Wednesday, July 13, 2016

ANNIVERSARY: 1976 07 13 Veterans Stadium Hosts it's first All-Star Game

On the day after the 87th Mid-Summer Classic we are taking a look at the 47th All-Star Game.

If you have been following along here at Phungo you are aware that we are working on a yearlong series discussing the 1976 All-Star Game which was hosted in Philadelphia. Today Marks the 40th Anniversary of that game.


1976 All-Star Game Program

This is the cover for the 1976 ASG program. It may not appear this way but the cover was designed but an Artist many collectors are familiar with, Dick Perez.

While the cover does a nice job of featuring a behind the plate shot overlaying Independence hall I do find it odd that there is not a Red White and Blue motif to capitalize on the Bicentennial fervor.

The Program opens with a section that includes photos of players enjoying many of the tourist attractions around Philadelphia.



The man with the Liberty Bell is Phillies then President Ruly Carpenter.

The other two pictures are Mike Schmidt and Wife Donna, sporting similar hair styles while exploring Valley Forge Park, which I believe is now a National Park, but is listed as a State park in the above text.


Sheena & Larry Bowa at Independence Hall


The Luzinski's at the Art Museum, and the Garry Maddox family at the Zoo. These pictures are interesting as they feature a couple of kids that went on to play Professional Baseball, Ryan Luzinski and Garry Maddox Jr.. Neither of the youngsters made it to the major leagues.




I picked up the program at a SABR meeting and whomever I inherited it from kept score for the game. Near as I can tell the scoring is pretty accurate.

1976 All-Star Game +40 Series
A full Index to our postings related to the 1976 ASG can be found here. I know there are a lot of notables that we haven't gotten to, rest assured just because we have made it to the games anniversary that doesn't mean that we are done featuring the many players involved in that game. Ideally we will get to all of the Phillies and Hall of Famers that were involved in the game, but well time restraints and laziness always get in the way.

Sources and Links
1976 ASG Index
Mike Schmidt HoF Index
Baseball Almanac

Monday, July 11, 2016

40 Years Ago: Randy Jones Makes the Cover of Sports Illustrated

We have reached All-Stat Week in San Diego and it turns out the game will be played on the same date in which Randy Jones appeared on the Cover of Sports Illustrated Forty Years ago.

1999 Skybox Autograph Collection Randy Jones

Several cards from the 1999 Skybox autograph set appear on Sports Illustrated Covers. The Randy Jones cover originally appeared with a Publish Date of July 12 1976. The Issue can be found here in the SI Archive. The corresponding article was penned by the San Francisco Based sports writer Ron Fimrite.

In addition to incorporating the SI cover the Card also features Randy Jones Autograph. A Nice touch on the signature is the Southpaw's uniform Number #35 within the bottom loop of the cursive J in Jones.

The cover photo was taken June 28 1976 or June 30 1976.  Getty Images specifies the earlier date, however the capsule information related to the photo lines up more with 6/30, which I am pretty sure is the correct date.

Jones and the Padres defeated the powerful Cincinnati Reds that day 3-1. It was his 14th Victory of the season. Jones went the distance allowing six hits and a pair of walks against 2 Ks.

The Photo was taken by John G Zimmerman who also took a picture that many Philadelphians are familiar with, the Chuck Bednarik/Frank Gifford Photo.

2008 UD Masterpieces #14 Chuck Bednarik


Flip

1999 Skybox Autograph Collection Randy Jones

For folks interested in such details the Randy Jones card come with a Certificate of Authenticity regarding Jones' signature.


Sources and Links
1976 ASG Index
Game Dated Cards Index
Sports Illustrated Vault
Getty Images - John G Zimmerman
SF Gate
Baseball-ref

Friday, July 8, 2016

20th Anniversary: Phillies Host 1996 All-Star Game pt2

Twenty Years Ago Team Phungo was at the 1996 All-Star Game.

1996 All-Star Game Ticket 1996 07 09

The NL won the game 6-0, As noted yesterday Phoenixville Alum and Dodgers Catcher Mike Piazza earned MVP honors as he went 2 for 3 including a Titanic Home Run.

The signature across the front of the card is the autograph of Ricky Botallico the only member of the Philies to receive an All-Star invite in '96.

Botallico actually came to where I worked to sign autographs. This was during the extremely lean late 90s when the Phillies were trying to get attention any way possible. I felt bad for Botallico, they place him in a nice outdoor are atop a hill, but the day was ended up being colder than expected and windy. Only a few dozen people even came out for the autographs. It was pretty sad.

In his only All-Star Performance Ricky Botallico had a fine outing in front of the home fans. Entering in the fifth inning he retired three of the four batters he faced, the only batter to reach was Brady Anderson via a Ken Caminiti error. Botallico's victims included Future Hall of Famer Cal Ripken and a strikeout of potential HoF Ivan Rodriguez.

Primestar

One of the 1996 ASG sponsors was a local Satellite TV business named "Primestar". Each fan was given the above frame for the oversized All-Star Ticket.

It isn't real simple to do but the when placed in the holder the ticket looks kinda nice, except for the Primestar Logo right at the top...


1996 All-Star Game postings
1997 Topps #333 HL Mike Piazza ASG MVP

Sources and Links
Baseball-ref

Thursday, July 7, 2016

20th Anniversary: 1996 07 09 Philadelphia hosts All-Star Game

Saturday will mark the 20th Anniversary of the 1996 All-Star Game which was hosted by the Philadelphia Phillies.

In the contest which the NL took 6-0 the Philllies were only represented by one player Ricky Botallico, however there was a Hometown Hero involved in the Game.

Mike Piazza from nearby Phoenixville went 2 for 3 with a Homer and a pair of RBI. The performance earned the Dodgers Catcher Game MVP Honors.

1997 Topps #104 Season Hightlights Mike Piazza

Topps noted Piazza's accomplishments with a card in the Highlights Subset of the 1997 Flagship Set.

I will not sloppy Topps this one as Piazza is wearing a Home jersey, which he would have donned for the All-Star game, but I am thinking this shot is from LA during a glorious day game at Chavez Ravine not at Philadelphia creaky old Veterans Stadium.

The front of the card isn't specific the event, however...

1997 Topps #104 Season Hightlights Mike Piazza (b-side)

Nice  blurb on the back including dateline Philadelphia. The Home Run Piazza hit is detailed nicely, in the 70 or so games I saw at the Vet I can only recall a handful of balls that were hit as far as that one.

Finally the card also mentions Piazza Tenure at Phoenixville High - Makes for a nice add to the Phungo Locals collection.

Mike Piazza HoF Index
In a Couple of weeks Piazza will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. This posting will serves as our index of Piazza related postings.

1994 Topps #1 Philly Sports Hall of Fame
2006 Fleer Ultra #HRK15 - Junk of the Month (Padres WTF?)

Phungo Games Collection
I was lucky enough to attend the 1996 All-Star Game and I am very happy to have this Piazza card in the Phungo Games Collection which is indexed here.

As far as I know Topps did not issue All-Star cards in 1996 Update/Traded or 1997 Cards with ASG flairs. This is kind of a bummer as I would love to have more cards to represent that game. 1997 UD did add have a nice ASG logo on their 1997 Series 1 cards, I hope to take a look at those in a future posting or series.

Sources and Links
Phungo Games Index 
1996 ASG Index
Baseball-Ref

Chase Utley Matches his Favorite Player with Six Hit Game

2008 UD Masterpieces #69 Chase Utley

Prior to a six hit performance on Wednesday Chase Utley's previous game high Hit Total was 5. That game is noted on the back of the above Masterpieces card.


2008 UD Masterpieces #69 Chase Utley (b-side)

During the Phillies 9-3 Victory over the Nats on April 25 2007 Utley collected Five hits including a pair of doubles and recorded 3 RBIs. Three of the hits were with 2 outs. The principle victim of the barrage was John Patterson, a Former #5 overall pick who would only pitch in 2 more games as a Major Leaguer.

I was watching the Orioles @ Dodgers game yesterday when Vin Scully mentioned that Utley's sixth hit of the day tied a team record that was set by Shawn Green in 2002.

This wrung a distant bell in my head.


UCLA Player Bio Chase Utley

Years ago while playing at UCLA in his Bio Chase Utley had listed Shawn Green as his favorite player.

Pretty cool for somebody that is 37 years old to tie a team record of a childhood hero.

The big blemish on the accomplishment is that it came during the a Dodgers Loss, 6-4 to the Orioles.

Shawn Green's day is notable for another reason, four of his six hits were Home Runs. Fortunately for him and the Dodgers the game was a 16-3 Win over the Brewers in Milwaukee.

The Four Home Runs by Green were part of a record 9 Homer Week, which is commemorated on a 2003 Topps Card.

2003 Topps #333 Season Highlights Shawn Green (Swiped from Baseball Card Database)

The back of the card documents Green's incredible week.

2003 Topps #333 Season Highlights Shawn Green (b-side Swiped from Baseball Card Database)

Sources and Links
Chase Utley Player Collection
Game Dated Cards
UCLA Bruins Baseball
Vin Scully
Baseball Reference
Baseball Card Database
 

Friday, July 1, 2016

ANNIVERSARY: 75 Years Ago - Joe DiMaggio Hitting streak reaches 45 Games

This card showed up in 2015 Stadium Club. It's a great image and I just had to find out more information.

2015 Topps Stadium Club #279 Joe DiMaggio

On July 2nd 1941 during a Yankees 8-4 Victory over the Red Sox Joe DiMaggio's Hitting Streak reached 45 games which broke Wee Willie Keeler's 1897 record of 44 games.  The record breaking hit was a 5th inning Home Run off starting pitcher Dick Newsone. It should be noted that Keeler's record was set at the beginning of the season and he had also hit safely in the final game of 1896, so his cross season Hit Streak was a total of 45 games.

I had originally thought the photo on the above card was taken to note the consecutive hit streak record. However, I found the matching Getty Image and their information dates the photo a few years earlier (1937), when DiMaggio hit 46 Home Runs.

However there is a similar image which is Dated 1941, albeit July 1st.

I am inclined the date on the latter photo is closer to the truth. There are a couple of reasons for this 1) DiMaggio hit HR #45 on the road in DC in 1937, The Photo above shows him in The Yankee Home Pinstripes.
2) 45 Home Runs while a big number and a somewhat round number, it is not as significant as the Record Breaking 45 of the Hit Streak. Also DiMaggio reached game 45 in the hit streak at Yankee Stadium.  

2015 Topps Stadium Club #279 Joe DiMaggio (b-side)

The back of the 2015 TSC card features a color photo and career numbers for the Hall of Fame centerfielder.

Joe DiMaggio HoF Index
2012 Topps Golden Greats #GG-22 (1936 06 24: 2 HR Inning 80th Anniversary)

Sources and Links
Baseball-Ref
Getty Images
Baseball Almanac

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Phillies Prospect Matt Imhof Injured

Yesterday we got the news that Phillies Pitching Prospect Matt Imhof suffered an eye injury due to a freak accident during a post game workout.


2014 Bowman #DP45 Matt Imhof


Imhof was the Phillies 2nd pick (#47 overall) in their 2014 draft which has already yielded Aaron Nola. The 22 year old lefty is currently in his 3rd season as a pro and second at single-A Clearwater.


I get freaked out putting in a contact lens, I can't imagine what it is like to suffer a major eye injury. Hopefully things work out well for Imhof and we get to hear positive things about his health in the future.


Flip
2014 Bowman #DP45 Matt Imhof (b-side)


Interesting graph on the back of these Bowman cards. Imhof's most recent numbers are displayed graphically to show how is collegiate numbers compared with the National Average. The Yellow bars correspond to the averages while the green and red are Imhof's numbers - Green is where he was above average (ERA, WHIP, K/9), Red shows his struggles (BB/9). The data is not sourced and doesn't specify the sample for the National Average, I suspect it is for all D1 pitchers.


The numbers proven to be a good glimpse into who Imhof has been as a professional, He has been able to get batters out while struggling with his control.


Sources and Links
Matt Gelb - Philly
Baseball-ref

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions