Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Snapshots: 2014 07 25 & 27 D-Backs @ Phillies

Been a strange week in what has been a forgettable season for the Philadelphia Phillies. Team Phungo ended up going to the bookends of Phils 3 game series with Diamondbacks. Fortunately these were the two games the Phillies won 9-5 on Friday Night and 4-2 on Sunday.

Turned out Ryan Howard's name came up an awful lot this weekend.

Friday night Howard was out of the lineup for the 3rd consecutive game.  Yet he had the honor of being the subject of the cover photo for our ticket. Each night a Phillies player is also the representative for their Charitable Ticket Program.  On Friday in a continuation of the unfortunate confluence of events Howard's Sluggers were the beneficiaries of the ticket program - on a night when the actual Slugger never played.

Snapshots
Marlon Byrd 

It was 25th of July and the Phillies celebrated Christmas July. As part of the festivities the player pix were outfitted with holiday attire. Marlon Byrd got a Santa Cap and an ugly sweater.


The Phanatic got into the Holiday Spirit as well, here he celebrates with a couple of Phillies ballgirls. 



Grady Sizemore

I was disappointed the Phillies have gotten away from the Topps sponsored game day lineup cards. They have opted to use their own design shown here. I believe this is this is the same design that is used on their postcard player sets. Grady Sizemore has only been with the club since the beginning of the month, so this is sort of like his first card as a Phil. 

Sunday
 Ryne Sandberg and Chase Utley

Sunday was Hall of Fame day, to mark the occasion all MLB players wore a special 75th anniversary of the HoF patch. Here we have HOF second baseman Ryne Sandberg with Chase Utley who may someday find his way into the Hall.

Good Guy Award
Ryan Howard 

As mentioned above Ryan Howard had a crazy week. He was in the lineup on Sunday but still found time to sign autographs almost right up to the anthem.  About 15 minutes later Howard blasted a line drive Home Run into the left-centerfield bleachers.

In addition to Howard, Darin Ruf and Chase Utley also get GGAs for taking some time to greet the fans and pen some signatures.   


Paul Goldschmidt

One of the reasons the Phillies won the series was they were able to keep D-Backs slugger Paul Goldschmidt in check.  Goldschmidt was 2-11 on the weekend.



Sunday was also Cole Hamels T-Shirsey day. Here he is being interviewed by Scott Palmer.


Vidal Nuno got the start for Arizona. The rookie was acquired by the D-Backs earlier this month in the trade that sent Brandon McCarthy to the Yankees.


Marlon Byrd has been the subject of trade rumors in recent weeks. Here it appears that he made sure to get one last good meal off of the Phillies buffet.

Sources
Baseball-ref.com
Philles Behind the Pinstripes


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Snapshots: 2014 07 21 Giants 7 @ Phillies 4

The Return of Cliff Lee turned out to be a Meh event in a disappointing season. The Phillies lost to the Giants 7-4 in a game that had a lot of hits but few fireworks. Not much else to add on this one so right to the pix.

Snapshots


Lee's velocity was down and he had trouble finiahing hitters. He did little to enhance his trade value.


Grady Sizemore is the latest veteran the Phillies have added to the roster.


Former Phil Hunter Pence was in town and did some damage with 3 hits including a triple and a couple of RBIs.


There game featured 29 hits, but only one Home Run which was provided by rookie Adam Duvall.


Cliff Lee facing Buster Posey in the 5th inning.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Ultimate Frisbee - MLU Championship DC Current 23 Vancouver Nighthawks 17

On Saturday July 19, 2014 the 2nd Major League Ultimate Championship was held at PPL park in Chester PA - home of the MLS Philadelphia Union. 

The contest between the DC Current and Vancouver Nighthawks was largely decided in the first quarter. The Current got off to a quick start taking an 8-2 first quarter lead.  That early six point differential would be equivalent to the final tally as DC won 23-17.

Vancouver mounted a couple of rallies, but I believe the closest the made the contest was 13-9 late in the 3rd quarter.

Snapshots

DC Current - According to the Posted roster that is Connor Maloney with the wave


Vancouver Nighthawks - The West Coast Reps Starting Seven, The right most player is Conference MVP Brendan Wong.

The MLU Trophy - In a move borrowed from the NHL, the trophy is given the glove treatment. Directly behind the trophy bearer is MLU Comissioner Jeff Snader. MLU VP Nic Darling is to the left.

For TV/Streaming Video reasons the crowd was seated to provide a background for game action. Because of this MLU logo was upside down for those of us in attendance at the game. You can see the lower portion of the logo at the bottom of the above shot.





Starters for both Squads pose for photograhers with the MLU trophy. 


L
Lloyd Blake catches a goal midway through quarter 2. This score put DC up 10-2. I was busy enjoying the game, so I ddin't get many action shots. The ones that I did get were pretty blurry. this Is the best of the bunch. 

MLU Social Media Director, Alexandra Wittchen  sung both the Canadian and American anthems. She did a great job with both. 



Locally the Philadelphia Spinners always do a terrific job with the off field entertainment aspects of ultimate. The MLU championship was no exception. I didn't get the name of the emcee above. I believe he may have been connected with the Seattle Rainmakers Club, part of his job was to lead cheers, toss discs into the crowd and coordinate the non-game portions of the night.

The evenings festivities included a Disc Golf challenge and a Fan Sign competition. The MLU also took time to honor our Military Veterans as well.

There is one embarrassing Snafu on MLU's Part


22 years ago during the 1992 World Series the Atlanta Braves infamously (and accidentally) flew the Canadian Flag upside down. Unfortunately the MLU had their own flag issue on Saturday Night. Old Glory dwarfed it's Canadian counterpart. The smaller flag flapped around the rafter a few times, a staffer had to be assigned to keep it flying.

No Dancers 
The MLU Spinners have come under fire in the past for having a dance squad at games, The MLU championship did not include any form of dance squad or cheerleading unit.

Not sure how much this was connected to the controversy, but I was disappointed with the omission. I have family members that have put a lifetime of effort into dance and I have felt that the Fly Girls respected the artform. 
 

Sources 
MLU
Ultiworld
LA Times

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Happy Anniversary Bob Gibson 3000 Ks: 1975 Topps #3

Busy here Phungo HQ, but I wanted to put up this quick posting.

Thursday July 17th marks the 40th anniversary of the ngiht Bob Gibson recorded his 3000th Strike out.

 1975 Topps #3 '74 Highlights Bob Gibson Throws 3000th Strikeout 

Topps honored the event with the #3 card of their 1975 Set,



 1975 Topps #3 '74 Highlights Bob Gibson Throws 3000th Strikeout (b-side)

Sources & Links
Phungo Bob Gibson HoF Index
Game Dated Cards Index


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

1969 Topps #507 Cookie Rojas - 1965 All-Star

The first All-Star Game hosted by the Twins was in 1965. The game was held at Metropolitan Stadium. The Phillies Cookie Rojas made the first of his Five All-star appearances in that game.


1969 Topps #507 Cookie Rojas Sources

The NL won the game 6-5, 3 future Hall of Famers Homered for the senior circuit, Willie Stargell, Willie Mays and Joe Torre. The AL got a home run from hometown hero Harmon Killiebrew.

Rojas flew out to centerfield in his only plate appearance.  The NL Squad included two other Phillies, Dick Allen who started and batted cleanup and Johnny Callison who did not play. The team was  piloted by Phillies manager Gene Mauch.

1964 Phillies  
I am adding this post to our 1964 Phillies series. Click on the team link to find some more profiles on the club include the aforementioned Dick Allen and Johnny Callison. 

2014  Phungo All-Star Coverage
Ozzie Virgil
Glenn Wilson
Johnny Callison
Chase Utley

More Cookie 
1969 Topps Blog has a nice career summary on Rojas

Sources
Baseball-ref

Monday, July 14, 2014

1986 Topps #95 Ozzie Virgil - 1985 All-Star

This is our second Installment featuring Phillies that have played in All-Star games hosted by the Minnesota Twins.

1986 Topps #95 Ozzie Virgil 

Ozzie Virgil's trip to the Metrodome was more successful than teammate Glenn Wilson's. Virgil entered the game in the 4th inning as a defensive replacement for starting catcher Terry Kennedy. His lone at-bat came an inning later versus future Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven, Ozzie batted a pair of runners to give the NL a 4-1 Lead in the game which was eventually won 6-1. According to the Baseball-ref the AB was the highest WPA (win probability added) At Bat of the game - The hit increased the NLs victory chances from 64% to 80%

1985 was the first to two all-star games in which Ozzie Virgil played. As a representative of the Braves Virgil made the 1987 squad.

2014 Team Phungo ASG Coverage
Glenn Wilson
Chase Utley

Sources
Baseball-ref

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sunday Night Baseball: Big League Brothers Lee and Carlos May 1977 Topps #633

ESPN is in Baltimore tonight to feature the AL East leading Orioles as they host the New York Yankees.  To honor this match up of division rivals we present a card from teh 1977 Topps Big League Brothers Subset.

1977 Topps #633 Big League Brothers Lee and Carlos May 

Lee May and Carlos May combined to play 28 years of Major League Baseball. The elder brother, Lee, spent most of his career with two clubs the Reds and the Orioles. Carlos is pictured here with the Yankees but spent 9 of his 10 seasons with the White Sox. 

Lee was the more prolific of the brothers logging 354 Home Runs over 18 seasons. His 109 RBI in 1976 led the league. Lee was a three time all-star and a member of two league championship teams - 1970 Reds and 1979 Orioles.

Carlos May had the less stellar career of the two brothers, but things could of ended up differently. On August 11 1969 Carlos was on Marine Reserve duty in California when a Mortar accident occurred. An interesting and scary interview can be read here. The accident cost May part of his thumb. Carlos was able to recover and return to baseball. As noted he had a significant career but only topped his rookie HR output of 18 once over his decade long career.

One would expect a major thumb injury to hinder a hitters performance. In the interview cited above Carlos mentions that it may have actually helped him. The Wilson Sporting Goods Co made him a custom batting glove that May acknowledged helped a lot, but he also believes that the injury forced him to change his approach. Carlos approach at the plate went from being a pull hitter to more of an fields spray hitter.

As of 2011 Lee was working in the Cincinnati Reds PR department. He is a member of both the Reds and Orioles Hall of Fame.

Carlos May is currently the first base coach for the Schaumburg Boomers, A Chicago area minor league team in the unaffiliated Frontier League.

1977 Big League Brothers
The 1997 Topps BLB subset consists of four cards. In addition to the May Brothers there are also the Forsch's, Reushel's, and the Brett's.

Sources
SABR Bio Lee May by Eric Aron
Boomers Baseball
White Sox Interactive
Baseball Card Database

Saturday, July 12, 2014

1987 Topps #97 Glenn Wilson - 1985 All-Star

This year for our All-Star Game coverage we are going to look at Phillies who have played in the other 2 midsummer classics held by this years host, the Minnesota Twins.

In 1985 ASG was held at the Metrodome. The Phillies sent two players to the game, one of which was outfielder Glenn Wilson.

1987 Topps #97 Glenn Wilson

Just prior to the start of the 1984 season Glenn Wilson was acquired by the Phillies in a traded that sent pitcher Willie Hernandez to Detroit.

A year later Wilson found himself facing Hernandez with the bases loaded and 2 outs in the 9th inning of the 1985 All-Star game. Fortunately for the NL the senior circuit was up 6-1 at the time as Hernandez won the battle striking out Wilson. The NL sent in Hall of Fame closer Goose Gossage who came in to shut down the AL in the bottom of the 9th.

For the season in 1985 Wilson battted .275 with 14 Home Runs and a career high 102 RBIs. He remained with the Phillies through the 1987 season. He was sent to Seattle in a trade that returned Phil Bradley

Wilson spent 10 years in the Majors, His four seasons in Philadelphia were the most with any one club. He finished his career with 98 Home Runs, 1098 HIts, and a career .265 average. 

2014
Today Glenn Wilson is an Ordained Minister in his native Texas and along with author Darrel Halk has written his Autobiography "Headed Home


Sources 
Baseball-ref
Norkbook

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Babe Ruth Debut 100th anniversary: 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen Great ones #GO2

2011 Topps Gypsy Queen Great ones #GO2 Babe Ruth

100 Years ago on July 11 1914 Babe Ruth made his Major League Debut earning the W in a 4-3 Red Sox victory over the Cleveland Naps (now Indians). Ruth was of course a Pitcher back then. He went 7 innnings giving up 8 hits and 3 Runs (2 earned). He struck out 1 while walking none. Notable players he faced in that game included Nap Lajoie, Shoeless Joe Jackson and Ray Chapman. Ruth's Teammates included Tris Speaker.

Ruth batted 9th in the game went 0 for 2 including a strike out versus LHP Willie Mitchell. Mithell was a mediocre pitcher for the era (caree ERA+ 103) who was in the middle of a 10 year career in which he poated and 83-92 record - I say mediocre, but among the comps that show up in his later career Sim Scores is Tommy John.

After his 7 innings Ruth was removed for a pinch hitter Duffy Lewis a career .284 hitter who tallied 38 Home Runs - Those 38 Home Runs were pretty solid for the era. Lewis finished in the AL top 10 in Homers four times, but never hit more than 8 in a season.

2011 Gypsy Queen Great Ones
Typically Babe Ruth represents the Yankees. This GQ card gives a nod to the games history showing Ruth with the Red Sox. The card also show the legendary southpaw pitching, which of course was his position with the Sox. 

Sources
baseball-ref
SABR Bio Duffy Lewis

Sunday, July 6, 2014

50 Years Ago: Johnny Callison All-Star Game Hero

One of the highlights for the 1964 Phillies season was in the 35th Midsummer Classic played on July 7 1964.  

1967 Topps #85 Johnny Callison

Less than three weeks after Jim Bunning tossed a perfect game versus the Mets another Phillies player had a memorable day at Shea Stadium. Johnny Callison came up with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th inning of a tie ballgame. With two men on the left-handed hitter pulled the first pitch into the right field stands. The 3 run homer gave the NL a dramatic 7-4 victory.

The 1964 Phillies SABR collection Year of the Blue Snow has a chapter dedicated to Callison's Home Run in the 1965 ASG. Among the interesting tidbits unearthed by SABR biographer Mel Marmer are that Johnny Callison came into the game as a pinch hitter for the pitcher (Bunning) and expected to be removed. However, Hank Aaron wasn't feeling well and Callison ended up remaining in the game. Callison Also got to face the same pitcher twice, Dick "the Monster" Radatz.  In his first AB Callison flew out to CF Mickey Mantle. In the 9th versus Radatz, Callison felt he needed a lighter bat and used the lumber of future HoF ASG teammate Billy Williams.

Callison's fly out came on a low pitch from Radatz. Apparently it was deep enough to scare "the Monster" and the pitcher threw a High Fastball for his first pitch. Callison folllowed the same thought process, correctly guessing the pitch and location enabling him to connect perfectly.


1967 Topps #85 Johnny Callison #85 (b-side)

Johnny Callison's ASG heroics are the subject of the first cartoon on the flip side of his 1967 Topps Cards

1967 Topps
Last year we discussed Callison's HR during our 2013 ASG coverage - The game was hosted by the Mets for the first time since the Day Callison hit his dinger. Around the same time the card was also profiled by the 1967 Topps Blog

More 1964 Phllies
1964 Phils Series  Index


Sources
Baseball-ref
YouTube/The Baseball Page
The Year of the Blue Snow: The 1964 Phillies

Friday, July 4, 2014

USA USA USA: 1988 Topps #71T Mickey Morandini

We continue our 4th of July celebration today by posting this great card of Fan Favorite Mickey Morandini

1988 Topps #71T Mickey Morandini

Morandini was a member of the 1988 Olympic team. He played one game for the USA squad which took first place (Baseball was a non-medal exhibition in 1988) in the tournament.

Today Mickey Morandini is still in the Phillies organization as Bench Coach for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. He has been with the Phils in some sort of coaching or instructional role since 2009. It does appear the Phils may be grooming Morandini to be the next Manager of the big club.

Sources
Lehigh Valley IronPigs

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Happy Independence Day! 2009 Topps A&G National Pride #NP31 Grady Sizemore

Getting the Holiday weekend off to a start by posting a card of one of the newest faces in the Phillies Organization.

2009 Topps A&G National Pride #NP31 Grady Sizemore

Last week the Phillies signed Grady Sizemore off the scrap heep and he is currently playing the outfield for the teams AAA affiliate Lehigh Valley.

Sizemore has had a decent week, picking up a couple of hits including a Home Run. The move obviously doesn't make the Phillies a contender, but it does allow the Phillies flexibility to do a couple of things. 1) Trade Marlon Byrd or Dom Brown to a contendor 2) Send Ben Revere back to AAA for some seasoning.

At this point I don't know that Ben Revere can learn much at the AAA level, A player with no pop and mediocre defensive ability just doesn't have a spot in the Major Leagues. His lack of any skill outside of hitting singles really makes it hard to find a spot for him as a ballplayer.

2009 A&G National Pride
National Pride was a commong 2009 insert of Allen & Ginter. It is a bit hard to believe that the set is now 5 years old, The checker for the subset consists of 75 cards. The Phillies featured in the set include Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez, Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz. The checker for this set has some interesting names on it, and it would be fun to do a where/now on the list 5 years removed from the originals.

Sources
Baseball-ref
Baseball Cardpedia
Teams Sets 4 U

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Has Chase Utley Played in Last All-Star Game: 2008 Topps #UH241

The All-Star Voting tallies will be in soon and Chase Utley likely will win the honors for second base in the NL. Utley has earned the position on merit and deserves the nod.

2008 Topps #UH241 Chase Utley

I have to wonder if Utley will make it to Minnesota for this years festivities.  After a scorching start Utley has cooled significantly, His Batting Average, OBP, and Slugging Percentage have dropped each month this season. In June he batted .240 with 4 extra base hits, compare that with his March/April output of 355 BA and 14 XBH.

Yes Chase Utley was an All-Star in April - There were even mentions of him returning to Hall of Fame form. Unfortunately the injury prone veteran's fall off forces one to think about Utley's health issue  and specifically his chronic keee problems.

Utley started four consecutive All-Star Games between 2006 and 2009 and was a member of the 2010 squad but did not play in the game. I would love to see him return to the mid-summer classic, but I wouldn't be surprised if the 35 year old second baseman give his weary knees the week off.

Sources
Chase Utley Player Collection Index
Baseball-ref

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions