Tuesday, February 27, 2018

International Polar Bear Day: Sherry Magee T205

Tuesday February 27th is International Polar Bear Day. The day is dedicated to raising awareness of the plight of the Polar Bear. You can even Adopt a Polar Bear for just $30 - well virtually anyway.

1911 T205 Sherrwood Magee

Sherry Magee is one of those borderline Hall of Famers from the deadball era that I don't know much about. He was traded away from the Phillies prior to their 1915 NL Pennant winning season so he did not get to play for that squad. He did manage to get into a World Series with the 1919 Cincinnati Reds who defeated the ill-fated Joe Jackson / Black Sox team.

In 2003 Magee was added to the Phillies Wall of Fame during an era that included several other early 20th century Phillies such as Gavvy Cravath and the original Billy Hamilton. Magee's best year with the club was 1910 when he led the league in Batting Average, Runs, RBI and Total Bases. In addition to those traditional stats he led the league in OBP, Slugging, OPS, OPS+, and Offensive WAR. That is a Mike Trout type year kids!

T206 may get all the notoriety because of the Honus Wagner card but I much prefer their 1911 predecessor T205 (see below). There is so much more going on with T205, The color, Gold Borders, Facsimile Signature and Team Logo are all things that stand out and then you flip the card over and...

1911 T205 Sherrwood Magee (b-side)

Look at all that text AND Stats. It may only be Games Played, Batting Average, and Fielding Percentage but they are stats. The Final Stat line includes the League Leading batting average mentioned above. The final line in the biography mentions the 263 Total Bases.

Not sure how many issues prior to 1952 Topps contain both a written synopsis and a stat box.

At the bottom of the card we return to todays theme "International Polar Bear Day". T205 were issued for a variety of Tobacco brands, This one just happens to be Polar Bear.

2002 Topps T206 #123 Pat Burrell (mini)

Among the Topps many retro brands are both T205 and T206 cards. This is a 2002 mini, which means it matches the size of the original tobacco cards from the early part of the 20th century.

2002 Topps T206 #123 Pat Burrell (mini / b-sdie)
Flipping over the card we get to see a faux Polar Bear ad, as Topps is not associated with the Tobacco company.
One of my minor collections is Polar Bear cards, both originals and retros. I have no official list, but do enjoy picking up the ones I see. Ideally I would like to have 1 T205 from each team - that would make for a good set for me.
This is all because my High School Mascot was the Polar Bear. It's a funny connection, I suppose it make me feel good when I hear stories about Polar Bears and I think of my younger days.
International Polar Bear Day

Yes it is a real think and if you want to learn more about the plight of the Polar Bear you can check here.

Sources and Links
Phillies Wall of Fame Index
Polar Bears International

Monday, February 26, 2018

Happy Birthday Matt Stairs 2009 Topps #139

Matt Stairs celebrates his 50th Birthday on February 27th. Of course Matt will always be remembered for one of the biggest Home Runs in Phillies history.

Game 4 of the 2008 NLCS Playoffs:

2009 Topps #139 Matt Stairs (image swiped from topps card db)

In the 8th inning of a 5-5 tie Stairs came in to pinch-hit and blasted a 3-1 pitch from Dodgers pitcher Jonathan Broxton deep into the Dodger Stadium bleachers. It is one of the hardest hit balls I have ever seen. The homer capped the scoring as the Phillies won the game 7-5 and took a 3-1 series lead. 

2009 Topps #139 Matt Stairs (b-sides /image swiped from topps card db)

The back of the card has a similar synopsis as we have written above along with the RHE box. Fumy how it is unlabeled bit all baseball fans know what it means. Stairs line for the game consists of his single PH AB - 2 RBI nobody Left on Base!

2008 Oct 13 Matt Stair Home Run in Game 4 of the NLCS

I was able to find the original image but it there is no associated photo credit in the accompanying Philly.com article. Notice that on this 2009 card the umpire has been digitally removed. Of course this meant that something had to be added in the umps absence. It looks like Topps took a crowd from a different game and inserted them in the space vacated by the ump. Check Stairs head then move to the right. The first guy is a match, Kid in orange shirt missing, Blue shirt w/ blue cap and shades over cap also missing. Same thing on row below - matches end with the person in the maroon shirt. ahh The joys of Photoshop.

UPDATE: I have found the source photo, it was taken by Chris Carlson and can be found here.  

Matt Stairs Index
1991 ProCards #259 (Swag)
2007 Topps #UH119 (Gold / Canadian Baseball HOF induction)
2009 Phungo #12

Sources & Links
2008 World Series Champs
Game Dated Cards Index
Topps Card DB
AP Images

2018 0228: AP Image found

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Happy Birthday & Anniversary Alan Trammell

On Thursday February 21st Alan Trammell celebrates his 60th birthday. His first as a Hall of Famer.
1981 Topps #709 Alan Trammell (pix swiped from Topps Baseball Card Database)

In this photo on his 1981 Topps card the Tigers Shortstop has a "You have Got To be Kidding Me" expression. An expression that many a SABRmetrician had each year when Alan Trammell was rejected for Hall of Fame induction.

This past December after a long wait Alan Trammell was selected for Hall of Fame induction by the latest incarnation of the Veteran's Committees.

Fifteen tallies and Trammell never got more than 50% of the vote. That is an awful lot of NO votes.

Trammell's HOF case is complicated. His career numbers are a tick below the traditional "Hall of Fame Thresholds". Hits = 2365, HR = 185, RBI = 1003. He checked the box on a World Champions and has some All-Star, Gold Glove and Silver Slugger hardware. Unfortunately he did not come up with the MVP, However....

Two years ago in my HOF ballot discussion of Trammell I examined the 1987 MVP award which I felt he deserved over George Bell. While I felt that two candidates were pretty even overall for me one big factor pushed Trammell past Bell. He performed better down the stretch when the players two teams were vying for the same division title.

For my complete Alan Trammell HOF Analysis click here.

1981 Topps
In general I like the 1981T design. I think the use of a cap as the palate for the Team & Position info is unique in the Topps canon. In fact I am not sure baseball cap icons have been used on many sets Topps or otherwise. However, I am not fond of the color combo given the Tigers by Topps. Purple & Black just appear to go together in this format, Works for Rockies Pinstripes but not 1981 Topps.

Check the Title of this posting. First we mentioned a Birthday, which we covered in the first sentence. But we also specify an Anniversary well...

1981 Topps #709 Alan Trammell (b-side)

Check out the first -toon. Yep In addition to being Alan Trammell's 60th Birthday, it is also his Wedding Anniversary. Since the Trammell's Wed on Alan's 20th Birthday it is also a Milestone Wedding Anniversary as well #40.  If Alan is reading this, the gift for the 40th Anniversary is the Ruby.

June 12 1979
The latter cartoon notes a Steal of Home by Trammell during a 9-2 Tigers victory over the Oakland A's. I am not sure, but this steal may be a borderline violation of an unwritten rule. The Tigers had an 8-2 in the bottom of the 8th inning.

The steal was so insignificant that it did not even make the Sporting News Write up for the game.

Although the write up does mention that the game was one of two led by Dick Tracewski who was holding the post on an interim basis until Sparky Anderson could take over. Perhaps Tracewski was trying to get the team in a more aggressive mode prior to Sparky showing up. 

Alan Trammell Index
1980 Topps - 1987 MVP aWARd / 2016 HOF credentials

Sources and Links
Game Dated Cards
Polish Sports Hall of Fame
Sports Illustrated Jay Jaffe 
Topps Baseball Card Database

Thursday, February 8, 2018

#tbt 2008 October 31: a Phillies Parade

There is a big parade happening in Philadelphia today. A decade ago Team Phungo got to attend a parade similar celebration.

In 2008 the Phillies Parade ended at the Stadium, On our way there we crossed the parking lot that is located where Veterans Stadium once stood. There are markers for each of the bases there, This is team Phungo at Home Plate. Pretty cool to have that pix taken the date the Phillies celebrated their World Championship.

Within the Ballpark the Phillies road around the ballpark in convertible and later spoke. This is Charlie Manuel. I blew this up a bit and used it for an early Phungo Card.

The Celebration concluded with the Phillies raising the 2008 Banner next to the American Flag.

Beutiful Day for a great celebration. I hope that the fans at the Eagles parade get to enjoy the day as much as I enjoyed the Phillies party 10 years ago.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

1996 UD All-Star Game Jumbo #275 Roberto Alomar

We had a lot of excitement around Phungo HQ over the weekend and I didn't get around to put together a column on an HOF celebrating a marquee birthday.

Yes on Monday February 5th the twelve time All-Star Roberto Alomar turned 50.

1996 UD All-Star Game Jumbo #275 Roberto Alomar

Roberto Alomar may already be used to having his birthday ignored. Despite being an Hall of Fame player he is only the 2nd best player born on February 5th, ranking behind the Great Henry Aaron. Alomar was admitted to the Hall as part of the 2011 class with Bert Blyleven.

During his 17 year career Alomar donned seven different uniforms. His stops that most affected me were probably with the Blue Jays (which I will avoid discussing), the Orioles and the Mets.

Alomar's HOF credentials include 2724 career hits, Two World Championships (1992 & 1993), an ALCS MVP (1992), and 10 Gold Gloves at the premium position of second base. His 2320 games at Second rank 3rd all-time.

1996 UD All-Star Game Jumbo
For our Robbie Alomar profile I picked out an oversized parallel of a 1996 Upper Deck base card. When Philadelphia hosted the 1996 All-Star Game UD put together a small limited release set of Jumbo cards for the event.

The cards are exactly the same as the base cards but twice the size. To illustrate the size difference of the cards size we have enlisted the help of the Phillies middle infield of the era, Mickey Morandini and Kevin Stocker.    

1996 Upper Deck Jumbo vs Base 

Notice that the Two Phillies Cards (2.5 x 3.5) are exactly half the size of the Alomar card (5 x 3.5).

We also see that the designs of Jumbo and base are identical, with the exception of the 1996 ASG flare. It is a bit hard to make out but in the bottom left of the Alomar card is the liberty bell shaped logo. For a better look at what the logo check out the Game Ticket featured in our Rickey Botallico posting.

Since this is a parallel of a base card likely released well before the season began, neither the photo nor any information on the back of the card have anything to do with the 1996 All-Star Game or season.

1996 ASG
Robbie Alomar was the started at second base for the 1996 AL All-Star team alongside his Orioles Double Play teammate Cal Ripken. All Three of Robbie's plate appearances came against future Hall of Famers: John Smoltz,  Tom Glavine and Pedro Martinez. Alomar's lone hit was a single off Pedro in the 7th. The Box Score to the 6-0 NL Victory can be found here.

1996 UD All-Star Game Jumbo #275 Roberto Alomar

As mentioned above the backs are duplicates of base cards. This include the card numbers which remain unchanged despite the Jumbo being only a 18 card set. The Stat lines vary from player to player. If they have Postseason or All-Star experience those numbers are included, otherwise the stats for the most recent seasons are listed. Robbie gets ASG, LCS and World Series - Those numbers include His Stat line form the 1993 Series vs the Phillies

 1996 UD All-Star Card Set

Here is the box set cover. The verbiage at the bottom notes the the ASG Stamp and the fact that the set consists of "Enlarged Trading Cards"

The Checklist is on the Box Bottom

The 1996 ASG is a Future Series for Phungo and I anticipate this Box Set being a fun part of that series. For now this is the Index/Checklist for postings related to the Subset.

80 Jeff Bagwell
195 Barry Bonds
200 Ken Griffey Jr
271 John Smoltz
275 Roberto Alomar (50th Birthday)
280 Cal Ripken Jr
300 Frank Thomas
310 Barry Larkin
313 Sandy Alomar
315 Albert Belle
317 Charles Nagy
319 Kenny Lofton
320 Dante Bichette
345 Craig Biggio
360 Mike Piazza
410 Wade Boggs
450 Tony Gwynn
455 Matt Williams

Robbie Alomar HOF Index
1996 UD All-Star Jumbo #275 (this posting)

Sources and Links
1996 ASG Index
Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards - Bob Lemke 

Monday, February 5, 2018

E - A - G - L - E - S!........................EAGLES!!! !

Loved enjoying the game last night with great friends.

Sports ain't everybody's thing and I get that. Hell, I have lots of other interests: Music, Film, Disc Golf,  Food, Comedy, Trivia, and Theater all quickly come to mind.

But man nights like the Eagles winning the SuperBowl make me feel sorry for folks that just blow off sports entirely.

There is something unique about having watched literally hundreds of games - lots and I mean LOTS of which are meaningless. However the time we all get to spend together before, during, and after those games is far from trivial.

All those games are remembered collectively as good times spent with my Eagles Family. Last Night is the Night that we will remember forever. It was great time and I am glad we got to experience it together.

2009 Topps #91 Jason Peters
When I returned to collecting a little over a decade ago I took an interest in just about any type of card, but I quickly realized that I had the most fun when I was focused on Baseball. My football collection is in pretty much a disarray but I was able to dig up a couple of Eagles cards.
The Jason Peters above is interesting to me, because he is a 14 year veteran of the NFL and has been with the Eagles for about a decade. Unfortunately for Peters he was injured and did not get to participate in the SuperBowl as a player. However I believe I saw a player bring out his jersey at some point during last nights game. Good stuff to see and it is always good to see the Lineman getting respect out there.
Fly Eagles Fly!  
Sources and Links

Thursday, February 1, 2018

International, Olympic, & WBC Index

This is an Index of our postings related to the World Baseball Classic, Olympics and International Baseball.

(### This index is under construction ###)

1966 Topps #264 Ted Uhleaender (rc, Katie Uhleander related)
1969 Topps #194 Ted Uhlaender (Katie Uhleander)
2005 Topps #UH199 HR Derby Hee-Seop Choi (South Korea)
2009 Topps WBC #1 Yu Darvish (Japan)
2009 Topps Redemeption WBC #8 Yoennis(sic) Cespedes (Cuba)
2009 Topps Heritage #163 Johnny Damon (Thailand)
2009 Topps Heritage #309 Johnny Damon (Thailand)
2009 Allen & Ginter's National Pride #NP39 Shin-Soo Choo (South Korea)
2010 Phungo Bernie Williams David Ortiz Sidney Ponson (PR, Dominican, Nederlands)
2011 Bowman Platinum #BPP23 Josh Zeid (Israel)
2013 Topps #WBC-5 Hanley Ramirez (Dominican Republic)
2014 Topps Olympic Box Break Katie Uhlaender, LoLo Jones, Danelle Umstead, Lindsey Vonn, Eddy Alvarez, David Wise, Noelle Pikus-Pace, Sochi

Sources & Links

Oscar Gamble (1949-2018)

Earlier this week we got the sad news that baseball card icon Oscar Gamble died. I was a little surprised to find out that I had never posted anything on Gamble or his cards. Today we rectify that situation.

Oscar Gamble falls into that category of players that played when I was a kid and I knew about but I never knew spent time with the Phillies. There are a couple of these guys out there, Fergie Jenkins is pretty notable as are Larry Hisle and Ken Brett. 

When I returned to collecting as an adult I was pleasantly to see Oscar Gamble show up in the early 1970s issues bearing Phillies pinstripes.

1972 Topps #423 Oscar Gamble

All of the bright colors of 1972 Topps with "PHILLIES" jumping off the top of the card fit Oscar Gamble perfectly. I also like the photo that appears to have been taken at the Phillies Spring Training facility in Clearwater Florida. As I look at Gamble posing for the shot with the follow through on a swing I wonder if the lean figure in the background with the beige jacket is Paul Owens.

This is one of three cards Topps issued of Gamble with the Phillies. He has a shared Rookie Card in 1970 and has a great action shot in 1971.  Nice cards all, but I chose his last Phillies card not for the front but for a fun fact I knew at one time but have likely forgotten multiple times.

1972 Topps #423 Oscar Gamble (b-side)

First off I am not referring to the vocabulary lesson in the cartoon - a good one I suppose, a phrase I never use, but it really doesn't need much explanation.

The Phun Phact I like on this card discusses the last game a Connie Mack Stadium. On October 1st 1970 the Phillies defeated the Expos 2-1 in extra innings. And as described in the excerpt on the above Oscar Gamble singled off Howie Reed plating Tim McCarver. It was the last hit and RBI ever recorded at the venerable building

The Inning in Baseball-Ref appears as follows

For a more old school look here is the box score that appeared in the Sporting News

The Sporting News 1970 Oct 1

In addition to Gamble looks like Tim McCarver had a nice day while scoring the stadiums final run. Larry Bowa is the only player in the box that would eventually play during the Phillies late 70s glory years. The big name for Les Expos is Rusty Staub, however twitter star @JohnnyBateman7 is also present.

Other Oscar Gamble Tributes
Night Owl Cards - tremendous posts where with a great discussion about card backs.
Baseball Happenings - 1976T Traded and great photos from 2012 DiMaggio Legends game @ Ft Lauderdale
Baseball Card Breakdown - American Pastime Autograph, Printing Plate of 1979T, 1979 OPC
Starting Nine - 9up page featuring 1976T Traded in the center
MLB 1960s - 1972 Topps
80s Baseball Collector - 1979 Topps
NY Daily News obituary

Chicago Sun-Times obituary

Sources and Links
Game Dated Cards
Baseball Card Database
The Sporting News
NY Daily News
Chicago Sun Times

2018 Heritage The Originals - 1969 Topps

This is an Index of our posts related to the 2018 Topps Heritage and it's original Uncle 1969 Topps.

1969 Topps #174 Grant Jackson

Base Cards
Previous Retros
All-Star Cards
Rookie Cups
Manager Cards
League Leaders
World Series
2018 Heritage Photography vs 1969 Photography and stochastic screening (SABR Baseball Cards: njwv)
Transograms (SABR Baseball Cards: Tim Jenkins)

1969T Hall of Fame Cards

Sources and Links
1967 Topps Blog
Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards - Bob Lemke
Cardboard Connection   

1996 All-Star Game Index

This is an Index of our postings related to the 1996 All-Star Game which was held in Philadelphia on July 9th 1996.

1996 Jul 9 - All-Star Game Ticket

Ricky Botallico: Game Ticket
Mike Piazza: 1997 Topps #104
Mike Piazza: 2016 Topps TBT #37

1996 UD All-Star Jumbo Checklist (Ripken, Griffey, Smoltz, Gwynn, Piazza, Boggs)

Sources and Links
Game Dated Cards Index


Links to Various Vittles adventures with a Philadelphia slant.


Chifa 2012 December
Jamonera 2012 July 
Vedge 2012 August
Zahav 2013 January

The Ballpark Restaurant - Bel Air MD (2015)
The Ballpark Restaurant - 2016 visit. Boog Powell Breakfast

Ichiroll - SafeCo Park Seattle
Chorizo -Miller Park


2018 Topps Index

This is an Index to postings related to 2018 Topps

2018 Topps #308 Cameron Rupp

Easy choice for the set cover. A Catcher card AND a Bubble.

2016 Topps Index
First Pack
First Phillies Card
Hobby vs Retail
Card #1
2018T Phillies Checker
Rookie Cups
Future Stars
League Leaders
Jackie Robinson
1983 Retros
Junk of the Month

Cost of 2018 Topps

Sources and Links
Cardboard Connection
2016 Topps Index

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions