Saturday, November 2, 2019

ANNIVERSARY: 2010 Topps Heritage #310 Utley Ties Reggie

November 2nd marks the 10th Anniversary of the Phillies last World Series Game victory. An 8-6 victory over the New York Yankees.

That night Chase Utley tied a 30 year old World Series Record.
2010 Topps Heritage #310 Chase Utley (image swiped from trading card db)

The caption sums it up simply "Utley Ties Reggie". Nice to have your named in a comparative with a player who is such a superstar that they only need to be identified by a single name.

Flip

2010 Topps Heritage #310 Chase Utley (image stolen from comc)

The back of the Heritage cards remain faithful to the 1961T originals with scoring plays followed by the line score. The Utley Homers for game 5 can be found in the first and 7th innings of the Phillies portion of the text.

Reggie
Jackson's 5 Home Run Series was also celebrated by Topps in their 1978 set.

1978 Topps #7 RB Reggie Jackson

We covered this card a bit in our 2018 Memorial to broadcaster Keith Jackson. To read more about the card click here.

1961 Topps
2010 Heritage is an Homage to 1961 Topps. The World Series subset parallels the original with Utley's Record card matching with a card dedicated to a Pirates 5-2 victory, also over the Yankees, which featured an 8 out save from Elroy Face.


1961 Topps #310 Face Saves the Day

While both the PA teams were able to defeat the 1960 and 2009 Yankees in Game 5, afterward their fates diverged. The Pirates won the 1960 Series on Bill Mazeroski's famous Home Run while, Utley and the Phillies fell to the Yankees in 6 games. 

Phungo Games
This card reps the Phungo Game collection, read more about that game here.  In addition to the above Heritage card we have previously covered the 2009 Allen & Ginter card dedicated to Utley's World Series Record. This column can be found here.

Sources and Links
Chase Utley Index
Phungo Game Index
2009 World Series
Check out My Cards
Trading Card db
Baseball-Ref

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

ANNIVERSARY 1968 OCT 02: Bob Gibson Sets World Series Strike Out Record

I missed the 50th anniversary of this a year ago so we are catching up today.

1969 Topps #162 World Series Special Game 1 Gibson Fans 17

Yes 51 years ago Bob Gibson Struck out 17 Tigers in Game one of the 1968 World Series.

Number of things to like on this card:

- Newsprint style format
- Gibson's face is a bit in the shadow, but overall I think this is a good photo from the era
- Great headline, subheader and synopsis
- Sponsorship by The Sporting News
- It's BOB freaking GIBSON

Gibson's 17K day broke the previous record set by Sandy Koufax 5 years prior, also on October 2 and in a game 1, Gibson struck out every Detroit hitter in the starting lineup at least once with the 3 & 4 Htiters Al Kaline and Norm Cash each whiffing 3 times. Other notable victims include Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews who went down on strikes as a Pinch Hitter, Bill Freehan and Willie Horton.

According to Baseball Almanac the record still stands today.

Flip
1969 Topps #162 World Series Special Game 1 Gibson Fans 17 (b-side)

The back of the card has a box score for the Cardinals 4-0 victory. Note the 17 Putouts credited to Tim McCarver. Lots of other big names on the Cardinals, HOF Lou Brock's hit was a Home Run which accounted for the single run in the 7th.

While the Cardinals won this battle, the Tigers would eventually win the War taking the 1968 Series in 7 games.

1968 Topps World Series Special Subset
The subber for the 1968 World Series runs 8 cards from #162-169, one for each game plus a summary. Hall of Famers earning cards in the set other than Gibson are the aforementioned Kaline and Brock.  

Sources and Links
1969 Topps Baseball
Bob Gibson Hall of Fame Index
1969 Topps World Series Special Subset
baseball card database
Baseball-Ref
Baseball Almanac

Sunday, September 29, 2019

2009 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Subset (honoring 2008 Cup Winners)

This is an Index to postings about the 2008 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team that was honored in the 2009 Set.

 2009 Topps #390 Joey Votto

1999 Topps Rookie Cup All-Star Checklist
 
C          Geovany Soto      Chicago Cubs  
1B        Joey Votto            Cincinnati Reds  
2B        Alexei Ramirez    Chicago White Sox    no trophy on card
3B        Evan Longoria     Tampa Bay Rays  
SS        Mike Aviles          Kansas City Royals  
OF       Jay Bruce              Cincinnati Reds  
OF       Denard Span         Minnesota Twins  
OF       David Murphy      Texas Rangers            no trophy on card
RHP    Brad Ziegler          Oakland Athletics  
LHP    John Lannan          Washington Nationals


Sources and Links
B-R Bullpen Baseball-Ref
Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Master Index

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Happy Birthday Mike Schmidt: 1977 Topps #140

On September 27th Mike Schmidt will celebrate his 70th birthday. To mark the occasion we are examining a card that was issued back when Schmidt was 27 just on the cusp of hitting his prime.

1977 Topps #140 Mike Schmidt

In 1976 the Phillies wore a Bicentennial/All-Star Game patch on their left shoulders. The 1977T card which displays the patch most prominently is Mike Schmidt's.

That is probably my favorite aspect of the card. I have two other photo observations:

1) I believe this is Shea Stadium which is the setting for several Phillies cards in the era.

2) Schmidt appears to be swinging a Rawlings bat. Adirondack/Rawlings bats from the middle 70s carried a ring on the bat handle in the team color - seen in red here.

However, during a Louisville Slugger tour I took a few years ago I found out something interesting:

Louisville Slugger Museum

Above we have four Louisvlle Slugger Bats. Schmidt's lumber is the 3rd one from the top, notice the Red ring. Schmidt had an exclusive contract with Rawlings, however at times he felt the need to change bats. To hide the switch, Schmidt disguised the Louisville Slugger bat by creating his own red ring using tape. More detail on this can be found at the PSA Card site.

The four bats top to Bottom are Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray (HR #501, last as an Oriole), Schmidt and George Brett (note the Pine Tar).

 Flip
1977 Topps #140 Mike Schmidt (b-side)

This is the first card issued following Schmidt's Four Home Run game on April 17 1976 and the text leads of with that fun fact. The blurb closes mentioning that Schmidt had 11 Homers in April which is a record - not sure if this is for any month or specific to April. Regardless both records have been eclipsed since 1976. Sammy Sosa holds the MLB Record for HR in a month with 20 (June 1998), While the April Record of 14 is shared by Albert Pujols (2006) and A-Rod (2007).

Talkin Toons
Always good to see a cartoon on the back of the card. The subject of today's comic is Yankees Slugger Hank Bauer and his17 game Wolrd Series hitting streak( 1956 OCT 3 - 1958 OCT 4).  At the time this card was released Bauer had held the record for 18 years. Here we are almost 42 years later and he still holds the record. the 2018 World Series marked the 60th Anniversary of the record.

Bauer's 17 game hitting streak is also the record for consecutive postseason games as well. He shares the record with Derek Jeter (1998-1999) and Manny Ramirez (2003-2004).  The Astros George Springer has an active streak of 14 games

Bauer Toons
A couple of Hank Bauer own cards have comics that feature the record including 1960 and 1961.  My favorite is a manager card from 1969.

1969 Topps #124 Hank Bauer (b-side / baseball card datbase)

Rather than featuring a lengthy text bio the Manager cards from 1969 featured a full size cartoon that include a nice profile sketch.

Artsy
Speaking of sketches and bringing this back to our original subject, I created my own version of the 1977T Schmidt card.

1977T Mike Schmidt (Phungo Original)

Drawing 1997 Topps doesn't present any unusual challenges. The Team names are italicized which is a minor hassle. I like the drop shadow on the pennant.

I elected to leave the team logo and number off the uni, which are largely covered in the original - unfortunately this leaves a lot of blue space on the drawing and elongates Schmidt's Torso.

1980 Phillies
I am including this post as part of our 1980 Phillies Series. I hope to return to Schmidt again next year as he is not only one of the  most significant members of that particular team but also the franchise history.

Sources and Links
Mike Schmidt HoF Index
1980 Phillies World Champs Index
Phungo Artwork Index
Baseball Almanac
PSA Card
baseball card database
mlb.com / Astros 
Baseball-Ref

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Happy Anniversary Prince Fielder 2009 Topps #1

September 6th 2019 marks the 10th anniversary of one of the more memorable moments of Prince Fielder's career.

2009 Topps #1 Prince Fielder

The Brewers defeated the Giants 2-1 in extra innings that day, the winning blow was a Walk-Off Home Run by Fielder. To celebrate the Brewers executed a choreographed bowling style celebration. The moment polarizes old and new school fans. I suppose if you want to pinpoint a moment where MLB decided that maybe it is ok to celebrate big Home Runs might have been Prince Fielder September 6 2009.

The image of that moment was honored by Topps with the lead-off card for their 2010 set.

I did some digging and I believe the photograph was taken by Morry Gash and can be found at AP-Images.  There are a number of similar shots across the net, but this is the only one that I was unable to find any discrepancies between the card and photo.

Flip
2009 Topps #1 Prince Fielder (b-side)

Fielder didn't get the #1 slot just for the September 6th Walk-Off.  He was a superstar player at the peak of his career. Checking his numbers on the card back we notice he lead the NL in RBI with 141. The 46 Home Runs trailed only Albert Pujols (47).

The text also mentions Fielders 2009 HR Derby victory.
2009 HR Derby Cards

As part of the Derby Topps created a set of jumbo cards that were on display at Citifield for the All-Star game.  I took the above photo at the Futures game.

Stray Observation
The pitcher that gave up the Home Run was reliever Merkin Valdez. In 74 career games Valdez only took the Loss in one game, this was the one. 

Sources & Links
Topps #1 Club
Game Dated Cards Index
AP Images - Morry Gash
baseball-ref

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

1973 Topps #322 Garry Maddox (rc)

Little late on this one but Garry Maddox turned 70 over the Labor day weekend. To celebrate we are posting a column on his rookie card.

1973 Topps #322 Garry Maddox (rc, image from Baseball Card Database)

Over here at Phungo Headquarters we think of Garry Maddox as a lifetime Phillies player, but as can be seen above early in his career he spent a couple of years with the Giants. Nice to see Maddox get a solo card here as many rookies from this era were awarded shared cards.

However there is a sloppy Topps element to this card as well.  Garry Maddox was a member the 1972 All-Star Rookie team, unfortunately Topps failed to put the trophy icon on his card.

As part of the Team Phungo Art initiative we have decided to correct this error, and while we were being creative we decided to modify a few other things about the card.

Phungo Original 1973T  Garry Maddox

Yes since I was going to the trouble of drawing a new card of Garry Maddox with the Rookie Cup, I figure why not make him a Phillie. I tried to get Maddox face and figure to match the card photo, but with the background I got a little crazy and put in a globe.

The idea was inspired by the quote "Two-thirds of the Earth is covered by water, the other one-third by Garry Maddox." which is often attributed to Ralph Kiner.

So yes in one drawing I made the Topps card my own by 1) Changing the team 2) Adding the missing Rookie Cup and 3) Including a globe in the background to honor Maddox defensive notoriety.

1980 Phillies

The other reason I did the Maddox artwork was because I thought that this was a fun card on the Maddox player collection checker and I wanted to make the card part of our 1980 Phillies retrospective.

My goal is to put together a dozen or so columns on the 1980 Phils, but since I don't post as often I a starting a little early. A few months ago I wrote up Del Unser which I plan on adding to the collection.

For an index of all 1980 Phillies related postings click here. Not much there yet, but hopefully there will be by this time next year.

Whiz Kids
We also profiled Maddox as part of our series on the 1983 Phillies. That posting will be used as our Garry Maddox Index

Sources and Links
Garry Maddox Index
1973 Topps All-Star Rookie Cards Index
1980 World Champion Phillies Index
Baseball-Ref Bullpen
Baseball Card Database
Baseball Almanac

Monday, September 2, 2019

1989 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Subset (honoring 1988 cup winners)

This is an Index to postings about the 1988 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team that was honored in the 1999 Set.


1989 Topps #156 Dave Gallagher (image stolen from TradingCardDB)

C         Damon Berryhill    Chicago Cubs  
1B       Mark Grace            Chicago Cubs  
2B       Ron Gant               Atlanta Braves  
3B       Chris Sabo             Cincinnati Reds  
SS       Walt Weiss             Oakland Athletics  
OF       Cecil Espy             Texas Rangers  
OF       Dave Gallagher     Chicago White Sox  
OF       Jay Buhner            Seattle Mariners  
RHP    Tim Belcher           Los Angeles Dodgers  
LHP    Paul Gibson           Detroit Tigers   

sources and links

Sunday, September 1, 2019

1999 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Subset (honoring 1998 Cup Winners)

This is an Index to postings about the 1998 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team that was honored in the 1999 Set.

1999 Topps Rookie Cup #20 Kerry Wood

1999 Topps Rookie Cup All-Star Checklist
C          A.J. Hinch               Oakland Athletics   
1B        Todd Helton            Colorado Rockies   
2B        Miguel Cairo           Tampa Bay Devil Rays   
3B        Bobby Smith            Tampa Bay Devil Rays   
SS        Mike Caruso            Chicago White Sox   
OF       Ben Grieve               Oakland Athletics   
OF       Magglio Ordonez     Chicago White Sox   
OF       Mark Kotsay            Florida Marlins   
RHP    Kerry Wood              Chicago Cubs   
LHP    Jesus Sanchez            Florida Marlins

Sources and Links
B-R Bullpen Baseball-Ref
Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Master Index

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Gary Carter HOF Index

This is an index to our postings related to Hall of Fame Catcher Gary Carter.

1976 Topps #441 Gary Carter

1976 Topps #441 (SABR BB Cards)

Toni Stone at the Laura Pels Off-Broadway

Last weekend Team Phungo made the trek up to Manhattan and enjoyed a tremendous play that was based on a Baseball Player.


Toni Stone played second base for the Indianapolis Clowns in 1953. This made her the first woman to play baseball with a Men's professional baseball team. The Clowns are an important part of Negro League history sending several players to the Major Leagues, including Hank Aaron the man that Stone replaced.

The play covers a lot of territory. We learn about Stones background and early prowess in athletics. Her range included track and figure skating. The play also depicts her as an avid baseball fan who memorized stats and has BASEBALL CARDS!!

If you have studied the Negro Leagues you may be familiar with a lot of the material in the play, but it is nice to see it depicted in a fashion that I found historically accurate: The long bus rides due to unwelcoming hotels, The double-headers played in different towns, and of course the harassment from fans during exhibition games with white teams.

In addition Stone dealt with sexism issues from teammates as well as opponents.

There is also a scene where Toni Stone discusses an unfortunate story regarding Gabby Street.

April Matthis
In addition to having an informative and interesting story the play has a very good cast led by veteran April Matthis in the title role. Matthis as Stone figures into every conversation from start to finish making this an almost one-woman show despite the fact she shares the stage with eight other actors.  


Above you see the set for the show. It is set up to appear like a ballpark with bleachers around the stage. Notice the trashcan of baseball bats between bleachers 2 & 3. The stadium lights were a neat part of the set which were used for dramatic affect. The windows in the two alleys between the bleachers often featured single players batting or throwing and created a look of a baseball card.


The Lobby was also dressed up for the show with Pennants and background info on Stone and the Negro Leagues.

Another really nice touch was that they sold Cracker Jack at the concession stand.

On Tour
Toni Stone will only be in NYC through August 11th. However it is going on a short tour thru early 2020. The first stop is San Francisco, followed by DC in the Spring. If you get the opportunity and would like to see some baseball history related theater I highly recommend this show.

Off-Broadway
I always recommend Off-Broadway if you want to see a play in New York. The theaters are more accessible, tickets are significantly cheaper and since the theaters are smaller you always get a good seat. In addition I can usually find an Off-Broadway show that aligns with my tastes. The Broadway productions are big and mainstream, OB gives the companies a chance to produce edgier stories.

Sources and Links
Vittles On Stage Index

SABR
Roundabout Theater

Monday, July 29, 2019

2019 ToppsNow #529 Bryce Harper/Rhys Hoskins honors July 18th Phillies Victory

I finally got to see a 2019 game that the Phillies actually won. And Topps was good enough to create a ToppsNow card for that game.

2019 ToppsNow #529 Phillies (Bryce Harper/Rhys Hoskins)

There were several key performers in the Phillies 7-6 victory over the Dodgers which featured FIVE lead changes (1-0, 1-2, 3-2, 3-4, 7-5). Topps chose to cover the days card with the Phillies big names Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins. However the hero could have also been 2017 First round pick (8th overall) Adam Haseley who tallied his first Major League Home Run.

Solid picture choices on both players. On the left we have a nice shot of Bryce Harper's emotional slide into second which I clearly remember from where I was standing. The latter photo features Rhys at the plate, anytime you can get the ball just prior to impact that's a win.

2019 ToppsNow
I would prefer that Topps go with a single image here but this was pretty much a team win and lets face it ToppsNow may not feature many Phillies this year. Otherwise this is an ok design, I would like to see the date more prominently displayed since NOW is a feature of the card. This is a two player card, but as far as I can tell the player position is not on single player cards.

There were six ToppsNow cards issued for July 18 2019. The Phillies had the largest print run for the day (464) even eclipsing the reigning AL MVP Mookie Betts and Hall of Famer Ted Williams.

2019 ToppsNow CheckList for July 18 2019
#526 Mookie Betts/Ted Williams (Print Run = 352)
#527 Brian Anderson (131)
#528 Chris Sale (182)
#529 Phillies (464)
#530 Stephen Strasburg (300)
#532 Donovan Solano (162)

Flip
2019 ToppsNow #529 Phillies (b-side)

The Text on the back of the card gives a concise two sentend summary of the Phillies 7th inning comeback. Not to self: use the word "cut" when I want to discuss a team making a comeback.

2019 ToppsNow #529 Phillies, 2019 JUL 18 Dodgers @ Phillies

And since this card is from a game that Team Phungo attended it will be going into the Phungo Games binder. Always excited to share a combined trading card/ticket photo on the blog.

Sources and Links
Bryce Harper Index
Rhys Hoskins Index
Phungo Game Dated Cards Index
baseball-ref
ToppsNow 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

In Memoriam: Jim Bouton (1939-2019)

"I learned Math from Baseball & Jim Bouton taught me How to Read"

Not entirely true, but there is a lot of truth there.

Prior to college I think I only finished maybe...  three books, "1984", "Wired" the Biography of Jim Belushi, and "Ball Four". All those novels we were supposed to read in High School (Hester Prynne, Silas Marner, Macbeth, Huck Finn, etc Who Knows What Else)  - I read exactly none of them.

But "Ball Four" it spoke to me.

"Ball Four" - Jim Bouton (1970 2nd Edition)

I have read the book three times once as a teenager. Again in my 20s or 30s, and most recently in my late 40s in preparation to see Bouton at the NYC SABR convention.

The SABR panel was incredible. That weekend it was publicly announced that Jim Bouton had a brain disease related to dementia. Regardless with the help of his wife Paula Kurman he was up to the task of discussing his life and Ball Four in a panel dedicated to Bouton and the book. A fan of the book and the man could asked for nothing more. Bouton was funny, touching, and informative. He was "Ball Four" personified.

He was also good enough to pose for pictures while signing books and other memorabilia.

 Jim Bouton (2017 Jul 01)

The Photo on the left page is one that I took at the event. The book is a 2nd edition

Ball Four (2nd Edition)

Here is Ball Four sans jacket.

That's it for now. Over the coming weeks I would like to mine the Phungo Museum for some other Bouton related content. Today, I would just like to recognize that he will always be a favorite author and I am glad I was introduced to his unique point of view early in my life and have been able to enjoy it to this day.

Memorials & Tributes
SABR (Mark Armour)

Sources and Link
Jim Bouton Index
SABR Bio (Mark Armour)
SABR47 NYC

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

ANNIVERSARY - 1979 July 10: Del Unser 3 consecutive Pinch Hit HRs (1980 Topps #6)

Wednesday July 10 marks 40th anniversary of a Pinch Hitter getting into the MLB record book

1980 Topps #6 Highlights Del Unser

That pinch hitter was the Phillies Del Unser who tied a mark first established a year prior by the Dodgers Lee Lacy.

Unser's streak commenced on June 30th. In the 9th inning of game versus the Cardinals at Busch stadium the Phillies were down 4-2 with 2 out in the 9th inning. Phillies Center Fielder Garry Maddox was on base when Unser was sent to the plate to bat for Manny Trillo. Unser homered off of reliever George Frazier to tie the game which the Phillies won 6-4 in extras.

The 2nd Home Run came in a 3-2 loss to the Mets. Unser hit a solo home run in the 7th inning while batting for Larry Bowa in what was basically a convoluted double change. The victim was starting pitcher Craig Swan.

Del Unser finished his Home Run trifecta facing Padres future Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers. The Phillies went into the 9th inning down 5-1, four batters later the Phillies had pulled to 5-3 on a 2 Run single by Bob Boone.

A hit and an out later Del Unser found himself once again pinch hitting for Larry Bowa. This time out he hit a Walk Off Home Run to give the Phillies a 6-5 victory. 

The streak ended 2 days later when Unser was Intentionally Walked by Fingers. The first time Unser was retired following the streak was July 23, Also by Rollie (strikeout).

1980 Topps Hilights
Hilights opens the 1980 set occupying the first six cards. The subset includes three Hall of Famers across two cards: Lou Brock & Carl Yastrzemski share card #1, While Willie McCovey resides at #2. In addition to Del Unser the Phillies are also represented in the subber by Pete Rose at #4.
 

Dennis Rasmussen?
1987 Topps #555 Dennis Rasmussen

What the heck is Dennis Rasmussen doing in the middle of a Del Unser column??, well lets turn over this card and see.

1987 Topps #555 Dennis Rasmussen (b-side)

Ok we are going to bypass that this card discusses Hall of Famer Larry Bird and move down to the On This Date section. Check it out we have today's hero Del Unser! and it mentions his 1979 Pinch Hit Home Run heroics too!

Finally Topps honors their history by mentioning Unser's 1979T card, lets have a look.
1979 Topps #628 Del Unser

Unfortunately Unser is repping a different team, however it always feels good to post and Expos card. Lets flip this one over and see if we have anymore fun items.

1979 Topps #628 Del Unser (b-side)

Well Check it out, we have another This day in History. This time it goes back to May 8 1968. On that date Hall of Famer Catfish Hunter tossed a Perfect game for the Oakland A's as they defeated the Minnesota Twins 4-0

And just because I am chaining together cards today, I am going to add one final card.


1969 Topps #235 Jim "Catfish" Hunter

The first card issued of Catfish following his Perfect Game was in 1969 Topps. This is back when Topps was putting -Toons on the back of cards, surely the Catfish comic would be dedicated to his big Game...

1969 Topps #235 Jim "Catfish" Hunter (b-side)

or.....maybe not

The game mentioned in the cartoon was a 15 inning affair won by the National League 2-1. In Hunter's defense he pitched FIVE innings that day, the difference was a Home Run by Tony Perez.

Topps does mention the Perfecto in the text. It also mentions that Hunter's game earned him a $5000 raise, that is a $36,000 raise in 2018 dollars. 

Game Dated Cards
Ok that is enough card chaining, At some point I will be adding each of these cards to the Phungo Game Dated Cards Index

1980 Phillies
Next Year will mark the 40th anniversary of the Phillies first World Championship, I hope to feature that team throughout 2020. Since I am not writing as many columns these days I am getting an early start on the feature and will open my Anniversary series a full six months in advance.

Sources and Links
1980 World Champion Philadelphia Phillies
1980 Topps Hilights
No-Hitter Index
Catfish Hunter index
Larry Bird Index
baseball-ref
Baseball Card Database

Friday, July 5, 2019

1973 Topps Rookie All-Stars (1972 Award 1973 Card)

This is an Index to our postings related to the 1973 Topps Rookie All-Star Team. The award is for the 1972 season with the cards issued in the 1973 season.

1973 Topps Tommy Hutton


CCarlton FiskBoston Red SoxHall of Famer

1BTom HuttonPhiladelphia PhilliesTrophy omitted from card

2BJack BrohamerCleveland Indians

3BDave RobertsSan Diego Padres

SSDwain AndersonSt. Louis Cardinals

OFDon BaylorBaltimore OriolesTrophy omitted from card
322OFGarry MaddoxSan Francisco GiantsTrophy omitted from card

OFBuddy BellCleveland Indians

RHPDick TidrowCleveland IndiansTrophy omitted from card

LHPJon MatlackNew York Mets
-->
Sources and Links
Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Master Index
Baseball-Ref BR Bullpen

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

1967 Topps #165 Cleon Jones

I often find the "Where are They Now" features on retired ballplayer fascinated. Particularly those that are accomplished off the field.

Recently I saw a a news item on 1960s-1970s era Mets outfielder Cleon Jones.

1967 Topps #165 Cleon Jones

Jones has returned to the community where he was raised, Africatown Alabama which is near Mobile. He is 76 now and is busy helping out townspeople and elderly folks fixing and painting their homes. Africatown is an historic town in the area which is attempting to build a museum to honor the communities past. To read about the towns history, I strongly recommend you read this Alabama Newscenter article to find out about Africatown and Cleon Jones' efforts.


1967 Topps
Seeing the story about Cleon Jones also gives us a chance to add a column to our All-Star Rookie Cup Series. Unless team Phungo returns to serious blogging the Series will remain unfinished, but I do think it is within the realm of possibility to get up a Rookie Cup from each year and all the Phillies.

For his 1966 Cleon Jones received a single Rookie of the Year vote, good enough to place him 4th in the voting which was won by Reds Infielder Tommy Helms. Jones played 13 years which is wear several of his 1966 Topps Rookie All-Stars mates fall. The leader for tenure appears to be Woodie Fryman (LHP 18 years), while George Scott (1B) led the crew in WAR (36.5, Jones = 18.5). 

1967 Topps #165 Cleon Jones (b-side)

No pressure here, just that the back of Cleon Jones' first solo card mentions Hank Aaron, Billy Williams and Willie McCovey (featured on the very first Topps All-Star Rookie Cup card)

Sketchy
One of the many reason blog output has been slow is I have diverted my hobby time to artwork - mainly sketching baseball cards. Cleon Jones off the field charity inspired me to create a 5x7 based off of his 1967T card coupled with his efforts in Africatown.

1967T Cleon Jones (Phungo Original 5x7 in 2019 06 24)

Chief among my customizations is changing the bat to a paint roller. I also added a different trophy, changed the Mets team designation to Africatown and gave Cleon a background of a refurbished home rather than Shea Stadium.

Sources and Links
1967 Topps Rookie Cup Index (1966 Winners)
Phungo Sketch Index
Alabama NewsCenter
Baseballl-ref BR-Bullpen

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Anniversary 60 Years ago: Rocky Colavito 4 Home Run Day

June 10th marks the 60th anniversary of an historic game between the Cleveland Indians and Baltimore Orioles. That Day Rocky Colavito became the 6th major league player to record a 4 Home Run game.

1964 Topps Jumbo #9 Rocky Colavito

The Indians won that game 11-8 with Colavito accounting for 6 RBI. Notice that the above card features Rocky as an Athletic not an Indian. Well that is because of the back of the card...

1959 Topps Jumbo #9 Rocky's Hot Bat (b-side)

As we can see the headline on this card is all about the 4 Homer game which is described in the cards first coupe sentences. The remainder of the text discusses Colavito's home run legacy all the way back to his minor league days.

Rocky Colavito's four home run game is also featured on the back of a 1964 Topps base card, #109. Colavito, however, does not appear on the front of that card, to find out more click here.

Sloppy Topps
The photo on the b-side of the card is also not with the Indians. Colavito wore three different numbers with Cleveland 6, 21 and 38 but never 7. The two squads for which he donned #7 were the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City A's. I am thinking that this photo is with the Tigers as Rocky Colavito didn't join the Athletics until 1964. The front appears to be an Airbrushed Tigers photo as well. 

1964 Topps Jumbo
I love this set and I have it on the back burner to build. They are referred to Jumbo or Giant cards because they are oversized at just over 3"x5". I go with Jumbo because when you search on "1964 Topps Giant" you get a bunch of Willy Mays cards, but not necessarily Jumbos. 

Colavito's Four Home Run Game
Baseball-Ref Box
1964 Topps #109 (Rusty Staub)

Sources and Links
Game Dated Cards Index
1964 Topps Jumbo Index
Baseball-Ref
ebay
Cardboard Connection

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

1944 June 6: D-Day and Baseball

This week marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day. To commemorate the event in a baseball related way I wanted to pass on a bit of the sports history from the era.

The pending Allied Invasion had been rumored for some time prior to D-Day and major league baseball made plans to postpone any games on the date if possible.  This possibility was discussed in the June 1 1944 issue of the Sporting News - issued just days prior to D-Day.

 

1944 JUN 01 The Sporting News pg 1

There were two MLB games scheduled for June 6 1944 and indeed neither were played. I am assuming the time difference between Europe and the States allowed for proper scheduling changes. Those rescheduling of those games was mentioned in the June 7 1944 issue of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Horse Racing was the sport of kings in the era so you need to go a few paragraphs down to see a mention of the two games.

1944 JUN 07 Philadelphia Inquirer Pg 24

If you want to see a modern representation of the postponed games you can look to the terrific archive of baseball statistic history, Baseball-Reference.


Baseball-Ref Scores from Tuesday June 6 1944

Notice that when you do a search for games played on D-Day Baseball-Reference notes

"No Games Were or Have Yet Been Played on This Date"

 

Sources and Links 

Baseball-Ref 

Philadelphia Inquirer (1944 06 07)

The Sporting News (1944 06 01)




Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Wall of Fame: Bobby Abreu (2019)


The Phillies recently announced that this years Wall of Fame inductee is Bobby Abreu. An interesting selection, on paper he is one of the organizations great players, however on the field he represents the long lean period between the 1993 Wheeze Kids and the Late 2000s championship squads.

2002 Fleer Authentix #56 Bobby Abreu

Abreu is often derided for his mediocre defense and to be honest I cannot remember him crashing a wall. Perhaps one of the effects if his tentative approach in the field is that he rarely missed a game. During his eight full seasons with the Phillies Abreu played at least 150 games every year.  An All-Star player never missing game can accumulate some impressive numbers, and Abreu did just that. As a Phillie Abreu tallied 195 Home Runs and 254 steals (7th in team history). His .928 OPS ranks 2nd in club history behind only Hall of Famer Chuck Klein. The component numbers (.416 OBP, .513 SLG) are top 10 as well. Advanced stats really don’t back up the no-defense critique, Abreu’s dWAR in Philadelphia was -1.5, below average but not really noteworthy especially when spread across 8+ season. Related note: during his gold glove 2005 campaign had a dWAR of -1.5.


2002 Fleer Authentix #56 Bobby Abreu (b-side)

Kind of a neat idea here. The player photos are on a facsimile tickets of their teams Home Opener. In the game represented here the Phillies defeated the Marlins 6-2. The tickets are purely representative – there is no mentioning of the game on either side of the card, nor the games results or how the player performed. 

Fortunately for that we have Baseball-Reference. 

And it was a good day for Bobby Abreu who went 4 for 4 with a couple of a doubles and a Home Run producing 3 RBI and scoring a pair of runs. Likely one of the best days of his career. 

Team Phungo has been to a lot of Phillies Home Openers and this happens is one of those games. Happy to be adding this one to cards that rep Phungo Games. 

2002 Fleer Authentix
Two years ago we profiled Scott Rolen's card for this set, that column can be found here

Bobby Abreu Index
1998 Topps #351: First Phillies Card, Bob vs Bobby Abreu 2011 #60YoT match
1999 Topps Stadium Club #39: Group Break, Cameo Mickey Morandini as a Cub. Named "Bob"
2000 Topps #38: Asian Zodiac Year og the Tiger (2010). Named as "Bob"
2000 Topps #38: Phillies All-Decade Team 
2002 Topps Opening Day #13: Snapshot of Topps Opening Day cards
2003 Bowman Heritage (Nachos Grande Swag)
2005 Topps Update #UH218 (2005 07 11 Home Run Derby Detroit)
2008 Topps Heritage Bat Relic: Hobby Box Break (w/ Yankees)
2009 Phungo BFI: Portrait (w/ Yankees)
2010 Topps #15: First Pack (w/ Angels)

Sources and Links


Sunday, May 26, 2019

1964 Topps Jumbo Index

This is an Index for our posting covering the 1964 Topps Jumbo Set

1964 Topps Jumbo #14 Tony Gonzalez

#7 Whitey Ford (Wins 10th World Series Game)
#9 Rocky Colavito (4 Home Run Game 1959 06 10)

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Friday, March 8, 2019

ANNIVERSARY: A Decade Ago the Netherlands WBC Triumph

Sunday March 10th marks the 10th anniversary of the night the Netherlands pulled off one of the biggest upsets in international baseball history. The game was celebrated on an Allen & Ginter's cabinet card.


2009 Allen & Ginter's Box Topper / Cabinet #CB1 Team Netherlands

I challenge you to find the major leaguers in the Netherlands lineup.


Yet this line up beat a Dominican team with a roster that included Robinson Cano, Jose Bautista, Jose Reyes, Moises Alou, Hanley Ramirez, Migquel Tejada, Nelson Cruz and was led by David Ortiz. The lead pitchers for the game were Ubaldo Jimenez and Pedro Martinez. 


However the Netherland no-name pitching staff matched Jimenez for the entire game which was scoreless through 10. The Dominicans took a 1-0 lead in the 11th when Jose Reyes scored on an Netherlands error by Greg Kingsale. Kingsale then redeemed himself in the bottom of the inning by with a game tying single. He then came around to score on a Yurendell de Caster grounder that was misplayed by Dominican first baseman Willy Aybar. Note that Kingsale and de Caster are the two players named on the A&G cabinet card. 


Crazy Game and Team Phungo was there. This was right after the Phillies won the World Series and was definitely near a high point in my baseball fandom. I loved going to the WBC has both a baseball vacation and a spring break vaca in beautiful pre-Hurricane Puerto Rico.     

The ticket above is actually from the previous game between Puerto Rico and the Dominican - notice above where it says "General Admission" you can see the date 9 de marzo de 2009 or 9th of March 2009. I have the 3/10 tix somewhere but due to laziness, I didn't bother trying to find it for this posting. The signature on the tix is Sidney Ponson.

To read a 2009 column on my WBC experience click here.

Sloppy Topps
Unfortunately there is a minor timing infraction on Topps part with the photo used on this card. Netherlands upset the Dominican twice in the WBC and I believe the image here is from the first of the two games. The Netherlands wore white unis the night they clinched. The dark jerseys were worn for the first meeting.

I don't think that either of the players the card honors, de Caster or Kingsale is prominent in the picture.  Longtime Detroit Tiger Randall Simon is the happy guy wearing #35.

Greg Halman
In the not fun fact column we have Greg Halman who is prominently featured on the above cabinet card. Halman was stabbed to death by his brother Jason in 2011. The brother was acquitted due to  being in a state of psychosis when the stabbing occurred.

10 Years Later
Couple of fun facts beyond the historic nature of this game. Big Papi played in the field despite the WBC using a DH. Turns out the Dominican team roster had THREE shortstops Reyes, Ramirez, and Tejada. The only way to get them all in the lineup was to use one to DH (Hanley) and one at 3rd Base (Tejada). So yeah here you have the rare game where Hanley Ramirez is the DH while David Ortiz played first base. Also notice that the game ending error was made by Papi's defensive replacement Willy Aybar.

My second fun box score note is related to the Netherlands catcher - go ahead check the box above. Yes it is that Kenley Jansen, the LA Dodgers closer before he was converted to pitcher.

2009 A&G Cabinets
There are 5 cards in the 2009 A&G Cabinets set. Among the prominent players represented on the boxtoppers are Ichiro, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Brian Roberts and David Wright.

Sources and Links
Phungo Game Dated Cards
CBS Sports
Baseball-ref/BR Bullpen


a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions