Thursday, November 12, 2020

1973 Phillies Team-Issued Photo Cards

Number of Cards:
Card Size:  3 1/4" x 5 1/2"
Description:  As was the case with all Phillies photo cards issued throughout the 1970s, these cards feature a black and white photo with the players' name below.  Most of the cards (excluding the Jim Essian card) have blue facsimile autographs on the fronts.  The backs of the photo cards are blank and there's no indication on the cards themselves that they're from 1973.

How Distributed:  The photo cards were handed out to fans individually and supplied to the players in order to reply to fan mail or honor autograph requests.  I could be wrong, but I don't believe the cards were ever available in complete set form.  

Complete Standard Checklist (Unnumbered, presented here alphabetically): 
1. Mike Anderson
2. Carroll Beringer CO
3. Bob Boone
4. Larry Bowa
5. Darrell Brandon
6. Ken Brett
7. Steve Carlton     
8. Larry Christenson
9. George Culver
10. Billy DeMars CO           
11. Ron Diorio
12. Denny Doyle
13. Jim Essian
14. Billy Grabarkewitz
15. Terry Harmon
16. Tommy Hutton
17. Deron Johnson
18. Barry Lersch
19. Jim Lonborg
20. Greg Luzinski
21. Willie Montanez
22. Danny Ozark MG
23. Jose Pagan
24. Ray Rippelmeyer CO
25. Bill Robinson (not smiling)
26. Bill Robinson (shoulder visible, smiling)
27. Craig Robinson
28. Mike Rogodzinski

29. Dick Ruthven
30. Mike Ryan
31. Mac Scarce
32. Mike Schmidt
33. Dick Selma
34. Cesar Tovar
35. Cesar Tovar (closer cropped, less hair)
36. Wayne Twitchell (smiling)
37. Wayne Twitchell (not smiling)
38. Del Unser
39. Mike Wallace
40. Billy Wilson
41. Bobby Wine CO

One and Only Phillies Baseball Card (0)
First Appearance in Phillies Team Issued Set (15):  Brett, Christenson, Culver, Diorio, Essian, Grabarkewitz, Lonborg, Pagan, C. Robinson, Rogodzinski, Ruthven, Tovar (2), Unser, Wallace
Returning Players in Phillies Team Issued Set (21):  Anderson, Boone, Bowa, Brandon, Carlton, Doyle, Harmon, Hutton, Johnson, Lersch, Luzinski, Montanez, B. Robinson (2), Ryan, Scarce, Schmidt, Selma, Twitchell (2), Wilson

Manager (1):  Ozark
Coach (4):  Berringer, DeMars, Rippelmeyer, Wine

  I'm surprised only by the comprehensiveness of this set's checklist.  35 players appeared in a game in 1973 for the Phillies and only 2 were omitted from this set (see below).  The Phillies were issuing new cards as late as mid to late August for newly acquired players too.  George Culver was claimed off waivers from the Dodgers on August 10th and Billy Grabarkewitz was acquired from the Angels on August 14th.

Even Essian, who was in the Phillies' system the entire season and was a September call-up received a card.  The catcher didn't make his big league debut until September 15th.

Omissions:  The 2 players omitted are catcher Larry Cox and reliever Dave Wallace.  Cox is a bit of a surprise omission as he was on the team's opening day roster, but he appeared in only one game on April 18th before getting sent back down to Triple-A Eugene for the rest of the season.  Wallace appeared in four games with the Phillies, pitching 3 2/3 innings, between mid-July and early August.

Variations/Rarities:  Based on the checklist found at The Trading Card Database, there are signature variations for the Bob Boone and Mike Schmidt cards.  The cards contain the same photos, but the signature placement differs slightly on both cards.  I've also added a Del Unser card to my collection without a blue facsimile autograph, shown below.

Signature Variations
1. Bob Boone (slightly different placement)
2. Mike Schmidt (slightly different placement)
3. Del Unser (no signature)

Finally, there are three players (Bill Robinson, Cesar Tovar and Wayne Twitchell) who have two versions of their cards available featuring different photos.  I'm not sure which variation is more prevalent than the others, so I've listed these variations as part of the main checklist above.

Resources:  The Trading Card  The Beckett database entry for this set lists the set as "1973 Phillies Team Issue" and contains only 29 cards.

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

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