Friday, February 12, 2016

Happy 90th Birthday Joe Garagiola; 1951 Bowman #122

Just found out from the @Baseball_More Twitter feed that today is Joe Garagiola 90th Birthday. This gives us the rare opportunity to post a 1951 Bowman Card of a living MLB player on a marquee birthday.

1951 Bowman #122 Joe Garagiola
I like Baseball and More remember Garagiola as the Voice from Game of the Week back when I was a kid.  A few years back I picked up this beauty at a card show for a dollar - how sweet is that!
To busy to list off a mini bio of Garagiola. Two quick things - he won the World Series with the 1946 Cardinals and He was once traded with Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner.
Sources and Links

Twitter Baseball And More

Sunday, February 7, 2016

SuperBowl 50: Jamie Moyer?

My angle on today's Superbowl is the 50 in #Superbowl50

2009 Upper Deck #300 Jamie Moyer

One of my favorite Phillies is Jamie Moyer and he wore the Number 50 for the 2008 World Series Champions. I don't have many Phillies/Moyer cards where the uniform number is highlighted. In the above 2009 UD card you can see the ID on Moyer's left sleeve. The right sleeve displays a VUK patch to honor the memory of longtime Phillies player and coach John Vukovich.

In addition to the #50 on Moyer's sleeve there is one located at the bottom of the card next to the player position.

I also like this card because it would be a hero number if it was a Topps Card - #300.

2009 Upper Deck #300 Jamie Moyer (b-side)

There is your proof, 300. Of course this is UD so it is not a Hero card, 300 simply falls in a sequence of cards where the majority of Phillies players reside in 2009 UD. Cards 289-302 are all Phils Most of which were members of the 2008 World Series Championship Team.

2012 Topps
There are some cards on different teams that showcase Moyer's  #50 more prominently.

2012 Topps #US123 Jamie Moyer (Orange Parallel - Image Swiped from Ebay)

One of those cards that I am interested in today is a special Moyer card from the 2012 Update Series. In addition to having an easily visible #50 we also see that Jamie Moyer is featured in a Colorado Rockies, a team that share a community with one of today's Superbowl teams, the Denver Broncos.

And the Broncos are the team I will be rooting for today. I am rooting for Peyton Manning to go out a Winner. I fight it often but sometimes I must admit I am older and stories where the old guys win appeal to me.

Returning to the card, it notes Jamie Moyer becoming the Oldest Player to win a game. This game occurred on April 17 2012 versus the San Diego Padres. Moyer would break his own record a month later when he earned the W in a Rockies 6-1 victory over the Diamond Backs on May 16th.

I conclude with a Go Broncos! 

Sources and Links
bdj610s Topps Baseball Card Blog
ebay tscardstore

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Babe Ruth Birthday: 1973 Topps #1 League Leaders Home Runs

Today we continue our #1 card obsession by noting the 121st anniversary of Babe Ruth's February 6ht birthday.

1973 Topps #1 All Time Home Run Leaders Ruth, Aaron, Mays

 Love how Topps had the foresight to realize that this card was in it's waning moment. The following year Aaron would be sitting at 713 at press time, and a month into the 1975 season Hammerin Hank would be atop the pyramid.

Willie Mays on the edge of retirement and retuning to New York is just icing on the baseball card cake.

1973 Topps #1 All Time Home Run Leaders Ruth, Aaron, Mays (b-side)

I kind of like what Topps did here, listing each of the three leaders with their annual Home Run totals. I still haven't gotten any 2016 Topps but I fear one of the things I will mention when I finally get my hands on some of this years cards is the lack of imagination in the new set. Of course back in 1973 Topps was significantly younger, I suppose the chance of producing pleasant surprises were higher.

#1 Club
This beauty has to be on the top end of the #1 club and it easily beats out the 2015 Derek Jeter card. 1973 is the first of four consecutive years in which Hank Aaron is featured on the #1 card, he also appeared on 1963T #1 as the fifth man in a quintet of Batting average leaders. Willie Mays previously appeared as the sole occupant on the 1966T #1 card. 1973 is Babe Ruth's only appearance in the top spot.

Sources and Links
#1 Club
Babe Ruth HoF Index
Hank Aaron HoF Index
Willie Mays HoF Index

Thursday, February 4, 2016

1974 Topps #5 Hank Aaron

Today we are noting Hank Aaron's 82nd Birthday by delving into our 1967 Topps/2016 Heritage series. 

This year is not the first time that Topps has elected to look back at the 1967 design. I believe the 1974 Hank Aaron Special Subset was Topps original Selfie.

1974 Topps #5 Hank Aaron Special (1966-1969)

This is actually the fourth Topps Selfie. The first was Card #2 of the 1974 set which featured the Hank Aaron 1954 Rookie card as well as cards from 1955-57, Card #3 contained the next four cards 1958-1961 while Card #4 covered 1962-1965.

I do like the idea of re-running Aaron's cards at this juncture of his career. Although it is a disappointment to clearly see Topps reuse of the same image for both the 1968 and 1969 cards. This is an total failure when creating a card for a star of Hank Aaron's stature.

1974 Topps #5 Hank Aaron Special (b-side Timeline 1964-1973)

Each of the four cards that make up the Hank Aaron Special Subset has a special back. Cards #4 is the second half of a timeline of Hank Aaron's milestones that started on Card #4

The events on #5 run from 1964-1973. Nice summary of the 2nd half of Aaron's career here, 1971 is an interesting milestone here. Hammerin' Hank was the 3rd player to reach the 600 Homer plateau, now that club has eight players including Sammy Sosa and an active Alex Rodriguez with Albert Pujols knocking on the door.

I wasn't on the ball or I would have posted this card as part of our 2015 Heritage/1966 Topps retrospective. I am lazy so we will link to it.

Sources and Links
1967 Topps/2016 Heritage Index
1966 Topps/2016 Heritage Index
Hank Aaron HoF Index

2016 Topps Index

This post is an index to postings covering 2016 Topps.

2016 Topps #133 Aaron Nola (image swiped from Cardboard Connection)

My Pre-release impressions are not good. I am hoping the other shots in the set will not be as tight as the photos on the promotional material.

2016 Topps Index
First Pack
Hobby vs Retail
Card #1
2016T Phillies Checker
Rookie Cups
Future Stars

Cost of 2016 Topps

Sources and Links
Cardboard Connection

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Still waiting for 2016 Topps - but we found #27 Alec Asher

It was raining today so I didn't bother checking in at my local big box to see if they have any 2016 Topps.

My disappointment with several aspects of this years offering has not stopped me from scouring online sources to get a glimpse of some of the new cards.

2016 Topps #27 Alec Asher (image stolen from ebay gochicubs)

Alec Asher's Rookie Card caught my eye. Check out the young right-hander's pitching elbow - cool shot of Asher's Tommy John scar!

I have been babbling for the last month that the photos in 2016 Topps are too tight. This card is the exception. A shot from further away or less clear wouldn't display the evidence of the surgery and would just be another pitchers card. 

Getty Got It
I went to one of my recent obsessions and checked Getty Images to see what we could find out about this picture. My research has pointed me towards a photo taken by Mitchell Leff during a game on August 30 2015.

The game was Alec Asher's Major League Debut and according to the information associated with the photo on Getty's website the picture was taken in the first inning. This means on this 2016 Topps card we have a shot of Alec Asher throwing one of his first pitchers as a major leaguer.

I love it.

I won't even bother nitpicking about this not being one of those Major League Debut cards with date at the bottom of the photo.

Unfortunately my love of this card doesn't change the fact that Alec Asher took the Loss in his Debut. It was the seven starts the rookie had for the Phillies in 2015, only one of which went well - most were poor as Asher went 0-6 with a 9.31 ERA. Hopefully the 24 year old pitcher has a better go around when he returns to the big leagues. 

Sources and Links
2016 Topps Index
Cardboard Connection
Getty Images

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

2016 Heritage the Originals - 1967 Topps

For this years Heritage release Topps will be revisiting their 1967 release. Up until  recently I found this set bland. Upon further review I think of it as a minimalist design that helps highlight the player photo.

Bear with me as I open the 2016 Heritage/1967 Topps discussion by posting the #395 Chris Short card which we have featured at length in our 1964 Phillies Retrospective.

1967 Topps #395 Chris Short

This isn't just one of my favorite cards of the 1967 set it is one of my favorite cards of all-time.

Everything comes together, A Semi-Star player, The bright red windbreaker, and the clear blue sky. The whole image says spring training baseball. The whole card is discussed beautifully over at the 1967 Topps Blog which I am sure I will cite frequently throughout this years discussion of Heritage.

The layout of 1967T is a solid foundation for a great card. The Bold but non-intrusive team name is the anchor for the design. Above the name we have the facsimile signature, which is quite clear on the Chris Short card, Player and position at that top with the photo extending all the way to the borders. This make 1967 Topps the fullest photo since 1957 Topps which similarly ran photos to the border with player name, team and other info overlaying the photo.

 1967 Topps #395 Chris Short

The Lime Green back side was a bit jarring when I first saw it as a kid. However, as I get older I appreciate the color more. It forms a good contrast to the text portion of the card. Some of the middle 70s dark greens are tough to read.
I look forward to seeing the 2 panel cartoons on 2016 Heritage. Check out the 2nd -toon mentions that Short had 16 shutouts, and this was only half way through his career. This artwork will NOT be on any Heritage card - Bartolo Colon is the active career leader in Shutouts at 13.

Another nice feature is full minor and major league stats. Although if one runs a comparison with 1966 Topps, we see that the profile format of the b-sides forces a couple of columns to be dropped. For pitcher cards these fields are league, Games and IP. For position players league, games and runs scored were eliminated. 1967 is the first Topps release to run the backs in profile rather than landscape format.  

1967 Topps came in at 609 cards which was the companies largest release at the time. 2016 Heritage will come in at a mere 425 cards, which will minimize the opportunities for Topps create number matches including both key rookies: #569 Rod Carew, #581 Tom Seaver and Chris Short's banishment partner #570 Maury Wills.

Over the coming weeks we plan on hitting a few topics in 2016 Heritage/1967 Topps, that statement comes with the regular Phungo disclaimer attached to our serialized features: We reserve the right to blow off the rest of the series at any time. If we stick with it some of the topics are indexed below.

1967 Topps/2016 Heritage Index
Manager Cards
Rookie Stars
Rookie Cups
League Leaders
World Series

Retros - Hank Aaron
Retros - David Ortiz
Phillies Checker Comparison
2016 Heritage First Pack
Banished #570 Maury Wills

1967T Hall of Fame Cards
#215 Ernie Banks
#315 Billy Williams
#333 Ferguson Jenkins
#422 Hoyt Wilhelm
#460 Harmon Killebrew
#500 Juan Marichal
#510 Bill Mazeroski
#480 Willie McCovey

Sources and Links
1967 Topps Blog
Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards - Bob Lemke
Cardboard Connection 

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions