Thursday, October 15, 2020

2004 Phillies Team-Issued Photo Cards

Number of Cards:
Card Size:  4" x 6"
Description:  The 2003 team-issued set contained elements celebrating the final season of Veterans Stadium, so it's only fitting the 2004 team-issued set contains the Inaugural Season logo for Citizens Bank Park.  The card fronts feature a white border, full color photos and the player's name, position and uniform number in a simple, clean and bright design.  The card backs go horizontal for the first time and feature biographical information and complete career statistics.

How Distributed:  The set was available for sale at Citizens Bank Park throughout the season.  Similar to the 2003 set, collectors had to wait a few series into the start of the regular season until the cards were available for sale, which explains the potentially short-printed card celebrating the back-to-back-to-back home runs hit by Bobby Abreu, Jim Thome and Pat Burrell on May 18, 2004.  All cards feature photos from the first few games to be played at the new ballpark, including the on-deck exhibition series against the Indians prior to the start of the regular season.

The Abreu/Thome/Burrell card was numbered to 3,000, the first and last time the Phillies would include a numbered card in these sets, and I'm not sure if this card was available in every set sold during the season.

Complete Standard Checklist (Unnumbered, presented here alphabetically with uniform number and position on the front of cards): 

1. Bobby Abreu (#53 - RF)
2. David Bell (#4 - 3B)
3. Mick Billmeyer (#17 - CO)
4. Larry Bowa (#10 - MG)
5. Pat Burrell (#5 - LF)
6. Marlon Byrd (#29 - CF)
7. Rheal Cormier (#37 - LHP)
8. Doug Glanville (#6 - OF)
9. Greg Gross (#8 - CO)
10. Ramon Henderson (#59 - CO)
11. Roberto Hernandez (#35 - RHP)    
12. Joe Kerrigan (#16 - CO)
13. Ricky Ledee (#33 - OF)

14. Mike Lieberthal (#24 - C)
15. Ryan Madson (#63 - RHP)
16. Jason Michaels (#22 - OF)
17. Kevin Millwood (#34 - RHP)
18. Eric Milton (#21 - LHP)
19. Brett Myers (#39 - RHP)
20. Vicente Padilla (#44 - RHP)
21. Tomas Perez (#9 - INF)
22. Placido Polanco (#27 - 2B)
23. Todd Pratt (#3 - C)
24. Jimmy Rollins (#11 - SS)
25. Amaury Telemaco (#47 - RHP)    

26. Jim Thome (#25 - 1B)
27. Milt Thompson (#15 - CO)
28. Chase Utley (#26 - 2B)
29. Gary Varsho (#7 - CO)
30. John Vukovich (#18 - CO)
31. Billy Wagner (#13 - LHP)
32. Randy Wolf (#43 - LHP)
33. Shawn Wooten (#23 - INF/C)    
34. Todd Worrell (#38 - RHP)
35. Phillie Phanatic
36. Phillies Broadcasters
37. Back to Back to Back / 3000

One and Only Phillies Baseball Card (0)
First Appearance in Phillies Team Issued Set (7):  Hernandez, Madson, Milton, Utley, Wagner, Wooten, Worrell
Returning Players in Phillies Team Issued Set (19):  Abreu, Bell, Burrell, Byrd, Cormier, Glanville, Ledee, Lieberthal, Michaels, Millwood, Myers, Padilla, Perez, Polanco, Pratt, Rollins, Telemaco, Thome, Wolf

Manager (1):  Bowa
Coaches (7):  Billmeyer, Gross, Henderson, Kerrigan, Thompson, Varsho, Vukovich
Phillie Phanatic (1):  The Phanatic is shown atop the Phillies new dugout at Citizens Bank Park.
Broadcasters (1):  John Kruk exited and Tom McCarthy joined the broadcast team in 2004.  McCarthy is joined on this card by Chris Wheeler, Scott Graham, Larry Andersen and Harry Kalas.
Commemorative Cards (1):  My "short-printed" version of the back to back to back home runs card is number 322 out of 3,000.

This set contains the first team issued card for Utley and the last team issued card for long-time player and coach Vukovich.  Due to my limited resources and skills when developing the first Chachi cards in 2005, a lot of the photos used for this set are duplicated within the initial 2005 Chachi set.

  This is a great checklist to mark the first Phillies team to take the field during Citizens Bank Park's inaugural season.  The entire 25-man opening day roster is represented, plus Chase Utley, who was recalled on May 8th.

Omissions:  Assuming the set was issued in late May, accounting for the inclusion of Utley and the Back to Back to Back card, there are a few other Phillies relievers who could have been included in the set.  On the day of the back to back to back home runs, relievers Brian Powell and Jim Crowell were both on the active roster.  Geoff Geary was recalled the day after the feat, on May 19th.  Promotions for Josh Hancock (May 22nd) and Elizardo Ramirez (May 23rd) would follow shortly thereafter.

Variations/Rarities:  Fellow collector Rick has made me aware of several somewhat rare cards in the style of this set.  First, four of the stars of the team received versions of their cards containing white facsimile autographs.  Somewhat randomly, and one of my personal white whales, reserve outfielder Lou Collier received a card at some point during the summer.  Collier was recalled on August 5th and remained with the club through the rest of the season.  August 5th would have been too late (I think) for the annual ALS Phillies Phestival, so the existence of this card puzzles me.

Finally, the Phillies hired Charlie Manuel to become their 51st manager on November 4, 2004.  A blank-backed card was created so the new skipper would have something to sign during his offseason winter caravan appearances.

White Facsimile Autographs       
1. Bobby Abreu (#53 - RF)

2. Pat Burrell (#5 - LF)
3. Mike Lieberthal (#24 - C)
4. Jim Thome (#25 - 1B)

Late Season Addition
1. Lou Collier (#58 - OF)

Offseason Addition
1. Charlie Manuel (#41 - MG)

Also See:  The Phillies teamed up with Upper Deck and McDonald's to release a 27-card set in 2004, available at local McDonald's.  14,000 Phillies posted a set summary and checklist as part of its now defunct Phillies Database Project.

Resources:  Phillies collector Rick (@rickphils)

This set was originally featured in a post back in December 2014, and I'm going to slowly go through some of these team issued set posts and update them with new information gleaned (if any) over the past nearly six years.

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