Pretty much every baseball game I’ve every watched on TV features either pre-game interviews or post-game interviews with players. Sometimes, both. There should be more baseball cards featuring interviews. I have 20 cards featuring players being interv…
The 2016 Topps Update Megabox yielded the 100,000 card in my collection. I had expected to pass this milestone with the 2017 Topps blaster I bought but there were too may duplicates in the box. With any farther ado, here it is.Betts had a pretty good 2…
I drew a blank at 2 Targets, but was able to find a rack pack and a hanger box at Walmart. The cards are a bit cheaper this year. I paid about 19 cents/card last year, these were 15 cents/card.Here are the cards as they came out of the rack pace. There…
The highlight of the day was a personal appearance by former Major Leaguer Howie Bedell. The 81 year old Pottstown native spoke for over two hours regarding his upbringing and career both on and off the field. As a player Bedell spent only spent part of the 1968 season with the Phillies as a player but spent a decade in the organization fulfilling various coaching and player development roles.
Bedell confirmed something that I think many Phillies fans suspect. The Phillies do too much hiring and decision making from within. He cited nepotism as a problem within all organizations but felt as though there was a particular lack of leadership within the Phillies. He cited several examples of individuals that did not have enough commitment to make painful decisions, even if they were the right decisions. A theme throughout Bedell’s career appears to having to be the axe-man when it came to firing people. He was also careful to mention in several cases the ensuing changes worked out better for the person involved. They would get into better careers in other facets of baseball where they were better suited. Jim Bunning was relieved as his job as a minor league manager, but this led to him becoming an agent. This experience may have helped the Future Hall of Famer in getting involved in politics and eventually becoming a senator. Similar stories were mentioned that involved folks such as Dallas Green and Granny Hamner.
The Phillies won the 1980 World Series while Bedell was in the organization, it would the first of three World Championships with three different clubs. He also won a ring with the Royals as a coach in 1985 and with the 1990 Reds as a member of their front office.
Bedell’s time in Kansas City included the development of the slide step for pitchers. The Royals needed a way to neutralize the Cardinals fleet footed running game. The Slide Step was the solution – and it must have worked. The Cardinals only stole 2 bases in the 7 games series (while getting caught 3 times). Compare that with the 314 Thefts the Cards racked up during the regular season. Of course one needs to mention that the Cardinals also lost Rookie Vince Coleman (and his 110 steals) for that series due to injury.
Charles Kupfer on the Orioles 1979-1983
Harrisburg based Professor and author Charles Kupfer discussed his upcoming book “Something Magic: the Baltimore Orioles, 1979-1983” which he was gracious enough to amend to 1982 for purposes of entertaining a room full of Phillies fans. One of the interesting points he brought up was that the Oriole Way is documented in the book “Modern Baseball Strategy” by Former player and manager Paul Richards. Kupfer’s book is due out in May and will be available via Amazon.
Mark Kanter on Cuba
Mr Kanter discussed the SABR Group Travel experience to Cuba that he had this past fall. As could be expected there was a lot of interesting info that went beyond baseball. Among the slides Mark displayed were several of decrepit stadiums that are 60+ years old. Games are played during the day and have sparse attendance, despite a meager three-cent admission. Several SABR members took baseball equipment to Cuba to be given to the teams – the Items were much appreciated. For more details see Mark’s article in the Jewish Voice.
Connie Mack Co-Chair Seamus Kearney led a discussion on the career of John Kruk who is returning to Philadelphia this year as a broadcaster. Kruk always brings warm memories to Phillies sports fan and it was very enjoyable hearing al the stories told by and about Kruk over the years.
The Chapters other Chairperson, Dick Rosen, was also scheduled to speak but unfortunately due to time constraints his presentation on Goose Goslin was postpone for a future meeting.
Yes SABR has it’s own Steven King who is also a writer. King often covers early 20th century baseball, and this weekend his presentation was titled “Andy Coakley: Man of Mystery”. King related several anecdotes about Coakley using various aliases to get involved in both baseball and non-baseball activities. None of this deception appears to have been malicious, and some of the stories may be puew legend based off of Coakleys previous deceptions. Regardless Coakley is in various local Hall of Fames including Columbia University where he coached for 30+ years which included the tenure of Lou Gehrig.
Connie Mack regular Ed Morton put together a detailed powerpoint that discussed the birth of the “Base Ball” covering the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Much of the information concerned the relationship between AJ Reach and Spalding as well as another baseball manufacturer Victor.
SABR Bioproject author Phil Williams detailed a terrible October 1913 evening in Brainerd Minnesota. That night Philadelphia Athletics Pitcher Joe Bush was fresh off a World Series triumph with the club. All that good fortune turned in an instant as Bush while at home in Brainerd accidentally ran over a pedestrian. Bush was acquitted of any wrong doing and went on to have a very successful baseball career which included winning two additional World Titles, one each with the Red Sox and Yankees.
Matt gave a status update on the attempt to get a historical marker placed at the Jefferson Street Ball Park site. The major hurdle remaining is funding. A facebook page related to the project can be found here. If you would like to make a contribution to the project the crowdsourcing site is here.
In additions to the presentations a raffle was held and lunch was served. Despite a tight schedule there was some time for socializing and catching up on the off-season. I didn’t make an exact count but I estimate 30 members attended 2017 Connie Mack SABR Day.
There is much more detail I could go into but that would require much more time. I could do a weeks worth of postings on Howie Bedell alone.
The Connie Mack chapter of SABR has their next Hot Stove meeting scheduled for February 11th. It will likely be smaller in scope then SABR Day but still should be fun.
I kicked off my team reviews in April 2010 with the 1967 Phillies. Here’s the next edition of the team, on their way to oblivion.
The Phillies didn’t make ONE player deal during the 1968 season! I guess they were satisfied with the chemistry that went on to produce a 76-86 (7th place) season.
The only move they made was to fire manager Gene Mauch after 54 games. Mauch was given the boot on 6/14, after the team dropped the first game of a Friday doubleheader with the Dodgers, 6-0. 3rd base coach George Myatt took over for the nightcap, and for the next day (with the Phillies winning both games). AAA manager Bob Skinner was hired as the new manager, and when he took over on Sunday, the losing resumed!
The Phillies went with the same 4-man rotation for the entire season, with a 5th starter added as needed. Chris Short (36 starts) was the team’s ace, and was coming off a ’67 season where he was 3rd in the NL in ERA. Short won 20 games in ’66 and 19 in ’68. Larry Jackson (34 starts) was in his final season at age 37.
The bullpen was manned by 5 pitchers all season: closer Turk Farrell led the staff with 54 games and 12 saves. Gary Wagner returned to the team after spending most of ’66 and all of ’67 in the minors, and contributed 8 saves.
John Boozer worked exclusively out of the bullpen in 1968, after being a reliever and spot starter for the past few years. Grant Jackson was the only lefty in the bullpen, and also made 6 starts, all seemingly during doubleheaders.
Veteran Dick Hall was the oldest member of the staff at age 37. Joining the team in 1967, he was a co-closer of sorts with Farrell, but played a reduced role in his 2nd and final season in Philly. Rookie Jerry Johnson was picked up from the Mets in the off-season, and was recalled in mid-August to fill the #5 starter role.
Jeff James made his debut in April, and filled the occasional 5th starter role as needed for the first half of the season until he was replaced by Johnson. Paul Brown pitched in 2 games (4 innings) in mid-season, probably when someone else was on the DL. Brown was with the Phillies in 1962, and for parts of ’61 and ’63.
Here are the starting eight. There was some position shifting due to Richie Allen’s off-season injury, as well as some patchwork moves at shortstop.
Mike Ryan was acquired in the off-season from the Red Sox, and was good defensively but absolutely could not hit. He shared the position with long-time regular Clay Dalrymple. Bill White was in his last of 3 seasons with the Phillies, but only started 103 games this year.
Cookie Rojas was a steady performer at 2nd base, starting 149 games there. Initially, the Phillies handed the starting shortstop job to rookie prospect Don Money, who was acquired from the Pirates with Fryman. However, after 3 starts it was clear he was not ready for the big time, and was replaced by Bobby Wine. Soon Money’s roster spot was filled by journeyman minor-leaguer Roberto Pena. When Wine injured his back on May 12th, Pena started all but 6 of the remaining games.
Veteran infielder Tony Taylor started 137 games at the hot corner, where he had played since Allen injured his hand in late-August 1967. Already defensively challenged, Richie Allen returned to the lineup at the start of 1968, but this time in left field (136 starts). He also spent 7 games at 3rd base and a few more on the bench in the manager’s doghouse.
Tony Gonzalez started 93 games in center field, and a dozen more in left. Johnny Callison was the team’s #2 slugger (behind Allen) and although his career had been declining since 1966, he still started 106 games in right field.
Here are the subs, in order of at-bats:
John Briggs had been with the team since 1965, and although a starting outfielder in 1967, he got squeezed out because of Allen’s position switch. Briggs was the #3 center and right fielder in ’68, and was also the starter at first base for most of July. Don Lock also felt the squeeze in 1968, only seeing playing time as the #2 in CF and RF.
Clay Dalrymple started just under half the games behind the plate in his final season with the Phillies. Rick Joseph was the corner infield backup since being called up in August 1967 after Allen’s injury.
I have to wonder about Gary Sutherland. As a rookie in 1967, he platooned at shortstop and in left field, seeing lots of playing time. In ’68 he was relegated to utility INF-OF, starting only 27 games across 5 positions. This is especially surprising since after the failure of Money and the injury to Wine, the Phillies chose to go with organizational grunt Pena at shortstop instead of Sutherland. After the season, Gary was the first Phillie selected in the expansion draft! Bobby Wine was the team’s shortstop for most of the mid-1960s, but played his last game as a Phillie in mid-May.
Doug Clemens was with the team in ’66 and ’67, and was recalled from the minors when rookie prospect Larry Hisle was sent down early in the season. John Sullivanwas recalled in mid-season, and played in 12 games as a pinch-hitter or #3 catcher. Outfielder Howie Bedell also played a few games for the Phillies in 1968.
Don Money was the centerpiece in the December 1967 trade of Jim Bunning to the Pirates. After failing his first shot in April 1968, he was sent down for the rest of the season. Winning the starting job 1 year later, he was also named to the Topps All-Rookie team. Center fielder Larry Hisle‘s story is the same as Money’s: handed the starting job in Spring 1968, flopped, sent down, returned in ’69 as the starter, named to the Topps All-Rookie team.
Gene Mauch had been the Phillies’ manager since game #2 of the 1960 season. He only lasted through mid-June ’68, thanks to clashes with team star Richie Allen. Bob Skinner was managing the Phillies’ AAA team in ’67 and ’68, and was named as Mauch’s replacement. He only lasted until early-August 1969, also having had enough of Allen’s shenanigans, with little support from the front office.
Here are the Rookie Stars cards:
Larry Colton’s major-league career consisted of 2 innings pitched on 5/6/68. Dick Thoenen had a brief tryout in 1967, but did not play for the Phils in ’68.
Transactions from the end of the 1967 season to the end of 1968:
12/15/67 – Traded Dick Ellsworth and Gene Oliver to the Red Sox for Mike Ryan.
12/15/67 – Traded Jim Bunning to the Pirates for Don Money, Woodie Fryman, Bill Laxton, and Hal Clem. 12/15/67 – Sent John Morris to the Orioles as the player to be named for the 1966 acquisition of Dick Hall.
02/19/68 – Purchased John Sullivan from the Mets.
10/29/68 – Released Dick Hall.
12/03/68 – Purchased Deron Johnson from the Braves.
Next time, we will look at who the Phillies protected in the October 1968 expansion draft.
I went into 2016 with a plan to buy fewer cards over all while focusing more on Phillies and Astros cards (current and past). I think I was successful. I purchased 2,876 cards in 2016, about a thousand fewer than in 2015. Of those, 530 were Phillies ca…
Today we take a look at the most prominent Phillies player on the 2017 Hall of Fame Ballot, Pat Burrell. 2009 UD A Piece of History Box Score Memories #BSM-PB Pat Burrell For close to a decade Pat Burrell was fixture in the Middle of the Phillies batti…
The Philly Show is back in Valley Forge this weekend. Busy times at HQ right now, Not sure if team Phungo will be able to make the trek.1971 Topps #49 Don MoneyI hope I get there as both of my favorite dealers are scheduled to be at the show. If anyone…
My good friend B always finds some nice baseball cards for me for my birthday. This year was no exception.In 1979, TCMA seemed to primarily release minor league sets, but also produced this 291-card TCMA 50’s set, noted on the back as being from the “B…
Here’s the start of a new series on this blog – “Stars of the 1960s”. (It’s basically a ripoff take-off of Wrigley Wax’s “All I Have of Him” series.) Johnny Callison was one of my favorite players on my hometown Phillies back in the 1960s. I sta…
Things been busy here at Phungo HQ and I sort of abandoned our 1976 All-Star Game series around the time of the games Anniversary in July. I wanted to get to all the HoFs and Philllies in the game this year and will do my best to clean up the rest of t…
I am sending out a big Thank You to the fine crew over at the Phillies Room.All season long Jim has has been keeping his eye out for Phillies Topps Now cards. He has been picking them up in bulk and passing along a card to Phungo HQ. 2016 Top…
The Phillies turned another page in their 2016 rebuild during Monday Night’s 6-2 victory over the struggling Pirates. Not one but two of their prospects crossed milestones: Jorge Alfaro made his Major League Debut and Roman Quinn got his first hom…
This is not a bad looking set, if you like foil-board cards. I don’t particularly so I don’t buy much of this product. Topps didn’t produce a 2015 set and I can’t say I missed it. The 2016 set is only going to be available at Walmart for some reason. I…
2016 0830 Max Scherzer vs Cameron Rupp @ Philadelphia PA
The Phillies may look ugly on the diamond but the field still can look nice.
2016 0830 Max Scherzer vs Ryan Howard @ Philadelphia PA
The Phillies didn’t have many highlights in the game. Both runs came courtesy of a Ryan Howard Homer. The above in the above shot is not the from the Home Run AB, this is the Bottom of the 5th – one of two times when Howard Struck Out.
2016 0830 Max Scherzer
The Star of the night was Max Scherzer who took a no-hitter into the sixth and struck out 11 over eight innings. As a batter he also successfully executed a suicide squeeze to give the Nats their third run – which ended up being the difference in the game.
I am Pretty happy with this photo as it sort of captures the oft mentioned differences of Scherzer’s eye color
2016 0830 Jerad Eickhoff
The Phillies starting pitcher, Jerad Eickhoff, fought through some early control issues and was able to give the club six innings. If it weren’t for a misplayed fourth inning fly ball by Aaron Altherr in the fourth inning, Eichoff may have left the game deadlocked 2-2 with the Nats and Scherzer.
2016 0830 Trea Turner
Nats Rookie Trea Turner is having a good season. The outfielder had a pair of hits on Wednesday boosting his average to .344.
Sources and Links
There are things you expect – Chase Utley Getting a Standing Ovation, and there are things that your happy to see but don’t really expect – Chase Utley’s Ovation extends for a second beat, and he needs to settle the fans so the game can start or Chase …
Yesterday we got the news that Phillies Pitching Prospect Matt Imhof suffered an eye injury due to a freak accident during a post game workout. 2014 Bowman #DP45 Matt ImhofImhof was the Phillies 2nd pick (#47 overall) in their 2014 draft whic…
For Father’s Day the Philies have a number of things going on including a book signing with Bret Boone promoting his new book “Home Game”. Bret is of course the son of former Phillies catcher Bob Boone. Bob is also the son of a Major Leaguer, the…
The Last time the Phillies had the #1 Overall Pick they selected Pat Burrell. A few months ago we looked at the #1 Pick and what a team should expect from the player. I felt as though Burrell was a successful pick but I am not so sure I would say the p…
Brewers @ Phillies Weekend continues and so does Don Money Weekend. A few weeks ago I got a great package of cards from the Phillies Room. In addition to some terrific ToppsNow cards that Jim sent over he also included a bunch of oddball Phillies.1972 …
We have reached 25th anniversary of the No-Hitter authored by the Phillies own Tommy Greene. 1992 Score #426 No-Hit Club Tommy GreeneGreene Shutout the Expos 2-0 in Montreal. The game was Greene’s second start of the season and only the 15th of h…
My latest obsession with recent Topps has been combing Getty Images and finding the pictures that are on the cards. Tonight with Jerad Eickhoff scheduled to be on the mound facing the Marlins we have chosen to feature a card with a photo of him&nb…
Quick Posting to note the Major League Debut of Tommy Joseph 2013 Phungo #66 Tommy JosephI knew of Tommy Joseph for a little prior to his trade into the Phillies organization. He was one of the more noteworthy players at the AA All-Star game held at Re…