Monday, May 15, 2017

1992 Topps #78 Ivan Rodriguez

In recognition of the Phillies Interleague matchup with the Texas Rangers this week we are going to take a look at 2017 Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez

1992 Topps #78 Ivan Rodriguez (rookie cup)

Twenty-Five Years ago Ivan Rodriguez made the 199 Topps All-Star Rookie Team. In 88 Games he batted .264 with three Home Runs. The numbers were good enough to rank 4th in the AL Rookie of the Year voting which was won by Chuck Knoblauch.  

Pudge spent the bulk of his 21 year career with the Texas and he will be the first player enshrined in the Hall of Fame with his primary team listed as the Rangers. He is also the Franchises first rep, as all the Senators inducted are from the DC->Minnesota squad.

Rodriguez was selected for the Hall in his first year of eligibility, although his 76% tally was just one point above the 75% Hall of Fame threshold. Regardless it puts Ivan Rodriguez in the inner circle of Hall of Famers. Of the 15 Catchers in the Hall, I think he and Johnny Bench are the only two to get in on the first ballot.  
 
Catchers are surprisingly under-represented in the Hall. The are 15 Backstops enshrined, which is the lowest of any Batting position other than 3rd Base. 

Flip

1992 Topps #78 Ivan Rodriguez (rookie cup)

I was to lazy to look up a Box for the FSL All-Star game referenced, perhaps I will add it to this posting in the future. I like the fronts of 1992 Topps, but I am not a fan of the wasted space on the back. Do we really need the same picture of the stadium for every player on the team? It is a pretty dumb concept when you think about it, I mean how do you capture a stadium in basically a landscaped thumbnail.

Ivan Rodriguez Index

2010 Phungo #7
2011 Phungo #21
2015 Topps Stadium Club (Blaster Break)

Sources and Links
1992 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Index
Baseball-Ref


1992 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Index (1991 Award 1992 Card)

This is an Index to our postings related to the 1991 Topps Rookie All-Star Team. The award is for the 1991 season with the cards issued in the 1992 season.


 1992 Topps #78 Ivan Rodriguez (Rookie Cup)
 
# Pos Player Team
12 OF Luis Gonzalez Houston Astros
23 2B Chuck Knoblauch Minnesota Twins
78 C Ivan Rodriguez Texas Rangers
84 3B Leo Gomez Baltimore Orioles
288 SS Andujar Cedeno Houston Astros
292 OF Ray Lankford St. Louis Cardinals
520 1B Jeff Bagwell Houston Astros
522 OF Milt Cuyler Detroit Tigers
537 RHP Mark Leiter Detroit Tigers
614 LHP Al Osuna Houston Astros
 
  
Sources and Links
B-R Bullpen

Monday, May 8, 2017

Anniversary: 2007 UD Masterpieces

Just got the news that Ryan Howard has been released by the Atlanta Braves. Ten Years ago on May 9th 2007 Howard had a much better day. The events of that day are discussed in the following: 

When I returned to collecting Upper Deck Masterpieces drew quite a buzz. The set had a lot of appeal to me. The cards had a higher quality feel to them with an impressive design. The checklist was small but it had a good mix of current stars, prospects and retired stars. I particularly enjoyed the historical moments


2007 UD #71 Ryan Howard

The Phillies had five cards in the initial Masterpieces set. This is one of two dedicated to Ryan Howard. The two Howard cards are similar and we look to cover that in a future column.

One of the attractive aspects of the Masterpieces is the canvas-like feel of the cards. I believe the cards feature original artwork (based off a photograph). Unfortunately Upper Deck did not identify the artists on the Baseball Masterpieces. This was handled differently with UDs release which credited the artists and sometimes provided website info.

It appears a little dark here but this is one of the Green Parallels. These are the most common Masterpiece parallel and are not serial numbered.

Ten Years Ago Today
2007 UD #71 Ryan Howard

After a synopsis of Howard's accolades from his early career the card back goes onto mention a game played on May 9 2017. After being shutout by the Diamondbacks Randy Johnson for six innings the Phillies were able to put up a series of crooked numbers earn a 9-3 victory.

The comeback was all started by the Grand Slam mentioned on 2007 UD #71. Howard did not hit his blast off of Randy Johnson. In fact manager Charlie Manuel elected to not start Ryan Howard versus the Big Unit. However, in the 7th inning Johnson loaded the bases and was over 100 pitches. The situation forced Arizona manager Bob Melvin to go to his righty reliever Brandon Medders. Ryan Howard hit the first pitch for the Homer, tallying his fourth career Grand Slam.

According to Baseball-Ref the hit had a WPA(Win Probability Added) of +35%.



Sources and Links
2007 UD Masterpieces Index
Philly.com
baseball-ref
Baseball Cardpedia
USA Today / Andrew Bagato
Teams Sets 4 U
COMC

2007 UD Masterpieces Index

When I was posting more frequently I thought a Series to commemorate the tenth anniversary of UD Masterpieces would be fun. While I don't anticipate hitting all 90 cards, I would like to dedicate some time to the set during the course of the season.

This is an Index to the postings related to our 10th Anniversary Series on 2007 UD Masterpieces

2007 UD Masterpieces #71 Ryan Howard

1 Babe Ruth
2 Babe Ruth
3 Bobby Thomson
4 Bill Mazeroski
5 Carlton Fisk
6 Kirk Gibson
7 Don Larsen
8 Lou Gehrig
9 Roger Maris
10 Cal Ripken, Jr.
11 Bucky Dent
12 Ryan Howard
13 Brooks Robinson
14 David Ortiz
15 Hideki Matsui
16 Roger Clemens
17 Sandy Koufax (2015 posting: 50th Anniversary of Perfect Game)
18 Reggie Jackson
19 Ozzie Smith
20 Ty Cobb
21 Walter Johnson
22 Babe Ruth
23 Roy Campanella
24 Jackie Robinson
25 Carl Yastrzemski
26 Sandy Koufax
27 Daisuke Matsuzaka RC
28 Kei Igawa RC
29 Ken Griffey, Jr.
30 Derek Jeter
31 David Ortiz
32 Vladimir Guerrero
33 Chase Utley
34 Troy Tulowitzki (RC)
35 Joe Mauer
36 Travis Hafner
37 Miguel Cabrera
38 Albert Pujols
39 Frank Thomas
40 Mike Piazza
41 Josh Hamilton
42 Tony Gwynn / Cal Ripken, Jr.
43 Ichiro
44 Hideki Matsui
45 Ken Griffey, Jr.
46 Michael Jordan
47 John F. Kennedy (2013: Anniversary Assassination)
48 Randy Johnson
49 Albert Pujols
50 Carlos Beltran
51 Delmon Young (RC)
52 Johan Santana
53 Cal Ripken, Jr.
54 Jackie Robinson / Yogi Berra
55 Cal Ripken, Jr.
56 Hanley Ramirez
57 Victor Martinez
58 Cole Hamels
59 Bobby Doerr
60 Bruce Sutter
61 Jason Bay
62 Luis Aparicio
63 Stephen Drew
64 Jered Weaver
65 Alex Gordon RC
66 Howie Kendrick
67 Ryan Zimmerman
68 Akinori Iwamura RC
69 Chien-Ming Wang
70 David Wright
71 Ryan Howard
72 Alex Rodriguez
73 Justin Morneau
74 Andrew Miller RC
75 Richard Nixon
76 Bill Clinton
77 Phil Hughes (RC)
78 Tom Glavine
79 Chipper Jones
80 Craig Biggio
81 Chris Chambliss
82 Tim Lincecum RC
83 Billy Butler (RC)
84 Andy LaRoche (RC)
85 1969 Mets
86 2004 Red Sox
87 Roberto Clemente
88 Chase Utley
89 Reggie Jackson
90 Curt Schilling

Other UD Masterpieces Cards
2008 Football
14 Chuck Bednarik (2015: Obituary)

Sources and Links
Baseball Cardpedia


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Sunday Night Baseball: 1965 Topps #137 Bouton Wins Again

It would not be a stretch to say that I learned math from the back of baseball cards, nor would it be any further from the truth say that Jim Bouton taught me how to read.

Tonight the Yankees are visiting the Cubs on Sunday Night baseball, while this week the Phillies will host a rare series with the Mariners.

The player I have chosen to tie together these two series is Bouton.

1965 Topps #137 Bouton Wins Again

Bouton is remembered for two careers. The first was as a baseball player in the New York Yankees organization. His other career was as an author while employed by Seattle's first MLB tenant the Pilots.

1964 Yankees

The card above is from an eight card subset (#132-#139) in 1965 topps. Each of the first seven cards in the set represents a game in the series. Card #137 above speaks to game 6 which the Yankees won 8-3 behind Jim Bouton's strong pitching and a trio of Home Runs by Roger Maris, Mickey Mantle and Joe Pepitone.

Flip

1965 Topps #137 Bouton Wins Again (b-side)

The B-side gives a detailed box score which includes fielding stats but ignores RBIs (early SABRmaticians no doubt). In addition to the box the card text provides a concise synopsis of the games events.

After 1964 Game 6 the Yankees would not win another World Series game until 1977.


Ball Four
Jim Bouton is going to one of the guest speakers at this years SABR convention in New York City. In Preparation for the event I have just begun reading "Ball Four" for what I believe is the 3rd time. I first encountered the book when I was in my early teens. I re-read the book as an adult, probably in my 30s and now approaching my milestone 50th birthday I am giving the work a third pass.

I will always enjoy the anti-establishment humor of "Ball Four" and am looking forward to this reading.

I anticipate this will be my most enjoyable session with the book. Through my rediscovery of baseball cards I have become more familiar with the players and stories from the "Ball Four" era, hopefully this re-read will generate some fun posts.

May 7 1969
In his entry for May 7th Jim Bouton mentions a disagreement he had with manager Joe Schultz over his role on the team. Schultz (as well as pitching coach Sal Maglie) wants Bouton to mix in more fastballs and curves with his knuckler. Bouton counters that Phil Niekro throws mostly knuckleballs. The ensuing argument devolves into a petty negotiation over Niekro's pitch selection. 

That day Seattle lost 5-4 to Boston in a game that did not involve Bouton. Red Sox Shortstop Rico Petrocelli had a Home Run for the victors.  


not so Phun Phact
The pitcher who lost to Bouton in game 6 of the 1964 World Series was former Phillies southpaw Curt Simmons

Jim Bouton Index
1964 Topps (Fred C Harris)
1991 SI Greats of the Game Autograph
Seattle Pilots 40th Anniversary Reunion (2009)

Sources and Links
Game Dated Cards
VittlesWords
Cardboard Connection
baseball-ref


VittlesWords

This is an index of our postings related to Books and Authors

1968 Topps #562 Jim Bouton

Jim Bouton "Ball Four"
Bill Conlin "Batting Cleanup" Signing 1997 07 xx
Stefan Fatsis Signing 2008 07 22
Stefan Fatsis (Word Freak Review by Nachos Grande) 
Rob Fitts (Masanori Murakami bio signing) 2015 06 27
Charlaine Harris signing 2010 05 25
Tim McCarver signing 2008 08 21



Monday, May 1, 2017

1961 Topps #262 Tony Curry

Last night with Cubs featured on Sunday Night Baseball we featured a Rookie Cup card of Hall of Famer Ron Santo. Tonight we feature one of the Phillies representatives from the same Topps Rookie All-Star squad that featured Santo.

1961 Topps #262 Tony Curry

Tony Curry was the second player born in the Bahamas to reach the majors (following Andre Rodgers 1957). Curry had a decent debut with the Phillies batting .261 with 6 Home Runs in 95 games. Unfortunately those would be the only six Homers that Curry would hit in the major leagues.

Due to a contract dispute and personal issues Tony Curry would only play 15 games with the Phillies after his rookie season. Prior to the 1962 season he was traded to Cleveland and would only return to the majors one more time for a brief stint in 1966.


Toons
1961 Topps #262 Tony Curry (b-side)

A few notes on the cartoons. I want to start on the last panel first. As mentioned in our Ron Santo posting yesterday, of the 10 Rookie All-Star cards in the 1961 Topps set seven of them have cartoons that mention the Topps award. Next I want to go to the middle frame. I realize those were different times but "One of the fastest men in the Big Leagues" stole a grand total of ZERO bases in his major league career. Minor league records are spotty but baseball-reference lists Curry's single season minor league high as eleven stolen bases.


1960 Topps Rookie Cup All-Star Team
This column will serve as an Index of our postings related to the 1960 Topps All-Star Rookie Team. The players were honored with cards in the 1961 Topps Set. Here is a checklist of the 1960 hoorees

35
Ron Santo (HoF RC) - 3B
77
Dick Stigman - LHP
144
Jimmie Coker - C
148
Julian Javier - 2B
168
Tommy Davis - OF
240
Ron Hansen - SS
262
280
Frank Howard - OF
395
Chuck Estrada - RHP 
559
Jim Gentile - 1B


Sources & Links
Topps All-Star Rookies Index
Baseball-Ref Bullpen
Baseball-ref
SABR Bio - Rory Costello

Topps All-Star Rookie Index

This is an Index of the our Topps All-Star Rookie Card / Rookie Cup Postings


1965 Topps #460 Richie Allen

1959 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1960 Topps Set: McCovey RC)

1960 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1961 Topps Set: HOF: Santo RC; Phillies: Coker, Curry)
1961 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1962 Topps Set)
1962 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1963 Topps Set)
1963 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1964 Topps Set)
1964 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1965 Topps Set)
1965 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1966 Topps Set)
1966 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1967 Topps Set)
1967 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1968 Topps Set)
1968 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1969 Topps Set)
1969 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1970 Topps Set)

1970 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1971 Topps Set)
1971 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1972 Topps Set)
1972 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1973 Topps Set)
1973 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1974 Topps Set)
1974 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1975 Topps Set)
1975 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1976 Topps Set)
1976 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1977 Topps Set)
1977 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1978 Topps Set)
1978 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1979 Topps Set)
1979 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1980 Topps Set)

1980 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1981 Topps Set)
1981 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1982 Topps Set)
1982 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1983 Topps Set)
1983 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1984 Topps Set)
1984 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1985 Topps Set)
1985 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1986 Topps Set)
1986 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1987 Topps Set)
1987 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1988 Topps Set)
1988 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1989 Topps Set)
1989 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1990 Topps Set)

1990 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1991 Topps Set)
1991 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1992 Topps Set: HOF Bagwell, I Rodriguez)
1992 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1993 Topps Set)
1993 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1994 Topps Set)
1994 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1995 Topps Set)
1995 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1996 Topps Set)
1996 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1997 Topps Set)
1997 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1998 Topps Set)
1998 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (1999 Topps Set)
1999 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (2000 Topps Set)

2000 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (2001 Topps Set)
2001 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (2002 Topps Set)
2002 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (2003 Topps Set)
2003 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (2004 Topps Set)
2004 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (2005 Topps Set)
2005 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (2006 Topps Set)
2006 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (2007 Topps Set)-
2007 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (2008 Topps Set)
2008 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (2009 Topps Set)
2009 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (2010 Topps Set)

2010 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (2011 Topps Set)
2011 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (2012 Topps Set)
2012 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (2013 Topps Set)
2013 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (2014 Topps Set)
2014 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (2015 Topps Set)
2015 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (2016 Topps Set)
2016 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (2017 Topps Set)-
2017 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (2018 Topps Set)
2018 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (2019 Topps Set)
2019 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team (2020 Topps Set)

Sources and Links
B-R Bullpen
 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sunday Night Baseball: 1961 Topps #35 Ron Santo

With Cubs on national TV tonight prior to hosting the Phillies this week I felt it was a good time to honor Hall of Famer Ron Santo.

1961 Topps #35 Ron Santo (rc)

Due to Topps diligence (and traded sets) it is rare that a player of Santo's stature gets a Rookie Cup on his actual rookie card. I took a glance at the list and among Hall of Famers the only other rookie cup/ rookie card combos I found were Willie McCovey (1960) and Eddie Murray (1978).

There are three other players that qualify, however they won their Rookie All-Star awards in years when Topps chose not to adorn winners cards with the rookie cup icon: Ozzie Smith(1979), Ryne Sandberg(1983), and Kirby Puckett (1985).

Sy Berger on Topps and Santo

1961 February 22 The Sporting News (JT Spink)

In a 1961 interview in "The Sporting News" Topps executive Sy Berger addressed the omission of both Willie McCovey and Ron Santo from the 1959 and 1960 sets respectively.  Regardless both were properly honored with Rookie All-Star cards that also happen to be Hall of Fame Rookie Cards.


1961 Topps #35 Ron Santo (rc - bside)

The center panel of the cartoons mentions Santo's Topps All-Star rookie award. Of the 10 All-Star Rookie cards in the 1961 Topps Set, seven of them have cartoons mentioning their selection.

The text notes that there was a Vote by "Youngsters". As part of an outreach program to raise interest in trading cards Topps sent out ballots via various youth organizations including the Boy Scouts, Boys Clubs of America and the YMCA. The Results of the voting were the early All-Star Rookie teams.

The origins of the Topps Rookie All-Stars is worthy of it's own posting and we hope to elaborate on this at some point.

Phungo Ron Santo HoF Index
1966 Topps Year of the Dragon Birthday
Obituary/Retired Number (2010)

Sources and Links
1961 Topps All-Star Rookies Index
Cards that Never Were
BR Bullpen
The Sporting News (1961 02 22, 1959 07 15)
baseball-ref

Vittles Libations

This is an index of our beer wine and spirits related postings

Center of the Universe - Chris Ray's Brewery (2017 04 19)
.394 Lager by Alesmith


Vittles Pop Index

Monday, April 17, 2017

ANNIVERSARY: 1987 April 18 Mike Schmidt 500th Home Run

April 18th marks the 30th Anniversary of the day Mike Schmidt joined the 500 Home Run Club.
 
Not only was the Home Run a milestone number, it was also a high impact HR. Entering the 9th inning versus Pittsburgh on the road the Phillies trailed 6-5. Schmidt was scheduled to hit 5th that inning. Fortunately for the Phillies Milt Thompson singled and Von Hayes walked which allowed Mike Schmidt to come to the plate with two outs in the 9th.
 
It was then that Schmidt hit is 500th career Home Run. The Home Run came off of Pirates Pitcher Don Robinson. Former Pirate Kent Tekulve came in for the save and the Phillies went home with a 6-5 victory.  
 
For video of the HR click here.  
 
 
2005 UD #CM-MS Mike Schmidt
 
In 2005 Upper Deck honored the event with a card in their Classic Moments Insert.
 
Nice looking card with the 70s era Phillies Logo I remember from my childhood. The photo does hit one of those minor things that drives me crazy. This game-dated card notes an event that happened in Pittsburgh, however Schmidt is clearly wearing the Phillies Home uniform.  
 
The Classic Moments set consisted of 20 cards three of which are dedicated to Phillies. The two other Philadelphia Reps are Lenny Dykstra and Steve Carlton. The base set for 2005 UD Classics is also noteworthy for having a Ryne Sandberg Phillies Card.  
   
 
2005 UD #CM-MS Mike Schmidt (b-side
 
The blurb on the reverse gives a mini summary of the Home Run with the date of the game nicely ghosted behind the text.
 
As the card states Schmidt was the 15th player to reach the milestone, Thirty years later the 500 club has nearly doubled now containing 27 members. Albert Pujols is the only active player in the club with Miguel Cabrera (448) and Adrian Beltre looming (445) 
  
Phun Phact
After hitting the Home Run Mike Schmidt returned to the field as a SHORTSTOP. Due to a series of late game moves by Manager John Felske both Luis Aquayo and Steve Jeltz were out of the game for the Phillies.  Schmidt filled the vacancy and Rick Schu came into play 3rd Base. Neither player fielde a chance in the 9th inning as Tekulve induced three fly outs.    
 
Sources and Links
Baseball-Ref

Sunday, April 16, 2017

ANNIVERSARY: 2007 April 18 Mark Buehrle No-Hitter

Little bit early on this Anniversary posting but we have a Phillies card to get to as well.


 2008 Topps Finest Moments #FM-MB Mark Buehrle

On April 18 2007 Mark Buehrle posted his first of his two career No-Hitters. The victims of the Chicago White Sox 6-0 victory were the Texas Rangers. Batters in the Rangers potent lineup that day included Past & future Phillies Kenny Lofton and Michael Young as well as several other luminaries: Ian Kinsler, Sammy Sosa, Mark Teixeira and Nelson Cruz (Who batted 8th!).

Jeraine Dye provided the bulk of the offense for the White Sox with a grand slam off of Phillies Alum, Kevin Millwood. Jim Thome picked up the other 2 RBI on a pair of Home Runs one off of Millwood the other off of current Phillies reliever Joaquin Benoit. 

Flip
2008 Topps Finest Moments #FM-MB Mark Buehrle (b-side)

The back of the card does a good job of succinctly summarizing Buehrle's big day. His other no-hitter versus the Tampa Bay Rays in 2009 was a perfect game, therefore he pitched to the minimum at least twice.

Buehrle's battery-mate for the no-hitter was AJ Pierzynski. AJ did not call Buehrle's perfect game but he was the backstop for a different White Sox perfecto authored by Phil Humber.

The plate umpire for both of the no-hitters was Eric Cooper.

Sources and Links
No-Hitter Index
Game Dated Cards
Baseball-Reference
Baseball Almanac

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Dallas Green 1934-2017

Today we got the sad news that Dallas Green has died. I had heard he was very ill several months ago, yet it is still a bummer to get the official word.

2014 Phungo #46 Dallas Green

Never got around to posting this 2014 Phungo Card. The photo was taken during the Phillies Alumni weekend in 2013. Green can be seen greeting Gary Matthews. Johnny Briggs and Gene Garber are the players in the foreground.


In 1999 Dallas Green came to speak at the Chester County Historical Society to help promote a baseball exhibition at the museum. The above poster for the event hangs in my baseball card room right above my sorting table.

I don't remember a lot of what he said but he did mention that after his playing career was over he earned his Master Degree at University of Delaware. He also noted that Wayne Gomes was not a closer. My guess is that Green spoke for about an hour and then signed autographs for anyone who was present. When I met him we had a brief discussion about the G3-1 play.




Sources and Links
Dallas Green Index 
Baseball-ref
Philly.com (Frank Fitzpatrick)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Team Israel WBC Hero Josh Zeid: 2011 Bowman Platinum Prospects #BPP23

Team Phungo coming out of hibernation for a quick post.

Our return is to honor former Phillies Farmhand Josh Zeid.

Josh Zeid: 2011 Bowman Platinum Prospects #BPP23 (xfractor)

Never thought I would find a reason to post this card of Zeid. He is make some noise pitching for the surprising Israel squad in the WBC. Team Israel advanced out of Pool A and remains undefeated one game into the 2nd round of the tournament.

The Phillies traded Zeid to Houston as part of the Hunter Pence deal. He eventually made it to the majors with the Astros with mixed results. He is currently a free agent, The WBC is basically an audition for the 29 year old pitcher - and appears to be going well as of now.
 
Insert
Josh Zeid: 2011 Bowman Platinum Prospects #BPP23 (chrome)
Josh Zeid: 2011 Bowman Platinum Prospects #BPP23 (xfractor)

The top card on this post is an x-Fractor, We have paired the card with a base cousin here. Not sure why folks go crazy over x-Fractors, not my thing. I suppose the relative scarcity is an attraction. Regardless I think one could get a Zeid x-Fractor if really desidred


Flip
Josh Zeid: 2011 Bowman Platinum Prospects #BPP23 (chrome b-side)
Josh Zeid: 2011 Bowman Platinum Prospects #BPP23 (xfractor b-side)

The backs of the cards are exactly the same - the serial numbers even match.

2011 Bowman Platinum Prospects
Interesting side note, Ryan Howard was honored with card #1 in 2011 Bowman Platinum Prospects.

Sources and Links
MLB News
Baseball-Ref
Check out My Cards

Monday, January 30, 2017

SABR Day 2017: Connie Mack Chapter hosts Howie Bedell and others

The 2017 edition of the Connie Mack Chapter SABR Day featured a full slate of fun and interesting presentations. Guests included Phillies Alum Howie Bedell and Author Charles Kupfer. Additional presentations were given by several chapter members who covered a variety of topics ranging from the 19th century manufacture of the original “Base Ball” to present day Cuba excursions to see games.

Howie Bedell
The highlight of the day was a personal appearance by former Major Leaguer Howie Bedell. The 81 year old Pottstown native spoke for over two hours regarding his upbringing and career both on and off the field. As a player Bedell spent only spent part of the 1968 season with the Phillies as a player but spent a decade in the organization fulfilling various coaching and player development roles.

Bedell confirmed something that I think many Phillies fans suspect. The Phillies do too much hiring and decision making from within. He cited nepotism as a problem within all organizations but felt as though there was a particular lack of leadership within the Phillies. He cited several examples of individuals that did not have enough commitment to make painful decisions, even if they were the right decisions. A theme throughout Bedell’s career appears to having to be the axe-man when it came to firing people. He was also careful to mention in several cases the ensuing changes worked out better for the person involved. They would get into better careers in other facets of baseball where they were better suited. Jim Bunning was relieved as his job as a minor league manager, but this led to him becoming an agent. This experience may have helped the Future Hall of Famer in getting involved in politics and eventually becoming a senator. Similar stories were mentioned that involved folks such as Dallas Green and Granny Hamner.

The Phillies won the 1980 World Series while Bedell was in the organization, it would the first of three World Championships with three different clubs.  He also won a ring with the Royals as a coach in 1985 and with the 1990 Reds as a member of their front office.

Bedell's time in Kansas City included the development of the slide step for pitchers. The Royals needed a way to neutralize the Cardinals fleet footed running game. The Slide Step was the solution - and it must have worked. The Cardinals only stole 2 bases in the 7 games series (while getting caught 3 times). Compare that with the 314 Thefts the Cards racked up during the regular season. Of course one needs to mention that the Cardinals also lost Rookie Vince Coleman (and his 110 steals) for that series due to injury.

Charles Kupfer on the Orioles 1979-1983
Harrisburg based Professor and author Charles Kupfer discussed his upcoming book “Something Magic: the Baltimore Orioles, 1979-1983” which he was gracious enough to amend to 1982 for purposes of entertaining a room full of Phillies fans. One of the interesting points he brought up was that the Oriole Way is documented in the book “Modern Baseball Strategy” by Former player and manager Paul Richards. Kupfer’s book is due out in May and will be available via Amazon.

Mark Kanter on Cuba
Mr Kanter discussed the SABR Group Travel experience to Cuba that he had this past fall. As could be expected there was a lot of interesting info that went beyond baseball. Among the slides Mark displayed were several of decrepit stadiums that are 60+ years old. Games are played during the day and have sparse attendance, despite a meager three-cent admission. Several SABR members took baseball equipment to Cuba to be given to the teams – the Items were much appreciated. For more details see Mark's article in the Jewish Voice.

Seamus Kearney
Connie Mack Co-Chair Seamus Kearney led a discussion on the career of John Kruk who is returning to Philadelphia this year as a broadcaster. Kruk always brings warm memories to Phillies sports fan and it was very enjoyable hearing al the stories told by and about Kruk over the years.

The Chapters other Chairperson, Dick Rosen, was also scheduled to speak but unfortunately due to time constraints his presentation on Goose Goslin was postpone for a future meeting.

Steven King
Yes SABR has it’s own Steven King who is also a writer. King often covers early 20th century baseball, and this weekend his presentation was titled “Andy Coakley: Man of Mystery”. King related several anecdotes about Coakley using various aliases to get involved in both baseball and non-baseball activities. None of this deception appears to have been malicious, and some of the stories may be puew legend based off of Coakleys previous deceptions. Regardless Coakley is in various local Hall of Fames including Columbia University where he coached for 30+ years which included the tenure of Lou Gehrig.

Ed Morton
Connie Mack regular Ed Morton put together a detailed powerpoint that discussed the birth of the "Base Ball" covering the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Much of the information concerned the relationship between AJ Reach and Spalding as well as another baseball manufacturer Victor.

Phil Williams
SABR Bioproject author Phil Williams detailed a terrible October 1913 evening in Brainerd Minnesota. That night Philadelphia Athletics Pitcher Joe Bush was fresh off a World Series triumph with the club.  All that good fortune turned in an instant as Bush while at home in Brainerd accidentally ran over a pedestrian. Bush was acquitted of any wrong doing and went on to have a very successful baseball career which included winning two additional World Titles, one each with the Red Sox and Yankees.

Matt Albertson
Matt gave a status update on the attempt to get a historical marker placed at the Jefferson Street Ball Park site. The major hurdle remaining is funding. A facebook page related to the project can be found here. If you would like to make a contribution to the project the crowdsourcing site is here.

Extra Innings
In additions to the presentations a raffle was held and lunch was served. Despite a tight schedule there was some time for socializing and catching up on the off-season. I didn’t make an exact count but I estimate 30 members attended 2017 Connie Mack SABR Day.

There is much more detail I could go into but that would require much more time. I could do a weeks worth of postings on Howie Bedell alone.

The Connie Mack chapter of SABR has their next Hot Stove meeting scheduled for February 11th. It will likely be smaller in scope then SABR Day but still should be fun.

Sources and Links
Columbia University
SABR - Jefferson St Grounds
The Jewish Voice
SABR - Paul Richards
Baseball-ref

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions