Thursday, December 14, 2017

2018 HOF Candidate: Jamie Moyer

Today's HOF Candidate has a bunch of local ties Souderton HS Alum, St Joe's University Alum, and Starting pitcher for the 2008 World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies.

2008 UD WS #PP-7 Jamie Moyer (image swiped from trading card database)

To me Jamie Moyer is a baseball hero just for pitching until he was 49 years old. I will spare you the suspense - to me Jamie Moyer is an absolute Hall of Famer.

Deep down inside I realize the mans numbers are just to mediocre. His big number is his 269 victories, 56 of which came for the Phillies. Of course that is an accumulation in a stat category that is going out of vogue. Regardless his 50+ WAR is very respectable ranking 110th all-time, better than a handful of Hallers most notably Sandy Koufax. Of course Moyer doesn't have the accomplished Postseason of Koufax who was twice voted World Series MVP.

2008 Upper Deck World Series
The above card honors Jamie Moyer's only World Series appearance. With the series tied 1-1 Moyer took the mound in the Phillies first Home World Series game in 25 years.

The rain delayed game did not start until after 10pm and would not end until nearly 2 the next morning. Moyer the Veteran and True Professional did not let the inhospitable conditions bother him. He put together 6.1 innings leaving the game with a 4-2 Phillies lead. A lead the bullpen would relinquish, however the Phillies eventually won the game 5-4 on a crazy finish - Reserver Eric Bruntlett reached via Hit By Pitch, moved to 3rd on a throwing error by Rays Catcher Dioner Navarro, and scored on a Carlos Ruiz dribbler.  The Phillies scored the winning run without hitting a ball out of the infield. 
2008 UD WS #PP-7 Jamie Moyer (b-side)

The flip side of the card gives a brief synopsis of the game 3 of the 2008 series. 

For more information Upper Deck's 2008 World Series Box check out Cliff's posting over at Capewood's Collections. 

As mentioned above Jamie Moyer is an Hall of Famer to me. YES

Sources and Links

Saturday, December 9, 2017

2018 HOF Candidate: Jim Thome

On December 6 2002 the Philadelphia Phillies announced that the long struggling club was ready for big time when they signed free agent slugger Jim Thome.

Things didn't work out as well as Phillies fans would have liked but the short-lived Thome era did have some fun moments. Over the course of his first two seasons in Philadelphia Thome hit 89 Home Runs including a league leading 47 in 2003. 

2004 Topps #1 Jim Thome (image swiped from Dean's Cards)

Topps honored the league leading season by putting Jim Thome on the #1 card of it's 2004 set (AL HR Leader Alex Rodriguez got 2004 Topps next hero card #100).

Good looking card and I am glad that Thome was recognized by Topps while he wore a Phillies uniform. The team didn't make the playoffs while Thome was here, but it is my opinion he was a key stepping stone to getting the team to a competitive level.

One of my favorite moments of Jim Thome's tenure in Philadelphia was his 400th career Home Run which came during a Phillies 10-7 victory over the Reds on June 14 2004. The game is briefly discussed in our 2006 Wall of Fame posting.  

2004 Topps #1 Jim Thome (b-side image swiped from Dean's Cards)

On the top left of the back of the card we can indeed see that this is the #1 card in the set. 
It also shows Thome's inaugural Phillies stat line which notes his league leading 47 homers in red (as well as his 182 Ks). The short text blurb touches on Thome's other strength, getting on base. The 60 game on-base streak was stopped by pitchers Kris Benson and Scott Sauerbeck during a 2-0 Pirates victory over the Phillies.

Phun Phact
Topps also put Jim Thome on the #1 card of the 2004 Heritage set.

Phungo Verdict
HOF - Big Fan, 600 Home Runs, Great Guy.

Sources and Links
2018 HoF Candidates
Jim Thome Player Collection Index
Dean's Cards
#1 Club


Thursday, December 7, 2017

2018 HOF Candidate: Kevin Millwood

The second installment of our 2018 HOF Candidates is on journeyman pitcher Kevin Millwood who had a pretty decent career. His two year stint for the Phillies was fair at best, however there were some big moments during those 2 seasons.

2013 Gypsy Queen No-Hitters #NH-KM Kevin Millwood

His biggest of those moments was on April 27 2003 when Millwood authored a 1-0 No-Hitter versus a San Francisco Giants team that was anchored by Barry Bonds batting clean-up.

Topps recognized the accomplishment in their 2013 Gypsy Queen No-Hitters insert set. Decent looking card which fits the GQ motif. I like that Topps added the uniform number to the front of the card. While looking at this card it occurred to me an awful lot of No-Nos have been tossed by players wearing #34. Within the 15 card 2013 GQ No-Hitter Insert Set alone there are several: Millwood, Felix Hernandez, Homer Bailey, the recently deceased Roy Halladay, and of course Nolan Ryan.

This card also hit on my continuity error nerve. Millwood pitched his No-Hitter at the Vet and yeah that is obviously not the Vet. In fact our here is shown here wearing a road uni - so this game was not even played in Philadelphia.

2013 Gypsy Queen No-Hitters #NH-KM Kevin Millwood (B-side)

Functional back text doesn't really bring out the excitement of a no-hitter. Topps first cover Millwood's No-Hitter much better in their 2004 offering which is discussed here

Phungo Verdict
In addition to Pitching the No-Hitter for the Phillies, Kevin Millwood also started the final game ever played at the Vet. Unfortunately the game was a 5-2 loss to Millwood's former team, the Atlanta Braves.

Obviously that is not the difference maker in Millwood's credentials. He is a respectable 30+ career WAR player, who racked up 169 Ws during a 16 years career. His Cy Young peak was #3  in 1999 (Randy Johnson). That season featured his sole All-Star and World Series Appearances.

Good pitcher, rough Phillies tenure despite some big moments. Verdict VETO

Sources and Links
2018 HOF Candidates
Kevin Millwood No-Hitter Index
Cardboard Connection

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

1993 Phillies 25th Anniversary

This is an index to our feature on the 25th anniversary of the 1993 NL Champion Philadelphia Phillies.
1993 UD #485 Hammers and Nails

Larry Andersen
Wes Chamberlain
Darren Daulton
Lenny Dykstra
Jim Eisenreich
Jim Fregosi
Tommy Greene 
Dave Hollins
Pete Incaviglia
Danny Jackson
John Kruk
Mickey Morandini
Terry Mulholland
Curt Schilling
Kevin Stocker

April 9 (Home Opener)
May 10 (Daulton hits Game Winning Slam)
July 28 (2 Grand Slams Cardinals Zeile, Daulton)

Sources and Links
Baseball-Reference 1993 Team Page

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions