Friday, July 31, 2015

Phillies Wall of Fame Inductee Pat Burrell

Tonight the Phillies will add Pat Burrell to their Wall of Fame

2001 Topps #144 Pat Burrell (r-Cup)

To mark the occasion we are going to take a look at Burrell's 2001 Topps Card which features a rookie cup flair. The then 23 year old outfielder earned the honor by leading all rookies in RBI with 79 and finish second to Lance Berkman in Home Runs (18 vs 21)

 2001 Topps #144 Pat Burrell (b-side)

Good summary of the drafting of Burrell and his Rookie season. 2001 Topps B-sides are pretty decent with a 2nd photo plus a ghost of the a-side.

More Rookie Cup
2008 Topps #AR81 Pat Burrell

Topps marked the 50th anniversary of the All-Star Rookie team with this insert set done in the design of the 1960T Rookie Cup Subset.

 2008 Topps #AR81 Pat Burrell (b-side)

The back of the 1960T cards have bullet points of season highlights. Cool feature when looking back at a players rookie season.

2005 Topps Rookie Cup #118 Pat Burrell (Orange #d 397/399)

2008 was not the first time that Topps leveraged their Rookie Cup cache. In 2005 they released an entire set dedicated to the Rookie Cup. While the design of the 150 card set is rather bland I do like this card of Burrell blowing a chewing gum bubble while presuming playing first base - his position early in his career. Also note that he is wearing the 2000 era #33 rather than his more familiar #5. 

2005 Topps Rookie Cup #118 Pat Burrell (b-side )

All three cards mention Burrel'sl Debut Game on 2000 05 24. The first two cards discuss his early success while the latter two mention Pat's numbers with the bases loaded.

For a more detailed look at Pat Burrell cards check the In Search of Pat the Bat blog.

Sources and Links
Phillies Wall of Fame
Baseball Cardpedia

Thursday, July 30, 2015

ANNIVERSARY: Nolan Ryan 300 Wins

25 years ago Nolan Ryan won his 300th game, a 11-3 decision over the Milwaukee Brewers. Ryan went 7 2/3 innings in the victory giving up all 3 runs (1 earned) while recording 8 Ks. The 1 and 2 hitters for the Brewcrew that day were future Hall of Famers Paul Molitor and Robin Yount.

1991 Score #417 Nolan Ryan HL 300 Career Victories

Score honored the accomplishment with a card in their Highlights subset. The Front Shot shows Ryan acknowledging the fans.

1991 Score #417 Nolan Ryan HL 300 Career Victories (b-side)

The flip of the card contains an action shot and game summary. Note the 146 pitches thrown by Ryan in the victory. The 55,097 attendance was the 3rd largest Brewers crowd of the 1990 season, and the #1 draw for a weeknight game.

This is not a no-hitter card, but Ryan is obviously the most prominent member of the Year of Clan and we will be adding this card to the extras in our 1990YotNH index. 

Sources and Links
Nolan Ryan HoF Index
1990 Year of the No-Hitter Index

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Reading the Competition: Blue Jays Roy Halladay

Phillies are in Toronto for a quick two game series, which gives us a chance for a Roy Halladay posting. We have featured Doc a number of times as a Phillie, but I don't believe we have posted him as a Blue Jay until now.

1999 Bowman Best #136 Roy Halladay 

While Roy Halladay has a number of career highlights with the Phillies, the bulk of his career with the Blue Jays.

Among players on the Blue Jays All-Time Roster Halladay ranks #2 in WAR behind only Dave Stieb. Halladay won 148 games as a Blue Jay including a league leading 22 in 2003 when he won his first of two Cy Young Awards.

1999 Bowman Best #136 Roy Halladay (b-side)

When this card was issued Halladay had only two career MLB starts. The text on the back of the card refers to the 2nd of these starts when Temple Alum Bobby Higginson spoiled a potential no-hitter by Homering off of Hallday with two outs in the 9th inning. The Blue Jays beat the Tigers 2-1 that day giving Halladay the first of his 203 career victories. He threw mere 95 pitches in the complete game - 73 for strikes.

Sources and Links
Year of the No-Hitter Index

Year ot the No-Hitter: Scott Garrelts near-hitter

On July 29th 1990 Scott Garrelts could have pitched the record setting 8th no-hitter of the Major League season but he missed it by one out. He and the San Francisco Giants had to settle for a one-hit 4-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds as Paul O'Neill singled to center with 2 outs in the 9th. Garrelts subsequently retired Eric Davis to complete the shutout.

1991 Score #541 Scott Garrelts

Garrelts pitched 10 years in the Major, his entire career was spent with the Giants. The one-hitter was the last Shutout and Complete Game of his career.

1991 Score #541 Scott Garrelts (b-side)

The text on the back of Garrelts card mentions the Near-Hitter towards the bottom. It also goes on to mention his 1989 campaign when Garrelts led the NL in ERA, WHIP and W/L percentage. good enough for 6th in the Cy Young voting.

Sources and Links
Year of the No-Hitter Index
New York Times

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Kid is on Deck

The Hall of Fame inductions for the Class of 2015 are in the books.

Today we look ahead to next year's ceremony.

Which brings us to one of the most iconic baseball cards.

1989 Upper Deck #1 Ken Griffey Jr

Something tells me we will be seeing a lot of this card in the next year. Today, In the weeks leading up to the HoF Balloting in January and finally next July.

The 2016 Hof Induction will be a celebration. Junior's induction will be a respite from the PED talk. He is the "clean" champion from the steroid era.   All 630 Homers all 2781 Hits.

With so many Villains in the Steroid Story, it will be good to see one of the good guys win. And I hope the Arc remains that way.

Sources & Links
2016 Hof Candidates Index

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday Night Baseball: Welcome to the Hall of Fame Pedro Martinez

Tonight on the day of Pedro Martinez Induction into the Hall of Fame ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball is honoring the occasion by Featuring the Boston Red Sox as the Host the Detroit Tigers.

2002 Bowman Heritagae #66 Pedro Martinez

After a little bit of debate, I have decided to go with a Retro card as my Anchor card for Pedro's Phungo HoF series.

I love this card - A decade ago when Retro Sets were still sort of new it felt like the card companies tried harder. 2002 Bowman Homages 1954 Bowman. The Pedro #66 Card echoes the Ted Williams Card that sort of held the position in the original Bowman release.

2002 Bowman Heritage #66 Pedro Martinez (b-side)

And there is your proof that Martinez lives at House #66 in 2002 BowHeritage, notice above that I specified that was a position "Sort of" held by Ted Williams. Turns out that in 1954 Topps had inked a trading card contract with Topps and Bowman had to pull the card from the set. Rather then leave an open spot on the checker Bowman replaced Williams with Jim Piersall

Similarly #66 in Heritage is occupied by a pair of Red Sox.

2002 Bowman Heritage #66 Pedro Martinez/Nomar Garciaparra (b-side)

2002 Bowman Heritage #66 Nomar Garciaparra

There is the A-side of Nomar. I think the Black box for the player signature is an additional level of variation in Bowman Heritage - so yes variations have been around a while.

Pedro Martinez HoF Index
1997 Bowman Chrome #53
2000 Skybox Dominion #7 (ERA Leaders w/ HoF Randy Johnson)
2001 Topps Chrome #45 (card# = uniform#)
2004 Topps Pristine #18
2009 Phungo #45
2009 Topps Heritage #563 (w/ Phillies)
2009 Upper Deck Signature Stars Sign Sealed Delivered #SSD-8 (w/ Phillies)

1995 0603 Perfect Game Spoiled in Extra Innings (includes game ball in HoF)
2009 03xx Pedro pitches in the WBC San Juan PR

Sources and Links
Ted Williams HoF Index
Cardboard Connection

Cole Hamels Tosses No-Hitter

It was great watching Cole Hamels No-Hitter yesterday. During the course of a long season even the worst teams have bright spots, I am glad to see Cole Hamels got to be part of one.

2006 Fleer Tradition #29 Cole Hamels (rc - sort of)

The above Fleer card specifies that it is Cole Hamels Rookie Card, but that designation may vary. Hamels had cards at least as far back as 2003.   2006 was the first year of the current Rookie Card guidelines. Essentially a player gets the RC logo once they make a 25 man roster - apparently September Call ups don't count, I haven't bothered to research the latter point, but I question whether it is still followed.

Hamels came up in May of 2006 and thus earned the RC flair, His debut is covered in the text on the back of the card.

2006 Fleer Tradition #29 Cole Hamels (b-side)

One of the issues I have always had with Upper Deck is they have no problem wasting acres of real estate on the flip sides

2006 0904 Cole Hamels vs Craig Biggio (click to enlarge)

This is one of best photos I took early in my digital camera apprenticeship. Cole Hamels is facing Craig Biggio. It is a great photo to bring out today - on the Day that Biggio goes into the Hall and Hamels is fresh off his no-hitter.

This is one of the common shots I go after, the ball is in motion between pitcher and batter - in this pix the pitch appears to be pretty close to dead center of that 60 feet 6 inch stretch.

To read more about the great game where this photo was taken click here.

Extra Innings
Since we are covering No-Hitters this year I am adding this posting to our Year of the No-Hitter index.

Sources and Links
1990 Year of the No-Hitter Index
Cardboard Connection
Topps Baseball Card Database

Saturday, July 25, 2015

2015 Hall of Fame Inductee Craig Biggio

Baseball Hall of Fame weekend is here and it is a lot more joyful to have four players going in than a year like 2013 when the BBWAA failed to find a consensus on any players.

The top vote getter in 2013 was Craig Biggio, who despite racking up 3000 hits is viewed as a borderline Hall of Famer.  Borderline or not, the Career Astro is now a member of the Hall.

1991 Score the Franchise #802 Craig Biggio

Craig Biggio will go into the hall as a second baseman, but he debuted at the Major League Level as a catcher. Anytime I see a Biggio Catcher card in a dime box, I add it to the Phungo Collection.

This one is one of my favorites. It is clear Biggio is wearing the tools of Ignorance and I like that the catcher helmet identifies him with the #7 that the Astros have now retired in his honor.

1991 Score the Franchise #802 Craig Biggio (b-side)

The text on back of this 1991 card captures Biggio at the moment he is transferring away from the catcher position. He would moved to the Outfield before settling in at second base for the bulk of his career although he would do time back in center in 2003.

1991 Score
The Franchise is a 26 card subset with one star card to represent each of the Major Leagues then 26 teams. The Phillies Rep in the set is Lenny Dykstra. 

Craig Biggio Hall of Fame Index
1989 Donruss #561 (2013 HoF Ballot Resume)
1991 Score #161 (50th Birthday Posting)
2009 Phungo BFI (vs Cole Hamels)

Sources and Links
Cardboard Connection

Friday, July 24, 2015

2015 Hall of Fame Inductees Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson

Starting off our coverage of the 2015 Hall of Fame weekend in Cooperstown with a fun card that features two of the players that will be inducted on Sunday.

2000 Skybox Dominion #7 ERA Leaders Pedro Martinez Randy Johnson

The above cards Honors Martinez & Johnson leading their respective leagues in ERA in 1999. It was the first of two times that the two held the top spot together. The other was 2002.

2000 Skybox Dominion #7 ERA Leaders Pedro Martinez Randy Johnson (b-side)

As always you get some interesting names when you go 10 deep in 2 leagues. This weekends other HoF Pitching Inductee John Smoltz is #5 on the NL list - His Hall of Fame Braves Teammate Greg Maddux ranks #8.

The 1999 Phillies are represented by HoF Possible Curt Schilling and there and there are several future Phillies in the mix - Jamie Moyer, Freddy Garcia, Kevin Millwood, and Omar Daal.

Hope you enjoy Pedro cards, going to see a lot of him the next couple of days, Apologies to the Braves fans as I may be skipping Smoltz this go around.

Sources and Links
Phungo Randy Johnson HoF Index
Phungo Pedro Martinez HoF Index 

Baseball Cardpedia

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Game Report 2015 0721: Rays at Phillies - Aaron Nola Debut, Nathan Karns HR

Citizen's Bank Park provided some excitement on Tuesday night as their 2014 top draft pick Aaron Nola made his Major League Debut

It was a fun night for everyone, there was a buzz across the stadium as fans followed Nola from his Long Toss routine all the way through his six inning start.

2015 0721 Aaron Nola in his Major League Debut

Aaron Nola looked good giving up run on 5 Hits and a walk over the course of six innings in his first start.

He did have one bad pitch.

2015 0721 Nate Karns

Typically a gift pitch with an AL Pitcher batting isn't a problem, but on Tuesday night it was. Nate Karns had never had a hit in the Majors and only one in the minors, but he made his first in the Majors count. Karns Homered off of Aaron Nola in the 3rd inning and it was the only run the Rays needed. 

 2015 07 21 Linescore

How often do you get a 1-0 game where the only run is the result of a Pitcher hitting a Home Run.

Not often.

Yovani Gallardo did to give the Brewers a 1-0 victory over the Pirates in 2009. Karns was the first AL Pitcher to do it since 1962 when Milt Pappas did it for the Orioles versus the Yankees.

Kevin Kiermaier

There were a number of Rays that came out to sign autographs, one of them was Kevin Kiermaier who had a really good night in Centerfield. In addition to a couple of nice catches he also picked up and outfield assist when Cody Asche attempted to go first to third on a single.

Line Up Card Aaron Nola

The Phillies even had a new LineUp card posted for Aaron Nola.

Citizens Bank Park 

It is a little hard to tell but the flags at CBP were lowered to honor the memory of the servicemen killed in Chattanooga.

Sources and Links
The Sporting News
Phillies Radio Broadcast

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday Night Baseball: Red Sox @ Angels 1975 Topps #7 No-Hitter Highlights

Sunday Night Baseball is in LA for the Red Sox and Angels which gives an opportunity to dig a bit deeper into our Year of the No-Hitter series.

1975 Topps #7 1974 Highlights No-Hitters - Busby Bosman & Ryan

Two of the Ten pitchers who were involved in Year of the No-Hitter had thrown previous no-hitters. Mike Witt who finished Mark Langston's No-Hitter tossed a perfect game in 1984, the other of course was was Nolan Ryan.

The No-Hitter referred to by the 1975 Topps Card above is Ryan's Third. Ryan and the Angels defeated the Twins 4-0. The Twins lineup that Ryan faced that day included Future Hall of Famer Rod Carew (Who was the focus of our previous Angels SNB posting) and pinch hitter Harmon Killebrew. Ryan had the opportunity to finish the No-Hitter when he faced the Killer with 2 outs in the ninth, but ended up walking the slugger before getting Eric Soderholm for the final out.

1975 Topps #7 1974 Highlights No-Hitters - Busby Bosman & Ryan (b-side)

The newspaper style text on the back of the card gives short descriptions of the No-Hitters. Steve Busby beat the Brewers 2-0. Milwaukee's Shortstop that day was rookie Robin Yount who was playing in his 56th career game.

Dick Bosman shutdown Reggie Jackson and the Oakland A's 4-0 in the middle of their three-peat World Series Run. Today is the Anniversary of Bosman's No-Hitter which occurred 41 years ago. 

2007 09 23 Dick Bosman Throws out first pitch at RFK Stadium

Dick Bosman threw out the final first pitch at RFK Stadium. The Phillies lost to the Nationals 5-3 that day. Chuck Cordero struck out Jayson Werth for the final out.

Peanut Gallery 
Night Owl covered this No-Hitter card on his 1975 Topps Blog.

Sources and Links
1990 Year of the No-Hitter
Nolan Ryan HoF Index
Washington Nationals
baseball almanac

Friday, July 17, 2015

ANNIVERSARY: 1990 07 17 Bo Jackson 4 Consecutive Home Runs

25 Years ago Bo Jackson began a Home Run Streak that lasted over a month.

1991 Score #420 Bo Jackson - Highlight Four Consecutive Homers 

Of course Bo spent that entire month on the DL. During a Royals 10-7 Victory over the Yankees Jackson hit 3 Home Runs in his first 3 At Bats. But prior to getting a chance at recording a fourth he  was injured diving for a Deion Sanders line drive. Sanders ended up with an Inside-The-Park Home Run.

Bo Jackson ended up with an injured shoulder which sidelined him for 40 days.
1991 Score #420 Bo Jackson - Highlight Four Consecutive Homers (b-side)

The day he came back Jackson picked up right where he left off. In his first AB after coming off the DL He homered off of Future Hall of Famer and Year of the No-Hitter subject Randy Johnson.  For the Day Jackson was 3 for 4 and came a triple shy of the cycle as the Royals won 8-2.

Curiously the first 3 Homers were hit off of another Year of the No-Hitter pitcher, Andy Hawkins. This makes this our 3rd posting this month with an Andy Hawkins connection, The Hawkins non-hitter, The Melido Perez non-hitter and now Bo Jackson's 4 consecutive Homers.

Sources and Links

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

1952 AL MVP Bobby Shantz Autograph Signing at Shibe Vintage Sports

Last Friday Night Team Phungo checked out a Bobby Shantz Autograph Signing at Shibe Vintage Sports. 
1952 Topps #219 Bobby Shantz

This was definitely among one of the best best autograph signings I have ever attended. Bobby Shantz was beyond friendly, he was enthusiastic and funny. He discussed the 1952 Topps Card that I brought to sign and noted that it is one of the most common ones he received in TTM requests. The 1952 AL MVP inscription was his recommendation.

Discussing the 1952 Topps Card with Bobby Shantz (Photo stolen from Shibe Vintage Sports Facebook Site)

Shantz and Phungo

That is the 1952 AL MVP standing next to me, I am not that big a guy and he is standing on his tip toes. Shantz is listed as 5' 6" - Hard to believe anybody that size stuck around the majors for 16 seasons and struck out over a 1000 batters. 

Shibe Vintage Sports
Shibe Vintage Sports hosted Shantz as part of their first birthday celebration. Their store may be small but they have lots of great unique items and they have a friendly and helpful staff.

They have Phillies items of course, but they also have shirts and caps from the Philadelphia A's and the Negro League's Philadelphia Stars. Apparel options extend into all sports and they also have items related to historic Philadelphia Beers and Pubs. 

Sources and Links
Shibe Vintage Sports

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

2015 ASG Franchise Four Johnny Bench

Tonight MLB concluded their Franchise Four promotion. It ended with a ceremonial first pitch that was thrown by Don Sutton and caught by the Reds own Johnny Bench.

1978 Topps #700 Johnny Bench

I wouldn't immediately think of Bench at one of the four greatest living players.

Further research has revealed he has the highest career WAR of all catchers in History and he won two World Championships including 1976 when he was Series MVP.

During his 17 year career the first ballot Hall of Famer represented the Reds on 14 All-Star teams at one of the games most grueling positions. 

1978 Topps 
Johnny Bench's 1978T #700 was his second of six hero number cards. Judging by the era and condition of this card I believe it is from the v1.0 Phungo Collection.

Johnny Bench HoF Index 
2011 Topps #198 Legends Variation
2014 Topps Heritage Draft Pick Cards

Sources and Links
2015 ASG Coverage
baseball card database

Vittles OnStage

This is an Index of our Live Performance Related Postings including Music, Theater and Comedy

2014 10 18 Steve Poltz at Ardmore Music Hall

Toni Stone 2019 07 27

The Cherry Orchard 2015 02 12
The Elephant Man 2014 12 25 
Leaving 2010 06 xx

Bill Burr 2014 05 22
Gary Gulman 2014 12 13
Conan O'Brien 2014 05 22
Tig Notaro  2014 05 22
Janeane Garofalo 2015 07 08
Laura Kightlinger 2014 05 22

Book Signings/Author Events
Bill Conlin 1997 07 xx
Stefan Fatsis 2008 07 22 
Rob Fitts (Masanori Murakami bio) 2015 06 27
Charlaine Harris 2010 05 25
Tim McCarver 2008 08 21



Monday, July 13, 2015

ASG: Home Run Derby 2005

Ten Years ago The Home Run Derby was won by the Phillies Bobby Abreu

 2005 Topps Updated #UH218

For the Phillies the early 2000s were a pretty dark time. They were not as bad as this year squad, but they were stuck in mediocrity. The 2005 Phillies finished just a tick above .500, which was the fate of several of their seasons during the era.They were over a decade removed from their last playoff appearance which was a lone bright light in a 22 year drought.

Prior to Chase Utley emerging on the team, their best position player was Bobby Abreu.

On July 11th 2005 he got to make a splash on the big stage by winning the Home Run Derby Easily.

2005 Topps Updated #UH218 (b-side)

As noted on the flip side of the card above Abreu homered 41 times during the 2005 Derby. It remains the cumulative record for the Derby - 6 more than the 35 that Josh Hamilton hit in his Memorable Performance at Yankee Stadium in 2008. In addtion Abreu's first round total of 24 is second only to Hamilton (28 in 2008) for a single round total. 

Sources and Links
2015 Phungo ASG coverage
Phungo Game Dated Cards

Sunday, July 12, 2015

ANNIVERSARY: 1985 07 13 Live Aid

Thirty Years ago the Live Aid Concert was held at a pair of sights Wembley Stadium in London and Locally at JFK stadium

2015 Topps Baseball History #14A Live Aid Concerts 

This year as part of their Baseball History Insert Set Topps issued a Live Aid Card. Unfortunately for us Philadelphians the photo on the card is from Wembley.

Chuck Darrow who writes for the Daily News in Philadelphia wrote a a nice remembrance/synopsis of the JFK show in Today's Philly Inquirer. He mentions the Hooters, Teddy Pendegrass, Joan Baez, Zeppelin, Phil Collins, Tina Turner, Mick Jagger, CSNY and others as Highlights - and also the Heat and Humidity as a challenge.  

Live Aid Philadelphia Ticket Stub (from Philly Inquirer 2015 07 12)

The Live Aid tix in 1985 carried a $35 price tag.

2015 Topps Baseball History #14A Live Aid Concerts 

Among the folks mentioned on the Topps card are Organizer Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, Elton John, Madonna, U2, the Who, Queen and Sir Paul McCartney

The Baseball event paired with Live Aid is Nolan Ryan's 4000th Strikeout which occurred a few days prior to Live Aid on July 11th.

2015 Topps Baseball History #14B Nolan Ryan 4,000 Ks (image stolen from Baseballcardz)

The cards are designed with a subtle border tying them together into a single piece - the Live Aid card would be on the left with Nolan on the right - reminiscent of the 1983 Fleer Black n Blue card.

Detroit Tigers fan @robbyt86 was at that game and recently posted this tweet and picture.

Notice the full on Rainbow uniform worn by Ryan in RobbyT's shot. It appears that the photo used on the 2015 Topps card is not from the actual game in which Ryan recorded his 4000th K, but in a game a few years later.

1990 Topps
1990 Topps #4 Nolan Ryan The Astros Years 

In 1990 Topps honored Nolan Ryan and his 5000th Strikeout with a subset at the top of the flagship release. Card #4 discusses the Astros Years which included K number 4000.

1990 Topps #4 Nolan Ryan The Astros Years (b-side)

Ryan's Stikeout of Danny Heep is mentioned pretty much dead center of the text above.

Sources and Links
Nolan Ryan HoF Index
VittlesTunes Index
Cardboard Connection
robbyt86 of Detroit Tigers Cards and Stuff
Chuck Darrow

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions