Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Inspired by Night Owl Cards Prince Memorial last week we have a few Phillies Purple Cards.

1975 Topps # 574 Tony Taylor

In deference to NOC we open with a 1975T card that has a Purple top. The Phillies had purple cards in Flagship even in years when it was not one of the base colors.

Several times over the years Purple has served as a secondary color for Phillies cards. The 1990T Bob Dernier is a favorite - Green and Purple are particularly good complimentary colors.

Purple Chrome

Purple Parallels have shown up the last couple of years commonly found in Toys R Us sets, but I think the 2013 Heritage may have been regular retail.

Fleer stole the 1954T design for this set. Lots of Purple on the Ron Gant card.

Continuing with Fleer with a minimalist retro inspired design from 2006. Kind of like the look of this set.

The Purple continues through to the b-side.

 HoF Mike Schmidt go the Purple Honors on his 1988 Score card.

Once again the Purple continues through to the back, although more subtle then on the Rollins 06 Fleer Tradition Card.

Finally from 1982T, in addition to the titles the signature hockey sticks are also in Princely Purple.

Finally we close with Prince Himself

Purple Rain 45 RPM on Purple Vinyl

And the packaging...

I supposed colored vinyl is the Parallel of Records.

Sources and Links
Prince Memorial / Prince R&R HoF Index

Monday, April 25, 2016

Prince 1958-2016

In many ways I was more affected by the news of Prince's death than that of David Bowie. The biggest reason is timing.

Bowie was an established star, mega star even, before I got into music. Prince's career arc began to rise just as I was getting into music.
I probably have more Bowie Albums in the Phungo Collection, but they are more like historical documents to me. I played the grooves out of 1999 and Purple Rain. 

2004 08 23 Prince at the Wachovia Center Philadelphia

Once Prince became a star my interest waned, but I was very excited to see him on the Musicology tour at  the Wachovia Center.

I don't recall a lot about the show. and it is weird it feels like a recent show despite the fact that 2004 is over a decade ago. I suppose it is because at the time I was significantly closer to 40 than 30 and the process of giving into being a grown up was happening very quickly. Seeing Prince in 2004 is firmly ensconsed in the file of concerts I saw as an adult - no confusing it with seeing GnR, The Dead Milkment or Nine Inch Nails who all appeared at the latter edges of my misspent youth. 

A glance at the set list form the show refreshed my memory a bit.

The Wachovia Center is a good size arena and Row 2 of the Upper Tier was far away at times. The show was done in the round, Prince was "hidden" inside a box and snuck in below the stage emerging from beneath the center of the raised floor to open the show.

The concertw as broken into three pieces plus an encore. There was a full band for the shows opening and closing sections separated by a Prince solo set. Highlights from the show included "Lets Go Crazy" near the beginning of the show, Prince opening the solo with "Little Red Corvette",  and "7" at the top of the closing set. Prince highlighted the music of several other artists including a couple of Sheila E tunes, a solo version of the Stones "Satisfaction" and a cover of "Knock on Wood". The Three song encore concluded with a memorable "Purple Rain"

Maceo Parker opened the show and also played with Prince's band. A number of songs also prominently featured saxophonist Candy Dulfer

Sources and Links
Purple Cards - Night Owl Cards
Purple Cards - Phungo
VittlesTunes - Index of Music related posts
Candy Dulfer
Maceo Parker

Sunday, April 24, 2016

1976 ASG +40: Ken & Bob Fosch 1977 Topps #632

Hello Houston!

The Astros are once again noteworthy and are getting national recognition on Sunday Night Baseball. To mark that return we turn our 1976 All-Star Game Anniversary coverage to one the Astros reps on the NL Squad.

1977 Topps #632 Big League Brothers Bob and Ken Forsch

In 1976 Ken Fosch made the first of his two all-star appearances. He finished the game setting down the AL in order, finishing with a strike out of Amos Otis.

Ken Fosch had a 16 year career, 11 with the Astros followed by five with the Angels.  A swingman Forsch made the All-Star team as a reliever who would save 19 games for the 1976 Astros.  He pitched to a a cumulative career WAR of 27.1 with his single best WAR season during his first full one in 1971 at age 24, +3.6. 

Phillies fans my remember his only Postseason appearance, the 1980 NLCS.  He pitched during deciding game 5. Forsch entered the game with an Astros 5-4 lead and 2 men on bases. He gave up back to back hits to Del Unser and Manny Trillo which led to three Phillies runs. The Phillies would eventually triumph 8-7 in ten innings.
1977 Topps #632 Big League Brothers Bob and Ken Forsch 

Nice synopsis of the Forsch's little league years. Bob Forsch never made an all-star team But did win a World Series as a member of the 1982 Cardinals.

1977 Topps Big League Brothers
Big League Brothers is barely a subset clocking in at four cards. However two of those four cards were represented in the 76 ASG. In addition to the Forsch siblings there were also the Brett's. George Brett started at 3rd Base for the AL squad. He and his brother Ken occupy the #631 slot in 1977T. 

A career highlight for Bob Fosch features the Phillies. The first of his two no-hitters was versus the Phillies on April 16, 1976, A 5-0 Cardinals victory.

Sources and Links
1976 ASG 40th Anniversary Index
Cardboard Connection
Baseball Card Database
Baseball Almanac

Friday, April 22, 2016

1976 ASG +40: Bob Uecker 1967 Topps

The Phillies make their annual trip to Milwaukee over the weekend which gives us the opportunity to roll out one of my favorite vintage commons.

1967 Topps #326 Bob Uecker

No Bob Uecker did not play in the 1976 All-Star game. By the time the Bicentennial rolled around His career was over by almost a decade and as you may suspect the Career .200 Hitter never did play in an All-Star game.

Bob Uecker did make it to the All-Star game as a part of the broadcast team for ABC Sports. He worked alongside Warner Wolf and Pirates announcer Bob Prince.

Warner Wolf and Bob Uecker on ABC Broadcast of 1976 ASG

For the broadcast Bob Uecker drew the AL Assignment, In his pregame comments he singled out Yankees Catcher Thurman Munson and Rangers Shortstop Toby Harrah as statndouts, However the player the was really looking forward to seeing was Mark Fidrych.

The follow up question from lead broadcaster Warner Wolf was about how Uecker liked to spend his All-Star Break. The reply was pure Self-Depracating Bob Uecker

"Well what I used to do was load my catchers equiment into my car rent a motel room for three days lock myself in and scream my head off because I didn’t make it again. "

I should note that it is not entirely correct that Uecker was never an All-Star....

1967 Topps #326 Bob Uecker (b-side)

According to the second -toon on the back of the card Uecker was an All-Star selection in 1961. There is something in error here, as in 1961 Bob Uecker played for the Louisville Colonels of the Ammerican Association not the NL.

Bleacher Seats
For more on Bob Uecker and this card (his last as an active player) check out the 1967 Topps Baseball Posting.

Sources and Links
1976 All-Star Game Index
1967 Topps Baseball
YouTube - 1976 All-Star Game

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

2016 Topps Gypsy Queen Rack Pack Break

Picked up a Rack Pack of Gypsy Queen at the big T this week. The rack went for $10 and included three 6-card packs plus a "bonus" 3-card pack of framers.

Here are the highlights althoug GQ really isn't my thing - pithy comments will be minimal.

2016 Topps Gypsy Queen Gary Sanchez (base & framed)

One of the three framed cards I picked up was Yankees prospect Gary Sanchez, We also picked up the base card which gives us the opportunity to put up the above side/side.

2016 Topps Gypsy Queen #321 Tony Perez (sp)

The bottom 50 cards in the GQ set are short-prints of retired players, mostly Hall of Famers. Thankfully the HOF SPs doen't interfere with building a set including today's stars.  We will hopefully return to this one in our 1976 ASG feature. And there is a Sloppy Topps issue with this card as well. 

2016 Topps Gypsy Queen Andrelton Simmons,  Jayson Heyward, Scott Kazmir, Zach Greinke 

The April release date for GQ gives Topps more of an opportunity to photoshop players into their new unis. There were at least the above four among our 18 cards. 

2016 Topps GQ #133 Mike Trout

I am all for card photos from other POV, but this one strikes me as a lil dull for a superstar of Trout's caliber.

2016 Topps GQ Power Alley PA-7 Dave Winfield

Home Run Hitters Insert.

2016 Topps Mini MVP #MVPM-BL Barry Larkin

Between this and the Perez SP it was kind of a Reds Hot Pack. Neither the Power Alley nor Mini MVP insert sets contain any Phillies.

Alex Cobb, Mike Moustakas, Charlie Blackmon, Yasiel Puig

The rest of our minis and framed cards are above.

21 Cards no Phillies.

Sources and Links
cardboard connection

Monday, April 18, 2016

ANNIVERSARY: April 17 1976 Mike Schmidt 4 Home Run Game

Missed a Phillies anniversary yesterday and wanted to correct that error today. Special thanks to @HighHeatStats for mentioning the event last night or else I would have completely bypassed the occasion.

2008 UD Baseball Heroes #138 Mike Schmidt 

On April 17th of 1976 Mike Schmidt became the first NL player to hit four consecutive Home Runs in a game. The feat was commemorated on the above card in the 2008 UD Baseball Heroes set.

2008 UD Baseball Heroes #138 Mike Schmidt (b-side)

The back has a capsule summary of the wild game which the Phillies eventually won 18-16.  Schmidt's final Home Run of the four broke a 15-15 tie in the 9th inning.

Upper Dreck
Just gotta mention one of those things that will always bug me, Schmidt's four homer game came at Wrigley field but the UD card captures him in a Home uni - slackers.

Sources and Links
Phungo Mike Schmidt HoF Index
High Heat Stats Twitter

Sunday, April 17, 2016

HoF Laker Elgin Baylor

With Sunday Night Baseball in LA and the recent retirement Kobe Bryant I wanted to take a look at one of the first LA Lakers, Elgin Baylor

1961-62 Fleer #46 Elgin Baylor

Elgin Baylor played the entirety of his Hall of Fame career with the Lakers, but in two different towns, 2 seasons in Minnesota and a dozen in LA.

The 11 time All-Star earned the Final Four Most Outstanding Player award with Seattle U in 1958. He followed that up by being drafted first overall and winning the NBA Rookie of the Year award for 1958-59.

Baylor was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1977. Following his playing career Elgin stayed in basketball as a coach with the Utah Jazz and executive with the LA Clippers.  He was named to the NBA All-Time Teams for both the leagues 35th (1980) and 50th (1996) Anniversaries.

1961-62 Fleer #46 Elgin Baylor (b-side)

The last 22 cards of 1961-62 Fleer Hoop are Action shots. The simple clean backs don't contain stats but do have a healthy paragraph on the player. In addition there is a nice closing sentence describing the action in the shot on the card front.

Phungo Colleciton V1.0
There are two 61-62 Fleer cards in the Phungo collection, they are both from my childhood collecting years. I am not sure how they came into my hands but I was 11 or 12 at the time, which would have been the late 1970s. I think it my father may have gotten them from a co-worker. At the time they were the oldest cards in the collection.

A Classmate who was a bigger sports nerd than myself had to explain who Elgin Baylor was. That classmate is now working in a University Sports Info Department.

Sources and Links
Cardboard Connection

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions