Thursday, May 24, 2012

2011 Phungo Cards - Cole Hamels

On Wednesday night Cole Hamels, along with Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn, became the first pitchers in the 2012 season to reach 7 wins.   

Cole Hamels must hate me.  I went to see him pitch the Phillies Home Opener in April, The Marlins got to Cole for 4 runs while the Phils offense struggled against Anibal Sanchez.  Hamels took the loss - since then he has been undefeated, winning 7 consecutive decisions whiile the Phillies came home with victories in all 8 of his other starts. 
2011 Phungo #35 Cole Hamels

That lone 2012 blemish is not the only reason Cole Hamels may have an issue with Team Phungo.  The fine photo on the above card was taken during a game from June of 2010.  Hamels wasn't steller but he was solid enough that the Phils had a 5 run lead going into the 9th.  A comination of relievers blew that lead, which included a Titanic Home Run to center by Jim Thome off of Jose Contreras.

Truth be told, I have seen Hamels on the Winning side of a lot of ball games, including a couple of post season games.  The Phils are scuffling and hovering aroudn that .500 mark, it is nice to have a brigh light in their 2012 season, which has been so difficult to watch this year.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Swag from O No!!!, Another Orioles Blog

I desperately need to get caught up on trade posts, and will try and knock out a bunch of them in the next couple o weeks.  This unfortunately means that I will likely not dedicate the time and effort to them that they deserve.
Today we are looking at some cards I received way back in April from Ryan over at O No!!! Another Orioles Blog
2008 Topps Update #UH241 Chase Utley
2011 Topps Heritage #77 Chase Utley
Chase took ground balls during BP today for the Phillies.  We are past the quarter pole in the 2012 season and the Phils haven't seen either Utley nor Ryan Howard.  Hope we hear from the soon. 
The two cards above are just a pair of the many cards that Ryan sent over.  He knocked out several cards off my Phillies checkers,  and another pile of cards from the 2011 Heritage set.    
2003 Topps 572 Todd Pratt
1996 Topps 128 Curt Schilling
  Big Old Stack of 2011 Topps Heritage 
The 2011 Topps Heritage is a set that I am buiding by default, partially in the name of journalistic research delving into potential hot-boxes in last years set.  FYI I did not get a hot box.
For a look at my 2011 Topps Heritage Want List Click Here
My Phils Topps 1980s Collection Want List is Here
For access to all my want lists click here 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

2012 Topps Archives First Look

My first impressions on Topps Archives is a thumbs up.  The price tag on this rack for a single 14 card retail rack pack was $5.34 at my local big box store. 
 2012 Topps Archives #88 Mike Schmidt
2012 Topps Archives #108 Cliff Lee
2012 Topps Archives #188 Vance Worley
2012 Topps Archives Sticker #67S-I Ichiro
2012 Topps Archives #138 Joe DiMaggio
2012 Topps Archives #32 Adam Jones

That's right the 14 card pack included 3 Phillies!!! which is probably a record for a small pack for myself.

I like this set better then what Topps did with Lineage last year.  The base cards in Lineage was just to drab for me.   It doesn't hurt that the four years that were chosen for Topps Archives 1954, 1971, 1980 and 1984 are among the better designs in the Topps arsenal.  

My 2 initial complaints are 1) The cards are on the newer posterboard rather then the classic cardboard upon which the original sets were produced. 2) The 5.30/pack retail price comes out to over 40 cents/card - kind of heavy for retail.

Regardless, my first impression is a good one.  I haven't looked at the cards much in detail, but I am thinking that a Hobby Box may be in my future. The 200 card set size appeals to me, there appears to be a fun array of inserts - although they may be a bit confusing.

There is one other thing I like about Archives - judging from my limited 13 card sample, I like the photography - the shots are cropped as tightly to the subjects.  I am a fan of trying to figure out what game in which the photos were taken.  The last few years Topps has delivered some great digital close ups, but they are often too close for my liking.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Team Phungo Meets Padrographs!!!!

We had the opportunity to visit Rod from Padrographs while my wife was at a conference in Portland, Oregon. 

Rod from Padrographs w/ Team Phungo Author, me

Rod is responsible for a bookstore that sells the used books from the county library.  Near as I can tell Portland must have one of the most successful library systems in the country.  In fact shortly after I left Rod, I was at Voodoo Donuts and the young man working the counter saw a book that I had bought at the start and congratulated me for having a library book while on vacation.  
We only met for maybe a half hour but Rod was able to give us some good background on Portland's history, geography, and culture.  He also showed us around the store pointing me in the direction of the baseball books.  The book I picked was a copy of  "The Corporal was a Pitcher" about 50s era Philadelphia Athletic Lou Brissie.

I think Rod is only the third card blogger I have met in person - once again it was a pleasure.  Rod is just as funny in person as his writing. One of my favorite parts of the afternoon was when one of the customers got upset with us for talking to loud while he was perusing books. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Farewell Kerry Wood

Bummed out to hear rumors of Kerry Wood retiring.  Something about a guy coming up with so much hype and he really answered the bell in the beginning - He was a key guy with the early 2000s Cubs teams that came so close to breaking the curse, but injuries just hampered a "what could have been" career.

And there will always be The Kerry Wood Game.

2012 Phungo #39 Kerry Wood

Wood did not receive a single Cy Young vote during his career, including 2003 when he led the league with 266 Ks.   67 of his 86 career Wins came between 1998-2004.

There are dozens perhaps hundreds of Kerry Woods scattered across Baseball History.  Stephen Strasburg could have a Hall of Famer career, he could also have a Kerry Wood career. 

Phungo Card
Blurry photo above taken prior to a game in 2010 where Wood got an inning of solid relief in during an Indians 2-1 loss to the Phillies. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Jamie Moyer v Tony Perez - 1986 08 22

On Wednesday night Jamie Moyer earned another win resetting his own record of holding the distinction of being the oldest player to win a Major League ballgame AND he set a record with his BAT by recording an RBI an RBI - which has never been done by anyone older. 

Today I want to take a look at an event on the other end of Jamie's career that involved a Future Hall of Famer who also recently reached an age plateau. 

1984 Topps #385 Tony Perez (image swiped from Baseball Card Database)

On Monday 5/14/2012 Tony Perez celebrated his 70th birthday.  Here comes your Phun Phact - Jamie Moyer once pitched to Tony Perez - recording 3 Outs vs the Future Hall of Famer while recording a 3-2 victory in August of 1986.

The Topps RC for Tony Perez is the #581 card in the 1965 set.  Hard to believe that there is an active pitcher that pitched to someone who played in 1964 and had a card issued in 1965.

Moyer has pitched to batters whose birth years have ranged from 1942 to 1990 (Starlin Castro). 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Game Report 2012 05 08 Tigers 6 @ Mariners 4

The Team Phungo trip to SafeCo field in Seattle went pretty well.  Seattle is a little out of the way from our Philadelphia base, but we had the opportunity to include the game in a trip to the Pacific Northwest and were happy to make the extra stop.

The hometoown Mariners lost the game 6-4 to a Detroit Tigers squad which sent out their ace Justin Verlander.  Former Phil Kevin Millwood took the mound for Seattle. The Tigers got to Millwood early getting 5 runs in the first 2 innings.  Verlander wasn't overpowering - but pitched well despite having issues with the plate umpire - Jim Leyland's disagreements with the umpiring crew got him ejected from the contest early in the game.  Verlander only went 6 innings, he was over 100 pitches and still hit 97 on the gun.


Justin Verlander

Miguel Cabrera (fore), Ichiro
The Mariners don't make it to our area often, and this may be the last time I see Mr Suzuki play live.  Ichiro was able to get one of the 7 hits that Verlander allowed to the Mariners.   

 PCL/Seattle and Baseball Card History Display

The Mariners have struggled the last few years was evidenced by their modest draw on a chilly Tuesday night, but even if the team isn't doing well, they have a lot of nice things for fans to check out like this Display of Seattle related baseball cards. 

There is a Mariners Hall of Fame, and several other cool features at the stadium.  Insane food selections are featured at the park as well as a pre-game happy hour.  Another nicety at Safeco is that they have free re-entry as long as you scan your ticket when you leave. 
Shawn Kelley

Another nice feature of SafeCo is how close you can get to the field, especially in the bullpen areas.  This is how Mr Kelley appears when warming up prior to giving up a mamoth Home Run to Prince Fielder.

Team Phungo back from Vacation

Team Phungo just took a few weeks off to hit the Pacific Northwest.  A good time was had by all.

Caught a ballgame, Met a Cardblogger, and was welcomed home by a flurry of card packages from fans fo the Phils, Braves and Astros.  Will get some swag postings up in the next couple of weeks. 

Also have a trade package I am trying to get out the door for O's Fan Ryan. 

Belated Happy 70th Birthday to HoF and Phils Alum  Tony Perez  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Junk of the Month - April 2012

Hey Topps, If your going to include a jerk in your product, lets stick to superstars with almost mythical accomplishments, Like Ty Cobb.

 2012 Gypsy Queen Framed #225 Albert Belle

But Not stinking Albert Belle.  Is there anyone out there that collects Albert Belle Cards - and here he is not just showing up in Gypsy Queen but showing up as one of my special inserts.

Looking Back
Junk of the Month - March
Junk of the Month - February
Junk of the Month - January 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Phungo 5 With Cardboard Junkie

Today less is more and we have a special Phungo 4 edition of P5 with Braves authority Cardboard Junkie.  This may be hard for some readers to believe but DayF went into an extended rant on Q5 and I felt it warranted a separate posting.  Today we will handle the first Four Qs.
1) Do you have a date on your calendar when you intend to catch one
last Braves game with Chipper Jones?
> I don't have a specific date picked out yet, but I have already paid
> for two vouchers for games, I got four tickets for a game from my
> uncle for Christmas and my father in law wants to go to a game. I
> should have plenty of chances to see Chipper as long as his knee
> cooperates. I am seriously thinking about going on August 16th, which
> is Chipper Jones bobble head night.

 2) Which would you rather draw an active or retired player?> I think I prefer drawing retired players. Reference photos for them
> are easy to come by and usually more interesting. Black & White photos
> are easier to sketch as well. I can think of a bunch of old-timers I'd
> like to draw off the top of my head - Yogi, Mossi, Hank, Ruth, Bouton,
> Cookie, Lemmer, Winfield... I often use cards as references and the
> portrait photos from the '80s and earlier are much better than the
> photos today. Today's cards have some great action shots but are lousy
> portraits.

Check this really well done and fun sketch card that was recently posted at Cardboard Junkie

3) The Return of 2012 Topps Archives - Interesting Idea or have we had
enough of RetroTopps?
> I've always been a fan of the Archives set and I have either completed
> or gotten over 90% of the previous sets. However, Topps showed off an
> uncut sheet on Twitter a while back (image attached) and there are an
> AWFUL lot of repeat cards from the previous sets. If I collect it at
> all this year I'll probably just buy a complete set, but I do look
> forward to more autographs from retired players. Apparently Dale
> Murphy signed a bunch of cards recently!

4) Which Braves hitter is going to get to the Phillies Pitching in
this series?
> Jason Heyward is a beast and Freddie Freeman is on fire right now. The
> guy you should be absolutely terrified of though is Chipper Jones.
> It's his last season, he knows it and he's on a mission. Hurt his
> knee, hits a homer on his first game of the season. Hurt his knee
> again, hit another homer when he came back. 40th birthday? Homer. Last
> game in Dodger stadium? Game winning RBI. If the Braves are somehow
> able to make it to the World Series, he's going to end up walking away
> with the MVP, I'm sure of it.



We will hand out a 3 for 3 for today - DayF has really covered his bases on the last question pretty much naming every Brave other than Jerry Royster, we will wait on the seris outcome to see if any of these players get to the Phils this week. 
Looking forward to seeing the Don Mossi Sketch card - I see it being one big ear.  And looking forward to a report on that Bobblehead Night if it falls together.
Looking Back 
Cardboard Junkie 2010
Cardboard Junkie 2009 

2012 Phungo 5 Postings
Philadelphia Phillies - The Phillies Room.
Miami Marlins - 30-Year Old Cardboard
Chicago Cubs - Wrigley Wax
Pittsburgh Pirates - Pirates Treasure Room
San Diego Padres - Padrographs
Oakland A's - The Fuji Chronicles
Seattle Mariners - Emeral City Diamond Gems 
Texas Rangers - Play at the Plate

Phungo Challenge - 2012 First Homers

New Phungo Challenge for May.  Who on this list will be the first to Hit a Homer in 2012.  And how many hit homers before Albert Pujols?

Jimmy Rollins
Bryce Harper
Shin Soo Choo
Starlin Castro
Luis Pujols
Johnny Damon
Omar Vizquel
Vlad Guerrero
Bobby Abreu
Ryan Howard

Carlos Zambrano
CC Sabathia
Jamie Moyer
Andy Pettite

Jason Varitek
Gorman Thomas
Tony Plush
Tyler Moore (MLB Debut w/ Nats day after B Harper)
Mary Tyler Moore
Dominic Brown
Charlie Brown
The Chick on DWTS who was trending yesterday. 
Cute barista at my starbucks. 
The Squirrel on Skip Shumakers Topps Card.   

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Snapshots 2012 04 30 Cubs 4 @ Phillies 6

Phillies get a Win 6-4 largely due to a fine outing by Vance Worley, 1 Run over 7 innings.  Phils strung together a couple of hits off Chris Volstad early and were able to get 4 first innings runs.  Offense then returned to their more typical dorment form.  Chad Qualls blew the lead in the Top of 8th when he gave a up a Home Run to Bryan LaHair who is having a breakout year.  Phils got the lead back in the bottom of the inning thanks to a timely 2 run double from Placido Polanco.

W-Qualls L-Scott Maine, SV-J Papelbon, HR-LaHair 

Snapshots (click to enlarge on all)
 Premium Start from Vance Worley - 1.97 ERA over 5 starts for VW so far in 2012
Placido Polanco

Cubs speedster Tony Campana

-I guess I must be getting better about what I eat.  It was a dollar dog night, and I resisted the hot dog temptation.
-I am surprised I was unfamiliar with Campana prior to this weekend - The Cubs had such a rought 2011  that they must not have made it onto my radar.  He appears to use the LH slap hitter technigue, we have seen from Ichiro a lot.  Getting several steps down the line while swinging. 
- Phils got 2 bunt singles (Jimmy Rollins, Pete Orr) while they were able to retire Campana on his bunt attempt.
- Jim Thome didn't play and the Phils have several players that may be coming off the DL soon.  He hasn't looked good at the plate and I am wondering if he gets involved in another Phils Home game. 
- Papelbon's save was his 8th in as many attempts. 

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions