Thursday, January 30, 2014

Happy New Year, Year of the Horse that is - 1994 UD Collectors Choice #253 Curt Schilling

Friday January 31st is New Years, Chinese New Year. Within the Chinese Zodiac we are moving into the Year of the Horse. Over the next couple of weeks we will take a look at a few Year of the Horse ball players.  

1994 UD Collectors Choice #253 Curt Schilling

Thanks to former Phillies GM Ed Wade, Curt Schilling is the perfect poster boy for Year of the Horse. Wade once famously quipped Schilling was a "horse" every fifth day, and a "horse's ass" the other four.

I think that pretty much makes Curt Schilling our Year of the Horse rep for birth year 1966, but there are a few other notables 

1966 baseball Horses:
Greg Maddux 
Tom Glavine
Larry Walker (nicknamed booger)
Tim Wakefield
Jose Mesa
David Justice
Jeff Conine
Mark Whiten
Shawn Abner (from Mechanicsburg PA)

Past Chinese New Years Postings
Year of the Snake (2013)
Year of the Dragon (2012)
Year of the Rabbit (2011)
Year of the Tiger 2010
Year of the Ox (2009)

Finger Food

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

1966 Topps #397 Bill White Happy 80th Birthday!

To mark the 80th birthday of Bill White we are putting together a quick posting. Those of you expecting 2014 Topps will just have to wait a bit.

1966 Topps #397 Bill White

White is known as a Cardinal, but he did spend a few years (1966-68) at the end of his career with the Phillies. He was a member of the Cardinals squad that overtook the 64 Phillies team we have been highlighting recently. Those Cardinals went on to beat the Yankees in the 1964 World Series. Other highlights of the First Baseman’s distinguished career include making 8 all-star teams (over 5 seasons), posting four .300 seasons and a like number of 100 RBI seasons and collection 7 Gold Gloves.

His best season with the Phillies was 1966 when he posted 103 RBIs on 22 HR with a .276 BA. He won the last of his Gold Gloves that season, all good enough for a very solid 5.3 WAR. Among contemporary players he compares most similarly to Aubrey Huff.

Post Playing Career
White went into broadcasting even before his career was over, hosting a radio program while with the Cardinals. This helped him land post career gigs behind the mic with the Phillies and Yankees. White spent 18 years with the Yankees and has specifically mentioned enjoying the opportunity to work with Phil Rizzuto. In 1989 While was elected to the Office of NL President, a post he held until 1994. In 2011 White published his autobiography “Uppity: My Untold Story About the Games People Play” covering his live in baseball including his playing days and stint as commissioner.

According to his Wikipedia entry Bill White still lives in the Philadelphia area. 

1966 Topps
At card number #397 Bill White falls in a mid Number series for 1966 Topps. Cards 371-446 are the lowest and most common of the sets 3 mid/high series. Typically I look for a price point of $1-$1.50 for cards in this # range, for comparison I would expect the 66 commons (low numbers) to be found in the a 3 fer a buck bin. Those prices would be for an off condition card similar to the one pictured - soft corners, possibly light creasing.

Stan Hochman -
Mike Morsch - Montgomery Media 


Monday, January 27, 2014

1998 Topps #351 Bobby Abreu Welcome Back

Today we welcome back Bobby Abreu.

1998 Topps #351 Bobby Abreu
2011 Topps 60 Years of Topps #60YOT-47 Bobby Abreu

No you're not seeing double, these are actually different cards. The one on the Left is the original, the latter card is from Topps self induldgent 60 Years of Topps series.

1998 Topps #351 Bobby Abreu 2011 Topps 60 Years of Topps #60YOT-47 Bobby Abreu

An insert set is truly bloated if you have this non-descript card of a semi-star on the checker. Bobby Abreu always took a lof of heat in Philadelphia and last week when is minor league signing was announced last week I was extremely happy it was on a snowy day when a lot of folks were off work. It gave us all a bit of time to joke about both Bobby and the Phillies. If the Philllies stink in 2014 at least we can entertain ourselves by joking about their age and Ruben Amaro ineptness as GM. Of course, I suppose that will get old at some point as well.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

2014 Phungo #43 Ringo Starr - Beatles Grammys

Tonight the Grammys are on TV. Team Phungo will probably drop in for bits and pieces. I am still a pretty big music fan even though I rarely download or buy CDs and don't get to nearly as many concerts as I would like but I still sort of pay attention to what is happening out there.

2014 Phungo #14

Tonight the Beatles are getting a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Grammys - not sure they need the recognition or a reintroduction. I am pretty sure every generations rediscovers the quartet on their own at some point. Regardless it will give old-heads like myself a chance to reconsider the Beatles catalog once again. 

Last spring Team Phungo spend some time in the UK and trekked out to Liverpool to check out the Lads old neighborhood and ventured on a Beatles tour. The one we chose visited the Childhood homes of Paul and John. It was a history lesson on 1950s/60s England as much as it was an insiders look at icons. 

The Phungo card above is one of a series of sculptures set upon a chain hotel in the Beatles district. There is one for each of the Fab Four. John Lennon has the prominent corner spot, while Ringo here is down the street a bit. I am pretty happy with the way this Phungo card came out. I sort of went with a Yellow Submarine color scheme and I think the card captures that era/theme. 

There are a couple of other non-baseball subjects in 2014 Phungo, I hope to get to post some of the other onse in the future. 


I never got into awards shows much, but the advent of Twitter has made the awards season more fun - There are a lot of creative folks in the baseball world, some of them are very funny and quite snarky. Hopefully there will be a few chuckles this evening

More UK
If you want more info on our UK trip click here

Thursday, January 23, 2014

1964 Phillies @ 50: Frank Thomas (the Original) 1965 Topps #123

Yesterday as part of our 2014 HoF feature we took a look at Frank Thomas. Today as part of our 1964 Phillies Series we take a look at the other Frank Thomas.

1965 Topps #123 Frank Thomas

The first Frank Thomas came over to the Phillies via a trade in August of the 1964 season. He had an immediate impact for the team clubbing 7 Home Runs in his first month with the Phillies. Unfortunately in a game versus the Dodgers on September 7th Thomas broke is thumb diving into second base. It was a critical loss, following the acquisition Thomas the Phillies added 5 games to their lead in the standings. Thomas missed 16 games, upon his return the Phillies were in freefall - right in the middle of their 10 game losing street. 

Despite only playing 39 games for the 1964 Phillies, Thomas' 7 Home Runs ranked 5th on the team. He batted .294 with a .517 slugging percentage (130 OPS+) during the stretch.

Thomas' tenure for the Phillies was less than a year. In July of 1965 there was an altercation between Thomas and Richie Allen, which by accounts was over racial comments made by Thomas. Phillies beat writer Stan Hochman

Scroll forward to the :45 second mark for comments regarding Thomas/Allen confrontation

That altercation led to the Phillies letting go of Thomas, At the time the details of the incident were not accurately publicized which helped lead to the vilification of Dick (then Richie) Allen in the city of Philadelphia. It should be noted that Thomas and Dick Allen have since resolved their differences 

1965 Topps 
This is Frank Thomas last card and only card representing the Phillies. Thomas stuck around through 1966 but his time with the Astros and Milwaukee Braves is not represented on Cardboard. 

For more thoughts on this card and much more info on Thomas career outside the Phillies check out The Great 1965 Topps Project

Found this oddity in the Thomas card canon - you make the call, does his 1961T card match 1962T  

Phun Phacts
Baseball Todd's Dugout had an interesting interview with Thomas from February 2003. We find out 1) Frank Thomas is a baseball card collector, who unfortunately lost his collection in a fire. - AND HE HAS A BLOG sort of dedicated to his collection.  2) While with the Cubs and Mets (but not the Phillies) his road roommate was RIchie Ashburn. 

Also here  is a Sports Illustrated feature on Thomas from July 28 1958.   

1964 Philies Series 
Johnny Callison
Tony Gonzalez
Tony Taylor
Frank Thomas

The Year of the Blue Snow: The 1964 Phillies

Philadelphia the Great Experiment
Baseball Todd's Dugout
Sports Illustrated

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

1991 Topps #79 Frank Thomas - 2014 Hall of Fame Inductee

Today we concluded are 2014 HoF candidates with the Big Hurt.

1991 Topps #79 Frank Thomas

Two MVP awards, 521 career Home Runs (ranks 18th all time), 1704 RBI (22nd), Career OPS .974 (14th), 79.8 Career Offensive WAR(36th) 5 time All-Star, 4 time OBP and OPS league leader.  

Even with during the offensive inflation era those are great numbers. The only hole in the Frank Thomas resume is the light postseason numbers. Not that his playoff performances were poor, in '93 Thomas batted .353 with a .593 OBP, but his teams never won. That 1993 White Sox squad lost to the Blue Jays Joe Carter team.  

1991 Topps
This is Frank Thomas' 2nd Topps Card.  I have always been a fan of the '91 Topps Set and I am glad to see the set has another Hall of Famer. This set is everywhere and it is likely I picked this card up out of a dime box. 

His first Topps card is 1990 #414 which is well known due to a scarce variation that has his name missing. To find out about Frank Thomas Rookies check out this article at Cardboard Connection

2014 HoF Candidate Postings   

I hope everyone enjoyed our 2014 HoF candidate postings. I plan on looking at the 2015 ballot more thoroughly. In these posts I try to put in a variety of cards and discuss an aspect of the player and/or card.

Craig Biggio (Phungo Vote = HoF)    
Tom Glavine HoF

Todd Jones  
Greg Maddux HoF     
Mike Mussina   HoF      
Rafael Palmeiro HoF    
Mike Piazza (2013 Profile)     
Curt Schilling (2013 Profile)      
Mike Timlin      
Larry Walker 

2013 HoF Rejects (no longer on ballot)

Cardboard Connection
Baseball Card Database

Monday, January 20, 2014

1964 Phillies @ 50: Tony Gonzalez 1961 Topps #93

Today's entry in our 1964 Phillies retrospective takes a look at Cuban Outfielder Tony Gonzalez.

1961 Topps #93 Tony Gonzalez

Tony Gonzalez was the primary centerfielder for the 1964 Phillies. I say primary CF because Gonzalez missed some time in '64 due to injury and he was also platooned with right handed batter Cookie Rojas. Those two issues resulted in Gonzalez getting less than 100 starts, however he did pick up a couple of starts at the corner outfield spots and was able to get into 131 games overall.

Gonzalez was the victim of two major beanings one each in 1963 and '64, which resulted in him having some vision issues.  This appears to have affected his offensive production. Going into 1964 Gonzalez was coming off of a pair of .300+ seasons including a 20 HR campaign in '62. In 1964 his average dropped off to .278 and he hit only 4 homers. His '64 OPS+ of 108 and 2.7 WAR were both respectable numbers but not up to his standards of the previous few seasons.  

The two beanings also led Gonzalez to become the first MLB player to wear a specially designed batting helmet with a molded earflap. Today, of course, the over-ear helmet is mandatory for all players.

Gonzalez remained with the Phillies through the 1968 season after which he was selected in the Expansion Draft by the San Diego Padres.

He was traded to the Braves during the 1969 season. With the Braves Gonzalez made his only playoff appearance in the inaugural NLCS versus the New York Mets. In game one of the series Gonzalez Homered and Doubled off of Hall of Famer Tom Seaver, unfortunately he also committed a critical error late and the Braves lost the game. The Mets would go on to sweep the Braves in 3 games.  

Following his playing career Taylor coached with the Phillies and Angels. In 1985 he was inducted into the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame (although he lives in exile). Today Gonzalez is 77 and still living, reportedly outside Miami (as of 2012). 

The Year of the Blue Snow: The 1964 Phillies

1964 Philies Series 
Johnny Callison 

Tony Taylor 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Seattle Post - 2014 Phungo #34 Kevin Millwood

Team Phungo will be rooting for the Seahawks in the NFC half of Championship weekend. To show our support we post a Phungo Card from the Seattle baseball squad.

2014 Phungo #34 Kevin Millwood

When we had the Team Phungo Seattle road trip, I was a little bummed to see Kevin Millwood as the starting pitcher for our game. He sort of symbolized some really crummy Phillies teams and he never lived up to being an Ace while here. Truth is Millwood is more of  a decent 3 maybe a 2 starter.

Initially Millwood ended up on the discard photo pile, but I rechecked his numbers and the man had a decent career. In 1999 he was the best pitcher on the Braves NL Championship squad, and finished 3rd in the Cy Young voting. While pitching for the Indians in 2005 he won the AL ERA title and finished 6th on the Cy Young ballot. He authored a No-Hitter with the Phillies and started a second one while with the Mariners.

2014 Phungo Card    
This card has the first error I have spotted, This pix is from a game played May 8, 2012 not 2013. These are the things that happen when you defer a card for a year. Other than that I am happy with the card even if it is a touch blurry. The light blue to grey fade is pretty sharp and catching a pitcher at this point in his motion always looks good on a card.  

The card number is 34 which Millwood wore for much of his career including his Phillies stint. It is, however, not his Mariners number which was 25. Once again on the Phungo cards we differentiated handedness for pitchers, RHP for Millwood. The line beneath the player name is a dark blue rather than the light blue border as a nod to the Mariners accent color.


Saturday, January 18, 2014

WeekLinks 2014-01-18

Saturday - A-Rod's suspension gets REDUCED to 162 games and somehow the world considers this a victory for MLB. Baseball World also goes nuts debating it - since they didn't go nuts enough over HoF debate a week earlier.

Sunday - American Hustle scores at Golden Globes, personally I liked Catching Fire better than Hustle or Wolf of Wall Street

Monday - Phils invoke more yawns by signing Ronny Cedeno

Wednesday - Clayton Kershaw gets lots o $$ from the Dodgers, David Price gets a big check from the Rays but for only one season.

Thursday - Oscar Nominations come out, more press for Hustle, Wolf, Gravity and others. Coen Brothers get snubbed.  Tough day entertainment-wise as Mr Kincaid (Partridge Family) and The Professor (Gilligan) both pass.

Kyle Kendrick (2012-09-10)

Somewhere in there the Phillies came to terms with Kyle Kendrick and John Mayberry and avoiding arbitration.

Saturday - College Game Day comes to the Palestra! T

Thursday, January 16, 2014

1964 Phillies @ 50: Tony Taylor 1976 Topps #624

Tonight we move on to our second installment on the 1964 Phillies with a look at second baseman Tony Taylor.

1976 Topps #624 Tony Taylor 

For Tony Taylor 1964 was a perfectly average season in what one would have to consider a very average (albeit lengthy career). In ‘64 He batted .251 (career .261) with 4 Home Runs and 64 RBIs. He’s lack  of power was evident in his final numbers that reflected a higher OBP (.320) than SLG (.316) His 81 OPS+ was a tad below his career number of 88. Clearly Tony Taylor got to play everyday because of his glovework in the middle infield. Throughout  the early 1960s Taylor was a steady defensively and finished near the top of the league in a myriad of different statistical categories. For the 1964 season Taylor finished 3rd in the league in Assists, Putouts and Double Plays. 

That defensive play would be what would keep Taylor in the big leagues for 19 years (15 with the Phillies) – He never batted above .284 in a qualifying season, his career High in RBI was 55 in 1970.  The most home runs he hit in a season was 9, yet he stuck around long enough to hit 72 of them. He did play long enough to accumulate enough Putouts, Assists, and Double Plays at second to rank him in among the top 60 players all-time for each category. 

Tony Taylor retired in 1976 and 27 years later he remains the Phillies franchise leader in games played by a player who primarily played second base. Taylor was inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame in 2002. The 78 year old Taylor still regularly makes his return to the Phillies Alumni weekend.   

1976 Topps 
Tony Taylor was 28 when he played for the 1964 Phillies, which made him the 2nd oldest everyday player on the team, Yet he was still around in 1976. According to my limited research Taylor and DIck Allen were the last two players from the 1964 team to be issued a Topps Card  in a Phillies uniform.   

One other note on 1976 Topps - It would only take a dime or maybe even a nickel to upgrade this card.

1964 Philies Series 
Johnny Callison

Baseball Card Database

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

1959 Topps Baseball Thrills #469 Ernie Banks

New series time - I have always wanted to do a series based on a subset or insert set. I will open this with the old "I don't know if I will ever finish this" caveat.  

1959 Topps Baseball Thrills #469 Ernie Banks

My first angle for a post on this card was find the original photo and figure out what game this picture is from, Forutunately CommishBob of the "topps 1959 one f/g card at a time blog"  has already done the research for us. Turns out Banks was safe and it was a big run, the go ahead run in an extra inning game versus the Braves.    

1958 MVP Award
Ernie Banks won the 1958 MVP award by taking 2/3 of the 24 first place votes. He led the NL in both Home Runs (47) and RBI (129) with a very respectable .313 batting average. The oddity in Banks 1958 election is that the Cubs finished 5th in the 8 team National League - 10 games under .500.

By today's metrics the WAR winner for 1958 was Willie Mays with a 10.2 over Banks' 9.5. The two were closer when using only offensive WAR, with Mays winning again 8.8 - 8.6. The '58 Giants did not win the NL title either, finishing 3rd, 12 games behind the pennant winning Braves.

The top Braves player in the MVP voting was Hank Aaron who finished 3rd. He was also 3rd in WAR. So kudos to the BBWAA of 1958, who basically got it right. While Mays won the WAR, it certainly be argued that Banks HR and RBI crowns were more significant. Hank Aaron was in the mix about where he should of been, although his vote total may have been split with teammate Warren Spahn.

Biggest MVP snub as far as WAR is concerned was the Cardinals Ken Boyer (WAR-4th / MVP-13th ) , special mention to Phillies Richie Ashburn (WAR-4/MVP-7). Most MVP Overrated were a couple of Pirates Frank Thomas (WAR-17/MVP-4) and Bob Friend (WAR-20/MVP-6).   

Phungo Ernie Banks HoF Index
1959 Topps #350 (Memorial Posting)
1959 Topps #469 Baseball Thrills
1964 Topps #55
1966 Topps #110
2009 Phungo #14

Sources n Links
1959 Topps Baseball Thrills Index

Cardboard Connection
topps 59 one f/g card at a time

Monday, January 13, 2014

1950 Bowman #84 Richie Ashburn image swiped by Ballpark Gum

Last week we featured Richie Ashburn's 1950 Bowman Card. Today we are taking a look at a bubble gum tin.

Ballpark Gum

Ballpark Gum is a novelty gum featuring ballgame related flavors Hot Dogs, Peanuts, and Beer.  That sounds a bit odd to me, if it's your thing check in at Perpetual Kid. I am not a gum guy and have never had Ballpark Gum and the taste of the stuff is not really why we are here today. 

I am concerned about the artwork. At first I thought it was lifted from 1959 Topps packaging.  
1959 Topps Wrapper (image swiped from Cardboard Connection)

It's close but I will let you decide that, as I examined the picture a bit more I realized why it looked familiar:

Ballpark Gum artwork (reversed) with 1950 Bowman #48 Richie Ashburn
I took the image on the tin and reversed it, Eureka! - The Ballpark Gum Tin artwork doesn't look very original at all. Look at the uniform number on the back the position of Ashburn's hands, The shadows on his face. The tin may be elongated a tad, but unless Ballpark Gum paid Bowman/Topps, I am thinking that image is plagiarized.

Cardboard Connection

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Swag from Arpsmith's Sportscard Obsession

This past week Team Phungo received a nice package of cards from San Francisco Giants Fan Arpsmith's Sportscard Obsession.

2013 Panini Hometown Heroes #158 Roy Halladay

Arpsmith came through with a nice bounty of Phillies related cards with a nice variety from recent sets. Interesting retro design for 2013 Hometown Heroes. Note that the Panini name is not on the front of the card at all. Sadly this year forward any Roy Halladay card will basically be a retro card or at least post-career.   

2012 Panini Cooperstown #59 Richie Ashburn

Late in 2012 Panini released a 170 card set of Hall of Fame players, broadcaster and execs called Panini Cooperstown. I believe the above Richie Ashburn card is from the Crystal Collection Parallel insert set - Serialed to 299, and seeded one in every 8 packs. The cards scan a little dark, it is a bit garish seeing the refractor treatment on a retro set cards of a 1950s era player.     

2013 Topps #US58 Kevin Frandsen

Gold Parallel fron this past years update set. The Phillies re-upped Kevin Frandsen to be a utility guy for 2014. He has been a decent back up and should be able to help out on a team that appears to be going forward with second year player Cody Asche at 3B this coming season.

More Swag from Arpsmith

As I noted above, a great variety of cards, including recent parallels and inserts. A couple of notable Vintage cards in there as well, including one of a Hall of Famer that we will feature in a future post.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

WeekLinks 2014-01-11

Saturday - The Eagles season comes to an end, as they lose in the final seconds to the Saints 26-24.
Monday - Florida State wins the NCAA football Championship. Alum Buster Posey is happy.
Tuesday - Record Cold hits the east coast.

 2009 Phungo #36 Greg Maddux

Wednesday - Hall of Fame Inducts Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas. Jack Morris and Rafael Palmeiro are both banished from the BBWAA ballot. 

Thursday - Disgraced Philadelphia writer Bill Conlin Dies
- Comcast and The Phillies announce Chris Wheeler and Gary "Sarge" Matthews will not be returning to the broadcast booth.

Prior WeekLinks

Thursday, January 9, 2014

1964 Phillies @ 50: Johnny Callison 1964 Topps #135

2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Phillies. The team is primarily remembered for their collapse, losing ten games in a row and a 6.5 game lead during the final two weeks of the season. It should also be remembered that the 1964 squad is the most competitive team the Phillies fielded between the 1950 whiz kids and their late 70s playoff run.

1964 Topps #135 Johnny Callison 

We kick off our 1964 Phillies series with a look at fan favorite Johnny Callison, who likely would have been the NL MVP had it done been for the teams collapse. Callison finished 2nd to Ken Boyer who played for the Pennant Winning Cardinals.

For 1964 Callison's offensive numbers included 31 Home Runs which ranked him 3rd in the league, 104 RBIs (4th), and 101 Runs Scored (6th). On the defensive side of the ball Callison was impressive as well, leading RFs in Putouts, Assists, and several advanced metrics including Range Factor, Zone Runs and Fielding Percentage.    

Callison made his 3rd of 4 all-star teams in 1964 - and it is a good thing he did. Callison tagged Dick Radatz for a 3 Run Wall-Off Homer that gave the senior circuit a 7-4 victory at Shea Stadium. It was the first time a Phillies player had ever homered in the All-Star Game.      

From 1962-65 Johnny Callison put together four great season. He clubbed 112 Homers during the span logging a WAR of 6+ each year. He played a minimum of 157 games each of those seasons and was a significant offensive force for the Phillies throughout the era. Unfortunately Callison's offensive production fell off after that period. The Phillies traded Callison following the '69 season and he finished his career playing for the Cubs and Yankees.

Johnny Callison Died in 2006 at the age of 67. When the Mets hosted the All-Star game this past summer, Steve Wulf wrote this terrific piece on Johnny Callison for to commemorate his Game Winning HR in the 1964 all-star game.

1964 Topps
Callison was a youthful 25 in 1964, but if you think that he looks younger than that on his 1964 card - You would be correct! That is because this 64T image is a recrop of the pix used for Callison's 1961 Topps #468 Card

More Callison
1963 Topps #434
1965 Topps #310


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

2003 Donruss #9 Diamond Kings Tom Glavine - 2014 Hall of Fame Inductee

I started the HoF Candidates feature a bit later than I wanted and have a couple of scans left over. Of course I didn't get to a couple of players that actually got inducted. 

2003 Donruss #9 Diamond Kings Tom Glavine

The Hall of Fame resume for Tom Glavine is a pretty easy set of check marks: multiple Cy Young check, 300 Wins check, World Championship check. For the SABR fans Glavine led all players and pitchers in WAR (1991) and his Career WAR/JAWS numbers are comparable with other Hall of Fame Pitchers.

2003 Donruss Diamond Kings
The first 20 cards of 2003 Donruss make up the DiamondKings subset.  There appears to be no Phillies in the subset although Curt Schilling is card #19 (as a Diamondback). Glavine's fellow HoF inductee and Teammate Greg Maddux is also in the set as well as recent Braves retiree Chipper Jones
The DK painting for Tom Glavine was done by Mark Turnes who remains active and appears to be working on a new project. Turnes most recent  work appears to be Football related, subjects include Barry Sanders and John Riggins.  

Philies portraits done by Mark Turnes include Jim Thome also done for Donruss.    

My HoF Vote
Everyone remembers Tom Glavine as a Brave, I put him in the Hall for a game he pitched for the Mets on September 30th 2007. Going into the game the Mets and Phillies were tied for first place in the NL East. The Mets game started a half hour before the Phillies, well by the time the Phils game started, the Mets were done. Glavine didn't get out of the first inning, he only recorded one out and gave up SEVEN runs.  I was driving back from the beach listening to the game on the FAN, it is one of my favorite sports memories.

The Phils held up their end of the bargain that day, Jimmy Rollins hit his 20th triple of the season which likely led to his MVP win in 2007. The Phils won 6-1 and got themselves into the Playoffs. Unfortunately it was the last game the Phillies won that seaosn.  

2014 HoF Candidates  
Craig Biggio HoF   
Todd Jones

Greg Maddux HoF   
Mike Mussina   HoF    
Rafael Palmeiro HoF  
Mike Piazza (2013 Profile)   
Curt Schilling (2013 Profile)    
Mike Timlin    
Larry Walker (phungo vote = HoF)

2013 HoF Rejects (no longer on ballot)

Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards
14,000 Phillies

Monday, January 6, 2014

1950 Bowman #84 Richie Ashburn

I hope to feature more Vintage Hall of Fame cards this year, and who better to start with then Phillies Icon Richie Ashburn.

1950 Bowman #84 Richie Ashburn

This card represents Ashburn just two seasons into his Hall of Fame career. As the youngest member of the the Phillies 1950 Whiz Kids squad Richie Ashburn batted .303 and led the league in triples(14). Unfortunately this regular season success did not career over into the World Series. Ashburn struggled at the plate batting only .176 and Phillies got swept in four games.

For The Collector 
This is Ashburn's 2nd Bowman/Mainstream card and the earliest one in the Phungo Collection. It is in off condition with creasing and slight tearing on the front. I picked the card up via auction in March 2009 $16.49. This appears to be about where the card lives today. For the same price you could probably get the card in slightly better condition. A scan of recent ebay sales revealed the following pricing:

1950 Bowman
Always found the 1950B card backs annoying. They run counter-clock 90-degrees vs the A-side.

1950 Bowman #84 Richie Ashburn (b-side)

This is common now. Topps runs all their b-sides Landscape, while the front is typically Portrait (with a few landscapers mixed in). The trouble with 1950 Bowman is the card is so close to square (2 1/16 x 2 1/2 in) that it just feels like you should be able to flip them over and read them.  

Old Cardboard

Sunday, January 5, 2014

In Memoriam: Jerry Coleman (1924-2014) 1956 Topps #316

Team Phungo profiled Jerry Coleman in this 2012 posting

1956 Topps #316 Jerry Coleman

Additional Jerry Coleman Memorials
Bleedin' Brown and Gold
Von's Cards - 1957 Topps

1983 Topps #498 Wade Boggs (RC)

On Friday we ran the clean up on the 1983 Wheeze Kids series, today we finish looking at the 1983 Topps RC set - A 3 post feature, which I was to lazy to finish.

1983 Topps #498 Wade Boggs  

3000 Hits, a World Championship, 5 batting titles, and a 12 time All-Star.  Wade Boggs was also the 1986 and 1988 O-WAR champ. In 1986 Boggs finish 7th in the MVP voting which was taken by teammate Roger Clemens, Fellow Red Sox player Jim Rice also polled better than Boggs. The 1988 award was taken by 40/40 man Jose Canseco. Once again in '88 Boggs(6th) was outvoted by a teammate - Mike Greenwell 

For The Collector
There are only several million 1983T complete sets out there, consequently the sets HoF RCs are pretty affordable.A check of recent auctions revealed the following:

$3.19 - Low Auction
$5 - At least a dozen sales were completed for $5 or less
$383 - The High for the card (PSA - GEM MT 10)

1983 Topps HoF RCs
Tony Gwynn
Ryne Sandberg


Friday, January 3, 2014

1983 NL Champions: Paul Owens 1984 Topps #229

This AM we took at the Phillies first manager Pat Corrales, now we move on to the teams 2nd 1983 manager, The Pope - Paul Owens.

1984 Topps #229 Paul Owens

When I was a kid, Paul Owens was a fixture in the Phillies organization. He filled various roles including replacing Pat Corrales as Manager in 1983. I am sure leading the Phillies Wheeze Kids to the World Series would rank near the top of Paul Owens career highlights in Baseball. 

Paul Owens was definitely not a career manager. Prior to the '83 campaign Owens had taken over the Phillies mid-season one other time, when Frank Lucchesi was fired in 1972. Owens only remained with the Phillies through the end of the '72 season. Following 1983 Owens did return to manage the club for the 1984 season but that would be his last stint as skipper.     

Paul Owens passed away the day after Christmas in 2003 at the age of 79. He had remained with the Phillies as a scout and adviser until his death.

Sources & Links

1983 Wheeze Kids Index  
Phillies WoF Index: Paul Owens


1983 NL Champions: Pat Corralles Topps #637

Just some quick 2013 Clean up here.  Last year we honored the Phillies Wheeze Kids who took the 1983 NL pennant.  Over the next couple of days I want to knock out a couple of folks I didn't get to during 2013 proper. 

1983 NL Champions: Pat Corralles Topps #637  

Corrales was the Phillies manager for the first half of the 1983, He was fired 85 games into the season.  The Phillies were tied with the Cardinals for first place, the day Pat Corrales was fired (albeit only a game above .500)

1983 was only the 2nd year for Corrales at the helm of the Phillies after replacing Dallas Green.  Taking over for the man who had won the teams only World Championship is a tough task. This makes me nervous for Ryne Sandberg tyring to replace Charlie Manuel - that and the fact that the average age of this years squad will be about Pat Corrales age today.

Corrales had one more managerial stint after leaving Philadelphia - He led the Indians for 5 seasons, never finishing better than 5th.      

Currently Corrales(age 72) is working in the Dodgers organization as a Special Assistant to the GM.

Sources & Links

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014 Hall of Fame Candidate: Greg Maddux 1988 Topps #361

Big League Stew has run a story noting that Greg Maddux has received 100% of the first 101 HoF votes that had been made public. This is of significance as no player has previously received 100% of the vote. 

1988 Topps #361 Greg Maddux

I got to see a lot of Maddux and he was excellent. His numbers back it up 350 Wins, 4 Cy Youngs, and a World Championship. The man is first ballot. 

Everyone has an opinion on the Hall of Fame, the Process, the Sportswriters etc. This causes quite a bit of HoF voting fatigue. Not for me, I find a lot of humor in the discussions and arguments. This years funniest/most subversive story is that Deadspin has bought ballot.

If Maddux 100% vote holds up and he is left off of the Deadspin ballot - that would rock.  There would be sportsblog hysteria.   

For the current status of the voting check in at Baseball Think Factory

2014 HoF Candidates  
Craig Biggio HoF 

Todd Jones
Mike Mussina   HoF  
Rafael Palmeiro HoF
Mike Piazza (2013 Profile) 
Curt Schilling (2013 Profile)  
Mike Timlin  
Larry Walker (phungo vote = HoF)
2013 HoF Rejects (no longer on ballot)

Baseball Think Factory

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Mystery Japanese Card

Any Ideas on what this card is?

Introducing 2014 Phungo Cards!

Today we are very excited to announce the sixth edition of Phungo Cards

2014 Phungo #1 Cliff Lee
The #1 card this year goes to Cliff Lee. Once again the Phillies poor season made it hard to pick out a subject for #1. Cliff Lee ended up being one of the strongest players on a mediocre team.

The 2014 Phungo design was hard to come up with. The basic layout was done early in 2013, but everything didn't really fall together till this past fall.  Experimenting with Layer Styles for fonts really helped get what I wanted. The border with the team color (red here) fading to a grey bottom does evoke 1987 Fleer a bit - I don't have a problem with that. Beyond that, I have used the teams accent color to shadowed the nickname and also as a text divider in the Player Name and info box at the bottom of the card. Once again the date of the photo is on card along with a specific player position.

This years base set is 66 cards and includes baseball players, other athletes, statesmen, authors and entertainers. Over the next couple of weeks I will posting some highlights.

Looking Back
2013 Phungo (Cole Hamels)
2012 Phungo (Harry Kalas)
2011 Phungo (Roy Halladay) 
2010 Phungo (Raul Ibanez)
2009 Phungo (Richie Ashburn)

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions