Monday, April 17, 2017

ANNIVERSARY: 1987 April 18 Mike Schmidt 500th Home Run

April 18th marks the 30th Anniversary of the day Mike Schmidt joined the 500 Home Run Club.
Not only was the Home Run a milestone number, it was also a high impact HR. Entering the 9th inning versus Pittsburgh on the road the Phillies trailed 6-5. Schmidt was scheduled to hit 5th that inning. Fortunately for the Phillies Milt Thompson singled and Von Hayes walked which allowed Mike Schmidt to come to the plate with two outs in the 9th.
It was then that Schmidt hit is 500th career Home Run. The Home Run came off of Pirates Pitcher Don Robinson. Former Pirate Kent Tekulve came in for the save and the Phillies went home with a 6-5 victory.  
For video of the HR click here.  
2005 UD #CM-MS Mike Schmidt
In 2005 Upper Deck honored the event with a card in their Classic Moments Insert.
Nice looking card with the 70s era Phillies Logo I remember from my childhood. The photo does hit one of those minor things that drives me crazy. This game-dated card notes an event that happened in Pittsburgh, however Schmidt is clearly wearing the Phillies Home uniform.  
The Classic Moments set consisted of 20 cards three of which are dedicated to Phillies. The two other Philadelphia Reps are Lenny Dykstra and Steve Carlton. The base set for 2005 UD Classics is also noteworthy for having a Ryne Sandberg Phillies Card.  
2005 UD #CM-MS Mike Schmidt (b-side
The blurb on the reverse gives a mini summary of the Home Run with the date of the game nicely ghosted behind the text.
As the card states Schmidt was the 15th player to reach the milestone, Thirty years later the 500 club has nearly doubled now containing 27 members. Albert Pujols is the only active player in the club with Miguel Cabrera (448) and Adrian Beltre looming (445) 
Phun Phact
After hitting the Home Run Mike Schmidt returned to the field as a SHORTSTOP. Due to a series of late game moves by Manager John Felske both Luis Aquayo and Steve Jeltz were out of the game for the Phillies.  Schmidt filled the vacancy and Rick Schu came into play 3rd Base. Neither player fielde a chance in the 9th inning as Tekulve induced three fly outs.    
Sources and Links

Sunday, April 16, 2017

ANNIVERSARY: 2007 April 18 Mark Buehrle No-Hitter

Little bit early on this Anniversary posting but we have a Phillies card to get to as well.

 2008 Topps Finest Moments #FM-MB Mark Buehrle

On April 18 2007 Mark Buehrle posted his first of his two career No-Hitters. The victims of the Chicago White Sox 6-0 victory were the Texas Rangers. Batters in the Rangers potent lineup that day included Past & future Phillies Kenny Lofton and Michael Young as well as several other luminaries: Ian Kinsler, Sammy Sosa, Mark Teixeira and Nelson Cruz (Who batted 8th!).

Jeraine Dye provided the bulk of the offense for the White Sox with a grand slam off of Phillies Alum, Kevin Millwood. Jim Thome picked up the other 2 RBI on a pair of Home Runs one off of Millwood the other off of current Phillies reliever Joaquin Benoit. 

2008 Topps Finest Moments #FM-MB Mark Buehrle (b-side)

The back of the card does a good job of succinctly summarizing Buehrle's big day. His other no-hitter versus the Tampa Bay Rays in 2009 was a perfect game, therefore he pitched to the minimum at least twice.

Buehrle's battery-mate for the no-hitter was AJ Pierzynski. AJ did not call Buehrle's perfect game but he was the backstop for a different White Sox perfecto authored by Phil Humber.

The plate umpire for both of the no-hitters was Eric Cooper.

Sources and Links
No-Hitter Index
Game Dated Cards
Baseball Almanac

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Dallas Green 1934-2017

Today we got the sad news that Dallas Green has died. I had heard he was very ill several months ago, yet it is still a bummer to get the official word.

2014 Phungo #46 Dallas Green

Never got around to posting this 2014 Phungo Card. The photo was taken during the Phillies Alumni weekend in 2013. Green can be seen greeting Gary Matthews. Johnny Briggs and Gene Garber are the players in the foreground.

In 1999 Dallas Green came to speak at the Chester County Historical Society to help promote a baseball exhibition at the museum. The above poster for the event hangs in my baseball card room right above my sorting table.

I don't remember a lot of what he said but he did mention that after his playing career was over he earned his Master Degree at University of Delaware. He also noted that Wayne Gomes was not a closer. My guess is that Green spoke for about an hour and then signed autographs for anyone who was present. When I met him we had a brief discussion about the G3-1 play.

Sources and Links
Dallas Green Index 
Baseball-ref (Frank Fitzpatrick)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Team Israel WBC Hero Josh Zeid: 2011 Bowman Platinum Prospects #BPP23

Team Phungo coming out of hibernation for a quick post.

Our return is to honor former Phillies Farmhand Josh Zeid.

Josh Zeid: 2011 Bowman Platinum Prospects #BPP23 (xfractor)

Never thought I would find a reason to post this card of Zeid. He is make some noise pitching for the surprising Israel squad in the WBC. Team Israel advanced out of Pool A and remains undefeated one game into the 2nd round of the tournament.

The Phillies traded Zeid to Houston as part of the Hunter Pence deal. He eventually made it to the majors with the Astros with mixed results. He is currently a free agent, The WBC is basically an audition for the 29 year old pitcher - and appears to be going well as of now.
Josh Zeid: 2011 Bowman Platinum Prospects #BPP23 (chrome)
Josh Zeid: 2011 Bowman Platinum Prospects #BPP23 (xfractor)

The top card on this post is an x-Fractor, We have paired the card with a base cousin here. Not sure why folks go crazy over x-Fractors, not my thing. I suppose the relative scarcity is an attraction. Regardless I think one could get a Zeid x-Fractor if really desidred

Josh Zeid: 2011 Bowman Platinum Prospects #BPP23 (chrome b-side)
Josh Zeid: 2011 Bowman Platinum Prospects #BPP23 (xfractor b-side)

The backs of the cards are exactly the same - the serial numbers even match.

2011 Bowman Platinum Prospects
Interesting side note, Ryan Howard was honored with card #1 in 2011 Bowman Platinum Prospects.

Sources and Links
MLB News
Check out My Cards

Monday, January 30, 2017

SABR Day 2017: Connie Mack Chapter hosts Howie Bedell and others

The 2017 edition of the Connie Mack Chapter SABR Day featured a full slate of fun and interesting presentations. Guests included Phillies Alum Howie Bedell and Author Charles Kupfer. Additional presentations were given by several chapter members who covered a variety of topics ranging from the 19th century manufacture of the original “Base Ball” to present day Cuba excursions to see games.

Howie Bedell
The highlight of the day was a personal appearance by former Major Leaguer Howie Bedell. The 81 year old Pottstown native spoke for over two hours regarding his upbringing and career both on and off the field. As a player Bedell spent only spent part of the 1968 season with the Phillies as a player but spent a decade in the organization fulfilling various coaching and player development roles.

Bedell confirmed something that I think many Phillies fans suspect. The Phillies do too much hiring and decision making from within. He cited nepotism as a problem within all organizations but felt as though there was a particular lack of leadership within the Phillies. He cited several examples of individuals that did not have enough commitment to make painful decisions, even if they were the right decisions. A theme throughout Bedell’s career appears to having to be the axe-man when it came to firing people. He was also careful to mention in several cases the ensuing changes worked out better for the person involved. They would get into better careers in other facets of baseball where they were better suited. Jim Bunning was relieved as his job as a minor league manager, but this led to him becoming an agent. This experience may have helped the Future Hall of Famer in getting involved in politics and eventually becoming a senator. Similar stories were mentioned that involved folks such as Dallas Green and Granny Hamner.

The Phillies won the 1980 World Series while Bedell was in the organization, it would the first of three World Championships with three different clubs.  He also won a ring with the Royals as a coach in 1985 and with the 1990 Reds as a member of their front office.

Bedell's time in Kansas City included the development of the slide step for pitchers. The Royals needed a way to neutralize the Cardinals fleet footed running game. The Slide Step was the solution - and it must have worked. The Cardinals only stole 2 bases in the 7 games series (while getting caught 3 times). Compare that with the 314 Thefts the Cards racked up during the regular season. Of course one needs to mention that the Cardinals also lost Rookie Vince Coleman (and his 110 steals) for that series due to injury.

Charles Kupfer on the Orioles 1979-1983
Harrisburg based Professor and author Charles Kupfer discussed his upcoming book “Something Magic: the Baltimore Orioles, 1979-1983” which he was gracious enough to amend to 1982 for purposes of entertaining a room full of Phillies fans. One of the interesting points he brought up was that the Oriole Way is documented in the book “Modern Baseball Strategy” by Former player and manager Paul Richards. Kupfer’s book is due out in May and will be available via Amazon.

Mark Kanter on Cuba
Mr Kanter discussed the SABR Group Travel experience to Cuba that he had this past fall. As could be expected there was a lot of interesting info that went beyond baseball. Among the slides Mark displayed were several of decrepit stadiums that are 60+ years old. Games are played during the day and have sparse attendance, despite a meager three-cent admission. Several SABR members took baseball equipment to Cuba to be given to the teams – the Items were much appreciated. For more details see Mark's article in the Jewish Voice.

Seamus Kearney
Connie Mack Co-Chair Seamus Kearney led a discussion on the career of John Kruk who is returning to Philadelphia this year as a broadcaster. Kruk always brings warm memories to Phillies sports fan and it was very enjoyable hearing al the stories told by and about Kruk over the years.

The Chapters other Chairperson, Dick Rosen, was also scheduled to speak but unfortunately due to time constraints his presentation on Goose Goslin was postpone for a future meeting.

Steven King
Yes SABR has it’s own Steven King who is also a writer. King often covers early 20th century baseball, and this weekend his presentation was titled “Andy Coakley: Man of Mystery”. King related several anecdotes about Coakley using various aliases to get involved in both baseball and non-baseball activities. None of this deception appears to have been malicious, and some of the stories may be puew legend based off of Coakleys previous deceptions. Regardless Coakley is in various local Hall of Fames including Columbia University where he coached for 30+ years which included the tenure of Lou Gehrig.

Ed Morton
Connie Mack regular Ed Morton put together a detailed powerpoint that discussed the birth of the "Base Ball" covering the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Much of the information concerned the relationship between AJ Reach and Spalding as well as another baseball manufacturer Victor.

Phil Williams
SABR Bioproject author Phil Williams detailed a terrible October 1913 evening in Brainerd Minnesota. That night Philadelphia Athletics Pitcher Joe Bush was fresh off a World Series triumph with the club.  All that good fortune turned in an instant as Bush while at home in Brainerd accidentally ran over a pedestrian. Bush was acquitted of any wrong doing and went on to have a very successful baseball career which included winning two additional World Titles, one each with the Red Sox and Yankees.

Matt Albertson
Matt gave a status update on the attempt to get a historical marker placed at the Jefferson Street Ball Park site. The major hurdle remaining is funding. A facebook page related to the project can be found here. If you would like to make a contribution to the project the crowdsourcing site is here.

Extra Innings
In additions to the presentations a raffle was held and lunch was served. Despite a tight schedule there was some time for socializing and catching up on the off-season. I didn’t make an exact count but I estimate 30 members attended 2017 Connie Mack SABR Day.

There is much more detail I could go into but that would require much more time. I could do a weeks worth of postings on Howie Bedell alone.

The Connie Mack chapter of SABR has their next Hot Stove meeting scheduled for February 11th. It will likely be smaller in scope then SABR Day but still should be fun.

Sources and Links
Columbia University
SABR - Jefferson St Grounds
The Jewish Voice
SABR - Paul Richards

Monday, December 5, 2016

2017 Hall of Fame Canidate: Pat Burrell

Today we take a look at the most prominent Phillies player on the 2017 Hall of Fame Ballot, Pat Burrell.

2009 UD A Piece of History Box Score Memories #BSM-PB Pat Burrell

For close to a decade Pat Burrell was fixture in the Middle of the Phillies batting order. The 2009 UD card featured here honors one of those games. On October 5th 2008 the Phillies defeated the Brewers 6-2 in game 4 of the NLDS. The W clinched the franchise first Postseason series victory in 15 years.

WAR Stories (actually WPA stories)
Pat Burrell was the offense hero of that game going 3-4 with a pair of Homers and 4 RBI. The big blow was a 2 out/2 strike three run homer in the third. The shot gave the Phillies a 4-0 which they never relinquished. Burrell led all players in Win Probability Added for the game with a healthy 0.282 number. The 3 run homer accounted for 23 of those 28 points.

2009 UD A Piece of History Box Score Memories #BSM-PB Pat Burrell (b-side)

Back of the card has a nice box score with Burrell Boldfaced in the #5 spot in the batting order. Other noteworthies in the box are Jimmy Rollins who Homered to lead off the game and Jayson Werth who hit a dinger immediately after Burrell's 3 run blast.

Upper Dreck
couple of complaints with the UD box score. I would like to see the line score of the game - Hell UD doesn't even mention who the Phillies played. There pitching portion of the box is also ignored. The often overlooked Joe Blanton went 6 innings allowing just 5 hits and a single run (Homer Prince Fielder)

I have one other complaint. That is on the front of the card - The Phillies and Brewers played this game in Milwaukee, wish that UD would have selected a photo Burrell in an away uni. It is one of those things that I am OCD about on baseball cards - especially cards that are "inserts"

Phungo Verdict

Hell Yes Hall of Fame!

Pat Burrell's tenure in Philadelphia concluded with a World Championship. He followed that up by being part of a World Series winner in San Francisco.  Phungo Verdict = HoF

Phungo Pat Burrell Index 

1999 Topps #T44
1999 Topps Stadium Club #151 Pat Burell - 1998 First overall Pick
2001 Topps #144 (rookie cup)
2001 Topps Stadium Club
2002 Topps Heritage #179
2003 Topps Heritage #11
2004 Fleer Authentix #50
2006 Topps Opening Day #117
2006 Fleer Ultra Diamond Producers #DP19 
2007 Topps Heritage #90 
2008 UD Documentary 2008 06 20
2009 Phungo #5
2011 Topps (w/ Giants)

2010 08 17 Game Report (Burrell returns to Philadelphia with Giants)
2015 Alumni Weekend
Pat Burrell's farewell letter to Philadelphia

Sources and Links
2017 HoF Candidates
Game Dated Card Index
Check out my Cards 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Philly Show returns to Valley Forge this weekend.

The Philly Show is back in Valley Forge this weekend. Busy times at HQ right now, Not sure if team Phungo will be able to make the trek.

1971 Topps #49 Don Money

I hope I get there as both of my favorite dealers are scheduled to be at the show. If anyone else is going let me know and I will keep an eye open for you.

There are always autograph guests at the Philly Show, this edition of the show is largely football based, but there is one baseball player scheduled to appear, Don Money.

1971 Topps #49 Don Money (b-side)

1971T finds Money at the peak of the five seasons he spent with Philadelphia. As can seen on his back stats he compiled 14 Homers along with a .295 average - In today's modern stats that would be a very healthy 123 OPS+ and a 3.5 WAR. 

Other Autographs
There are a number of football guests at the show including Hall of Famers Jack Lambert, Lenny Moore (age 83!), Gino Marchetti (89!), and Herb Adderley. Famous Notre Dame alum Rudy will be there as well.

The show runs December 2-4 and admission is $8. For more information on the show click here.

Sources and Links

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions