Monday, December 14, 2015

2011 Topps USA Baseball #USA-1 Mark Appel (pre-RC)

The most intriguing player returned to the Phillies from the Astros in the Ken Giles trade is 2013 #1 overall pick Mark Appel.

2011 Topps USA Baseball #USA1 Mark Appel

Mark Appel has been unable to match the off-field hype during a professional career that now stands at 250+ innings with a cringeworthy 5.12 ERA. That is not a small sample size although Appel did show modest improvement posting a 4.37 ERA across two levels in 2015.

2011 Topps USA Baseball
Topps USA is a61 card set with a couple of players that have already emerged. Notable Pre-RCss other than Appel in the set are Michael Wacha, Addison Russell, Joey Gallo, and Kevin Gausman.

In 2010 Topps produced a similar set that included Gerrit Cole and others.

2011 Topps USA Baseball #USA1 Mark Appel (b-side)

Mark Appel got card #1 in the set because he is listed first among Collegiate National Team players alphabetically, not because he was the #1 draft pick or #1 prospect. Text on the back of the card mentions Appel's accomplishments at Stanford and Team USA.


2015 WAR Projection

Last season I tried to project the WAR of the 2015 Phils and came up with an incredibly optimisting 70+ Wins -  but I think that was dependent on a deluded idea that Chase Utley was returning to form and that Cliff Lee had a shot to be healthy.

I will attempt to do the same this off-season. I see Mark Appel will appear in the Major leagues late in 2015 but his contributions will be minor. +0.0 WAR is my projection for his first Phillies foray.

As more WAR Projections get posted I will Index and total them similar to the 2015 list.

Sources and Links
2016 Phillies WAR projections Index
Baseball-ref

Happy 50th Birthday Craig Biggio

Just noticed on Twitter that Hall of Famer Craig Biggio is celebrating a Milestone Birthday today.

1991 Score #161 Craig Biggio

I am a fan of the early Biggio cards. Anytime I see one in a dimebox that identifies him as a catcher I will pick it up. 1991 Score captures the young Craig Biggio during his first position switch to Centerfield.

The C-CF on the card has to be an on card rarity. First you have the positions involved, how many Catchers are speedy enough to play center. Secondly you have Score differentiating the specific Outfield position - something that Topps (and others) still don't bother with a quarter century later.


1991 Score #161 Craig Biggio (b-side)

Along with several other accolades the text on the flip side mentions Biggio's unique position change. Nice guest appearance from Moneyball Manger Art Howe with the Quote.


Sources & Links
Phungo Biggio HoF Index
Baseball-ref

Friday, December 4, 2015

2009 Toipps #UH248 Chan Ho Park

Yesterday we covered Chan Ho Park's HoF (lack of) candidacy. Today I just want to add some proof that he spent 15 minutes in the Phillies organization.

2009 Topps Update #UH248 Chan Ho Park
 

Flip
2009 Topps Update #UH248 Chan Ho Park (b-side)

Just posting this to note that it is interesting that Chan Ho Park owned slugger Miguel Tejada. Prior to coming to Philadelphia Park was basically a starter. With the Phillies he was relegated to spot relief.

 Phungo Cards

 2010 Topps #51 Chan Ho Park

One final piece of evidence Chan Ho Park pitched for the Phillies, way back in 2009 I took a picture of him on the mound and somehow that picture made it onto an early Phungo Card

Sources and Links
2010 Phungo Checker
baseball-ref

Checker 2010 Phungo

The Second Phungo set was released in 2010. The 52 card checklist is presented below, card #48 is unknown - I may have never produced one.


2010 Topps #45 Pedro Martinez


1
Harry Kalas
Phillies
2
Joe Mauer
Twins
3
Thomas Jefferson
Statesman
4
Brandon Phillips
Reds
5
Mickey Vernon
Senators
6
Ryan Howard
Phillies
7
Ivan Rodriguez
Rangers
8
Cal Ripken Jr
Orioles
9
Sidney Crosby
Pittsburgh Penguins
10
Rollie Massimino
Villanova Wildcats
11
Jimmy Rollins
Phillies
12
Homer Bailey
Reds
13
John Kruk
Phillies
14
Harry Caray
Cubs
15
Jonathan Papelbon
Red Sox
16
Aramis Ramirez
Cubs
17
Mike Moustakas
Royals
18
Daisuke Matsuzaka
Red Sox
19
Greg Luzinski
Phillies
20
Mike Schmidt/Harry Kalas Memorial
Phillies
21
Bernie Williams
Yankees/Puerto Rico
22
Jim Eisenreich
Phillies
23
Kirk Gibson
Diamdondbacks
24
Nick Johnson
Marlins
25
Brian Matusz
Orioles
26
Chase Utley
Phillies
27
Chris Coste
Phillies
28
John Maine vs Shane Victorino
Mets/Phillies
29
Raul Ibanez
Phillies
30
Nick Markakis
Orioles
31
Rodrigo Lopez
Phillies
32
Tim Lincecum
Giants
33
Justin Morneau
Twins
34
Cliff Lee
Phillies
35
David Ortiz
Red Sox/Domincan Republic
36
Rob McElhenney
Entertainer
37
Juan Pierre/Jeff Kent
Dodgers
38
John Maine   
Mets
39
Glen Phillips
Entertainer
40
Rich Harden
Cubs
41
Dante Cunningham
Villanova Wildcats
42
Judy Johnson
Negro Leagues
43
JA Happ
Phillies
44
Todd Pratt
Phillies
45
Pedro Martinez
Phillies
46
Ryan Madson
Phillies
47
Alanis Morissette
Entertainer
48


49
Jose Contreras
White Sox
50
Chris Coghlan (RoY)
Marlins
51
Chan Ho Park
Phillies
52
CC Sabathia
Brewers




Thursday, December 3, 2015

2016 HoF Ballot: Chan Ho Park - 1994 Score Select #177

With Korean First Baseman Byung Ho Park signing with Twins I thought it was a good opportunity to discuss Chan Ho Park in our HoF Ballot Series.

1994 Score Select #177 Rookie Prospect Chan Ho Park

Unfortunately the BBWAA committee that is responsible for creating the Ballot did not see the need for that discussion. Park fulfilled the 10 year experience quota but was left of this years ballot - Jay Jaffe noted in an SI Article that for a number of reasons Park was the biggest snub on this years ballot.  Chan Ho Park was the first Korean Player to make it in the states, as more of his countrymen Join MLB teams the significance of his career will grow.

Phungo Verditct

HOF

Ok - I'm Asian and I feel for the Snubbed guy. To be honest Chan Ho Park's year with the Phillies was pretty mediocre as was his career.

Great thing about writing a blog is I can Put Chan Ho Park in the HoF and blow off Mark McGwire.

Source and Links
2016 Phungo HoF Ballot 
Baseball-ref
CNNSI - Jay Jaffe
Minnesota Twins

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Welcome to the Show RUDY Ruettiger

Trading Card Show that is.

 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter # 238 Rudy Ruettiger

I have never seen the movie "Rudy" in it's entirety, but I probably don't need. Lifelong passions as a Sports and Pop Culture Nerd have probably fed the entire script of the film into my brain stem.

The 1993 movie is based on the story of the undersized Rudy Ruettiger who was a walk on for a single game with the 1975 Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

Rudy is one of about a half dozen guests slated for this Saturday December 5th at the Valley Forge Card Show. His signature will command $50 plus an additional $25 for an inscription.

The top Baseball Signers include Hall of Famers Rickey Henderson and Steve Carlton. The Phillies related folks are Charlie Manuel, Jimy Williams, Curt Schilling, Todd Pratt and Milt Thompson.

Hall of Famer Paul Hornung is on the Saturday Slate for Football Fans. Friday's guest is the Flyers John LeClair while Sunday will feature US Women's National Team Soccer Gold Medalist Heather Mitts.

Donovan McNabb was originally on the Weekends Roster but has other obligations in Arizona.

For more information on the show click here.


2011 Allen & Ginter's
Bit of an oddity here but since AnG traditionally only lists the subjects last name we don't get to see Ruettiger signature Name "Rudy" on the front of the card.

Team Phungo
Not sure if I am making this year's show, busy time of year and I should really just organize the cards from the last show I was at back in October. If I do go it will likely be Saturday.

Sources and Links
imdb
Philly Show
NJ

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

2016 HoF Ballot: Mark McGwire - 1987 Leaf #40 with special guest Jose Canseco

Mark McGwire appears on the Hall of Fame ballot for his 10th and Final Time this year. Due to some recent changes to the voting process McGwire will not get the opportunity to hang around for five more election cycles.

For me it doesn't matter, Cardwise the first thing I think when I hear Mark McGwire's name looks like this...

1987 Leaf #40 McGwire and Canseco

or This


1988 Fleer Superstar Special Oakland's Power Team

or This

1988 Topps #797 Athletics Leaders

And I am sure there are more - given the era I assume there are lots more. Kind of curious that in all three cards the two players appear in the same order. I thought the latter two shots may have been at the same session but Jose Canseco is wearing different arm bands in each photo.

Mark McGwire HOF Verdict:

Well if you haven't guessed from tthose three cards here it is: 

 VETO
 
Unlike many fans the marriage of Steroids/PEDs and Baseball have made my life less difficult rather than more complicated. First off I don't get excited over HoF results, I think they are fun to follow and generate interesting conversations. Secondly it allows me to be arbitrary for no real good reason as to whom I put into the Phungo Hall.

And you know what - I dislike Mark McGwire. Having steroids out there lingering is a nice bonus to justify a NO Vote on my HoF ballot.

Beyond that I think of McGwire as a marginal HoF candidate. He is probably just over the line stat-wise.

Despite his 583 Home Runs among the 19 HOF first baseman McGwire ranks just a tick below the groups average in WAR scores for all three JAWS categories (WAR, WAR7 and JAWS).

Primarily known as an offensive threat at a power position McGwire never won an MVP award. He did finish 2nd to fellow PED suspect Sammy Sosa in 1998 despite having a higher WAR than the Cubs outfielder - Both Sosa and McGwire ranked behind Barry Bonds in 1998 WAR, However McGwire led the league in oWAR.

McGwire did check the Rookie of the Year box and won a pennant with the 1989 A's and was an all-star a dozen times.

Flip
We take a look at the reverse of each of the cards
 
1987 Leaf #40 McGwire and Canseco (b-side)

The text discusses the Rookie of the Year torch passing from Canseco to McGwire. Nice to see Sal Bando get a mention with all the thunder including Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson


1988 Fleer Superstar Special Oakland's Power Team (b-side)

Fleer mention of McGwire's incredible 49 Home Run rookie campaign gives them a nice opportunity to give a nod to Hall of Famer Frank Robinson.

1988 Topps #797 Athletics Leaders (b-side)

As a stat nerd I find the topps Team Leader card the most interesting. Some great names there beyond McGwire and Canseco. The Hall of Famer appearing here is Dennis Eckersley. Fellow pitcher Dave Stewart is just starting his great stretch as the A's ace. Stewarts 261+ innings ranked 8th in the majors in 1987, That would have led all of MLB every season since 2003 (Roy Halladay 266). The NL has not seen a pitcher eclipse that mark this century - Randy Johnson 271.2 in 1999.

Sources and Links
2016 Phungo HoF Ballot
Baseball Hall of Fame
Baseball-ref

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions