Thursday, November 5, 2020

1983 Tastykake Phillies Photo Cards

Number of Cards:  32
Card Size:  3 1/4" x 5 1/4"

Description:  This is the first team-issued photo card set featuring full color photos.  A color head shot of each player is on the front and the backs are either blank or contain an encouraging message "written" by the player.  Most of these messages begin with a standard, "Dear Fan: Thanks for your letter.  the Phillies and I appreciate your interest."  In the checklist below, I've indicated which photo cards have the "Dear Fan" greeting on the back, which are blank and which have a message variation.  This is the second consecutive year Tastykake sponsored the set, and the black Tastykake logo can be found on the backs of all cards with the exception of the card for Veterans Stadium.

Interestingly enough, the 2001 Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards lists Joe Amalfitano in the checklist instead of Porfi Altamirano.  The Beckett database entry for the set perpetuates this error.  As pointed out by 14,000 Phillies in his checklist entry for the set, both Beckett and the Standard Catalog omit the Dave Roberts card from their checklists.

How Distributed:  My guess is these photo cards were available to purchase in set form at Veterans Stadium and also available individually as players responded to fans' autograph requests.  I personally had a tough time tracking down the cards for John Denny, Von Hayes and Bill Robinson.

Complete Standard Checklist (Unnumbered, presented here alphabetically, with Dear Fan inscriptions unless otherwise noted): 

1. Luis Aguayo
2. Porfi Altamirano
3. Marty Bystrom (blank)
4. Steve Carlton (blank)
5. Larry Christenson
6. Pat Corrales MG (blank)      
7. Ivan DeJesus
8. John Denny
9. Bob Dernier
10. Bo Diaz
11. Ed Farmer

12. Greg Gross
13. Von Hayes
14. Al Holland
15. Garry Maddox
16. Gary Matthews
17. Tug McGraw (Support . . . )      
18. Larry Milbourne
19. Bob Molinaro
20. Sid Monge
21. Joe Morgan
22. Tony Perez
23. Ron Reed (blank)
24. Dave Roberts
25. Bill Robinson
26. Pete Rose
27. Dick Ruthven (blank)
28. Mike Schmidt (blank)
29. Ozzie Virgil
30. Phillies Coaches (blank)
31. Phillie Phanatic 
32. Veterans Stadium (blank)

One and Only Phillies Baseball Card (0)
First Appearance in Phillies Team Issued Set (7):  Denny, Hayes, Holland, Milbourne, Molinaro, Morgan, Perez
Returning Players in Phillies Team Issued Set (21):  Aguayo, Altamirano, Bystrom, Carlton, Christenson, DeJesus, Dernier, Diaz, Farmer, Gross, Maddox, Matthews, McGraw, Monge, Reed, Roberts, Robinson, Rose, Ruthven, Schmidt, Virgil

Manager (1):  Corrales
Coaches (1):  There's one card featuring all five Phillies coaches - Mike Ryan, Deron Johnson, Bobby Wine, Dave Bristol and Claude Osteen.
Phillies Phanatic (1):  The more readily available version features the Phanatic on his ATV.
Other Cards (1):  Veterans Stadium.

Surprises:  There are no real surprises here, and I'm assuming the set was issued once with no updates made.  The entire 25-man opening day roster, with the exception of the two players discussed below, received photo cards.  The Phillies also had five players on the disabled list to start the 1983 season, and they all received cards too - Luis Aguayo, Marty Bystrom, Hayes, Al Holland and Roberts.

Omissions:  Len Matuszek and Alejandro Sanchez both made the opening day roster, but were omitted from the set.  Sanchez returned to the minors a week into the season when Hayes was activated from the disabled list.  Matuszek stuck around a bit longer, optioned down to Triple-A Portland on April 29th.  Kiko Garcia started the season at Portland, but was recalled on May 17th and he'd remain with the club through the rest of the season.  I wish the Phillies had considered an update set as Garcia and a number of players acquired during the season - Joe Lefebvre, Willie Hernandez, Larry Andersen and Sixto Lezcano - would have been obvious choices.  There were also a number of prospects who debuted during 1983, including Charles Hudson, Kevin Gross, Steve Jeltz, Juan Samuel and Darren Daulton, and update cards for those players would have been highly sought after by collectors.

  According to the set's entry in the 2001 Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards, several cards are available with different backs.  There's also a different Phanatic card available showing him walking around the field in the vicinity of home plate.  I've listed these variations below.

Fellow collector Bill e-mailed to let me know of a few other back variations.  The Greg Gross card can be found with both "Dear Fan" and "Support amateur baseball" backs.  And the ATV variation of the Phanatic can be found with "Dear Fan" and "Tell your parents" backs.

Back Variations      
1. Greg Gross (Support . . . )
2. Sid Monge (Quitters never win)     
3. Pete Rose (A good eduction)
4. Phillie Phanatic (Tell your parents)     
Phanatic Variation       
1. Phillie Phanatic - Not on ATV

Resources:   14,000, Phillies collector Bill, 1984 Phillies Media Guide.

This set was originally featured in a post back in October 2014, 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 six years.

Standard Version

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