Monday, December 30, 2013

2014 Hall of Fame Candidate: Rafael Palmeiro 1994 Fleer Flair #257

Today we take a look at one of our favorite type of HoF candidates. The convicted PED user.

1994 Fleer Flair #257 Rafael Palmeiro

Rafaiel Palmeiro put up career Hall of Fame numbers for any era, including the steroid era. The simple answer is 500 HR, 3000 Hits = HOF - The complicating factor is that on August 1 2005 Rafael Palmeiro incurred a 10 game suspension from MLB for failing a drug test.

Had Palmeiro's career ended on July 15th 2005, he would likely be in the Hall of Fame today. On that day he singled of Joel Piniro giving him 3000 hits along with 566 Home Runs. Unfortunately for Palmeiro, his career went on for another couple of weeks.

Beyond the Numbers
One of the odder things I remember about the whole Rafael Palmeiro saga is this interview of Bob Costas that took place on the Jon Stewart show.

2005 07 27 Daily Show: Jon Stewart interviews Bob Costas

For the short attention span folks skip to the 2:20 mark. Costas is just playing this for laughs because he is on Comedy Central, but he does mention that Palmeiro is a good guy, he mentions his records, he mentions the senate hearings - "denied steroid use emphatically, and I accept that" (wow) , and then he mentions Viagra as the ultimate Performance Enhancing Drug. This interview took place on July 27, 2005 - Just Five Days prior to the Palmeiro suspension.

Looking inside Palmeiro's largely accumultor type numbers he comes out right near the Average HoF firstbaseman. He was more than just a bat only firstbaseman, he earned a couple of Gold Gloves. Like Craig Biggio who we examined last week, he has no World Championships, but he was on a couple of playoff squads.

Phungo Verdict: HOF - This may be a bit of a surpise Yes Vote, but a little background. A few months ago I saw author/cultural critic Chuck Klosterman speak in Philadelphia. He mentioned that he believed that all criticism (film/music/politics whatever) was "Autobiography". And I agree - So this vote for Rafael Palmeiro is all about me. On July 30 2005 I attended a game between the O's and White Sox. In the 6th inning I was stanging in a busy area of the Right Field portch at Camden Yards. That is when Rafael Palmeiro hit is 569th career Homer. It landed may 30 feet from me. Two days later Palmeiro was suspended, a month later he was out of baseball. It was the last Home Run Palmeiro would ever hit. So yes I am voting for Rafael Palmeiro, just so I can say that I was at the game where he hit his final Home Run. After all it IS all about me.

2014 HoF Candidates  
Craig Biggio HoF 

Todd Jones
Mike Mussina   HoF  
Mike Piazza (2013 Profile) 
Curt Schilling (2013 Profile)  
Mike Timlin  
Larry Walker (phungo vote = HoF)
2013 HoF Rejects (no longer on ballot)

The Daily Show (Bob Costas/Jon Stewart)
The Baltimore Sun

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Goodbye Metrodome

This afternoon the Minnesota Vikings host the Detroit Lions in their final game at the Metrodome.

1997 11 02 Team Phungo at the Metrodome

I know this sounds a little funky, but my football squad is the Minnesota Vikings. Today they close the building that served as their home for the past 3+ decades. Twice in the late 1990s I was fortunate enough to make the pilgramage out to Minneapolis to see the Vikings play - Yep that is a younger thinner version of me in the braids - My friend Sluggo (everybody has a friend that goes by Sluggo right) is wearing the Pats jersey.  The Vikings beat the Patriots that day 23-18, Cris Carter had a 4th quarter TD for the good guys, The Vikings QB was Brad Johnson. Back then New England was pre-Tom Brady and we got to see Drew Bledsoe at the helm.  

A few years ago we put together one of my favorite postings regarding the Twins last game at the Metrodome - check it out here


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Paul Blair (1944-2013) 1994 UD Heroes of Baseball #211

The day after Christmas started with news of Mike Hegan's death and then ended with word that Paul Blair had passed.

1994 UD Heroes of Baseball #211 Paul Blair

I like when subset  honor former players that aren't big time Hall of Famers. Paul Blair certainly falls into this category. He was known as a superb defender and won eight Gold Gloves. Appropriately advanced metrics back up Blair's defensive reputation. He led the league in various defensive categories including Putouts, Asssists, Zone Runs, Range Factor, and Fielding Percentage multiple times.

It also should be noted that good teams followed Blair around he was part of 6 World Series squads and four championship team (2 Each for the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees). 


Thursday, December 26, 2013

In Memoriam: Mike Hegan 1970 Topps #111

Today I awoke to the sad news that Mike Hegan died.

1970 Topps #111 Mike Hegan

This is one of two cards of Mike Hegan as a Pilot. He is also listed with Seattle on a capless 1969T card. This is also the only one of  Mike Hegan's ten solo Topps cards where he is listed strictly as an outfielder. On his remaining base cards he is listed as a first baseman or 1B-OF.

When this card was issued in 1970 Hegan was coming off of his only All-Star season. He batted .292 with a .427 OBP. Had Hegan had enough AB to qualify he would have finished 2nd to Harmon Killebrew by only fractions of a point for the OBP lead.  In 1972 Hegan collected a World Series ring as a member of the Oakland A's

Mike Hegan was a second generation player, His father Jim Hegan played for the Cleveland Indians during the 1940s and 50s making several all-star teams. The senior Hegan spent part of the 1959 season with the Phillies.

Baseball Card Database 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

SABR Games Starting9 Box Score: 1908 June 12 - Winston-Salem Twins 2 @ Greenville Spinners 8

This is the Box Score for a game from the SABR Games Project 

The related Game Story for this game can be found here.  

SOURCE: Winston-Salem Journal

Merry Christmas

Always love dragging out this favorite photo from the Phungo Collection.

2009 09 29 Phillie Phanatic with the Rockettes
Thanks for dropping in with team Phungo this past year, Enjoy the holidays and best wishes for a fun and happy 2014! 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

2013 Topps #646 Phillippe Aumont: Phillies Green Parallels = Christmas Cards

My first thought when I saw the a Phillies player on an Emarald Parallel was Christmas. In fact for 2013 Topps Green parallels, I pretty much think that for any player who's team color is red.

2013 Topps #646 Phillippe Aumont

See What I mean. Not only are they green, but the chormium pattern/texture evokes a hybrid of tinsel and pine needles.  

Phillippe Aumont has been an enigma for the Phillies since he was acquired from the Mariners in the second Cliff Lee deal.  Aumont was drafted by Seattle with the 11th overall pick of the 2007 draft. The hard throwing lefty has put up a respectable 1K per inning strikeout ratio at all levels including the majors. And his Hits/Inning ratio is equally good at about 1.0 H/IP. The trouble is his insanely high walk numbers - 13 BBs in under 20 IPs for the Phillies in 2013. He was sent back to Lehigh Valley where his walk numbers were even worse.

Statistically Aumont's problem appears to be more than just wildness. He simply will not trust his stuff. Aumont is yet to give up a Home Run in 34 major league innings.  As a professional he has never yielded a HR/9 of more than 0.7 in any of his six seasons. His H/9 numbers have never been above 10 for a full seaosn. He is clearly trying to hard to avoid contact.

Phillipe Aumont will be only 24 years old when the 2014 campaign commences and remains protected on the Phillies 40-man roster. The Phillies erratic bullpen could certainly use Aumont's power arm if he can sort out those high walk numbers. 

Phun Phact
In 8 career play appearances (all in the minors) Aumont has but the ball in play once (sacrifice). His other 7 PAs have resulted in 5 Ks and 2 walks


Monday, December 23, 2013

1992 Topps #491 Candlestick Park (and Jeff Brantley)

Tonight the San Francisco 49ers host the Atlanta Falcons in an NFL game that could be the last professional sports contest at Candlestick Park. The Stick was also home for the San Francisco Giants for 40 seasons.

Two years after the Giants abandoned New York for the Bay they moved into Candlestick where they remained for 40 years through the 1999 campaign.     

1992 Topps #491 Candlestick Park (or Jeff Brantley b-side - swiped from baseball card database)

Tonight to honor the last game at Candlestick we post a card from 1992 Topps, which placed a small picture of the players home park across the bottom of each cards b-side.  The pix are small and it is pretty hard to distinguish one stadium from another, but it was an interesting idea. 

Team Phungo made it out to Candlestick once, the game didn't go well for the Phillies. It did go pretty well for Kevin Mitchell (3-4, HR, 2B, 4RBI)

1992 Topps #491 Jeff Brantley (also swiped from baseball card database)

I figure since it's his card we will knock out a couple of quick words on the player on the card front. Jeff Brantley spent a couple of years at the end of his career with the Phillies including a 23 save season in 2000.

All told Brantley spent 14 years in the majors, The first half of which he spent with the Giants. Career highlights include postseasons appearances in 1989 with the Giants and 1995 with the Reds. He represented the Giants at the all-star game in 1990 and with the Reds in 1996 he led the NL with 44 saves.  .    

Phun Phact

Candlestick Park hosted No-Hitters on consecutive days in 1968. On September 17th, Hall of Famers Gaylord Perry and Bob Gibson squared off with Perry getting the 1-0 victory for the Giants.  The following day the Cardinals returned the favor behind Ray Washburn who blanked the Giants 2-0.  

baseball card database
Baseball Almanac

2014 Hall of Fame Candidate: Craig Biggio 1989 Donruss #561

Earlier this year Craig Biggio had a pretty solid HoF Ballot debut. He picked up 68% of the 569 votes cast in the 2013 election. This left him 39 votes shy of the 427 necessary for Hall induction.

1989 Donruss #561 Craig Biggio

There are 28 MLB players who have 3000 or more career hits. 25 of those 28 are in the Hall of Fame, the other 3 are Derek Jeter (active), Pete Rose (ineligible) and Rafael Palmiero (in limbo).  Craig Biggio is on the low end of the club at 3060, but is good enough to rank him 21st all time.  Six of the 7 members of the 3000 hit club that are below Biggio were first ballot Hall of Famers - The exception is Palmiero.

He ranks very high in a number of offensive categories 1844 Runs (15th), 4711 TBs (33rd), 668th doubles (5th, 1st among second basemen). The seven time all-star also earned kudos in the field with four gold glove awards at second base.     

Biggio's WAR/WAR7/JAWS numbers are all just below the HoF averages for second baseman. Part of this may be due to his many ABs at other positions. I don't think we should hold Biggio's versatility against him here - his other positions were basically Catcher and Centerfield - not like he was slacking over at first or DH.  

1989 Craig Biggio
I am a fan of cards showing players outside of their typical position. The early Craig Biggio cards may be the King of the off-Postion cards. Unless you have done the pitcher/position player jump the best you can do is catcher. And here we have early cards of a potential HoF playing catcher - Love it.   

Phun Phact
The first of Craig Biggio's 3060 career hits came off of Orel Hershiser in a game where he was catching future Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan.

Phungo Verdict: HOF - 3000 hit clubs, several other very good accumulator numbers at a middle infield position and respectable advanced metrics.  Honestly, I am not sure how Biggio didn't get in a year ago.

Sources & Links
Phungo Craig Biggio HoF Index

2014 HoF Candidates 
Phungo HoF Page

Sunday, December 22, 2013


Another new feature I may never return to, Highlights of stuff that happened this week:

Phillies sign Roberto Hernandez (nee Fausto Carmona)

1991 ProSet Super Stars #48 Hall & Oates

Tuesday 2013-12-17 the Rock n Roll HoF announced Phillies Pop Soul Duo Hall & Oates induction.

Weds 2013-12-18 Former Phil Raul Ibanez signs w/ Angels, Phillies DFA former prospect Sebastian Valle.

The return of Lou Marson to the Phillies via spring training invite also announced on Wednesday.

@ToppsCards teases some 2014 Topps Cards

and Finally Phillies Hall of Famer Steve Carlton turns 70 today.  Happy Birthday Lefty!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

2014 Topps Phillies? Uncut 2014 Topps Sheet (h/t Wrigley Wax)

This morning Wrigley Wax posted this pic from the @ToppsCards Twitter account - it is a sheet of 2014 Topps! 

2014 Topps Sheet

I dont have the patience of Wrigley Wax, the crack team over there went through the entire sheet and identified 3 of the 4 Cubs, a commenter then was able to pick up the final player.

I took a quick glance for Phillies players and the only one I picked out is near the bottom left, I believe we have Mr Cole Hamels (standing on his head).  Perhaps Ryan Howard Right Hand Side 3 Rows from the bottom also upside down.  There is a 3rd Phillies player row 6 just to the right of center (RHP)- once again upside down.

Friday, December 20, 2013

2008 Bowman Draft #BDPP94 Lou Marson - Phillies Spring Training Invitee

A few days ago the Phillies announce a few of their Non-Roster Spring Training Invitees. The names of the traditionally AAAA players included two familiar names. One was Hall of Fame offspring Tony Gwynn Jr, The other was our old friend Lou Marson.  

2008 Bowman Draft #BDPP94 Lou Marson

Marson got into a handful of games with the Phillies before being traded away in the first Cliff Lee deal.  Since then he has several unimpressive seasons with the Indians without eclipsing 300 plate appearances in any single campaign.

As mentioned above Lou Marson now finds himself on the fulcrum between AAA and the Majors sometimes referred to as AAAA, 4A or Quad-A. He has established he can play in the Majors if he is really needed, but he really doesn't have the skillset to hit/stay at that level. The Phillies have brought in Marson as depth behind Carlos Ruiz and the recently acquired Wil Nieves. Essentially Marson is here to replace the recently departed Steven Lerud.

2008 Bowman Draft Futures Game Prospects
2008 Bowman Draft contains 45 Futures Game prospect cards that run from #BDPP66 thru #BDP110. The Philies are represented by Marson, Carlos Carrasco(#BDPP66), Jason Donald(85), and Greg Golson(77). Other set notables include Andrew McCutchen (69), Dexter Fowler (76), Pablo Sandoval (84), and Elvis Andrus (89).

Future Games Prospects have been a part of  Bowman Draft since the collections inception in 2002. BDPP has contains Futures Game base or subset cards in most recent series. However that is not the case in 2013.  I am bummed that this year the Futures Game is not represented with base cards - fortunately for Future Games enthusiasts there are FG Relics in the set.  

2008 Futures Game

Team Phungo has been lucky enough to attend a couple of Futures Games. I registered some random thoughts on the 2008 edition hosted by the Yankees here

Cardboard Connection
the Phillies Room

Thursday, December 19, 2013

2013 12 08 Philly Show - 1963 Fleer #50 Ruben Amaro

1963 Fleer #50 Ruben Amaro

The December version of the PhillyShow was a bit of a mess for a variety of reasons. Shane Victorino was unable to make the show and the promoter failed to update their website.

There are a variety of reasons why cancellations might happen and it is usually excusable. Both local promoter Poppel and regional CSA (who run the Chantilly Show) seems to do a good job of keeping their customers updated.   At the PhillyShow I think there is at least a 50% chance of at least one guest no-show and I have NEVER seen a pre-show announcement by Hunt Auctions or Philly Show regarding a cancellation.  In Fact the Shane Victorino appearance is STILL on the Sports Vault website
(as of 12/17)

Okay enough of that drama. Lets talk about some cards - first up a couple of 1963 Fleer Cards

The Ruben Amaro card above is one of two 1963F Phillies cards that I picked up. The other was #54 Art Mahaffey.
1963 Fleer #54 Art Mahaffey

1963 Fleer is a set that I am fond of and at various times have consider building. The abbreviated set is a mere 66 cards - Due to a legal action from Topps, Fleer was only able to produce a single series. The series is significant for containing the first Maury Wills card.

There are five Philies in the set. The Amaro and Mahaffey cards seen here are the bookends for the 63F Phillies team set which runs from #50-54. The three middle cards are Johnny Callison, Clay Dalrymple and Don Demeter. If you want an easy to build Vintage Phillies team set, this may be the one for you - each of the above cards went for $2.    

For more info on 1963 Fleer please read the Cardboard Connection article by the late Chris Stufflestreet   

Cardboard Connection - Chris Stufflestreet

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

2014 Hall of Fame Candidate Mike Mussina 1993 UD Inside the Numbers #463

Tonight in our HoF ballot series we take a look at my favorite borderline candidate.
1993 UD Inside the Numbers #463 Mike Mussina

There are flaws in his resume, but for me Mike Mussina is a strong Hall of Fame candidate.  Notable career numbers include his 270 wins vs 153 Ls (117 above .500) and 2813 career Ks (19th all time). 

The Vote No on Mussina argument falls into 3 areas 1) No dominant season (no Cy Young Award), 2) His stats are largely Accumulators, 3) No Championships - an omission that is further exacerbated by the fact that he spent 8 seasons with the Yankees who bookended Mussina's tenure w/ World Series Wins on each end. 

-He may have never won a Cy Young Award, but he did lead the league in Pitching WAR in 2001.
-Mussina's Black Ink scores are very soft but his Gray Ink Test is quite strong. While not pointing to a dominant season, this does tell us that Mussina was in the top 10 of pitching categories often.  I think the accumulators argument falls flat largely based off of the gray ink. 
-Finally in 2001 had the "Greatest Closer Ever" not blown a save, Mussina would have a World Series  Ring.

 1993 UD Inside the Numbers Subset - Peter Gammons

1993 UD Inside the Numbers #463 Mike Mussina (b-side)

Inside the Numbers is a 21 card subset in 1993 UD (#450 - #470) with each card featuring a short writeup by HoF baseball journalist Peter Gammons. Clear back in 1993 Gammons referred to Mussina as having Game Seven Make-up

The Phillies are represented by Dave Hollins, other players getting the Gammons treatment include Chipper Jones, Jeff Bagwell, Dave Justice, Bernie Williams, and Pudge Rodriguez.

More Moose

2004 Upper Deck USA USA-134 Mike Mussina 

Phungo Verdict: HoF - Full Disclosure, I met Mike Mussina in 2001. An acquaintance of mine is related to Mussina's wife. We didn't talk much but he was a real decent and polite guy. I am glad I met him and I was really happy to find out that he was good guy. So yes this may influence my opinion a bit, but I am happy to say that I think the numbers look HoF worthy on there own.

2014 HoF Candidates
Todd Jones
Mike Piazza (2013 Profile)
Curt Schilling (2013 Profile)

Mike Timlin
Larry Walker (phungo vote = HoF)
2013 HoF Rejects (no longer on ballot)

Sources & Links
1993 UD Peter Gammons Inside the Number subset
Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards (2006 ed) 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Vittles: Charleston SC December 2013

All-Star Menu from the recent Team Phungo trip to Charleston SC


Pig Ears - Husk
Veggie Sushi - 39 Rue de Jean

Salads Soup Pasta

Ricotta Gnocchi w/ Lamb Bolognese at Fig

Ricotta Gnocchi and Appalacian Highlands Lamb Bolognese - Fig (Photo above -This is a Hall of Fame dish) 

Carmelized Pear Salad - Slightly North of Broad
Noodle Bowl - Two Boroughs Larder

Pulled Squash BBQ - Butcher and Bee (simple sandwhich should be seen on a lot more menus)
Cornbread - Husk


Heritage Pork, Pumpkin Turnip Apple Mostarda, Bourbon Glacé - Husk

Sweet Potato Pie - Husk
Meyer Lemon Pudding - Fig

Other Stuff 
Blackberry Jam - Hominy Grill, Crepes at the Charleston Farmer Market in Marion Square.


Charleston is a great town for Foodies, Beer Geeks, and Vacationing. There is a great blend of of city and town, beaches and history. Several nearby colleges keep the area fresh and provide some cheaper options then other destination sites.

Overall this was my favorite place we dined. The food was forward, fresh and interesting, Service was great and the room was fun.

Butcher and Bee
A bit of a trip beyond downtown but worth the trek. Only open for lunch and late night. Chalkboard menu, big on

Historic, Local, interesting. Definitely make time to go to the next door Husk Bar pregame (or postgmame or BOTH!).

Two Boroughs Larder
Cool small dining room/bar celebrates everything Local and DIY. Some interesting meets a cheeses. A few blocks outside the Charleston City center. Rumor is the owners are somehow Philadelphia connected.

Hominy Grill
Foodie destination restaurant. FoodTV favorite offers a solid breakfast, with rotating daily specials. Oddest thing at the Hominy Grill which has a three Photo Wall of Fame with Adam Richman, Anthony Hopkins and...

Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson at Hominy Grill 

Sorry about the blurriness. This pix totally amuses me - I think of Lou as some dude who was just to cool to leave NYC. And if he went anywhere I just couldn't see him in a southern restaurant which is specifically known for their grits.  Laurie's smile seems just so honest and is an interesting counterpoint to Lou's notoriously prickly personality.

Charleston Farmers Market
Lots of options from food carts give you some great options for dining at a table or bench in Marion Square.

Slightly North of Broad
I think this Old School Charleston, cleverly acronymed SNOB, but they do feature a maverick table - nice option for solo diners and walk-ins.
SNOB - Caremlized Pear and Blue Chese Salad  (Mindoro Blue was the perfect cheese for this salad)

Folly Beach
There are five beaches near Charleston, we chose to check out Folly Beach which features a 1000 foot fishing pier.

I was a bit skeptical about the $20 pricetag for admission, but it ended up being worth it for team Phungo. we took two tours on the grounds. Boone has a jumbled history that ended up crisscrossing into several of our interests. Chickflick the Notebook was filmed here as was the Halle Berry miniseries Queen. Thoroughbred Princequillo was trained there - Secretariat was one of the many successful descendants of Princequilo. 

 Henderson's store from the Film Queen

More Vittles
Our Vittles/Travel Indes is here

Monday, December 16, 2013

1983 NL Champions: Mike Schmidt 1973 Topps #615 (RC)

In today's edition of 1983 Wheeze Kids we present a Big Fish in any Phillies Fans Collection.

Mike Schmidt 1973 Topps #615 (RC)

The 1983 Phillies didn't have many standout hitting seasons on their roster. The exception was Mike Schmidt, He led the league in Home Runs, Walks and OBP . It was good enough for 3rd in the MVP voting behind Dale Murphy and Andre Dawson.

Schmidt's regular season carried into the NLCS which saw him bat .467 with a pair of doubles and a Home Run, for a nice .800 slugging number. Unfortunatley for the Phillies The Orioles pitching staff figured out the future Hall of Famer and Schmidt stuggled during the World Series only managing a single in 20 ABs.

For the Collector
I picked up the above card a little over a year ago for just under $42 via ebay.  At some point I will do a full FTC on the auction numbers for this card, but don't have my stuff together today.

In OtherWords

Night Owl Cards - A view of this card from a Dodger Fan.

HoF Index: Mike Schmidt
1973 Topps #615 (RC)
1974 Topps #283  (First Solo Card)
1975 Topps #70 & related Mini
1976 All-Star Program
1977 Topps #441 (70th Birthday)
1981 Fleer #645 Triple Threat Schmidt, Rose, Bowa
1981 Topps #206 Record Breakers (Single Season HRs for 3B)
1988 Fleer Superstars #33 
2002 Fleer GotG Dueling Duos #DD-27 (with HoF George Brett)
2005 UD Classic Moments #CM-MS (30th Anniversary 500 Home Runs)
2008 UD Baseball Heroes #138 (40th Anniversary of 4 Home Run Game - 1976 0417)
2013 Panini USA Baseball #34
2013 Topps Chasing History (gold) #CH-92 Mike Schmidt

Complete Phungo HoF Index

Sources & Links
1983 Wheeze Kids Index

Monday, December 9, 2013

2011 Topps #359 Roy Halladay

2011 Topps #359 Roy Halladay Postseason No-Hitter (black parallel - checklist)

Today Roy Halladay announced his retirement, it is a really sad event for this Phillies fan. We were really fortunate to get to see two great seasons out of Halladay, before baseball, pitching, and age all took their toll on the once dominant right hander.

I have been to 200+ ballgames and the game featured on the above card is the best of them.  For the final three, four or maybe even five innings the crowd hung on Doc's every pitch - it was an absolutely amazing night, the Reds never had a chance.

During Halladay's tenure in Philadelphia, I got to see him pitch several times and he had great outings in each of them. I will miss the excitement he brought to the ballpark in each of his starts - baseball is just not going to be as much fun without him

October 6 2010  

Team Phungo's original account from the no-hitter
Baseball-ref BoxScore

InOtherWords - Halladay Retirment Postings from around the cardworld
Funner Here - Philadelphia Daily News Halladay Farewell
Brad's Blog - Topps 5 Star Relic
The Phillies Room - Chachi Original (1988 Topps Retro)
Sports Card Info - 1997 Bowman Chrome International Refractor (RC)

Contrary Guy - 1972 Topps Retro
Mint Condition - 1977 Topps Retro

Cardboard Connection - Roy Halladay Card Buying Guide (RCs)
30 Year Old Cardboard - Gregor Chisholm article
High Heat Stats - Statistical Analysis

Sunday, December 8, 2013

2014 Hall of Fame Candidate: 1991 Topps #339 Larry Walker

Since it took all of two days to get through all of the former Phillies on the ballot, team Phungo is going to take a look at some of the other candidates. Today's feature is Larry Walker.

 1991 Topps #339 Larry Walker

This isn't the Larry Walker Topps RC (It is preceded by 1990 Topps #757 plus a number of other cards by Score, Donruss, Fleer and others ) but not of those cards have the fine Topps All-Star Rookie Trophy.

Larry Walker is generally remembered for his decade with the Rockies, but he did come up with the Montreal Expos with whom he spent six seasons.  Walker is a career .313 HR with 383 Home Runs. Those numbers may have gotten a guy in the HoF a few generations ago, but that hasn't yet happened for Walker who is now on his 4th ballot.

Without checking I would not put Larry Walker in the HoF. Digging around in Baseball-Ref I found the following. Walker won the 1997 MVP award which he deserved according to WAR ratings. He had 2 Batting Titles (Coor assisted). His other LL included OBP, slugging, and OPS each twice and Homers once. His Awards mantle includes 7 Gold Gloves and a trio of Silver Sluggers.

The five time all-star was a part of 3 playoff teams including the 2004 Cardinals who took the NL Pennant before losing to the Curse-Breaking Red Sox team.

HoF related metrics on Baseball-ref
-Of his top 10 Sim Scores 3 are HoF (Snider, DiMaggio, Mize), 6 are either active or still awaiting HoF consideration. Only 1 is Out (Ellis Burks)
-His Black/Gray Ink test are both below the HoF average. Black is close - Grey not so much
-However is HoF monitor and HoF standards somewhat above the category averages

Advanced Metrics
This is the WAR numbers where I am taking it on faith that all these folks are doing their calculations correctly.
-WAR RF (72.6): The average WAR for HOF RF is 73.3, but this is at a position that includes Babe Ruth. Every WAR RF above Walker is in the HoF. Walker ranks above at least a dozen RFs already in the Hall plus Joe Jackson.
-WAR7(44.6): this tracks a players 7 best WAR seasons. The RF HoF average is 42.9. Once again every RF above Walker is HoF and Walker ranks above 12+ HoF. 
-JAWS RF (58.6):  JAWS(developed by Jay Jaffe) accounts for a players 7 year Peak along with their career WAR. Among Right Fielders Larry Walker ranks 10th in JAWS.  and as with the previous WAR related categories Walker ranks above at least a dozen RFs already in the Hall plus Joe Jackson.

Phungo Verdict: HOF - This is a pleasant surprise, Walker ranks right at the average player for his WAR. His number may be Coors inflated, but from what understand WAR should account for this issue. Beyond WAR he has decent Sim scores and has always been represented as a good dude. The one drawback on his resume beyond the Mile High Home games is his lack of playoff experience and no World Championship.

2014 HoF Candidates
Todd Jones
Mike Piazza (2013 Profile)
Curt Schilling (2013 Profile)
Mike Timlin
2013 HoF Rejects (no longer on ballot)

Larry Walker HOF Index
1991 Topps #339 Larry Walker (HoF Candidacy 2013)

Sources and Links
1991 Topps Rookie Cup Index

Saturday, December 7, 2013

1983 NL Champions Marty Bystrom 1983 Topps #199 - Headed to the SHOW (Philly Show that is)

Today our 1983 Champs series takes a quick look at Right Handed Starter Marty Bystrom

1983 Topps #199 Marty Bystrom 

Marty had a tough 1983 season as a bottom starter in the Phillies rotation. So poor that Bystrom didn't get a start in the postseason. His sole inning was versus the Orioles in the final game of the World Series.  In 1983 the 24 year old Marty Bystrom was already on his way out of baseball. His 119+ innings in '83 were the most he would pitch in a season, by June of 1984 he was on his way to the Yankees in a deal that would return Shane Rawley. Bystrom got 15 more starts with the Yankees over two seasons then was done at the Major league level. 

Philly Show
I doubt Marty would have made the cut for our Wheeze Kids series, but he is one of several Phillies in town to sign autographs at the Philly Show in Valley Forge this weekend. The show runs Friday 12/6 - Sunday 12/8 at the Valley Forge Casino. Admission is $8 - There may be a $1 off coupon in local papers.

Show Guests:
Shane Victorino (CANCELLED - No notification by Hunt Auctions, PhillyShow, Sports Vault or WIP Radio)
It is not uncommon for The PhillyShow to have autograph cancellations and not keep their website updated.  
Dave Parker
HoF Steve Carlton
Pete Rose
Charlie Hayes
Dale Murphy
Matt Stairs
For more info on signing pricing and times check in with Sports Vault   

Cardboard Bystrom
1982 Topps #416

1983 NL Champions Series   
Darren Daulton
Bo Diaz  
John Denny
Ivan DeJesus
Garry Maddox  

Gary Matthews (with John Denny)
Joe Morgan
Tony Perez
Pete Rose

Steve Carlton Passes Walter Johnson (Strikeouts) Steve Carlton 300 Wins

Post Updated 2013 12 07 11am

Friday, December 6, 2013

Thursday, December 5, 2013

2013 15 04 - Erin McKeown's Anti-Holiday Spectacular @ Ardmore Music Hall

This past Wednesday Erin McKeown brought her Anti-Christmas Spectacular to the recently rebranded/refurbished Ardmore Music Hall. The night was a great fun and I look forward to the show returning in the future.   

 2013 12 04 Erin McKeown at Ardmore Music Hall

Erin McKeown is blessed with tremendous talent, on stage you can tell she is a seasoned professional, deft musician, and terrific vocalist. Add to this her keen wit and skilled songwriting and you have the makings of a very entertaining show.

The Anti-Holiday Spectacular is a 2 set show. The first is an abbreviated concert. While I am not that familiar with her catalog, she was able to mix in some songs that I sort of knew (likely from Grand – including The excellent “Taste of You”  and a reworked “Vera”). She also delved deeper into her catalog for the more devoted fan. The set was solo with McKeown spending the bulk of the time on the guitar with 2 or 3 songs done behind the keys. Adept at many styles she picked a good varety of songs pop, rockabilly, and jazz. 

As well done as the traditional set was, The Anti-Christmas set was the highlight of the evening. Basically McKeown claimed to have written a Christmas Musical which her theater contacts deemed unproduceable - apparently “Santa is an Assh-le” isn’t the type of song that can be done in a musical.

Fortunately as McKeown stated “You can put anything on a record” and this is how the Anti-Christmas show came to be. Songs feature rewritten classics and some new songs that echo the Christmas sound. She had enough to put together an entire set with a makeshift chorus that I believe featured local members of the Philadelphia Folksong society – All donning ugly sweaters. 

Hello Sports Fans
For both of my followers I want to mention that McKeown has a Sports Column she writes for the WNYC radio Soundcheck blog. During the show, McKeown played a song that mentions Hall of Famer (HoF Jerk) Rickey Henderson.   

Side Notes 
-This was my first trip to the Ardmore Music Hall (old 23 East Cabaret). The new place is nice, cleaned up, fresh paint, curtains to dampen some of the noise. The floor features tiered seating, decent rotating beer selection 
– I didn’t eat there but they had a mediteranean menu that appeared appropriate to the style of the room. 
- It appears AMH is trying to get a national/NE Corridor Regional act in about once a month 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Swag from Cards on Cards

Got home form a typical lousy Monday to have my mood quickly changed by a very nice card package from Kerry of Cards on Cards. Here are some of the highlights

2006 Bowman Heritage Pieces of Greatness #PG-RH Ryan Howard

The picture of Ryan Howard is a little odd as Topps is trying to capture the style of the classic 1949 Bowman here. Cool card with a nice striped Jersey snippet.

2013 Topps Heritage Chrome #HC98 Darin Ruf/Tyler Cloyd (refractor/purple)
2013 Topps #83 Darin Ruf Green Parallel

Couple of nice Darin Ruf parallels. Ruf is a bit of a fan favorite but the Phillies latest moves regarding several bench players seem to indicate that Darin isn't in their plans for 2014.

2012 Topps #243 Justin DeFratus (blue parallel)
2013 Topps #US71 Cody Asche

Two more Phillies RCs for the collection. Kerry must be busy out there getting new product, the Asche card is part of the Update Series - feels like it just came out.

ConC sent over two team bags of cards, here are some of the rest

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions