Monday, October 20, 2014

HoF Cards: 1981 Topps #206 Record Breaker Mike Schmidt

Wanted to take a break from all of our playoff card postings so we can put up a Phillies Card. This 1981T card is one of the Dimers that I picked up at the Valley Forge show.

1981 Topps #206 Record Breaker Mike Schmidt

This card notes Mike Schmidt breaking the Home Run Record for third baseman. Schmidt hit 48 in 1980 breaking the record previously held by Eddie Mathews who hit 47 in 1953. Schmidt's Record Breaking Homer was hit in the Phillies NL East Clinching game versus the Expos.

At a different recent card show I ran into this:

2014 10 18 Mike Schmidt Home Run Ball from 1980 10 03

This Home Run ball is not the one that Schmidt hit to in the card referenced above. This is a Schmidt HR ball from the previous day when Schmidt hit his 47th homer of the season which tied Eddie Matthews

1981 Topps Record Breakers
The Record Breakers subset has a run of eight cards (201-208) in 1981 Topps. Three of the eight cards are Phillies (Pete Rose & Steve Carlton) and they are 2 other Hall of Famers, Ozzie & Johnn Bench.  

Sources & Links
Philly Show 2014 09 28 Index
Philly Show 2014 09 28 Dime Box Summar
Baseball Cardpedia

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Steve Poltz, John Kruk and Tony Gwynn at Ardmore Music Hall 2014 10 18

On Saturday Night Folksinger/Punk troubadour Steve Poltz brought his talents to the Ardmore Music Hall. I have seen Poltz roughly a dozen times dating back to the early 90s when he fronted the San Diego rock band the Rugburns.

He always gives a entertaining show and his latest performance did not disappoint.

2014 10 18 Steve Poltz at Ardmore Music Hall

The 54 year old Poltz put together a high energy set which spanned his solo career and even reached back to the Rugburns catalog for "Rub somebody the Right Way" and "Tree Hugger". There were at least three songs from his Mercury album "One Left Shoe" - "Silver Lining", "Impala" and "Everything About You" - Poltz mentioned his songwriting with Jewel a couple of times when referencing songs from this era.

Poltz filled his set with a number of funny stories about his life, career and music. When discussing "Silver Lining" he mentioned that he and John Kruk had become friends after Kruk discovered his name being referenced. Poltz said Krukker is supposed to be joining him in San Diego to go Surfing - imagine that. 

A few years back I got Steve to autograph this: 

1988 Topps #596 John Kruk (signed by Steve Poltz)  

I rank this one right up there with my Hall of Fame autographs. 

Steve is a pretty big baseball fan, he his friends with Giants Third Base Coach and fellow songwriter Tim Flannery and he has been involved in the sausage race hosted by the Milwaukee Brewers. 

Recently Poltz has written a song to honor Padres Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn.

Unfortunately Poltz didn't play the new Gwynn song, but I did get him to vogue with a Gwynn Card.

2014 10 18 Steve Poltz and 2009 UD Goodwin Champions #135 Tony Gwynn

Poltz tour will take him through the Mid-Atlantic and the southeast in the coming weeks. I recommend the show for fans of any type of music (or comedy). For locals he will be doing a 2nd area show - On Wednesday 10//22 he will be upstains at the Wilmington DE location of World Cafe Live Wilmington.  

Hi, I'm Steve Poltz
Tim Flannery

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Bucket or Chuck-it: 2014 Topps Chrome Blaster Break

I picked up a blaster of 2014T Chrome a couple of weeks ago, immediate remorse. $20 for 32 cards that I have basically already seen.

2014 Tops Chrome #174 Chase Utley

I got one Phillies card which is the average in a 30 card break and it was a good one, so I can't complain. Bummed to see Chase occupying a lowly common number here but other than that very happy to pick up this card.

I didn't have this card from flagship so I hadn't really taken a close look at it prior - I am going to dedicate an entire posting to this card at some point in the future, but For now I will just reiterate that I am really glad it is now in the Phungo Collection.

 2014 Topps Chrome #10 Masahiro Tanaka (rc)

My first 2014 Tanaka card. An obvious +1 for this blaster, nice to get one of the key 2014 rookies.  I also have it on the Phungo agenda to discuss Mr Tanaka's cards in a future post. Who knows if we will get to it.


2014 Topps Chrome #3 Enny Romero (rc -Refractor)

2014 Topps Chrome #67 Wilmer Flores (rc - refractor)
2014 Topps Chrome #122 Shin-Soo Choo (refractor)

Presenting Mr Flores with his base card and power play parallel. Shin-Soo Choo was in 2014 Topps earlier this year as a member of his former team.  

Refractor b-Sides

The Refractors specify "Refractor" in the bottom right corner (above the Topps Logo). I think they have only done this the last couple of years, but they don't bother distinguishing between the vanilla refractors, rainbows, or x-fractors - Romero is an x-fractor while the other two are the commons.

2014 Topps Chrome #166 Hunter Pence (refractor purple)
2014 Topps Chrome #53 Chase Headley (refractor purple)  
2014 Topps Chrome #62 Zach Walters (rc-refractor purple)  
2014 Topps Chrome #123 Jose Bautista (refractor purple)

Blasters include 4-pack of parallels. Pence and a Rookie Card, highlight the "bonus" pack.

2014 Topps Chrome Connections #CC-RC Robinson Cano

Here we have whatever these are - these puzzle piece cards seem more suited for opening day. I can see a lot of dealers wanting to figure out ways to put these cards together.


2014 Topps Chrome Connections #CC-RC Robinson Cano (b-side)

The Chrome Connections card runs off and makes a comparison to Junior. For those of you who are interested Ken Griffey Jr WAR through age 31 season was 78.0. Robinson Cano 51.5


2014 Topps Chrome #91 Christian Bethancourt (rc)
2014 Topps Chrome #127 Tanner Roark (rc)
2014 Topps Chrome #107 Hyn-Jin Ryu (rookie cup)
2014 Topps Chrome #191 CJ Cron (rc)

As usual Chromes late season release date allows for a good mix of rookies. The Ryu isn't a RC but I included it here for the Rookie Cup. 

Bucket or Chuck-It

After opening a blaster of Topps Chrome, I was reminded why I am a flagship collector. $20 for 32 cards is just out of my league - For me Chrome is a Chuck-It, A Blaster is more than I really am interested in, one of those 3 packs with a "Bonus" pack of parallels is probably more my speed.

There is an argument for chrome, the cards are nice and sturdy. the shiny works over the white borders. The checker for Chrome may also be better. Chrome gleans the top talent and rookies which are probably the most interesting subjects from the collects S1 and S2 sets

Sources & Links
Cardboard Connection

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fanatic Authentics Brings HOF signers to Oaks PA show

An outfit known as Fanatic Authentics is hosting an autograph show in Oaks PA this weekend.

The shows two dozen plus guests form the realms of baseball, football, and boxing include several 1980 Phils (Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton & Others), Current Eagles (Shady McCoy, Foles) , San Francisco 49ers (Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott +), and Pugilists (MIKE TYSON, Sugar Ray Leonard + ).

1968 Topps #372 Lou Brock All-Star

One of the highlights is a bunch of Hall of Famers that are expected to appear Sunday including BOB GIBSON, Johnny Bench, Andre Dawson, Tony Perez and Lou Brock

In conjunction with our playoff cards postings we have chosen Lou Brock as our featured card among this HoF Lot.  Brock may have started his career with the Chicago Cubs, but he is best known as a St Louis Cardinal. Throughout my childhood Brock was the stolen base king and he finished his career first on the all-time list with 938 thefts. Brock was more than a base stealer over the course of 19 seasons (16 with the Cardinals) he accumulated 3023 hits, good enough for 24th on the all time list.

Phungo Lou Brock HoF Indiex
1964 Topps #29 (w/ Cubs)
1968 Topps #372 All-Stars

1968 Topps All-Stars
The 20 card 1968T AS subset runs from #361-#380. In addition to Lou Brock there are three other Cardinals are in the Set, Orlando Cepeda, Tim McCarver and Bob Gibson.

There are a total of 12 Hall of Famers among the All-Stars Three of the Cardinals (excluding McCarver) , Joe Morgan, Harmon Killebrew, Brooks & Frank Robinson, Rod Carew, Ron Santo, Yaz, Hank Aaron and Roberto Clemente,

The Phillies are not represented in the subset.

For a more comprehensive look at the subset including a look at the puzzle pieces on the b-sides check out 1968 Topps Baseball

As part of the Friday Signing Hall of Fame Pitcher Fergie Jenkins will be signing autographs for FREE. For those folks that would prefer a local auto, you have an option for one of 3 other players as your free auto (Pete Incaviglia, Darren Daulton or Von Hayes)

Sources & Links
Fanatic AuthenticsCardboard Connection

2014 Playoff Cards Orioles Jim Palmer 1973 Topps #160

It is time to dial up some Oriole Magic.

The O's are facing elimination versus the Royals today and we are calling on some divine intervention from the Hall of Fame.

1973 Topps #160 Jim Palmer

Jim Palmer turns 69 today, and for me there would be no better way for him to celebrate then to see his bubble gum card on Phungo - well that and and an Orioles Victory. 

Palmer was a member of three different Orioles World Championship squads in 3 different decades, 1966, 1970, and 1983 (versus the Phillies). He also took home 3 Cy Young Awards (1973, 1975, and 1976). In 1973 his performance was good enough to place him 2nd in the MVP award voting behind only Reggie Jackson. Note: in 1975 Palmer's teammate Bobby Grich, Bert Blyleven, John Hiller and Gaylord Perry all had higher WAR numbers then Reggie Among Pitchers Palmer finished 5th.

Palmer, a six time all-star, played his entire 19 year career with the Orioles collecting 268 (36th in MLB hitory) victories and 2212 strikeouts (53rd). 

Among HoF pitchers Palmer ranks 35th in career WAR (69.4) just a tick below the average of  the 59 pitchers in the Hall. Among contemporary pitchers Palmer's WAR  compares closely to John Smoltz (69.5).

The Cartoon on the back of this card mentions that Palmer won a sports car in a golf tournament. In today's era of multimillion dollar contracts for the mediocre players that seems truly passe, yet I am pretty sure a new car remains the award for the World Series MVP

1973 Topps Jim Palmer 
The late Chris Stufflestreet dedicated a posting to the above Jim Palmer card as part of his 1973 Topps Series. Definteily check it out, anything written by Chris is worth reading - He mentions how the 1973T card displays Palmer's distinctive high leg kick and also goes into some greated detail on Palmer's career highlights.

Sources & Links
2014 Playoff Cards
Phungo HoF Index

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

2014 Playoff Cards: Orioles Adam Jones 2013 Topps Chase It Down #CD5 and Sloppy Topps?

Tonight the ALCS makes the move to Kansas City for Geme 3. To mark the occasion we will discuss a favorite card of Adam Jones from the 2013 Topps Chase it Down Insert set

2013 Topps Chase It Down #CD5 Adam Jones

Chase it Down is a 15 card insert set in 2013 Topps Series 2 that is dedicated to fielding excellence  or noteworthy fielding plays. The above card notes a play that Adam Jones Made versus the Rays on September 13 2012. The details are given on the b-side of the card. 

2013 Topps Chase It Down #CD5 Adam Jones (b-side)

The above text has a nice description of Jones' play, the trouble is the information doesn't correlate  with the related box score which is here.

Not sure what happened here. According to Baseball-ref Jeff Keppinger didn't bat in the first inning of the game referenced. Keppinger did record two F8 ABs. the first was in the 4th and appears to match the description on the card from B-R

"Lineout: CF/Sacrifice Fly (Short CF-RF); Zobrist Scores" 

I could see the card copy not bothering to mention the SF portion of the play, as it didn't fit the desired narrative. At the time the run gave the Rays a 1-0 lead, but the catch helped prevent a big inning.

Keppinger also had an F8 in the 9th but it is listed as Deep Center.

He did have an F8 in the first inning of the previous game, but once again it was listed a deep fly out. His only other first inning AB in the series resulted in a ground out.

Who is the Image on the B-Side?

I don't think that the photo on the flip side of the card is of Adam Jones.  The image is on all 15 of the Chase it Down cards. It is hard to tell, but it appears that the player is possibly wearing a Twins cap. That leads me to think it may be Denard Span from his Twins days. Any ideas out there?   


Part of the reason I went into so much detail about the card is pure narcissism. The game referenced is one that team Phungo attended.

Game Ticket 2013 09 13 Rays @ Orioles 

Yep Team Phungo was there for this one so the above Chasing it Down card is part of the very special Phungo in Attendance Binder. I am adding an Index for these cards and plan on trying to get to some of these during the off-season. 

Sources & Links
2014 Playoff Cards
Narcissus - Team Phungo Was There
Baseball Cardpedia

2014 Playoff Cards - St Louis Cardinals AJ Pierzynski 1994 Topps Signature Rookies #61

With Yadier Molina on the shelf for game 3 of the NLCS the Cardinals will start veteran catcher AJ Pierzynski

1994 Topps Signature Rookies #61 AJ Pierzynski

This is the game that Pierzynski is here for. He may be an annoying guy with a rough reputation but when it became apparent earlier this season that Molina may be questionable down the stretch the Cardinals went out and got AJ.  

That looks like a smart move today. Veteran leadership likely matters at catcher more than any other position. 

1994 Topps Signature Rookies
Pierzynski's red gear makes him look like a Cardinal here, but it is from a different squad. This 20 year old card is from early in AJs career when he was still in the Twins organization. 

1994T Signature Rookies is a 100 Card set which includes notables Nomar Garciaparra #12, Paul Konerko #13, Jason Varitke #14, Ryan Nye (Phillies 2nd round pick 1994) #49, Aaron Boone #62, JT Snow #99. The honor of the #1 card went to Josh Booty who was featured along with brother John David Booty QB (USC) on MLB networks "The Next Knuckler"

Sources & Links
2014 Playoff Cards  

Miller Cards
MLB News  

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions