Monday, September 15, 2014

1964 Phillies @ 50: Rick Wise 1972 Topps #44 IA

The weekend of September 26-28 The PhillyShow returns to the Valley Forge Convention Center (and now casino) for one their tri-annual visits. As time marches on the card show is becoming more of an autograph show which I have some quibbles with, but I won't let that keep me from mentioning a few guests.

This edition of the autograph portion of the show features a no-hitter theme.  Roy Halladay, Tommy Greene, and Terry Mulholland are all scheduled to appear - For a mere $3000 you can get special VIP access to a private autograph session with five of the Phillies No-Hit pitchers.

1972 Topps #44 Rick Wise IA

One of the guests included in the No-Hit Quintuplet is Rick Wise. I was a bit surprised to find out that Wise made his debut with the 1964 Phillies. He and Jim Bunning are both members of the crossover between the handful of 1964 Phillies and No-Hit pitchers that will be at the show.

Rick Wise and Jim Bunning bare a connection in no-hitter history. As a rookie in 1964 Rick Wise made his second career start in the latter game of the Double-header in which Jim Bunning pitched his perfect game.

A mere two days past the 7th anniversary of the Bunning Perfecto, Rick Wise would throw his own No-Hitter, and it was done in spectacular fashion.  Most importantly, Wise shut down a star laden Reds line-up that featured 2 future Hall of Famers (Johnny Bench & Tony Perez) and MLBs all-time hits leader Pete Rose. Wise also hit not one but two Home Runs that day. He accounted for 3 of the Phils 4 runs in the 4-3 victory.  

Wise did get to the World Series but not for the Phillies. As most folks know he was traded to the St Louis Cardinals for Steve Carlton - he was later traded to the Boston Red Sox. As a member of the Bosox Wise got the W versus the A's in the deciding game of the 1975 ALCS. In the ensuing World Series Wise was awarded the Win as a reliever for game 6 - The legendary Carlton Fisk game.

Following his playing career Wise stayed in baseball holding various coaching positions in the A's organization. He also coached in the Independent Atlantic league for the nearby Lancaster Barnstormer.  Wise retired from coaching in 2008.
Phun Phact
Rick Wise was traded for two Hall of Famers. In addition to Carlton Wise was also involved in a trade for Dennis Eckersley just prior to the 1978 season

1972 Topps In Action
The In Action Sub/Insert Set consisted of 24 cards in 1972 Topps that Paralleled a base card of the subject. In 2011 the late Chris Stufflestreet authored this post that summarizes the card backs associated with the 1972T IA cards. 

Sources & Links
1964 Phillies Index
Sports Vault
the Vintage Sportscards Blog
The Year of the Blue Snow - The 1964 Phillies  Bill Nowlin

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday Night Baseball: Nick Markakis 2009 Topps Propaganda #PP23 (UER)

The Orioles host the rival New York Yankees on Sunday Night Baseball. As part of both our SNB and 2014 Playoff Contender's series tonight we take a look at long time Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis.

2009 Topps Propaganda  #PP23 Nick Markakis (uer)

Recently @HighHeatStats Twitter feed noted that the top six players in Active Games played with only one club were as follows: 

Derek Jeter 2730
Jimmy Rollins 2090
David Wright 1508
Chase Utley 1460
Nick Markakis 1353
Ryan Howard 1315

There he is Nick Markakis right in the middle of a couple of New Yorkers and a bunch of Phillies. He has made his way onto the list by keeping himself healthy. Since 2006 he has played in 147 or more games every season but one. The one year that Markakis did get injured was 2012 and it cost him his one previous shot at postseason play.  

Outside of an exceptional 2008 season none of Markakis' individual seasons have been outstanding, Markakis has been quite steady. He has put up double digit homers every year and never had an average below .271 - career BA .290.

The AL WAR of 2008
In 2008 Markakis Led all AL players and position players in WAR (7.5) yet he didn't get a single MVP vote. The Orioles were dreck that year (93 losses), but teammate Aubrey Huff got MVP votes (32HR vs 20 for Markakis, 108 vs 87 RBI). Huff's role as a DH limited his WAR to 4.1. Award winner Dustin Pedroia was 2nd to Markakis in AL WAR and AL Position WAR. The offensive WAR category went to A-Rod - Pedroia finished 5th but was tops among players that made it to the playoffs. Note the BoSox were not division winners in 08. They got in on a Wild Card behind the Rays, then lost to the Rays in a 7 game ALCS. 

2009 Topps Propaganda
Propaganda is a 30 card insert set of 2009 Topps Update.  I believe there is one card for each team, the Phillies representative is Ryan Howard.

The card design which evokes the propaganda posters of the 1940 was developed by Chris Speakman,  Speakman continues to do a lot of work with MLB and has a number of Seriagraphs and Posters for each MLB team. His Phillies subjects include Howard, Chase Utley, Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, and Chooch.

The Uncorrected Error on the above Markakis card is that Orioles establishment year. The O's only date back to 1954 not 1894.  There is a second inception date for the Orioles but that is Pre-O's Pre-Browns Milwaukee Braves who played their inaugural game in 1901. Regardless that ain't 1894 either.

I am not sure where the 1894 date originates other than it was propagated from a similar card, except my hack research failed to uncover a team that joined baseball in 1894.

The error highlights an inconsistency in the propaganda set. Andrew Bailey's Athletics card specifies 1968, the year they moved to Oakland, rather than 1901 the year that the Philadelphia A's were a charter member of the American League. However, the crosstown Giants card of Tim Lincecum does not specify the year the team arrived in San Francisco, 1958. The card specifies 1883 which is the year they joined the NL representing New York as the Gothams - their nickname prior to becoming the Giants. 

Sources & Links
Baseball Cardpedia
Playoff Contenders Index

Thursday, September 11, 2014

2004 UD USA Baseball #GU-DS Dave Stewart

For Patriot Day 2014 we are posting a USA Baseball Card.

2004 UD USA Baseball #GU-DS Dave Stewart

This is part of my USA baseball album, but could be part of my Phillies collection. Yes Dave Stewart did spend about 15 minutes playing for the Phillies in the middle 80s. This was in the era just prior to Dave Stewart becoming a perennial Cy Young candidate and dominant postseason pitcher.

During the 9 month period that Stewart played with the Phillies he pitched 12 games all in relief and sccrued a 6.48 ERA. For obvious reasons the Phillies released Dave Stewart.

Stewart was signed by the Oakland A's and his career changed. Between 1987 and 1991 he was a top 4 finisher in the Cy Young voting. In 1987 he led the league in Wins, twice during the aforementioned four year period he led the league in Innings and Complete Games. 

In 1988 He was named the World Series MVP in the Earthquake Series. It was one of 3 World Series Ring Dave Stewart would win. The first was as a relief pitcher for the 1981 Dodgers, the other was versus hte Phillies in 1993. In addition to the WS MVP Stewart also collected postseason honors in 1990 and 1993 when he was named MVP of each of those ALCS. Overall Dave Stewart was 10-6 with a 2.77 ERA pitching 133 innings across 6 postseason runs.

Patriot Day
Patriot day is also known as a Day of Service and Remembrance conceived to help honor and remember lost love ones and those who were affected by that loss.

Dave Stewart had some missteps off the field early in his career, but in retirement has become an important contributor to his community. He is a strong supporter of the Oakland Boys and Girls Club and other Youth oriented organizations in the bay area. Each year the Oakland A's present a team member with a Community Service Award that is named for Dave Stewart. Reliever Sean Doolittle won the award in 2013, Doolittle is active with Veteran's Afffairs offices in Palo Alto and nationwide. I found no record of a 2014 award recipient.

Sources  & Links
The White House
Oakland A's

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

2006 Bowman Draft Futures Game Prospects Neil Walker

The Phillies are hosting the cross state Pirates for a for game set this week. This seems an appropriate time to add the Bucos to our Playoff Contenders Preview feature. The player that we are looking at today is Birthday Boy  Neil Walker.

2006 Bowman Futures Game Gold Chunk #FG5

The Pirates picked Walker with the 11th overall pick of the 2004 draft. Walker was a standout from a Pittsburgh area high school. I am sure this has put additional pressure on him especially early in his career when the Pirates were struggling towards respectability.

Walker was drafted as a catcher but the Pirates, perhaps in an effort to get him to the majors quicker, moved him to second base. I think this may have been a disservice to the player, but it may have been necessary for the organizaiton at the time. 

While he has never had an outstanding season, Neil Walker has been steady. 2014 looks to be his best season to this point. He has posted  a career high 19 homers, and currently has Career highs in both On Base Pct and slugging.

Walker turns 29 today which means he will have one of what I consider a players prime years (agewise) (29-32) behind him.  If the Pirates are to hang onto Walker I would think they would like to get a bit more out of his prime seasons then they have gotten from him in his first five seasons.

Bowman Futures Game Inserts
The full name of the set is Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects Baseball. Add to that the Insert name of Futures Game Prospects Set and you have a mouthful. I have chosen to abbreviate both handles coming up with Bowman Draft for the set and Futures Game Prospects for the insert. That is still about 8 words too long, but it will need to do.

In 2006 the Insert set featured 45 cards of Futures Game participants. The game was hosted by the Pirates that summer and was likely one of the first times that Neil Walker appeared in a professional game at PNC park. The Phillies sent two players to the game Gio Gonzalez and Carlos Carrasco, Other notables included in the 2006 Set are Pablo Sandoval, Hunter Pence, Joey Votto, Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez, Homer Bailey, Alex Gordon,  Stephen Drew,   Ryan Braun, and the late Nick Adenhardt.

Sources & Links
2014 Playoff Contenders
Baseball Cardpedia
topps Cards

Monday, September 8, 2014

1964 Phillies @ 50: Clay Dalrymple 1963 Fleer #52

Tonight we return to our 1964 Phillies feature with the Phillies Catcher Clay Dalrymple.

1963 Fleer #52 Clay Dalrymple

Prior to 1964 Dalrymple had a couple of decent offensive seasons as the Phillies full time Catcher. For the 64 campaign Manager Gene Mauch elected to platoon the left-handed Dalrymple with Gus Triandos. The part-time play was likely not the reason, but Clay developed a hitch in his swing and never really recovered. Prior to 1964 during his age 23 through 26 seasons Dalrymple hit 30 of his 55 career home runs. His career BA after those four seasons was .252. He would stick around the league for 8 more seasons as a defense first catcher and would never hit above .245 again. 

His defensive reputation certainly appears deserved. For his career Dalrymple eliminated a very impressive 49% of base stealing attempts. Three times he led the league in Caught Stealing, Those same three seasons (61, 63, 65) he also led the NL in assists.

While he didn't get to the World Series with the 1964 Phillies, Dalrymple did get to play in the Fall Classic as a member of the 1969 Orioles. He was also a member of the 1970 World Champion Orioles, although he was not a part of the postseason roster. In 71 he was on the roster for the O's AL Championship squad but did not appear in any games.

Clay Dalrymple now 77 lives in Northern California, He has been married five times - and a Widower twice. His first wife, Celia, died of cancer near the end of his playing career.

Dalrymple stayed in contact with major league baseball in various capacities after his retirement as a player. His time with the Orioles include a stint as a color commentator. In 2005 Dalrymple submitted a heartfelt letter to the Baltimore Sun regarding the death of the towns legendary broadcaster Chuck Thompson - Dalrymple commented on the support that Thompson gave him as he began a new career.

1963 Fleer
1963 Fleer is a set that I am fond of and at various times have considered building. The abbreviated set is a mere 66 cards - Due to a legal action from Topps, Fleer was only able to produce a single series. The series is significant for containing the first Maury Wills card.

There are five Philies in the set that run from #50-54. If you want an easy to build Vintage Phillies team set, this may be the one for you, The cards can often be found for $2.     

My only quibble with the set is the drawing of the catcher in the bottom left. He is clearly demonstrating poor form. You have to get that off hand behind your back, no need to get it busted by a foul tip.

For more info on 1963 Fleer please read the Cardboard Connection article by the late Chris Stufflestreet   

Sources & Links
1964 Phillies Index
Year of the Blue Snow (Rory Costello)
Baltimore Sun

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sunday Night Baseball: Victor Martinez 2012 New Age Performers #NAP-VM

This weekend the Detroit Tigers host the San Francisco Giants in an interesting inteleague matchup that features two teams battling for a playoff spot. Tonight the Tigers are attempting to salvage the final game of the three game set to avoid a being swept.

2012 Topps Heritage New Age Performers #NAP-VM Victor Martinez

The last two years Miguel Cabrera has been the AL MVP, but this year the Tigers offensive MVP is Victor Martinez. At age 35 the veteran DH is batting .335 with a league leading .406 OBP. The former catcher has also provided the Tigers with middle of the order power, logging 30 Home Runs for the first time in his career.  It is a longshot, but if Martinez has a big week he could make a run at the triple crown - He is off the pace by 5 points in BA, 7 Homers and 10 RBIs ranking 2nd, 7th and 5th respectively in those three categories.

2012 Topps Heritage New Age Performers
NAP has been a part of Topps Heritage since the set debuted in 2001. The 2012 edition of the insert set consists of 15 cards cataloged by player initials. In additions to Martinez the Tigers are also represented by the aforementioned Miguel Cabrera. The Phillies also have 2 players in the small set, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay.

Sunday Night Baseball Looking at the schedule the Tigers open their upcoming home series with the Division Rival Kansas City Royals with the odd Monday Day game. The scheduling snafu is the confluence of events conspiring against the Tigers. They are important enough to get the Sunday Night slot, however their local football sibling Detroit Lions are playing on Monday Night Football. This adds up to the Tigers playing a late Sunday Night game followed by a quick turnaround for a Monday Day game.

Sources & Links
Baseball Cardpedia
2014 Playoff Teams 

2014 Playoff Contenders Index

This is an index of postings related to 2014 Playoff Contenders.


     Neil Walker (2006 Bowman Draft - Futures Game Prospects)


     Nick Markakis (2009 Topps Propoganda) 

     Alex Gordon  (2010 Topps CYMTO/2006 Topps)
     Victor Martinez (2013 Topps Heritage - New Age Performers)


a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions