Saturday, January 31, 2009

Spot The Sig! - 5th Inning

This weeks early Spot the Sig! entry should prove a little tougher than last weeks and is good for a Triple.

And I decided to move up the STS! this week because there is apparently some football game going on tomorrow, and I didn't want to interfere with anyone's game or party plans.

It also gives me an opportunity to ask this Bonus Question. What will the final score for the Superbowl be? A walk or Stolen Base goes to whoever picks closest to the Cardinals Score and the Steelers Score. So I will award two bonuses, 1 each for Cards and Steelers - Simply specify your guess as something like Cardinals 47 Steelers 3.

And a second bonus question is What songs will Bruce Springsteen perform during the SuperBowl Halftime show? Each team can pick 5 Bruce Songs. Whoever gets the most songs wins a bonus of a single.

So yes we have a lot of bases on the table this week a triple for the auto, SBs for the two SuperBowl scores, and a Single for the Springsteen Bonus. I will close bonus Question guesses at 3pm on Sunday (Eastern).

The current STS! standings going into the fifth inning:

PTBNL - repsresentin those Fightin Phillies - 6 Runs - Men on 1st and 3rd.
Night Owl - Dodgers - 1 Run in men on 2nd and 3rd
Stats on the Back - Mets - 1 Run in - Man on 3rd
Cardboard Junkie - Braves - 1 Run in - Men on 2nd and 3rd
Card Buzz - Angels - Man on Second.
Cardboard Addiction - Bosox - Man on First
A Cardboard Problem - Yankees - man on first.
Covered in Wrappers - Cardinals - On Deck
Nachos Grande - Reds - On Deck

For further information regarding the Phungo Spot the Sig! contest click here and join the party - you just may find yourself with a stack of cards come spring training!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Phungo Cards - Matt Stairs

2009 Phungo # 12 Matt Stairs

One of the things I got to do with Phungo Cards was create cards for players that had none or few. As far as I know the only Phillies Matt Stairs cards is in Heritage High Numbers and I believe it is a stinkin short print.

Stairs was an August waiver trade acquisition who didn't do much during the season, but he had a huge hit to give the Phils the lead in game 4 of the NLCS versus the Dodgers. I am not sure if I have ever seen a ball hit harder then the one that Stairs nailed that night.

The Phillies still have Matt Stairs on their roster, however, they are sort of overloaded with left-handers on the bench. I doubt it is best for the Phils to go into 2009 with both Stairs and Geoff Jenkins on their bench, but they still have a few months to sort that out.

I chose Stairs Uniform number of 12 for this card. The photo was taken during BP prior to part B of game 5 of the World Series. I thought for sure that Stairs would be called upon to pinch hit at some point during those last three innings but he never was.


Team Phungo is on vacation this weekend. I do have a Spot the Sig! post scheduled for Saturday Night. Hopefully that gets published correctly.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hall of Fame Thursday - Chuck Bednarik

2008 UD Masterpieces #14 Chuck Bednarik

For Hall of Fame Thursday in recognition of the upcoming Superbowl we are having a football post today. Chuck Bednarik was drafted first overall in the NFL draft of 1949 by the Philadelphia Eagles with whom he spent his entire career. He was the last two way player in the NFL (center and Linebacker) and was a member of the Philadelphia Eagles last two Championship teams (1949 and 1960). He was known as a fierce tackler and is best known for the tackle of Frank Gifford on the above UD Masterpieces card. That is about as nice a card as you will see, and it is one of the reasons I will miss Masterpieces.

Bednarik was originally from the Allentown area near Philadelphia, attended the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and still resides in the nearby Lehigh Valley. There have been riffs between Bednarik and the Eagles, but Bednarik is still good about getting out to the community and autograph signings. He also does TTM signings.

Chuck Bednarik was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Live Concert - Jim's Big Ego @ Milkboy Coffee, Ardmore PA

We take a break from your regularly scheduled baseball card posting to bring a team Phungo concert review.

Jim's Big Ego @ Milkboy Coffee - Ardmore PA 2009-01-24

This past Saturday January 24th Jim Infantino and his band "Jim's Big Ego" back to the Philadelphia Suburbs to play a near capacity show at Ardmore's Milkboy Coffee.

JBE is an entertaining and sharply funny band based out of Boston. They have a unique style that I can only describe as having a geek-rock appeal that is somewhat similar to "They Might Be Giants".

Infantino led the three piece band (guitar, upright bass, drum/percussion) through an hour plus set of mostly new material from the latest JBE release "free*". Highlights included "sleepwalker", "i (don't know how to) party", and JBE favorite "She's Dead" as well as a recently penned song about troubled Illinois Senator Rod Blagojevich - Mostly I think Jim wrote the song only because he envies the senators hair.

Jim Infantino @ Milkboy Coffee - Ardmore PA 200-01-24

I spoke to Jim briefly after the show and he said that he felt that JBE should be out touring more in the near future and that Milkboy was a good place for them to play in the Philadelphia area. He was also good enough to sign a copy of the new JBE CD for me. The band had Free* (real price $15) for sale on both CD and Vinyl as well as two of their prior CDs and T-shirts.

The Milkboy staff was courteous and efficient as usual. They dealt with the large crowd quite well.

And a note that may interest my baseball audience, Jim Infantino has sung the National Anthem at Fenway Park, and I presume is a Red Sox fan. There used to be Anthem photos on the JBE website but they appear to no longer be present.

While we are on the Subject of the Red Sox, if you have not voted in the Jim Rice HOF poll please do. If you want more background on Rice check out my posting from last week, and you will get a hint as to how I voted.

Jim's Big Ego @ Milkboy Coffee - Ardmore PA 2009-01-24

If you have seen Jim's Big Ego, I am sure you know during which song the above picture was taken.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

STS 4th Inning Recap - Milton Bradley and Mr Hockey Gordie Howe

How many times do you think you will see these two guys in the same post?

Well there is a method to my madness - Sunday was Hockey day for STS! In celebration of the NHL All-Star game being played in Montreal (The East won in a shootout - Alex Ovenchkin hit the clincher) we selected a Montreal Expos auto and a Mr Hockey card for this weeks Spot The Sig! subjects.

Despite all of his antics and issues on and off the field I remain a fan of Milton Bradley. I like his funny name and the fact that way back in 1999 down by 3 runs in the deciding game of the Eastern League championship he hit a walk off grand slam for the Harrisburg Senators. At any level that is pretty exciting. Bradley is an offensive force who will be playing for the Chicago Cubs this year. If he can stay on the field and he should add even more pop to a quality lineup that already includes Derek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, and Geovany Soto. It will be interesting to see how Bradley performs under the scrutiny of Cubs media and fans - Chicago may not be New York, Boston, or Philadelphia but it ain't Montreal, San Diego, Oakland or Arlington either.

2000 Fleer Impact Autographics Milton Bradley

This auto is from the 2000 Fleer Autographics set. It's a good looking auto from early in Bradley's Career, although it appears his signature has devolved somewhat over the years. Milton Bradley Autos are running from $ 6-8 on ebay. I would think that they will increase in value as Bradley gains more visibility in Chicago. I got this one of eBay for $4.50.

The other card featured in the STS! is from the 2008 Goudey Hit Parade of Champions insert set. These are about as small a card as you will see on today's card market. I have been trying to mix up the bonus Q between baseball trivia, miscellaneous Phungo Phacts, and Cards past and present. I hope that has been an interesting formula for everyone. This week was a gift for anybody that knows a little hockey and was familiar with recent card issues. Hit Parade of Champions is a 30 card set made up of stars the four major sports past and present. The checklist includes Nolan Ryan, Yogi Berra, Cal Ripken, Lebron, Kobe, Gretky, Lemiuz, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and many others.

2008 Upper Deck Hit Parade of Champions #HPC-10 Mr Hockey Gordie Howe

This card doesn't identify Gordie Howe by name on the back. With some dismay I must recall that a card blogger who did an early 08 goudey box break commented "Somebody only identified as Mr Hockey" when talking about the card. Howe is known as Mr Hockey for a reason, He was a member of four Stanley Cup champions, He won six league MVP awards (Hart Memorial Trophy) and six NHL scoring titles. His NHL career spanned Five, FIVE, different decades and he played a single game for the IHL Detroit Vipers in a 6th. There is an official Gordie Howe website where you can pick up autographed items as cheap $25 plus shipping (looks llike another $5). The site is actually dedicated to Mr and Mrs Hockey and mentions Gordie's wife Colleen several times.


He's back! PTBNL was the early in this week, and I suspect he Id'D the auto directly off the shot. Too easy this week. We will be back with something more challenging next weekend. With that PTBNL ra
cks up yet another run. Cardboard Junkie got the bonus and now has a couple of runners in scoring position.

The current STS! standings after four innings:

PTBNL - repsresentin those Fightin Phillies - 6 Runs - Men on 1st and 3rd.
Night Owl - Dodgers - 1 Run in men on 2nd and 3rd
Stats on the Back - Mets - 1 Run in - Man on 3rd
Cardboard Junkie - Braves - 1 Run in - Men on 2nd and 3rd
Card Buzz - Angels - Chone Figgins on 2nd.
Cardboard Addiction - Bosox - Man on First
A Cardboard Problem - Yankees - Johnny Damon on first.
Covered in Wrappers - Cardinals - On Deck
Nachos Grande - Reds - On Deck

For further information regarding the Phungo Spot th
e Sig! contest click here and join the party - you just may find yourself with a stack of cards come spring training!
Also Very Important Information - Next Week's Spot the Sig! will be posted on SATURDAY January 31st.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy New Years - Chinese Style - Year of the Ox - Yogi, Marichal, Schmidt, Donnie Baseball, the Caveman and Joba

January 26th 2009 marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year. This year is the year of the Ox. To help celebrate the New Year I dined on some Chicken Shu Mai this evening, and I also put together this Chinese New Year Post.

The Chinese Zodiac is based off of a lunar calendar and is marked by Years rather than months. I am sure you have seen this on a place mat in a Chinese restaurant at some point in your life. 2009 is the year of the Ox, as is every 12th year going backwards and forwards. The most recent celebrations of Year of the Ox have been in 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, and 1997.

Here are some Major League Baseball Oxen.

1959 Topps #180 Yogi Berra - Born 1925
1973 Topps #480 Juan Marichal - Born 1937

1987 Topps Kmart #31 Mike Schmidt - Born 1949
1989 Fleer #258 Don Mattingly - Born 1961

2005 Leaf Century Collection #58 Johnny Damon - Born 1973
2008 Topps Foil #596 Joba Chamberlain - Born 1985

There you have a superstar Year of the Ox group of players. According to Dinged Corners "the Ox is patient, tireless in his work, and capable of enduring any amount of hardship without complaint." So what do you think, do these players demonstrate the qualities of the Ox?


Also, If you haven't done so already please take the time to vote in the Phungo Jim Rice poll.

Sources and Links
Johnny Damon Index

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Spot The Sig! - 4th Inning

I think this is quite a bit easier than last weeks auto and it is good for a single all runners advance two bases.

For the bonus. Who is the person on the card below and what is the card number. I think this is also pretty easy so it is only good for a stolen base or walk.

Also Very Important Information - Next Week's Spot the Sig! will be posted on SATURDAY January 31st.

The current STS! standings going into the fourth inning:

- repsresentin those Fightin Phillies - 5 Runs - Men on 1st and 3rd.
Night Owl - Dodgers - 1 Run in men on 2nd and 3rd
Stats on the Back - Mets - 1 Run in - Man on 3rd
Cardboard Junkie - Braves - 1 Run in - Men on First and 2nd
Card Buzz - Angels - Man on 2nd.
Cardboard Addiction - Bosox - Man on First
A Cardboard Problem - Yankees - Man on first.
Covered in Wrappers - Cardinals - On Deck
Nachos Grande - Reds - On Deck

For further information regarding the Phungo Spot the Sig! contest click here and join the party - you just may find yourself with a stack of cards come
spring training!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Thorzul $5 Group Break - Chase Utley

2006 Topps WalMart WM17 Chase Utley

Thorzul Will Rule recently held his own Group Break. Thorzul is very creative and ran a totally different spin on the group break. Instead of getting a High End product and having everyone put in $20 or $30 for a chance at a couple of Autos, he went the direct opposite route. He went low-end very low-end. Thorzul busted open about a bushel of cards from various repacked products. For Five count-em just five bucks you got into the group break and received all the cards from a specific team.

Naturally I picked the Phillies and I got 29 of em.

The Utley WalMart card above was the Highlight of the set for me. I love the Heritage sets, in 2006 Topps put together a WalMart only insert set of superstars on different Topps designs from the past. This was basically the predecessor to 2008's Trading Card History, I suppose. One interesting difference between the 06 WM cards and the 07s and TCH is that the 06 versions come with stats on the back.

One of the other highlights was an 06 Turkey Red Utley Insert which Thorzul featured. Thorzul is correct btw, For about a month after the World Series nothing bothered me - but the High does wear off. I have tried not to get to involved in worrying about Hot Stove topics etc, but slowly I have returned to my crumundingly normal self - still if I ever get down, I always can think of the World Series and it helps.

The remainder of the lot consisted of a nice mix of Phils past (Bedrosian), Present (Victorino), Retro (Ashburn), Gems (Daulton) and Duds (Freddy Garcia). Out of the 29, 20 to 25 were new to the Phungo Collection and well worth the price of admission.

Thanks to Thorzul for dreaming this up and going through all the work of sorting packing shipping etc. I hope he runs one of these again in the future.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hall of Fame Thursday - Jim Rice - Poll Question

1975 Topps #616 Rookie Outfielders Jim Rice and others

Is Jim Rice a Hall of Famer? Register your opinion on the poll at the right. Also comment here if desired.

Jim Rice was selected as the other member of the 2009 Baseball Hall of Fame class. While last weeks HOF Thursday featured player, Rickey Henderson, basically couldn't be argued against (unless you're one of the 29 writers who didn't select him as a first ballot Hall of Famer) This weeks player, Jim Rice, is more debatable. The Baseball Press has debated Rice's credentials for years now, as have baseball card bloggers. Sore For, Some Against.

I am curious as to what other bloggers think.
You may have noticed that today I have added the first Phungo Poll Question. Simply put, I would like to know if you think Jim Rice is a Hall of Famer or not. Of course this is very unscientific. If you love Jim Rice and want to vote 30 times, that will skew the results. If you think this is a travesty you may vote against Rice 30 times. Personally, I would prefer that you vote only once and use all those extra clicks to scroll through all the fine articles we have for you to read here at Phungo.

I honestly can't recall much of Rice's career. I perhaps saw him in a few games on CBS game of the week as a kid. I knew Rice was a helluva a power hitter and I grouped him in with George Foster. Power hitting outfielder on a good team. Beyond that I would have to look at the stats. For that I will turn to Baseball-Reference.

Jim Rice spent all 16 years of his Major League career with the Boston Red Sox. He played from 1974 through 1989 and was a member of the ill-fated 1986 World Series team that lost to the Mets. During his career he amassed 2452 Hits, 382 of which were Homers (ranks 55th all time), and 1451 RBI (56th). He was an eight time all-star, won and MVP (1978) and finished in the top 5 six times. Rice was primarily a left fielder and designated hitter, who won two silver slugger awards and finished 2nd to fellow Red Sox outfielder Fred Lynn for the Rookie of the Year award in 1975 (Lynn also won the MVP award in 75)

All very good numbers a few more hits, 20 more Homers and a World Championship would all make a big difference. Now lets take a deeper look inside the Baseball-Reference toybox.

Below the players leaderboard there are a series of items regarding a players Hall of Fame credentials. There are four basic categories Blank Ink (Leading League in certain Statistical categories), Grey Ink (among the top 10 in the same statistical categories), HOF Standards and HOF Monitor - these latter two categories have various points awarded based on many statistical criteria. For the Standards 50 is the average Hall of Famer, with 100 being the basic maximum (Babe Ruth is #1 with a 78). For the Monitor 100 is the meter for a likely HOF member and 130+ is considred a lock.

How does Jim Rice stack up.

Black Ink
- 33, (ranks 49th all time) the average HOF member is a 27, Babe Ruth 161 (1st) , A-Rod 68 (13th), Wade Boggs 37 (39th), Joe DiMaggio 34 (46th), Griffey Jr 26 (72nd)

Grey Ink - 176, (57th) average HOF 144. Hank Aaron 408 (2nd), Frank Thomas 200 (40th) Reggie Jackson 175 (58th), Junior 162 (69th)

HOF Standards
- 43 (108th) - average HOF 50, Babe Ruth 78 (1st) , Jeff Kent, Vlad, Helton 50 (72nd), Wille Stargell 43 (108th)

HOF Monitor
- 144.5 (89th) - likely HOF 100, lock HOF 130+ Stan Musial 454 (1st), Piazza 205 (39th), Chipper 162 (68th), Brooks Robinson 137 (93rd), Robin Yount 132 (102nd)
Rice is above the HOF average in three of the four categories and just a tick below in the HOF standards category. He is well up on the HOF Monitor list. The only player above him that is eligible for the Hall of Fame, that is not a member is Mark McGwire (169, 62nd). Below him you have to go all the way down to the 98th position and Don Mattingly (133).

One other item B-R gives us is Similar Batters. Rice's Top Ten includes four Hall of Famers (Orlando Cepeda, Duke Snider, Billy Williams, Willie Stargell). The six non-HOFs are not nearly as formidible, although one could make a case for Dave Parker who is never discussed as a Hall of Fame player.

Finally off the field Rice was certainly never considered a reporters best friend. This probably worked against Rice during the voting process. The irony is that now Rice has found himself as a member of the Media as a Red Sox analyst on NESN. Rice is also known for an incident in 1982, when his quick thinking actions may have saved the life a child struck by a foul ball at Fenway Park.

Given the totals present above, I consider Rice a Hall of Famer. I am curious to the opinions of Phungo readers. I will leave the poll open till next week and we will check the results.

The 1975 Card above is the Jim Rice rookie card. Now that Rice has made it into the Hall, it is likely one of the earliest rookie cards in the Phungo collection. It's off-center and has really soft corners, but you know what, it survived the transfer from my early collection to my current collection and that sure makes it special.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Swag from 30 Year Old Cardboard - Charlie Hayes

1990 Donruss #548 Charlie Hayes

The fine folks over at 30-Year Old Cardboard had the good fortune to win a whole bunch wax packs in a contest run by Autographed Cards

And even better, Brian the fearless leader over at 30-year Old Cardboard was good enough to contact me and let me in on some of his bounty. He sent over about two dozen cards including the Charlie Hayes card above.

First off let me note that 30-Year Old Cardboard has been a long standing member of the Phungo BlogBlogBlog roll. Brian is a Cubs fan with an affection for the vintage cards of their stars from the past. He is also very involved in TTM collecting and is currently involved in a nice series on great rookie cards from the 70s. Definitely check in with 30-YOC whenever you get the chance.


Charlie Hayes was one of my favorite players from some of the dreadful early and mid 1990s Phils teams. He was a line drive hitter with a real solid glove at 3rd base. Though he would probably be classified as a journeyman, Hayes was good enough to stick around 14 years with seven different teams.

I remember Charlie Hayes for two specific fielding plays. One was catching the final out of Terry Mulholland's no hitter in 199o. The other is for catching the final out of the 1996 World Series for the Yankees over the Braves - I was very happy for Hayes and the Yankees at the time...I suppose I didn't realize that moment was the beginning of the latest Yankees Dynasty.

In addition to playing in the MLB World Series, Hayes is one of the few Major Leaguers to also have played in the Little League World Series. Hayes was also the first choice of the Colorado Rockies in the 1993 expansion draft.

Currently Charlie Hayes is passing on his baseball expertise as an instructor at the Big League Baseball Academy in Tomball, Texas near Houston. Another former Phillie Mike Jackson also teaches at the Academy.

Charlie's son Tyree is a pitcher in the lower levels of the Tampa Bay Rays minor league system. A year ago he did not rank among the Rays top 30 prospects but he appears to have improved in 2008.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Spot The Sig Profile - Jason Schmidt

2007 Topps Trading Places #TPA-JS Jason Schmidt

I am sure this card makes many a Dodger fan cringe. Schmidt is going into the final year of a three year 47 Million dollar deal with the Dodgers. So far the Dodgers have gotten 26 innings and 1 victory out of Schmidt. This is all very unfortunate for Schmidt and the Dodgers. Prior to the signing, Schmidt had been a very steady pitcher averaging 200 innings from 2001 thru 2006.

We have a new player in Spot the Sig! this week. Phungo would like to welcome Laurens of Card Buzz as he joins us with a Chone Figgins lead off double. It appears that Laurens hails from southern California, and perhaps he is familiar with Jason Schmidt from his big 30 innings with the Dodgers.

The Jason Schmidt auto is pretty sloppy, but once you know it you can make out the Schmidt portion. Perhaps I should have gone triple here, but I left a small portion of the red and blue from the Trading Places template. I figured this might be a hint to any collector who remembered this set from 07.

It isn't very surprising that the Jason Schmidt Autos running on ebay are getting no bids. I think I may have gotten this card with a lot of autograph cards that averaged about $3 each.

I picked the Trading Places card this week because we as a nation are basically trading Presidents. See, I actually do put some thoughts into this some weeks. Regardless of your persomal politics, I believe that one would have to consider this years inauguration of definite historic siginficance.


PTBNL and Sooz were both able to pick up the bonus - Although......perhaps I should penalize PTBNL for not following instructions....I will forgive it - PTBNL puts runners on the corners and Sooz gets her first baserunner.

The current STS! standings after three innings:

PTBNL - repsresentin those Fightin Phillies - 5 Runs - Men on 1st and 3rd.
Night Owl - Dodgers - 1 Run in men on 2nd and 3rd
Stats on the Back - Mets - 1 Run in - Man on 3rd
Cardboard Junkie - Braves - 1 Run in - Men on First and 2nd
Card Buzz - Angels - Chone Figgins on 2nd.
Cardboard Addiction - Bosox - Man on First
A Cardboard Problem - Yankees - Johnny Damon on first.
Covered in Wrappers - Cardinals - On Deck
Nachos Grande - Reds - On Deck

One last quick note on Card Buzz, Laurens has a post on Arizona Cardinals Wide Out Larry Fitzgerald. Unless you live in Arizona, play fantasy football or watched the Eagles debacle this past weekend you may not know much about Fitzgerald.

I have been following him since his days at Pitt, and I think Larry Fitzgerald could very well be the best reciever in football for the next 10 years. Card Buzz makes a similar lofty comparison. I don't think the Cards have a chance against the Steelers but if they hang in there, I am sure Fitzgerald will be one of the reasons.

For further information regarding the Phungo Spot the Sig! contest click here and join the party - you just may find yourself with a stack of cards come spring training!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Phungo Cards - Spike Lee

2009 Phungo #42 Spike Lee

For today's Phungo Card I am giving a nod to Allen & Ginter and have gone outside of the realm of baseball.

Today's subject is Spike Lee. Lee has made a couple of dozen movies and offtentimes his pictures ("Malcolm X", "Get on the Bus", "Do the Right Thing") have to do with social and political issues including race relations. Today as we remember the life of Martin Luther King and his efforts to encourage equality for all, Phungo marks the occasion with the Spike Lee Phungo Card.

The photo was taken at the 2008 All-Star Sunday celebrity softball game at Yankee Stadium. This is the same game mentioned in the Rollie Fingers post earliar. Other celebrities that were involved in the game included Billy Crystal, one of the othre Baldwin's, Whoopi Goldberg, Bobby Flay, a couple of ESPN broadcasters and several other folks. Most of us know Lee as a Hoop junkie from his appearances courtside with the Knicks, but he is also a big baseball fan and often inserts baseball references into his films.

I gave Lee card number 42 as a reference to Jackie Robinson's uniform number. In the spot on the card which is typically reserved for the team name I have noted Spike Lee as a Director.

For more information on Phungo Cards click here.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Spot The Sig!- 3rd Inning

It's time for this weeks Spot the Sig! We are up to the 3rd inning, and here is the Auto:

Yeah this weeks slop is a Double - All runners score.

And for the bonus we are turning back the clock with a straight trivia question. We are going back to 1993.

To get the bonus name any one of the top Three pitchers in either league for Number of Pitches Thown during the season.

Each team is only allowed one guess, and only the first person to guess each player will get the bonus.

I did some quick searches and didn't find this nugget out on the net - so either take a guess, or start looking through those old stat manuals. If you get any one of the six pitchers in this group you will get a single all runners advance a base.

The current STS! standings going into the 3rd inning:

- repsresentin those Fightin Phillies - 5 Runs - Man on 2nd.
Night Owl - Dodgers - 1 Run in men on 2nd and 3rd
Stats on the Back - Mets - 1 Run in - Man on 3rd
Cardboard Junkie - Braves - 1 Run in - Men on First and 2nd
Cardboard Addiction - Bosox - Man on First
A Cardboard Problem - Yankees - On Deck
Covered in Wrappers - Cardinals - On Deck
Nachos Grande - Reds - On Deck

For further information regarding the Phungo Spot the Sig! contest click here and join the party - you just may find yourself with a stack of cards come
spring training!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Phungo Cards - Inserts! - Cole Hamels and Craig Biggio

Today Cole Hamels signed a 3 year 20.5 M dollar contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. I don't think that Hamels would have been FA eligible before 2011, but this contract will save the Phillies and Hamels the hassle of going through arbitration this winter plus the following two. The contract is a annual rate record for a pitcher of Hamels tenure.

This also give me an opportunity to post a Phungo Card of Cole. If you have been following Phungo since the beginning of the month you know that we have been involved in creating a 64 card set of home made baseball cards.

In addition to the base set, I have followed the example of the big card manufacturers and created an Insert Set. These cards are simply called "Black Framed Inserts". This is the first Black Framed Insert that I have chosen to present.

2009 Phungo Black Frame Insert - Hamels vs Biggio

While I was hoping for a little bit more from a lot of my photos, I have generally been happy with the pictures I have picked for the Black Frame Insert series. Most of the cards are similar to the one above with a photo including both the Pitcher and the Batter. I framed the shots in black for a cleaner classier appearance and used a gray font for the text to give a metallic/silver/chrome look.

The photo was from a game between the Astros and Phillies on Labor day of 2006. This is the game I look back upon as the day that the Phillies had arrived. The Phillies had worn out their new stadium honeymoon with fans, and were dealing with some pretty negative publicity. Fan Favorite Larry Bowa had been fired and the oftentimes befuddled appearing Charlie Manuel had been hired. There was no end to the harsh criticism of Manuel and the Phillies management.

Cole Hamels changed this as much as anyone. On September 4th 2006 He faced Roger Clemens in arguably the best regular season game I have ever seen. The weather, as you can tell from the photo, was perfect. The Pre-Mitchell report Roger Clemens was a Future Hall of Fame pitcher, pitching in the middle of what would be his last good season (He pitched in 2007 but was much less effective). Cole Hamels was in his rookie year making his 19th career start.

Both pitchers were fantastic, Clemens only gave up 1 hit and 1 run over the first 5 innings before being removed due to an injury (hamstring if I recall correctly). Hamels bettered him taking a PERFECT GAME into the 6th inning. But the Clemens injury contributed to the breaking up of the perfecto. Carlton Jimerson made his first career MLB plate appearance pinch hitting for Clemens....Jimerson homered to deep to center.

In the bottom of the inning the Phils retook the lead on a Ryan Howard solo homer. Aubrey Huff countered with a homer for the Astros in the 8th. Hamels would be done for the day after the inning. He gave up only three hits, no walks, with the 2 solos homers accounting for the only runs he Hamels allowed.

The game went to extras when with two outs in the 10th Chase Utley homered off of Dave Borkowski for the win.

The game had everything. A perfect day with 2 incredible pitchers, Clemens and Hamels, at the top of their games. A home run in a players first career appearance (Jimerson) , a go ahead dinger by Ryan Howard, and a Walk-Off homer by Chase Utley.

One final unfortunate note on the Phungo Card. This is the first card that I have found an error on. I took the shot with my old camera, which attached the date that I uploaded the photos to the file rather than the date the picture was actually taken. When I created the card, I propogated the inaccuracy. Still I like the card and I doubt I will have any more errors than Topps.

For more information on Phungo Cards read this post.

Sources and Links
Craig Biggio Hall of Fame Index

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Hall of Fame Thursday - Rickey Henderson and Topps 1983 homage to Topps 1963

1983 Topps #180 Rickey Henderson
1963 Topps #434 Johnny Callison

No, I am not drawing a comparison between recent Hall of Fame inductee Rickey Henderson and Johnny Callison. There is little linking Henderson and Callison other than in the years that each of these cards were produced both players were 24 years old.

I really wanted to take this opportunity to present an 83 Topps card paired with a 1963 card. As you can tell the cards are definitely siblings. With the Round mini-photo at the bottom right side of the card and player team and postion on the bottom left. It is a good design - I prefer the framing on the small photo in the 1983 design. The 1963 mini photo sort of ends abrubtly - sort of has a clip art feel to it. Regardless it is a worthy older brother of the 1983 topps.

Henderson is an easy choice this week. Yes I am sort of mailing this one in. I don't know if I need to run much of a profile on Henderson, there are plenty of other sources for that this week. I will note that I was a Lou Brock fan when I was a kid so I didn't much care for Henderson showboating when he broke Brock's stolen base record. Other than that it doesn't bother me if Henderson or anybody ever gets in with 100% of the HOF vote. It is something for everyone to talk about, and makes for interesting arguments. My opinion comes down to if Babe Ruth wasn't unanimous, it certainly should not bother anybody else to not be unanimous.

Some pieces of personal trivia from the Phungo annals and Baseball-Reference. I can now add Henderson to the list of Hall of Famers that I have seen play. And he is one of only two Hall of Fame players I have seen play in a World Series game (Paul Molitor). Henderson stole 1406 bases, I was present for stolen base number 1336. I don't really remember that game other than thinking at the time, the guy is still a threat to get on base and steal bases even if he can't hit the Mendoza line. He was also a bit of a liability in left field by then. Had no arm left by that point in his career as I remember.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Spot The Sig! - 2nd Inning Wrap Up - Alex Rios - Robin Roberts

Night Owl Cards took this weeks Spot the Sig! NOC has been very active with the bonus questions and has even managed to score a run via the bonuses. This week he was the first one in to spot Alex Rios.

I pulled this from the first pack of Allen & Ginter I picked up this past year. This Rios Auto as well as other low-end Rios Auto's sell for about $6-8 on ebay. There are a variety of other dual autos featuring Rios that go for a few dollars more. That is probably about where the price point should be. Rios looks to be an above average hitter ready to hit his prime. Playing in Toronto probably holds down his value in the card market.

Night Owl earned a Russell Martin Double for getting the STS! this week. With that he also pushes a runner to third setting up a couple of runners in scoring position and a possible big inning.


The second order of business is to straighten out the Bonus Question. This is my quest to get at least one Phils card out of a via ripping open a pack - This has not happened at Phungo Head Quarters in 19 Packs. 19 Frigging Packs. This is pack number 20. Is it the streak buster??. The pack we are ripping open a pack of 2005 UD MVP cards - 6 Cards - This pack came out of a Fairfield Repack, and I really don' t know that much about what they look like. The only person to pick this pack is DayF. Here goes. RIIIPPP!!!

#59 Nomar - Close - He's not a Phil yet and not a Phil on this card - He is a Cub though - 2005 likely one of his first Cub
s cards.
#49 Jose Vidro - likely one of his first cards as a Nat
#28 Garret Anderson - Underrated here on the east coast. couple of good years this guy might be in HOF conversations
#15 Delgado - Another guy that may get himself into the HOF discussion someday
#47 Johnny Damon - A Phungo Favorite
And I don't believe it!!!!.....

BU-34 Robin Roberts Philadelphia Phillies.

I finally get a Phils Card!!! Whoohoo!! - and Congrats to DayF on getting the bonus. but even more amazingly he picked the exact card. Check his comment here. I will refrain from awarding a double bonus for that but let me just say the man knows his cards. The bonus is improved this week however so Dayf gets a single and advances a runner to 2nd.

So lets summarize.

The current STS! standings after 2 innings.

- repsresentin those Fightin Phillies - 5 Runs - Man on 2nd.
Night Owl - Dodgers - 1 Run in men on 2nd and 3rd
Stats on the Back - Mets - 1 Run in - Man on 3rd
Cardboard Junkie - Braves - 1 Run in - Men on First and 2nd
Cardboard Addiction - Bosox - Man on First
A Cardboard Problem - Yankees - On Deck
Covered in Wrappers - Cardinals - On Deck
Nachos Grande - Reds - On Deck

I must also mention that we welcome the Cincinnati Reds Representative Nachos Grande to the game. You are on Deck - best of luck. I encourage folks to keep participating, I don't think PTBNL is out of reach yet.

For further information regarding the Phungo Spot the Sig! contest click here and join the party - you just may find yourself with a stack of cards come
spring training!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Phungo Cards - Mike Mussina

2009 Phungo #20 Mike Mussina

Today the Hall of Fame committee selected Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice as it's class of 2009. Henderson is an obvious choice and is going in on his first ballot, Rice is not as obvious and gets in on his last ballot. I haven't really looked over Rice's numbers, but from what I have read Rice's qualifications are certainly in the neighborhood. The only non-member that I know enough to construct an argument for would be Bert Blyleven and possibly Ron Santo.

What does this all have to do with today's Phungo Card? Well, if he remains retired, in 2014 Mussina will be on his first Hall of Fame ballot. At that time I am pretty sure that I will advocate his induction into the hall. If you want to see some of my arguments for Mussina's Hall of Fame credentials check out the Phungo post from November in reference to his retirement.

As far as the Phungo Card, I have selected a dark blue for the Yankees border color. Mussina gets a hero number of 20 for his card. I did this to represent his 20 Wins in his final season. His uniform number is 35, I will let you ponder who got that number instead over Mussina. You may also notice in the player postion I have added the designation of ACE. I have annoited certain pitchers as Aces if I think they are the top pitchers on their staff. I am sure this can be debated during Mussina's career in New York. He may not have always been their ace but over the last 5 or 6 years he has certainly been one of their steadier pitchers. This picture was taken on May 3rd of this past year. It was a Saturday day game. Mussina pitched well giving up one run over six innings scattering 7 hits, all singles. Good enough for Career win #254.

I hope that Mussina gets one more victory when they announce the selections for Cooperstown five years from now.

If you want to know more about Phungo Cards, read some background here.


There was another reason I selected Mussina today, I wanted to recognize the great young ladies over at A Cardboard Problem for getting into the Heavenly 7. They are of Yankee fandom and put out quality work that is both informative and funny - Best of all they drop by here to comment occasionally and are also active participants in Spot the Sig!

Speaking of Spot the Sig! Night Owl Cards got this weeks STS! and broke PTBNL string of four consecutive STS! victories. I will have more on Alex Rios and the autographed card later this week. Tonight, however I am hoping to do some streak busting of my own. If you were with us last night, you now that Team Phungo is in a Phillies drought. We have opened 18 EIGHTEEN!!! consecutive packs and not drawn one Phillies card. Can you believe that??

This is the first pack, 08 UD Masterpieces. I think at least two of our participants picked Masterpieces and I appreciated it. Here goes. RIP!!!

#36 Miguel Cabrera
#8 Jim Palmer...funny doesn't look like Palmer
#60 Whitey Ford and I think I have this card already.
#39 Roy Oswalt

bummer 19 packs and still no Phils.

Sorry Sooz, Sorry Fan of Reds. No Phils in the Masterpieces Pack. Tomorrow or Wednesday I will have a Post on the 05 UD MVP, which was only picked by DayF.

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions