Tuesday, October 1, 2019

ANNIVERSARY 1968 OCT 02: Bob Gibson Sets World Series Strike Out Record

I missed the 50th anniversary of this a year ago so we are catching up today.

1969 Topps #162 World Series Special Game 1 Gibson Fans 17

Yes 51 years ago Bob Gibson Struck out 17 Tigers in Game one of the 1968 World Series.

Number of things to like on this card:

- Newsprint style format
- Gibson's face is a bit in the shadow, but overall I think this is a good photo from the era
- Great headline, subheader and synopsis
- Sponsorship by The Sporting News
- It's BOB freaking GIBSON

Gibson's 17K day broke the previous record set by Sandy Koufax 5 years prior, also on October 2 and in a game 1, Gibson struck out every Detroit hitter in the starting lineup at least once with the 3 & 4 Htiters Al Kaline and Norm Cash each whiffing 3 times. Other notable victims include Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews who went down on strikes as a Pinch Hitter, Bill Freehan and Willie Horton.

According to Baseball Almanac the record still stands today.

1969 Topps #162 World Series Special Game 1 Gibson Fans 17 (b-side)

The back of the card has a box score for the Cardinals 4-0 victory. Note the 17 Putouts credited to Tim McCarver. Lots of other big names on the Cardinals, HOF Lou Brock's hit was a Home Run which accounted for the single run in the 7th.

While the Cardinals won this battle, the Tigers would eventually win the War taking the 1968 Series in 7 games.

1968 Topps World Series Special Subset
The subber for the 1968 World Series runs 8 cards from #162-169, one for each game plus a summary. Hall of Famers earning cards in the set other than Gibson are the aforementioned Kaline and Brock.  

Sources and Links
1969 Topps Baseball
Bob Gibson Hall of Fame Index
1969 Topps World Series Special Subset
baseball card database
Baseball Almanac

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Happy Birthday Mike Schmidt: 1977 Topps #140

On September 27th Mike Schmidt will celebrate his 70th birthday. To mark the occasion we are examining a card that was issued back when Schmidt was 27 just on the cusp of hitting his prime.

1977 Topps #140 Mike Schmidt

In 1976 the Phillies wore a Bicentennial/All-Star Game patch on their left shoulders. The 1977T card which displays the patch most prominently is Mike Schmidt's.

That is probably my favorite aspect of the card. I have two other photo observations:

1) I believe this is Shea Stadium which is the setting for several Phillies cards in the era.

2) Schmidt appears to be swinging a Rawlings bat. Adirondack/Rawlings bats from the middle 70s carried a ring on the bat handle in the team color - seen in red here.

However, during a Louisville Slugger tour I took a few years ago I found out something interesting:

Louisville Slugger Museum

Above we have four Louisvlle Slugger Bats. Schmidt's lumber is the 3rd one from the top, notice the Red ring. Schmidt had an exclusive contract with Rawlings, however at times he felt the need to change bats. To hide the switch, Schmidt disguised the Louisville Slugger bat by creating his own red ring using tape. More detail on this can be found at the PSA Card site.

The four bats top to Bottom are Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray (HR #501, last as an Oriole), Schmidt and George Brett (note the Pine Tar).

1977 Topps #140 Mike Schmidt (b-side)

This is the first card issued following Schmidt's Four Home Run game on April 17 1976 and the text leads of with that fun fact. The blurb closes mentioning that Schmidt had 11 Homers in April which is a record - not sure if this is for any month or specific to April. Regardless both records have been eclipsed since 1976. Sammy Sosa holds the MLB Record for HR in a month with 20 (June 1998), While the April Record of 14 is shared by Albert Pujols (2006) and A-Rod (2007).

Talkin Toons
Always good to see a cartoon on the back of the card. The subject of today's comic is Yankees Slugger Hank Bauer and his17 game Wolrd Series hitting streak( 1956 OCT 3 - 1958 OCT 4).  At the time this card was released Bauer had held the record for 18 years. Here we are almost 42 years later and he still holds the record. the 2018 World Series marked the 60th Anniversary of the record.

Bauer's 17 game hitting streak is also the record for consecutive postseason games as well. He shares the record with Derek Jeter (1998-1999) and Manny Ramirez (2003-2004).  The Astros George Springer has an active streak of 14 games

Bauer Toons
A couple of Hank Bauer own cards have comics that feature the record including 1960 and 1961.  My favorite is a manager card from 1969.

1969 Topps #124 Hank Bauer (b-side / baseball card datbase)

Rather than featuring a lengthy text bio the Manager cards from 1969 featured a full size cartoon that include a nice profile sketch.

Speaking of sketches and bringing this back to our original subject, I created my own version of the 1977T Schmidt card.

1977T Mike Schmidt (Phungo Original)

Drawing 1997 Topps doesn't present any unusual challenges. The Team names are italicized which is a minor hassle. I like the drop shadow on the pennant.

I elected to leave the team logo and number off the uni, which are largely covered in the original - unfortunately this leaves a lot of blue space on the drawing and elongates Schmidt's Torso.

1980 Phillies
I am including this post as part of our 1980 Phillies Series. I hope to return to Schmidt again next year as he is not only one of the  most significant members of that particular team but also the franchise history.

Sources and Links
Mike Schmidt HoF Index
1980 Phillies World Champs Index
Phungo Artwork Index
Baseball Almanac
PSA Card
baseball card database
mlb.com / Astros 

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Happy Anniversary Prince Fielder 2009 Topps #1

September 6th 2019 marks the 10th anniversary of one of the more memorable moments of Prince Fielder's career.

2009 Topps #1 Prince Fielder

The Brewers defeated the Giants 2-1 in extra innings that day, the winning blow was a Walk-Off Home Run by Fielder. To celebrate the Brewers executed a choreographed bowling style celebration. The moment polarizes old and new school fans. I suppose if you want to pinpoint a moment where MLB decided that maybe it is ok to celebrate big Home Runs might have been Prince Fielder September 6 2009.

The image of that moment was honored by Topps with the lead-off card for their 2010 set.

I did some digging and I believe the photograph was taken by Morry Gash and can be found at AP-Images.  There are a number of similar shots across the net, but this is the only one that I was unable to find any discrepancies between the card and photo.

2009 Topps #1 Prince Fielder (b-side)

Fielder didn't get the #1 slot just for the September 6th Walk-Off.  He was a superstar player at the peak of his career. Checking his numbers on the card back we notice he lead the NL in RBI with 141. The 46 Home Runs trailed only Albert Pujols (47).

The text also mentions Fielders 2009 HR Derby victory.
2009 HR Derby Cards

As part of the Derby Topps created a set of jumbo cards that were on display at Citifield for the All-Star game.  I took the above photo at the Futures game.

Stray Observation
The pitcher that gave up the Home Run was reliever Merkin Valdez. In 74 career games Valdez only took the Loss in one game, this was the one. 

Sources & Links
Topps #1 Club
Game Dated Cards Index
AP Images - Morry Gash

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

1973 Topps #322 Garry Maddox (rc)

Little late on this one but Garry Maddox turned 70 over the Labor day weekend. To celebrate we are posting a column on his rookie card.

1973 Topps #322 Garry Maddox (rc, image from Baseball Card Database)

Over here at Phungo Headquarters we think of Garry Maddox as a lifetime Phillies player, but as can be seen above early in his career he spent a couple of years with the Giants. Nice to see Maddox get a solo card here as many rookies from this era were awarded shared cards.

However there is a sloppy Topps element to this card as well.  Garry Maddox was a member the 1972 All-Star Rookie team, unfortunately Topps failed to put the trophy icon on his card.

As part of the Team Phungo Art initiative we have decided to correct this error, and while we were being creative we decided to modify a few other things about the card.

Phungo Original 1973T  Garry Maddox

Yes since I was going to the trouble of drawing a new card of Garry Maddox with the Rookie Cup, I figure why not make him a Phillie. I tried to get Maddox face and figure to match the card photo, but with the background I got a little crazy and put in a globe.

The idea was inspired by the quote "Two-thirds of the Earth is covered by water, the other one-third by Garry Maddox." which is often attributed to Ralph Kiner.

So yes in one drawing I made the Topps card my own by 1) Changing the team 2) Adding the missing Rookie Cup and 3) Including a globe in the background to honor Maddox defensive notoriety.

1980 Phillies

The other reason I did the Maddox artwork was because I thought that this was a fun card on the Maddox player collection checker and I wanted to make the card part of our 1980 Phillies retrospective.

My goal is to put together a dozen or so columns on the 1980 Phils, but since I don't post as often I a starting a little early. A few months ago I wrote up Del Unser which I plan on adding to the collection.

For an index of all 1980 Phillies related postings click here. Not much there yet, but hopefully there will be by this time next year.

Whiz Kids
We also profiled Maddox as part of our series on the 1983 Phillies. That posting will be used as our Garry Maddox Index

Sources and Links
Garry Maddox Index
1973 Topps All-Star Rookie Cards Index
1980 World Champion Phillies Index
Baseball-Ref Bullpen
Baseball Card Database
Baseball Almanac

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Gary Carter HOF Index

This is an index to our postings related to Hall of Fame Catcher Gary Carter.

1976 Topps #441 Gary Carter

1976 Topps #441 (SABR BB Cards)

Toni Stone at the Laura Pels Off-Broadway

Last weekend Team Phungo made the trek up to Manhattan and enjoyed a tremendous play that was based on a Baseball Player.

Toni Stone played second base for the Indianapolis Clowns in 1953. This made her the first woman to play baseball with a Men's professional baseball team. The Clowns are an important part of Negro League history sending several players to the Major Leagues, including Hank Aaron the man that Stone replaced.

The play covers a lot of territory. We learn about Stones background and early prowess in athletics. Her range included track and figure skating. The play also depicts her as an avid baseball fan who memorized stats and has BASEBALL CARDS!!

If you have studied the Negro Leagues you may be familiar with a lot of the material in the play, but it is nice to see it depicted in a fashion that I found historically accurate: The long bus rides due to unwelcoming hotels, The double-headers played in different towns, and of course the harassment from fans during exhibition games with white teams.

In addition Stone dealt with sexism issues from teammates as well as opponents.

There is also a scene where Toni Stone discusses an unfortunate story regarding Gabby Street.

April Matthis
In addition to having an informative and interesting story the play has a very good cast led by veteran April Matthis in the title role. Matthis as Stone figures into every conversation from start to finish making this an almost one-woman show despite the fact she shares the stage with eight other actors.  

Above you see the set for the show. It is set up to appear like a ballpark with bleachers around the stage. Notice the trashcan of baseball bats between bleachers 2 & 3. The stadium lights were a neat part of the set which were used for dramatic affect. The windows in the two alleys between the bleachers often featured single players batting or throwing and created a look of a baseball card.

The Lobby was also dressed up for the show with Pennants and background info on Stone and the Negro Leagues.

Another really nice touch was that they sold Cracker Jack at the concession stand.

On Tour
Toni Stone will only be in NYC through August 11th. However it is going on a short tour thru early 2020. The first stop is San Francisco, followed by DC in the Spring. If you get the opportunity and would like to see some baseball history related theater I highly recommend this show.

I always recommend Off-Broadway if you want to see a play in New York. The theaters are more accessible, tickets are significantly cheaper and since the theaters are smaller you always get a good seat. In addition I can usually find an Off-Broadway show that aligns with my tastes. The Broadway productions are big and mainstream, OB gives the companies a chance to produce edgier stories.

Sources and Links
Vittles On Stage Index

Roundabout Theater

Monday, July 29, 2019

2019 ToppsNow #529 Bryce Harper/Rhys Hoskins honors July 18th Phillies Victory

I finally got to see a 2019 game that the Phillies actually won. And Topps was good enough to create a ToppsNow card for that game.

2019 ToppsNow #529 Phillies (Bryce Harper/Rhys Hoskins)

There were several key performers in the Phillies 7-6 victory over the Dodgers which featured FIVE lead changes (1-0, 1-2, 3-2, 3-4, 7-5). Topps chose to cover the days card with the Phillies big names Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins. However the hero could have also been 2017 First round pick (8th overall) Adam Haseley who tallied his first Major League Home Run.

Solid picture choices on both players. On the left we have a nice shot of Bryce Harper's emotional slide into second which I clearly remember from where I was standing. The latter photo features Rhys at the plate, anytime you can get the ball just prior to impact that's a win.

2019 ToppsNow
I would prefer that Topps go with a single image here but this was pretty much a team win and lets face it ToppsNow may not feature many Phillies this year. Otherwise this is an ok design, I would like to see the date more prominently displayed since NOW is a feature of the card. This is a two player card, but as far as I can tell the player position is not on single player cards.

There were six ToppsNow cards issued for July 18 2019. The Phillies had the largest print run for the day (464) even eclipsing the reigning AL MVP Mookie Betts and Hall of Famer Ted Williams.

2019 ToppsNow CheckList for July 18 2019
#526 Mookie Betts/Ted Williams (Print Run = 352)
#527 Brian Anderson (131)
#528 Chris Sale (182)
#529 Phillies (464)
#530 Stephen Strasburg (300)
#532 Donovan Solano (162)

2019 ToppsNow #529 Phillies (b-side)

The Text on the back of the card gives a concise two sentend summary of the Phillies 7th inning comeback. Not to self: use the word "cut" when I want to discuss a team making a comeback.

2019 ToppsNow #529 Phillies, 2019 JUL 18 Dodgers @ Phillies

And since this card is from a game that Team Phungo attended it will be going into the Phungo Games binder. Always excited to share a combined trading card/ticket photo on the blog.

Sources and Links
Bryce Harper Index
Rhys Hoskins Index
Phungo Game Dated Cards Index

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions