Monday, June 28, 2010

Phungo 5 with Nachos Grande

This week the Phils visit the NL Central Division Leading Cincinnati Reds. For a closer look at the talent on this Upstart team we talk to Chris from Nachos Grande.

I post the Reds over under as 87 Wins - which will it be?
I think the Reds will finish the year with more than 87 wins. As I write this answer, the Reds are on pace for 88 wins (according to CoolStandings). However, the Reds actually should get better towards the end of the year since Edinson Volquez will be returning and Aroldis Chapman may make a bullpen appearance to add some intimidation to the 'pen.


1995 UD Minor League #78 Scott Rolen

Have you been surprised by
Scott Rolen's performance for the Reds?
When the Reds traded for Scott Rolen, I thought it was a bit of a wasteful move both in terms of money and players (they sent Edwin to the Blue Jays). However, Rolen has impressed me considerably and performed much, MUCH better than I thought. In fact, I believe he is the key to the Reds success this year - if he remains healthy all year, the Reds make the playoffs.

If the Reds are buyers a month from now, who would fit well into thier lineup?
The Reds could use a leadoff hitter but I'm not exactly sure who they'd be able to get. The offense from the shortstop position is lacking (as is left field defense) so those would be the areas I'd expect the Reds to try to fill. If Chapman doesn't slot into the bullpen, the Reds really need to find someone (besides the ageless wonder Rhodes) to fill the gap from the starters to Cordero.

What
Barry Larkin card makes you cringe?
In general, I'm not a fan of super "busy" cards...so cards like the 1995 Topps Bazooka Barry Larkin make me cringe.

Who will be the
National League Rookie of the Year?
If Strasburg keeps pitching decently, I'm afraid the hype machine will lead to him being named MVP. However, there are a lot of solid rookies in the National League that deserve consideration (including the Reds' Mike Leake who's been great all year despite never pitching a single inning in the minor leagues).

Phungo Box Score
3 for 3 for Nachos Grande. I always have mixed feelings on Scott Rolen - he is a Diva but his work ethic is typically unquestioned, and when healthy he capable of providing quality on-field leadership. Only 3 of 3 since I have out two prognostication type Qs. I like the faith that Chris is showing in his squad and I would also like to see the Reds make a push for the post-season.

Looking Back
For a look back at our previous Phungo 5 with Dave from Indians Baseball Cards and Random Wax click here. Or you can click here to see our 2009 Q&A with Nachos Grande


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Whats this card doing here?

To celebrate the Phils Upside Down Home/Away Interleague series with the Blue Jays Team Phungo is checking out some O-Pee-Chee.



Find out more in my latest post over at A Pack to be Named Later.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Can anybody explain this to me?

While Clevenland is still in town to face the Phils, I wanted to put together one more Indians related post.



2010 National Chicle Trips Speaker w/ original artwork - thetoppsvault auction

This auction for the above card/artwork from thetoppsvault just concluded for $83.75.

The pricepoint of the auction is not really my concern here, but my question is what the heck is with Tris Speaker in a Phillies uniform. He never played for the the Phils - he is primarily known as playing with the Indians or Red Sox , but did finish his career with the Philadlephia A's.

Has anyone seen this card in the "original' form as a Phillies player - I think I have only seen the Indians version. I could almost see Chicle putting out an Athletics version of the card, as Speaker likely was never issued a A's card way back in 1928.

I know folks have had various issues with the Topps Baseball-Chicle cards. Just add this one to the Sloppy Topps list.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Phungo 5 with Tribe Cards

This week the Phils sort of conclude the home portion of interleague play with a three game set against the Cleveland Indians. Today, we check in with Dave, the man in charge over at Indians Baseball Cards and Random Wax, to find out what is going on with the Tribe.

1) How are all those ex-Phils looking for the
Indians?
How are ANY players looking for the Tribe these days? It's a rough go of things, and will be for 2-3 more seasons.

2010 06 22 Shin-Soo Choo

2) Who will represnt the Indians at the All Star game?
I suppose Choo, though I don't think there is a true "All-Star" on the team this year.

3) What teams (if any) went unclaimed in the Great Tribecards Giveaway?
Many teams actually went unclaimed, thus were given away as mega-fodder. Off the top of my head, I don't specifically remember which teams went unclaimed. Padres, maybe? That's a guess.

4) What number should the Indians retire next?
I can't think of one yet. Ideally, for me, it would be 25 (Thome), but that's just me playing favorites.

5) Who was your Favorite "Drew Carey Show" character?
Surprisingly, I never watched the show that I can remember.

Phungo 5 Box Score
Hmm 4 out of 5 - I am betting that "the Drew Carey Show" aired while Dave was busy raising kids. To be honest I did not watch the show much myself, but I just want to mention that Lisa(Katy Selverstone) is one of my favorite girlfriends of a television character ever.

Looking back
for a look back at our last Phungo 5 with Rhubarb_Runner click here.

On Deck
As mentioned above the Cleveland series is sort of the last home series of Interleague play for the Phils. By sort of I mean that this is the last series in which they will bat last. This weekends Blue Jays Series with the Phils (originially scheduled for Toronto) has been moved to Philadelphia. The Phils will host the game but the game will be played as if it is Toronto. There will be a DH and the Phils will bat first.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Dick Allen Hall of Fame Custom Cards

I have just discovered the website Dick Allen Hall of Fame. They have recently put together a nice retrospective of Dick Allen's Topps cards and created updated versions for all the years of his active career.


1964 Topps Dick Allen Custom by Dick Allen Hall of Fame

This is a great card, as I have always sort of had an aversion to the shared rookie cards that many player have gotten. If you want to see the original 1964 Allen Topps card Click here.

Dick Allen Hall of Fame has created customs for most years through 1977. The cards are well done and fun to check out and some of them have corrected some....laziness....on Topps part.

My favorites include:

1970 and 1972 in which Topps resorted to airbrushing the same photo.
1976 which has Phungo Favorite Garry Maddox in the shot.
1977 which is basically a Card that Never Was as Topps never produced a card dedicated to Allen's short time with the Oakland Athletics.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Phungo 5 with Rhubarb Runner

Today the Phils host the Minnesota Twins in the rubber match of their three game Series. To give us some insight on the AL Central Division leaders today we have Rhubarb Runner of é rayhahn, rayhahn.


How has playing at Target Field affected the Twins?
The Twins have drawn well the past few years (good teams will do that), but obviously the new, beautiful ballpark has been bringing in the fans big-time. A big question in the media was how would the ballpark play for HRs? One of our regulars at WGOM did a three part study (it was even referenced at the Wall Street Journal, and although the footprint is similar to the Metrodome, the temperature/humidity/wind was expected to keep HRs down in all but the hot days of mid-summer, and that has shown to be true. Twins are fielding just as well now that they're off turf, but we have one of the more generous official scorers.

Which Twins pitcher are you looking forward to watching bat? Heh - good question! Been a while since Johan swung his hot bat for the Twins...I'm going to say Kevin Slowey. He's my favorite of the starters, and there's no reason "Slowtime" can't have a little luck at the plate. I was wanting to add #59 and a slow moving vehicle sign to the back of my Twins uni shirt, but haven't pulled the trigger on that yet.

2010 06 19 Kevin Slowey - check it out no batting gloves.


How did you acquire so many Oddball cards?
Back when I lived in Los Angeles during the dark days of the Junk Wax Era, I used to pick up a lot of stuff that had Twins in them -- Toys 'R Us box sets, baseball card magazine insert pages (back when Beckett wasn't the monopoly and MLB Licensing didn't crack down on it), cereal/string cheese/Crackerjack/etc. food issues -- you name it. I didn't know many other team collectors, so never had much opportunity to trade the non-Twins. Nice to finally see them begin to find good homes now, though, thanks to the great internet neighborhood of collectors out there.

Do Pre-Twins Washington Senators Cards have much appeal for you?
You know, the pre-1961 Washington Senators have a LOT of appeal to me, but I just don't collect them. There are so many Twins cards - I have to draw a line somewhere, so I don't pursue the Senators cards, nor to I collect minor league cards (unless they say specifically "Minnesota Twins" on them). On a related note, I really wish the Twins organization gave their Senators history more acknowledgement. My God, guys like Walter Johnson, Sam Rice...they deserve some team recognition SOMEWHERE, and it shouldn't be the Nationals.

Phungo Note - Last year we found out from our friends at Texas Rangers Cards that the Rangers own the rights to the Senators Name, Colors, and Brand. This surely impacts the ability to market the connection in the Twin Cities.

What is the best dish featuring Rhubarb?
Oh my gosh, they're ALL good. I love a good rhubarb crisp, but I've had delicious rhubarb ice cream, Amish rhubarb/cherry jam...mmm, rhubarb! Now you have me really looking forward to the trip nort' this summer to the "hometown" county fair.

Phungo Box Score
4 out of 5 - I have actually had an aversion to Rhubarb since I was a kid - my father was a big fan and I never got the attractions. As an adult - I have had a few things and while my tastes have developed, Rhubarb has not become a favorite.

I may also be a bit upset at press time, as I attended yesterday game where the Twins came from 5 runs down in the 9th to beat the Phils. I know it's a knee-jerk reaction, but it's my blog my rules - 4 out of 5.

Game Photos

I was at the first two games of the Phils Twins series - The Slowey Photo above is from the Saturday Fox game - if you watched the game you likely saw Team Phungo in the stands. we pretty much sat directly opposite the camera that ISO'd Left-handed hitters.


2010 06 19 Jim Thome - Click to enlarge

This is Thome's Pinch Hit appearance - moments after a I took this picture Thome would send an absolute rocket into center field.

2010 06 18 Ryan Howard - Click to Enlarge

And this is the Big Man who replaced Mr Thome at first base for the Phillies. This is a BP shot from prior to Friday night's game when Howard had one of the best offensive nights I have ever witnessed (4-4, 2 HR, 3bh, 2bh, 3 RBI, 3 Runs )

Bonus Coverage

For even more coverage of the Twins @ Phils check out this post from Sport Card Info.


Looking Back

For a previous Phungo 5, click here to read our interview with Padrographs.


for a bll

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sitting 20 Feet from Eddie Cicotte

I was sitting within 20 feet from Eddie Cicotte.

Well not the real Cicotte - He's been dead since 1969. But rather David Strathairn, the man who played Cicotte in the 1988 film "Eight Men Out".


1988 Orion Pictures "Eight Men Out" #14 David Strathairn as Eddie Cicotte

Recently team Phungo had the pleasure of attending the US Premier of Vaclav Havel's new play "Leaving" which featured Strathairn in the lead role as an aging lame-duck head of state preparing to leave/be ousted from office. The play is funny albeit confusing with over a dozen characters. It was staged at the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia, which is capable of handling elaborate staging and demonstrating the possibilities of high-end theater.

Vaclav Havel is not just a playwright, he was also once the President of Czechslovakia. "Leaving" has a long going on and likely rewards the veteran theatergoer more than an amateur like myself, but it was still enjoyable.

David Strathairn was well suited for the lead and could handle both it's many comedic and dramatic turns. We were in the third row of the theater and it was pretty cool to see one of the stars from an Iconic baseball film up on the stage less than 20 feet away.

The card above is from a set promoting the Film. There are a handful of cards in the 180 card set that feature Strathairn/Cicotte.
Eddie Cicotte was the Ace of the Black Sox staff and I believe he was the first ball player approached by the gamblers with the prospect of throwing the 1919 series.

The White Sox 60s era Outfielder Ken Berry was the baseball consultant on the Film and stated that David Strathairn was the best natural athlete among the actors.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

2010 Phungo Cards - CC Sabathia

2010 Phungo #52 CC Sabathia

Tonight the Phillies return to Yankee Stadium for the first time since the game 6 to the 2009 World Series. CC Sabathia will be pitching against the Phils tonight - The Phils and Yanks split the two Series games the Captain started.

The Phils will counter with their new Ace who was not part of the 2009 squad, Roy Halladay. It is a fun mid-season match-up between two star pitchers and I am sure that more than just Phils and Yankees fans will be looking forward to the game.

The Photo from the above Phungo card was taken during BP prior to game 5 of the 09 series. The Phils won game 5 v AJ Burnett - Chase Utley hit a pair of Home Runs, tying Reggie Jackson's Series HR record of 6.

CC Sabathia was also featured on a 2009 Phungo card. This picture was also taken during playoff game. Probably not one of Sabathia's finer moments, game 2 of the 2008 divisional series. CC gave up a memorable 2nd inning grand slam to Shane Victorino and couldn't make it out of the 4th inning.

2009 Phungo #52 CC Sabathia

Sabathia may be the only non-Phil to make both Phungo Sets, and almost definitely the only player to be featured on 2 different teams.

The Phils Starter for tonight's game, Roy Halladay has yet to be featured on a Phungo card - But I would think he has a good chance of being in the 2011 set. Will this be the Photo?

2010 04 12 Roy Halladay

Sunday, June 13, 2010

2010 06 11 & 12 Phungo Road Trip Mets @ Orioles




2010 06 12 Brian Matusz v Jose Reyes (click to enlarge)

The Phils are in Boston this weekend, so team Phungo took part in a boys weekend. I headed down to Baltimore to meet some of my friends from college and watch the Orioles pound on those stinkin Mets.

Unfortunately things didn't go as planned.

The Mets junkball tandem of R A Dickey and Hisanori Takahashi held the Orioles to 2 runs in 2 game Friday and Saturday Night. Despite the games not going my way It was a great to get out to some games with some old friends and enjoy a couple of nights at the yard.

Shots:



Nick Markakis (4-7 w/ 3 doubles between the 2 games - had the O's only RBI)


Francisco Rodriquez (2 saves, 2 ip, 1 Hi, 3ks - struck out the side on Friday Night)



Poe

The Orioles had Ravens night on Saturday - Which featured the Ravens Mascot Poe. There were also several other Baltimore Ravens attractions at the park. Head Coach (and former Philadelphia Eagles Assistant) John Harbaugh threw out the first pitch. The Baltimore Ravens band was present and played "Take Me out to the Ball Game" during the 7th inning stretch.

Note - Celebrating the cities football team at a baseball game is something I doubt could happen in Philadelphia.



Ravens Cheerleaders!!

And there was one other Attraction from the Football team.

As you can see the Fans in Baltimore are very much looking forward to turning the page and moving on to Football season for more than one reason.

The Ballgames
Friday Mets 5 @ Orioles 1
Saturday Mets 3 @ Orioles 1

Basically the O's looked like the Phillies team I have been watching the last couple of weeks. They simply cannot score. Friday night they left 10 runners on base, plating only one and that was on an RA Dickey Wild Pitch.

The four starters we saw this weekend all pitched well - The Mets were able to win both games by getting a couple of homers and clutch hits.

Quick Hits - Mets Rookie Prospect Ike Davis didn't do anything noteworthy at the plate but he did have his first career stolen base. I am not sure if he is still considered a rookie, but Chris Carter had his first career Home Run on Friday night. Jose Reyes and Jeff Francoeur both recorded Homers on Saturday. Miguel Tejada played a fine 3rd base for the O's on Saturday night making several nice place behind Orioles Starter Brian Matusz. The Orioles young phenom Matt Wieters did not start Saturday - he was 1-4 on Friday night.

RA Dickey is now 4-0 in 5 starts with the Mets.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Happy Trails Ken Griffey Jr

1989 Sports Collectors Daily #3 Ken Griffey

This is one of those cards inserted into magazines as a sheet during the late 80s. In 1989 SCD chose to use the 1964 design as their template. There are a number of reasons I love this card, the retro design, the kid when he was "the Kid" and then there is the back. You may have to click on this to enlarge it, but check out the underlined text. Glad to see the "experts" at SCD were on the ball.

For the Collector

1989 Sports Collectors Daily #3 Ken Griffey (b-side/click to enlarge)

For the record the 1989 UD Griffey card is holding steady at near it's typical $20.00 price. Recent sales of the 1989 Fleer and Donruss Griffey cards on the Bay have been for under $2.

I have some mixed emotions about Junior. One of my baseball buddies and I both came up with an inside-ism that "Griffey hates Philadelphia". He blew off the 1996 All-Star game which we attended. Griffey would have been one of the premier attractions in those pre-interleague play days. There was also the night Jim Thome would hit milestone Home Run #400. It was in Philadelphia versus the Reds. At the time Griffey at 499 Homers and was staring at his own milestone, but once again he elected not to play.

I did get to see Griffey play a few times. All after 2004, He was rather poor 1-17 in the games I saw without any of his 630 homers. In the games I attended Griffey and the Reds were 1 and 4, with the only win being on April 12 2004, the Day the Phillies opened Citizen's Bank Park.

Now that Griffey is officially retired Jim Thome is the Active Career Home Run Leader among Left Handed Batters.

Here is a link to a great article in the Slate about the 1989 Upper Deck #1 Ken Griffey Jr Card.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

2010 Phungo Cards - The Spectrum


2010 Phungo Black Frame Insert - the Spectrum

Tonight the Philadelphia Flyers will play the last home game of their very successful 2009-2010 campaign.

The Flyers now play their home games in the plush confines of the oft renamed Wachovia Center. The last time the Flyers won the Stanley Cup, they played across the parking lot in the much cozier Spectrum.

The Spectrum held it's last sports event about a year ago. There have been several other closing concerts and other closing events since then. The buildings days are numbered, and I will miss it. Between games, concerts and other events I estimate I visited the Spectrum about two dozen times. I saw my first NHL and NBA games there - I also saw many minor league sporting events and college hoop games at the arena. The concerts I saw there included several rockers from the Jurrassic era such as Jerry Garcia, Rush, and Tom Petty.

Hopefully tonight the Flyers will keep their season alive and add to the legacy of their new home.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Pull of the Month - May 2010


The Pull of the Month comes from one of several bargain packs that I picked up at the big K a few weeks back. This was one of two insert cards to come out of a .99 cent pack of 08 UD X.



2008 UD X Xponential 2 #X2-JT

The X2 cards have a UDs version of a chromey finish and are pretty sharp looking - the Chisox black and white particular fits the card type. The back of the card commemorates Thome's 500th homer on 9./16/07. I was present for His 400th homer when he played for the Phils.

Thome was always a class act in dealing with difficult situations in Philadelphia and I hope his career can end on an up note.


Contenders


2008 UD Baseball Heroes Copper #10 Brian McCann (#d100/149)
2009 UD 20th Anniversary #638 Steve Carlton

Two more cards out of the same lot of bargain packs mentioned above. Check out the that shirt on Lefty.

Meh of the Month


Garbage from 2008 Topps U&H. I bumped the scanner while running this card through. but liked the image - it only emphasizes the stupidity of placing the TOPPS logo in the top center of the photo. He we have the major leagues tallest pitcher being squashed by the branding mechanism. ugh.


Past Pulls of the Month

2010 April
2010 March

Monday, June 7, 2010

Phungo 5 with Padrographs

Team Phungo has been away for a much needed week of vacation in the Outerbanks of North Carolina. It is a great place to both have fun and relax, especially if you can go with a dozen very good friends.

Upon my returning home I do get to do another thing I enjoy, and that is getting the Phungo blob back up and running with some current info. Today we kick off June with the return of Phungo 5 and a chat with Rod from Padrographs.

Aside from giving us a rundown on San Diego Padres Autograph cards (largely TTMs), Rod also helps keep us up to date on the literature surrounding the sport. This past winter Padrographs also hosted very fun and successful edition of
Spot the Sig!


Are the surprising Padres a playoff team?
I hope so, but I am afraid to get up hopes up after 1984 and 1998.

What trading
card set has been the most conducive for TTM requests for a Padres fan.
Topps Total and Upper Deck 40 man. Since then I like the Allan & Ginter

2009 Topps American Heritage #99 Ralph Ellison

You list Authors among the cards you collect. What sets contain your favorite author cards?
So far the Topps American Heritage set, but the more I look there are a lot of author cards from lots of years, even some cool vintage sets.

There have been several baseball related books to be released in the past several years, in your opinion why is this happening?

Cause everything is cyclical. The authors have seen the cycles in the card industry are investigating what is happening. And they know that the main people collecting are not kids but adults who want to know more about cards or want to reflect on what cards mean to us.

What is the best thing on the McDonalds Menu?
The McRib when they have, although I have used Mickey D's to super size me and am now avoiding it so I can downsize me.


Phungo 5 Box Score

Wow where do I start - High marks all around, Thanks for bringing the McRib back. I doubt I will ever try one again - those can't be healthy at all, but I sure did like them when I could still frequent the golden arches.

Also Interesting insight into the book world and how it affects our hobby. 5 out of 5 for Padrographs.

Looking Back

For a look back at a previous Phungo 5 Click here for to see our conversation with Thoughts and Sox

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Lets Go Flyers!!!

After falling to 0-2 in Chicago the Philadelphia Flyers have evened the Stanley Cup Finals at 2 games a piece.

Tonight the Flyers and Blackhawks return to Chicago to decide the 2010 Stanley Cup Final in what amounts to a three game series

2002-03 Topps Heritage Hockey #28 Simon Gagne

I don't have many hockey cards, but this is one of them. Gagne is injured right now (broken foot) but is a member of the current Flyers team and is among Philadelphia's longest tenured athletes. He has struggled with injuries the last few years but was quite a scorer when healthy. Gagne is the only player that I have witnessed completing a hat trick at a game I have attended.

Philadelphia Flyers @ Chicago Blackhawks 8pm Sunday June 6th.

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions