Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Ted "Double Duty" Radcliffe: T201 Mecca Double Folder

Recently my sketches have been focused on the players of the Negro Leagues. Today we featured Ted "Double Duty" Radcliffe who got his nickname from pitching one end of a double header followed by catching the other.  

 I was interested in a way to capture this idea on a baseball card. 

1911 T201 Mecca Double Folder Ted "Double Duty" Radcliffe

The T201 Double Folder was the perfect solution. Unfolded/Open features Radcliffe pitching, while the folder version shows him catching. 

While the video is fun, I kind of think it is easier to see the images in stills.

1911 T201 Mecca Double Folder Ted "Double Duty" Radcliffe (pitching)

 For the pitching image I put in Radcliffe in pinstripes and on a basically clear field.

1911 T201 Mecca Double Folder Ted "Double Duty" Radcliffe (catching)

As a catcher I made Radcliffe a catcher for the Birmingham Black Barons. whom he played for from 1942-46. I went with an industrial background here - typical of many Negro League stadium. 


The card is a bit of an anachronism. Radcliffe's career spanned 1928-50 so 1911 predates that period a bit, but the double folder was to good an idea to pass up.

Sources and Links

Phungo Originals

Phungo Negro Leagues


Negro League Baseball eMuseum 

Cardboard Connection

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

1964T Phil Linz Phungo Variation

Thursday August 20th is an important Anniversary of one of the most significant events in the Storied History of the New York Yankees.

It is the 56th Anniversary of the Harmonica Incident

If you are not familiar with the Harmonica Incident click the link above for a more detailed account, for our purposes the important facts are that Yankees Infielder Phil Linz was playing Harmonica on the team bus following a loss. This upset manager Yogi Berra, yelled "Shove that harmonica up your..." towards the back of the bus. Here is where it gets interesting...

Linz did not hear Yogi and asked Mickey Mantle what he said and Mickey said:


Which Phil Linz proceeded to do. This let to a confrontation between Berra and Linz including the harmonica being used as a projectile.

I original heard the story years ago when I first read "Ball Four" and was reminded of it reading Mitch Nathanson's outstanding biography "Bouton: The Life of a Baseball Original" 

This got the crew at Phungo HQ thinking, this story needs a baseball card.

 Phungo Variation

1964T Phil Linz Phungo Variation

I went with 1964T as the canvas as that was the year the incident occurred. To capture the humor of the event I went with the comic approach. The comic is not really original - I stole it from the back of Ed Sadowski's 1960 Topps Card

1960 Topps #403 Ed Sadowski (b-side)

Pretty happy with the reproduction of the -toon on my part. I love to envision Phil Linz being in as care free a mood as this comic right before being yelled at by Yogi Berra. 

I sort of kept the colors and lettering from the original 1960 comic. I went with an orange interior border to reflect the creamsicle backs of 1964 Topps.  To match the original Phil Linz card the comic extends out of frame into the team name area which matches the Red/Orange color from 1964T. I did change the player position from INF-OF to SS-3B to better reflect Phil Linz 1964 playing time.

Ed Sadowski was a backup catcher who spent the bulk of his 5 year career with the LA Angels. I did some minor digging and was unable to find more info on Sadowski's musical talents. Regardless his cartoon was good enough for me. 

In a sad note Ed Sadowski's bio revealed that he died in 1993 from Lou Gehrig's Disease. 

Sources and Links

Phungo Original Index

Bob Nightengale USA TODAY

Mitch Nathanson - Bouton: The Life of a Baseball Original

Topps Baseball Card DB


Ed Sadowski SABR BioClayton Trutor

Sunday, August 9, 2020

1974 Topps #47 Dick Ruthven

Dick Ruthven was drafted three times: 1969 (20th round Orioles) 1972 (Twins 1st rd / 8th pick) and finally by the Phillies (1973 Winter #1 overall)

1974 Topps #47 Dick Ruthven

As a highly touted prospect Dick Ruthven made his pro debut at the Major League level. This means no multiplayer RC - Ruthven's first card is the above 1974T and it's a solo. 

It was not a straight line for Ruthven and the Phillies to the World Series. There were a series of trades involving Ruthven which are worthy of their own discussion but the important result was that Ruthven ended up in the rotation for the 1980 Phillies. 

1980 Phillies 
Yes Dick Ruthven was an important member of the 1980 Phillies pitching staff - he was 2nd on the staff (behind Steve Carlton of course) in Wins, Starts, Complete Games, and Innings, however..... I will always remember him for a relief appearance.

Game 5 of the 1980 NLCS

The deciding game of the series saw Phillies closer Tug McGraw blow a save. Dallas Green had already gone through four other pitchers. The staff was shot when Dick Ruthven was called into the 9th inning of the Winner Take All game.  And what does Ruthven do in his only relief appearance of 1980?

Six up Six Down, Phillies Win 8-7.

Ruthven did that on 18 pitches - 2 innings on 18 pitches, including a six pitch inning.

Phungo Original

Phungo Original :1974T Dick Ruthven

I chose this card for our 1980 WSC Phillies sketch for two reasons. 1) it is significant to Dick Ruthven as it is his RC 2) We are clearly focuses on his NLCS Game 5 relief appearance and this shot clearly shows the bullpen in the background. 
To further illustrate Ruthven's 1980 NLCS contributions we have made a few minor modifications. The first is adding "RELIEF" to Ruthven's "PITCHER" position. The other change is a fun one, we have added a Bullpen Cart to the image.  The cart is also a nod to a different 1974T card - of a very prominent Phillies Player, Mike Schmidt

Dick Ruthven Index
1975 Topps (2008 Game 5 prep)
1975 Topps Mini (2010 Philly Show Swag: mini w/ 1959T Robin Roberts)

Sources and links
1980 Phillies

Sunday, August 2, 2020

1980 World Champions: Manny Trillo 1983 Topps #5 Record Breaker

One of the casualties of Fan-less Baseball Games is the Phillies Alumni weekend.  I have been to several of these events over the years and they are always enjoyable.

Typically Alumni weekend occurs in early August and have a theme including the honoring of a player on the clubs Wall of Fame. This year the Phillies were scheduled to honor the 1980 Phillies with Manny Trillo getting added to the Wall.

1983 Topps #5 Record Breaker Manny Trillo

It is a shame that the Phillies are unable to honor Trillo this year. I have been to a several Alumni weekends, and don't recall Trillo participating and was looking forward to his 2020 induction.

1983 Topps RB
To rep Trillo in our 1980 Phillies Series I have chosen his 1983 Topps Record Breaker. The card honors Manny setting the record for consecutive chances fielded for a second baseman. Trillo's achievement occured during a 98 game stretch in 1982.  The streak began on April 9th during a Phillies 2-0 victory vs the Expos. It ended during another 2-0 victory, this time versus the Cubs. The beneficiary of the Trillo miscue was Bill Buckner - Who would make his own error a few years later.


1983 Topps #5 Record Breaker Manny Trillo

The blurb is written as a newspaper byline from the day the streak ended. It also goes on to mention the previous record holder Jerry Adair. As expected Adair was also a very good in the field. It isn't as specific date wise but Adair's 1967T card has a 2 panel cartoon that notes the streak.

1967 Topps #484 Jerry Adair (detail/comic)

In that 2nd shot I guess he is carrying a basket full of error free games

Phungo Original Jesus Trillo
For my Manny Trillo Phungo sketch I took the 1983 RB card and turned it to landscape format.

 1980T RB Jesus Manny Trillo

I noticed that the borders for the 1983 Record Breaker Card are Blue Red and Yellow. Those match the colors of the flag of Manny Trillo's native of Venezuela. This was the genesis of the idea to go with a flag motif for the card. In the bottom left I modified the 1982 Record Breaker logo to reflect this years Phungo series 1980 World Champs. The various scorebook tags listed on the card are the 33 fielding plays that Trillo made during that series.

Now I direct you to the bottom of the card - Jesus Manny Trillo. This isn't Trillo's given name - but it is closer than just Manny. His first name really is Jesus but through typical Phillies ignorance the organization messed up both his first and last names. Read more about it in his SABR Bio here.

Finally I direct you to the 4 stars that arc through the card/flag. The Venezuelan Flag has 8 stars representing the countries 8 provinces. Here I have chosen to feature four stars as a nod to the 4 times that Manny Trillo made the All-Star team.

Peanut Gallery
For a bit more on this card and a progressive record of the Error-less streak check out the 1983 Topps Blog.

Manny Trillo Links
1983 Fleer #631 Pride of Valenzuela
1983 Topps Blog

Sources & Links
1980 Phillies
Phillies Wall of Fame
SABR - Leonte Landino
Encyclopedia Britannica

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions