Thursday, May 28, 2020

Happy 75th Birthday John Fogerty

Just want to take a quick second to recognize the 75th birthday of musician John Fogerty. We are mostly baseball here but we are also dabble in pop culture. Occasionally these two interests intersect.

John Fogerty "Centerfield" (1984)

What baseball fan is not familiar with the title cut from John Fogerty's 1984 Album "Centerfield". Blogger doesn't like the single word spelling but I do - strictly based off of Fogerty's use of it on this album cover. Everything about it is beautiful, the Beat Up Glove, the Baseball Style lettering and the classic tone.

"Centerfield" is such an iconic piece of Fogerty's catalog that he had a custom guitar made just for the song:


The guitar was on display when I last visited the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015. If you expand the photo you can read the display card that credits Philip Kubicki as the craftsman who created the guitar which is named Slugger. 

Happy Birthday to Musician and Baseball Fan John Fogerty

Sources & Links

discogs - Centerfield 
Kubicki - Factor

Sunday, May 24, 2020

ANNIVESARY: 2000 May 24 Pat Burrell MLB Debut

May 24th marks the 20th anniversary of Pat Burrell's MLB Debut in a Phillies 9-7 victory versus the Houston Astros.

2008 Topps 50th Anniversary All-Rookie Team #AR81 Pat Burrell

in 2008 to mark the 50th anniversary of Team Phungo's favorite subset, All-Star Rookies, Topps issued and 110 card Insert set. Among the 110 players included was Pat Burrell.

The 2008 card format echoes the seminal 1960 Topps subset. For a look at those cards see our posting on Hall of Famer Willie McCovey.

2008 Topps 50th Anniversary All-Rookie Team #AR81 Pat Burrell (b-side)

The backs also mirror 1960T including the Season Highlights section bottom left. Notice the first bullet cites Burrell's MLB Debut and mentions a Triple he hit in that game. An oddity for a man who would finish with 16 career. That first Triple tacked on an insurance run in the 9th inning. It came off of Burrell's future teammate Billy Wagner. 

Burrell's originally made the 2000 team that was honored in the 2001 Topps.

2001 Topps #144 Pat Burrell 

Sources and Links
Pat Burrell Index
2001 Topps Rookie Cup Index (2000 honorees)
Check Out My Cards

Monday, May 18, 2020

Phyllis George (1949-2020) the Woman who came between Pete Rose and Andy Warhol

Phyllis George and Bill Kurtis (1985 Jan 18/ Getty Images)

While researching "The Andy Warhol Triple Play" for SABR48 in Pittsburgh one of the fun tidbits that I found out that got dropped from the final presentation involved 1971 Miss America Phyllis George.
Andy Warhol "Pete Rose" Test Print

Carl Solway had conceived the ides of having Andy Warhol painting a portrait of Pete Rose in April of 1985. To produce the painting in a timely (thus "pop") manner meant that for Pete Rose to sit for Warhol the meeting would need to happen during the baseball season.

The Reds only traveled to New York once during the remainder of the 1985 Season. That was a week day series from July 22 through 24th.

1985 Cincinnati Red Schedule (RedsCardCollector 2015 Oct 06)

Unfortunately for Solway and Warhol, Rose had a lot going on. In addition to the normal rigors of playing AND managing for the Reds Pete Rose also maintained a very busy press schedule.

Rather than sitting with Warhol while in New York Rose elected to spend his free morning on the CBS Morning News with Phyllis George.  And we know about it because Rose covered in his journal of the 1985 season "Countdown to Cobb" Co-Written with Philadelphia based author Hal Bodley.

 Countdown to Cobb - Rose/Bodley

The interesting passage above is the 2nd paragraph (click to enlarge) where Rose mentions he already was familiar with Phyllis from guesting on "NFL Today"

"I took the Greek’s (Jimmy the Greek) spot and talked about each of the NFL games."

Certainly not a shock, but it is a bit comical to know that Pete Rose was handicapping games on NFL Today.

So that is the story of how Phyllis George came between Pete Rose and Andy Warhol.

Getty Images
Getty Images / SI - Chuck Solomon (1985 JUL 24)

Amazingly Getty Images has photos of Rose playing in the 3rd game of the Red Mets Series.  

Andy Warhol
Getty also has Photos of Warhol during this time frame.
Andy Warhol and Debbie Harry demonstrate the Amiga Computer (Allan Tannenbaum 1985 Jul 23)

Warhol also has his own journal for 1985, The "Warhol Diaries" confirms that he and Debbie Harry were doing a promotion for Commodore Computers at Lincoln Center that day.

The Diaries also states Warhol thought his "drawing" of Harry was "terrible".

Scheduling Conflicts
There you have it. Rose was in NYC for 3 days. Monday Rose elected to appear on CBS - previewing his upcoming book. Tuesday Warhol was busy at Lincoln center and Wednesday was a day game.

That was the one chance for the two icons to meet, Warhol ended up doing the painting from photographs. You can read more about that here.

Sources and Links
Phungo Andy Warhol - Pete Rose Index
Countdown to Cobb - Pete Rose / Hal Bodley
Carl Solway
Getty / CBS (1985 Jan 18
The Andy Warhol Diaries

Sunday, May 17, 2020

2000 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (2001 Topps Set)

This is an index to postings related to the 2000 Topps All-Star Rookie Team which was honored with cards in the 2001 Topps set. The Set includes 2008 World Champ Pat Burrell.

2001 Topps #144 Pat Burrell 

91    2001 TOPPS MIKE LAMB

2008 Topps TASR 50th Anniversary #AR81 Pat Burrell

Saturday, April 25, 2020

1976 Topps #251 Rick Monday

It happened on April 25 1976.

During the Bicentennial 44 years ago Rick Monday became a Patriotic Hero by saving an American Flag from being set afire at Dodger stadium. 

1976 Topps #251 Rick Monday

This is the card that Topps issued of Monday in 1976. Couple of things I like about this card - first off collectors recall the simple design of 1976T which features a team related color with a complimentary color on the name plate. The photo appears to be taken at Spring Training - notice that Monday is wearing a Home Uni yet there is a palm tree in the background beyond his left elbow.

I am always a fan of identifying bat knobs on cards. Here we can sort of see Monday's #7 which he wore most of his career.

The Position Icon

The final item I want to point out is the position icon. It is a point of interest in that becomes the focus on a 1976T design. Each position has a different icon including unique artwork for Left and Right handed pitchers.  For outfielders like Monday the player is show flagging down a fly ball.

Baseball iconography is actually pretty rare in Topps designs. This is really sad and it is getting rarer as Topps moves to using generic formats that can be used for multiple sports, films and other media.

The Photo
Rick Monday Rescues American Flag (Vice/James Roark)

Photographer James Roark caught the above iconic image of Rick Monday saving the flag.  The picture was nominated for the 1976 Photographic Pulitzer which ended up awarded to a different photo taken in April of 1976 that also involved a flag.

Phungo Originals  

For me the Outfielder icon used on 1976 Topps echoed the James Roark photo - it easy to see the fielder running with a Flag rather than Flagging down a baseball. 

This similarity inspired me to create a Phungo Original...

1976T 0425 Rick Monday

For the most part I tried to keep the everything about the card the same as the Topps. I enhanced the Cubs logo a tad and kept the palm tree because I liked how it balanced the image. The 7 on the bat knob is enlarged as well.

The most significant change is adding the American Flag and making it prominent in the frame.

I have always liked when a trading card can tell a story and I am happy that 1) this idea came to me and 2) I was able to execute it to my satisfaction. 

Sources and Links
Rick Monday Index (David Davis / James Roark)

Sunday, April 5, 2020

1967 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1968 Topps Set)

This is an Index to our postings related to the 1967 Topps Rookie All-Star Team. The award is for the 1967 season with the cards issued in the 1968 set.

 1968 Topps #487 Lee May (Topps All-Star Rookie Cup)

80ROD CAREW HOFTwins2B1968
104DICK DIETZGiantsC1968
209TIM CULLENSenatorsSS1968
253Dick HughesCardinalsRHP1968
282Rick MondayA'sOF1968
339Rich NyeCubsLHP1968
487LEE MAY Reds1B1968

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

1980 World Champions: Larry Bowa 1971T #233

We have turned over into a new year (and decade) so we can officially celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1980 Phillies.

1971 Topps #233 Larry Bowa (b-side)

This is not Larry Bowa's rookie card, he shared 1970T #539 with fellow middle infielder Denny Doyle.

However this is Bowa's first solo card and it is a fine card. To start with we have one of the most iconic designs in the Topps canon, 1971. Secondly the photo captures Bowa in a defensive posture, which was his most dominant skill during a long career. Finally this card is part of one of Team Phungo's favorite collections: All-Star Rookie Cards.

The cup was awarded to Larry Bowa for his 1970 campaign that saw him finish 3rd in the Rookie Of the Year voting (Carl Morton, Bernie Carbo).

I would also like to give a shout out to Paterson New Jersey's Johnny Briggs who appears in the background of this shot. Briggs spent the second half of the 1960s on the Phillies roster but was only teammates with Larry Bowa for one year as he was traded early in 1971 season.

1971 Topps #233 Larry Bowa (b-side)

Lots of fodder on the back of Larry Bowa's 1971T card. TOPPS goes all selfie and mentions the award they have given to Bowa. The most noteworthy portion of the text is Topps use of the term '"On-Base" average' which I imagine is one of the earliest on card uses of the term.

Unfortunately Topps use of the word "fine" to describe Bowa's OBA is questionable. At .277 he ranked 53rd among the 56 NL players who qualified. The League Average was .329, Bowa's 21 walks ranked 110th.

The final sentence in the bio refers to Paul Bowa, his baseball-ref page can be found here

Not sure where the front image was taken, could be spring training or possibly Shea stadium, but this back photo sure looks like the Vet - Even in b&w.

1970 RoY voting
As mentioned above Bowa finished 3rd in the NL Rookie of the Year voting:

Carl Morton or Bernie Carbo deserved to be 1-2 by both 1970 standards and modern analytics. To be honest I am surprised the BBWAA went with Morton (18-11, 3.60 ERA 154K) over Carbo (.310, 21 HR).

Among the 5 players receiving votes he was clearly the least deserving. However, other than Cedeno he is probably the player to have the most career success. He is also the only player among the lot to win a World Series.

Phungo Originals

This is one of the cards that made the cut for the Phungo Sketch Challenge

Phungo Original 1971T Larry Bowa

I swapped out the Rookie Cup for a World Series Trophy and went with a simplified background. I think Larry looks more like John Vukovich - oh well, my art career is a Work In Progress - perhaps I can say I have a "fine On-Base Average"

Larry Bowa Index
1972 Topps #520 (2008 NLCS)
1975 Topps #420 (1976 All-Star Team +40)
1975 Topps #420 (Larry Bowa Bobblehead night 2015)
1976 ASG Program (1976 ASG +40)
1981 Fleer #645 (1980 Phillies Reunion/Card Show w/ Pete Rose & Mike Schmidt)
1981 Fleer #645 (1980 Phillies +30)
1984 Topps #704 (1983 NL Champs w/ Joe Morgan & Cedeno)

Peanut Gallery (Other columns on this card)
Topps Baseball 1971 (Night Owl Cards)

Sources and Links
1980 World Champion Philadelphia Phillies
1971 Topps All-Star Rookies
Phungo Artwork
1971 Topps Blog (Night Owl Cards)
SABR Bio Larry Bowa Rich D'Ambrosio 
SABR Bio Johnny Briggs (John Saccoman) 

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions