Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Trade Me a Better Card Crossover Deal

As promised, I wanted to feature some of the cards that I'm going to be sending to "FTN" from Silver Spring, MD who so generously dealt me the "Fab Five" autograph cards (2005 UD Clayton Kershaw, 2005 Bowman Jon Papelbon, 2007 Bowman Refractor Longoria/Crawford, 2005 Bowman Refractor Justin Verlander & 2007 Bowman Refractor Joba Chamberlain) in an effort to bolster my Honus Wagner efforts on my other blog,

So with no further adu:

1951 Bowman Del Ennis

Although it wasn't requested, I wanted to make sure I passed along a nice collection of Phillies cards over the years, and I decided I would start with a key member of the 1950 Phightin Phillies.

Ennis, an underated player in team history, remains in the Phillies all-time record books with the following achievements (among others):

- 5th most games played (1630)

- 4th most hits (1812)

- 2nd most home runs (259)

- 3rd most RBIs

Ennis was a teamed with a young collection of players that featured two other all-time Phillies greats that went on to the Hall of Fame- Starting Pitcher Robin Roberts and ...

1958 Topps Richie Ashburn

Ashburn is beloved among Phillies fans- that's understood. I'd actually like to point out that this card set, 1958 Topps, was the 2nd set to feature the modern size baseball card (2.5'' by 3.5''). And while 1957 might have been the first, I always prefered the style and design of this set. Great colors, clear presentation, clean and not too busy.

1974 Topps Mike Schmidt

This is Michael Jack's second card, and first card that he doesn't have to share the cardboard with other "Rookie Stars". Once again, Schmidt is missing the trademark moustache that he carried for rest of his career- I'll go on the record in guessing that this and the previously mentioned rookie card are the only cards ever issued that were missing his stache action (this photo captures the stache, not to mention a killer whiteman fro):

So those are a few of the classically great players featured on cards I'm passing along to FTN. FTN insisted that I only send him some of the Phillies featured players of the late 80's and early 90's, and I'd be remiss if I didn't features a couple of those bad boys as well:

1987 Donruss Chris James

I always thought it was kind of neat when athletes had brothers who played professional sports in other leagues. I honestly can't think of many instances, although I'm sure there are a few I'm not aware of. Right now, the best I can do is Mark and Dan McGwire (Seattle QB) & Chris and Craig James (New England RB). Help me out with other instances of this if you can't think of any.

1987 Topps Steve Jeltz

From now on, any package of cards that I deal in the trademeabettercard experiment should include at least one Jeltzie- It can be my calling card.

1989 Donruss Ricky Jordan

FTN requested one particular player- Ricky Jordan- and I was happy to comply. Jordan was one of my favorites back in the day as well. After a stellar rookie year, I thought the Phillies had the next Don Mattingly- unfortunately it ended more like Randy Milligan.

I sent out quite a few other cards, some notable (1964 Topps Rishie Allen rookie, some Carltons, a couple other Schmidts) and some less notorious (Ron Jones, Rick Schu, Glenn Wilson, Wes Chamberlain, & Kim Batiste), but I altogether, a package IMHO custom made for a Phillies fan- I hope you enjoy FTN.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Blog Trade!!! The Great '65 Topps Project!

One of the main reasons I got involved in this Blogging business was to reconnect with my inner 12 year old, and trade some baseball cards. Buying the cards off of ebay is fun and all, but I love making a deal with a fellow collecter, and exchanging cards for other cards. It's the ideal baseball card transaction, in my humble opinion. With that said, I'm happy to announce the first Phillies 4 Me deal- a deal constituted with another great baseball card blog:

Kevin over at '65 Topps approached me regarding whether or not I had any '65 Topps cards towards his ultimate goal of a complete set. Here is what I had to send along to him (with The Phillies duplicates that I was able to trade posted with photos- this is a Phillies site, right?):

Frank Thomas - AKA the Big Crew Cut

John Boozer - Are people with this last name destined to a lifetime of alcoholism- odds have to be increased a little, right?

Gus Triandos- Grumpy Gus is a popular phrase that was possibly started by this card.

Tony Taylor - Taylor remained a member of the Phillies organization as a coach for many years, and was inducted onto the Phillies "Wall of Fame" in 2002 for his years of service.

Alex Johnson - Dude won the A.L. 1970 Batting Crown with the California Angels, hitting .329. That's something, right?

Ray Herbert - If Ray had fangs, I think he'd look a little like Dracula. Count Ray.

Ray Culp- The Phillies had the market on Rays in 1964. Not a lot of Rays around these days. And yes, that was an unintentional rhyme. It happens from time to time.
Along with these Phillies, I sent Kevin these other '65 Topps cards that I somehow managed to own (don't ask me how):

Orioles 1965 ROOKIE STARS (Curt Blefary & John Miller)
Tigers 1965 ROOKIE STARS (Bill Roman & Bruce Brubaker)
Senators 1965 ROOKIE STARS (Pete Craig & Dick Nen)
Twins team card
3rd series checklist (unmarked)
4th series checklist (marked)

Stay tuned- my next post will discuss the booty that I received in return for these gems.

Friday, August 22, 2008

My Phavorite Phillies Cards: Top Ten List- #1

1. 1973 Topps- Mike Schmidt

Growing up, the Phillies were Mike Schmidt as far as I was concerned. He was quite possibly the greatest player of his generation, the greatest 3rd baseman who ever played the position, and unquestionably the greatest player to ever wear a Phillies uniform.

I got this Schmidt rookie card as a 1 year aniversary from my wonderful wife- I kind of cheated in that I got to pick it out, but still- this a stylish "paper" gift! - for those that don't know, every aniversary gift is supposed to be themed according to some crazy order- 1st aniversary- paper, 2nd aniversary- cotton , 10th aniversary- tin, 50th aniversary- gold- I'm not making this up :)

Anyway, even though this card might not hold the proper aesthetics usually reserved for "My Phavorite Phillies Card":

  • Star player shares card with two lesser players- CHECK
  • Schmidt not sporting his iconic stache- CHECK
  • Card design essentially white border -it's a downright ugly card- CHECK

It still was a major target of my trading wishes as a kid collector- I was on clound nine when I was able to trade for one when I was 12, and even though my collecting jones was dormat when I was forced to sell it for college funds at age 17, it was a sad day when I had to part with it the first time around. This card, I'm glad to say, isn't going anywhere.

So there it is my favorite 11 cards in my current Phillies collection. I hope you enjoyed seeing them, and I'm hoping there will be a way to share this blog with more people- right now I'm afraid it's not too many. Regardless, there will be more posts to come- it's too much fun to stop just yet.

Friday, August 8, 2008

My Phavorite Phillies Cards: Top Ten List- #2

2. 1952 Topps- Richie Ashburn

This is a newer addition, and it shot up the ranks among my favorite cards!

1952 Topps is an iconic set- it was Topps first regular issued set, and everything about it- from the design, to it's star-studed checklist, and ultimately, the short printed Mickey Mantle card which is the most vauable post World War 2 issued card.

This particular Ashburn jumped out at me for it's razor sharp corners- not a common trait for a card that dates back to the early 50's. The shortcomings of the card are obvious- it's miscut, but I can get past that- it's a gorgeous piece of cardboard!

Ashburn, aside from being one of the all-time greatest Phillies players ever, will always hold a place in many a Phillies fan's heart due to his stellar commentating efforts of Phillies games for many years. "Whitey" was partnered with the great Harry Kalas, giving the Phillies arguably the best booth guys in all of baseball.

My favorite Ashburn story happens to be my favorite foul ball story. Legend has it that Ashburn hit a line drive into the stands at old Connie Mack Stadium. The ball struck an elderly woman in the stands, and the game was paused as the medical crew attended her, eventually placing the woman on a stretcher. After the pause, the game resumed and the next pitch resulted in a looping foul ball that managed to reach the moving stretcher, and struck the already insulted female patron again.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Ebay Purchase of the Day: George Anderson 1959 Topps

George Anderson- this guy ring a bell for anyone? Familiar looking face, but still can't place it? Look at the stats on the back, and it doesn't appear that you are looking Hall of Fame great's rookie card.

I'm not sure when George started going by "Sparky", but it's always cool to get Hall of Fame manager's rookie card when they were still playing- all the more awesome when that Hall of Fame manager spent his playing days as a Philadelphia Phillie!

This card fluctuates like crazy on ebay- I got my excellent condition card for the bargain basement price of $5.55! Not bad for a card that routinely goes anywhere between $20 - $150.

The key is how the seller advertises it. Mine was listed as "1959 Topps George Anderson EX cond.". I knew when I saw that listing, that it was going to slip through many people's radars. A "Sparky Anderson 1959 Topps rookie" wouldn't have been this cheap.

Anyway, this post actually has fueled my interest in another manager's rookie card- I have a feeling that I'll be able to get this one even cheaper than Sparky here, and yet it'll be a cool card to own:

And thanks to, I was in fact able to purchase one of these Charlie "Chuck" Manuel rookie cards for $1.50 (postage included). For those other collectors out there, sportslots is a great resource, particularly if you are having a tough time finding specific commons from past baseball card sets.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My Phavorite Phillies Cards: Top Ten List- #3

3. 1934 Goudey- Charles (Chuck) Klein

This is the oldest Hall of Fame Phillie card that I have in my collection. This card is technically a Cubs card, as Klein was dealt to the Cubs after the 1933 season. But he's still wearing Phillies red, so I count it. Also, it's cooler than the almost identical 1933 issue, because it has the "Lou Gehrig says..." border at the bottom.

---------------------------------->1933 Goudey Chuck Klein<-------------------------------

Chuck Klein is still very clearly one of the most talented offensive players in Phillies history.

Before Ryan Howard, Klein was the Phillies career leader in both OPS and Slugging %.

In 1933 Klein had a triple crown season (.368, 28 HRs, 120 RBIs) and still managed to be the runner up to Carl Hubbell for that year's N.L. MVP.

There aren't many pre-1948 (Bowman era) Phillies Hall of Famers cards, primarily because the Phillies just don't have many Hall of Famers from that era.

One vintage Phillie Hall of Famer card that is at the very top of my wish list is the following:

This is a very rare, very expensive 1915 Cracker Jack Grover Cleveland Alexander card. A thing of beauty- and not likely acquirable until I win the lottery.

Friday, July 18, 2008

My Phavorite Phillies Cards: Top Ten List- #4

4. 2001 Upper Deck Prospect Premiers- Ryan Howard

Upper Deck took a chance including a big, lumbering 5th round draft pick in their 2001 Prospect Premier set, and in doing so, beat every other release of any other Ryan Howard card by 2 years- his next released card was his 2003 Bowman Draft Picks card:

I don't know how Upper Deck decides who to include in these sets, but they took a nice gamble on this one.

Howard is one of my favorite players ever, and I hope the penny-pinching Phillies extend him to the nice long contract that the slugger deserves.

One interesting observation on Ryan's baseball reference page:

In the "Similar Batters through Age 27" list, suprisingly, not a single Hall of Famer.

Norm Cash, Cecil Fielder, and Mo Vaughn all make the top 5 here, which is interesting when you consider the body shapes of those sluggers, and how they compare with RyHo:

Things that make you go hmmmm? Maybe we shouldn't jump on that extension just yet after all...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ebay Purchase of the Day: Otto Knabe 1909 T206

For the bargain price of $14.95 (and a reasonable $3 shipping charge), I have received a very nice T206 Phillies card. This is my first ever T206 card- very glad to finally add one to my collection. For those of you who aren't as into baseball cards as I am, T206 was a set that was issued with tobacco cigarettes at the turn of the century. Although there are some tobacco sets that date back to the 1880's, this is the set that put baseball cards on the map- it's also the set that featues the most famous, and valuable card ever- Honus Wagner.

This particular card features no creasing, decent corners and great color for a 100 year old relic.

Otto is sporting a killer sweater as well- wasn't Alysa Milano sporting a hat like that today at the Phils game?

Anyway, let's take a quick look at Knabe- see if I got a decent Phillie, or if he's another Blondy Ryan:

OK- this guy was a solid 2nd baseman!

Being that he was voted in in the top 20 in the MVP in back to back seasons (1912 & 1913), could steal some bases (143 over 11 seasons), and spent almost his entire career as a Phillie.

The scary part is his career most closely mirrors Ivan Dejesus, the former Phils shortstop - scary only because Ivan was involved in probably the worst deal in franchise history.



Phillies worst trade ever

Monday, July 7, 2008

My Phavorite Phillies Cards: Top Ten List- #5

To continue on with my favorite cards, I'll be listing them individually, well, because it's fun that way (and to once again be clear, these are cards that I own):

5. 1965 Topps- Richie Allen

Now that is an All-Star Rookie trophy!- I always prefered the large statue trophies Topps used to "hand out" vs. the bowl shaped trophies that they reintroduced in 1987- here's a sample:

(Note- Ruffin's card is NOT in my top ten!!!)

Dick Allen was a manchild- if he had stayed healthy, he would have finished a first ballot Hall of Famer- his early Philly career defintiely appeared to be going in that direction- has his age 25 "most similar by age" comparison as Willie Mays!

Although this is technically not Allen's rookie card, I prefer this one for several reasons:

  • - The 1965 Topps set has always been one of my favorites, and the 1964 Topps set one of my least favorite.

  • - The relative scarcity of this high number card actually pushes the value of the card above the '64 rookie.

  • - No dorky black rimmed glasses and no John Herrnstein:

Allen came into the league a dorky four eyes, and left as a juggling, chainsmoking badass:

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ebay Purchase of the Day: "Blondy" Ryan 1934-36 Diamond Star

So I just picked up this 1934-36 Diamond Star "Blondy Ryan" off of Ebay- seller was asking for $8.56 (odd number, eh?), and was offering a very enticing $.75 shipping charge (total purchase costs just under $10!). So, I clicked that "Buy-It Now" button as quickly as I could. The card is described as "Very Good" and has some "soil spots". Otherwise, a beautiful card with great corners and coloring for this classic vintage set. Over the years, I've had a handful of Goudey cards, but never any Diamond Stars- needless to say, I'm very excited about this purchase!

Let's take a look at "Blondy" on

Wow- you know jumps out at me? He finished 9th in the 1933 MVP race in the N.L. with the following #s: .238 AVG, 3 HRs, 48 RBIs, 0 SBs- That line makes Kevin Stocker look like a perennial all-star! Not quite sure what the 1933 N.L. MVP voters were drinking- but I'm sure Blondy was buying it :)

He was very hardly a Philly, only playing half a season in 1935 with them, but I'll take it.

Coming soon- my top 5 favorite Phillies cards- Just to clarify, these are cards that I own.

Monday, June 9, 2008

My Phavorite Phillies Cards- Top Ten List: Part One- 10 through 6

I love Phillies cards!

I love Top Ten lists!

I love starting out by saying I'm going to have a top ten list, and then listing 11 cards!

Here we go- Part One!!! More Exclamation marks!!!!

10. 2001 Bowman Draft Picks- Chase Utley

Random thoughts on the card:
  • Chase is the man- He's my current favorite Phil- Here's his rookie card

  • Cool set design by Bowman in 2001- Love how the black and aqua blue provide some sharp looking borders.

9. 1972 Topps- Steve Carlton (Traded)

  • Carlton was a STUD Ace!

  • In 1972, he had the GREATEST season by any Philly pitcher ever: 27 Wins, 310 Ks, 1.97 ERA, .99 WHIP, all for an awful Phillies team that won a total of 59 wins!?!?

  • This is a cool subset- the first Topps cards that would serve as a prototype for future Topps Traded subsets.

  • It's also a tough to come by high numbered card.

8. 1940 Play Ball- Grover Cleveland Alexander

  • He and Carlton are unquestionably the two greatest pitchers to play in a Phillies uniform (sorry Robin Roberts, Curt Schilling, and Cole Hamels).

  • This card is kind of bizarre- "Ol' Pete" pitched his last game in 1930- For whatever reason, Play Ball decided to include a handful of Hall of Famers in it's set, and as a result, we have a cool Grover Cleveland Alexander card.

  • Absolutely classic card design- they just don't make them like this anymore!

  • I hope I'm wrong about a previous statement, and Cole Hamels moves past Alexander as one of the best two Philles pitchers ever.

7b. 2007 Topps Cards That Never Were- Ryne Sandberg

  • Here is where my blog takes a painful turn- Sandberg, the best 2nd baseman of his generation, in the batting cage in his Phils pinstripes- Somebody call Doc Brown, have him pass along a message to Dallas Green pronto!!!

  • This was an awesome set that was being sold on eTopps- the card is made exactly like it would have looked if Topps decided to include Ryne in it's 1982 Topps Traded set.

  • Can you imagine an infield of 1B Julio Franco, 2B Ryne Sandberg, 3B Mike Schmidt, SS Juan Samuel? The Phillies would have had a title or two to follow their 1980 World Series win...

7a. 1966 Topps- Rookie Stars- Fergie Jenkins & Bill Sorrell

  • Fergie was a Hall of Famer who was basically given to Cubs for spare parts-
    April 21, 1966: Traded by the Philadelphia
    with John Herrnstein
    and Adolfo
    to the Chicago Cubs
    for Larry
    and Bob
    . (courtesy of
  • Interesting "What If" dilemna- if the Phillies held onto Jenkins, would they have dealt for Carlton? Would there have been a need for an ace when they would clearly have already had one?

6. 1979 Topps Burger King- Pete Rose

  • Charlie Hustle in all his Phillies glory- Some of my earliest Phillies memories are of Pete Rose running the bases.

  • The first time I saw this card, I thought it was some kind of super rare, never printed, Topps vault card- Then I found out it was a pretty easy to come by Burger King card- Which is cool- I could actually afford it :)

  • The regular issue 1979 Topps Pete Rose features Rose as a Red- this Burger King set was clearly made after he was dealt to the Phils, making it Pete's first Phillies issued card.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Phishing (and no, this has nothing to do with jam bands)

My return to collecting has been a fun process, and I have a really good start on my Phillies collection- Thank you Ebay!!!

Speaking of Ebay: Here are the 4 steps of enjoyment of ebay/phillies purchases or "Phishing" as I like to refer it:

Cartmen hates hippies- I don't discriminate, but my "Phishing" has nothing to do with petroli

Step 1- Find the cards through my standard search "phillies + cards", and then pull the pages of cards "newly listed", because you know, I'm checking these auctions out on a daily basis.
Things that catch my attention- often older lots of multiple cards.

List me "Lot of 7 - 1962 Fleer Cards Phil Phillies Very Rare", start the bidding at $.01 (and don't jack the shipping charges more than $3) and you have my complete attention.

Step 2- Refreshing the screen for the final minute of the ebay auction until we get that truimphant "You have won this item!" screen. Almost as exciting as being at a real auction and hearing the auctioneer say "Going Once, Going Twice, Sold!!!" With that said, for the auctions that I'm unable to watch as close, it's always fun to see the e-mail confirmation of the won auction as well.

Step 3- Delivery day. My own little mini christmas out at the mailbox on any given day! My one pet peeve- people who go overboard with the application of tape to the package- we get the idea- you want to make sure the card remains in the same condition as you sent it- bottomline, a plastic card holder + a folded piece of paper (maybe my ebay auction confirmation) will be just fine- there is no need for you to create a tape cocoon- I'm buying baseball cards, not butterflies!

Step 4- Adding my new "gift" to my collection! I have reverted back to my teenage years on this one, and it really is great to organize the cards chronologically and by set brands (always alphabetically- Bowman, Donruss, Fleer, Topps, etc.). I then place the cards in plastic sheets, and binders. It's awesome looking through the binders, and seeing the cards in this organized fashion.