Saturday, December 9, 2017

2018 HOF Candidate: Jim Thome

On December 6 2002 the Philadelphia Phillies announced that the long struggling club was ready for big time when they signed free agent slugger Jim Thome.

Things didn't work out as well as Phillies fans would have liked but the short-lived Thome era did have some fun moments. Over the course of his first two seasons in Philadelphia Thome hit 89 Home Runs including a league leading 47 in 2003. 

2004 Topps #1 Jim Thome (image swiped from Dean's Cards)

Topps honored the league leading season by putting Jim Thome on the #1 card of it's 2004 set (AL HR Leader Alex Rodriguez got 2004 Topps next hero card #100).

Good looking card and I am glad that Thome was recognized by Topps while he wore a Phillies uniform. The team didn't make the playoffs while Thome was here, but it is my opinion he was a key stepping stone to getting the team to a competitive level.

One of my favorite moments of Jim Thome's tenure in Philadelphia was his 400th career Home Run which came during a Phillies 10-7 victory over the Reds on June 14 2004. The game is briefly discussed in our 2006 Wall of Fame posting.  

2004 Topps #1 Jim Thome (b-side image swiped from Dean's Cards)

On the top left of the back of the card we can indeed see that this is the #1 card in the set. 
It also shows Thome's inaugural Phillies stat line which notes his league leading 47 homers in red (as well as his 182 Ks). The short text blurb touches on Thome's other strength, getting on base. The 60 game on-base streak was stopped by pitchers Kris Benson and Scott Sauerbeck during a 2-0 Pirates victory over the Phillies.

Phun Phact
Topps also put Jim Thome on the #1 card of the 2004 Heritage set.

Phungo Verdict
HOF - Big Fan, 600 Home Runs, Great Guy.

Sources and Links
2018 HoF Candidates
Jim Thome Player Collection Index
Dean's Cards
#1 Club


Thursday, December 7, 2017

2018 HOF Candidate: Kevin Millwood

The second installment of our 2018 HOF Candidates is on journeyman pitcher Kevin Millwood who had a pretty decent career. His two year stint for the Phillies was fair at best, however there were some big moments during those 2 seasons.

2013 Gypsy Queen No-Hitters #NH-KM Kevin Millwood

His biggest of those moments was on April 27 2003 when Millwood authored a 1-0 No-Hitter versus a San Francisco Giants team that was anchored by Barry Bonds batting clean-up.

Topps recognized the accomplishment in their 2013 Gypsy Queen No-Hitters insert set. Decent looking card which fits the GQ motif. I like that Topps added the uniform number to the front of the card. While looking at this card it occurred to me an awful lot of No-Nos have been tossed by players wearing #34. Within the 15 card 2013 GQ No-Hitter Insert Set alone there are several: Millwood, Felix Hernandez, Homer Bailey, the recently deceased Roy Halladay, and of course Nolan Ryan.

This card also hit on my continuity error nerve. Millwood pitched his No-Hitter at the Vet and yeah that is obviously not the Vet. In fact our here is shown here wearing a road uni - so this game was not even played in Philadelphia.

2013 Gypsy Queen No-Hitters #NH-KM Kevin Millwood (B-side)

Functional back text doesn't really bring out the excitement of a no-hitter. Topps first cover Millwood's No-Hitter much better in their 2004 offering which is discussed here

Phungo Verdict
In addition to Pitching the No-Hitter for the Phillies, Kevin Millwood also started the final game ever played at the Vet. Unfortunately the game was a 5-2 loss to Millwood's former team, the Atlanta Braves.

Obviously that is not the difference maker in Millwood's credentials. He is a respectable 30+ career WAR player, who racked up 169 Ws during a 16 years career. His Cy Young peak was #3  in 1999 (Randy Johnson). That season featured his sole All-Star and World Series Appearances.

Good pitcher, rough Phillies tenure despite some big moments. Verdict VETO

Sources and Links
2018 HOF Candidates
Kevin Millwood No-Hitter Index
Cardboard Connection

Monday, November 27, 2017

2018 HoF Candidate: Scott Rolen

Each of the last couple of years I have reviewed a couple of Hall of Fame candidates and gave my verdict. Tonight we return to the feature to look at the 2018 candidates. The first subject that we will look at is Scott Rolen.

I am not sure if "polarizing" is the word to describe Scott Rolen. He is kind of a low key guy but brings out a lot of opinions in folks. He was a great player in Phladelphia on bad teams - eventually he got tired of playing with the struggling clubs and pushed the Phillies to trade him.

That is where the story gets tough for Phillies fans. Baseball is a business and Scott Rolen as a player as a limited time to earn a living - regardless it hurts a little to see a player asked to be traded away from your favorite team.

2002 Fleer Authentix #86 Scott Rolen

For our Scott Rolen Profile I have chosen a card that falls under our Gamed Dated obsession.

Over the last 25 years I estimate that I have been to about a dozen opening day games including the one played on April 5 2002. The above Scott Rolen card is made to appear like a ticket to that 2002 Phillies Lid-Lifter (fun term I have seen in old school Sporting News headlines, but never hear anymore).

The Phillies defeated the Florida Marlins 6-2 in this particular opener. Not all of this info is given on the Fleer "Ticket". We can see "Florida Marlins" hidden behind Rolen's legs. Also Veterans Stadium.  The Date is pretty much screened but we can make out Friday and April. The full date was April 5th 2002. 

I am happy to say it was a good day for Scott Rolen who reached base all 5 times he batted.  His plate appearances resulted in a double, single and Three Walks. The Phillies other offensive hero was Bobby Abreu who logged a 3-Run Homer as one of his four hits. Brandon Duckworth got the W pitching six innings of 1-run ball and racking up 10 strikeouts. 

2002 Fleer Authentix #86 Scott Rolen (b-side)

Couple of things to note on the back of 2002 Fleer Authentix. The % of team totals line is an interesting stat idea, easily demonstrates what Rolen meant to the Phillies offense in 2002. The card finishes with Phillies franchise info. I suppose that feels somewhat connected to a card noting the teams Home Opener. Also note that the card represents a game played in 2002 but the stats on the back are for the 2001 season.

Lazy Phungo
Someday I will dig through the Phungo Ephemera Museum and get an image of a real ticket to this game and plop it into this posting, however right now I am to busy/lazy to go through that effort.

Phungo Verdict
I think this will surprise folks who know me but Yes I think Scott Rolen deserves Hall of Fame recognition. He is borderline, but when I remove my biases against him, as a player I think his numbers are HOF worthy. 

I don't think it will happen but it would be nice if the Phillies and Scott Rolen could get together so that he could be recognized on the franchises Wall of Fame.

Sources and Links
Phungo Scott Rolen Index
2018 Hall of Fame Ballot
Game Dated Cards Index

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Roy Hallday (1977 - 2017)

Yesterday we got the news that Roy Halladay died in a plane crash.

2012 07 21 Roy Halladay at Photo Day

While the circumstances are horrible, it was good to hear all the reports of what a terrific person Roy Halladay was off the field. He appeared to be enjoying his post playing career spending time with his family and friends. During a press conference yesterday Cole Hamels showed tremendous poise, articulately discussing Halladay as a Mentor, Ballplayer and Friend.

For out tribute to Roy Halladay I went with a picture of him from the Phillies 2012 Photo Day rather than a card. After hearing so many folks talk about how great Halladay was as a person, I wanted to note the person rather than the ballplayer.

Here is an index of the many Roy Halladay postings that have appeared on Phungo. The NLDS No-Hitter in 2010 will always be one of my favorite sports memories, you can see some pix and read a few of my thoughts here.

Blogs are not as active as they were at one time, but I will be adding the Roy Halladay tributes to this posting as they arrive.

Memorial Postings
Phillies Room (2011 Allen Ginter #N43-RH)
Night Owl Cards (2009 UD OPC)
1960s Baseball (2011 Topps)
Not Another Baseball Card Blog
Ryan Cracknell Beckett
Wrigley Roster Jenga (2010 Heritage / 1961 Topps)
The Writers Journey (Twitter Compilation)
I Need New Hobbies (2007 Allen Ginter)
The Snorting Bull (1997 Bowman Autograph)
$30 a Week Habit (Donruss Studio)
Cardboard Greats (Topps National Chicle)
I Draw Baseball Cards (2013 Topps Custom)

High Heat Stats (1962 Topps Retro)

Sources and Links
Roy Halladay Index


Thursday, August 31, 2017

Rollie Massimino (1934-2017)

Yesterday we got the sad news that Rollie Massimino had died at the age of 82.

2010 Phungo #10 Rollie Massimino

I am not originally from the Philadelphia area but I will always remember the 1985 Villanova Wildcats championship team. Winning that game made me a fan of the team for life.

I never expected to live in the Villanova community, but life's twists & turns brought me to a place where I reside less than five miles from the campus. The team has now returned to prominence and it is fun to be able to follow the local team.

March Madness 2009
I have gone to the opening rounds of March Madness when it has been hosted in Philadelphia several times. In 2009 I was checking out the lower level prior to the game and talking to a friend when Rollie Massimino passed right in front of him. We mentioned to Rollie how much we enjoyed the 1985 Championship team. He was congenial said thanks, shook our hands, posed for a picture and signed our tickets - the smudge and the fact that it is signed upside down are my fault.

Regardless it is a cool memory to have and one of the more fun artifacts in the Phungo museum.

Phungo Card
The picture I took made it onto a Phungo card back when I still made them. This is pretty early in the Phungo canon so we have a pretty vanilla design with the text being a snapshot from an excel spreadsheet. Pretty primitive, but considering my minimal graphic arts skills at the time, I am pretty proud of the finished product.

Rollie Massimino Index
2007 Donruss Extra Edition #65 (February 2016 Villanova reaches #1 for first time since 1985) 
2010 Phungo #10 (25th anniversary of 1985 Championship)
Game Report March Madness 2009

I have a posted a few dozen of my photos to Wikipedia, this is the first of those pictures.

Sources and Links

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Darren Daulton (1962-2017)

Earlier this month we got the news that Darren Daulton had died.

The beloved catcher was the anchor of the 1993 NL Championship team.

 2003 Fleer Ultra All-Vet #2 Darren Daulton 

Ten years later he also beat out Bob Boone for the honor being the catcher on the Phillies All Veteran Stadium Squad.

The day the Vet closed the Phillies gave out 12 card packs of cards honoring the All-Vet team. Most of the players were either members of one of the three teams to play a World Series at the Vet (1980, 1983, 1993).

The Phillies lost to the Braves 5-2 that day, but it didn't matter. As fan I was there to say goodbye to the Vet and recall all the good memories I had at the venue. 

2017 Phillies Alumni Weekend
2017 08 13 - Three Catchers

Darren Daulton's passing occurred shortly before Alumni Weekend and the Phillies honored the All-Star catcher by painting his #10 behind the plate. Alum introductions closed with a about a dozen of his 1993 teammates entering the field wearing his #10 jersey and encircling the plate area in tribute.

The above photo is one that I have simply titled "Three Catchers". The pix was taken between innings, at the right you have Jorge Alfaro entering the frame while Cameron Rupp exits. The two were both on field at one time because Alfaro was either on-deck or on base during the previous half inning while Rupp was in to warm up the pitcher. The third catcher in the picture is Darren Daulton, memorialized here by the #10 behind the catchers box at home plate.  

Other Darren Daulton Memorials 
Phillies Room
Nick Diunte interview with Don Carmen (The Sports Post)

Sources and Links
Darren Daulton Wall of Fame Index

Darren Daulton Index

This is an Index to our postings related to Darren Daulton.

 2003 Fleer Ultra All-Vet Team #2 Darren Daulton

1986 Topps #264 - Wall of Fame induction tease

1988 Topps #468 - Daulton and Todd Zeile both hit Grand Slams in same game (1993 07 28)
1989 Donruss #549 - Daulton batting righty
1989 Topps #187 - Card Show Tease
1990 Topps #542 - Daulton sells 1997 World Series Ring
1993 Opening Day Tix - The first home game for the 1993 Phillies (1993 04 09)
1993 Upper Deck Team Stars #485 - 1993 NL Champs
1994 Topps Black Gold #28 - The 1993 Phillies may be for real (1993 05 10)

1996 Topps #85 - Daulton first reports brain tumor (2013 July)
2003 Fleer Ultra All-Vet - Darren Daulton Memorial

Card Show 2013 11 02 - Daulton breaks up a snit between Mitch Williams & Lenny Dykstra

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions