Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Happy Birthday & Anniversary Alan Trammell

On Thursday February 21st Alan Trammell celebrates his 60th birthday. His first as a Hall of Famer.
1981 Topps #709 Alan Trammell (pix swiped from Topps Baseball Card Database)

In this photo on his 1981 Topps card the Tigers Shortstop has a "You have Got To be Kidding Me" expression. An expression that many a SABRmetrician had each year when Alan Trammell was rejected for Hall of Fame induction.

This past December after a long wait Alan Trammell was selected for Hall of Fame induction by the latest incarnation of the Veteran's Committees.


Fifteen tallies and Trammell never got more than 50% of the vote. That is an awful lot of NO votes.

Trammell's HOF case is complicated. His career numbers are a tick below the traditional "Hall of Fame Thresholds". Hits = 2365, HR = 185, RBI = 1003. He checked the box on a World Champions and has some All-Star, Gold Glove and Silver Slugger hardware. Unfortunately he did not come up with the MVP, However....

Two years ago in my HOF ballot discussion of Trammell I examined the 1987 MVP award which I felt he deserved over George Bell. While I felt that two candidates were pretty even overall for me one big factor pushed Trammell past Bell. He performed better down the stretch when the players two teams were vying for the same division title.


For my complete Alan Trammell HOF Analysis click here.

1981 Topps
In general I like the 1981T design. I think the use of a cap as the palate for the Team & Position info is unique in the Topps canon. In fact I am not sure baseball cap icons have been used on many sets Topps or otherwise. However, I am not fond of the color combo given the Tigers by Topps. Purple & Black just appear to go together in this format, Works for Rockies Pinstripes but not 1981 Topps.


Flip
Check the Title of this posting. First we mentioned a Birthday, which we covered in the first sentence. But we also specify an Anniversary well...


 
1981 Topps #709 Alan Trammell (b-side)

Check out the first -toon. Yep In addition to being Alan Trammell's 60th Birthday, it is also his Wedding Anniversary. Since the Trammell's Wed on Alan's 20th Birthday it is also a Milestone Wedding Anniversary as well #40.  If Alan is reading this, the gift for the 40th Anniversary is the Ruby.

June 12 1979
The latter cartoon notes a Steal of Home by Trammell during a 9-2 Tigers victory over the Oakland A's. I am not sure, but this steal may be a borderline violation of an unwritten rule. The Tigers had an 8-2 in the bottom of the 8th inning.

The steal was so insignificant that it did not even make the Sporting News Write up for the game.





Although the write up does mention that the game was one of two led by Dick Tracewski who was holding the post on an interim basis until Sparky Anderson could take over. Perhaps Tracewski was trying to get the team in a more aggressive mode prior to Sparky showing up. 

Alan Trammell Index
1980 Topps - 1987 MVP aWARd / 2016 HOF credentials

Sources and Links
Game Dated Cards
Polish Sports Hall of Fame
Sports Illustrated Jay Jaffe 
Baseball-Ref
Topps Baseball Card Database
AnniversaryGift.Org 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

#tbt 2008 October 31: a Phillies Parade

There is a big parade happening in Philadelphia today. A decade ago Team Phungo got to attend a parade similar celebration.


In 2008 the Phillies Parade ended at the Stadium, On our way there we crossed the parking lot that is located where Veterans Stadium once stood. There are markers for each of the bases there, This is team Phungo at Home Plate. Pretty cool to have that pix taken the date the Phillies celebrated their World Championship.


Within the Ballpark the Phillies road around the ballpark in convertible and later spoke. This is Charlie Manuel. I blew this up a bit and used it for an early Phungo Card.

The Celebration concluded with the Phillies raising the 2008 Banner next to the American Flag.

Beutiful Day for a great celebration. I hope that the fans at the Eagles parade get to enjoy the day as much as I enjoyed the Phillies party 10 years ago.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

1996 UD All-Star Game Jumbo #275 Roberto Alomar

We had a lot of excitement around Phungo HQ over the weekend and I didn't get around to put together a column on an HOF celebrating a marquee birthday.

Yes on Monday February 5th the twelve time All-Star Roberto Alomar turned 50.

1996 UD All-Star Game Jumbo #275 Roberto Alomar

Roberto Alomar may already be used to having his birthday ignored. Despite being an Hall of Fame player he is only the 2nd best player born on February 5th, ranking behind the Great Henry Aaron. Alomar was admitted to the Hall as part of the 2011 class with Bert Blyleven.

During his 17 year career Alomar donned seven different uniforms. His stops that most affected me were probably with the Blue Jays (which I will avoid discussing), the Orioles and the Mets.

Alomar's HOF credentials include 2724 career hits, Two World Championships (1992 & 1993), an ALCS MVP (1992), and 10 Gold Gloves at the premium position of second base. His 2320 games at Second rank 3rd all-time.

1996 UD All-Star Game Jumbo
For our Robbie Alomar profile I picked out an oversized parallel of a 1996 Upper Deck base card. When Philadelphia hosted the 1996 All-Star Game UD put together a small limited release set of Jumbo cards for the event.

The cards are exactly the same as the base cards but twice the size. To illustrate the size difference of the cards size we have enlisted the help of the Phillies middle infield of the era, Mickey Morandini and Kevin Stocker.    

1996 Upper Deck Jumbo vs Base 

Notice that the Two Phillies Cards (2.5 x 3.5) are exactly half the size of the Alomar card (5 x 3.5).

We also see that the designs of Jumbo and base are identical, with the exception of the 1996 ASG flare. It is a bit hard to make out but in the bottom left of the Alomar card is the liberty bell shaped logo. For a better look at what the logo check out the Game Ticket featured in our Rickey Botallico posting.

Since this is a parallel of a base card likely released well before the season began, neither the photo nor any information on the back of the card have anything to do with the 1996 All-Star Game or season.

1996 ASG
Robbie Alomar was the started at second base for the 1996 AL All-Star team alongside his Orioles Double Play teammate Cal Ripken. All Three of Robbie's plate appearances came against future Hall of Famers: John Smoltz,  Tom Glavine and Pedro Martinez. Alomar's lone hit was a single off Pedro in the 7th. The Box Score to the 6-0 NL Victory can be found here.

Flip
1996 UD All-Star Game Jumbo #275 Roberto Alomar

As mentioned above the backs are duplicates of base cards. This include the card numbers which remain unchanged despite the Jumbo being only a 18 card set. The Stat lines vary from player to player. If they have Postseason or All-Star experience those numbers are included, otherwise the stats for the most recent seasons are listed. Robbie gets ASG, LCS and World Series - Those numbers include His Stat line form the 1993 Series vs the Phillies

 1996 UD All-Star Card Set

Here is the box set cover. The verbiage at the bottom notes the the ASG Stamp and the fact that the set consists of "Enlarged Trading Cards"

 Checker
The Checklist is on the Box Bottom

The 1996 ASG is a Future Series for Phungo and I anticipate this Box Set being a fun part of that series. For now this is the Index/Checklist for postings related to the Subset.

80 Jeff Bagwell
195 Barry Bonds
200 Ken Griffey Jr
271 John Smoltz
275 Roberto Alomar (50th Birthday)
280 Cal Ripken Jr
300 Frank Thomas
310 Barry Larkin
313 Sandy Alomar
315 Albert Belle
317 Charles Nagy
319 Kenny Lofton
320 Dante Bichette
345 Craig Biggio
360 Mike Piazza
410 Wade Boggs
450 Tony Gwynn
455 Matt Williams

Robbie Alomar HOF Index
1996 UD All-Star Jumbo #275 (this posting)

Sources and Links
1996 ASG Index
Baseball-Ref
Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards - Bob Lemke 

Monday, February 5, 2018

E - A - G - L - E - S!........................EAGLES!!! !

Loved enjoying the game last night with great friends.

Sports ain't everybody's thing and I get that. Hell, I have lots of other interests: Music, Film, Disc Golf,  Food, Comedy, Trivia, and Theater all quickly come to mind.

But man nights like the Eagles winning the SuperBowl make me feel sorry for folks that just blow off sports entirely.

There is something unique about having watched literally hundreds of games - lots and I mean LOTS of which are meaningless. However the time we all get to spend together before, during, and after those games is far from trivial.

All those games are remembered collectively as good times spent with my Eagles Family. Last Night is the Night that we will remember forever. It was great time and I am glad we got to experience it together.


2009 Topps #91 Jason Peters
 
When I returned to collecting a little over a decade ago I took an interest in just about any type of card, but I quickly realized that I had the most fun when I was focused on Baseball. My football collection is in pretty much a disarray but I was able to dig up a couple of Eagles cards.
 
The Jason Peters above is interesting to me, because he is a 14 year veteran of the NFL and has been with the Eagles for about a decade. Unfortunately for Peters he was injured and did not get to participate in the SuperBowl as a player. However I believe I saw a player bring out his jersey at some point during last nights game. Good stuff to see and it is always good to see the Lineman getting respect out there.
 
Fly Eagles Fly!  
 
Sources and Links
 
 

Thursday, February 1, 2018

International, Olympic, & WBC Index

This is an Index of our postings related to the World Baseball Classic, Olympics and International Baseball.

(### This index is under construction ###)



1966 Topps #264 Ted Uhleaender (rc, Katie Uhleander related)
1969 Topps #194 Ted Uhlaender (Katie Uhleander)
2005 Topps #UH199 HR Derby Hee-Seop Choi (South Korea)
2009 Topps WBC #1 Yu Darvish (Japan)
2009 Topps Redemeption WBC #8 Yoennis(sic) Cespedes (Cuba)
2009 Topps Heritage #163 Johnny Damon (Thailand)
2009 Topps Heritage #309 Johnny Damon (Thailand)
2009 Allen & Ginter's National Pride #NP39 Shin-Soo Choo (South Korea)
2010 Phungo Bernie Williams David Ortiz Sidney Ponson (PR, Dominican, Nederlands)
2011 Bowman Platinum #BPP23 Josh Zeid (Israel)
2013 Topps #WBC-5 Hanley Ramirez (Dominican Republic)
2014 Topps Olympic Box Break Katie Uhlaender, LoLo Jones, Danelle Umstead, Lindsey Vonn, Eddy Alvarez, David Wise, Noelle Pikus-Pace, Sochi

Sources & Links


Oscar Gamble (1949-2018)

Earlier this week we got the sad news that baseball card icon Oscar Gamble died. I was a little surprised to find out that I had never posted anything on Gamble or his cards. Today we rectify that situation.

Oscar Gamble falls into that category of players that played when I was a kid and I knew about but I never knew spent time with the Phillies. There are a couple of these guys out there, Fergie Jenkins is pretty notable as are Larry Hisle and Ken Brett. 

When I returned to collecting as an adult I was pleasantly to see Oscar Gamble show up in the early 1970s issues bearing Phillies pinstripes.

1972 Topps #423 Oscar Gamble

All of the bright colors of 1972 Topps with "PHILLIES" jumping off the top of the card fit Oscar Gamble perfectly. I also like the photo that appears to have been taken at the Phillies Spring Training facility in Clearwater Florida. As I look at Gamble posing for the shot with the follow through on a swing I wonder if the lean figure in the background with the beige jacket is Paul Owens.

This is one of three cards Topps issued of Gamble with the Phillies. He has a shared Rookie Card in 1970 and has a great action shot in 1971.  Nice cards all, but I chose his last Phillies card not for the front but for a fun fact I knew at one time but have likely forgotten multiple times.

1972 Topps #423 Oscar Gamble (b-side)

First off I am not referring to the vocabulary lesson in the cartoon - a good one I suppose, a phrase I never use, but it really doesn't need much explanation.

The Phun Phact I like on this card discusses the last game a Connie Mack Stadium. On October 1st 1970 the Phillies defeated the Expos 2-1 in extra innings. And as described in the excerpt on the above Oscar Gamble singled off Howie Reed plating Tim McCarver. It was the last hit and RBI ever recorded at the venerable building

The Inning in Baseball-Ref appears as follows

For a more old school look here is the box score that appeared in the Sporting News

The Sporting News 1970 Oct 1

In addition to Gamble looks like Tim McCarver had a nice day while scoring the stadiums final run. Larry Bowa is the only player in the box that would eventually play during the Phillies late 70s glory years. The big name for Les Expos is Rusty Staub, however twitter star @JohnnyBateman7 is also present.
 

Other Oscar Gamble Tributes
Night Owl Cards - tremendous posts where with a great discussion about card backs.
Baseball Happenings - 1976T Traded and great photos from 2012 DiMaggio Legends game @ Ft Lauderdale
Baseball Card Breakdown - American Pastime Autograph, Printing Plate of 1979T, 1979 OPC
Starting Nine - 9up page featuring 1976T Traded in the center
MLB 1960s - 1972 Topps
80s Baseball Collector - 1979 Topps
 
NY Daily News obituary

Chicago Sun-Times obituary

Sources and Links
Game Dated Cards
Baseball-Ref
COMC
Baseball Card Database
The Sporting News
NY Daily News
Chicago Sun Times

2018 Heritage The Originals - 1969 Topps

This is an Index of our posts related to the 2018 Topps Heritage and it's original Uncle 1969 Topps.

1969 Topps #174 Grant Jackson

Base Cards
Previous Retros
All-Star Cards
Rookie Cups
Manager Cards
League Leaders
World Series
Checkers

1967T Hall of Fame Cards

Sources and Links
1967 Topps Blog
Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards - Bob Lemke
Cardboard Connection   


1996 All-Star Game Index

This is an Index of our postings related to the 1996 All-Star Game which was held in Philadelphia on July 9th 1996.

1996 Jul 9 - All-Star Game Ticket

Ricky Botallico: Game Ticket
Mike Piazza: 1997 Topps #104
Mike Piazza: 2016 Topps TBT #37

1996 UD All-Star Jumbo Checklist (Ripken, Griffey, Smoltz, Gwynn, Piazza, Boggs)

Sources and Links
Game Dated Cards Index

2018 Topps Index

This is an Index to postings related to 2018 Topps

2018 Topps #308 Cameron Rupp

Easy choice for the set cover. A Catcher card AND a Bubble.

2016 Topps Index
First Pack
First Phillies Card
Hobby vs Retail
Card #1
2018T Phillies Checker
Rookie Cups
Future Stars
League Leaders
Legends
Awards
Jackie Robinson
1983 Retros
Junk of the Month

Cost of 2018 Topps

Sources and Links
Cardboard Connection
2016 Topps Index
 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

1993 Phillies @ 25: Dave Hollins - 1993 UD #458 Peter Gammons Inside the Numbers

For our second installment on the 1993 Philadelphia Phillies we take a look at one of the anchors of Macho Row, Dave Hollins.

1993 UD #458 Peter Gammons Dave Hollins

Hollins made his lone all-star team in 1993 posting 18 Home Runs with 93 RBIs. He batted cleanup for the Phillies in all 143 of his starts. His big blow in the postseason was a 2 Run Homer off of Greg Maddux in the Phillies 6-3 NLCS clinching victory over Atlanta.

1993 UD Gammons
Today we have another subset that I loved at first sight. Back in the pre-internet pre-MLB Network days Baseball Tonight was something I checked in on whenever possible. One of the many fine baseball folks that I discovered there was Peter Gammons. He had a way of getting to the important issues without hyperbole, He was honest firm but never said anything unnecessary.

The 1993 UD Peter Gammons Inside the Numbers set is 21 cards that run from #450-470, They directly follow the Derek Jeter RC which resides at #449. As of now the subber contains 3 Hall of Famers with Mike Mussina lurking.

The card fronts are minimal with a photo on top and player name. The Peter Gammons logo is out of the way at the bottom of the card. Gammons facsimile sig on the front of the card give the set the illusion that the players were handpicked and adds some authenticity to the text on the back.

Speaking of backs lets see what Mr Gammons had to say about today's hero.  

flip
1993 UD #458 Peter Gammons Dave Hollins (b-side)

No pressure as Gammons mentions a comparative with Pete Rose while quoting Larry Bowa. I am not sure of exactly what he means but I am pretty sure I like Gammons describing the 1993 Phillies as the "Slapshot of baseball".

Checker
1993 UD #458 Peter Gammons Checklist (b-side)

This subset is part of the Phungo Collection and lifetime permitting I may get to covering all of these cards someday. This posting will serve as an index to those columns.

450 CL Ivan Rodriguez, David McCarty
451 Jim Abbott
452 Jeff Bagwell
453 Jason Bere
454 Delino DeShields
455 Travis Fryman
456 Alex Gonzalez
457 Phil Hiatt
458 Dave Hollins
459 Chipper Jones
460 David Justice
461 Ray Lankford
462 David McCarty
463 Mike Mussina (2014 HoF Ballot)
464 Jose Offerman
465 Dean Palmer
466 Geronimo Pena
467 Eduardo Perez
468 Ivan Rodriguez
469 Reggie Sanders
470 Bernie Williams

David "Bubba" Hollins
Dave's son David is also a Professional Baseball Player. Last year he signed with the Miami Marlins out of St Bonaventure. He got into a dozen games with the Batavia Muckdogs batting .214 across 42 ABs. Like his father David is a Third Baseman and he appears to also have his fathers batting eye. His offensive numbers were modest but he did draw 8 walks in those 12 games.

Apparently David (the younger) goes by "Bubba" which is a nickname that he shares with Dave (the elder) Hollins Macho Row teammate Darren Daulton.  
 
David "Bubba" Hollins (image from the Daily News)
David is sporting #34, a number that his father never wore during his major league career


Dave Hollins Index
1993 UD Team Stars #485 1993 Phillies (2008 Retrospective of Phillies World Series Teams)

Sources and Links 
1993 Phillies @ 25 Index
1993 NLCS Game 6 Index
St Bonaventure Bonnies
The Daily News (Nate Rider)
Phillies '93: An Incredible Season - Rich Westcott
youtube (1993 NLCS Game 6)
Cardboard Connection
Deadspin 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Welcon to the Hall of Fame Vladimir Guerrero: 2001 Topps Gallery Heritage #GH10

Today's HOF Recognition posts goes to Vlad Guerrero. He is going in as an Angel but I will think of him more as an Expo. For this reason our Vlad HOF posting features the following Expos card.

2001 Topps Gallery Heritage #GH10 Vladimir Guerrero (image swiped from trading card db)

Topps Gallery returned this past fall and I found the cards pretty meh. For me the apex of  Topps Gallery is the 1965T Homage insert that was produced in 2002. Guerrero is the last of the 10 offerings in the set.

Bill Purdom
The artist responsible for the Guerrero portrait above is the late Bill Purdom who appears to have done the artwork for all ten cards in the set. The paintings are all well done and in my opinion superior to anything I have seen in the latest edition of Gallery.

Purdom has done a number of really cool pieces for various baseball entities including the Hall of Fame. His Phillies related subjects include Robin Roberts and Mike Schmidt during the teams 1976 season when the club hosted the All-Star Game

Mike Schmidt Lithograph by Bill Purdom

During the 1976 season the Phillies celebrated the Bicentennial, among the teams various decorations to honor the occasion is the Happy Birthday sign in Left-Centerfield.

1965 Topps
In addition to the original artwork I like how Topps has brought forward the classic 1965 Design. The colors on the card are really sharp and really pop off the cardboard.

Flip
2001 Topps Gallery Heritage #GH10 Vladimir Guerrero (b-side - image swiped from trading card db)

The design carries through to the back. The blue is significantly brighter than on the originals but that doesn't bother me. 

2001 Topps Gallery Heritage Checklist
GH1 Todd Helton
GH2 Greg Maddux
GH3 Pedro Martinez
GH4 Orlando Cepeda
GH5 Willie McCovey
GH6 Ken Griffey, Jr.
GH7 Alex Rodriguez
GH8 Derek Jeter
GH9 Mark McGwire
GH10 Vladimir Guerrero

I am thinking of building this Set and this posting will be an index for those cards. As things stand it appears this set will have 7 or 8 Hall of Famers. Todd Helton who debuts on the 2019 ballot  and A-Rod are the "Maybe" players while Mark McGwire appears doubtful.

Peanut Gallery
Dime Boxes 1998 Topps #5 and others (top 5)
Orioles Card o The Day 2011 Bowman #167
Sports Card Info 1995 Bowmans Best Refractor #2
Padrographs Custom

Vladimir Guerrero Index
1998 Topps #5 HOF Candidacy / Game Dated 1997 05 21
2012 Heritage #108  Pack Break
2009 UD Rivals #R9 Pack Break

Sources and Links
The Art of the Game
Andrews Mortuary
Tom's Old Days
ebay/brotherly love memorabilia
2014 Heritage/1965 Topps Index
Trading Card Database

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Welcome to the Hall of Fame Jim Thome

Last night we got the good news that a Phillies Fan Favorite was inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame. \
2005 Fleer Skybox Autographics #43 Jim Thome

I don't need to get into his HOF credentials here, I mentioned them last month in our HOF ballot series.

The above 2005 Skybox Autographics set gets a fair on my design scale. Nothing really going for it, but inoffensive.

The real reason I was interested in posting this card for the HOF election announcement is the back

Flip
2005 Fleer Skybox Autographics #43 Jim Thome (b-side)

The last sentence in the text mentions Thome's 400th HR which occurred in a game that Team Phungo is very happy to say that we had the chance to attend.

2004 0614 Game Ticket Reds @ Phillies

The Phillies won the game 10-7, Jim Thome wasted no time getting his milestone Homer, a 2-run shot off of Jose Acevedo.  A video of the Home Run along with the call by Harry Kalas can be found here. It was a fun night and I am glad we live in an era when I can dial up the memory check out a video of the event just about anytime I want.

Returning to the b-side of the card I would like to take a look at the second half of the last sentence. Fleer mentions that a day prior to Thome's 400th Homer, Ken Griffey Jr had hit #499. Junior may be universally loved, however...

Check the ticket

Who did the Phillies play the day after Griffey hit #499? The Reds, Who did Griffey play for in 2004? the Reds! Therefore....

Ken Griffey was in town with 499 Career Homers the night Jim Thome hit his 400th Home Run. How cool would it have been to have 400th & 500th HR hit in the same game?!

Well it didn't happen.

Griffey sat out the game and hit #500 a week later.

Other Tributes
The Phillies Room - 2011 Phillies Team S2 #25
White Sox Cards - 2007 Heritage #33
Once a Cub - 1999 Fleer #95 (Game Dated Card)
Indian Baseball Cards Always Sketch card
My PCs one card at a time - 2001 Fleer E-X #48
Card Buzz - Canton Akron Classic Best Card
Padrographs - Custom

Sources and Links
Jim Thome Index
Jim Thome 400th HR Index
Game Dated Cards


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

1993 Phillies @ 25: Mickey Morandini

Each year I attempt to do an anniversary series on a theme, Previous subjects have included the 1964 Phillies and the 1976 All-Star Game.

This year we will be taking a look at the 1993 Phillies on the 25th Anniversary of their crazy fun National League Championship season.

I figure this may be one of the last times this teams is remembered. They happen to share their 5yr Anniversaries with the 2008 Phillies and the World Champions will always trump the NL Champs.

I have put together an index to link all the post and it can be found here with some of the players I hope to cover.

Today our first article in the series covers Fan Favorite Mickey Morandini

1992 Studio #77 Mickey Morandini

Mickey Morandini spent most of his career with the Phillies and returned to the team to coach after his playing days were over. The past two seasons Mickey has served as the clubs first base coach but is not expected return to the team in an on-field capacity this year. It appears that Morandini will remain with the club as a team ambassador. Morandini is 51 which seems a bit young to ease into a PR role, I think he will eventually end up taking a coaching position with a different organization.

As a fan I have many fond memories of Mickey Morandini the player. He played flawless defense and seemed to come up with a lot of big hits including one we will talk about below.

1992 Studio
I like the look of 1992 Studio a bit better then it's predecessor, The profile pix on a action shot background works better for me then the School Photo backdrop of 1991.

The classic minimalist front is not the reason I picked this card.

1992 Studio #77 Mickey Morandini (b-side)

The Studio cards have a lot of fun info in the Up Close section for each player. I would love to see somebody do an entire series on this set. Some of the answers are timeless, On a different card Morandini listed his favorite players as Roberto Clemente. Others are planted firmly in the early 1990s - Arsenio Hall gets mentioned on a bunch of cards.

Morandini also mentions John Feinstein's fine book "A Season on the Brink" which followed Bobby Knight through a season at Indiana. Mickey played his college baseball for the Hoosiers and it is interesting to see his local interest. It is also notable that he majored in Elementary Education rather than kinesiology.

All that stuff is fun, but what really drew me to this card was one line:

LOVES TO FACE: Greg Maddux, .417 10 for 24

This transitions us to October 13 1993, Game 6 of the NLCS. The Phillies hosted the Braves and their Ace Greg Maddux. Mickey Morandini batted #2 in the lineup and would have 2 very big ABs versus the future Hall of Famer. In the first inning Morandini lined a ball up the middle that lined off of Maddux' calf. Ultimately the Braves got the out, but I am inclined to believe that the contact hurt Maddux enough to affect his performance. You can see the AB at the 11:30 mark here

The second big AB between the two occurs at 1:44:20 in the video. This is the sixth inning and the Phillies lead 4-1. Maddux walked Dykstra intentionally to get to Morandini.

Mickey Morandini followed with a hard fought At Bat that ended with a Triple down the Right Field line. The hit would chase Maddux and the Phillies took the contest 6-3 which advanced them to the World Series.

So yes Apparently Mickey Morandini did love to Face Greg Maddux. Good think for Mickey as he faced Maddux more than any other pitcher. His Master of the Braves star continued throughout his career. Over the course of 111 Plate Appearances Morandini batted .337 with a slugging number of .490. Only three batters collected more hits off of Maddux than Morandini: Craig Biggio, Tony Gwynn, and Luis Gonzalez. Among players that faced Maddux 100+ times the only player with a better average is Gwynn (.415 , .337)

Conversely Morandini never figured out Denny Martinez. He finished 1 of 22 versus El Presidente.

Mickey Morandini Index

1988 Topps Traded #71T - Team USA/4th of July
1993 Score / 1993 Topps - Unassisted Triple Play / Cardboard Mystery
1999 Stadium Club #39 - Guest on a Bobby Abreu Card
1989 Star #120 - Minor League card as Mike Morandini

2009 Phillies Alumni Night

Sources and Links
1993 Phillies @ 25 Index
1993 NLCS Game 6 Index
The Phillies Room
That's Ball's Outta here
youtube (1993 NLCS Game 6)
John Feinsein
Basebal-Ref

Monday, January 15, 2018

Keith Jackson (1928-2018) Baseball Broadcaster?

Over the weekend we got the sad news of the passing of Sports Announcer Keith Jackson.

1994 Action Packed #66 Keith Jackson (image swiped from COMC)

Most of us know him as the voice of College Football, but he called a variety of sports including baseball.

One of the most famous ballgames he called was game 6 of the 1977 World Series.

That night Reggie Jackson hit 3 Home Runs and the Yankees defeated the Dodgers 8-4 clinching their first World Series Win in 15 years. The TV broadcast of the game can be found on YouTube. I did not check out the entirety of the broadcast, but I did drop into a few spots. It is a good listen despite the fact that Howard Cosell elephants his way into all the big moments. Also of interest is that the third man in the booth is Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver.

1978 Topps #7 RB Reggie Jackson

Reggie's 3 Homer game is commemorated in the 77 Record Breakers Subset at the top of the 1978 Topps.

1978 Topps #7 RB Reggie Jackson (b-side)

The back of the card does a real nice job of summarizing the MANY accomplishments of Reggie Jackson during the 1977 Series. Right at the top we see the 5 Homers hit by Jackson, A record that was matched in 2009 by the Phillies own Chase Utley, however that was in a losing effort.

All three of Reggie's Game 6 Homers can be found on the YouTube link cited above, unfortunately as I mentioned Cosell walks all over Jackson on each Homer.

I always like Newsprint themed cards, not sure this really considered one as there is no Header or dateline. There is a Headline and a tear at the bottom, I suppose that is close enough.

Sources and Links
Reggie Jackson HOF Index
Game Dated Cards 
Baseball-Ref 
imdb
COMC
YouTube
@KevinCooney (Twitter h/t for the heads up on Jackson covering the 1977 WS)


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

2018 HOF Candidate: Brad Lidge

We made it!

Somehow after barely posting for the last year, we were able to get through all 5 of the Phillies related HOF Candidates - and for some reason I am happy about that

2009 Allen & Ginter's Baseball Highlights #AGH23 Brad Lidge

Other than a terrific DayF original this is my favorite of the many cards that have been dedicated to Brad Lidge closing out the 2008 World Series. 

I am not as big a fan of A&G base as other folks, but I do love the highlight cards. For me the attraction is honoring the games great moments, and it is cool to have a card dedicated to a Championship won by your favorite team. 

Lidge was a perfect 41/41 in saves during the regular season and then went on to complete 7 additional saves in the postseason.

Baseball-Reference snippet of Brad Lidge 2008 Saves (regular season)

The above is how Baseball-Reference sums up Brad Lidge's 2008 save efficiency. Nothing like looking at perfection.


Flip
2009 Allen & Ginter's Baseball Highlights #AGH23 Brad Lidge (b-side)


Clear and concise, the card mentions the 41 saves of the regular season, followed by the most important one of the postseason - The Phillies 4-3 World Series Clincher versus the Rays. We have posted a few times about this game, check here if you would like to read more.

Verdict
Brad Lidge got the final out in one of the best games that I have ever had the chance to attend HOF !!

Sources and Links
2018 HoF Candidates
Brad Lidge Index
2008 World Series Champions
Baseball-Ref

Monday, January 8, 2018

Happy 80th Birthday Willie McCovey and the birth of the Topps All-Star Rookie Team

On January 10th First Ballot Hall of Famer Willie McCovey celebrates his 80th birthday.

To mark the occasion I would like to take a look at McCovey's rookie card.

 1960 Topps #316 Willie McCovey

Not only is this a Rookie Card but it is also Topps first ever All-Star Rookie Cup card.

Therefore here we have a card that historic for not one but two reasons. The card is the beginning of some interesting Topps history. 

Check out the text at the top of the yellow circle. It specifies that McCovey was "Selected by the Youth of America"

What does that mean? Well Topps actually sent out ballots to the Boy Scout, YMCA, Boys Club of America and other youth organizations to vote on the All-Star Rookie team. I believe this was part of a greater effort to attract young collectors.

The Following Ad appeared in an issue of The Sporting News during the summer of 1959.

 The Sporting News 1959 Jul 15  

A couple of things to unpack here, first The trophy looks terrific. The clipart used for the Trophy on early Topps cards looks fine, but here we have a bit more detail, I mean who knew the pedestal was a Top Hat?

The text above is where I got the info on the clubs involved in the rookie all-star election.

Further down in the ad we have additional info:

 
The Sporting News 1959 Jul 15
 
Check it out there was an actual trophy presentation ceremony with an associated bonus of $125! According to the CPI Inflation Calculator that is a little bit over a grand in today's money.

To the right is a "Sample Ballot". Kids write in the players name, team and position, and send their vote to Topps Bazooka office in Brooklyn.

The final thing I want to point out is the "Honorary All-Star Election Committee" which consists of various media representatives plus JACKIE ROBINSON, who is referred to not as Major Leaguer, World Champion, All-Star, or Future Hall of Famer. Nope for purposes of this exercise he was Vice President, Chock Full O' Nuts, Inc.

According to a TSN article the 1959 All-Star Rookie election consisted of 1.5 Million votes. Topps eligibility requirements to make the team were no more than 45 Days in the Majors, 90 Plate Appearances, or 45 innings prior to the season.

Banquet
The Sporting News 1960 Apr 20

And there they are Topps Historic First All-Star Rookie Team. They are pretty much in the order that they appear on the 1960T checklist. Willie McCovey is on the left followed Pumpsie Green, Jim Baxes, Phillies Shortstop Joe Koppe (the shortest guy in the shot) Bob Allison, Ron Fairly, John Romano and Jim Perry. Willie Tasby and Jim O'Toole who could not make the outing are shown in an inset bottom left.

The Subset
The Initial All-Star Rookie subset is unique within the history of the on card award as it is the only time the cards are presented consecutively running from #316-#325.

They also run in position sequence using scoring notation, except they start at 1B rather than pitcher. I don't know if this is luck or if Topps wanted one of the two Rookie of the Year award winners to lead off the subber. The AL ROY was Bob Allison. Regardless if planned or happy accident it is a nice touch that the first All-Star Rookie card EVER went to a 500 Home Run guy and future Hall of Famer. 

 Flip
1960 Topps #316 Willie McCovey (b-side)

The back of the All-Star Rookies are essentially the same as the base backs. Note McCovey took home NL ROY honors despite only getting involved in 52 games. Perhaps it had to do with his HOT start. I always loved how 1960T bullet pointed highlights from the players 1959 season. Check ou the first five of these HighLights for Stretch. The man puts up notable games FOUR days in a row right at the top of his career

Sources and Links
Phungo Willie McCovey HOF Index
1960 Topps Rookie Topps Index
The Sporting News
Baseball Card Database
Cardboard Connection
Baseball-Ref
CPI Inflation Calculator

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

2018 HOF Candidate: Johnny Damon

This year our first profile of a non-Phils HOF Candidate goes to Johnny Damon.

If you have been following the Ryan Thibodaux Hall of Fame vote tracker it is pretty obvious Johnny Damon is going to be a one and done candidate.

As of January 2 2018 Thibodaux had recorded 159 ballots, Johnny Damon received one vote. It was from Rick Telander who put together a complementary paragraph to justify his Damon selection.

He’ll never get in, but the guy thrilled many of us during those magical Red Sox-Yankees battles when the Theo Epstein-led Sox were emerging from their Cubs-like title drought. In 2002, Damon led the American League in triples. In 2004, he was second in the AL in runs scored. He sported wild hair and a lumberjack beard years before the latter became fashionable. I dug it.

2010 Heritage #309 Damon Steals 2 Bags on 1 Pitch

To honor Damon's career we pick a Topps Heritage card that shows off Johnny Damon's base running skills at the expense of the 2009 Phillies.

The play occurred during game four of the World Series. Damon came to the plate in the 9th inning of a 4-4 tie. There were 2 outs and nobody on base. He singled to left field to get the go-ahead run on base. The Phillies used a defensive shift versus Left-Handed batting Mark Teixeira. Damon stole 2nd on the first pitch easily beating a short throw from Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz. Damon then popped up and took off towards an unguarded third base.

Thus as the card says he stole "2 Bags on 1 Pitch".

Damon would later score on an Alex Rodriguez double, the scoring did not end there as the Yankees racked up 3 runs and took the game 7-4.

2010 Heritage #309 Damon Steals 2 Bags on 1 Pitch (b-side)

Interesting back of the card, where Topps mimics the 1961 World Series cards which Heritage echoes. Not sure but I believe 1961 is the only year that Topps used the "How They Scored" approach on the back of World Series cards. I don't think I need to see it every year but it is interesting to see it once.

The original 1961T #309 card also featured a big play at second. During the 1960 World Series the Yankees were the victims while the Pittsburgh Pirates were on offense.

The runner involved was Pirates left fielder Gino Cimoli. With the Pirates down a run in the fifth Cimoli beat a fielders choice throw to 2nd base. He would eventually be the first of three runs to score during the inning. That was all the Pirates needed to post a 3-2 victory.

One more thing
Johnny Damon is a Thai-American. That is the same Heritage as my own!


And in 2013 he chose to represent Thailand in the World Baseball Classic. Thailand didn't get very deep in the WBC, but Damon did get the opportunity to help develop the game there.

Hopefully someday I will get to see the Thai baseball team or even a baseball game in Thailand.

Until then I am happy to wear the above Thailand WBC cap whenever I get the opportunity. 

Verdict
HOF, I gotta go with Johnny Damon and his Asian roots here.

Johnny Damon Player Index

2009 Heritage #163 - Damon plays for Thailand WBC
2009 Topps T206 #261 - Pack Break
2008 Topps Chrome X-Fractor #106 - Swag Posting
2005 Leaf Century Collection #58 - Year of the Ox


2009 1102 - Game Report (World Series Game 5)
Wilmington Blue Rocks Number Retirement Ceremony


Sources and Links
2018 HOF Candidates
Game Dated Cards 
Chicago Sun-Times Rick Telander
BB HOF Tracker
Sports on Earth Pat Jordan
New York Times
Baseball-Ref 

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions