Monday, March 30, 2020

Dispatches from the Quarantine

2014 Topps Heritage #208
How is everyone doing?

Our family has reluctantly settled into our new routine, staying home and only venturing outside for exercise or a very quick trip to the grocery store.  With everything going on, I consider ourselves extremely lucky as we're all healthy and keeping relatively busy throughout the week.  My wife is a fourth grade teacher and she's essentially running three classrooms throughout the day - her own (virtually), and then assisting with our two boys' homework whenever one of them has questions.  I'm fortunate enough to have a job that can be done just as effectively most of the time from home.  While this is typically my busiest time of the year at work, it's been somewhat slower as the regular pace of my day-to-day job has changed.  I'm on calls or in online meetings for most of the day, and I'm trying to establish healthy barriers between work life and home life.

I miss baseball.  I never took for granted the daily cadence and the mundane regularity of the baseball schedule, as it has been a daily part of my life for the past 40 years between April and October.  I published my first posts on March 30, 2009, and for the past 11 years this blog has served as a daily outlet for me and I miss that routine.  I toyed with the idea of daily posts reliving the 1985 Phillies season through my meticulously kept 1985 Phillies scrapbook, but then two thoughts struck me about this potential project.  First, it was a project that would hopefully not be completed and I don't like not completing things.  I could post the boxscores and write about daily Phillies games from 1985 through April and probably most of May, but then it would halt abruptly when the 2020 season got underway.  Second, what if I did complete this project?  I truly believe baseball will return this season, but what if it doesn't?  Do I want to lock myself into a project where I'm reliving a season 35 years ago, between now and October?  Not really.  So this blog will go somewhat dormant with the occasional post until baseball comes back.  If nothing else, the postponement of the 2020 season has allowed me to focus daily on my other two blogs celebrating the cards from the 1956 and 1965 Topps sets.  I have posts for those blogs scheduled and ready to go through May.
2015 Topps Archives #244

I'm hopeful, trying to stay positive and more and more frequently avoiding the news.  I hope you're doing well too.  Stay healthy, take care of your family and friends and go wash your hands.

* * *

I originally sat down to write this post solely to thank Section 36 for the package that arrived in the mail last week.  The package was dominated by Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels cards, which is somewhat prescient given our family's viewing choices the past few days.  We re-watched the Roy Halladay perfect game on Thursday (what would have been the 2020 Opening Day) and we re-watched Cole Hamels' no-hitter from 2015 on Saturday.  Typically, I would have received Phillies cards from 2010 with this annual shipment, but I'm told there was a tragic accident in the basement of Section 36 headquarters involving water.  Still, it was great to get new baseball cards in the mail, and I'll gladly take what I can get these days.  Thanks Section 36!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Phillies, Fans Spend #OpeningDayAtHome

2020 Topps Rhys Hoskins #RH-2
In an attempt to make the best of having no baseball on what should have been opening day, Rhys Hoskins took on the Marlins' Miguel Rojas in a live stream of MLB The Show.  Hoskins' Phillies beat Rojas' Marlins by a score of 2-0 after several false starts and some technical difficulties.  Doug and I watched the first 20 minutes or so of the stream and it was fun to hear Hoskins and Rojas banter back and forth.  Doug considers himself a pro at MLB The Show, so he was a little critical of some of the plays made by Hoskins and Rojas.

Camp Head Count:  58 - 6 = 52.  The Phillies optioned six players to Lehigh Valley on Thursday afternoon.  The season is not close to starting up yet, but the moves were made to allow the Phillies to call up players sooner (without the requisite waiting period) when the season eventually does resume.

Outfielders Kyle Garlick and Nick Williams, along with right-handed pitchers Edgar Garcia and Reggie McClain and left-handed pitchers Austin Davis and Cole Irvin were all optioned.

* * *

The video embedded below is fantastic and kudos to the MLB marketing department for putting this together and realizing Mike Trout had to narrate it.  I hope everyone is staying positive, safe, hopeful and healthy.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

1965 Topps #22 Charlie Smith

While the 2020 baseball season and The Phillies Room have paused and are currently practicing responsible social distancing, I'm still regularly posting on my 1956 Topps and 1965 Topps blogs.  New 1956 Topps posts are scheduled for every Friday morning, while I'll be posting new cards added to our 1965 Topps set on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday mornings.  My 1965 Topps blog took a look at short-time Phillies player Charlie (or Charley) Smith.  Stay safe everyone!

Charles William Smith
New York Mets
Third Base-Outfield

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'1"  Weight:  170
Born:  September 15, 1937, Charleston, SC
Signed:  Signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers as an amateur free agent before 1957 season
Major League Teams:  Los Angeles Dodgers 1960-1961; Philadelphia Phillies 1961; Chicago White Sox 1962-1964; New York Mets 1964-1965; St. Louis Cardinals 1966; New York Yankees 1967-1968; Chicago Cubs 1969
Died:  November 29, 1994, Reno, NV (age 57)

Charlie Smith, or Charley Smith per most reference sources, played for 10 years in the Majors mostly in a utility infielder role.  Primarily a third baseman, he appeared in over 120 games in a season five different times with the Dodgers and Phillies in 1961, the White Sox and Mets in 1964, the Mets again in 1965, the Cardinals in 1966 and the Yankees in 1967.  Smith was sent to the Yankees in December 1966 in the deal that saw Roger Maris (#155) head to St. Louis.

In 771 career games, Smith hit .239 with 69 home runs and 281 RBIs, finishing three years in the top 10 for strikeouts.

Building the Set
January 25, 2020 from Los Angeles, CA - Card #39
Some January days are longer than others, and on a particularly long January day at work a few months ago, I decided I needed a few more 1965 Topps cards for our set.  I've been familiar with Greg Morris Cards for a while now, as I've been using a lot of the images of old Topps cards scanned for their eBay auction listings in these posts and within the posts over at my 1956 Topps blog.  The images are always centered and clear and for all the help Greg Morris has indirectly provided me, I thought I'd browse his eBay store.

Given the vast inventory available, I figured there had to be at least a few 1965 Topps cards up for auction, and I was correct.  I stumbled upon a set break and I set about finding auctions with no current bidders and cards graded at least EX-MT.  I bid on a total of 20 auctions, winning 10 of them, including this Smith card.  I was the first and sole bidder on the Smith card and the first Mets card for our set was on its way to us from Los Angeles for a winning bid of $0.79.

The Card
This card gives us a fantastic look at the New York World's Fair patch the Mets wore on their sleeves during the 1964 season.  Smith appeared in every Topps set between 1962 and 1969, and he's Charlie on his cards for every year except 1963 and 1967 when Topps went with Charley.  This is his only Topps card to refer to him as a part-time outfielder, as Smith had played 13 games in left field for the Mets in 1964.  For his career, Smith appeared on the field in 698 games with 623 of those appearances coming at third base.

His 20 home runs in 1964 were indeed tops on the Mets, with Joe Christopher (#495) and his 16 home runs finishing second on the team.

Mets Team Set

1965 Season
This would be Smith's best season in the Majors.  As the everyday first baseman for the Mets, Smith hit .244 over 135 games with 16 home runs and a career high 62 RBIs.  Following the season, the Mets traded Smith to the Cardinals with Al Jackson (#381) for Ken Boyer (#100).

1961 Sports Service Phillies
Set B
Phillies Career
On May 4, 1961, the Phillies traded Turk Farrell (#80) and Joe Koppe to the Dodgers for Smith and Don Demeter (#429).  The Dodgers were in need of a closer having lost Ed Roebuck (#52) to a shoulder injury and the Phillies were looking to rebuild following a 95-loss season in 1960.  Demeter was the key return for the Phillies with the 23-year-old Smith seemingly included as a throw-in.  Smith immediately took over the starting third baseman's job from the platoon of Bobby Malkmus and Bob Sadowski (#156).

In 112 games for the Phillies, Smith hit .248 with 9 home runs and 47 RBIs.  His defense was shaky as he finished in fourth place for the highest number of errors committed in the N.L. with 28.  Following the season, Smith was on the move again, traded to the White Sox on November 28th with John Buzhardt (#458) for Roy Sievers (#574).

Smith appeared on a few oddball issuances as a Phillie, but there's no mainstream baseball cards to mark his one season with the club.

1962 Topps #283
1963 Topps #424
1966 Topps #358
1968 Topps #596
1969 Topps #538
Other Notable Baseball Cards
First Mainstream Card:  1962 Topps #283
Topps Flagship Set Appearances (8):  1962-1969
Most Recent Mainstream Card:  1978 TCMA 1960s I #289

33 - Smith non-parallel baseball cards in the Beckett online database as of 1/26/20.

Baseball Reference
Beckett Database
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.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

2020 Phillies Want List

2020 Topps #246

Bowman Next Prospect Pool
Main Set - 25 Bohm, 30 Howard

Stadium Club
Base Variations - 30 Harper
Instavision - IR-BH Harper

Topps Series 1
Base Variations - 250 Harper SSP (Portrait)
1985 Topps Baseball 35th Anniversary Autographs - 85A-AN Nola, 85A-BHA Harper
1985 Topps Baseball Relics - 85R-BH Harper, 85R-RHO Hoskins
Baseball Stars Autographs - BSA-NLA Nola, BSA-RH Hoskins

Topps Series 2
Base Variations - 467 McCutchen SP (1979 uniform), 467 McCutchen SSP (touching home), 687 Hoskins SSP (signing autographs)
1985 Topps Baseball 35th Anniversary Autographs - 85A-RHO Hoskins
1985 Topps Baseball Relics - 85TR-AM McCutchen, 85TR-AN Nola, 85TR-JR Realmuto

Topps Allen & Ginter
Mini Exclusives Extended - 387 Harper

Topps Archives
Fan Favorites Autographs - FFA-JGI Girardi
1964 Topps Giant - 64O-RH Hoskins

Topps Big League
Ballpark Oddities - BPO-5 Velasquez

Topps Gallery
Heritage - HT-35 Harper

Topps Heritage
1971 Topps Baseball Tattoos - 27 Harper/Hoskins
1971 Topps Greatest Moments - 49 Hoskins
Real One Autographs - ROA-RH Hoskins

Topps Heritage High Numbers
1971 Bazooka Numbered Test Minis - BN-15 Hoskins
1971 Topps Baseball Tattoos - 32 Gregorius
1971 Topps Greatest Moments Box Loader - 8 Wise
1971 Topps Scratch-Offs - 24 Harper
1971 Topps Super Baseball Box Loader - 30 Harper
Real One Autographs - ROA-AN Nola, ROA-BH Harper, ROA-JRE Realmuto, ROA-ZW Wheeler

Topps Heritage Minor League
Real One Autographs - ROA-BST Stott

Topps Now
Bracket Bonanza - BB1-8 Harper

Topps Opening Day
Image Variations - 156 Hoskins, 188 Harper
Diamond Relics - DR-BH Harper, DR-RH Hoskins
Dugout Peeks - DP-2 Harper
Lighter Side of Baseball - LSB-11 Harper
Major League Mementos - MLM-BH Harper
Walk This Way - WW-5 Harper

Topps Pro Debut
Future Cornerstones Autographs - FCA-SH Howard

Topps Seattle Mariners
Main Set - SEA-17 McClain

Topps Throwback Thursday
Main Set - 9 Harper, 179 Harper

Topps Update
Base Variations - U-266 McCutchen SP (press conference), U-279 Harper SP (press conference), U-279 Harper SSP (back of jersey)
Decades' Best - DB-4 Roberts, DB-55 Phillies

Friday, March 13, 2020

Grapefruit Game 20 - Baseball Hits Pause

2019 Choice Reading
Fightin Phils #24
Phillies 8, Rays 4
Spring Training Game 20 - Thursday Afternoon, March 12th in Port Charlotte
Record - 14-5-1

One Sentence Summary:  The offense supplied four home runs and Jake Arrieta had a decent outing before leaving with an injury in this 8-4 win over the Rays.

What It Means:  In the grand scheme of things, and with everything going on in the world right now due to the coronavirus pandemic, this game didn't mean much.  After the Phillies and Rays had started play on Thursday afternoon, Major League Baseball put out a press release cancelling the remainder of spring training and pushing back the start of the regular season by at least two weeks.  It was a little odd to listen to a portion of this game, knowing it would be the last baseball played for a while. 

As disappointed as I am to be without baseball for the foreseeable future, the decision by MLB makes complete sense and it was a necessary move in order to slow and attempt to contain the spread of the virus.  These are unusual times and the absence of baseball (and all other sporting events) is going to be tough.  But I'm confident and optimistic we'll be back to normal soon.  Be kind, be patient and be supportive.  Listen to the scientists and reputable news sources.  Stay safe everyone.

What Happened:  Josh Harrison, Roman Quinn, Neil Walker and Phil Gosselin all homered for the Phillies.  All but Quinn are presumably battling for a roster spot when baseball returns.  Arrieta pitched 3 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on three hits.  He left the game in the fourth inning with stiffness in his right shoulder.

It was also announced that Seranthony Dominguez had suffered a setback in his road to recovery and Tommy John surgery may be the next step for the young pitcher.

Featured Card:  At 4:30 on Thursday afternoon, I took a screenshot of my phone to capture the last baseball action for a little while.  All other games other than the Phillies-Rays game were either over with by then or already cancelled.  Pitching prospect Jonathan Hennigan was on the mound for the final outs of the game and after he retired Ruben Cardenas on a strikeout looking, baseball went on hiatus.

Camp Head Count:  58 - And that's where it will stand for at least the next few weeks.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Grapefruit Game 19 - 2019 Topps Pro Debut #53 Spencer Howard

Phillies 5Twins 1
Spring Training Game 19 - Tuesday Afternoon, March 10th in Clearwater
Record - 13-5-1

One Sentence Summary:  Zack Wheeler looked great and the offense kept plugging along in this 5-1 win over the Twins.

What It Means:  Bryce Harper exited the game in the first after being hit in the foot on a pitch from Twins starting pitcher Sean Poppen.  Harper would later say he was just fine.

What Happened:  Wheeler went four innings, allowing a run on four hits while striking out six.  Top pitching prospect Spencer Howard made his spring debut and pitched a scoreless inning of relief.  Didi Gregorius had an RBI-single in the first, snapping his 0 for 22 streak.  J.T. Realmuto would later add a two-run home run and Logan Forsythe hit a home run to left that might still be in the air.

Featured Card:  Howard will most likely open the season in the rotation for the Triple-A IronPigs, but I have to think we'll see him pitching in Philly at some point in 2020.

Camp Head Count:  61 - 3 = 58.  LHP Garrett Cleavinger and RHP Mauricio Llovera were optioned to Lehigh Valley while 1B Darrick Hall was reassigned to minor league camp.
2020 Chachi New Additions #2
2020 Chachi New Additions #3

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Grapefruit Game 18 - 2019 Grandstand Reading Fightin Phils #54 Ramon Rosso

Phillies 3Yankees 1
Spring Training Game 18 - Monday Afternoon, March 9th in Clearwater
Record - 12-5-1

One Sentence Summary:  An eighth inning home run from Christian Bethancourt broke a 1-1 tie and sent the Phillies to a 3-1 win over the Yankees.

What It Means:  Aaron Nola was supposed to start this game, but he was a late scratch as the presumed opening day starter has the flu.

What Happened:  Ramon Rosso got the emergency start and allowed a run on two hits in his two innings of work.  Six relievers shut down the Yankees after that, with Mauricio Llovera throwing two scoreless innings.  Bryce Harper had three more hits and Mikie Mahtook hit a third inning solo home run.

Featured Card:  Rosso has emerged as a potential bullpen candidate, and he certainly didn't hurt his chances with his outing on Monday.

Camp Head Count:  64 - 3 = 61.  Prior to the game, the Phillies optioned catcher Deivy Grullon to Lehigh Valley and infielder Arquimedes Gamboa to Reading, while re-assigning Austin Listi to minor league camp.  The Grullon move seems to indicate Andrew Knapp will once again open the season as the back-up to J.T. Realmuto.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Grapefruit Game 17 - 2019 Topps Heritage #302 Seranthony Dominguez

Blue Jays 9, Phillies 0
Spring Training Game 17 - Sunday Afternoon, March 8th in Dunedin
Record - 11-5-1

One Sentence Summary:  The offense had only three hits and Vince Velasquez looked shaky in this 9-0 drubbing from the Blue Jays.

What It Means:  At this point, I would think Velasquez ends up in the bullpen and the fifth starter's job either goes to Nick Pivetta or Ranger Suarez, the dark horse candidate.

What Happened:  Velasquez labored through 2 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on two hits and three walks.  Both hits allowed were home runs.  Deolis Guerra and Seranthony Dominguez each threw a scoreless inning of relief.

Featured Card:  If Dominguez is healthy to start the season, that would be huge for the Phillies bullpen.  This was his second appearance and while he's only thrown 10 pitches, he hasn't allowed a hit and he's struck out two while his fastball has been in the low to mid 90s.

Camp Head Count:  64

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Grapefruit Game 16 - Quartet of Pitching Prospects

2019 Choice Reading
Fightin Phils #14
2020 Chachi New Additions #4
2020 Chachi New Additions #5
2019 Choice Reading
Fightin Phils #21
Phillies 10Red Sox 2
Spring Training Game 16 - Saturday Afternoon, March 7th in Clearwater
Record - 11-4-1

One Sentence Summary:  Offense, pitching, defense and baserunning all looked good in this 10-2 win over the Red Sox.

What It Means:  This is the final match-up between these two teams until the 2021 World Series.  The Red Sox are re-building this year so I figure they'll be in the 2021 World Series when the Phillies are going for their second title in a row.

What Happened:  The keys to the Phillies offense all doubled - Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto and Rhys Hoskins.  Harper stole a pair of bases for good measure.  Ranger Suarez allowed two runs in his three innings of work and pitching prospect Jeff Singer impressed with a perfect inning, striking out the side.

Featured Cards:  Featuring a quartet of pitching prospects today - Singer for his awesome performance in this game and Adonis Medina, JoJo Romero and Cristopher Sanchez for the note below.

Camp Head Count:  70 - 6 = 64.  In the first headcount cut of the spring, Romero and Medina were optioned to Lehigh Valley while Sanchez was optioned to Reading.  Pitchers Kyle Dohy, Damon Jones and Zach Warren were reassigned to minor league camp.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Grapefruit Game 15 - 2019 Choice Medusas de Lakewood #8 Abrahan Gutierrez

Phillies 9, Tigers 0
Spring Training Game 15 - Friday Afternoon, March 6th in Lakeland
Record - 0-0

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies scored seven times in the final three innings in this lopsided 9-0 victory over the Tigers.

What It Means:  I keep thinking I've missed the announcement of any roster moves, but the camp head count still stands at 70.  The Phillies made their first cuts of the spring last year following their 16th game.  So perhaps there's a round of transactions coming after Saturday's matinee.

What Happened:  The pitching staff, led by Jake Arrieta, held the Tigers to two hits.  Arrieta pitched four shutout innings, but he did walk four so all was not perfect.  Nick Martini went 2 for 2 with 3 RBIs, including a solo home run as he bids to make the team as a bench player.

Featured Card:  Catcher Abrahan Gutierrez, one of the daily minor league additions, hit an eighth inning grand slam scoring Arquimedes Gamboa, Mickey Moniak and Austin Listi.

Camp Head Count:  70

Grapefruit Game 14 - 2019 Topps Heritage #534 Bryce Harper

Phillies 5, Blue Jays 3
Spring Training Game 14 - Thursday Afternoon, March 5th in Clearwater
Record - 9-4-1

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies scored all their runs via the long ball in this 5-3 win over the Blue Jays.

What It Means:  Bryce Harper appears to be locked in at this point, as he hit his third home run in two days in this game.

What Happened:  Roman Quinn, Rhys Hoskins and Austin Listi also homered.  Listi went 2 for 3 to raise his average to .368.  Zack Wheeler allowed two runs in 2 1/3 innings and Cole Irvin contributed two shutout innings of relief.

Featured Card:  In his first year with the Phillies, I added 38 different Harper cards to my Phillies collection and I suspect that number will grow as I fill in some remaining 2019 want lists.  This is Harper's card from last year's Topps Heritage High Numbers set, released in mid-August.

Camp Head Count:  70

Grapefruit Games 12 & 13 - 2019 Topps Now All-MLB 1st Team #1T-1 J.T. Realmuto

Phillies 9, Pirates 7
Spring Training Game 12 - Wednesday Afternoon, March 4th in Clearwater

Yankees 3Phillies 2
Spring Training Game 13 - Wednesday Night, March 4th in Tampa
Record - 8-4-1

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies again split their squad and again came away with a win and a loss in this rare day-night spring training double header.

What It Means:  I'm ready for the season to start.

What Happened:  In Clearwater, J.T. Realmuto led off and went 3 for 3 with a solo home run while Bryce Harper hit two home runs, including an absolute bomb in the fourth inning that may have hit the highway outside the ballpark.  Harper's blast came off Pirates reliever, and former Phillie, Yacksel Rios.  Aaron Nola went four innings and gave up a pair of runs.

In Tampa, the Phillies had only six hits including a two-run home run from Jay Bruce.  Nick Pivetta gave up three runs in 3 1/3 innings.

Featured Card:  Realmuto earned the catcher's spot on the All-MLB 1st Team All-Stars this past offseason, and he's poised for yet another season as the best catcher in the game.

Camp Head Count:  70

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Grapefruit Game 11 - 2017 Topps #697 Christian Bethancourt

Phillies 6Braves 4
Spring Training Game 11 - Monday Night, March 2nd in North Port
Record - 7-3-1

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies scored four times in the ninth inning to complete the comeback and notch a 6-4 win.

What It Means:  Since 1997, the Braves had called Walt Disney World their spring training home until they moved to North Port last year.  This was their first night game at CoolToday Park, and several people in attendance (including some players) noted how dark the field seemed.

What Happened:  Starter Zach Eflin was working on some stuff, and struggled in his 1 2/3 innings of work allowing 3 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks.  Vince Velasquez fared better in his 3 innings of relief, allowing a run on 4 hits.  Luke Williams had two more hits to raise his spring average to .467.

Featured Card:  With Andrew Knapp potentially starting the season on the injured list, Christian Bethancourt could find himself on the team's opening day roster as one of two backup catchers along with Deivy Grullon.  Bethancourt hit two solo home runs in this game.

Camp Head Count:  70

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Grapefruit Game 10 - 2019 Topps Heritage #8 Josh Harrison

Orioles 3Phillies 2
Spring Training Game 10 - Sunday Afternoon, March 1st in Clearwater
Record - 6-3-1

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies were held to three hits in this 3-2 loss to the Orioles.

What It Means:  I was bummed this game wasn't televised.  There appears to be a lot less televised Phillies spring training games this year compared to recent years.

What Happened:  Ranger Suarez is emerging as a dark horse candidate for the fifth starter's job.  He pitched three innings in this game, giving up an unearned run on three hits while striking out three.

Featured Card:  Josh Harrison hit a solo home run in the sixth and played solid defense at second base.  His versatility, bat and veteran presence have given him an inside track on one of the 26 spots on the team's opening day roster.

Camp Head Count:  70

1919-1921 W514 #71 Pickles Dillhoefer

Back in 2009, the first year of The Phillies Room, I decided to design a template to create original custom baseball cards.  My Chachi series of cards are entirely based on vintage Topps flagship set designs, and this was an exercise to create my own, non-Topps design.  For whatever reason, I landed on Pickles Dillhoefer as the subject for my first ever Chachi Originals card.  I posted the card, my Dad commented on the post (sarcastically) that Dillhoefer was his favorite ex-Phillie, and I added the elusive W514 card to my want list.  The Chachi Originals set must not have interested me that much as I produced a grand total of four cards using this custom template:  Dillhoefer, Pedro Martinez, former Phillies ballpark organist Paul Richardson and Harry Wolverton.  I still like the design, and maybe this is a project I'll revisit some day.

But back to Pickles. 

Dillhoefer was a catcher who played for parts of five seasons between 1917 and 1921 with the Cubs, Phillies and Cardinals.  The bulk of his career was spent with the Cardinals, where as a backup catcher for three seasons he hit .245 over 197 games.  Dillhoefer appeared in only 8 games for the 1918 Phillies, hitting .091 (1 for 11) as a catcher and pinch-hitter.  His sole Phillies hit came on May 18, 1918 in the ninth inning of an eventual 7-1 loss to the Cubs, off pitcher Claude Hendrix.

The W514 strip card is the only baseball card to ever feature Dillhoefer and back in 2009 I wrote that it would one day be mine.  11 years later, this past weekend, I saw the card for the first time ever at the Philadelphia Sportscard & Memorabilia Show.  In fact, I saw six versions of this card from the dealer I bought the card from as he had a whole binder of these strip cards.  I spent a while studying each of the Dillhoefer cards available for sale, eventually picking the one I thought was in the best shape.  I didn't pay a ridiculous price for the card either, which makes it even better, as I probably would have paid at least twice what the dealer was asking given I had never once seen the card in my 11 years of looking.

Cross another white whale off this collector's list!

Monday, March 2, 2020

Philly Baseball Card Show Report - J Roll, Lieby, Kitty, Pickles, 1965 Topps

2020 Chachi Friendly Encounters #1
2020 Chachi Friendly Encounters #3
2020 Chachi Friendly Encounters #2
I spent the latter part of this past week trying to recover from a nasty sinus infection but I rallied on Saturday to take Doug to the latest Philadelphia Sportscard & Memorabilia Show held in Valley Forge.  I was a bit out of sorts as I forgot my vintage Phillies want list at home, but I still managed to track down some great additions to my collection.  Doug mainly focused on what interests him the most these days - autograph and relic cards of current Phillies and Phillies prospects.

Once again, there was a ton of autograph guests and we opted for autographs from former Phillies Jimmy Rollins and Mike Lieberthal.  Doug had his Jimmy Rollins Retirement Ceremony ball signed with Lieberthal signing his Wall of Fame print.  Doug also stood in line with me as we got Jim Kaat to sign his 1965 Topps card which is now part of our growing set.  (In the coming weeks, I'll have a full run down of the 1965 Topps cards we added over at my 1965 Topps blog.)

For my Phillies collection, I added a personal white whale with the 1919-21 W514 strip card of Pickles Dillhoefer.  This deserves its own post, and I'll show that card off then.  From the same dealer I also bought the 1934-36 Diamond Stars card of Ethan Allen, and I already showed that card off in this post.  Also added were 1963 and 1964 photo packs featuring Phillies players from those seasons.  I've not yet developed want lists for these photo pack cards, but I should work on that soon.

We added 23 total cards to our 1965 Topps set, with the big purchases being the Ernie Banks, Willie McCovey and Brooks Robinson cards along with the Tug McGraw rookie card.

It was a tiring day, but there's nothing like buying a bunch of old baseball cards to help with a bad cold.

Memory Lane
Valley Forge 1 - September 2010 - Thinking of my Dad
Valley Forge 2 - October 2012 - Doug's first baseball card show
Valley Forge 3 - September 2014 - Meeting Darren Daulton
Oaks 1 - October 2015 - Meeting Pete Rose and Steve Carlton
Valley Forge 4 - September 2016 - Phillies acquisitions and 4 Phillies Legends
Valley Forge 5 - December 2016 - Meeting Don Money
Valley Forge 6 - September 2017 - Doug's big day
Valley Forge 7 - December 2017 - Ben's first baseball card show with Mike Schmidt and Rhys Hoskins!
Oaks 2 - December 2018 - Meeting Matt Stairs and Cole Hamels
Valley Forge 8 - March 2019 - 5 Phillies Autographs and Vintage Phillies Additions
Valley Forge 9 - September 2019 - Closing in on 1971 Topps set and Andrew McCutchen
Valley Forge 10 - December 2019 - Finishing 1971 Topps set, Starting 1965 Topps set, adding key autographs from Ryan Howard and Brad Lidge
Valley Forge 11 - February 2020 - More 1965 Topps cards, Jimmy Rollins, Mike Lieberthal and Jim Kaat

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Grapefruit Game 9 -1934-36 Diamond Stars #92 Ethan Allen

Blue Jays 6Phillies 5
Spring Training Game 9 - Saturday Afternoon, February 29th in Dunedin
Record - 6-2-1

One Sentence Summary:  The Phillies bullpen couldn't keep the Blue Jays off the board in the late innings as they lost, 6-5.

What It Means:  Blake Parker and Ramon Rosso allowed three runs in the eighth and ninth innings to give the Blue Jays the win.

What Happened:  Nick Martini and Logan Forsythe homered for the Phils and Deivy Grullon had a two-run single in the sixth to give the team a temporary lead.  Austin Listi had a pair of hits and an RBI.  Zack Wheeler made his spring debut and gave up a two-run home run in his two innings of work.

Featured Card:  Doug and I attended the Valley Forge baseball card show on Saturday and I'll have a full post on our outing and our haul from the day posted soon.  I only added a few Phillies cards to my collection, including this Ethan Allen card from the 1934-36 Diamond Stars (R327) set.  I was thrilled to find this card at a reasonable price and I'm now just one card away from a complete seven-card team set from this mid-1930s release.

Most of my allowance money went towards purchasing cards for our 1965 Topps set, and you can follow along with our progress as we build that set at my other blog.

Camp Head Count:  70