Tuesday, November 3, 2020

1981 Phillies Team-Issued Photo Cards

Number of Cards:  32
Card Size:  3 1/4" x 5 1/2"
Description:  As was the case with all Phillies photo cards issued since 1970, these cards feature a black and white photo with the players' name below.  The backs of the cards are blank and there's no indication on the cards themselves that they're from 1981.  Some of the cards contain blue facsimile autographs as noted on the checklist below.  There are six cards available with a horizontal orientation as also noted below.  The Sparky Lyle card contains an uncorrected error with the spelling of his first name as "Sparkey."

How Distributed:  The 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 these cards were ever available in complete set form.

The set's composition features the entire 25-man opening day roster, the manager and all six coaches.  No one who made his 1981 season debut after opening day received a photo card.

Complete Standard Checklist (Unnumbered, presented here alphabetically): 

1. Luis Aguayo
2. Ruben Amaro CO
3. Ramon Aviles (auto)
4. Bob Boone (auto, horizontal)
5. Larry Bowa
6. Marty Bystrom (auto)
7. Steve Carlton (horizontal)      
8. Larry Christenson
9. Dick Davis (auto)
10. Billy DeMars CO (auto)
11. Lee Elia CO

12. Nino Espinosa (auto)
13. Dallas Green MG (auto)
14. Greg Gross
15. Sparky Lyle
16. Garry Maddox (auto)
17. Gary Matthews
18. Bake McBride (auto)
19. Tug McGraw
20. Keith Moreland (horizontal)      
21. Mike Proly (auto)
22. Ron Reed
23. Pete Rose (auto)
24. Dick Ruthven (auto)
25. Mike Ryan CO (auto)
26. Mike Schmidt (horizontal)
27. Lonne Smith (horizontal)
28. Herm Starrette CO
29. Manny Trillo (horizontal)
30. Del Unser
31. John Vukovich
32. Bobby Wine CO (auto)

One and Only Phillies Baseball Card (0)
First Appearance in Phillies Team Issued Set (5):  Bystrom, Davis, Lyle, Matthews, Proly
Returning Players in Phillies Team Issued Set (20):  Aguayo, Aviles, Boone, Bowa, Carlton, Christenson, Espinosa, Gross, Maddox, McBride, McGraw, Moreland, Reed, Rose, Ruthven, Schmidt, Smith, Trillo, Unser, Vukovich

Manager (1):  Green
Coaches (6):  Amaro, DeMars, Elia, Ryan, Starrette, Wine

Surprises:  I'm more impressed than surprised the Phillies were able to issue photo cards for Dick Davis, Gary Matthews and Mike Proly as that trio of players was acquired in the month before the start of the regular season.  Proly was acquired from the White Sox on April 1st and his photo card features a photo taken at Veterans Stadium.  The earliest date that photo could have been taken was April 17th, Proly's home debut with the Phillies.

Omissions:  The only player to appear with the Phillies during the first half of this strike-shortened season and not appear on a photo card is George Vukovich, who made his season debut on May 29th.  The 10 players who made their season debuts after the strike ended, and after the second half of the season began on August 10th, are all omitted from the set:  Dickie Noles, Mark Davis, Warren Brusstar, Ryne Sandberg, Bob Dernier, Len Matuszek, Ozzie Virgil, Dan Larson, Jerry Reed and Don McCormack.

  Collectors Rick and Steve once again filled in with some rarities (or potential rarities) when I originally posted on this set almost six years ago.  Tim McCarver joined the broadcast booth and received a card showing him wearing a headset.  Steve notes variations may exist for the Garry Maddox and Proly cards.  

Finally, and similar to 1980, there is a black and white 1981 card of the Phillie Phanatic issued by Harrison/Erickson that is roughly the same size as the rest of the set.
1. Tim McCarver          

Mystery Variation?       

1. Garry Maddox
2. Mike Proly


  1. Phillie Phanatic

Resources:  The Trading Card Database; Phillies collectors Steve and Rick (@rickphils).

This set was originally featured in a post back in January 2015, and I'm going to slowly go through these team-issued set posts and update them with new information gathered (if any) over the past five-plus years.


Fuji said...

The Phillie Phanatic is my phavorite.

Jim said...