Monday, August 31, 2015

ANNIVERSARY: August 31 1990 Griffey & Griffey Jr Join same lineup

25 Years ago on August 31 1990 Major League Baseball saw the first Father Son Game as Ken Griffey and Ken Griffey Jr were both in the same lineup for the first time.

1991 Score #841 the Griffeys

Baseball is often called the game of Fathers and Sons. The above black n white Score card captures that sentiment well - the two legends are a portrait of happiness. 

1991 Score #841 the Griffeys (b-side)

The back of the card has what appears to be a sketch and text mentioning the game on August 31st which was a 5-2 victory by the Mariners over the Royals.  The card goes on to mention a game two weeks later when the Griffey's hit back to back Home Runs off Angels Pitcher Kirk McCaskill in Anaheim. Despite giving up the Homers The Angels prevailed in the latter game 7-5.

Box Notes 
The Mariners Starting pitcher for the first Griffey/Griffey game was 2015 HoF Inductee Randy Johnson and boderline HoF Edgar Martinez was in the lineup PLAYING THIRD BASE. The Away Royals featured former Phillie Steve Jeltz and Future 1993 NL Champion Phillie Jim Eisenreich. The starting Center Fielder for the Royals that day was Brian McRae, son of Hal McRae.

The latter game once again featured Edgar at 3rd for the Ms. The Angels had a number of interesting names in their lineup none bigger than Dave Winfield. Others are Dick Schofield, another second generation player who shares a name with his father. Dick the elder his the Grandfather of Jayson Werth, while the younger is Werth's uncle. Bryan Harvey got the Save for the Angels and will likely be the father of a major leaguer some day, his Son Hunter is in the Orioles system.  Phils connected players in the Angels lineup include Catcher Lance Parrish and First Baseman Rick Schu. The Winning Pitcher for the Angels that day was current Phillies Pitching coach Bob McClure

Sources and Links
Baltimore Sun

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sunday Night Baseball

Cubs and Dodgers on Sunday Night Baseball Gives us a chance to toss out another Rollins Utley Card.

2011 Topps Heritage #72 Philly's Men Up the Middle Jimmy Rollins n Chase Utley

Every time I come across cards of departed members of the 2008 Phillies I get a tinge of sadness. However it is good to think of those players getting a chance at another ring and it is also nice to see the current Phillies move on and start looking towards the future.

Hopefully Rollins and Utley will get to play on the National Stage tonight. Neither player is having a standout year, but both are professionals and I would like to think they still have a few big hits in them.

2011 Topps Heritage #72 Philly's Men Up the Middle Jimmy Rollins n Chase Utley (b-side)

The back of the Heritage cards mentions the better times when the Phillies middle infield was capable of getting a hit every night and mashing a combined 50 homers. 

For a look back at our previous Rollins Utley card click here.

Sources and Links
2015 Playoff Contenders Index (includes links to both Cubs and Dodgers cards)
Jimmy Rollins Player Collection Index
Chase Utley Player Collection Index

HoF 80th Birthday Frank Robinson

August 31st marks the 80th birthday for Frank Robinson.

1967 Topps #100 Frank Robinson

This is the first Topps Card to feature Robinson wearing an Orioles Cap. He was issued an O's card in 1966 but it was in the classic Topps 1960s era Hatless style of traded players and it is quite clear that the future Hall of Famer is wearing Reds colors.

On December 9th 1965 the Reds traded the 1956 Rookie of the Year and 1961 NL MVP to the Orioles for a Young Milt Pappas and a couple of other prospects.

The ensuing season the 30 Year Old Frank Robinson went on to win the AL Triple Crown, The AL MVP Award and a World Series Ring (including Series MVP honors)

1967 Topps
The photo from the 1967T card above likely captures Robinson sometime during that epic 1966 season.

Topps awarded Robinson the First Hero Card in the 1967 set (#100) - he also appears on a Special #1 card in the set. It was the 2nd time that Frank Robinson drew a Hero Number, he was on card #400 in 1963.

1967 Topps #100 Frank Robinson (b-side)

The back of Frank Robinson's 1967T card covers a lot of the info we have above, Triple Crown -Toon, World Series MVP -Toon and Rookie of the Year text. Had to bum out Reds fans of the era to see Cincinnati listed there 10 times followed by the MVP year with a different squad. 

1966 Triple Crown WAR and MVP
The Triple Crown resulted in a unanimous AL MVP award for Robinson. Had SABRmetrics been available at the time I doubt that there would have been the debate that occurred when Miguel Cabrera pulled off the trifecta in 2012 but was pushed by Mike Trout. In addition to leading Junior Circuit Hitters in HR, RBI and Batting Average Robinson also led the group in oWAR.

It should however be noted that Pitcher Earl Wilson led all AL Players in WAR for the 1966 season, he finished 14th in the MVP voting. In an Award Voting Quirk Wilson did not receive a single Cy Young award vote that season. At the time there was only one CY award shared by the two leagues - and voters cast the first place vote only. Wilson had the misfortune of having his great season while Sandy Koufax was having a better season. 1966 was the last time that MLB handed out only one Cy Young award.

Frank Robinson HoF Index
1959 Topps #435 (HoF Profile & price guide including 1957 rc)
1961 Topps #25 (Reds Heavy Artillery w/ Vada Pinson and Gus Bell)
1999 Hillshire Farms Home Run Heroes (autograph)
2005 Topps Update Nationals Inaugural Game #NI-TEAM (Memorial) 
2010 Topps CYMTO Insert (1957 rc reprint)

1988 Fresh Air interview with Terry Gross, 13 minutes discusses issues with segregation & baseball.

Sources and Links
Baseball Hall of Fame

Friday, August 28, 2015

Little League World Series: Go Red Land PA!

Every Year I catch a few innings of the Little League World Series, On Saturday I will be looking on with added interest as a team from near where I was raised is involved in the US bracket championship - Red Land PA.

1981 Topps #459 Greg Gross

I have no idea if he was part of their little league but Greg Gross is an Alum of Red Land High School. He was also a member of the 1980 World Champion Phillies.

I remember Gross primarily as a no-pop pinch-hitter and fourth outfielder, but he was good enough at both those skills to stick in the Majors for 14 years including ten in Philadelphia.

1981 Topps #459 Greg Gross (b-side)

There are a number of things I like about the back of the 1981T Greg Gross card. First off the Bio info points out that he was born in the same county I spent my formative years, latter cards would ID his hometown as places I have enjoyed as an adult.

Secondly I like the informative cartoons especially the latter one that mentions Gross' contributions during the 1980 NLCS. The 1974 Rookie of The Year award mentioned in the first -toon went to another player that was on the 1980 World Champs, Bake McBride. Gross had the Higher WAR of the two (4.7 - 4.3) However McBride won the oWAR battle (4.0 - 3.1) likely due to his HR (6-0) and Stolen Base Advantages (30-12)

Sources and Links
(h/t @JeffBristol for reminding me Greg Gross was from Red Land HS)

Topps Card DB

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wax Pack Road Trip & Book: Don Carmen 1986 Topps

Earlier this week Nick Diunte's Terrific Baseball Happenings blog featured a column on a book that may interest Card Collectors  "Wax Pack" by author Brian Balukjian

The project involves opening a wax pack of 1986 Topps and personally tracking down all the players in the pack. The pack included 14 players and a a checklist, the lone Phillies card  was Don Carmen - Bualukjian's favorite payer from childhood (yes, I shook my hood as well)

1986 Topps Don Carman (image swiped from

Balukjian met with Don Carman on the 9th of July. Carman is a now a sports psychologist and works for Sports Agent Scott Boras. Balukjian and Carman spent the day at the Zoo, topics they covered included Evolution, Family and Mike Schmidt.

I am not sure if it was Biran Balukjian's goal, but it appears that much of the material covered in the discussions is how the players handle retirement along with off the field interests and activities.  

The other players in the pack range from the forgotten (Jaime Cocanower) to the semi-stars (Gary Templeton, Steve Yeager, Rick Sutcliffe) all the way to the Hall of Fame (Carlton Fisk). Two players that spent time with the Phillies represented other clubs in 1986T, Randy Ready (Brewers) and Richie Hebner (Cubs).  

Check out the WaxPack site to find out more about Brian Balukjian's journey and the various players he encountered. What little I have read of the blog has been fun to check out. 

Sources and Links
Baseball Happenings
Wax Pack Book
Brian Balukjian

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

ANNIVERSARY 1990 08 26 Bo Jackson Hits last of 4 Consecutive Home Runs

It took over a month to do it but on August 26th Bo Jackson tied the Major League Record for Home Runs on consecutive At Bats.

1991 Score #420 Highlight Four Straight Homers

On July 17th Bo Jackson Hit Home Runs in each of his first Three At Bats off of Yankees starting pitcher Andy Hawkins. The third Homer came in the fifth inning and it appeared the crowd at Yankee Stadium woud have an opportunity to see an historic night.

But in the bottom of the 6th inning that chance evaporated.

Bo Jackson was not the only 2 sport Center Fielder in the game, The Yankees Leadoff hitter that night was Deion Sanders. In his fourth At Bat Sanders hit a ball to right center that Bo Jackson dove for and missed. The play led to an In-the-Park Home Run for Sanders and also resulted in an injured shoulder for Jackson.

Jaskson's three Homers and 7 RBIs were key in the Royals 10-7 victory over the Yankees. 

1991 Score #420 Highlight Four Straight Homers (b-side)

It would take Bo Jackson nearly six weeks to return, but when he did on August 26th, the Home Run streak was still in tact.

That day in the second inning of a Royals home game versus the Seattle Marines Bo Jackson Homered off of Future Hall of Famer Randy Johnson. The Streak ended an inning later as the Big Unit retired Jackson on a fly out. Jackson went 3-4 in the game as the Royals won 8-2.

Year of the No-Hitter 
All four of the Home Runs were hit off of pitchers we have covered during our Year of the No-Hitter series. The first three were off of Andy Hawkins while the final one was off of Randy Johnson.

For another 4 Consecutive Homer notable over multiple games check out our recent Birthday Profile of Detroit Tiger and Temple Alum Bobby Higginson.

Sources and Links
New York Times

Monday, August 24, 2015

2009 UD Signature Stars Pedro Martinez

Pedro Matrinez finished his Hall of Fame career with a dozen starts for the Philadelphia Phillies. Dueu to his notoriety in the game he likely has as more Phillies Cards than games pitched with the club.

2009 Signature Series #SSD-8 Pedro Martinez

Above we present one of those cards - 09 UD Sign Sealed Delivered uses a newspaper layout format to create the atmosphere of a signing announcement on this card. The signing date of July 14th differs from the Baseball-Ref transaction by a day for some reason,

2009 Signature Series #SSD-8 Pedro Martinez (b-side)

UD did get the date of Pedro's first game as a Phillie correct, August 12th - He got the W in a 12-5 Phillies victory over the Cubs at Wrigley Field

Sources and Links
Pedro Martinez HoF Index

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sunday Night Baseball: Starling Marte Die Cut

Tonight the Pirates are hosting the Giants in a rematch of last years NL Wild Card game. The Pirates hope things go better than last years 8-0 loss.

2015 Topps Stadium Club Luminous Triumvirate #T-7B

 In last years single game showdown nothing went the Pirates way. They only managed four hits but one of them belonged to Starling Marte.

The 26 year old left fielder is in the middle of his third full season with the big club, and is once again putting together solid numbers. Currently Marte stands at 15 HR,  61 RBI, .290 AVG - Good Enough for a 119 OPS+ and a club leading 4.0 WAR.

Luminous Triumvirate
In our Blaster Break I mentioned that I don't understand this insert -Die Cuts aren't really my thing. As implied by the name Triumvirates are Trios of cards with a similar theme - the 3 Cards are die-cut as puzzle pieces that fit together to make a single long card. The #7 Triumvirate is dedicated to the Pirates, Starlings partners in his Troika are Andrew McCutchen and Gregory Polanco.

Triumvirates has three Levels based on manufactured scarcity, The Luminous above is the most common tier of the insert (1 per box - however available in retail)

2015 Topps Stadium Club Luminous Triumvirate #T-7B (b-side)

Maybe this is part of Triumvirate's theme, but in my opinion these are lame backs.

Playoff Contenders
The Pirates have the second best record in the NL and this card has been added to the Pirates portion of our Playoff Contenders Index

Sources and Links
2015 Playoff Contenders Index
Cardboard Connection

Saturday, August 22, 2015

ANNIVERSARY: 40 Years ago Davey Lopes Steals 38 consecutive Bases

Forty Years Ago Davey Lopes was in the middles of Consecutive Successful Bases Stolen Streak that Reached a total of 38.

1976 topps #4 Dave Lopes Most Consecutice Successful Stolen Base Attempts

Lopes first tied and than broke the record or 31 (previously held by Hall of Famer Max Carey) on a pair of steals during a Dodgers 2-0 Victory against the Mets on August 9th.  The latter of the two stolen bases was a steal of third which led to a run as Lopes scored later via a Wild Pitch. Both Stolen Bases were recorded off the battery of Jerry Koosman and Jerry Grote.

1976 topps #4 Dave Lopes Most Consecutice Successful Stolen Base Attempts (b-side - click to make more readable)

The flip side of the 1975T Lopes Record Breaker has a nice detailed listing of the stolen bases during Lopes' streak, although there is a discrepancy between Topps and Baseball-ref. According to Topps the Record Breaking Steal (The latter of the two August 9th Steals versus the Mets/Koosman) the base listed is 2nd - Baseball-ref had the base as 3rd, after advancing on a sacrifice bunt by Lee Lacy.

The Catcher that finally gunned down Davey Lopes was Future Hall of Famer Gary Carter in the 12th inning of a 14 inning 5-3 Expos Victory over the Dodgers. Of course this came after Lopes had already stolen 3 bases off of Carter (who was a Rookie at the time) earlier in the game. The Pitcher on the mound when Lopes was caught was Dale Murray, the tag was applied by current Phillies Manager Pete Mackanin.

40 Years Ago Today
On August 22nd 1975 Lopes recorded steal #35 in a 3-1 Loss to the Expos. It was a steal of 3rd base off of Pitcher Dan Warthen and Catcher Barry Foote - Two Expos who were traded to the Phillies in 1977 for Wayne Twitchell and Tim Blackwell.

Consecutive Stolen Base Record
Lopes held the record for close to 14 years until it was broken by Vince Coleman on June 24 1989.

Coleman extended the record to 50 prior to being caught on July 28 1989. His streak was also ended by the Expos, This time the Montreal Battery consisted of Pascual Perez and Nelson Santovenia.

Sources and Links
1976 Topps Record Breaker Index
Baseball Almanac
Cardinals Journal - John Snyder 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

I guess I am rooting for the Dodgers this year (sigh)

Gonna miss these guys

2008 Topps Heritage #408 Keystone Combo Utley-Rollins

My least favorite team as a Kid was the Dodgers, this year I am pretty sure I will be pulling for them though.

This is the first card I thought of when it became evident that the 2008 Middle Infield would be reunited on the West Coast. 

2008 Topps Heritage #408 Keystone Combo Utley-Rollins (b-side)

I like the card because it lives in the spot that was originally inhabited by a White Sox card that featured Nellie Fox and Luis Aparicio. Both of those middle infielders went on to the Hall of Fame. A Dodgers 2015 World Series triumph would certainly help both Utley and Rollins HoF resumes.

 I plan on visiting the original Fox-Aparicio card in the future until then you can check this out:

2008 Topps Heritage #408 Keystone Combo Utley-Rollins 
1959 Topps #408 Keystone Combo Fox-Aparicio

Sources and Links
2015 Playoff Contenders Index
Chase Utley Player Collection Index
Jimmy Rollins Player Collection Index 
2011 Topps Heritage #72 Rollins Utley

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

1915 Phillies 100th Anniversary - Stan Baumgartner

We are returning to our 1915 Phillies retrospective after a LONG hiatus. Today we look at a player who didn't even make the original cut for the feature, Relief Pitcher Stan Buamgartner.

Stan Baumgartner (Photo swiped from the

At twenty years old Stan Baumgartner was in his second season with the Phillies in 1915. He got into 16 games including a single start at Ebbets Field on June 2nd

The 1915 Phillies pitching staff was anchored by two future Hall of Famers in Grover Clevland Alexander and Eppa Rixey thus they had no need for Baumgartner in the postseason. It is unfortunate as it was Baumgartner's only shot at pitching in the World Series. He spent the remainder of his playing career in Philadelphia Five seasons with the Phillies and 3 with the A's.

Originally Baumgartner didn't make the cut for our 1915 Phillies Series. He had a minor role with the club, and I didn't have a baseball card of him - two major strikes against. However, last week I came across an interesting Frank Fitzpatrick article on

Fitzpatrick appears to base much of his article off a forthcoming bio by SABR researcher Phil Williams - one of the interesting aspects of Baumgartner's career is that he went on to become a baseball beat reporter following his playing career. The article goes into greater depth about his journalism career plus Baumgartner's football playing and coaching experiences with University of Chicago and at Nearby Delawarare.

Sources and Links
1915 Phillies - NL Pennant Winners
Philly Inquirer - Frank Fitzpatrick

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Happy 45th Birthday Bobby Higginson - 1991 Phillies Draftee

Why is a marginal player like Bobby Higginson showing up in a Phillies blog.

Well the man has a couple of Philadlephia connections. He was born in the City of Brotherly love and went to school locally at Frankford High and Temple U.

In addition to all that he was selected by the Phillies in the 18th round of the 1991 draft. Unfortunately the Phillies were unable to sign Higginson.

2002 UD Vintage #94 Bobby Higginson

The Phillies planned to move Higginson from the Outfield to second base. Since Higginson was not comfortable with the approach he asked for a signing bonus of $20,000 which was 14k more than the Phillies offered. The draftee wanted the bonus to insure that the Phillies would not give up on him too quickly if his play at second didn't go well initially.

The Phillies never countered the 20K number. A year later Higginson was picked in the 12th round of the Tigers who signed him as an Outfielder for 10 grand, plus an additional 10 thousand college provision.

It turned out to be a good move for the Tigers. Bobby Higginson had an 11 year career spent entirely in Detroit.

War and the Draft - 1991
At the top of this article I dismissed Bobby Higginson as a marginal player, well this is simply not true. He had a career WAR of 23.0. This ranks #1 among all players the Phillies Selected in 1991. 2nd Round pick Kevin Stocker ranks #2 at 5.9. #10 overall pick Tyler Green pitched 70 games for the big club but yielded a negative WAR (-0.5)

Among all outfielder picked in 1991 Higginson ranks #3 Behind Mike Cameron (46.5) and Shawn Green (34.5). Fourth and fifth place on the list are held by Phillies Alums Raul Ibanez (20.1) and Doug Glanville (10.9).

Among all #473 Picks in the history of the Draft Higginson ranks #1 in WAR. Glenn Hubbard (19.1) and Phils Alum Dick Ruthven (18.6) are the only other players drafted at that position to have positive WAR numbers.  Bobby Higginson also achieved the standard for his selection in the 1992 draft - He outpaced Rick Honeycutt (22.3) and five other players that made the majors including Orioles Outfielder David Lough who remains active. 

Higginson's 23.0 career WAR is in the top 100 among Left Fielders, this ranks him in front of Bernard Gilkey, Carlos Gonzalez (Active), Hideki Matsui, 1987 AL MVP George Bell, 1962 Hit, Batting and RBI Champ Tommy Davis, the aforementioned Raul Ibanez, and this years Phillies Wall of Fame inductee Pat Burrell.

 1971 Topps #94 Don Hahn

2002 UD vintage stole their design from 1971 Topps. The Card occupied by Higginson was originally the residensce of Montreal Expos outfielder Don Hahn.

Don Hahn played a few games for the Phillies at the tail end of his career. As far as I know he was never issued a Phil, but apparently he did make it into the teams photocard set.

2002 UD Vintage #94 Bobby Higginson (b-side)
1971 Topps #94 Don Hahn (b-side)

UD changed the color of the flip sides just to show they weren't totally pilfering the original Topps design. Interesting that UD moved around the stats, and opted to drop Total Bases - actually giving LESS info on the updated card.

Four Consecutive HR Club
Didn't want to leave this article without mentioning that Bobby Higginson once hit four Home Runs in four consecutive At Bats. It wasn't four in one game or Four Plate Appearances in a row - there were some walks mixed in there, but it was four Homers in four official ABs. It is a fairly rare accomplishment - I think most recently by Carlos Gonzalez (2012). Phillies Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt hit four in a row during an 18-16 victory over the Cubs on April 17 1976.

Sources and Links
the Phillies Room
WAR and the Draft Index
Philadelphia Inquirer - Sam Carchidi
History Channel 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Larry Bowa Bobblehead Night Tueday August 18th

On Tuesday August 18th the Phillies are hosting Larry Bowa Bobblehead night to mark the Shortstop/Coach/Managers 50 years in Baseball

1975 Topps #420 Larry Bowa

1975 was the first of three times that Larry Bowa picked up an All-Star game flair the other years were 1979, and  1980.

The 1975 All-Star game celebrates Larry Bowa starting the previous years all-star game. An honor he earned despite his season long WAR of 1.2. National League Shortstops that had a Higher WAR than Bowa  included Bill Russell, Chris Speier, Bud Harrelson, and Most Notably Dave Concepcion (5.5 WAR)

Sources and Links

Larry Bowa Index
Philadelphia Phillies
Baseball Card Database

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sunday Night Baseball Angels @ Royals

Sunday Night Baseball is in Kansas City to see the AL Pennant Winners host the LA Angels. The last four seasons the Royals Team WAR leader has been Alex Gordon. That streak is likely to end this year and the prime candidate to take the KC throne is Lorenzo Cain

2015 Topps Heritage #54 Lorenzo Cain

Back in September of 2010 I caught a Brewers Phillies game, Buried in the random observations I wrote the following:

I am pretty proud of the underlined portion, The followups regarding Mat Gamel and Craig Counsell can be ignored.

2015 Topps
I like this card, It appears that Topps moved to expand the photo selection for Heritage in 2015. Prior to this year a standard headshot was used on most cards - this has opened them up for more interesting pix. As I have mentioned in our first pack posting, I am a fan of any shot that has a patch in it, Heritage has lots of patches on the uniforms - this card of Lorenzo Cain has a World Series Patch on his cap. Nothing like catching a guy at the top of his season and to that point his career.

2015 Topps Heritage #54 Lorenzo Cain (b-side)

Card #54 in the original 1966T set was occupied by Jose Pagan. There are no real connections between the two players, unless you count that fact that Pagan had a great 1962 World Series and Cain was coming off a great ALCS in 2014.

Playoff Contenders - Kansas City Royals
     Alex Gordon  (2010 Topps CYMTO/2006 Topps - from 2014)
     Salvador Perez (2014 Topps Opening Day Superstar Celebrations #SC-11- from 2014) 

     Tom Gordon (1989 Donruss #45- from 2014) 
     Black & Blue - Bud Black and Vida Blue (1983 Fleer Super Star Special #643 & #644- from 2014)
     George Brett (1978 Topps #100- from 2014)  

Sources and Links
2015 Playoff Contenders Index

2015 Playoff Contenders Index

This is our Index of postings Related to the 2015 Playoff Teams

 2015 Topps Heritage #54 Lorenzo Cain

     Noah Syndergaard (2013 Futures Game at CitiField)
     Dilson Herrera (2015 Topps Opening Day #111 /Wilson Tovar)
     Game Report 2015 0508 Harvey vs Hamels
     Tom Seaver turns 70 (1974 Topps #80)

     Jordan Zimmermann (2013 Topps Opening Day #96 - from 2014)
     Gio Gonzalez (2006 Bowman Draft Chrome Futures Game Prospects - from 2014)

     Matt Adams (2014 Topps #157 Rookie Cup - from 2014)
     Kolten Wong (2015 Heritage #22 - Rookie Cup)
     Lou Brock (1968 Topps #372 All-Star - from 2014)    
     Matt Holliday (2011 Topps #US324 - from 2014)

     Gerrit Cole (2013 Topps Chrome #210 Orange Parallel)
     Starling Marte (2015 Topps Stadium Club Triumvirate #T-7B)
     Andrew McCutchen/Willie Stargell (2015 Topps Inspired Play #I-15)
     Neil Walker (2006 Bowman Draft - Futures Game Prospects - from 2014)
     Rennie Stennett (1976 Topps Record Breakers #6 - 7 Hit Game)

    Jake Arrieta (2015 Heritage #384)
    Javier Baez (2013 Bowman Platinum #BPP10)
    Addison Russell (2011 Topps USA Baseball #USA-57)

    Ernie Banks (Memorial Postings)
    Andre Dawson (2015 Topps F40-7 Free Agent 4)
    Game Report 2015 0625 Dodgers 4 @ Cubs 0 (Wrigley Field Visit)
     Yasiel Puig (2014 Topps #331 - Rookie Cup - from 2014)
     Utley - Rollins (2008 Topps Heritage #408 - As Phillies)
     Rollins - Utley (2011 Topps Heritage #72)
     Davey Lopes (1976 Topps #4 Record Breaker)
     Sandy Koufax (2007 UD #17 - 1965 Perfect Game)
     Dodger Stadium Visit (from 2014)
     Game Report 2015 0625 Dodgers 4 @ Cubs 0 (Wrigley Field Visit)

    Madison Bumgarner (2010 Bowman Prospects - from 2014)
    Hunter Pence (2013 topps Chrome #2 - from 2014)
    Pence Again (2011 Topps #US92 - with the Phillies - from 2014)
    Buster Posey (2009 Obak #23 - from 2014)

     JJ Hardy (2003 Bowman Draft #BDP137 - from 2014)
     Adam Jones (2013 Topps Chase It Down #CD5 - from 2014)
     Chris Tillman (2015 Topps/Topps Growth Chart)
     Jim Palmer (1973 Topps #160 - from 2014)
     Cal Ripken (1992 Topps #40 - HoF Index)
     Cal Ripken (2001 UD Commemorative) 
     Frank Robinson (1967 Topps #100)

     Masahiro Tanaka (2014 Topps Chrome Update #MB-43)
     Whitey Ford (2012 Cooperstown Collection With Honors - Memorial Day)
     Derek Jeter (2015 Phungo #2)
     Phil Niekro (1986 Topps #204 - Oldest Pitcher to toss Shutout/300 Wins)
     Game Report 2015 0306 (Spring Training Yankees 4 @ Phillies 1)

Blue Jays
     Eric Lindros (1990 Score #100T)
     Dave Stieb (1991 Score No Hit Club #707)

     Lorenzo Cain (2015 Heritage #54)
     Alex Gordon  (2010 Topps CYMTO/2006 Topps - from 2014)
     Salvador Perez (2014 Topps Opening Day Superstar Celebrations #SC-11 - from 2014)
     Bo Jackson (1991 Scrore #420 HL 4 Consecutive Home Runs)
     Black & Blue - Bud Black and Vida Blue (1983 Fleer Super Star Special #643 & #644 - from 2014)
     George Brett (1978 Topps #100 - from 2014)
     Tom Gordon (1989 Donruss #45 - from 2014)

     Eddie Rosario (2012 Bowman Platinum #BDP36)
     Miguel Sano (2014 Baseball America Prospect Handbook Cover)
     Ted Uhlaender (1966 Topps #264 rc / Olympic-Daughter Katie Uhlaender)

     Joey Gallo (2011 Topps USA Baseball)
     Nolan Ryan (1991 Score #701 - Various Cards related to No-Hitter #6)

     Jose Altuve (2013 Topps Archives #176 RTC Posting from 2014)
     Carlos Correa (2014 Hi-A All Star Game in Wilmington DE)
     George Springer (2015 Topps #318 rCup) 
     Craig Biggio (1991 Score the Franchise #802 - HoF Posting)
     Nolan Ryan (2015 Topps Baseball History #14B 4000 Ks / Live Aid)
     Jason Lane (2006 Topps #473 Oscars - Boyhood)

     Mike Trout (2013 Topps - Defensive Playoff of the Year  - from 2014)  
     Angels Stadium (from 2014)

Sources and Links
2014 Playoff Contenders

2015 Topps Chris Tillman Growth Chart

Today the Orioles Promotional Items is a fun one that Card Collectors may appreciate.

2015 Topps Flavored Growth Chart Chris Tillman

The O's took the 2015T design and stretched it out Tallboy Style to create a Growth Chart as a giveaway for the younger set which is still growing.

2015 Topps Opening Day #12 Chris Tillman

The Growth Chart does not contain the same image as Tillman's 2015T Card, we have added the action shot here for comparison.

Hopefully this will spur the O's onto a playoff run.

Sources and Links
Cardboard Connection
Baltimore Orioles

Saturday, August 15, 2015

1990 Year of the No-Hitter August 15th Terry Mulholland PT 3

This is our third and final card dedicated to Terry Mulholland's 1990 No-Hitter.

1991 Donruss #BC-14 Terry Mulholland

Nice looking card I like the Highlights flair and the succinct "NO-HITS GIANTS" tag line. I do however ding them for picking a shot of Mulholland on the road rather than pitching at the Vet where he recorded the No-Hitter.  

1991 Donruss #BC-14 Terry Mulholland (b-side)

A very thorough write up here. Can you imagine a baseball card containing this much text today?

Too bad there is a glaring error in the first sentence. I am no journalists, but I do remember this from my 100 level Journalism course I took 30 years ago - Spell the names correctly and get the Dates right. Donruss failed on the date here as they have the No-Hitter a month early on July 15th rather than August 15.

The card has a second error while discussing a Baseball error. Donruss refers to Phillies Third Baseman Charlie Hayes as "Chris" - perhaps that is what his friends call him.

I give Donruss credit for mentioning that Mulholland pitched to the minimum and also name dropping Gary Carter at the end of the text.

1991 Donruss Bonus Cards
The Donruss BC are essentially a subset of 1991 Donruss. BC consists of 22 cards split between the two Donruss series for 1991, Mulholland falls in S2. All nine of the 1990 no-hitters are represented in the Bonus Cards subber.  

Sources and Links
1990 0815 Terry Mulholland No-Hitter Index
Baseball Cardpedia
Baseball Ref

1990 Year of the No-Hitter: August 15th Terry Mulholland PT 2

This is what happens when you take those memorable Yellow 1991 Fleer Cards and lazily create a subset based off the original.

1991 Fleer Box Botton #8 Terry Mulholland

Just when you think 1991 Fleer can't look any worse, you add a quick game, date and score in the dullest font possible. The #8 refers to Mulholland's No-Hitter being the leagues eighth of the season which set the record - for purposes of the Fleer box bottom No-Hitter "subset" it is also the card number. 

The No-Hitter flair is the only thing of any interest here.

Fleer produced this card as part of a series of Box Bottom cards dedicated to the 1990 No-Hitters. Each Box Bottom contains 4 Cards, 3 No-Hitter related plus a fourth card that has a Team Logo. The Mulholland card shares a Panel with Andy Hawkins and Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan.

1991 Fleer Box Botton #3 Nolan Ryan (image swiped from Thorzul)

Speaking of the Express, I Just happened to see that Thorzul posted the Nolan Ryan Fleer Box Bottom as part of his most recent Pull the Trigger promo. This card is, of course, related to Ryan's No-Hitter which we featured two months ago.

Since these cards are Box Bottoms they are blank backed.

Sources and Links
Thorzul Will Rule
1990 0815 Terry Mulholland No-Hitter Index
1990 0611 Nolan Ryan No-Hitter Index
Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards (Bob Lemke)
Baseball Ref

Friday, August 14, 2015

1990: Year of the No-Hitter - August 15 Terry Mulholland

Terry Mulholland made year of the No-Hitter official by pitching the seasons eighth no-no en route to a 6-0 Phillies victory over his former club, the San Francisco Giants

1991 Score #706 No-Hit Club Terry Mulholland

Only one hitter reached base in Terry Mulholland's No-Hitter, Rick Parker on an Error by Phils Third Baseman Charlie Hayes. Hayes made up for his error when he speared a line drive off the bat of future Hall of Famer Gary Carter for the final out of the game.

1991 Score #706 No-Hit Club Terry Mulholland (b-side)

Terry Mulholland's pitched to the minimum in the no-hitter as Parker was erased on a double play two pitches after he reached. Notable players in the Giants lineup included Will Clark, Kevin Mitchell, and Matt Williams.

Darren Daulton caught Mulholland's No-Hitter and also hit a Home Run.

No-Hit Cards
Earlier in our no-hit series we dedicated several posting to Nolan Ryan due to his record setting prowess in pitching gems. Similarly we will be putting together a miniseries for Terry Mulholland since he is a member of the local 9. Just posting the Cards here, will have an addendum on each of these cards over the next day or two.

1991 Fleer Box Bottom #8 Terry Mulholland

1991 Donruss #BC14 Terry Mulholland

Mulholland No-Hitter Index
1991 Donruss #BC14
1991 Fleer Box Bottom #8

Sources and Links
Year of the No-Hitter Index
NY Times
Chicago Tribune
Philadelphia Inquirer

Monday, August 10, 2015

Blaster Break 2015 Topps Stadium Club

Some highlights from a recent Blaster purchase of 2015T Stadium Club. I think I may have picked up a single loosey as well, can't remember.

The Sole Phillie in the 40 card bounty was or retired centerfielder - convicted criminal Lenny Dykstra.

As with most Stadium Club cards we have a nice shot - full bleed. The TSC design is minimal - showing of the photo more, but unremarkable. Dykstra is bundled up here, wonder if this is from a road opener somewhere. I am a fan of the Liberty Bell flair whenever it shows up on Phillies attire on a card - you can see it here on Dykstra's turtleneck.

Blaster All-Stars

I like to post Breaks in the form of an all-star team of the cards drawn. Sometimes it is the best players, but often it is the most interesting photo or card design/shot combo

David Cone
Tim Hudson
Hisashi Iwakuma
Ivan Rodriguez

I think we were pitching light which is how Iwakuma got the nod, but the rest of these shots are great.  I may return to the Cone card as part of our Year of the No-Hitter Series. The Pudge card needs to rank among the best in the set - I want this shot on a Carlos Ruiz card.

Chipper Jones
Orlado Cepeda
Hanley Ramirez
Bip Roberts

I like the Ramirez card as it is a nice nod to both his changing teams and changing positions. It is a card that pays off on the viewers baseball knowledge. Note I moved Hanley back to Shortstop for this posting as the position was left vacant by our 40 card blaster.

Including a handful of Black n White hots is a nice touch in the set. The entirety of Orlando Cepeda's career was probably in the color photography era, but it is nice to see the B/W shot here.

Bo Jackson
Joe DiMaggio
Deion Sanders
Dusty Baker

Lots of stuff going on here, The Bo Jackson card gives us an interesting candid shot -
Something that is hard to capture. I typically dislike any shot from behind the player but the Deion Sanders card is ok, there is action and it is with one of the premier basestealers of the era. Dusty Baker is getting a lead from 2nd or 3rd, which you don't see on many cards - also it is hard to pick up but this is a Gold insert.

The Joe DiMaggio B/W is apparently noting his reach 45 games in his hit streak. At the time this tied Wee Willie Keeler for the major league record - this is another card I would like to return to at some point.

The Bench (Inserts)
Ken Griffey/Ken Griffey Jr
Contact Sheet Miguel Cabrera
Luminous Trumvirate Starling Marte

The Griffeys card is a fun one, will probably see this one a lot in the next year especially come Father's day. Here I have presented the base and Gold for side/side comparison.

The two bottom cards are inserts that I don't understand.

Sources and Links
Baseball Almanac
Ken Griffey Jr HoF Index
Orlando Cepeda HoF Index
Joe DiMaggio HoF Index
Ivan Rodriguez HoF Index

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Sunday Night Baseball Dodgers @ Pirates

Tonight the Pittsburgh Pirates host the LA Dodgers on Sunday Night Baseball. Our Pirates card to mark the occasion is an insert from 2015 Topps.

 2015 Topps Inspired Play #I-15 Willie Stargell & Andrew McCutchen

Topps frequently produces subsets that tie together players from different eras. This year they dubbed that set Inspired Play.

The Pirates entry into the subset features 1970s era Hall of Famer and team leader Willie Stargell. The current pirates feature Centerfielder Andrew McCutchen who fulfills a similar role.  

Currently Andrew McCutchen's career is much more advanced then Stargell's was at age 28. Going into the season McCutchen's career WAR was 33.3 - compare that with 11.5 for Stargell. McCutchen wins the traditional numbers as well BA McCutchen .299, Stagell .278, HR McCutchen 128-112, RBI 462-411, and Stolen Bases 143-5. Stargell does have McCutchen in Slugging Pct, but by just 2 points.

At age 27 Willie Stargell had one HoF in his SimScore Top 10 - Frank Thomas at #8. Andrew McCutchen has 3 HoFs Andre Dawson (#2) Billy Williams (#7) and Dave Winfield (#9)

 2015 Topps Inspired Play #I-15 Willie Stargell & Andrew McCutchen (b-side)

Inspired Play
IP is a 15 card insert set representing half the teams in the league, which led me to believe that this may be a continuity set with the other 15 cards in S2. This was not the case and it appears this may be series one only. Card I-5 features the Phillies connecting a pair of the teams great soutpaws Steve Carlton and Cole Hamels. Five of the 15 cards serve as a base for relics, The Phillies are amongst the 5 (#IR-HC)

Sources and Links
Willie Stargell HoF Index
Cardboard Connection

Willie Stargell Hall of Fame Index

This post is an index of postings related to Hall of Famer Willie Stargell

1966 Topps #255 Willie Stargell

HoF Index
1966 Topps #99 Bucs Belters (w Donn Clendenon)
2015 Topps Inspired Play #I15 Willie Stargell and Andrew McCutchen

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Welcome to the Hall of Fame Mick Tingelhoff

As part of the NFL Hall of Fame weekend the Football Preseason commences with the Steelers and Vikings playing an exhibition game in Canton.

Both teams were represented by HoF inductees over the weekend, Jerome Bettis for the Steelers and Mick Tinglehoff for the Vikings.

1964 Philadelphia Gum #110 Mick Tingelhoff (rc)

Tinglehoff was the Vikings starting Center for every game the team played from 1962 through 1978. That is 17 seasons without missing a game - 240 of them, plus 19 playoff games.

The Vikings never won a Superbowl, but Tinglehoff played in four of them.

Mick Tinglehoff's Hall of Fame presenter will be another Vikings Hall Member, Fran Tarkenton. 

1964 Philadelphia Gum #110 Mick Tingelhoff (rc b-side)

The card specifies Mick Tinglehoff is a 3rd year player, however according Cardboard Connection this is his rookie card.

The 1964 Philly Gum Cards give some pretty solid hints on the tunes related to their trivia questions. Kudos for to Philly Gum for going to the trouble of getting Tinglehoff's uni number right.

Sources and Links
cardboard connection
Pro Football Hall of Fame

Monday, August 3, 2015

Game Report Braves @ Phillies Alumni Weekend

Made it to two games as part of  the Phillies Alumni Weekend versus the Braves, a 12-2 victory on Saturday Night and a 6-2 Loss on Sunday.

2015 0801 Pat Burrell operating the Hot Dog Gun

By far the highlight of the Phillies Season has to be Pat Burrell firing the Hot Dog Cannon. Add to this the massive uhm Shoulder Bag that he is carrying and you have a perfect image.

Alumni weekend provided plenty of entertainment. Burrell tried to make a few awkward jokes during his speech, but he fared well enough otherwise. 2008 World Series Champ Manager Charlie Manuel gave a great intro and it was great to see him get loud ovations all weekend.

Pat Burrell's new Wall o Fame plaque was added next to 2014 Inductee Charlie Manuel. 

Franchise Four

On Satyrday Night the Phillies honored their Franchise Four. You may remember MLBs promotion from last month - the Phillies four were Richie Asburn, Robin Roberts, Steve Carlton and Mike Schmidt. Carlton is in the 80s era powder blue roadie. To his right is Richie Ashurn's grandson and on his left is one or Robin Robert's sons. Mike Schmidt is hidden by Bob Boone on the left side of the photo.

The four other gentleman in the pictures are all catchers. Each of the Franchise Four took part in a four pronged first pitch with a Phillies Catcher. Boone is on the far left, Darren Daulton and Mike Lieberthal are next to the obscured Mike Schmidt while current Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz is on the far right.

Game Pix
Cameron Rupp 2015 0801

Saturday night has a bunch of heroes. The offense put up a season high 12 runs, three of which came on a Homer by Cameron Rupp.

Adam Morgan

The Phillies have two rookies in the rotation right now. Aaron Nola got the W on Friday night, Adam Morgan didn't fair as well on Sunday. He struggled through five innings giving up four runs. The Braves had runners on in each of those innings with the big blow coming in the 5th, a three-run homer by Jace Peterson

 Julio Teheran

Julio Teheran who has had a mixed season looked more like the pitcher he was during his All-Star 2015 campaign. He scattered 8 hits and 2 runs over 7 innings without a walk.

Ryan Howard

Over the two games Ryan Howard looked like 2008 or maybe 2011 as he went 5 for 8 with a couple of doubles and RBI. He has hits in eight consecutive games and as been a big contributor to the Phillies recent success.

Aaron Harang

Couple of Phillies signing autograph's on Sunday. Harang was out in the sun for a good 30 minutes. Maikel Franco and I think Cody Asche were also out there for short stints.

Blue err Orange Moon
There was a bit of excitement over the Blue Moon this weekend. I took this shot on Saturday night, so it is a day past full. I have no idea what structures are in the shot, I think they are generally East of the stadium. 

 2015 0801 Ticket Braves at Phillies

2015 0802 Game Ticket Braves @ Phillies

Sources and Links

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions