehigh Valley.  Neris is 1-3 with a 6.00 ERA so far this season and his June ERA is 9.45.

Lefty reliever Austin Davis had his contract selected to take Neris' place in the bullpen.  A 2014 12th round draft pick, Davis has baseball card appearances in four Phillies minor league team sets to date.

Complete Chachi Checklist
2018 Chachi #40

Card statistics through 6/19/18.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Game 76 - 1981 Topps #719 Sparky Lyle

Yankees 4, Phillies 2
Game 76 - Monday Night, June 25th in Philadelphia
Record - 41-35, 2nd place, 3 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies were baffled by Yankees starter Jonathan Loaisiga and Aaron Judge hit his 20th home run in this 4-2 loss.

What It Means:  If the Phillies want to consider themselves a playoff contender, they'll need to perform better against the elite teams in the league.

What Happened:  Rhys Hoskins lost his cool and bickered with a fan behind the dugout after striking out in the 6th inning.  The offense had three hits, one of which was a solo home run (10) from Maikel Franco with two outs in the 9th.  Vince Velasquez pitched well, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out seven in his six innings of work.

Featured Card:  I've always thought Sparky Lyle's baseball cards were cool.  I featured the 1977 Cy Young Award Winner's 1978 Topps card within the series preview post, but here's one of his cards from his time with the Phillies from 1980 to 1982.

Transactions:  Prior to the game, Jesmuel Valentin was activated from the paternity list and Mitch Walding was optioned to the IronPigs.  Reliever Edubray Ramos was placed on the disabled list with a shoulder injury and Hector Neris returned from his brief exile to Lehigh Valley.

Game 75 - 2013 Phillies Team Issue #3 Delmon Young

Nationals 8, Phillies 6
Game 75 - Sunday Night, June 24th in Washington
Record - 41-34, 2nd place, 2 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  The Nationals scored six unanswered runs in their final three at-bats to hand the Phillies their latest crushing defeat, 8-6.

What It Means:  Edubray Ramos and Austin Davis allowed the three runs in the 6th inning, with Seranthony Dominguez getting hit hard and touched for three runs in the 8th inning.

What Happened:  The Phillies had mounted a somewhat comfortable 6-2 lead after five innings courtesy of a two-run home run from Rhys Hoskins (11), a two-run triple from Odubel Herrera and a two-run home run from Nick Williams (9).  As someone who admittedly didn't stay awake for this entire ballgame, it was very disheartening to wake up the next morning and see an 8-6 final score.

Featured Card:  The last time the Phillies appeared on an ESPN Sunday Night Baseball broadcast, on April 4, 2013, they lost to the Braves 4-1 and starting right fielder Delmon Young went 0 for 4 with four strikeouts.  A Delmon Young baseball card seemed appropriate for this post.

2018 Chachi #39 Dylan Cozens

#25
Dylan Wallace Cozens
Outfield

Bats:  Left  Throws:  Left  Height:  6'6"  Weight:  245
Opening Day Age:  23
Born:  May 31, 1994, Scottsdale, AZ
Drafted:  Selected by the Phillies in the 2nd round of the June 2012 draft
Teams:  Phillies 2018
Acquired:  Via draft

2012 Bowman Draft
Draft Picks #BDPP42
2013 Choice Williamsport
Crosscutters #7
34 Cozens Baseball Cards in My Collection per The Phillies Room Checklist
First Phillies Card:  2012 Bowman Draft Draft Picks #BDPP42
First Phillies Minor League Card:  2013 Choice Williamsport Crosscutters #7
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  N/A
First Topps Flagship Base Card:  N/A
Newest Card:  2018 Bowman Chrome Prospects #BCP63

First Mention on The Phillies Room:  August 24, 2014 - 2nd Annual Lakewood BlueClaws Outing . . . The BlueClaws are the Phillies Low A team playing in the South Atlantic League.  We were once again able to get first row tickets right behind the BlueClaws bullpen, and my oldest son Doug spent the bulk of the hour leading up to the game tracking down autographs.

He got autographs from BlueClaws home run leader (and Phillies top prospect) Dylan Cozens along with catcher Willians Astudillo.  He also got autographs from former big leaguers Gregg Legg and Les Lancaster, both of whom were ejected in this game for arguing balls and strikes.

Our youngest son Ben was the recipient of a baseball when BlueClaws starting pitcher Ranfi Casimiro finished his pre-game warm-up, walked over to Ben and handed him his ball.  I wanted to include Casimiro's card in this post because his generosity was such an awesome gesture.  There were a ton of kids seeking autographs (and demanding baseballs) in our section and Casimiro made it a point to walk over to the youngest, quietest kid and hand him a ball.  Ben went to bed clutching both the baseball and his new BlueClaws giant foam finger.

It was a great night of baseball along with a fun night for our family, and we'll be back for another game (or two) in 2015.

Complete Chachi Checklist
2017 Chachi Almost #14
2018 Chachi #39

Card statistics through 6/13/18.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Series Preview - Yankees at Phillies: June 25th to June 27th

1978 Topps #35
1978 Topps #715
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 7:05
Citizens Bank Park - Philadelphia, PA

Yankees 50-25, Tied for 1st place in the A.L. East, 14 games ahead of the Rays
Phillies 41-34, 2nd place in the N.L. East, 2 1/2 games behind the Braves

Yankees Probables:  Jonathan Loaisiga (1-0, 3.12), Luis Severino (11-2, 2.24), Luis Cessa (0-0, 3.00)
Phillies Probables:  Vince Velasquez (5-7, 4.82), Jake Arrieta (5-5, 3.42), Zach Eflin (5-2, 3.44)

At the Ballpark:  There are absolutely no giveaways or promotions for this series, as the Phillies rightfully assume they'll have no problems selling tickets.

Yankees Leaders
Average:  Miguel Andujar - .284
Runs:  Aaron Judge - 50
Home Runs:  Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton - 19
RBIs:  Aaron Judge - 51
Stolen Bases:  Didi Gregorius - 9

Wins:  Luis Severino - 11
ERA:  Luis Severino - 2.24
Strikeouts:  Luis Severino - 123
Saves:  Aroldis Chapman - 22

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Odubel Herrera - .305
Runs:  Cesar Hernandez - 54
Home Runs:  Odubel Herrera and Carlos Santana - 13
RBIs:  Carlos Santana - 46
Stolen Bases:  Cesar Hernandez - 12

Wins:  Aaron Nola - 9
ERA:  Aaron Nola - 2.58
Strikeouts:  Nick Pivetta - 101
Saves:  Hector Neris - 10

2010-2019 Phillies Alumni Photo Cards


I recently added a literal stack of Phillies Alumni photo cards to my collection, and I've been smiling ever since.  I know it may sound silly, but I love these cards and the fact that they're relatively difficult to obtain makes them all the more desirable.  You have to work to get these cards, as fellow collectors Rick and Steve F. can attest and I'm very much grateful that these cards (albeit unsigned) are now in my Phillies collection.  What follows is most likely still not a complete listing of the Alumni photo cards produced over the past decade, but at least we're getting closer.

Based on all the information available, it seems as if these Alumni photo cards first appeared in 2010.  Since then, the Phillies have been issuing these cards for returning players to sign at various meet and greet opportunities, including the annual Phillies Phestival and various reunion related events.

Complicating any efforts to fully checklist these cards is the fact that the Phillies had originally printed the cards with a copyright date on the back reflecting the date of issuance.  In recent years, the copyright date on the backs of these cards is for the date of the photo on the front.  For example, the Nick Punto card shown above contains information through Punto's final season in 2014, but the card contains a 2003 copyright date which corresponds to the photo used for the card.  In 2017 and again in 2018, the Phillies seemed to have switched back to using a copyright date that corresponds with the date of issuance and not the date of the photo.

My original post from December 2016 will now be mothballed and I'll continue to track any additions/revisions to his checklist within this post.  Any comments, revisions, help, etc. is definitely appreciated.

Player (Copyright Date) - Other Notes
  • Bobby Abreu (2004) - First available at some point after 2014.
  • Dick Allen (2017)
  • Ruben Amaro Jr. (2018) - First available on 6/10/18, 25th Anniversary of '93 team.
  • Larry Andersen (2010)
  • Marlon Anderson (2003) - First available in 2016.
  • Joe Blanton (2018) - Obtained on 8/4/19 during 2019 Alumnni Weekend.
  • Bob Boone (2010) - Obtained on 8/13/17 during 2017 Alumni Weekend.
  • Ricky Bottalico (2010)
  • Larry Bowa (No copyright) - Bowa's Wall of Fame plaque is on the back.
  • Warren Brusstar (2017) - Obtained on 8/13/17 during 2017 Alumni Weekend.
  • Jim Bunning (2011)
  • Pat Burrell (cream alternate) (2012)
  • Pat Burrell (red pinstripes) (2008) - Available as part of the 2015 Phillies Team Issue 2nd Edition set
  • Marty Bystrom (2010) - Obtained on 8/13/17 during 2017 Alumni Weekend.
  • Steve Carlton (2017)
  • Dave Cash (2011)
  • Wes Chamberlain (2018) - First available on 6/10/18, 25th Anniversary of '93 team.
  • Larry Christenson (2010) - Obtained on 8/13/17 during 2017 Alumni Weekend.
  • Rheal Cormier (2011) - Obtained on 8/12/14 at Citizens Bank Park.
  • Rheal Cormier (2017) - Identical photo, but omits Minor League Career notes on back.
  • Darren Daulton (2010)
  • Bob Dernier (2017) - Obtained on 7/7/17 at Citizens Bank Park.
  • Mariano Duncan (2018)
  • Jim Eisenreich (2010)
  • Lee Elia MG (2010)
  • Scott Eyre (2011)
  • Pedro Feliz (2009) - First available at some point after 2012.
  • Gene Garber (2010)
  • Doug Glanville (2010)
  • Wayne Gomes (2012)
  • Dallas Green MG (2010)
  • Tyler Green (2010)
  • Tommy Greene (2010) - Obtained on 3/30/13 at Citizens Bank Park.
  • Von Hayes (2012)
  • Al Holland (2011)
  • Dave Hollins (2011)
  • Pete Incaviglia (2018) - First available on 6/10/18, 25th Anniversary of '93 team.
  • Danny Jackson (2018) - First available on 6/10/18, 25th Anniversary of '93 team.
  • Geoff Jenkins (2014)
  • Ricky Jordan (2010 and 2011) - Same photo.  Obtained on 8/9/14 during 2014 Alumni Weekend.
  • Kyle Kendrick (2018) - Obtained on 8/4/19 during 2019 Alumnni Weekend.
  • John Kruk (2011)
  • Brad Lidge (2014)
  • Mike Lieberthal (2012)
  • Tony Longmire (2018) - First available on 6/10/18, 25th Anniversary of '93 team.
  • Greg Luzinski (2010) - Obtained on 8/13/17 during 2017 Alumni Weekend.
  • Garry Maddox (2017) - First available on 8/13/17 during 2017 Alumni Weekend.
  • Charlie Manuel MG (red pullover) (2011) - Available as part of the 2015 Phillies Team Issue set.
  • Charlie Manual MG (red pinstripes) (2017) - Available for autographs at the 2018 Phillies Phestival on 6/21/18.
  • Jeff Manto (2018) - First available on 6/10/18, 25th Anniversary of '93 team.
  • Roger Mason (2018) - First available on 6/10/18, 25th Anniversary of '93 team.
  • Gary Matthews (2010)
  • Bake McBride (2017) - Obtained on 8/13/17 during 2017 Alumni Weekend.
  • Tim McCarver (2012)
  • Jason Michaels (2004) - First available at some point after 2011.
  • Don Money (2015) - Old Phillies logo on back.
  • Willie Montanez (2011)
  • Mickey Morandini (2018) - First available on 6/10/18, 25th Anniversary of '93 team.
  • Jamie Moyer (2018) - Obtained on 8/4/19 during 2019 Alumnni Weekend.
  • Dale Murphy (2019) - Obtained on 8/4/19 during 2019 Alumnni Weekend.
  • Brett Myers (2018) - Obtained on 8/4/19 during 2019 Alumnni Weekend.
  • Dickie Noles (2012) - Obtained on 8/13/17 during 2017 Alumni Weekend.  Includes black facsimile autograph.
  • Roy Oswalt (2014)
  • Todd Pratt (1993) - First available in 2016.
  • Placido Polanco (2010)
  • Nick Punto (2003) - First available at some point after 2014.
  • Randy Ready (1995) - First available in 2016.
  • Ben Rivera (2018) - First available on 6/10/18, 25th Anniversary of '93 team.
  • Mike Rodgodzinski (2010)
  • Aaron Rowand (2014)
  • Curt Schilling (2018) - First available on 6/10/18, 25th Anniversary of '93 team.
  • Matt Stairs (2011)
  • Kevin Stocker (2012)
  • Tony Taylor (2010 and 2011) - Same photo.
  • Bobby Thigpen (2018) - First available on 6/10/18, 25th Anniversary of '93 team.
  • Jim Thome - (2016) - Available briefly as part of 2016 Phillies Team Issue 2nd Edition Update set.
  • Milt Thompson (2016)
  • Manny Trillo (2017) - Obtained on 8/13/17 during 2017 Alumni Weekend.
  • Del Unser (2012)
  • Wilson Valdez (2011) - Obtained on 7/12/14 at Citizens Bank Park.
  • Ozzie Virgil (2012)
  • David West (2018) - First available on 6/10/18, 25th Anniversary of '93 team.
  • Mitch Williams (2010)
  • Bobby Wine (2015) - Old Phillies logo on back.
  • Rick Wise (2011)
  • Randy Wolf (2016)
August 2018 Update - Fellow collector Rick recently informed me that the Phillies produced 20 new Alumni Photo Cards for the express purpose of having them available for returning members of the 2008 World Championship team to sign at a potential pre-game autograph signing during the 2018 Alumni Weekend.  For whatever reason, the planned autograph event was significantly curtailed with only Eric Bruntlett and Pedro Feliz stationed at one sole table for fans.  These cards should be considered unreleased and generally unavailable to the collecting public.

August 2019 Update - As part of the 2019 Alumni Weekend, a new Dale Murphy card was created with a 2019 copyright date on the front.  Cards for Joe Blanton, Kyle Kendrick, Jamie Moyer and Brett Myers made their way into the collecting public as well as the embargo from last year's Alumni Weekend was lifted on those four cards.

I also found out after the fact that Matt Stairs, Eric Bruntlett and Ben Francisco were stationed at an autograph table during Alumni Weekend.  Presumably cards for Francisco are now in the wild.

New Cards of 2008 Alumni
  • Mick Billmeyer CO
  • Joe Blanton
  • Eric Bruntlett
  • Clay Condrey
  • Roly deArmas CO
  • Greg Dobbs
  • Rich Dubee CO
  • Chad Durbin
  • Pat Gillick GM
  • Ryan Howard
  • Kyle Kendrick
  • Jerry Martin CO
  • Jamie Moyer
  • Brett Myers
  • Jimmy Rollins
  • J.C. Romero
  • Carlos Ruiz
  • Milt Thompson CO
  • Shane Victorino
  • Jayson Werth
Cards Needed (2010-2019)
  • Eric Bruntlett (2018)
  • Denny Doyle (2010)
  • Pedro Feliz (2018)
  • Paul Fletcher (2018)
  • Ben Francisco (2019)

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Game 74 - 2018 Phillies Team Issue 2 #7 Maikel Franco

Phillies 5, Nationals 3
Game 74 - Saturday Afternoon, June 23rd in Washington
Record - 41-33, 2nd place, 1 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Maikel Franco played one of the best games of his career, going 4 for 4 at the plate and scoring twice on plays at the plate in this 5-3 win over the Nationals.

What It Means:  The Phillies are on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball tonight for the first time since August 4, 2013, and they'll be going for a three-game sweep behind Nick Pivetta.

What Happened:  Franco hustled this entire game with his first run tying the game in the 2nd and his second run giving the Phillies the lead in the 8th.  Carlos Santana hit a solo home run (13) in the 8th followed by an RBI-single by Franco.  Aaron Nola got the Phillies on the board in the 2nd with the RBI single that scored Franco.  Odubel Herrera was contained by the Nationals, going 0 for 4 with a strikeout.

Nola claimed his ninth win, pitching six strong innings and striking out five.  Seranthony Dominguez threw a perfect 9th inning to secure his fourth save.

Featured Card:  I added Franco's autograph to my collection on Thursday at the annual Phillies Phestival.

Game 73 - 2018 Phillies Team Issue 2 #37 Odubel Herrera

Phillies 12, Nationals 2
Game 73 - Friday Night, June 22nd in Washington
Record - 40-33, 2nd place, 2 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Odubel Herrera continued to torch the ball with a four-hit night and the Phillies banged out 15 hits in this 12-2 win over the Nationals.

What It Means:  The Phils re-took sole possession of second place and they find themselves 2 1/2 games behind the first place Braves.  It's way too early for this, but the Phillies are now also the second wild card.

What Happened:  Herrera homered (13) for the fifth straight game, with Carlos Santana also hitting a home run (12) and driving in 4 runs.  Andrew Knapp hit a solo home run (2) in the 9th, Cesar Hernandez had a 3-hit night and Nick Williams drove in 3 runs.

Zach Eflin threw five solid innings to pick up his 5th win.

Featured Card:  The autograph on this Herrera team-issued card is courtesy of my wife, who stood in line with our son Ben to wait for Herrera's autograph at Thursday's Phillies Phestival.  She insists that Herrera smudged the signature and not her and I believe her.  Herrera seems to have a habit of smudging his autographs.  Maybe he flips the pen after signing?

Transaction:  Prior to the Phillies Phestival on Thursday, Jake Thompson was optioned to the IronPigs, leaving Zach Eflin all alone at an autograph table.  Zac Curtis was recalled to take Thompson's place in the bullpen.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Highlights from the 2018 Phillies Phestival (Part 2) #StrikeOutALS

2018 Chachi Phillies Phestival #13
2018 Chachi Phillies Phestival #17
Presented here are the remaining cards from the limited edition Chachi insert set I created to commemorate our amazing time at this year's Phillies Phestival benefiting the ALS Association.  Part 1 can be found here along with some of my memories from the event.

If you plan to go to the event in 2019, we'll see you there!

2018 Chachi Phillies Phestival #10
2018 Chachi Phillies Phestival #9
2018 Chachi Phillies Phestival #11
2018 Chachi Phillies Phestival #12
2018 Chachi Phillies Phestival #14
2018 Chachi Phillies Phestival #15
Phillies Phestival Memory Lane
2017 Part 1 and Part 2
2018 Part 1 and Part 2

2018 Chachi Phillies Phestival #16

Highlights from the 2018 Phillies Phestival (Part 1) #StrikeOutALS

2018 Chachi Phillies Phestival #1
2018 Chachi Phillies Phestival #2
2018 Chachi Phillies Phestival #3
I still can't believe we had never attended this event until last year.  On Thursday afternoon, Jenna and our two sons attended the annual Phillies Phestival benefiting the ALS Association.  For those of you not familiar with this event, it's the Phillies' signature charity event featuring an afternoon of player autograph stations, a silent auction, mystery grab bags for sale featuring signed memorabilia and everything else Citizens Bank Park has to offer.  The Phillies raised over $725,000 during the afternoon, passing the $18 million mark in terms of money raised for the charity since 1984.

We have a close family friend currently battling ALS, and I've recently become more involved with the Association.  My employer was a table sponsor at the event, giving us the opportunity to arrive early and have our pictures taken with Cesar Hernandez and coach Jose David Flores.  As I did last year, I've made a set of special edition cards to commemorate our day, and I'll break the set into two separate posts.

Here are my best memories from the event:
  • We hustled.  We learned from last year that you go as quickly as you can to each autograph station, saving the other fun stuff for last after the players stop signing.  There were 20 total autograph stations and we hit 14, breaking into groups of two about 45 minutes into the event.  Had we broken up earlier, we probably could have hit more but it was fun to stick together for the beginning.  For the record, we missed the tables of Nick Williams/Andrew Knapp, Scott Kingery/Dylan Cozens, Rhys Hoskins, Charlie Manuel, Gabe Kapler/coach Rob Thomson and Tommy Hunter/coach Rick Kranitz.  No offense to the last table mentioned, but my autograph-seeking son flat out opted to pass on their table.
  •  As was the case last year, everyone was exceedingly pleasant.  I stood in line by myself for the 1993 Alumni table, adding autographs of Kevin Stocker, Tommy Greene, Larry Andersen, John Kruk, Larry Bowa and Mickey Morandini.  Somewhat predictably, that bunch spent the time I was in line cracking jokes and discussing their plans for the evening.
  • Thanks to fellow collectors Steve F. and Rick for the texts with table updates and leads on potential new photo cards.  The only new photo cards seemingly available from the event is a new card of J.P. Crawford in the style of the 2017 team-issued update set and a new Phillies Alumni photo card for former manager Charlie Manuel.  I've updated the 2017 Phillies Team Issue Update post here, and I'll have a comprehensive post on the Alumni Cards out soon.
    2018 Chachi Phillies Phestival #4
    2018 Chachi Phillies Phestival #5
    2018 Chachi Phillies Phestival #6
    2018 Chachi Phillies Phestival #7
    2018 Chachi Phillies Phestival #8
  • Relatively new additions Austin Davis, Mitch Walding and Dylan Cozens had nothing available to sign.  My hope was that the Phillies would produce special photo cards for the trio but they were sitting at their stations with nothing but Sharpies in front of them.
  • Our oldest son Doug was on a mission to get as many autographs as possible in the two-hour signing period and by his count, he came away with 35 different autographed cards!  Credit needs to go to our youngest son Ben who helped his older brother with his mission, at one point telling Victor Arano that his name was Doug so that Arano would personalize the autograph for his brother.  Ben does not show the same zeal for autograph collecting as his brother, but I was beyond proud of him for being helpful.
  • Doug and I were the last two people in line to get Jake Arrieta's autograph.  He was actually unbuttoning his jersey as we walked in, getting ready to leave the room.  He saw Doug round the corner, put his jersey back on and posed for a picture with Doug.  Great memory.
  • Our luck with the mystery grab bags wasn't great, but I'm fine with that as everything went towards a great cause.  We came away with autographed baseballs from Luis Garcia (x 2) and Adam Morgan and an autographed hat from Hector Neris, as well as 3 Mike Schmidt bobble heads and a mini Harry Kalas statue.
Phillies Phestival Memory Lane
2017 Part 1 and Part 2
2018 Part 1 and Part 2

Friday, June 22, 2018

Series Preview - Phillies at Nationals: June 22nd to June 24th

1978 Topps #247
1978 Topps #269
Friday 7:05, Saturday 4:05 and Sunday 8:05
Nationals Park - Washington, DC

Phillies 39-33, 3rd place in the N.L. East, 3 1/2 games behind the Braves
Nationals 40-33, 2nd place in the N.L. East, 3 games behind the Braves

Phillies Probables:  Zach Eflin (4-2, 3.43), Aaron Nola (8-2, 2.55), Nick Pivetta (4-6, 3.42)
Nationals Probables:  Tanner Roark (3-7, 3.87), Erick Fedde (0-2, 5.63), Jefry Rodriguez (0-0, 4.66)

At the Ballpark:  The Nationals are giving away a wine bottle stopped for fans 21 and older at tonight's ballgame.  On Sunday, and I'm not sure what this is exactly, the first 10,000 kids will receive a "Kids Max Scherzer Eye Patch."

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Odubel Herrera - .299
Runs:  Cesar Hernandez - 51
Home Runs:  Odubel Herrera - 12
RBIs:  Three tied with - 41
Stolen Bases:  Cesar Hernandez - 10

Wins:  Aaron Nola - 8
ERA:  Aaron Nola - 2.55
Strikeouts:  Vince Velasquez - 97
Saves:  Hector Neris - 10

Nationals Leaders
Average:  Anthony Rendon - .282
Runs:  Bryce Harper - 42
Home Runs:  Bryce Harper - 19
RBIs:  Bryce Harper - 45
Stolen Bases:  Taylor - 21

Wins:  Max Scherzer - 10
ERA:  Max Scherzer - 2.09
Strikeouts:  Max Scherzer - 161
Saves:  Sean Doolittle - 20

2018 Chachi #38 Mitch Walding

#29
Mitchell S. Walding
Third Base

Bats:  Left  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'3"  Weight:  213
Opening Day Age:  25
Born:  September 10, 1992, Lodi, CA
Drafted:  Selected by the Phillies in the 5th round of the June 2011 draft
Teams:  Phillies 2018
Acquired:  Via draft

2012 Choice Williamsport
Crosscutters #28
10 Walding Baseball Cards in My Collection per The Phillies Room Checklist
First Phillies Minor League Card:  2012 Choice Williamsport Crosscutters #28
First Phillies Card:  N/A
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  N/A
First Topps Flagship Base Card:  N/A
Newest Card:  2017 Choice Reading Fightin Phils Theme Night #14

First Mention on The Phillies Room:  January 4, 2018 - Phillies Announce First 10 Non-Roster Invitees . . . The Phillies got a late start this offseason in announcing their first batch of non-roster invitees, as last year's first group of non-roster invitees was announced in mid-December.  Nevertheless, this brings us another step closer to spring training!  Here's a look at the first 10 players who will suit up in spring training wearing numbers in the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Player (position) - 2017 Organization - Last Major Baseball Card Appearance
10.  Mitch Walding (inf) - Phillies - N/A

Complete Chachi Checklist
2018 Chachi #38

Card statistics through 6/13/18.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Game 72 - 2018 Phillies Team Issue #37 Odubel Herrera

Phillies 4Cardinals 3
Game 72 - Wednesday Afternoon, June 20th in Philadelphia
Record - 39-33, Tied for 2nd place, 3 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Odubel Herrera's tie-breaking 7th inning home run was the difference in this 4-3 win over the Cardinals, giving the Phillies their third straight series win.

What It Means:  The team will enjoy an off-day on Thursday, taking part in the annual ALS Phillies Phestival.  On Friday night, they'll open a three-game series in Washington.

What Happened:  The other big blast came from Cesar Hernandez who hit a 2-run home run (8) in the 4th inning.  Jake Arrieta threw six innings, allowing two home runs to Yadier Molina.  Adam Morgan was called on to record the final two outs of the game, notching his first career save.

Featured Card:  Herrera hit his fifth home run in 6 games, definitely helping his chances of reaching the All-Star Game for the second time.

Transaction:  As expected, J.P. Crawford was placed on the disabled list with a broken left hand (suffered the previous night when he was drilled with a Luke Weaver fastball) and Mitch Walding was recalled from the IronPigs.