Hello to all the readers of Phungo! This is Dave from Fielder's Choice Baseball Card Blog. I'm writing on Phungo today as a result of a bet that I made on the outcome of the World Series. Phungo will also be receiving some hobby packs from me.
I want to start by congratulating the Phillies for winning the World Series. Like I said on my blog, they are incredibly deserving champions. Not only are they a relatively likable team with an extremely passionate (to put it mildly) fan base, but they have had to endure more losing than any other team in baseball history. As a Rays fan, I know how frustrating it can be to support a team that doesn't win, so I have a lot of respect for Phillies fans. Despite being around since 1883, they didn't win their first World Series until 1980. They had developed a winning team in the 1970s that was built around a superstar, Michael Jack Schmidt.
The terms of our bet would be that the loser would write a post on the winner's blog about a player or a card from the other team. When I think about the Phillies, the first person who jumps into my mind is Mike Schmidt. He's not only the best Phillie of all-time, but he really deserves to be considered one of the best players in baseball history. At the very least, he is undoubtedly the greatest third baseman who ever lived.
Schmidt amassed 548 home runs in his career. After the recent steroid era, it seems like there's a new member of the 500 home run club every other week, but consider that there are only two other players from Schmidt's era who hit 500 home runs - Reggie Jackson and Eddie Murray. No other third baseman in history hit more home runs or had more RBI than Schmidt (and no, A-Rod doesn't count since he was a shortstop for most of his career). His 10 Gold Gloves are proof that he could dominate all facets of the game. He also was a 12-time All Star, 3-time N.L. MVP, and most importantly, MVP of the 1980 World Series.
Simply put, Mike Schmidt was the best player in Phillies history and he continues to be the face of franchise. It's fitting that his statue now greets fans as they enter Citizens Bank Park. I took this picture when I was there in June:
Given Mike Schmidt's iconic status in baseball, it's no surprise that his 1973 Topps rookie card is the most valuable rookie card of the 1970s. When I graduated from college and started making more money than I had ever made before in my life, I decided to buy a bunch of PSA graded cards from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. This PSA 8 Schmidt rookie remains a cornerstone of my collection and I'm pretty sure that it's the most valuable card that I own: