Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sunday Night Baseball: Jim Abbott - 1990 Topps #675

The Angels are in the Big Apple facing the New Yankees. For tonight's SNB posting we take a look at an a player who spent the bulk of his career with the then California Angels and had some big moments with the Yankees.

 1990 Topps #675 Jim Abbott

Folks likely remember Jim Abbott as a pitcher with one hand. I hope that we don't forget that he was a fine pitcher regardless of his hand count and had several career highlights.

Abbott was the 8th overall pick of the Angels in the 1988 draft. That same summer he won a Gold Medal as a member of the US Olympic Squad - it appears 1988 was a demonstration year for Baseeball.

The Left-Handed Pitcher, Batter, and Fielder made his Angels debut in 1989, winning 12 games and finished 5th in the Rookie of the Year voting behind Orioles closer Gregg Olson. Olson also won that award over the Mariners Ken Griffey Jr.

At age 23 in 1991 Abbot had his best season, He won 18 games (4th AL) with a 2.89 ERA (4th) for the Angels. His work earned him a 3rd place finish in the '91 Cy Young Voting - If you are inclined to dismiss Roger Clemens for PED Reasons, Jim Abbot won the WAR title that season with a +7.6 (Clemens = +7.9)

In December of 1992 Abbott was traded to the New York Yankees. Ten months later On September 4th 1993, Abbott No-Hit the Cleveland Indians - The lineup he faced that day included Kenny Lofton, Albert Belle, Manny Ramirez, Carlos Baerga (.317 at the time), and a young Jim Thome batting 8th.      

Jim Abbott has remained in the game as a Spring Training instructor for the Angels. Abbot has worked with The Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and he has also developed a career as a motivational speaker.

Abbott's twitter handle is @jabbottue31  - it is a worthwhile follow.

1990 Topps
The Jim Abbot #675 Card is not his rookie card. Abbott shows up in both 1989T and he leads off 1988 Topps as card #1 and is part of the Team USA/Olympic subset. Regardless the 1990T card is significant for a couple of reasons. It has the rookie cup which  - an opportunity each player only gets once. Additionally The photo shows Abbott holding his glove up with his right forearm. It is a nice nod to Abbott overcoming tough odds to excel as a top tier athlete.   

Jim Abbott
Cardboard Connection
Topps baseball card database

Monday, April 21, 2014

1964 Phillies @ 50: Dick Allen (RC) 1964 Topps #243

Last week we may committed a bit of a fuax pas by marking a Mets 50th anniversary and overlooking a significant Phillies Anniversary

1964 Topps #243 Richie Allen & John Herrnstien (RC)

50 years ago last Thursday Dick Allen, then known as Richie, Hit his first career Home Run as the Phillies defeated the Cubs 10-8. The Homer was hit at Wrigley Field off of southpaw Dick Ellsworth.

The 18 run slugfest that day featured 8 Home Runs between the two teams, including 4 from 3 different Hall of Famers (Billy Willaims (2), Ron Santo, and Lou Brock). Phillies pitcher Art Mahaffey also hit his last of 3 career Homers that day.

1964T Rookie Card
We have featured both Allen and Herrnstein in our 1964 Phillies retrospective previosuly. I have been meaning to post this card to bring the two players together since posting each of them separately as part of the Phungo cross feature on 1965T/2014 Topps Heritage. Herrnstein was originally posted here on February 17, A week later we put together this posting on Dick Allen. 

1964 Phillies Series 
Dick Allen Player Collection Index

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday Night Baseball:Bobby Doerr: 2003 Topps Tribute All-Stars #21

Bobby Doerr turned 96 a few weeks ago earlier this month and hasn't played a major league game since 1951. He was inducted into the hall of fame 28 years ago and I am guessing he is the oldest lving Hall of Famer. 

2003 Topps Tribute #21 Bobby Doerr

I think Doerr would fall into the borderline Hall of Fame category, He was on the ballot in various forms for close to two decades prior to falling off in 1971. Eventually he was inducted by the veteran's committee in 1986. His career Highlights include batting a slick .409 with a Home Run in his only World Series (1946) and being part of 9 all-star teams. In 1944 Doerr led he league in slugging, He was also s standout fielder who led the league in Defensive WAR in 1946.  He was never an MVP but the Sporting News named Doerr Player of the Year in 1944.

Bobby Doerr Retired #1

The Red Sox have a pretty basic policy regarding retired numbers. The player must have played for the team for a decade and be a member of the Hall of Fame.

Seven players fit this criteria and Bobby Doerr is among them.  Here is Doerr's number presented between Joe Cronin(#4) and Carl Yastzemski (#8)

2003 Topps Tribute All-Stars

I am a fan of these Chrome style Topps Tribute cards. The 50 Card set is made up almost exclusively of Hall of Fame players. A handful of the cards come as autograph variations - Doerr does not. Doerr, however is included in the Relic set.

Boston Red Sox 
Baseball Hall of Fame
Bob Lemke's Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards 

Ulimate Frisbee - Rochester Dragons @ Philadelphia Phoenix

The 2014 home opener for the AUDL Philadelphia Phoenix did not go as well as the team had hoped. The Rochester Dragons won a tough battle 13-10 on a gusty day at Phoenixville High School. (Click Any Pix to enlarge)

2014 04 19 AUDL Rochester Dragons @ Philadelphia Phoenix at Phoenixville High School (click on pix to enlarge)

I hadn't been to an AUDL game since their opening season two years ago. It would good to see that they still put on a good show, playing on good fields with solid facilities.  The game was well played and officiated, although there was a fair amount of away from the disc contact. This is an issue that professional ultimate is dealing with in both the AUDL and MLU camps.

23 goals is a relatively low total for professional ultimate. I enjoyed the game being played at the lower score - each goal and turnover definitely meant more then they have in higher scoring games. The day was pretty windy at points, making goals scored upwind all the more precious and the difference in the close contest.

The Phoenix trailed by 2-3 goals from the 2nd quarter till the start of the final frame when they fought back to tie the score at 9. At that point the Dragons took over scoring 3 of the last four points.

 Coach Steve Leinert working his first game at the helm of the Philadelphia Phoenix

I am not to familiar with the roster of the Phoenix but do to the fine coif, I believe this is Chris Schulze going after the disc

According to the Philadelphia roster this is Schuyler Redding on an in cut

Open receiver for the Phoenix

There were a few just misses for the Phoenix as well. Had a few of these tough passes been converted the tight game may have had a different outcome.

Rochester Dragons Defense
This is a pretty good shot of the Dragons defending their goal. There are five Phoenix in the shot and none of them are open.

Dragons on Offense

Rochester executing an offensive zone pass. I think this one was just completed in front of a diving Phoenix defender.

Contested Goals

I don't recall the outcome of either of these goal line tips, but with the wind a lot of discs hung in the air, especially going toward the Left (northwest) end of the field where the gusts were originating. 

Fan friendly
The game wasn't the end of the entertainment for the fans. There was a egg hunt for the kids, and a Bunny Hop competition with the winners awarded a PADA membership. 

Local artisan chefs from  Waffatopia were on hand with samples of their decadent Waffles. Team Phungo picked up on of the Bacon Syrup variety, it made for a sweet and savory start to our Sunday and paired well with a morning cup of coffee.

Just one quick comment on the AUDL - Hey Dragons, how about getting some bios and headshots on your website.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Reading the Competition: 1993 Donruss #743 Andy Ashby

Tonight with the Phillies playing in Colorado we present Rockies/Phillies cross team card

1993 Donruss #743 Andy Ashby 

Andy Ashby debuted with the Phillies in 1991, but only pitched in 18 games for the club before being taken by the Rockies with the 25th pick (The team’s 13th selection) of the 1992 Expansion Draft. The draft built the team that the Rockies used for their inaugural 1993 season. 

Unfortunately Denver’s thin air gave Ashby incredible problems. He only lasted have a season with the Rockies before being traded to San Diego. With the Rockies Ashby was 0-4 and posted an 8.50 ERA. Interestingly Baseball-ref mentions that during that period Ashby had an FIP of 4.91. FIP or Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) measures the ERA of a pitcher assuming average defensive play behind him.   

San Diego proved to a much better environment for Ashby. Most of Ashby's career highlights occurred with the Padres, he was a member of two of their playoff squads including the 1998 NL Champions and represented the team as an all-star twice. 

Ashby had a 2nd stint with the Phillies in 2000 which had about the same results as his 1993 Rockies campaign.  Ashby pitched through 2004 finishing his career 2 wins shy of 100 with 98.

Post Career  
According to a 2013 interview Ashby is now based out of Scranton PA where he spent parts of two seasons with the Phillies AAA affiliated, the Red Barons. He is an avid outdoorsman and listed Tony Gwynn, Bruce Ruffin, Kevin Brown, Brad Ausmus, Bruce Bochy, and Randy Jones among his fishing buddies.

The article also mentions his mentors included Phillies Ruffin, Terry Mulholland and Dale Murphy. Brown and Trevor Hoffman are cited as influential teammates from his Padres years.     


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Shea Stadium Opening 1964 04 17 - 50 Years Ago Today

Team Phungo isn't going to make a habit of Mets milestones, but I thought today we would put together a quick posting regarding the 50th anniversary of Shea Stadium

1964 04 17 Shea Stadium Opening Day Tix and Program

The Mets musuem/HoF whichis located in the new Citifield had some neat items including the above 1964 Opening ticket.  You can click on the photo to enlarge it, A field level box that day went for $3.50. 


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Reading the Competition: Andrelton Simmons 2014 Phungo #64

When I originally conceived of a feature on Andrelton Simmons I was going to run out a parallel with Ozzie Smith. Both are guys I view as Defense first Shortstops – Smith Developed hitting production later in his career, a path I thought Simmons may hop on.

2014 Phungo #64 Andrelton Simmons

Looking inside the numbers I found a more interesting and more contemporary comp in another Shortstop the Phillies will see this week Troy Tulowitzki.

Agewise Simmons career arc started a year behind Tulo’s but both had good first full seasons. Last year Simmons (at age 23) hit 17 HR with 59 RBI which is pretty good however his slash line of .248/.296/.396 (86 ops+) was less impressive. Tulo’s first full (2007 at age 22) yielded 24 HR 99 RBI and a .291/.359/.479 (109 OPS+) which earned him a 2nd place finish in the Rookie of the Year balloting,

A year later Tulowitzki regressed to .263/.332/.401 (85 ops+) with only 8 homers, which is pretty close to what Simmons put up in 2013.  

The stat that drew these two players together for me was Defensive WAR, both players led their respective seasons (Simmons 2013, Tulo 2007) in Defensive WAR, both did it as Shortstops and both did it at a young age in their first full seasons. That Defensive WAR crown is for all positions, not just shortstops – The traditional analysis back up the SABRmetrics as well - in 2013 Simmons led all NL Shortstops in Assists and Putouts, six years prior Tulowitzki did the same.

At this early juncture of the 2014 season both Tulowitzki and Simmons are hitting well, Tulo is NL leader in Defensive WAR. If the two stay healthy they could be an interesting young player and veteran SS pair to follow for the next couple of seasons. 
Phungo Cards

I am not sure when I became aware of the Natural sign at the Phillies Ballpark. I know I thought it would be cool to capture the right player with the sign as a backdrop. Fortunately Andrelton Simmons had a great season and took pre-game fielding in the right spot for me. I was very happy to get the shot and was happy to put it on a Phungo Card. 

For 2014 we have added "Hardware" notes on a few cards. For any of the Major Awards I could track down and World Series winners I have added some sort of emblem on the card. Andrelton has "NL GG SS 2013" for NL Gold Glove Shortstop in 2013. It is a nice addition that I plan to bring forward for future sets.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

2008 Topps Stadium Club #91 Jackie Robinson

Today marks the 67th anniversary of the day that Jackie Robinson debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers. To honor the occasion players across the Majors will be donning Robinson's retired #42 for one game. 
2008 Topps Stadium Club #91 Jackie Robinson

I am typically not a fan of photos taken from the back of the subject, but this one works. First off we see Robinson's 42 which has of course been a significant symbol of courage and progress. And despite the shot being from behind, we still see a bit of Robinson's face. As a bonus he also appears to be smiling as he approaches the plate.

I am not sure what exactly was done with the photo, whether it was colorized or if perhaps Topps accented Robinson, but he pops off the rest of the card.

Stadium Club
Topps has announced that they are bringing the brand back for 2014. The 2008 edition featured above was a bit crazy - It had a very high Hobby Price of $25/pack while retail went for a more budget friendly $3. In 2014. It appears that the new edition due out just in time for the Playoffs on October 1, will be Hobby only and has strange configuration. The brand has been known for it's photography in the past, I look forward to weeing what Stadium Club can bring us this year.  

Jackie Robinson HoF Index
1953 Topps #1

Baseball Cardpedia
Cardboard Connection

Monday, April 14, 2014

1964 Phillies @ 50: Dennis Bennett

After a bit of a hiatus today we return to our 1964 Phillies feature. On this date 50 years ago the Phillies begin their surprising 1964 campaign

1964 Topps #396 Dennis Bennett

On a team that had both Jim Bunning and Chris Short, the player that earned the opening day start for the 1964 Phillies was Lefty Dennis Bennett. The Phillies beat the Mets 5-3 that day, despite the fact that Bennett only went 4 2/3 innings. Roy Sievers had the big blow that day with a 3 run homer in the first and the Phillies never trailed.

Bennett's 1964 Season got of to a great start and he ran his record to 8-4 with a 2.94 ERA by mid June. Unfortunately a nagging shoulder injury would hamper the rest of his season. By contrast, after the 20th of June Bennett was 4-10 with an ERA of 4.10.

There was one interesting highlight to a rather poor start form Dennis Bennett's 1964 season. On June 12th he wasn't able to get out of the 3rd inning, as the Mets banged him around for 5 early runs. The game ended up being a 11-3 blowout, but the otherwise miserable game did provide the opportunity for Dennis' younger brother Dave Bennett to make his Major League Debut. Dave Bennett pitched the 9th inning that day giving up a run on a pair of hits. He had a single strikeout. It was Dave Bennett's only Major League appearance.   

During a recent Phillies broadcast it was noted that with Jayson Nix(younger brother of Laynce)  the Phillies have now featured 10 sets of brothers - The Bennett's were of course one of those 10 sets.

Flip Side
1964 Topps #386 Topps Dennis Bennett (b-side)

The blurb on the flip of Bennett's 64T card notes that he was recovering from an accident at the time. However, Topps doesn't tell us the whole tragic story of the incident which occurred while Bennett was in Puerto Rico playing winter ball. The driver in the accident was killed and Bennett's injuries were quite serious. He was sent through the cars windshield and broke his left ankle, collarbone and pelvis. At the time doctors suggested Bennett would never pitch again, possibly not walk. 

Bennett recovered and returned to the Phillies by June of 1963. He pitched well, but the broken collarbone is what likely led to his shoulder issues that would mar the 2nd half of the 1964 season. 

Following his playing career Dennis Bennett settled in Klamath Falls Oregon, a small city in the South Central part of the state. He lived there operating various restaurants until his death in 2012. 
1964 Philies Series
Dick Allen  

Dennis Bennett
Johnny Callison
Tony Gonzalez
John Herrnstein 
Chris Short
Tony Taylor
Frank Thomas
Bobby Wine 
Year of the Blue Snow
Klamath Falls
CSN Phillies Broadcast 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Million Dollar Arm: 2009 Bowman Sterling #BSP-DP Dinesh Patel

This is our second Mad Men related posting of the weekend. Jon Hamm, who portrays Don Draper/Dick Whitman is starring in the upcoming film "Million Dollar Arm"

2009 Bowman Sterling Autographed Prospects #BSP-DP Dinesh Patel

The story is based on a recruiting trip/reality show opp that the Pittsburgh Pirates initiated to India in 2008. The premise is basically that cricket players can become Major League Pitchers

The Pirates found two pitchers, Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel who is featured above. Both came to the States and trained at USC.

Dinesh Patel pitched 13 2/3 innings in 15 games for the Pirates Gulf Coast League team over two seasons. His first season was pretty good, but he regressed in 2010. Since then he has returned home.  

The Left-handed Singh remains with the Pirates despite missing 2013 with injury issues.  He was in the Pirates spring training camp in 2014, but I was unable to find his progress or status beyond the Grapefruit League.

For the Collector
I picked up the above Dinesh Patel auto for $2 at a recent card show. Both Patel and Singh are included on the Autograph Checker for 2009 Bowman Sterling Prospects. I think the two were added to the set late and neither player has a base card in the set. Prominent players in the autograph include Mike Leake, Donegal/Messiah alum Chris Heisey, Zack Wheeler, and Mike Trout 

Baseball Cardpedia
Barry M Bloom - 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

2014 Hall of Fame Candidates Index

This is the Index for the 2014 Hall of Fame Candidates that were profiled by team Phungo. This series was largely done between November of 2013 and February 2014. Three of the HoF candidates became inductees Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas.

1988 Topps #361 Greg Maddux

2014 HoF Candidate Postings  

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)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Mad Men: 1951 Bowman #221 Dick Whitman

On Sunday Night Mad Men returns for it's 7th and final season. (Well at least the first half of it's final season)

1951 Bowman #221 Dick Whitman

If your a fan of the show you will know why I am posting this card - Don Draper's birth name is Dick Whitman.

The real Dick Whitman had a six year Major League career which started in 1946 as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers and finished with the Phillies in 1951. While he was basically a part time player who only got into 285 games he was fortunate enough to play in back to back World Series. The first Series was as a member of the '49 Dodgers, followed by the 1950 campaign with the Philles Whiz Kids. While in the majors Whitman tallied 165 hits two of which were Home Runs.

Dick Whitman was also a World War II Veteran who served in Europe prior to his Major League career. He suffered shrapnel wounds and frostbite during the Battle of the Bulge. Whitman was awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for Bravery

His baseball related honors include induction into Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1982.

Whitman retired to Peoria Arizona in the 1990s, he passed away in 2003 at the age of 82. During his retirement years Whitman became an avid fan of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

SABR Bio - Ted Smith
Oregon Sports Hall of Fame

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Snapshots Opening Day Brewers @ Phillies 2014 04 08

The Phillies Home Opener started off with lots of promise, but ended with a 10-4 loss and the heavy weight of disappointment,  

The long list of grievances for the day included

- Old man winter keeps his dying fingers clutched upon us - Opening Day was delayed a day and when it did come was a bit windier and colder than expected.
-That same windy weather caused the thrilling Navy Leap Frog parachute drop to be cancelled. This is the 2nd consecutive time this has happened for a Phungo Opening Day trip.
-Before we even left for the stadium it was announced that Chase Utley would be out due to the flu.
-The Phillies had a series of fielding gaffes and looked like they were in the first day of spring training rather than the first day of the regular season.
-Kyle Kendrick who we finally decided may have a big season, completed imploded and was unable to execute a big pitch when needed.
-and Finally the player who got top billing on the sports day did it in the game we were attending, unfortunately he was the one guy on the field you couldn't possibly root for - Ryan Braun.

Even with those complaints Team Phungo had a fun day and we are looking forward to the 2014 Phillies season with guarded optimism.


2014 04 08 Steve Carlton & Jamie Moyer

The honorary first pitch was thrown out by Jamie Moyer who was accompanied by Steve Carlton. The pair of southpaws represent the Phillies two World Championship teams.

2014 04 08 Ryan Braun

This is Braun batting in the 6th inning when he flied out to to center. Oddly I took about a dozen pix of Braun and not one was during one of his HR ABs. In addition to his three Homers Braun also robbed Carlos Ruiz of a muli-RBI hit at a key point early in the game.

As I mentioned above, it is tough enough seeing your team get beat badly - it is much worse when the one guy that is out there having a career day is the one guy you just want to boo loudly,

2014 04 08 Kyle Kendrick

Interesting shot of Kendrick taken from the upper deck. After Tuesday's game my enthusiasm for his 2014 season is less than it was earlier in the week.

2014 04 08 Marlon Byrd

Marlon Byrd returns to the Phillies after eight years crisscrossing the baseball landscape.

2014 04 08 Phillies Starting Line Up Cards

Starting Line Up Cards are updated for 2014, but they are not affiliated with Topps. The cards do sort of remind me of the Topps Stickers that have come out the last couple of years.

2014 04 08 Sixto Lezcano Jersey

I didn't expect to see one of these. Sixto Lezcano played for the Phillies as well as the Brewers and actually was a contributor to the 1983 Wheeze Kids.

2014 04 08 Phillie Phanatic

My favorite Photo of the day - The Phanatic looks a bit dejected here, standing in front of the backdrop of excitement provided by the Opening Day logo.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Happy Anniversary Hank Aaron: 1975 Topps #1

Forty years ago today on April 8 1974 Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth's career Home Run Record.

1975 Topps #1 Hank Aaron '74 Highlights

To honor the event Topps made Aaron the first card of the 1975 Set. The first 7 cards of 1975T are dedicated to highlights of the 1974 season, with a newsprint style synopsis of each event on the reverse: 

1975 Topps #1 Hank Aaron '74 Highlights

For a very enjoyable trip down memory lane check out which has a couple of radio calls of Aaron's historic homer including a tremendous one by Vin Scully. The Hall of Fame broadcaster's call starts at the 52 second mark of the audio, and for me is the best of the three.  
Topps had put together Baseball Highlight subsets previously, but I think 1975 is the first time they were dedicated to the previous season. Just a few weeks ago we talked about an Aaron card from a similar 1959 Topps subset.

The Phillies are hosting Milwaukee this week making this a good time to feature Hank Aaron's other 1975 Topps card:

1975 Topps #660 Hank Aaron

That is one loved card right there.

After Aaron hit his record breaking Home Run he finished out the 1974 season with the Braves and was traded to the Brewers during the Off Season. The trade returned Aaron to Milwaukee where he started in Major League career before the Braves moved to Atlanta. 

Phun Phact
Hank Aaron was on the first and last card of 1975 Topps,  similar to Ted Williams who served as the bookends for the 1954 Set.

More Hank
Phungo HoF Index

Sources & Links
Topps #1 Club
Baseball Card Database
Dean's Blog
Baseball Hall of Fame

Monday, April 7, 2014

Home Opener: 2009 Topps #103 Kyle Kendrick

We are experiencing some transportation issues at Team Phungo HQ, but that should not keep us from making the jaunt down to the ball park for tomorrows 2014 Phillies Home Opener.

2009 Topps #103 Kyle Kendrick

Every time I hear Kyle Kendrick's name I cringe. They are a number of factors, he originally came up as a low ceiling back of the rotation starter with little fanfare, He is romantically connected to a low level reality starlet whom I find annoying, but mostly because I have heard he has a penchant for boy bands.

As far as your starting pitching draw is concerned going to the Home Opener when your team begins it season on the road is a gamble. This year we get Mr Kendrick.

As I have noted I cringe, but everybody that I discuss the now 29 year old Right-Hander with notes that he has some pretty strong stretches in the last couple of seasons. Kendrick also had a nice 2014 debut going 7 innings vs the Rangers giving up only 1 run on 5 hits and a walk.

Another thought that may make Phillies fans shudder is that Kendrick's number 1 age comp (according to Baseball-Ref/Bill James sim scores) is Joe Blanton. In 2010 Blanton spent his age 29 season with the Phillies. He 9-6 with a 4.82 ERA (85 ERA+, -0.1 WAR) - Those numbers point to a flat out average MLB season.

The remainder of Kendrick's top 10 comps all pitched 100+ innings at age 29, half exceeded 150 innings with the average at 150 innings. If you take out the one pitcher that got injured Carl Pavano (2005 Yankees) and the pitcher who was a 1930s era swingman (Johnny Marcum) the average among the remaining eight pitchers is 168 innings. The Kendrick 10 pitched to an ERA+ of 92 at age 29 with an average WAR of 1.29. If we remove Pavano and Marcum again and ALSO Adam Eaton's PUTRID 2007 season we get ERA+ 98 with a WAR of 2.0.

Beyond 2014 the best Kyle Kendrick can expect is to be Tood Stottlemeyer who pitched 8 additional season starting at age 29, with 183 starts and 76 wins. Stottlemeyer had a career WAR of 16.5 at 29+. Several of Kendrick's current comps remain active so his average 29+ comp is likely deflated - 4 Years, 31 Wins, 4.0 WAR. The worst that his contemporary comps fared was Eaton who had 318 inning left and pitched to an ERA of 6.40 for the remainder of his career.

Phungo Sez
I am going above the box on this one. Based off of last weeks outing versus the Rangers and Kendrick's solid spring results I am projecting a breakout season. 12-9 for Kyle with a 3.83 ERA, 111 ERA+ and a +3.8 WAR. That right I am giving Kyle Kendrick the same 2014 WAR as Cole Hamels.

I cannot belief how much I just wrote about Kyle Kendrick.

Phillies 2014+ Index
Cody Asche WAR + 1.8
Cole Hamels WAR +3.8
Ryan Howard WAR +1.0
Kyle Kendrick WAR +3.8  

Phils projected W total via WAR thru 4 players 62.4.


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sunday Night Baseball: Don Sutton 1968 Topps #103

Once again this week the Dodgers are featured on Sunday Night Baseball. If you count the the Australia globe trek it makes this the 3rd time the Dodgers have been the focus of the MLBs young 2014 season. Tonight we take a look at Hall of Fame pitcher Don Sutton

1968 Topps #103 Don Sutton 

Every time I debut a Hall of Famer here I think why haven't we gotten around to this guy before.

Don Sutton's career spanned 23 years, 16 of which were spent with the Dodgers. He amassed a total fo  324 wins. Among players born since 1940 there are a grand total of 5 pitchers with 324+ Ws: Maddux, Clemens, Carlton, Nolan Ryan and Don Sutton. Despite this it took five election cycles for the BBWAA to put Sutton in the Hall of Fame. With the exception of Clemens the other four were all first ballot qualifiers with Lefty getting in at the lowest pct 95.6% - well above the requisite 75%.

The big differentiating factor for Sutton are:
1) Unlike the other four, He never won a World Series, or Cy Young Award. It should be noted that while Sutton didn't win a WS ring, he participated in four World Series including 3 with the Dodger    2) Sutton was often accused of scuffing the ball - but never suspended.

With the Brew Crew coming into Philadelphia this week, I just wanted to note that one of the four clubs Sutton played for post-Dodgers was Milwaukee. He was part of the 1982 squad that won the American League pennant and took the Cardinals to 7 games in that years World Series.

Dodgers #20
Sutton left LA via free agency in 1980, after which several players wore #20, until 1997. The Dodgers officially retired Sutton's #20 on August 14 1998. 

Don Sutton has spent most of his post playing career in the Broadcast booth for the Atlanta Braves. This season he is the color commentary half of the radio team which is led by Jim Powell.

1968 Topps
For me this set ranks right at the bottom among vintage Topps offerings.  The dotted brown borders remind me of an old musty suitcase. That being said, I am fond of the Don Sutton card. So much so that he made the Paul Lynde square on my 68T HoF Page

Phun Phact
Topps first two Don Sutton solo cards both mention Sandy Koufax on the flip side. One in the text (1967) and one in the -toon (1968)

Don Sutton HoF Index
Los Angeles Dodgers
Atlanta Braves
Baseball Card Database

Friday, April 4, 2014

Ryne Sandberg and Rick Renteria reunite at Wrigley

Last summer Team Phungo got this snapshot of Ryne Sandberg and Rick Renteria exchanging lineups prior to a Padres Phils game.

2013 09 11 Rick Renteria and Ryne Sandberg

At the time Renteria was a bench coach and Sandberg was likely still Interim Manager. Today (weather permitting) the two will once again meet at home plate. This time it will be as opposing managers during the lineup announecement for the Home Opener at Wrigley Field.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

1966 Topps #254 Ferguson Jenkins/Bill Sorrell RC

The Phillies are on a travel day between the opening series’ for the Rangers and Cubs. There are several players that tie the three teams together including Mitch Williams and Jamie Moyer. Today we are going to feature one of their pitching brethren Hall of Famer Ferguson Jenkins.

1966 Topps #254 Ferguson Jenkins/Bill Sorrell RC

Yes Fergie Jenkins’ rookie card was issued with him wearing Phillies pinstripes. Unfortunately the Philllies traded Fergie to the Chicago Cubs in a deal that returned an end of career Larry Jackson. Jenkins pitched for several clubs, but the two teams that make up the bulk of his Hall of Fame career are the Cubs and Rangers.

Career Highlights include Jenkins’ 1971 Season in which he won the Cy Young Award (backed up by modern WAR numbers that also would have made him NL MVP).  Fergie led the league in Ws twice ('71 & '74), four times he led the league in CGs and K/BB ratio 5 times. For his career he won 284 games vs 226 losses. 

Despite his long and successful career Jenkins never got the opportunity to play in the postseason.

Phun Phact
During Jenkins 1971 Cy Young Award season he HIT 6 home runs.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

1989 UD #338 Mike Maddux

Five days after the Phillies won the 2008 World Series, the Texas Rangers named Mike Maddux their pitching coach. He has held the position since. The Rangers have posted sub 4.00 ERAs each of the five seasons they have been under Maddux's tutelage. During 2013 the staffs 3.62 ERA and 1309 strike outs were both good enough to rank 4th in the AL.

1989 UD #338 Mike Maddux

Mike Maddux's MLB playing career began with the Phillies in 1986. He spent four years with the local 9 before being released. Maddux hung on for another decade bouncing around with 9 different teams before retiring in in 2000.  His best years were a pair of seasons with the Padres in 1991-92 and he reached the playoffs as a member of the 1995 Red Sox.

Maddux is, of course, the older brother of Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux. As a coach for the Rangers Mike Maddux were #31, the same number the Greg wore while playing for the Cubs and Braves.

1989 Upper Deck
Maddux is one of 29 Phillies players in the inaugural UD release. 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the historic set. One of the cool features of 89UD was the 2nd photo on the back

1989 UD #338 Mike Maddux (b-side)

This is a fine example of good use of the flip side photo. There is something interesting about the shot, looks to be the bullpen in the old vet. Maddux's hand is close to the camera. The landscape format fits the player nicely.

I don't have a big UD collection but we will try and focus on the set a bit throughout the year. The Phils that are in the set are listed here:

11 Ron Jones
31 Kevin Gross
33 Jeff Calhoun
35 Ricky Jordan RC*
207 Kent Tekulve
219 Steve Jeltz
229 Phil Bradley
240 Lance Parrish
246 Von Hayes
317 Milt Thompson
319 Bruce Ruffin
336 Juan Samuel
338 Mike Maddux
340 Bob Dernier
406 Mike Schmidt
409 Don Carman
427 Shane Rawley
430 Jackie Gutierrez
448 Darren Daulton
511 Steve Bedrosian
513 Chris James
515 David Palmer
532 John Russell
534 Greg Gross
684 Mike Schmidt TC
704 Dickie Thon
720 Tommy Herr
730 Floyd Youmans
741 Jeff Parrett

Texas Rangers

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions