Saturday, August 31, 2019

Game 132 - Offense Shows Life; Ben Reaches the Top

Phillies 12Pirates 3
Game 132 - Wednesday Night, August 28th in Philadelphia
Record - 69-63, 3rd place, 10 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies enjoyed a 17-hit barrage in this 12-3 win over the Pirates.

What It Means:  The win meant a series win, followed by a Thursday off day.  Coming up next, the fourth place Mets come to town for a weekend series.

What Happened:  Every hitter in the starting eight had multiple hits, with the exception of Corey Dickerson who at least hit a fifth inning solo home run (9).  J.T. Realmuto also homered (20) and had three hits.  Cesar Hernandez, coming off his benching for not hustling in Sunday's game, also had three hits.  Rhys Hoskins showed life at the plate with a double and a triple.

Vince Velasquez was the beneficiary of the offense, earning the win after pitching five innings and allowing only two runs.

Featured Card/Field Report:  My work schedule kept me away from this game, but Jenna soldiered on and took both our sons.  Trying something new, they enjoyed dinner at Pass and Stow and then spent quite a bit of time at The Yard.  Ben even achieved his goal of reaching the top of the Phanatic climbing wall.  Finally, they enjoyed the game from the right field bleacher seats, the first time anyone in our family has viewed the game from that vantage point.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Series Preview - Mets at Phillies: August 30th to September 1st

2019 Chachi Fan Favorites #18
2019 Chachi Fan Favorites #19
Friday 7:05, Saturday 4:05 and Sunday 7:05
Citizens Bank Park - Philadelphia, PA

Mets 67-66, 4th place in the N.L. East, 13 games behind the Braves
Phillies 69-63, 3rd place in the N.L. East, 10 1/2 games behind the Braves

Mets Probables:  Zack Wheeler (9-7, 4.52), Steven Matz (8-8, 4.06), Marcus Stroman (1-1, 4.91)
Phillies Probables:  Aaron Nola (12-4, 3.53), Jason Vargas (0-1, 4.34), Zach Eflin (8-11, 4.50)

At the Ballpark:  Prior to the Sunday night baseball game, all kids will receive a Phillies back-to-school backpack.

Mets Leaders
Average:  Jeff McNeil - .330
Runs:  Pete Alonso - 79
Home Runs:  Pete Alonso - 42
RBIs:  Pete Alonso - 101
Stolen Bases:  Amed Rosario - 15

Wins:  Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler - 9
ERA:  Jacob deGrom - 2.66
Strikeouts:  Jacob deGrom - 214
Saves:  Edwin Diaz - 25

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Jean Segura - .286
Runs:  Bryce Harper - 82
Home Runs:  Bryce Harper - 28
RBIs:  Bryce Harper - 94
Stolen Bases:  Scott Kingery - 10

Wins:  Aaron Nola - 12
ERA:  Aaron Nola - 3.53
Strikeouts:  Aaron Nola - 187
Saves:  Hector Neris - 23

1956 Topps #60 Mayo Smith MG

This a crossover post from my other blog, chronicling each card in the wonderful 1956 Topps set. Today's post features former Phillies manager Mayo Smith.  Please click on over there for all of the posts to date, including a look at all the Phillies Alumni featured in the set.

Edward Mayo Smith
Philadelphia Phillies

Bats:  Left  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'0"  Weight:  183
Born:  January 17, 1915, New London, MO
Drafted:  Drafted by the Philadelphia Athletics from the Detroit Tigers in the 1944 Rule 5 draft.
Major League Teams:  Philadelphia Athletics 1945
As a Manager:  Philadelphia Phillies 1955-1958; Cincinnati Reds 1959; Detroit Tigers 1967-1970
Died:  November 24, 1977, Boynton Beach, FL (age 62)

Mayo Smith spent almost four decades in organized baseball, first as an outfielder in the Tigers, Reds, Athletics and Yankees system between 1933 and 1952, and then as a manager for the Phillies, Reds and Tigers between 1955 and 1970.

Smith's sole year as a player in the big leagues came in 1945 when he hit .212 over 73 games for the Athletics.  He was named the manager of the Phillies in October 1954 at the age of 39, replacing the outgoing Terry Moore.  The Phillies never finished above fourth place in his 3 1/2 years at the helm, and he was fired in mid-1958.  Smith briefly managed the 1959 Reds before getting fired again mid-season.

He found his most success as manager of the Tigers for four seasons, leading the Tigers to a World Series title in 1968.  The Cardinals had taken a commanding three games to one lead in that series, but the Tigers won three in a row to take the title.  Smith was named A.L. Manager of the Year in 1968 and would manage the Tigers for two more seasons.  He was fired following the 1970 season and replaced by Billy Martin (#181), having gone 363-285.  After a single season as a scout for the Oakland Athletics in 1971, Smith officially retired from baseball.

Building the Set
October 1, 1987 in Bridgeton, NJ - Card #49
My notes indicate we bought this card at Hummel's in Bridgeton, NJ a few days before my 14th birthday.  We acquired three Phillies card that day - Smith, Murry Dickson (#211) and Frank Baumholtz (#274) and I don't know how much we paid for the trio.  My memories of Hummel's are hazy at best, but I seem to recall it was a large building with a sprawling liquor store on the first floor and a baseball card shop on the second floor.  With baseball card stores booming in the mid to late 1980s, we'd often take a ride to one of the four or five local card shops we were lucky enough to have near us.  October 1st was a Thursday, so it's strange to me that we would have made the 20 minute or so drive to Hummel's on a week night after work and school.  My approaching birthday might have contributed to the motivation for the trip.

I tried to find Hummel's on Google Maps and sure enough a liquor store came up, but not the one I remember.  I remember a bigger builder, with the second floor, and this clearly isn't it.

The Card
We're through 60 cards in the set, and Smith is only the second Phillies card to appear.  All other teams have had at least three cards up to this point, with the Athletics and Pirates leading the way with five cards each.  Mayo is the first of four subjects in the set with the last name of Smith with two Hals (#62 and #283) and an Al (#105) coming up.

I can only assume the photographer asked Smith to give his best "get down and slide" sign for the pose found here.  And kudos to the artist responsible for the back three panels of this card, as there clearly wasn't a lot of material with which to work.  While the back also indicates Smith was a lefty, his Baseball Reference page indicates he threw right-handed.

Smith is one of only two manager cards featured in the 1956 set, along with Walter Alston (#8).  I've always been curious as to why Smith was chosen as a subject along with the well-known (and successful) Alston instead of any other Major League manager.  Here's a list of all the managers who could have had cards in the 1956 set, in order of each team's finish from the 1955 season.  No offense to Smith, but there's a few better candidates than him in this list:

  • Dodgers - Walter Alston
  • Braves - Charlie Grimm (1955-56) or Fred Haney (1956)
  • Giants - Leo Durocher (1955) or Bill Rigney (1956)
  • Phillies - Mayo Smith 
  • Reds - Birdie Tebbetts
  • Cubs - Stan Hack
  • Cardinals - Eddie Stanky (1955), Harry Walker (1955) or Fred Hutchinson (1956)
  • Pirates - Fred Haney (1955) or Bobby Bragan (1956)
  • Yankees - Casey Stengel
  • Indians - Al Lopez
  • White Sox - Marty Marion
  • Red Sox - Pinky Higgins
  • Tigers - Bucky Harris
  • Athletics - Lou Boudreau
  • Orioles - Paul Richards
  • Senators - Chuck Dressen
1956 Season
Returning for his second season as manager of the Phillies, Smith guided the team to a 71-83 record and a fifth place finish in the National League.  The team performed well for most of the season, climbing to just one game under .500 as late as August 8th.  Despite the rough year, Smith was given a one year extension following the season and he'd hang on to manage through all of 1957 and half of the 1958 season.

Phillies Career
Smith's record as Phillies manager was 264-282-2, and his best season came in 1957 when the Phillies battled at the top of the division until mid-July.  That team finished that season right at .500 with a 77-77 record.  The play was much of the same at the start of the 1958 season, and the Phillies reached a winning record on July 12th at 39-38.  However, the team lost eight of their next nine games and Smith was fired on July 22nd.  Whiz Kids manager Eddie Sawyer was brought back to replace Smith, his second managerial stint with the club.

Smith received two mainstream baseball cards to mark his time with the Phillies, in the 1955 and 1956 Topps sets.  He also appears in the 1956, 1957 and 1958 Jay Publishing Phillies sets, as well as in the oddball 1956 Topps Pins and 1956 Topps Hocus Focus sets.  He's also in the rare 1955 Felin's Franks Match the Phillies set, which according to my edition of the Standard Catalog of Vintage Baseball Cards, may not have actually been released.

1955 Topps #130
1967 Topps #321
1968 Topps #544
1969 Topps #40
1970 Topps #313
Other Notable Baseball Cards
First Mainstream Card:  1955 Topps #130
First Topps Card (as a manager):  1955 Topps #130
Last Topps Card (as a manager):  1970 Topps #313
Most Recent Mainstream Card:  1970 Topps #313

26 - Smith non-parallel baseball cards in the Beckett online database as of 8/3/19.

Baseball Reference
Beckett Database
The Phillies Room
The Trading Card Database

In some cases, the first and last cards listed above are subjective and chosen by me if multiple cards were released within the same year.  Most recent mainstream card may also be subjective and does not include extremely low serial numbered cards, buybacks or cut autograph cards.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Game 131 - 2019 Topps Archives #6 Rhys Hoskins

Pirates 5Phillies 4
Game 131 - Tuesday Night, August 27th in Philadelphia
Record - 68-63, 3rd place, 10 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies battled back to tie up this game in the sixth, only for a Rhys Hoskins error in the ninth to lead to the Pirates' winning run.

What It Means:  The loss dropped the Phillies to two games behind the Cubs for the second Wild Card.

What Happened:  Drew Smyly gave up four runs on nine hits (including two home runs) in his 5 2/3 innings.  Adam Haseley had a pair of RBI singles and Logan Morrison hit his first home run as a Phillie to tie up the game in the sixth.

Featured Card:  It's not been a good summer for Hoskins.  Hoskins dropped the ball at first in what should have been an inning-ending double play in the ninth, and his error led to the Pirates scoring the eventual winning run.  Since the All-Star break (41 games), he's hitting .166 (24 for 145) with five home runs and 14 RBIs.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Game 130 - 2019 Phillies Team Issue 2 #13 Sean Rodriguez

Phillies 6Pirates 5 (11)
Game 130 - Monday Night, August 26th in Philadelphia
Record - 68-62, 3rd place, 10 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Sean Rodriguez was the surprising hero in this game, hitting an 11th inning walk-off solo home run to send the Phillies to a 6-5 win.

What It Means:  Somehow, the Phillies are just a game behind the Cubs for the second N.L. Wild Card.

What Happened:  Trailing 4-2, the Phillies took a 5-4 lead in the eighth courtesy of home runs from Bryce Harper (28) and Corey Dickerson (8).  Hector Neris, who had been pitching extremely well, allowed a ninth inning home run to Josh Bell, resulting in the need for extra innings.

Brad Miller had homered (5) earlier in the game.  Jason Vargas turned in a fine pitching performance, allowing just a run through six innings before getting hit around in the seventh.

Featured Card:  Rodriguez made some unfortunate comments after the game, criticizing the booing Phillies fans and referring to the fanbase as "entitled."  He's appeared in both team-issued photo card sets this year and I had his second photo card signed at this year's ALS Phestival.

Rodriguez was granted a Topps Now card for his heroics, giving him his first standard-size Phillies baseball card.

Field Report:  Doug and I took my Mom and our cousin Clara to this game.  Clara is visiting the U.S. for the first time from Germany and I wanted to make sure she experienced the sights and sounds of the ballpark.  After a few Tony Luke's cheesesteaks, we took a tour of the ballpark and then settled into our seats to watch a mostly boring game (at least until the later innings).

Before the game, Doug successfully added a Rhys Hoskins autograph to his collection along with another signature from coach Dusty Wathan.

Transactions:  Harper returned from the paternity list and Maikel Franco was sent back down to the IronPigs.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Series Preview - Pirates at Phillies: August 26th to August 28th

1971 Topps #212
2019 Chachi 1971 Topps Missing Links #6
Monday and Tuesday 7:05, Wednesday 6:05
Citizens Bank Park - Philadelphia, PA

Pirates 55-75, 5th place in the N.L. Central, 16 1/2 games behind the Cardinals
Phillies 67-62, 3rd place in the N.L. East, 11 1/2 games behind the Braves

Pirates Probables:  Joe Musgrove (8-12, 4.74), Steven Brault (3-3, 3.98), Mitch Keller (1-2, 7.24)
Phillies Probables:  Jason Vargas (0-1, 3.91), Drew Smyly (1-1, 4.73), Vince Velasquez (5-7, 4.93)

At the Ballpark:  No giveaways are planned, but it would be great if the Phillies could go ahead and sweep the last place Pirates.

Pirates Leaders
Average:  Bryan Reynolds - .328
Runs:  Starling Marte - 87
Home Runs:  Josh Bell - 32
RBIs:  Josh Bell - 103
Stolen Bases:  Starling Marte - 24

Wins:  Joe Musgrove - 8
ERA:  Joe Musgrove - 4.74
Strikeouts:  Chris Archer - 143
Saves:  Felipe Vazquez - 23

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Jean Segura - .287
Runs:  Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto - 77
Home Runs:  Bryce Harper - 27
RBIs:  Bryce Harper - 92
Stolen Bases:  Scott Kingery - 10

Wins:  Aaron Nola - 12
ERA:  Aaron Nola - 3.53
Strikeouts:  Aaron Nola - 187
Saves:  Hector Neris - 23

1971 Topps Missing Links:  Primarily a catcher, Pete Koegel appeared in 53 games for the Phillies in 1971 and 1972, hitting .173.  While he's in the 1971 Topps set on a high-number, multi-player Rookie Stars card (with Bobby Brooks and Scott Northey) that card features him with the Brewers.  Koegel came to the Phillies on April 22, 1971 in the deal that sent Johnny Briggs to Milwaukee.

Koegel's first Phillies card came in the 1972 Topps set, again on a multi-player Rookie Stars card, this time sharing space with Mike Anderson and Wayne Twitchell.  His only solo Phillies card can be found within the team-issued 1972 photo card set.

Game 129 - 2001 Bowman Heritage #295 Travis Lee

Marlins 3Phillies 2
Game 129 - Sunday Afternoon, August 25th in Miami
Record - 67-62, 3rd place, 11 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies couldn't contain the last place Marlins, losing the weekend finale, 3-2.

What It Means:  The Phillies need to be able to beat the bad teams, and they just can't.  In their last 11 games, they went 5-0 against the Cubs and Red Sox, while going 2-4 against the Padres and Marlins.

What Happened:  The only offense the line-up could muster was a two-run home run from Rhys Hoskins (25) in the sixth, which broke a streak of 85 plate appearances without a long ball.  Aaron Nola couldn't lock the Marlins down after that, quickly allowing three runs in the bottom of the sixth.

Featured Card:  Apropos only of the ridiculous black and white uniforms worn this weekend by the Phillies and Marlins, here's a card of Travis Lee looking perplexed by the whole situation.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Game 128 - 2019 Topps Opening Day #171 Corey Dickerson

Phillies 9Marlins 3
Game 128 - Saturday Night, August 24th in Miami
Record - 67-61, 3rd place, 10 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Zach Eflin turned in a solid outing against the Marlins and Corey Dickerson collected five RBIs in this 9-3 win.

What It Means:  This is Eflin's first start since June 19th in which he pitched at least six innings and gave up two runs or less.  In his 11 games since then, he had an 8.75 ERA over 36 innings pitched.

What Happened:  The Phillies enjoyed a six-run fourth inning that included a three-run home run from Scott Kingery (15), a bases loaded walk from J.T. Realmuto and a two-run double from Dickerson.  Dickerson would add a bases clearing, three-run double in the seventh to put the game away.

Featured Card:  As we're waiting for our first Dickerson Phillies baseball card, I'll have to settle for one of his 2019 cards featuring him with the Pirates.  Here he's wearing the same color helmet and jersey (black) that the Phillies wore in this game as part of the ill-conceived Players' Weekend promotion.

Transactions:  Juan Nicasio was placed on the injured list with right rotator cuff tendinitis and Nick Pivetta was optioned to Lehigh Valley for the second time this season.  Austin Davis and Edgar Garcia joined the bullpen in their places.  Garcia switched to uniform #66 as his #41 was assumed when Charlie Manuel returned to the dugout as the team's hitting coach.

Game 127 - 2003 Fleer Tradition Black & White Goudey #7 Pat Burrell

Marlins 19Phillies 11
Game 127 - Friday Night, August 23rd in Miami
Record - 66-61, 4th place, 10 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  At one point holding a 7-0 lead, the pitching absolutely imploded as the Marlins came back to destroy the Phillies, 19-11.

What It Means:  We were away this weekend for a travel baseball tournament, which meant that mercifully we saw very little of this series.  Between the ridiculous monochrome black and white Player's Weekend uniforms and the inability of the Phillies to put away the lowly Marlins, it was a good weekend to largely miss anything Phillies-related.

What Happened:  There have been a lot of "worst losses of the season" for the Phillies this year, and you can add this one to the mix.  Vince Velasquez was provided with a 7-0 lead and he allowed the Marlins to quickly tie up the game by allowing seven runs in the third inning.  Nick Pivetta (five runs), Ranger Suarez (three runs) and Jared Hughes (five runs) didn't fare much better.  A costly error from Maikel Franco lead to four unearned runs.

Following this loss, Matt Gelb Tweeted this painful reminder:  The Marlins are 8-6 against the Phillies and 11-36 against the rest of the N.L. East.

Featured Card:  The last time the Phillies blew a seven-run lead and lost was August 26, 2003, against the Expos in Montreal.  Given that Pat Burrell appeared in that game, and the black and white uniforms worn by both teams in this game, I thought this was an appropriate card.

Transactions:  Bryce Harper was placed on the paternity list (Congratulations to the Harper's!) and Franco temporarily returned from his Lehigh Valley exile.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Series Preview - Phillies at Marlins: August 23rd to August 25th

2019 Chachi 1971 Topps Missing Links #13
2019 Chachi Fan Favorites #17
Friday 7:10, Saturday 6:10 and Sunday 1:10
Marlins Park - Miami, FL

Phillies 66-60, 4th place in the N.L. East, 9 1/2 games behind the Braves
Marlins 45-81, 5th place in the N.L. East, 30 1/2 games behind the Braves

Phillies Probables:  Vince Velasquez (5-7, 4.35), Zach Eflin (7-11, 4.57), Aaron Nola (12-3, 3.51)
Marlins Probables:  Hector Noesi (0-3, 9.39), Jordan Yamamoto (4-4, 4.31), Elieser Hernandez (2-5, 5.18)

At the Ballpark:  This is the third annual Players' Weekend and all teams will inexplicably be wearing either all white or all black monochrome uniforms, as decided by the home team for each series.  The Marlins opted to wear all white, meaning the Phillies will be wearing all black.  Players' weekend was an idea that was cool the first year, somewhat unneeded the second year and now ridiculous the third year.

On Saturday, the first 10,000 fans will receive a Billy the Marlin Belly Bobble and on Sunday the first 5,000 kids will receive a Marlins arm sleeve.

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Cesar Hernandez - .284
Runs:  Bryce Harper - 77
Home Runs:  Bryce Harper - 27
RBIs:  Bryce Harper - 92
Stolen Bases:  Scott Kingery - 10

Wins:  Aaron Nola - 12
ERA:  Aaron Nola - 3.51
Strikeouts:  Aaron Nola - 180
Saves:  Hector Neris - 23

Marlins Leaders
Average:  Miguel Rojas - .289
Runs:  Brian Anderson - 56
Home Runs:  Brian Anderson - 20
RBIs:  Brian Anderson - 65
Stolen Bases:  Miguel Rojas - 6

Wins:  Caleb Smith - 8
ERA:  Sandy Alcantara - 4.15
Strikeouts:  Caleb Smith - 138
Saves:  Sergio Romo - 17

1971 Topps #728
1971 Topps Missing Links:  Technically, this doesn't meet my definition of a true Missing Links card as Wayne Redmond never played a game for the Phillies.  Signed by the Tigers as an amateur free agent prior to the 1965 season, he made his big league debut on September 7, 1965 and would appear in four games.  He wouldn't make it back to the Majors with the Tigers until 1969, appearing in five more games.  In went 0 for 7 with a walk and three strikeouts in the only action he'd see in parts of two seasons, four years apart.

On October 23, 1970, the Tigers sent Redmond to the Phillies as "part of a conditional deal," per Baseball Reference.  He'd go to spring training with the Phillies in 1971, appearing in the team photo that appeared in their 1971 Yearbook, but then on April 5th the Phillies returned him to the Tigers.  Topps most have been optimistic about his chances, as they included him on a multi-player 1971 Rookie Stars card along with Keith Lampard and Bernie Williams in their high series.  So while Redmond was never officially a Phillie, I still thought he deserved a standalone Phillies baseball card to mark his 5 1/2 months with the club.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Game 126 - 2019 Topps Allen & Ginter #280 Bryce Harper

Phillies 5Red Sox 2
Game 126 - Wednesday Night, August 21st in Boston
Record - 66-60, Tied for 3rd place, 9 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Bryce Harper hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the fifth and the suddenly reliable Phillies bullpen combined to shut down the Red Sox for 5 1/3 innings in this 5-2 victory.

What It Means:  The Phillies swept the quick two-game series in Boston and they then flew to Miami for a three-game weekend set against the Marlins.  The club has won six of their last eight games, and they need to keep that momentum going if they hope to play postseason baseball.

What Happened:  Harper owned the big hit, but Corey Dickerson added an RBI triple in the seventh and an RBI single in the ninth to provide a few insurance runs.  Jared Hughes entered the game in the fourth inning having inherited a bases loaded situation from starter Drew Smyly.  He worked out of that jam and then Ranger Suarez, Mike Morin, Jose Alvarez and Hector Neris held the Red Sox to three hits for the remainder of the game.

Featured Card:  I've got plenty of Harper cards at this point, so I'm always happy for an excuse to feature another one.  And I've got 12 more years of this.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Game 125 - 2019 Bowman Chrome 30th Anniversary #B30-AN Aaron Nola

Phillies 3Red Sox 2
Game 125 - Tuesday Night, August 20th in Boston
Record - 65-60, Tied for 3rd place, 9 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Aaron Nola tamed the Boston offense in this 3-2 Phillies win.

What It Means:  The Phillies remain two games behind the Cubs (and tied with the Mets) for the second N.L. Wild Card.

What Happened:  Nola was dominant, and other than a third inning home run from Jackie Bradley, Jr., the Red Sox didn't mount any real threats against him.  He allowed two runs on four hits while striking out seven and was pulled after seven innings having thrown 104 pitches.  Jose Alvarez, Mike Morin and Hector Neris were effective out of the bullpen, keeping the Red Sox off the board over the final two frames.

The Phillies scored three quick runs in the first on a Jean Segura double and a Scott Kingery single and then unfortunately took the rest of the night off.  Boston held the Phillies line-up hitless after the fourth inning.

Featured Card:  This card celebrates 30 years of Bowman (the second coming) with a style reminiscent of the 1989 Bowman set.

Transactions:  In a roster reshuffling that's solely a paper move, Jerad Eickhoff was activated from the injured list and optioned to Lehigh Valley.  He'll be back when rosters expand on September 1st.  Jake Arrieta was transferred to the 60-day IL.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Series Preview - Phillies at Red Sox: August 20th to August 21st

1971 Topps #352
1971 Topps #577
Tuesday and Wednesday 7:10
Fenway Park - Boston, MA

Phillies 64-60, Tied for 3rd place in the N.L. East, 9 games behind the Braves
Red Sox 67-59, 3rd place in the A.L. East, 16 games behind the Yankees

Phillies Probables:  Aaron Nola (11-3, 3.56), Drew Smyly (1-1, 4.71)
Red Sox Probables:  Brian Johnson (1-1, 6.45), Rick Porcello (11-9, 5.49)

At the Ballpark:  Tonight, all fans will receive a 2004 commemorative World Series ring.

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Jean Segura - .284
Runs:  Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto - 75
Home Runs:  Bryce Harper - 26
RBIs:  Bryce Harper - 90
Stolen Bases:  Scott Kingery - 10

Wins:  Aaron Nola - 11
ERA:  Aaron Nola - 3.56
Strikeouts:  Aaron Nola - 173
Saves:  Hector Neris - 21

Red Sox Leaders
Average:  Rafael Devers - .332
Runs:  Mookie Betts - 115
Home Runs:  J.D. Martinez - 28
RBIs:  Rafael Devers - 101
Stolen Bases:  Mookie Betts - 12

Wins:  Eduardo Rodriguez - 14
ERA:  Eduardo Rodriguez - 4.10
Strikeouts:  Chris Sale - 218
Saves:  Ryan Brasier and Brandon Workman - 7

2019 Chachi #64 Jared Hughes

William Jared Hughes
Relief Pitcher

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'7"  Weight:  240
Opening Day Age:  33
Born:  July 4, 1985, Stamford, CT
Drafted:  Selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 4th round of the June 2006 draft
Teams:  Pittsburgh Pirates 2011-2016; Milwaukee Brewers 2017; Cincinnati Reds 2018-2019; Phillies 2019
Acquired:  Selected off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds, August 15, 2019
Contract Status:  Signed through 2019 with 2020 team option
2012 Topps #175
2012 Topps Heritage #274
First Topps Flagship Base Card:  2012 Topps #175
First Phillies Card:  N/A
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  N/A
First Topps Phillies Flagship Base Card:  N/A
Newest Card Added:  2019 Topps Heritage #3

2 - Hughes baseball card in my collection per The Phillies Room Checklist as of 8/17/19.

Complete Chachi Checklist
2019 Chachi #64

2019 Chachi Set Checklist
Virtual Phillies Wall - Featuring Current Active Roster

Monday, August 19, 2019

Another Package from Alan: Searching for Freddie Andrews

A few weeks back, I featured the first Phillies baseball card for Larry File as fellow collector Alan had been kind enough to send me a care package of autographed Phillies photos, including the rare photo of File used for my card.  Since then, Alan has been busy putting together a second care package, with even more autographed Phillies photos along with cards from various 1960s Phillies picture packs and a hard to find 1967 Phillies Safe Driving Jim Bunning card.

It's a blast to get a package like this in the mail, and with a busy week at work I wanted to wait until the weekend to take the time and enjoy each item Alan sent.

There were 21 different cards from various 5 x 7 Phillies picture pack sets in the package, and an extra card signed by Ray Semproch.  Sorting through the cards, I realized I had complete sets of the 1961 Jay Publishing picture pack (12 cards) along with 9 of the 12 cards from the 1958 Jay Publishing set.  The autographed Semproch photo is from the 1959 set.  I've been slowly adding these picture pack Phillies issues from the '50s and '60s and it's probably time for me to put together a true want list of what I still need to track down.

There was also a few version of a cool photo of former Phillies manager Danny Ozark, both signed, and taken during an Old-Timers Game at some point in the late 1980s in Arlington.

But the few pieces that puzzled me were the signed photos of short-time former Phillie Freddie Andrews, apparently clipped from a magazine article.  Andrews appeared in 16 games for the 1976 and 1977 Phillies, and his sole Phillies baseball card can be found within the 1977 team-issued photo card set.  I wanted to figure out the source of these signed magazine pages sent by Alan.  I came up empty while searching the Sports Illustrated online archive, and I searched every possible combination of words and names found within the article on the back of the pages but I still couldn't identify the source.

I finally Googled this sentence from the article, "In the spring of '72 Freddie Andrews learned to hate the Continuous Motion Program," and I immediately got a hit for the March 1974 issue of Boys' Life magazine.  Andrews was featured on the cover of that issue, and I'd recommend reading the entire article which I've linked here.  The article is written by former big leauge pitcher Jim Brosnan and it recounts a spring day in March 1973 on a minor league field at the Carpenter Complex in Clearwater, Florida, along with Andrews' rise through the Phillies farm system.  The article is dotted with names every Phillies fan will recognize, including farm director Dallas Green, general manager Paul Owens, Reading Phillies manager Bunning and coaches Wally Moses and Ruben Amaro.

Alan sent two copies of page 9 of the magazine along with the cover photo from page 8, with all three pages signed by Andrews.  Andrews would spend the entire 1973 season with the Reading Phillies team, where he'd hit .227 over 110 games.  He'd bounce back with a successful 1974 season, earning him a promotion to Triple-A Toledo.  And while he wasn't with the Phillies for long, I'm happy to add these pieces to my 1970s Phillies binder.

Thanks again Alan for the great package!

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Game 124 - 2019 Topps Total #114 Jean Segura

Padres 3Phillies 2
Game 124 - Sunday Afternoon, August 18th in Philadelphia
Record - 64-60, Tied for 3rd place, 9 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies offense couldn't get anything going against Joey Lucchesi and four Padres relievers, as they lost the game, 3-2.

What It Means:  Any momentum earned from the four-game win streak and Charlie Manuel's return to the dugout as the hitting coach seems to have dissipated.  After an off day Monday, the Phillies have a quick two game series in Boston beginning Tuesday night.

What Happened:  Jason Vargas kept the Phillies in the game, lasting 5 2/3 innings and giving up only two runs on six hits.  With the score tied at 2-2, Jared Hughes allowed a solo home run to Austin Hedges in the seventh to give the Padres the lead.  Bryce Harper exited the game in the fourth due to dehydration.

Featured Card:  Jean Segura accounted for both Phillies runs with two RBI doubles.

Game 123 - 1990 Upper Deck #580 Bruce Ruffin

Padres 5Phillies 3
Game 123 - Saturday Night, August 17th in Philadelphia
Record - 64-59, 3rd place, 8 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  After four straight wins, the offense quieted down and the Phillies couldn't overcome shaky outings from Zach Eflin and Nick Pivetta in this 5-3 loss.

What It Means:  The Phillies are once again a game behind the Cubs for the second N.L. Wild Card spot.

What Happened:  In his return to the starting rotation, following the season-ending surgery now scheduled for Jake Arrieta, Eflin was chased in the fourth inning having allowed three runs on seven hits.  Pivetta gave up two more runs in his 1 1/3 innings.  J.T. Realmuto hit a solo home run (19) in the third, but Bryce Harper went 0 for 4 with a pair of strikeouts.  The team went 2 for 10 with runners in scoring position.

Featured Card:  I was surprised to read the Phillies haven't won five games in a row all season, and the 1990 Phillies were the last team to hold that distinction (per this Tim Kelly Tweet).  Bruce Ruffin is not amused.  Hopefully, they'll start a five game (or more) win streak this afternoon in the series finale against the Padres.

2019 Topps Heritage #3
Transactions:  Roman Quinn landed back on the injured list with a right groin strain and Edubray Ramos was moved to the 60-day IL to accommodate new reliever Jared Hughes.  Hughes was claimed off waivers from the Reds on Thursday and when he pitched in this game he became the 53rd player to suit up this season for the Phillies.

A nine-year veteran, Hughes was 3-4 with a 4.10 ERA over 47 games for the Reds this year, and he should provide an upgrade to the club's bullpen.  His newest baseball cards can be found in Topps Heritage and Topps Series 2.  Also, if you have the Justin De Fratus card (#274) from the 2012 Topps Heritage set, you already have a Hughes card in your collection as he's one of the four floating heads on the card along with De Fratus.

Arrived During the 2019 Season
  • Jay Bruce - of (6/2/19) - Acquired from the Seattle Mariners with cash considerations for Jake Scheiner.
  • Brad Miller - inf (6/13/19) - Purchased from the New York Yankees.
  • Fernando Salas - rhp (6/13/19) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Acereros de Monclova of the Mexican League.
  • Logan Morrison - 1b (7/15/19) - Signed as a minor league free agent formerly with the New York Yankees organization.
  • Mike Morin - rhp (7/20/19) - Acquired from the Minnesota Twins for cash considerations.
  • Drew Smyly - lhp (7/21/19) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Milwaukee Brewers organization.
  • Jason Vargas - lhp (7/29/19) - Acquired with cash from the New York Mets for Austin Bossart.
  • Blake Parker - rhp (7/30/19) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Minnesota Twins.
  • Corey Dickerson - of (7/31/19) - Acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates for a player to be named later and international bonus money.
  • Jared Hughes - rhp (8/15/19) - Claimed off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds.
Departed During the 2019 Season
  • Aaron Altherr - of (5/12/19) - Selected off waivers by the San Francisco Giants.
  • Dylan Cozens - of (8/1/19) - Released and signed as a free agent with the Tampa Bay Rays, 8/9/19.
  • Yacksel Rios - rhp (8/3/19) - Selected off waivers by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

2019 Chachi #62 Logan Morrison

Justis Logan Morrison
First Base/Outfield

Bats:  Left  Throws:  Left  Height:  6'3"  Weight:  245
Opening Day Age:  31
Born:  August 25, 1987, Kansas City, MO
Drafted:  Selected by the Florida Marlins in the 22nd round of the June 2005 draft
Teams:  Florida/Miami Marlins 2010-2013; Seattle Mariners 2014-2015; Tampa Bay Rays 2016-2017; Minnesota Twins 2018; Phillies 2019
Acquired:  Signed as a minor league free agent formerly with the New York Yankees organization, July 15, 2019

2010 Topps Update #US268
First Topps Flagship Base Card:  2010 Topps Update #US268
First Phillies Card:  N/A
First Phillies Team Issued Card:  N/A
First Phillies Minor League Card:  N/A
First Topps Phillies Flagship Base Card:  N/A
Newest Card Added:  N/A

Morrison joined the IronPigs too late in the season to be included within their 2019 team set.

0 - Morrison baseball cards in my collection per The Phillies Room Checklist as of 8/15/19.

Complete Chachi Checklist
2019 Chachi #62

2019 Chachi Set Checklist
Virtual Phillies Wall - Featuring Current Active Roster

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Game 122 - 2019 Topps National Baseball Card Day SGA #PHI-1 Bryce Harper

Phillies 8Padres 4
Game 122 - Friday Night, August 16th in Philadelphia
Record - 64-58, 3rd place, 7 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Bryce Harper stayed hot, hitting a three-run home run in the sixth, as the Phillies downed the Padres, 8-4.

What It Means:  The win moved the Phillies into a tie with the Cubs for the second Wild Card spot, with 40 games to play in the regular season.

What Happened:  J.T. Realmuto also continued to swing a hot bat, falling a triple short of the cycle.  Both he and Logan Morrison contributed RBI doubles in the fifth.  Roman Quinn (4) and Realmuto (18) hit solo home runs in the third.  Vince Velasquez pitched well, lasting 5 1/3 innings and giving up three runs on five hits.

Featured Card:  On August 1st, the Phillies handed out packs of baseball cards for National Baseball Card Day, with each pack containing four cards.  There are nine different Phillies cards available in the set but card #PHI-5 does not exist.  I'm assuming this would have been Odubel Herrera's card, and it's odd he wasn't replaced with another player, such as Scott Kingery.  This is Harper's card from that stadium giveaway set.

Field Report:  Doug and I attended this game, enjoying the view from our semi-regular perch in Section 315.  Prior to the game, it was great to catch up with fellow collector Rick and hear his stories of tracking down Phillies autographs through the years.  Doug came away with pre-game autographs from the newest Phillie, Morrison, as well as repeat autographs from coach Chris Young and bullpen catchers Bob Stumpo and Craig Driver.  This was also the game in which Doug discovered the majesty of Bull's BBQ, as he thoroughly enjoyed his first pulled pork sandwich with a heaping pile of cole slaw on top.

Harper circles the bases after his sixth inning home run

Game 121 - Bryce Delivers GRAND SLAM Walk-Off Win!

2019 Chachi #63
Phillies 7Cubs 5
Game 121 - Thursday Night, August 15th in Philadelphia
Record - 63-58, 3rd place, 8 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  Capped by Bryce Harper's walk-off grand slam, the Phillies scored six runs in the ninth to complete an improbable comeback win against the Cubs.

What It Means:  The sweep of the Cubs completed, the Phillies now open a weekend series against the Padres.  The Phillies are a game behind the Cubs for the second Wild Card.

And the last time the Phillies had a walk-off grand slam while trailing was on September 2, 1983, when Ozzie Virgil did it with Bob Dernier, Ivan DeJesus and Garry Maddox on base.  (Tweet from Tyler Kepner.)

What Happened:  Trailing 5-1, Jean Segura flied out to start the bottom of the ninth.  Cesar Hernandez reached on an error, followed by singles from Scott Kingery and then pinch-hitter Brad Miller, scoring Hernandez.  Roman Quinn's single made it 5-3, and Rhys Hoskins was drilled in the hand to load the bases for Harper.  With Derek Holland replacing Pedro Strop on the mound, Harper crushed a 2-2 pitch to right with the ball landing in the second deck.  Broadcaster John Kruk summed it up best with his "Oh my God" exclamation as the ball left the ballpark.

After finishing his mad dash around the basepaths, Harper was mobbed by his teammates at home plate.  Before leaving the field, he found and aggressively hugged hitting coach Charlie Manuel.

Featured Card:  Harper receives a season highlight card in the ever expanding 2019 Chachi set.  And I couldn't decide on a main image, so I decided to make the second card below a rare, short-printed image variation.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Series Preview - Padres at Phillies: August 16th to August 18th

2019 Chachi Fan Favorites #16
2012 Topps Archives #88
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 7:05
Citizens Bank Park - Philadelphia, PA

Padres 56-64, 4th place in the N.L. West, 23 1/2 games behind the Dodgers
Phillies 63-58, 3rd place in the N.L. East, 8 games behind the Braves

Padres Probables:  Chris Paddack (7-5, 3.26), Dinelson Lamet (1-2, 3.86), Joey Lucchesi (7-7, 4.25)
Phillies Probables:  Vince Velasquez (4-7, 4.30), Zach Eflin (7-11, 4.49), Jason Vargas (0-1, 4.15)

At the Ballpark:  It's Marvel Night at the ballpark tonight and there's a special Spider-Man Phillies bobble head available with the purchase of a theme ticket.  On Sunday, all fans will receive an Aaron Nola bobblehead.

Padres Leaders
Average:  Fernando Tatis, Jr. - .317
Runs:  Manny Machado - 67
Home Runs:  Hunter Renfroe - 31
RBIs:  Eric Hosmer - 81
Stolen Bases:  Manuel Margot and Fernando Tatis, Jr. - 16

Wins:  Joey Lucchesi and Chris Paddack - 7
ERA:  Joey Lucchesi - 4.25
Strikeouts:  Joey Lucchesi - 125
Saves:  Kirby Yates - 33

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Cesar Hernandez - .283
Runs:  J.T. Realmuto - 73
Home Runs:  Bryce Harper - 25
RBIs:  Bryce Harper - 87
Stolen Bases:  Scott Kingery - 10

Wins:  Aaron Nola - 11
ERA:  Aaron Nola - 3.56
Strikeouts:  Aaron Nola - 173
Saves:  Hector Neris - 21

1956 Topps #58 Ed Roebuck

This a crossover post from my other blog, chronicling each card in the wonderful 1956 Topps set. Today's post features former Phillies player Ed Roebuck.  Please click on over there for all of the posts to date, including a look at all the Phillies Alumni featured in the set.

Edward Jack Roebuck
Brooklyn Dodgers

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'2"  Weight:  185
Born:  July 3, 1931, Millsboro, PA
Signed:  Signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers as an amateur free agent before 1949 season
Major League Teams:  Brooklyn Dodgers 1955-1957; Los Angeles Dodgers 1958, 1960-1963; Washington Senators 1963-1964; Philadelphia Phillies 1964-1966
Died:  June 14, 2018, Lakewood, CA (age 86)

All but one of Ed Roebuck's 460 appearances in the Major Leagues came in relief, and he served as one of the game's most reliable relievers from the mid-1950s through the mid-1960s.  Roebuck was a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers team that won a World Series in 1955 and lost the Series in 1956 to the Yankees.  In 6 1/3 innings in the 1955 and 1956 World Series, he allowed one one run, and had an impressive ERA of 1.42.  Perhaps Roebuck's best season was 1962 when he went 10-2 with a 3.09 ERA and nine saves while appearing in 64 games for the Dodgers.  In his 11-year career, he finished in the top ten in the league in saves and appearances four different times.

After a few mediocre seasons with the Senators, Roebuck found new life with the Phillies, serving as one of the most durable relievers during the 1964 season but unfortunately he was part of that team's epic, late season collapse.  One of the game's most proficient fungo hitters, Roebuck was invited to Houston in 1964 to hit fungos as high as he could inside the Astrodome, still under construction, to make sure the roof would be high enough once official games commenced.

Following his playing days, Roebuck served as a scout for the Dodgers, Phillies, Braves, Reds, Pirates and Red Sox.  He retired in 2006 after earning his second World Series ring in 2004 as a scout for the Red Sox.

Building the Set
August 29, 1988 in Millville, NJ - Card #62
I shared this story back in March when I posted the Tom Brewer (#34) card, but I'll repeat it again here.  The Roebuck card was one of four cards I acquired for our 1956 Topps set via a trade, and all I had to surrender were a bunch of 1988 Topps doubles.

We were about a year in to officially collecting the 1956 Topps set when I added four cards to the set through a trade with a friend of mine.  Now my friend probably has no recollection of this, but I'm going to omit his name to protect the innocent.  In the summer of 1988, I was aware of a few different baseball card collectors from my school.  Most of them were busy accumulating as many "Future Stars" cards from the 1988 Topps set as possible, convinced these cards would be worth hundreds of dollars in a matter of a few short years.  The Kevin Elster card was a particularly hot commodity, as was anything with a Topps Rookie Cup on it such as the cards for Mark McGwire, Mike Greenwell, Ellis Burks and Casey Candaele.

My friend had four 1956 Topps cards set aside in an "oldies" pile, and I'm guessing he had added these to his collection by accident or maybe through an older relative.  In any event, I went over to his house this late summer day in August, equipped with my 1988 Topps doubles, and ready to deal.  I don't remember the specifics of the trade, but I ended up with four 1956 Topps commons and he ended up with a small stack of 1988 Topps rookies.  We were both happy with our respective hauls, so in our minds it was a fair deal.

I've lost track of this friend over the years, but his name lives on in my official records of how each card in our 1956 Topps set was obtained.

The Card
Here's something I found extremely interesting, and I've been tracking this since starting this project.  Roebuck's card is the 47th card in the set to feature a player also included within the 1955 Topps set.  However, his is the first instance of a card using a different photo for his 1956 Topps card than what was used for his 1955 Topps card.  Why did Topps suddenly decide to go with a new photo for Roebuck's 1956 Topps card, when it had used the same photo for the prior 46 players?

1956 Season
Roebuck appeared in 43 games for the Dodgers, all in relief, going 5-4 with a 3.93 ERA.  Only closer Clem Labine had more appearances in relief that season for the Dodgers with 62.  He led the National League in wild pitches with 10.  Against the Yankees in the 1956 World Series, Roebuck appeared in three games, pitching 4 1/3 innings and allowing only one hit and one run - a solo home run to Mickey Mantle in Game 4.

Phillies Career
On April 21, 1964, the Senators sold Roebuck to the Phillies and he appeared in 60 games in relief.  In parts of three seasons with the Phillies, Roebuck appeared in 110 games, pitching to a 10-8 record and a 2.83 ERA.  He recorded 15 saves, second only to Jack Baldschun (27 saves) during that same stretch.  During the late season collapse of 1964 resulting in ten straight losses, Roebuck pitched in four games and was scored upon only once.

The Phillies released him following the 1965 season, but he re-signed with them as a free agent and appeared in six games before getting released again on July 23, 1966.  He served as a scout for the Phillies after retiring as an active player, but I can't find any reference to what years he was with the club either online or from the team's yearbooks or media guides.

Roebuck's most readily available Phillies baseball card can be found in the 1965 Topps set.  He's also in the 1964 Philadelphia Bulletin set, the 1978 TCMA The 1960s set and he signed reprints of his 1965 Topps card for the 2014 Topps Heritage Real One Autographs insert set.

1955 Topps #195
1961 Topps #6
1964 Topps #187
1965 Topps #52
1978 TCMA The 1960s #165
Other Notable Baseball Cards
First Mainstream Card:  1955 Topps #195
First Topps Card:  1955 Topps #195
Representative Phillies Card:  1965 Topps #52
Last Topps Card:  1965 Topps #52
Most Recent Mainstream Card:  2014 Topps Heritage Real One Autographs #ROA-ER

52 - Roebuck non-parallel baseball cards in the Beckett online database as of 7/22/19.

Baseball Reference
Beckett Database
The Phillies Room
The Trading Card Database

In some cases, the first and last cards listed above are subjective and chosen by me if multiple cards were released within the same year.  Most recent mainstream card may also be subjective and does not include extremely low serial numbered cards, buybacks or cut autograph cards.