Saturday, August 11, 2018

Phillies Missing Links of the 2000s - #28 Mike Cervenak

Michael Christopher Cervenak
Third Base

In December 2007, the Phillies signed Mike Cervenak to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training.  Playing for the Orioles' Triple-A team in Norfolk in 2006, Cervenak had led the International League in hits (157), at-bats (554) and games (140).  An All-Star with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, he got his first brief taste of big league action when the Phillies recalled him on July 10th, but he'd earn just one pinch-hitting appearance before being sent back down on July 20th.  A little over a week later, Pedro Feliz landed on the disabled list with a bad back and Cervenak got the call again.

He was used sparingly in August and even less in September once rosters expanded, and his sole start came the day after the Phillies had clinched the N.L. East.  He spent the entire 2009 season back in Lehigh Valley, and another call-up to the Phillies eluded him despite a .305 average.  Cut loose by the Phillies following the 2009 season, Cervenak played professionally for three more years.

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  5'11"  Weight:  195
Born:  August 17, 1976, Trenton, MI
Signed:  Purchased by the New York Yankees from the Chillicothe Paints of the Frontier League, July 17, 2000.
Major League Teams:  Phillies 2008
Professional Affiliations:  Chillicothe Paints (Independent) 1999; New York Yankees 2000-2002; San Francisco Giants 2003-2006; Kia Tigers (Korea) 2006; Baltimore Orioles 2007; Phillies 2008-2009; New York Mets 2010, Florida/Miami Marlins 2011-2012; Detroit Tigers 2013

Phillies Career

10 games, 2 for 13 (.154) with 1 RBI and 5 strikeouts
Acquired:  December 7, 2007 - Signed as a minor league free agent formerly with the Baltimore Orioles organization.
Debut:  July 11, 2008 - In an eventual 6-5 win over the Diamondbacks in 12 innings, pinch-hit for J.C. Romero in the 11th and flew out to deep left field off Connor Robertson.
Final Game:  September 28, 2008 - Started at third base and batted 6th.  Went 0 for 4 with 2 strikeouts.
Departed:  November 9, 2009 - Granted free agency and signed with the New York Mets' organization November 30, 2009.

2 Cervenak Baseball Card in My Collection
2008 Multi-Ad Lehigh Valley IronPigs #5
2009 Choice Lehigh Valley IronPigs #6

I'm not counting it for purposes of this exercise, but I do actually have a Cervenak Phillies "card" in my collection.  Following the team's World Series win in 2008, the hobby market was flooded with Phillies collectibles and merchandise and the Danbury Mint got in on the act.  My Dad subscribed me in the Danbury Mint's 2008 World Series Champions 22kt gold baseball card series, featuring the players and coaches from the team.

Needing to fill a 38-card checklist, there were some questionable additions to the set, including Cervenak.  The cards aren't that attractive, and the card backs are almost impossible to read, but it's a cool oddball item in my Phillies collection, made all the more meaningful since it came from my Dad.

Complete Chachi Checklist
2008 Chachi #39
2009 Chachi Almost #3

2008 Multi-Ad Lehigh
Valley IronPigs #5
2008 Chachi #39
2009 Chachi Almost #3
2009 Choice Lehigh
Valley IronPigs #6
Other Baseball Cards
First Mainstream Card:  N/A
First Topps Base Card:  N/A
Last Mainstream Card:  N/A
Other Notable Cards:  2001 Grandstand Norwich Navigators #18, 2007 Choice Norfolk Tides #10, 2010 Choice Buffalo Bisons #4

Sources:  Baseball Reference and The Trading Card Database

Phillies Missing Links of the 2000s
1 Kirk Bullinger
2 Chris Pritchett
3 Bryan Ward
4 Mark Holzemer
5 Turner Ward
6 P.J. Forbes
7 Matt Walbeck
8 Kelly Stinnett
9 Valerio de los Santos
10 Josh Hancock
11 Brian Powell
12 Paul Abbott
13 Todd Jones
14 A.J. Hinch
15 Ramon Martinez
16 Matt Kata
17 Aquilino Lopez
18 Adam Bernero
19 Jose Hernandez
20 Randall Simon
21 Anderson Garcia
22 Russell Branyan
23 John Ennis
24 Kane Davis
25 Pete LaForest
26 T.J. Bohn
27 R.J. Swindle
28 Mike Cervenak

This is a continuing series looking at those players who spent time with the Phillies but possess no baseball card proof of their time in Philadelphia.  In some cases, the First and Last Mainstream cards listed above have been subjectively chosen if multiple cards were released in that year.


Steve F. said...

I bought about 15 of those Danbury Mint cards in 2014 or so on eBay. I paid between maybe $4 and $10 each, which was below the selling price in 2008 (I think maybe $15 each, or was it 2 for $15?). I had figured I would never complete the set, but then someone offered the entire (35 card?) set for maybe $100 and I snapped that up. I am tempted to try to get the extras signed, at least for guys like Cervenak, although I'm not sure how a sharpie would look on them. Still, they are the right size and are technically baseball cards, so they would have a place in my signed Phillies card collection....

Jim said...

It's a cool collectible and my set came with a an album and pages for all the "cards". I remember thinking, "Wait, they're making gold cards for everyone?"