Monday, September 28, 2009

Mike Schmidt Day at 30-Year Old Cardboard

I just wanted to let Phillies Fans and Phungo Readers know that 30-Year Old Cardboard has put together a great set of posts regarding Mike Schmidt to commemorate his 60th birthday (on Sunday Sept 27th).

Thanks Brian and Happy Birthday to Michael Jack!

2009 04 19 Harry Kalas Memorial at Mike Schmidt Statue (Click to Enlarge)

*Harry Kalas called every one of Mike Schmidt's 548 career Home Runs.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Making a Case for Documentary

2008 UD Documentary 2305/PHI75 Pat Burrell 2008 06 20 Angels 7 @ Phillies 1
2008 UD Documetnary 4233/PHI142 Joe Blanton 2008 09 07 Phillies 6 @ Mets 2

Most folks have no use or interest in UD 2008 Documentary product. I can't blame them, it is really an even weaker variation of the Yankee Stadium Legacy set which some bloggers have poked fun at, and some more than once.

Well....I can make a slight argument for Documentary. If you have been reading here for a while, you are probably aware that I have noted a few times in the past that I collect cards of games that I have attended.
Since Documentary identifies specific games it is a product that is somewhat of interest to me - of course that interest only extends to about 40 or so cards of the mammoth set.

During the 08 season I saw 21 Major League games including the playoffs - for each of those games I would like to collect the related UD Documentary cards.
If anyone has any of the documentary cards corresponding to the games below, I would be willing to trade for them. I am interested in BOTH the Phillies and the opponent versions of the cards.
I am particularly interested in the Post-Season Cards which some folks out there may have because they were inserted into other UD 09 Products.

2008 04 02 Nationals 0 @ Phillies 1
2008 04 12 Cubs 4 @ Phillies 3
2008 05 03 Mariners 1 @ Yankees 7 (also looking for YSL card )
2008 06 03 Reds 2 @ Phillies 3
2008 06 20 Angles 7 @ Phillies 1 (PHI Version in Phungo Collection)
2008 07 01 Royals 5 @ Orioles 7
2008 07 06 Mets 4 @ Orioles 2
2008 07 08 Cardinals 2 @ Philllies 0
2008 07 31 Phillies 8 @ Nationals 4
2008 08 06 Malins 0 @ Phillies 5
2008 08 18 Red Sox 6 @ Orioles 3
2008 08 23 Dodgers 2 @ Phillies 9
2008 08 27 Mets 6 @ Phillies 3
2008 09 07 Phillies 6 @ Mets 2 (PHI Version in Phungo Collection)
2008 09 11 Brewers 3 @ Phillies 6
2008 09 23A Rays 5 @ Orioles 2
2008 09 23B Rays 7 @ Orioles 5

Post Season (contained in various 09 UD Products)
2009 10 02 Brewers 2 @ Phillies 5
2009 10 09 Dodgers 2 @ Phillies 3
2009 10 10 Dodgers 5 @ Phillies 8
2009 10 29+ Rays 3 @ Phillies 4

For other Phungo Want Lists please check here.

Ok thanks for your attention, you can now go back to snickering about UD Documentary.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lerew starts for Royals v Red Sox

2004 Bowman #221 Anthony Lerew

I am sure this news will barely blip most places outside of KC, but Anthony Lerew is starting a major league game for the first time in two years tonight. I just wanted to note it here as Lerew is the only player from my high school that has ever played in a major league game.

Lerew was at one time a prospect in the Braves organization, but has been plagued by injuries. Hopefully he can get his career back on track as a Royal.

So in addition to cheering for the Phils tonight, I will also be pulling for the Kansas City Royals.

The Philadelphia Sportscard & Memorabilia Show coming this weekend!!!!!!!

The Philadelphia Sportscard & Memorabilia Show is this weekend in Valley Forge, PA. Team Phungo will be in attendance at some point - likely Sunday. I am sure Sports Card Info will represent and Stale Gum has run features on this show in the past. This past Sunday, the Philadelphia Inquirer contained an ad for the show which had a $1 off adimission coupon.

If you think you will be in the area for the show let team Phungo know and we will try and hook up.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Phungo Cards - Anibal Sanchez

We are coming down to the end of the regular season, and it is getting time to start looking at Magic Numbers. Two years ago the Mets had a seven game lead with 17 to play and was unable to win a pennant, so we know that nothing is given.

2009 Phungo #22 Anibal Sanchez

The Phils and Marlins split a double header yesterday. In the second game of the DH Anibal Sanchez pitched very well holding the Phils lineup to 2 hits and no runs over 8 innings as the Marlins took the game 3-0.

The photo for this card was take on August 6th of 2008 during a game in which the Phils shutout the Marlins and Sanchez 5-0. Sanchez has been injury plagued and inconsistent but yesterday he showed that he still has the stuff that allowed him to pitch a no-hitter in 2006.

Fortunately the Phils scored 9 runs in the first game and Joe Blanton put together another fine start to enable the Phils to reduce their magic number to 5.

Tonight the Phils and Marlins play the final game of the quick 3 game series. Hopefully Cole Hamels will have his good stuff as he faces the Fish and Rick VandenHurk.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Broken News - UD announces Metrodome Legacy

To commemorate the Minnesota Twins 28 years of playing in the much celebrated Hubert H Humphrey Metrodome trading card giant Upper Dreck has announced that it will produce a Metrodome Legacy Set. The set will consist of 2243 cards each representing a specific game in the Twins Storied Metrodome History.

2009 Upper Dreck #69 Denard Span

The card pictured above represents a Twins win on September 13th of their inaugural season in the Metrodome. This card also represents a memorable game where the Twins drew an incredible 2,795 Fans.

Similar to another recent insert set (Yankee Stadium Legacy) the Metrodome Legacy will feature players that didn't play in the game noted on the card. In fact for this set Upper Dreck has gone a step further and placed Denard Span on a card representing a game that was played before he was even born.


I firmly believe that I put no more time into this custom card and post than UD put into the Real YSL Set.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Upper Dreck

I have posted a few Sloppy Topps in the past, today - in the interest of equal time I am posting an Upper Dreck entry.

And, yes, I know poking fun at Yankee Stadium Legacy is like picking on the Mets injury depleted 2009 lineup - but it is still fun.

The two budget packs I picked up at Rite-Aid yesterday were basically uneventful (8 base cards - no Phils) but the YSL was an interesting Yogi Berra card.

2008 UD YSL #1869 Yogi Berra

This is perfectly fine card featuring a Hall of Famer and a game the day of September 2nd 1946.

Since the featured game is from 1946, I can't even check Baseball-Reference to see if Yogi played that day. Of course I could read the Bronx Tales - click the picture to enlarge and read, sorry it may be a bit blurry. Notice anything odd. The card represents a game on September 2nd 1946 however, YOGI BERRA DIDN'T EVEN DEBUT UNTIL SEPTEMBER 22nd!!!

Ugh. Aren't insert sets supposed to be special or something?!?! - Like I said there is not much joy in poking fun at this set. I realize it is a large set and a lot of work to create - still it would of been nice for UD to at least show something on the effort end.

All this being said, I am still chasing the two specific UD YSL cards that represent the two games I saw at Yankee Stadium. The first card I chronicled in this post regarding a botched ebay bid. The other card is for the game played May 3rd 2008, which would be among the 2009 UD inserts.

More Yogi at Phungo HoF Index
1959 Topps #180

Friday, September 18, 2009

Heads up -- Discounted 08 Masterpieces at Rite Aid

I am not sure if this is going on at all Rite-Aids but my local one is selling 08 UD Masterpieces packs at 75% off - thats 74 cents a pack - If there was 15 cards in a pack that would be the same prices as when I was a kid. It looked like they had other card packs on clearance as well but those were all sold out.

Unfortunately, there are only 4 cards in a pack and you can probably find these cards in dime bins so these packs are still likely overpriced, but I figured it would be fun to bust a pack. If anything good comes out of the two packs purchased team Phungo will be sure to let you know.

In other news Tom Verducci over at SI (and of MLB network) has jumped on the All-Decade bandwagon. He has listed the statistical leaders of the Oughts along with his All-Decade team. Earliar this week we at Phungo listed our Phils All-Decade team - Night Owl also posted an All-Aughts Dodgers team.

I am a little disgruntled that Tom mentioned the Cardinals as a potential team of the decade because they have a shot at winning 2 World Champions in the decade (tying the Bosox) - but he excluded a certain favorite team of my own. What about them Phils Tommy??? they have a shot at 2 WFCs too!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Steve Blass Disease

1972 Topps # 320 Steve Blass

This very well may be the highpoint of the Pirates season (perhaps the decade)

Steve Blass was in the news recently for knocking in not one but TWO HOLES-IN-ONE during a Pittsburgh Pirates Alumni Golf outing. Golf Digest estimated the odds of accomplishing the feat as something similar to hitting the Powerball Lottery.

Blass pitched a short time before I really was conscience of baseball, but from what I understand he was pretty impressive for a few years including winning game 7 of the 1971 World Series against the Baltimore Orioles. Blass Outdueled Orioles starter Mike Cuellar for a complete game 2-1 victory. A replay was featured on MLB or ESPN Classic a few months ago - it was quite riveting.

But this all changed in 1973. Steve Blass literally Contracted/Developed/Discovered Steve Blass Disease.

Wikipedia refers to the condition as follows:

"The diagnosis is applied to talented players who inexplicably and permanently seem to lose their ability to accurately throw a baseball"

I am curious as to why this and similar conditions are particular to baseball. We have seen it happen several times recently and notably to Rick Ankiel during the 2000 NL playoffs. Fortunately for Ankiel, he is athletic and talented enough to be able to stay involved in baseball as an outfielder. There have been several other examples - I believe it ended one time Phil Kevin Saucier's career. Mark Wohlers career may have also been derailed by a condition similar to Blass's - Macky Sasser as a catcher for the Mets developed a condition where he could not make the return throw back to the catcher. Chuck Knoblach as a second basemen for the Yankees was unable to consistently make a throw to first base and once famously hit Keith Oblermann's recently passed mother in the stands.

Why does this happen in baseball but not other sports. Maybe there are examples from other sports, but I can't think of them. Or is it just that if it happens in another sport the athlete is simply deemed as ineffective or aging and there career ends?

I was trying to come up with the equivalents for other sports:

- Has a 90%+ foul shooter ever suddenly just lost his ability to get the ball near the basket?
- How about a golf equivalent - I remember seeing John Daly being unable to putt but that was a withdrawal scenario.
- I am not sure that Football and Hockey really have any situations that would lend themselves to examination - perhaps pass catching.
- Perhaps Tennis - Has there been a case of a good player all of sudden having a complete inablity to get a serve in?

Regardless of all this Steve Blass had a pretty decent career and was on the winning side of a World Series thats nothing to complain about, and neither is a pair of Holes in One.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

All Decade Team - The Oughts

2008 Goudey #144 Cole Hamels

We are coming up on the last few weeks of the regular season. This is also the last few weeks of the the oughts decade as far as baseball is concerned. This is a good marker to think about the All-Decade Teams. One could tackle all of major league baseball or the National League or examine a position. I choose to look at the team I am obviously most familiar with, the Philadelphia Phillies.

I thought about this a little bit and It turns out that the Phils All-Decade team is pretty much the team they are fielding now for the most part:

ACE - Cole Hamels - He is in the middle of a mediocre year (fairing better recently), but during the 2008 season and post season Hamels was the Phils Ace and that alone gets him on this list.

C - Mike Lieberthal - This is the first of 4 positions on this list that doesn't come from the current team. Leiby gets a slight not over Carlos Ruiz for both his long tenure in Philadelphia and his All-Star Appearance.
1997 topps #56 Mike Lieberthal

1b - Ryan Howard - Howards the winner here. Jim Thome would be in the conversation, but Howard has been devastating since he's been here.

2b - Chase Utley - No Contest
2002 Topps Heritage Classic Renditions #CR-8 Jimmy Rollins

ss - Jimmy Rollins - He has been pretty much the only Phils Shortstop for the entire decade.

3b - Scott Rolen - This is a tough call, I'm not happy about the way he left and his Diva persona but Rolen was always professional on the field. Pedro Feliz has been steady and does have the WFC on his side. However, Feliz's two seasons at the end of the decade are not quite enough to bump Rolen's 2 1/2 seasons at the beginning when he pounded out two 100 RBI seasons and collected 3 gold gloves, A Silver Slugger, and made an All Star Appearance.

lf - Pat Burrell - He just left so it feels like he's still on the team. Burell manned left for almost the entire decade. He had his issues but never ducked any criticism and came to play everyday. There is no Phillie on the 2008 team that I was happier to see win a World Championship.

cf -
Shane Victorino - Has really distinguished himself this year and performed very well in the 08 playoffs.

2000 Topps #38 Bob Abreu

rf - Bobby Abreu - Narrowly beats out Jayson Werth. Abreu played everyday and brought a lot to the table offensively. I am Glad to see him having success in LA.

rhp - Brett Myers - He's got issues, has takens some lumps, and he has deserved those lumps but he has had some extreme highs also (73 Wins and 21 saves in the decade).

lhp - Randy Wolf - but Cliff Lee could easily step in here if the Phils get into the post season and have any kind of success.

Cl - Brad Lidge - His one perfect season and this below average season are better than any of the string of closers the Phils have had previously including Billy Wagner.

2009 Upper Deck #298 Brad Lidge

SetUp - J C Romero/ Ryan Madson - Both have done well as specialists. Madson has not really been sharp as a closer but if needed I trust that he can grow into the role.

- Matt Stairs - Just for that one hit in the NLCS

MVP of the Decade - Cole Hamels - He has only been here the last few years of the decade but Hamels nearly unprecedented dominance during the playoffs gives him the nod. Apologies to Jimmy Rollins and Pat Burrell who definitely deserve to be in the conversation.

Manager - Charlie Manuel - World Championships are earned, and Charlie Manuel definitely earned Manager of the Decade for the Phils.

There you have it - The Phillies All-Decade team for the Oughts as chosen by Phungo. Hopefully the Phillies go deep in the playoffs this year and there is an addendum to the all-decade team. Maybe Carlos Ruiz has another good postseason and knocks out Mike Lieberthal or perhaps deadline acquisition Cliff Lee squeaks in during the last three months of the decade.....

And Finally, Who would you put on the All-Decade squad for your favorite team?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Geocities Sites on the Move

1956 Topps #180 Robin Roberts

From time to time I will have a Hall of Fame Thursday Post. This week rather than discuss Phils HOF Pitcher Robin Roberts, I am going to use the occasion and this wonderful vintage card to discuss one of my favorite vintage baseball card websites.

The Vintage Baseball Cards Site created and run by Chris S has set up a temporary shop at www.obaks. com. This is due to the demise of Yahoo's geocities. I believe Dayf has mentioned this earlier but the move seems to have taken place much earliar then the anticipated October timeframe. The VBC site is a fantastic resource for informations for baseball cards from early Topps and Bowman sets as well as dozens of other vintage brands (like Goodwin Champions). When I first returned to collecting I browsed the site constantly.

Another site I frequent that was formerly on Geocities that has a new home is the Upcoming Celebrity Book Signings & Events site.

I have set up links to both websites in the Around The Horn section of the Phungo Sidebar.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Seattle Pilots Reunion

1970 Topps #111 Mike Hegan
1969 Topps #17 Mike Marshall

A few weeks back the Seattle Mariners marked the 40th anniversary of the Seattle Pilots sole major league season in the Pacific Northwest by hosting a reunion of the 1969 team. The 69 Seattle Pilots may have only played one season but Jim Bouton's chronicle of the team, "Ball Four", has made them part of Baseball Immortality. Bouton was on MLB network recently and I briefly mentioned the event a few weeks ago.

Oddly the Pilots while only having played one season are actually part of two Topps releases 1969 and 1970. According to Wikipedia the Pilots didn't move to Milwaukee until late in spring training of 1970, thus the 70 Topps Pilots cards.

It has been a few years since I have read "Ball Four" but as I remember Mike Marshall was a pretty prominent character. I think I remember Mike Hegan from the book, but I am not positive, I think he was the guy involved in a shouting match with a fan while boarding the team bus.

By September 8th of 69 Bouton had been traded from Seattle to the Houston Astros. On the 9/8 entry Bouton discusses the hammering of opposing pitcher Mike Corkins in his Major League debut, San Diego Padre Nate Colbert, and the ridiculous price of room service (3.06 for a strawberry sundae - for the wife , and 3 scoops of chocolate for Jim)

Sources and Links
Jim Bouton Index

Monday, September 7, 2009

Phungo Game Report - 2009 09 07 Rangers 4 @ Orioles 5

Saturday was a great day for a game and the Phils were on the road so I ventured down to Camden Yards in Baltimore to catch the Orioles hosting the Rangers.

The O's are fielding what one would think is a pretty forgettable team and are attempting to not suffer a hundred losses. As dreadful as this sounds they are not awful to watch - in fact since there is no one at the stadium, it is a good opportunity to catch some of their young talent which will hopefully help the O's compete in the future.

Three of the O's Baseball America Top 5 Prospects were in action Saturday - Catcher Matt Weiters (#1), Left Fielder Nolan Reimold (5) and 2008 #4 overall pick Brian Matusz got the start.

The Texas Rangers are potentially playoff bound and feature a good mix of young talent and some veterans. Sadly Josh Hamilton is on the shelf and was out of the lineup.

After a rough start Matusz settled down and managed to pitch 6 good innings after a shaky 3 run first highlighted by a David Murphy home run. For the game Matusz gave up 4 runs over 7 innings on 6 hits and only 1 walk. It was good enough to give the O's a 5-4 Win. Former Phil Kevin Millwood did not pitch nearly as well - first he could not hold the 3 run lead that the O's spotted. Millwood would leave after only completing 5 innings and giving up 5 runs.

The Offensive highlights were provided by long time Oriole Melvin Mora who was 3 for 4 with a Homer and 3 RBIs. It may be Mora's last great game with the O's.

Some Snapshots:
Good Guy Awards go out to the Rangers Derek Holland, Julio Borbon, and I think this is Michael Young who were all spotted signing autographs. Robert Andino signed a few Autos on the home side.

It was Negro League Recognition Day at Camden Yards and the Widow Hall of Famer Leon Day (foreground) threw out one of the ceremonial first pitches.

2009 09 05 Mrs Leon Day

2009 09 05 Melvin Mora
Melvin Mora was the offensive hero of the day. As part of the Negro League Celebration the Orioles wore the uniforms of the 1949 Baltimore Elite Giants (Pronounced E-Light)

2009 0905 Brian Matusz v Ian Kinsler

Good seats for everyone. The payed attendence was a shade under 18,000 but I am not sure that half that many actually showed up.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Phungo 5 with Capewood's Collections

2009 Phungo #55 Roger Clemens

This weekend the Phils are visiting the great state of Texas and the Houston Astros which gives me the rare chance to check in with a Phils fan for Phungo 5. Today we will hear from Astros/Phils Card Blogger Cliff of Capewood's Collections.

Cliff is a transplanted Philadelphian in the Houston area and this holiday weekend I am sure that is happy to catch both his favorite teams on local TV for a 4 game series.

1) First off how are you since your health scare last year? And have you learned anything simple that the rest of us can keep in mind to keep ourselves healthy?
Thanks for asking. It's been almost a year and I'm doing great. There are no simple answers, unfortunately. The answers sound simple but aren't in practice. Eat good, exercise often and tell you doctor if you're having chest pains. It might not be gas.

2) As an Astro fan, you have seen Brad Lidge go through this before - a great season followed by one where he just falls apart. What can Brad Lidge do for the Phils as a struggling closer?
That's a tough one with Lidge. It seemed to be a good move going to Philly after his relatively poor performance for the Astros in 2007. I have no answers. Madson could fill in as closer but he seems to have hit a bad patch as well.

) A 2nd Astro Phils question, How is Ed Wade handling things in Houston? He was basically run out of Philadelphia after running out one terrible team after another. But one could argue that the Phils young core is made up of a bunch of Wade draftees.
I don't think Wade has had much of an impact. The Astros right now are a pretty old team. Getting I-Rod at the beginning of the season didn't make them any younger.

) The Astros are 4 years removed from appearing in the World Series (2005), and several of those players are gone (Lidge, Biggio, Bagwell), How much are those players missed and is any of the new talent like Hunter Pence, and former Phils Michael Bourne capturing the excitement of the fans?

The Astros have been a strange team for a few years now. They get off to a slow start and then finish well. Last year they were the best team in baseball after the All-Star break but had dug themselves too big a hole in the 1st half. This year, it looked like they were going to do it again although this year they got hot before the All-Star break. They played well for awhile after the break but have run out of steam. Of course Bagwell and Biggio are missed, they were great players and the fans loved them. I think they will be a hard act to follow. I was excited when Bourn came to the Astros but his first year in Houston was not good. But he's really turned around this year. Pence has slumped a bit from his rookie season but got off to a good start this year. He's been slumping lately but he's an exciting player and the fans love him. He has more enthusiasm for the game than most of the rest of the team combined.

5) Name a favorite baseball scene or sequence in a non-baseball film (ex not form the Natural, Bull Durham, Major League or the Shoeless Joe Movie)
Yikes! I had to cheat on this and dig around on Google a bit because I couldn't think of anything off the top of my head. After my search I would have to say it is the scene in Good Will Hunting where Robin Williams tells Matt Damon that he gave up a ticket to game 6 of the 1975 World Series because of a girl who walked into the bar that he just had to meet. She eventually becomes his wife.


Great stuff as always from Cliff, I want to ding him on his first answer - but he is probably right, I was hoping that answer was to go to the ballpark and chow down on Ballpark Franks and overpriced beer. Great choice on the movie. I am a fan of GWH and it is one of the few Robin Williams Roles/Movies that hasn't annoyed me in that last 20 years. 5 out of 5 for Capewood.

Thanks Cliff and enjoy watching the Phightin's this weekend.

This may be the last Phungo 5 for the year or at least till playoff season. The Phils have now played every team in the league and I have gotten around to posing Qs to many a blogger. I hope everyone has enjoyed the feature. For a look back at a previous Phungo 5 click here.


I am posting a Roger Clemens Phungo card today. Get used to seeing these - It's a 79 card set and I haven't gotten around to posting about half of them. I am sure at this point the Astros would just as soon forget Clemens even though he was a huge part of their 05 NLCS team.

Regardless this is still one of my favorite cards. I have blogged about the game featured inthe photo before. Today marks the 3rd anniversary of that great game on a previous Labor Day weekend when the Astros and Phils faced off. It was a beautiful day, Clemens and Cole Hamels both pitched extremely well and the Phils won in walk-off fashion. All days should be as good.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Phungo Game Report - 2009 09 02 - Giants 0 @ Phillies 1

2009 Phungo #35 Cole Hamels

It was a perfect night for baseball and Cole Hamels was nearly perfect himself.

Cole threw a complete game shutout against the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night allowing just two hits and a walk while pitching to 2 over the minimum (1 runner erased via pickoff). Jonathan Sanchez was nearly as good as he only allowed one run on an double Ryan Howard hit through a drawn in infield.

Here are some quick shots from last nights game:

Newest Giant Brad Penny

Giants Phenom Tim Lincecum

Raul Ibanez and Harry Kalas Memorial Banner

Other game observations - I cannot figure out why anybody would pitch to Howard right now, He is Red hot while Jayson Werth has sort of fallen off after a couple of great weeks, and after him the rest of the lineup is pretty quiet. Ibanez is really struggling.

Good Guy Awards go out to Phils Phan Phavorite Aaron Rowand and Tim Lincecum who both were spotted siging autograps. Chase Utley gets a GGA for the home team for signing a handul of autos just before game time.

In the Phungo Card above I have listed Hamels postion as ACE, because he was the Ace of the 2008 team and the card number is 35 to match his uni number. I like this one. It is a good action shot and fairly clear.

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions