Friday, September 16, 2016

ANNIVERSARY: September 16 1976 - Jerry Morales Sets Pinchhitting Mark

Check it out an Expos Posting!

1977 Topps #233 Record Breaker Jose Morales Most Hits, Season, Pinchhitter

40 Years ago the manager Charlie Fox did something that he and the Expos previous manager Karl Kuehl had already done 73 times in 1976 - He sent Jose Morales to Pinch Hit.

Montreal was clinging to a 1-run lead but had the bases loaded. The scheduled batter was reliever Steve Dunning. Morales who had recorded 24 pinch hits on the season was the clear choice for the critical AB. 

Facing future Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter, Jose Morales came through one more time. He hit a bases clearing double to put the Expos up 4-0, o their way to an eventual 4-3 victory. A grand total of 2877 Fans witnessed the feat - which is probably the appropriate number for a team that would go on to lose 107 games.

1977 Topps #233 Record Breaker Jose Morales Most Hits, Season, Pinchhitter (b-side)

The flip side of the card has a synopsis of the game and includes nods to the previous record holders Dave Philley (who did play for the Phillies but not during his record setting season) and Vic Davalillo. Philley Remains the AL Record Holder today - A standard he has maintained for 55 Years.

John Vander Wal
Morales was surpassed in 2005 by Catcher John Vander Wal who logged 28 Pinch Hits for the Rockies.

Sources and Links
1977 Topps Record Breakers Index
Stand and Deliver: A History of Pinch Hitting - Paul Votano
Baseball Almanac

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Game Report: 2016 09 12 - Pirates 2 @ Phillies 6

The Phillies turned another page in their 2016 rebuild during Monday Night's 6-2 victory over the struggling Pirates.

Not one but two of their prospects crossed milestones: Jorge Alfaro made his Major League Debut and Roman Quinn got his first home start. Even sweeter each of the rookies recorded their first hits as well.

Roman Quinn got to bat at CBP for the first time and had a pretty good night. He went 2-4 with a pair of doubles, 2 RBIs and a walk.

After a tough first inning Jeremy Hellickson settled down and pitched into the 7th only allowing 1 unearned run and three singles.

Gerrit Cole's first start off of the DL didn't go well. He was lifted after two innings. He gave up 5 Runs on four hits and four ugly walks.

 Freddy Galvis homered for the Good Guys.

I understand how Roman Quinn got the Anonymous Treatment in the Topps Starting Lineup department. However....

How is it that Jeremy Hellickson doesn't have a card yet?


Good Guy Awards go out to the Pirates Josh Harrison (above) and David Freese who each signed a bunch of autographs pregame.

 I picked up my first Rob Manfred Baseball on Monday Night.

Moving on Up

Now that school is back in session tix for selected games are even cheaper $14 for a night at the ballpark ain't bad, even if your watching a fourth place team. The Phillies recorded their 64th Win last night which guarantees they will finish with an improved record over the 63-99 of 2015.


Monday, September 12, 2016

ANNIVERSARY: September 12 1976 - Minnie Minoso becomes Oldest Player to Hit Safely in a Major League Game

Today marks the 40th anniversary of an event that gave birth to one of my favorite cards from my youth.
1977 Topps #232 Minnie Minoso (Oldest Player to Hit Safely)

On September 12th 1976 Minnie Minoso started the first game of a Double Header for the White Sox. He was the DH and batted 9th. With two outs in the 2nd inning Minoso singled off of Angels left-hander Sid Monge. This made Minoso the oldest player to get a Hit in a Major League game.  is a

1977 Topps #232 Minnie Minoso (b-side)

The Fact that the White Sox won 4-2 in extras is such an afterthought that the games outcome is not even mentioned on the back of the card.

Topps does mention discuss Nick Altrock who held the record previous to Minoso.  Altrock single was recorded for the Washington Senators during a 2-1 Loss to the Boston Red Sox. The hit was off of a 20 year old reliever named Pat Simmons, in what turned out to be Simmons last major league game. 

Altrock was a pitcher who also had a side career as an entertainer, his interesting SABR Bio can be found here.

1977 Topps Record Breakers Index
MInnie Minoso Index
SABR Bio Nick Altrock

1997 Topps Record Breakers Index

This is an Index to our postings regarding 1977 Topps Record Breakers

1977 Topps #232 Minnie Minoso (Oldest Player to Hit Safely)

1977 Topps #231 George Brett (Six Consecutive 3-Hit Games)
1977 Topps #232 Minnie Minoso (Oldest Player to Hit Safely) 
1977 Topps #233 Jerry Morales (Most Pinch Hits Season)

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

SNAPSHOTS: 2016 08 30 Nationals 3 @ Phillies 2

Just a couple of pictures from the most recent Team Phungo trek to the ballpark, a 3-2 loss to the Division leading Nationals.

2016 0830 Max Scherzer vs Cameron Rupp @ Philadelphia PA

The Phillies may look ugly on the diamond but the field still can look nice.

2016 0830 Max Scherzer vs Ryan Howard @ Philadelphia PA

The Phillies didn’t have many highlights in the game. Both runs came courtesy of a Ryan Howard Homer. The above in the above shot is not the from the Home Run AB, this is the Bottom of the 5th - one of two times when Howard Struck Out.

2016 0830 Max Scherzer

The Star of the night was Max Scherzer who took a no-hitter into the sixth and struck out 11 over eight innings. As a batter he also successfully executed a suicide squeeze to give the Nats their third run – which ended up being the difference in the game.

I am Pretty happy with this photo as it sort of captures the oft mentioned differences of Scherzer's eye color

2016 0830 Jerad Eickhoff

The Phillies starting pitcher, Jerad Eickhoff, fought through some early control issues and was able to give the club six innings. If it weren't for a misplayed fourth inning fly ball by Aaron Altherr in the fourth inning, Eichoff may have left the game deadlocked 2-2 with the Nats and Scherzer. 
2016 0830 Trea Turner

Nats Rookie Trea Turner is having a good season. The outfielder had a pair of hits on Wednesday boosting his average to .344.

Familiar Faces
 Ben Revere

Jayson Werth

Sources and Links

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Bucket or Chuck-It; 2016 Topps Throw Back Thursday Set

Ahh time to return to a feature that we haven't had in a while Bucket or Chuck-It. Bucket is good as in add it to your bucket list. Chuck-It is bad as in Toss it out like a pair of worn sneakers.

2016 Topps TBT #37 Mike Piazza '96 ASG MVP

All seaon Jim from the Phillies Room has been picking up Phillies related Topps Now cards in bulk and passing along cards to other Phils collectors. I find the cards unique and as a fan of game dated cards the concept appeals to me, especially when someone like Jim is dedicated to do all the work of submitting the requests to Topps. There have been at least 6 Phillies Topps Now cards and I would like to get to those and a More dedicated thank you to Jim in a future post.

I myself  hadn't picked up anything directly from Topps until recently when I saw in celebration of the Hall of Fame weekend they issued a "bundle" related to this year's inductees Ken Griffey Jr and Mike Piazza.

The six card set is inspired by the 1962T Babe Ruth Subset with 3 cards dedicated to each of the new Hallers.  The second card of the set features a photo of Mike Piazza receiving an the 1996 All-Star Game award.

This card was appealing to me as a Piazza fan and it is a nice add to my local players collection, but the real draw is that the 1996 ASG is a Phungo Game and This is a card I can add to the Phungo Games collection.

Despite the fact that the image on the card makes Piazza appear as if he had a few to many at the family picnic, I do like the front of this card.


2016 Topps TBT (b-sides)

Topps mailed it in on the b-sides for the text. The backs of all six cards have identical text. The only thing that differentiates each card is the number and the player name.

 It's a shame, if these are such big events in each players career how about paying a writer and a copy editor (or even an intern) for a couple of days work to come up with a paragraph. This is a $20 set of six cards, that can be produced months in advanced - it's not like they woke up on Wednesday and said "Hey we need to put out a Throw Back Thursday set tomorrow" or maybe they did.

2016 Topps TBT #37 Mike Piazza '96 ASG MVP (b-side)
1962 Topps #138 Babe Ruth Special (b-side)

Check out this example of an original 1962 Babe Ruth Special. We have a pretty detailed summary of Ruth's rough 1925 season. On the New Piazza card all you get "Hey look at us, we have been making cards for 50 years and Mike shares this documentation with Ken Griffey Jr"

2016 Topps TBT Ken Griffey Jr 1995 ALDS
1962 Topps #138 Babe Ruth Special

Just for comparison we present the front of one of the other TBT specials with Babe's original.  I think Topps did a decent job on the fronts, just wish they would have carried through to the back.

Very disappointed, Great Concept, I think Topps picked a great subset to use for these cards, but the execution of the backs is insulting, especially for a set that runs $20.

Sources and Links
1996 All-Star Game Index
Phungo Mike Piazza HoF Index
Phungo Ken Griffey Jr HoF Index
Phungo Babe Ruth HoF Index
Topps TBT

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Game Report: Dodgers 15 @ Phillies 5 - Chase Utley Returns

There are things you expect - Chase Utley Getting a Standing Ovation, and there are things that your happy to see but don't really expect - Chase Utley's Ovation extends for a second beat, and he needs to settle the fans so the game can start or Chase Utley hits a Home Run in his return.

Then there are thing that you wonder if they would ever happen - Chase Utley gets a Curtain Call as an opposing player

And Then there are miracles - Chase Utley and Ryan Howard turned back time.

Utley Hit a Grand Slam and got a second curtain call, at this point what was a game at moved into theater. It was watching "the Natural' unfold in real life.

Later Ryan Howard would hit a moonshot Home Run into the Phillies Bullpen, after narrowly missing one earlier in the game.

It was as much fun as a fan can have in a 15-5 Loss.

The Philllies may have been down 10 runs, but for a few hours it felt like 2008 again. The crowd was good size, Everyone was excited and engaged - and I felt eight years younger, Now that's a miracle!

 Chase Utley in Blue :(

Warm Ups

Utley and Ryan Howard Pregame. I think Howard is saying "well if you hit a Home Run, I am going to have to hit one too.."

Just a few #26 Jerseys

Utley signed a number of autographs pregame. The fans were four of five deep down the Left Field line. Good Guy Awards go out to Corey Seager and Chris Taylor who also were spotted signing for the fans.

Fifth Beatle?
Ryan Howard MopTop

Last night was Beatles Night - in celebration of the 50th anniversary of an appearance of what turned out to be the bands US Farewell tour.

Field Report
Our friends over at the Phillies Room were also at the game and they have their own field report which can be found here.

Sources and Links
Chase Utley Player Collection Index
Beatles Bible

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions