Friday, September 28, 2012

Snapshots 2012 09 27 Nationals 7 @ Phillies 3

The 2012 Phillies home season ended with a whimper, which is pretty much how the whole season went.  The only highlight of the Phils 7-3 loss was a bases loaded double by the recenltly promoted Darin Ruf.  That happened early but the Phils pretty much left Gio Gonzalez off the hook after getting some runners on in the 1st and 2nd innings.

Snapshots (click any pix to enlarge) 

 Darin Ruf Double 

The rising streak just above the 1b foul line is the ball

Stephen Strasburg

He may not be pitching in games but Strasburg is still getting his work in - He was doing long toss with the other pitchers and looked like he was working on keeping his mechanics sharp.

Good Guy Awards

Strasburg signing autographs

GGAs go out to Strasburg and Ian Desmond for the bad guys.  Several Phillies including Chase Utley and Kevin Frandsen were signing for fan appreciation night.

Ryan Howard 

Uneventful final home game for the big man in the Phils final home game of 2012.

Bryce Harper

Yep thats a Home Run swing.  Harper knocked this one out to right center.   He got all of it, looked like it was out the moment he swung.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Philly Show in Valley Forge This Weekend

Unfortunately, team Phungo will not be able to makes this weekends show.  The show returns to the Valley Forget Convention Center (and Casino).   Show Dates are Sep 28-30, $8.00 for admission ($7 w/ coupon)

As far as autograph opportunities Saturday is Philadelphia  Day while Sunday has a Pittsuburgh flavor.

Richie Hebner, Donn Pall, Bill Bergey, Keith Byars, Seth Joyner, Mickey Shuler, Juan Marichal, Maxie Baughan, Pete Retzlaff, Mike Quick, Danny Jackson, Harold Carmichael, Dave Hollins, Milt Thompson, Joe Millette, Tom Dempsey, Rickey Jordan, Correll Buckhalter, Bob Ayrault

Louis Lipps, Jack Ham, Donnie Shell, Roy Jefferson, Frenchy Fuqua, Jack Lambert, Rocky Bleier, Dave Parker, Grant Jackson, Randy Grossman, Gerry Mullins, Robin Cole, Bill Madlock, Omar Moreno, Matt Bahr, Manny Sanguillen, Ed Ott, Don Robinson, Mike Wagner, Jon Kolb, Larry Brown, Bobby Walden, Franco Harris, Greg Lloyd, Andy Russell, Levon Kirkland
In addition Earl Weaver is scheduled to appear Friday.

Neither day appears to have complimentry autos.

For additional info click here.

The next show is set for December 7-9. 

For additional Philadelphia Area Card Show information click here.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Chris Stufflestreet

I really didn't really know Chris well at all - I met him briefly at the 2012 National, traded cards with him once and swapped a couple of emails.  That was it, but I felt like I knew him much better.  

I read his columns avidly. Chris had a gift for writing - I suspect his honesty and humor made you feel like you knew him.

Chis' passing has been covered quite eloquently by Greg at Night Owl Cards, Mike Smeth at Cardboard Connection, Bob D Angelo at and Dayf of Cardboard Junkie.

My impressions from our brief meeting echo the passages by those folks.  In a space of 15 minutes Chris' enthusiasm jumped off the page to real life.  Our conversation covered the vastness and variety of the show, vintage cards and historical connections, camraderie with seeing and meeting other collectors. as well as his personal highlights from that show - tracking down some Japanese cards and older Steelers cards.  It was fun reading his postings relating to the show, and indeed his final post was NSCC related, Collector Related, Condition Related and Trade Related. 

Chris Stufflestreet, I thank you for documenting vintage and oddball sets.  I thank your for your views on open trading and spotty condition, I thank you for being a link to a different card era.  And I thank you for running interesting and funny columns that would often bring a smile into my world.  

Selected Chris Stufflestreet Blogs and Websites

Monday, September 24, 2012

2013 Topps Preview

The upcoming (By upcoming I mean over 4 months from now) release of 2013 Topps has been previewed in several outlets. 

This has been covered by several other bloggers - Chris of Stale Gum has his comments here - he once again campaigns against gimmicks and brings up some other interesting points regarding insert flooding and other issues.  

The 9 page Topps Sell Sheet can be found here.   

My first impression is that the base cards are too bland too white.  They aren't as boring as 2012 Topps but there is not much interesting in the design.  It is a design w/ potential.  The Parallels on the sell sheet do pop a bit.  They stand out after seeing the minimalism of the base cards.  The blank borders on 2013 Topps seem even larger then previously releases.  


2013 Topps Preview - Chasing History Relic Mike Schmidt

Recently the teasers have featured a lot of Phillies including Ryan Howard and Roy Halladay.  For 2013 quite appropriately after their tough 2012 season, the current Phils have been banished.  Topps did reach back to Mike Schmidt to show us what one of the relic inserts will look like. 

Are there any Relic Collectors out there?

The first relic I pulled when I retunred to collecting was exciting.  That was the last time I was excited about relics.  The Schmidt card above is fine enough looking but other than noting he is a Phillies player nothing about seeing it on the sell sheet makes me look forwrd to 2013 Topps.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mickey Morandini Unassisted Triple Play Anniversary and a Mystery Solved

Today during Andy's High Heat Stats This day in Baseball History feed he noted that today is the 20th Anniversary of Mickey Morandini's Unassisted Triple Play.  Despite the UATP the Phils took the loss 3-2 to the Pirates in extras.   

At the time it was only the second UATP in MLB history turned by a 2nd Baseman. - Bill Wambsganss turned the first during the 1920 World Series.  There have been three by second baseman since including one by Phils utility man Eric Bruntlett in 2009.

1993 Score #415 Mickey Morandini
1993 Topps #262 Mickey Morandini 

First off the pix on these cards feature a Double Play not the Triple Play mentioned above.

I had always assumed the Topps card featured the Phils ill-fated day game blue caps which were ejected after a few games because 1) the players didn't like them 2) they lost the few games when they wore them.

Mystery Solved

I assumed wrong.  The years didn't add up.  Turns out the cursed hats were from 1994 - The cards above are from 1993. After some Turn Back the Clock Game research I found that the Phillies wore there 1948 throwbacks for a game on June 21 1992.

Interesting thing you have above is two cards, different manufacturers, same play - possibly same photographer.

If you check the box link above, you can see in the 4th inning Andre Dawson singled followed by Mark Grace hitting into a 6-4-3 DP. I am pretty sure that is what we are seeing here.


Phungo Vittles - Vedge 2012 08 14

First off I would like to mention that the Carnivore in me is very proud to say I am glad I went into our recent visit to the Philadelphia Center City vegan restaurant Vedge with an open mind. 

A few years ago, I would have blown off the opportunity as not part of my personality.  We have advanced a bit since then and newer restaurants have progressed significantly to meet diners like myself half way. 

At new venues the atmosphere is more casual while remaining smart.  The service is increasingly knowledgeable and most importantly one time "exotic"  foods have become more approachable.  This is happening across the dining scene, and has allowed places like Vedge to flourish.  

Vedge Sweet Potato Pate

Vedge has a small plates concept and serves vegan only fare.  The menu and atmosphere is similar to the Turney restaurants that we have enjoyed so much on 13th street (Barbuzzo, Jamonera).  Like the others, Vedge has a comfortable bar area and chef's table.  One immediately noticeable difference is the physical space, which is much larger as Vedge fills many rooms in a historic building on Locust street.   

Grilled Carrots
Our meal consisted of 3 plates and 2 items off of the Vedge "Dirt Menu" which is largely composed of fresh vegetables sourced locally.  Our two dirt menu options were a Grilled Carrots and the Fancy Radishes.  Both options were good, but the Radish dish at $9 was a bit small.  As for the Carrots, it lacked enough of the sauce that would have made it exceptional.

For me the star of the dinner was the impressive Sweet Potato Pate (Top).  Many of the dishes at Vedge take full advantage of grilling or smoking techniques.  The results are a quite stunning. Presented as a round and accompanied by bread triangles, the sweet potato pate had a hearty bacon-like flavor while remaining delicate in texture.  For this dish in particular, Vedge keeps its eye on the details by pairing the pate with an excellent grain mustard.

Stuffed White Bell Pepper

Our 2 other main plates were also very good.  I really enjoyed the Stuffed White Bell Pepper which was a very nice rendition of the traditional variety.  Smoked seitan and tomato served as the meat-like stuffing portion of the dish.

Currently, when visiting a new restaurant, we try whatever beet dish they have on the menu.  The Vedge rendition, which included Avocado, Capers and Tofu, is a fine dish.  It was solid--although I would not rank it on top of the many excellent renditions we have had recently.  

Peaches and Cream

In addition to our 5 plates, we had not 1 but 2 desserts.  The Vanilla-Bourbon Peaches with Ice Cream was tasty - the Peaches were a bit tart, but the accompanying ice cream was sweet and decadent.  Our second dessert was the Blueberry Fritters  (below). The Fritters were a bit heavy for a set ender during the week and probably would have been more enjoyable on a much cooler evening.  The accompaniments for the Fritters were very refreshing  Blueberry Lemon Sorbet and Mango Crudo

Blueberry Fritters

Vedge Scorecard - Visit Date 2012 08 14

Food:  Home run - loved most of our dishes and Vedge introduced us to several new culinary ideas.   

Drinks: Double - We went with a single glass of red wine each.  Vedge has an extensive bottle list for wines, with an adequate list of by the glass selections.  The craft beer selection is presentable.  Vedge also offers a specialty cocktail menu.    

Atmosphere:  Double - Comfortable Warm.  minor quibble we were seated near the washrooms and you can here the damn exelerator hand dryers.  A place of Vedge's stature probably would be better off going the paper towel dispenser route.     

Service:  Double - a few oddities the plate clearing was just a touch slow for tapas-style, and for whatever reason Vedge cancelled our Open Table rez 30 minutes after we were seated.  This wasn't a problem, but seemed a bit odd.  An excellent bread and oil course was served pre-meal and replenished promptly - nice touch by Vedge.     

Value:  Double -  5 tapas, 2 desserts and 2 drinks for $86+Tip provided an enjoyable event dinner for two.      

Overall: Home Run - Highly recommended for anyone that wants to check out original vegan dishes. 

Second Helping

February 2012 Craig LaBan review of Vedge here .  

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

NSCC Loot 1975 Topps Mini - HoFs

I have a bunch of scans from the NSCC way back in early August which I have yet to post.

1975 Topps Minis

As with a lot of other vintage collectors I am a sucker for 1975 Topps Minis. 

These were a buck a piece which is more then I would typically go for a 75 Mini, but the lot is all Hall of Famers.  I have no serious interest in building the whole set, but I have thought of collecting all of the sets HoF cards.  The August show was a huge step towards that goal.    

Couple of favorites here.  The HR League Leaders features two Phillies, Schmidt and Dick Allen who led the AL in 74 while playing w/ the White Sox.

The Mantle - Wills card features a Card that Never Was if my memory is correct.  Topps had yet to sign Maury Wills in 1962 and he was never issued a 62 Topps card.  For the 1975 MVP series the Topps simply created the card that never really existed.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Phun Cards 1952 Topps #216 Richie Ashburn

I am a little bit amazed that I have really not given a lot of ink to Richie Ashburn on the Phungo Pages.  Although his playing career was long over before I was born, Ashburn was a large part of the Phillies experience for any fan of my generation.  He was the color analyst for Harry Kalas from the time I started watching the game until his death in 1997. 

Despite ranking up more hits then any other player during the decade of the 1950s and 2574 for his career Richie Ashburn was dropped from the Hall of Fame ballot in 1982.  Eventually he would enter the Hall in 1995 as a selection of the Veterans committee.  Ashburn led the National League in Batting average twice (1955,1958) and OBP 4 times (54, 55, 58, 60).  He was a 6 time all star selection and was a member of the 1950 Whiz Kids.  His #1 is one of 5 numbers retired by the Phillies. 

1952 Topps #216 Richie Ashburn

1952 Topps #216 Richie Ashburn (b-Side)

For the Collector
This is the 2nd Topps card issued of Richie Ashburn.  A recent ebay auction of a rough conditioned 52 Topps Ashburn finished at $9.62.  The Hi auction for a slabbed PSA 9 Mint card was $1710.32.  6 auctions of cards in pretty good condition concluded between $26 and $43. 

The above '52 Topps Ashburn was procured for the Phungo collection off an ebay auction for $18.97 in July of 2009.

More Richie Ashburn
1950 Bowman #84
1952 Topps #216

1959 Topps #317 (with Willie Mays)

2009 Phungo #1

1955 Topps Cards that never were (link to Bob Lemke Custom Card)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Snapshots: 2012 09 10 - Marlins 1 @ Phillies 3

Phils win 3-1 behind a strong outing by Kyle Kendrick.  Game finished in a brisk 2:38.  Home by 10:30 on a school night - and if you really wanna believe, you can almost tell yourself that the Phils are in the Mix.

SnapShots (click to enlarge)
Kyle Kendrick

Hero of the night - 2 hits and 3 walks 1 run over 7 innings.  It is time for me to admit Kendrick has a shot of being a decent starting pitcher.

Greg Dobbs
A member of the Phillies 2008 WSC team.  Dobbs started at 3rd for the Marlins 

Jose Reyes from the same angle

Darin Ruf
Ruf who had 20 Home Runs during the month of August for the Reading Phillies officially joined the big club on Monday.  He did not get involved in the game however.  I think he is watching the Phanatic on the big screen in this shot.

Cards that Never Were

2011 Topps Starting Line Up Dominic Brown and Erik Kratz

Brown was issued a couple of cards in the 2011 set, but I don't think any featured the above photo.  I am not sure Kratz ever made it into 2011 Topps, despite getting a handful of ABs with the big club.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Snapshots 2012 09 09 Yankees 13 @ Orioles 3 (ugh)

Good News - Team Phungo is in the middle of a 3 game week.

Bad News - It got off to a rough start with the Orioles taking it on the chin 13-3 to the division rival New York Yankees.

The Yankees batted around in 2 different innings, I am not going to bother verifying it, but I think every position in their order may have batted w/ the bases loaded at least once.  Curtis Granderson did not enter the game until the 6th innning and still managed come withing a triple of a cycle - recording 5 RBIs in the process. For the day Granderson's battting game score was only outdone by BJ Upton who had 3 homers.

The Orioles pitching staff combine for 190 pitchesZach Britton had a rough outing walking 5 batters while only recording 10 outs. 

Snapshots (click to enlarge)

The new Cal Ripken statue was a popular attraction.   

Must be tough to have a future Hall of Famer batting 9th in your lineup.

Joba Chamberlain vultured a Win and got his 2012 ERA below 8.00.   

Mark Reynolds has en fuego recently, especially v the Yankees.  Sunday, not so much, 0-2 with a pair of Ks.   

Phungo Cal Ripken HoF Index

Friday, September 7, 2012

Local Autograph and Card Show this weekend Granite Run Mall, Media PA is running an  Autograph Show this weekend at the Granite Run Mall on Route 1 in Media PA.

2009 Phungo #54 Brad Lidge

There only other Poppel show that I attended at Granite Run didn't have a lot of dealer tables, but they had enough low end stuff to keep me interested.  My show review here.

There are a bunch of autograph signers at this weekends show including Brad Lidge, Dallas Green, Darren Daulton, Geoff Jenkins, Garry Maddox, Bake McBride, Milt Thompson, Greg Gross, Warren Brusstar.  For full list and times go here and click tab for this weekend.

For additiona Philadelphia area card show info click here

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Padres to Honor Broadcaster, WWII Veteran, and Yankees Alum Jerry Coleman

It is statue week here at Phungo.  Yesterday we talked about Cal Ripken who is being honored by the Orioles tonight.  Today we would like to recognize Jerry Coleman

Saturday the Padres are hosting Jerry Coleman Day. The Padres will honor Coleman with a statue of the teams long time broadcaster.  Coleman has been associated with the club for 40 years. In 2005 he recieved the baseball Hall of Fame Ford C Frick Award for broadcasting. 


1956 Topps #316 Jerry Coleman

Jerry Coleman spent his entire 9 year career with the Yankees and was a member of 4 World Series Championship Teams.  He was an All-Star in 1950 and was the Worlld Series MVP (vs the Phillies) that year as well. 

Beyond his baseball career Coleman also earned honors for his Military Service during Wolrd War II and the Korean conflict

For The Collector

1956 Topps is a good looking and popular set.  The Jerry Coleman card is a fine example - you get a nice portrait and with an interesting action shot.  Cards #181 and above are considered High Numbers.  I don't know what I paid for this card but you can typically find off condtion Hi# commons of 1956 Topps in the $3 range. 

There is a Jerry Coleman autograph card that is part of the 2003 UD Yankee Signature Series.  No auctions for the card have finished recently, but there are 2 separate BINs of the card listed for under $9

Baseball-Ref Jerry Coleman
Wikipedia Jerry Coleman

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Orioles Legends Series Honors Cal Ripken

On Thursday Night September 6th as part of their Legends Statue Series the Orioles will be honoring Cal Ripken Jr.  September 6th is also the 17th Anniversary of the night that Ripken broke Lou Gehrig's consecutive game streak.  

I feel fortunate to live near Baltimore and I was able to see Ripken play several times - in fact I think I have seen Ripken play more times then any current Hall of Famer.  It is hard for me to believe that he has been out of baseball for 11 years.  

2011 Phungo #8 Cal Ripken Jr.
The photo from the above card was taken when the Orioles marked the 15th anniversary of Ripken breaking the record on 2010-9-5.  Ripken is show throwing out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the game.  The Orioles won that day - there is a side note for the game -  Rays outfielder and fan favorite Rocco Baldelli hit the last home run of his injury shortened career that day.          

Sources & Links

For  one of my favorite Team Phungo posts on Ripken click here.

Phun Cards: 1998 Bowman #181 Jimmy Rollins (RC)

Jimmy Rollins notched career hit number 2000 on Tuesday night.  
1998 Bowman #181 Jimmy Rollins (RC)

Recently and throughout his career has taken some heat for not hustling and other shortcomings at the plate.  Regardless the man has managed to rack up 2000 major league hits and he isn't just a slap hitter.  There are a lot of extra base hits among those 2000.  He also will always be the Shortstop for the 2008 World Champions and the 2007 NL MVP.   

Rollins joins Hall of Famers Ed Delahanty, Richie Ashburn, and Mike Schmidt in the Philllies 2000 hit club.  That is pretty good company.  If he stays healthy Rollins has a good chance of becoming the Phils all-time hit leader.

For The Collector 
The above 1998 Bomwan Card is the Jimmy Rollins rookie card - sorry about the darkness of the pix.  I recently picked this card up a box of 1998 Bowman Series 1 for $19.  There are a couple of other RCs in the set.  However, any rookies in the set are not real special - they are pretty much near Rollins level at best.  A recent auction for the card concluded as low as $2.98.  Complete sets of 1998 Bowman, includging both Series 1 and 2, are low-listed at BIN $21. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Phun Cards: 1974 Topps #173 Randy Jones

This card might be from the first pack of baseball cards I ever opened - I have no way of knowing now.  I know that it was a pack of 1974 Topps.  And I bought it at a 7-Eleven.  I think the packs had 10 cards for 9 cents.  My first experience with inflation was when packs jumped to a dime for 9 cards the following year.  The idea of cards costing more than a penny a piece was preposterous - although I probably didn't have the world PREPOSTEROUS in my vocab back then. 

1974 Topps #173 Randy Jones (RC) 
Randy Jones is one of the non-Phils stars that I remember from my youth.  He was a pitcher who I briefly grouped with Seaver and Carlton. Turns out Randy Jones had more of meteor ride then a career.  He had an All-Star season in 1975 and won the Cy Young Award in 76, unfortunately he was injured in his final start of the season, afterward he was never really the same.  Nobody has thrown 25 or more complete games in an NL seasons since Randy Jones reached that number during that 1976 season - Rick Langford had 28 for Oakland in 1980.
Jones persevered for the remainder of the 70s but was done in 1982 at the age of 32. According to his wikipedia page Randy Jones is the only Cy Young Award winner with a career losing record.  Indeed he finished 23 games under .500 at 100-123.
Post Career
Jones #35 uniform has been retired by the San Diego Padres. Once again, I would think Randy Jones likely has one of the worst Win-Loss records among starting pitchers with retired numbers. Regardless his peak seasons of 1975-76 make Randy Jones jersey retiring worthy.  In addition to his on field accomplishments Jones has had a good post career in San Diego serving the team in an ambassador capacity.  He also runs a sports bar in San Diego that appears to have a solid craft beer selection. 
For The Collector
The above card is from my legacy collection of my childhood - thus it's rather rough condition.  I am sure if you didn't care about the wrinkles and the corners you could find this card in a dime box. 
It was unknown where the Padres would play in 1974 and many of their cards can be found with NAT'L LEA as the team name rather than Padres.  For under $3.00 you can pick either the Padres or the NL variation of a RC of a Cy Young Award winner.   

Flip Side

1974 Topps #173 Randy Jones (RC b-side) 

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions