Tag Archives: Robin Roberts

2011 Topps Heritage NOT Hot Box

As usual, I am a little behind – everybody is checking out Gypsy Queen and I am busting Topps Heritage, but at least I am busting a box from the current year.


I was initially on the fence about building 2011 Topps Heritage – A recent Posting by A Cardboard Problem speculated on the rumour that the Hot Boxes (containing green tint chrome cards) were packaged differently.  At the CSA show in Oaks PA a few weeks back I found one of these Potential Hot Boxes.  In the name of Trading Card Research I was compelled to break the box.
Unfortunately, The Box was not a Hot Box but remained a fun box to open and I am happy to be building 2011 Topps Heritage.  It is the first Topps Baseball Set I have elected to build since 2008 Heritage.  I am pretty sure that at some point I will look into 2009 Goodwin Champions, but right now that project is still in the thinking about stage.
Box Toppers
The Box had two toppers – A 50th anniversary of Don Clendennon and a David Price Baseball Fiver. 
Not sure how I feel about Topps QC on this one, The Clendennon card is in reasonable shape if I was picking it up at a show as a 50 cent common, but this card is in fair shape and horribly cut.
Don’t get me wrong the Anniversary cards are my favorite box topper, I just think that at 1 in every other box Topps could do a little better on the buyback end.  I was also hoping for a baseball buck and Price is a nice one to get.

Base Set
Low Numbers 194/425 (45%)
Phillies 7/17 (41%) 0/2 Hi Number
Hi Numbers 8/75 (10%)
Babe Ruth 5/10
checklist 3/6
CCR-JJ – Josh Johnson Clubhouse Collection
#143b – Jackie Robinson Story SP
C12 Batting Leaders (Refractor 212/562) 
C27 Omar Infante (1941/1962)
C35 Casey Blake (1690/1960)
I don’t get including the leaders cards in Chrome.  It is only a 100/200 card set why bother with duping a couple of floating heads on a single card.

Baseball Flashbacks
BF-4 Robin Roberts – would of liked him more in a Phils Uni for this one. 
BF-5 Yaz
New Age Performers
NAP-2 Jim Thome
NAP-7 Joey Votto
I love Thome, but I don’t think of him as a New Age Performer at this point in his career.  Votto might be my favorite non-Phil young player of the moment.
News Flashbacks
NF-4 JFK/Cuban Embargo
NF-9 Jamaican Indepence
gotta love any card that celebrate Ganga and Reggae Music


Then and Now

TN-5 Mantle & Prince (this is a dupe of a retail I already pulled)
TN-7 Killebrew & Bautista 
every year this is my least favorite insert in heritage – although they are the easiest to make fun of. for example I refer to the Mantle/Fielder card as a celebration of Drunk Vegetarians – which reminds me of every “art student” I knew in college.

Phungo Says

Yes I was disappointed this was not a Hot Box, but I am happy with my decision to build 2011 Heritage.  I remain a fan of heritage,  and have always enjoyed the 1962 Topps set.  For the most part the inserts are interesting and the 50 or so Heritage cards I already picked up had enough unique cards to get me over the half way point in the set.         


Check out this 58 year old Game Used Baseball

The family of Robin Roberts has decided to sell much of the Hall of Famers Personal collection of Baseball Memorabilia.  For more on the story check here at Philly.com.

Hunt Auctions is handling the sale – some of the cooler items are game balls from several of the pitchers 285 Wins.

Apparently the Phils catcher Stan Lopata would caption or decorate each of the baseballs.  The Above ball is from 1952-07-02.  That day Roberts and the Phils beat the Brooklyn Dodgers 4-3.  The Dodgers lineup that Roberts defeated featured Jackie Robinson (who homered), Duke Snider, Roy Campanella, and Gil Hodges.  The Phils ran out Richie Ashburn batting leadoff and playing center field.  

This Link will direct you to the above ball, from their you can navigate to see several of the other baseballs.

Unfortunately the on-line portion of the auction is closed – the live auction will occur tomorrow Tuesday April 12th at the Phillies Ball Park at 6pm.  At the close of the on-line auction the 1952-07-02 Ball above was going for $164   

White Plains Card Show Recap 3/27/11! Part 3!

Hey guys, Drew back here with part 3 of the March card show series! In every card show so far, I’ve went out of my way to at LEAST buy 1 vintage card. However, after the addition of the mysterious binder, (which you still will have to wait to find out what hides inside of it), I decided to take a shot at the 1961 Topps set. Dad and I decided to do a little chipping away at the 587 card challenge awaiting my collection!

What a better way to start working on an enormous set by getting the first card! Dick Groat got the honors of first in the set, and he sure did deserve it! The season before, in 1960, Groat won the National League MVP and won the World Series! Talk about a season! Groat’s got every reason to be smiling here, and in 1961 he hit .275 with 6 homers and 55 RBI.

I went on to pick up some cards of some former stars, in Bob Turley, Jim Kaat, Don Larsen, and Richie Ashburn. Turley won the Cy Young only a few years prior in 1958, but he struggled in 1961, going 3-5 with a 5.75 ERA. Jim Kaat was only in his third season, with a very mediocre Twins team, and he went 9-17 that year with a 3.90 ERA. Don Larsen went 8-2 with a 4.13 ERA with the Kansas City Athletics, and Richie Ashburn, in one of his final seasons, only batted .257 in 109 games. So, basically, for a lot of these old veterans, 1961 was an off year.

Next were a few League Leaders cards, all for the National League. While the two bottom cards have Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax on them, the top card stands out by a lot. Dick Groat tops the group, but the 3rd and 4th place guys, maybe you’ve heard of them? Willie Mays and Roberto Clemente? I think I know those guys!

Next we have the former keystone combination from the Chicago White Sox, Hall of Famers Nellie Fox and Luis Aparicio. I never really knew much about these guys (I didn’t even know that Fox was in the HOF), but I did some research on them and I can see why they’re in. Fox, famous for his tobacco chewing, was the 1959 AL MVP, and he made 15 all star teams. Wow, can’t believe I never knew much about him! Luis was also a 13 time All Star and 9 time gold glover, and he retired with great statistics.

Also, we got some Hall of Fame pitchers to go along with the rest of the cards. Don Drysdale was an outstanding pitcher for the Dodgers, with a 209-166 record and a 2.95 ERA. He was often overshadowed by Sandy Koufax but he ended up winning the Cy Young the year after this card came out in 1962. Robin Roberts also was a very successful pitcher at the time, even though in 1961 his career was slowly on the decline. He made 7 All Star teams and ended up pitching with the Orioles, Cubs, and Astros before his retirement in 1966. He recently passed away early last year at the age of 83.

To go along with the other Hall of Famers, we picked up cards of two of the most dangerous hitters in the game at the time! Willie McCovey just started his career in 1959, so here in his 3rd year, he was warming up to eventually become a Hall of Fame slugger. Five hundred twenty one home runs later and the man has a plaque resting in Cooperstown. Frank Robinson was even better though, as he was an all around legend. Here right in the beginning of his prime, Frank is shown poised to continue his incredible success. When he joined the Orioles in 1966, he made an immediate impact, winning the Triple Crown! Not many players have that opportunity anymore, only done by Carl Yastrzemski after Robinson accomplished the feat. He retired with 586 home runs, 2,943 hits and a lifetime batting average of .294.

The final card we bought is definitely one of the/if not the best rookie card in the entire set. The set consists of rookie cards of Juan Marichal, Ron Santo, Carl Yastrzemski (although his real RC is in 1960 Topps), and a few other not as notable players, except for this guy. It’s the 1961 Topps rookie card of Billy Williams! Billy, who was inducted into Cooperstown in 1987, was a great hitter. His career stats show off a .290 lifetime average, 420 home runs, and 2,711 hits, but the one part that is coolest about this card is that it shows a young Williams who was eager to succeed. And boy he did. In his first full season he hit .278 with 25 home runs and 86 RBI’s, good enough to win him the 1961 National League Rookie of the Year!

I’m very happy to be able to add this big card to the set, and I can’t wait to begin the chase! I’ll have more details in a future post, but for now..

See Ya!

The 2011 Phungo’s Are Here!!!

The 2011 Phungo’s Are Here!!!

Sweet – my first crack at some 2011 baseball cards!!

These cards come courtesy of Paul, author of the blog Phungo.  Along with being a dedicated Phillies fan, Paul is also a card designer and this is the third straight season in which he has sent over some of his custom issues for ’30-YOC’.

So, without further ado, here is my haul from Phungo 2011…


In random order, you are seeing cards of the following current and former players:  Shane Victorino, Derrek Lee, Mickey Morandini, Hanley Ramirez, Robin Roberts(SP), and an Opening Day card from the Phillies and Nationals game.

The cards are sweet – of them can you guess which one is my favorite??

It’s not Hanley…  It’s not former Marlin and Cub Derrek Lee either…  And it’s not Shane Victorino…

My favorite card from this pack is…  Mickey Morandini!!!

Yep, ‘The Mick’.  Why you ask?  Any time I think of or hear the name Mickey Morandini, I get flashbacks of listening to Harry Caray try to pronounce that name – FUN every single time!!

Thanks for the memories Paul.  And the great cards too!!!

Orioles Hall of Fame Week- Unpossible Hall of Famers

If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you know that every Friday is “Unpossible Autograph Friday” a play on words (borrowed from Ralph Wiggum of “The Simpsons” fame) highlighting autographs of deceased players. Today I’m featuring the three Hall of Famers who played with the Orioles during their career and have passed away. None of the three were inducted to the Hall as O’s or are necessarily remembered for their years in Birdland, but they did play for them, so it ties in to my HOF week.

I’ve written about these first two players a few times, so click the links if you want to see what I’ve already covered.

Robin was nice enough to sign my TTM request about a year ago and I wrote about him again when he passed away this past May. He is the only HOFer in my collection who personalized anything to me. 

I got Roberts’ signed HOF plaque card from a dealer at the National who hadn’t raised the price on it since Robin passed away so I got a relative steal. 
My dad hooked me up with this Hoyt Wilhelm autograph for Christmas in 2009. (The write-up about Hoyt is half way down the linked post) 
I found this Wilhelm signed HOF plaque card at a flea market a few months back. I’ve made the argument a few times that I think Hoyt should have entered the Hall wearing a White Sox or Orioles hat over that of the NY Giants, but the decision obviously wasn’t up to me.
This card is the only new image on this post, and Kell is the only player I haven’t really covered before, so now you get something besides blurbs and links to my other posts. 
George was a excellent contact hitter who hit over .300 for his career, led the A.L. in hits and doubles twice in 1950 & ’51 and won the 1949 batting title, denying Ted Williams his third Triple Crown. He was also a great defender at third base and led the league in fielding percentage at the position five times. He was a ten-time All-Star and also received MVP votes eight times. He played with the Philadelphia A’s, Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, and Chicago White Sox before wrapping up his career with two seasons in Baltimore in 1956 & ’57. 
He came short of making the Hall of Fame fifteen times via the writer’s vote but was elected in 1983 by the Veteran’s Committee. After his playing career ended, George went on to find success in the broadcast booth and had nearly a forty year career behind the mic, including almost thirty years calling Tigers’ games with Al Kaline.
You might have spotted this Kell plaque card in the same post as the Wilhelm plaque.  
Obligatory contest plug- You can enter through Sunday for the chance to win a signed Earl Weaver card. If you’ve already entered, I would suggest that you check the entries post to see if you’ve been earning any bonus entries. Some of you have figured out how to do it and are really pulling away from the pack.

Drumroll Please Cuz Someone Gets To Say “Neener Neener Neener!”…

Okay, it started with me trying to build suspense, but it has since turned to me just having zero time… I had hoped to slowly pull each winning card and THEN announce the winner, BUT I think I have made y’all wait long enough… I had shown off the Al Kaline card already. Joining Mr. Tiger are 2 Hall of Fame hurlers. I wish I had scanned each card individually, but alas the time issue… Plus, since I no longer own these, it wouldn’t be right for me to post them – that is the WINNER’S job!

The total prize package ended up containing, from 1956 Topps Baseball, card #20 Albert William Kaline (white back), card #180 of Robin Evan Roberts (white back) and finally card #255 of Robert Granville Lemon (gray back). 3 cards, all Hall of Famers. One of the finest hitters of All Time, coupled with arguably the BEST pitcher of the 1950s in the American League AND the top hurler of the ’50s in the National League. I won’t post their bios or stats, again, winner’s responsibility…
Oh, now that the prize is set, y’all probably wanna know who won, right? There is the topic of certain awesome bloggers saying neener neener neener to other amazing bloggers. Read on, I WILL get to it. If you really read this blog, you know you have to READ!

Let’s rewind for a moment… In case y’all don’t remember what the contest was; here is a quick rundown… My son was expecting a child, my FIRST GRANDBABY and I set a contest for the blog-o-sphere to guess exactly what time the baby would be born. On December 22, 2010, Atlas Ray came into this world at 11:35 PM. Over 130 of you guessed and about 10 of you got within a half hour of the correct time.

Three of you were within 6 minutes, but the GRAND PRIZE WINNER guessed 11:31, just 4 minutes from the time. This Troll has already awarded two Honorable Mention Prizes, but this is the GRAND PRIZE. Well, the blogger with the neener neener rights is none other than my second favorite Padres fan (can’t beat Padrographs Rod!)

The GRAND PRIZE WINNER OF THE FIRST EVER COLLECTIVE TROLL’S GRANDBABY CONTEST IS: (pause and drum roll please…) The granddaddy grand prize winner is the blogger we all know as Doc.who writes nearly as many blogs as I do, including, but not limited to Baseball Card Recollections, which, coincidentally is holding a contest RIGHT NOW!

Always quick to kill 2 birds with one stone (who doesn’t love killing birds economically?) this is me pimping Doc’s Contest RIGHT NOW! Another GREAT blog that Doc runs is the super cool 1,000,000,000,000,000 (or some large number) Cards For Kids… I LOVE making the trip to All Children’s Hospital in St. Pete, Florida with bags of Rays cards for the awesome kids there. One day I will actually get some pictures and contribute to that blog. One day. Anyway, I managed to draw this out long enough…

The Cliff Notes version is this. Contest over. We have a grand prize winner. It is Doc of Baseball Card Recollections. He wins 3 cards. They are all 1956 Topps. They feature Al Kaline, Robin Roberts and Bob Lemon. It is now Doc’s responsibility to acknowledge his win here. Then deliver the appropriate neener neeners throughout the blog-o-sphere and then email me his mailing address within 3 days of this post. THEN I will say goodbye to these 3 beautiful slabs of cardboard. Then I will attempt to return to “normal” blogging.

Personally I had a ton of fun with this contest. I loved sharing my amazing news and super new grand baby with all of my collector friends. The well wishes and comments made me feel great and I want to say thanks to ALL OF YOU who played along. There were over 130 entries and even more people who didn’t enter, but showed me some love and support anyway. I love this forum we all exist in. Y’all rock!!!

Doc, congratulations to you sir. I hope you are pleased with your winnings. I am glad that I didn’t pick the Jackie Robinson envelope cuz I REALLY love that card, but I hope you aren’t disappointed with what you ended up with. Thanks again to all of you! Thanks for reading, commenting, following, trading, chatting and collecting with me!!!! I don’t always have time for this blog, but I LOVE this hobby and always will!!!

On a collecting note – all of my want lists are current and up to date. I REALLY wanna finish off 2010 Topps before 2011 comes out. I sorted out ALL of my dupes and I am working on making a list today, so check that out when it happens… 1965 Topps Baseball shall be priority #1 until its done (which may take forever) so keep me in mind if you bump into any…

While I have your attention I must kill a third bird (not an orange one!) and pimp another SUPER contest at one of my favorite blogs.. . Want a chance to win a certified autograph of a Hall of Famer??? Just click here and leave him a comment. Its that easy…

Speaking of easy… I am killing a 4th bird right now… My buddy and fellow Floridian Chris from the Vintage Sportscards Blog is giving away some Hall of Famer cards himself… Check it out RIGHT HERE!!!

One more note… Does anyone remember last year when I worked as an outdoor security guard and braved the cold to blog like crazy? Well, I will be covering shift the next 3 Saturday nights so look forward to some actual card blogging from your friend the troll.

That’s all for now… Seriously… No more birds shall be harmed today… Go vintage! troll out.

2010 Pull N Junk Playoffs: Best Pull – 3rd Quarter

For the 3rd Quarter of 2010 we have a couple of Hall of Famers a future Hall of Famer and a bunch of non-baseball cards.

2010 Allen & Ginter #73 Avery Jenkins

I am a frisbee fanatic so Mr Jenkins makes it into the playoffs.

2010 Allen & Ginter World’s Wordsmiths mini # WGWS8 John Milton

Milton was a bit of a literary hero for me and my mates when I was younger and gets a shot in the Pull of the Year playoffs.

 2010 Allen & Ginter World’s Wordsmiths #WGS1 Homer

If you blogging about Baseball you got to love a Writer named Homer.

2010 Topps Peak Performance #PP-60 Mike Schmidt

Phils HOF insert Mojo!
2009 Goodwin Champions Mini #112 Robin Roberts

More Phils HOF Insert Mojo.  I always enjoy minis and was very happy to pull this one of HOF Robin Roberts from a Blaster

Other qualifiers from September

2009 Goodwin Champions Black Mini Yogi Berra

 2009 Goodwin Champions Relic Chipper Jones

There you have a very competitive field from the third quarter of 2010.  Please vote in the comments.

A) Avery Jenkins
B) John Milton
C) Homer
D) Mike Schmidt
E) Robin Roberts
F) Yogi Berra
G) Chipper Jones

And Looking back there is still time to vote in the 2nd Quarter and 1st Quarter Best Pull playoffs.

Two Contest Winners REVEALED!!!

Okay, I am going to keep the tension going on the grand prize winner of the 3 Hall of Fame cards from 1956 Topps, but I will announce the 2 Honorable Mention winners… Like I mentioned in the previous post there were 132 guesses in the contest.

The goal was to select the correct time that the Grandbaby Troll entered the World. No one guessed the exact time, but many came close. One blogger was the closest, within 4 minutes, but like I said, you will have to wait for that one.

For now, I wanted to give a little something something to 2 bloggers who came REAL close.

There were 2 tie breakers, just in case 2 people guessed the correct time.

They were guess the date AND the babies name.

Only ONE person guessed the date correctly. I didn’t mention this at all, but the due date was 12-30-2010. I was hoping that he would be born on my birthday which is 12-31. 38 of you agreed with me and guessed that day too. Just 1 of you got the date right and she shall be rewarded!

I was just going to give a mention, but Esther Gin N Juice demanded that this person be rewarded as this guess was pretty darn close.

With the 51st guess overall (and her first) McCann Can Triple guessed that Baby Boy Troll would be born on December 22, 2010 at 10:10 PM. With the date correct she was accurate within 85 minutes and will be rewarded. Here is one card to be included in her prize pack which will be mailed out within the next couple of weeks… Since we all now she is a Braves fan I am including this 1962 Warren Spahn.

The other Honorable Mention goes to the Dawg Bones Phillies Phan. He placed 2nd in the grand prize guessing 11:30 PM (just 5 minutes off!) but was the only guesser to choose the babies name, well almost. Dawgbones guessed Ray which is the correct middle name. He too will be rewarded with this Phillies Phan Appropriate Card – a 1960 Topps Robin Roberts.
Thanks again to all who entered!

Atlas Ray Generous makes me a very happy person.

To the victors, please email me with your addresses. Thanks!
Troll out.

Card Spotlight: 1955 Bowman Robin Roberts

Just a reminder: the contest will run until this evening at 11:59 PM PST. Comment to win an unopened box of 1993 Fleer Flair.

What is a baseball card but a suspension of a moment in time? In days of yore, treetops lined the spring training fields as preparation began for a new season. Uniforms and faces change, but then return. The brisk wind of February blows on the heels of a winter gone in Florida as the flowering palm trees mark the arrival of hope and longing for the new season to begin.

Behold Robin Roberts wearing a blue undercovering to shield off the rust and the raingusts. Coming off a Cy Young-like year in 1954 (before the award existed), leading the NL in 10 various categories, Roberts exudes an air of focus and confidence as the first few spheroids are gently flung into the catcher’s mitt as a remembrance of the spring/summer routine.

1955 Bowman is a landmark set, being the last before the Topps monopoly. It also captured the essence of the era with the television mock-up, celebrating the proliferation of color TV in the country. One image, one design, one moment captured in time.

1955 All-Star Game Program 3 — NL Stars 2

Continuing with our look at the 1955 All-Star Game program, here are the second set of National League stars:

1955 was the last year in an incredible six years for Robin Roberts during which he won 20 or more games each year and 138 overall.  It was also his sixth straight All-Star game.
Ernie Banks was making his first All-Star appearance.
Smokey Burgess was traded by the Phillies to Cincinnati on April 30 when he was hitting .190.  The change sure was good for him as he hit .325 in May.  For the year Smokey smoked his former team for a .323 average in 18 games.  The following year he repayed them again with a .367 average in 12 games.

Gene Conley in addition to his baseball career, played for six seasons in the NBA. 
Appreciated for his defense and game calling Del Crandall hit a career high 26 home runs in 1955.
Joe Nuxhall was the Reds ace in 1955  with a 17-12 record and a league leading 5 shutouts.  Big Klu knocked out 47 big flies and drove in 113 while batting .314.
If you haven’t noticed I’m giving away some great cards to celebrate my 500th post.  Click here for details.

Pull of the Month – September 2010

2009 Goodwin Champions Mini #112 Robin Roberts

This is from a Blaster Break featured just a week ago. I have been on a mini-kick this summer and anytime I get one of a Phils HoF player that goes straight to the head of the class. There were a lot of nice cards in that break – basically a mini a pack. I suppose most other folks would consider the Black Yogi Mini or the Chipper Relic the Hit of the blaster, but for me it was Mr Roberts.

Junk of the Month

2010 Topps T-206 #257 Ryan Howard

There is nothing wrong with this Ryan Howard card. In fact as a Phils fan I am always happy to pull a Howard card from any pack.

But I do have an issue with the card:

2010 Topps T-206 #257 Ryan Howard (b-side)

Can you tell what it is? Apparently Topps is to righteous to mention a certain non-Hall of Fame Player. I suppose the unnamed player is contracted to another company and Topps isn’t even aloud to name him in their copy. If so for goodness sake come up with another fun fact, maybe something to do with Home Runs or being an MVP having won a World Series. I don’t think it’s that tough.

Past Pull and Junk of the Month entries

2010 August

2010 July
2010 June
2010 May
2010 April
2010 March

Card Show Report 2010 09 25 – Philly Show @ Valley Forge Convention Center

This edition of the Philly Show for me was a pretty good one. I had a totally free day, I was only marginally exhausted – I think for the rest of my life I will always be at least a little bit tired. I had a couple of want lists and actually knocked some things off them.

One of the highlights was the 1951 Topps Seminick in the previous post here are some others.

1959 Topps
1959 Topps #147 Cubs Clubbers

I was able to knock out four cards from my 1959 Topps Collection. I am down to my last 42 cards, and any time you can find four in one day at this stage of the game, you have accomplished something. This card which features Hall of Famer Ernie Banks went for the rather nice price of $2

Vintage Phils

1975 Topps Mini #267 Dick Ruthven
1959 Topps #352 Robin Roberts

I already had the Robin Roberts card, but I could not let him set in the $2 bin. I seem to pick up at least one or two 1975 minis at each Philly show. This time it was Dick Ruthven. Typically I only go 25 cents on these, but for Ruthven I went to 50 cents.

1952 Topps and a Vintage HOF

1952 Topps #75 Wes Westrum
1956 Topps #195 George Kell
1942 Topps #117 Sherman Lollar

If you want to start building a vintage collection on the cheap, you may want to look into some Wes Westrum cards. I seem to keep coming across him in budget bins. George Kell is a Hall of Famer that you may not know about – he was a 10 time all-star who played 3b with five different clubs including the Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia A’s.

All three of these cards went for $2. There is some creasing and the Lollar card has some surface issues, but the price was right. Good Rules of thumb 1950s HOF player for $2 – thats a buy. 1952 Topps fro $2 also a Buy.


These Retro cards all came out of a Dime box. Pretty much anytime I see a Heritage insert in a Dime box, it goes in the Phungo Collection. Same thing goes for the 2006 Allen & Ginter’s. The Tim Duncan is from the 2007+ Topps Hoop set that I have bee slowly building. 2007 BowHer Tex is also a set builder – almost over the 50/50 mark on that set. I just think the Beckham card looks cool. hmm how bout that good day for Chisox Cards I guess.

Goodbye Al


Sadly, another former Orioles player has died this year when Al Pilarcik passed away on September 20. I couldn’t find a cause of death listed, but it’s always sad when a former Oriole leaves this world behind. 2010 has been an especially bad year for former O’s, as Al becomes the tenth Oriole to pass away this year after Curt Motton (1/21), Bob Chakales (2/18), Frank Bertaina (3/3), Billy Hoeft (3/16), Mike Cuellar (4/2), Robin Roberts (5/6), Morrie Martin (5/25), Billy Loes (7/15), and Bobby Thomson (8/16). I’m guessing that 2010 has seen more former Orioles die than any other year.  It somewhat makes sense as the franchise started in 1954 so many of the guys who played for the team in the mid-50’s are getting old nowadays.  With over three months to go in the year, I can’t help but feel that Al might not be the last Oriole to die this year the way things have gone so far.

Al played all three outfield positions, but chiefly was a right-fielder, during his 6 seasons in the Majors from 1956-61. He played 517 of his 668 games with the Orioles from 1957-60,  played two stints with the Kansas City A’s and finished his career with the White Sox. 

After retiring from baseball, Al spent 34 years as a high school health teacher in St. John, Indiana, where he also coached baseball, football and basketball. In his later years, he taught part-time at Indiana University.  He was inducted into the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987.  Here’s a link to his obituary. RIP Al.

2009 UD Goodwin Champions Bargain Blaster

On a recent trip to Target I found a bargain blaster of 2009 UD Goodwin Champions. The blaster was half price ($10.59 w/ tax). I hadn’t opened many if any packs of Goodwin last year so I figured I’d give it a shot.

This blaster contains 12 packs of 4 cards each. The Base Set consists 150 cards followed by 40 short prints and then 20 super short prints – and then another set of mini-exclusive cards – I don’t know you figure that one out. There are a number of parallels including a set of minis that fall about 1/pack.

The Goodwin set was probably developed to compete w/ Topps Allen & Ginter – and it shows. Lets take a look –


Howard – Roberts – Lefty – Nice Selection there – 2 World Champions. 2 Hall of Famers. Good Lookin Cards. All of the Current Phils cards have the World Series Banner which is a nice touch. Some of the cards have a “special” team logo – note the Liberty Bell on the Robin Roberts mini.

HOFs & Minis
The Minis are Tex, CC, Junior, Phil Niekro, and Stinkin Jonathan Toews of the stupid Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks.

The HOFs Gwynn, Ripken, Ozzie, Teddy Ballgame, and Paul Molitor.

The Niekro photo is a familiar shot that we have seen in UDs other retro product, Goudey – That image was already borrowed from Fleer I think. UD was already mailing it in a year ago.

Griffey is card #1, which is only fitting as he returned to Seattle – the team for which Griffey was on the original UD #1 card back in 1989. As it turned out Goodwin Champions was one of UDs last Baseball products.
One More Mini

A Nice Black Bordered Mini of Yogi Berra. I am assuming that the special back minis have the black borders. This is a pretty sharp looking card of an Iconic player.

MJ, Bobby Orr, Peggy Fleming, Dave Scott

Like Allen & Ginter GWChamps contains other Notables who were not blessed with the abilities to play the great game of baseball.

Dave Scott is the original Triathlete or something like that – this card is a Short Print, the picture is different then all the rest of the cards. The cards all have a criss-cross pattern to their Backgrounds. For whatever reason the Scott card is all the painting – or photoshop of the painting anyway. Peggy Fleming looks really evil in this picture.

Base Cards

I decided to show off the base cards by constructing an All-Star team from the blaster.


McCann, Liriano, Lincecum, Thome

Two of these guys are already in the playoffs, and the other two could also get in. Notice that the McCann card is one of the ones carrying a special logo. I stuck Thome in with the Pitchers and Catchers because it was where I had space to put a DH.


Pedroia, Jeter, Bill Hall, Morneau

Ok Bill Hall is not an All-Star, but he is a short print so he got the nod as the Blaster 3rd baseman. Both Morneau and Pedroia have won MVP awards, Jeter has not.


Manny, Josh Hamilton, Johnny Damon, Ichiro

The Manny Card is pretty cool looking – You can see the storm clouds coming in on the edge of ending his Sunny LA Days. The Ichiro card is also a winner. I am pretty sure that the Hamilton card is straight out of Goudey.

Card back of Steve Carlton – one issue with GWChamps is the font on the back. It is plain goofy looking. the lower case T’s are particularly odd. I do like that UD did go to the trouble of creating a back for these cards. Every other UD product has identical backs – this reduces the personality of a set. The Phils logo here is from the 70s era Phils teams for which Carlton played.

I paired the B-Side here with a 20th anniversary card – if you pick up an UD blaster from 2009 you are bound to find a few of these. This card the Red Wings winning the 2007-08 Stanley Cup. The photo’d player is Henrik Zetterberg I think.


Chipper Relic- mojo. Not sure what the M stands for my guess is Memorabilia or Mojo.

Overall I enjoyed the blaster. The half price is key. 4 card packs always seem weak to me. but opening 12 of them with a good mix of oddballs and minis added to the fun. Unfortunately the box was marred by the fact that maybe half of the cards had a dinged upper left corner. Regardless it was still fun to open.

I picked up 36 cards from the 150 card base set (24%). The 7 minis were all unique vs the base cards giving me 43 of 150 (27% of a whacky FrankenSet). So I could consider building a set relatively cheaply.

The 5 cards of 48 from the 12 packs of 4 are – 1&2) the 2 short prints, 3) the Chipper Relic, 4) the 20th aniv card, and 5) 1 card forfeited from the Chipper pack.

I doubt I will go to the trouble of building the set. I will more likely keep about half for various collecting projects – Phils collection, Hall of Famers, Player Collections (Thome n Damon), minis, My WBC collection (Ichiro), and My Plebes Collection.

Card Spotlight: 1959 Topps Ace Hurlers Robin Roberts/Billy Pierce

Note: I haven’t been posting in a while mostly because I’m unable to finish posts. Ever have a case of attention wandering that just wouldn’t quit? Anyway, I’m not going away and it looks like the Phillies aren’t either. I’m psyched for the possibility of the 4th straight year of postseason baseball.

I was able to pick this blurry beauty up for $1.00+shipping on the old internet marketplace. I can’t tell if this is a posed portrait (possibly painted?) or the superimposing of two photographs where the baseball is held in the correct, auspicious position. What also makes the card image interesting is that it’s as if they’re standing in front of a supernova sun from a gumdrop sky.

By the time 1959 rolled around, neither were the carry-the-team-on-the-shoulders aces they had been in previous years of the 1950s. But they surely still carried themselves like one because they were afforded much respect from teammates and opponents and by an extension, the Topps card company.

Roberts’s 1958 was a nice bounceback yearafter two straight losing seasons (presumably due to arm troubles after all the innings he pitched 1950-1956). He got back on the winning side of the ledger (17-14) and lowered his ERA from 4.45(1956) to 4.07 (1957) to 3.24 (1958). His peripheral stats stayed virtually the same though (except for HR/9 was lower). Roberts almost was able to reach back into the eraly-1950’s re-emerge in carry and countenance his ace hurler image and skill.

For Pierce, 1958 was his last dominant year at the age of 31. He was 17-11 with a league-leading 19 complete games, and 2.68 ERA. This wrapped up a brilliant stretch of pitching over the 1950s over which he had 5 all-star seasons, 2 20 win seasons, finished in the top ten in WHIP 6 times and the top ten in Ks 9 years in a row (1950-1958). He was a well-established ace hurler as well for the perennial runner-up White Sox (until 1959).

An ace hurler is an ambiguous term of baseball lore. There are aces, there are stoppers, there are #1, among other terms. What distinguishes one from the other.

Here are other ace hurlers of the 1950s (either by stats or reputation)

Early Wynn

Bob Feller

Warren Spahn

Bob Lemon
Allie Reynolds
Mel Parnell
Don Newcombe
Whitey Ford

Even then, it was difficult to maintain a high level for a high number of years. Roberts and Pierce defied that convention for the most part and were deserving choices as ace hurlers.

Phungo Game Report – 2010 09 05 Milwaukee Brewers @ Philadelphia Phillies

It was Home Run Derby night at Citizen’s Bank Park – The Brewers and Phils combined for 6 dingers. Oddly the games deciding play came on a sacrifice fly and botched throw.

The Phils took the see-saw game 5-4. The odd Sac Fly started on a 1 out fly ball to Ryan Braun by Placido Polanco. The Phils had Carlos Ruiz at third who may have screened rookie catcher Jonathan Lucroy on the throw which bounced away. On the errant throw Phils backup infielder Wilson Valdez came all the way around from 2nd to score the winning run. It was the most exciting play in a night that was filled with Homers and nice defensive efforts.

Prince Fielder, Alcides Escobar, and Core Hart (2) supplied the fireworks for the Brew-Crew. The Good Guys got Homers from Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth. Despite giving up four homers for first time in his career Roy Halladay got the W – makes up for a couple of tough losses he has taken earlier this season. The Phils bullpen pitched 2 innings of spotless relief, with Ryan Madson and J C Romero setting it up for Brad Lidge’s 20th save. Kameron Loe took the loss for the Brewers. Local product Dave Bush got the start for the Brewers and pitched well and did not factor in the decision. Carlos Ruiz was 3-3 on the night – The Phils picked up a game on the Braves and are now 20 games over .500 for the first time in 2010.

A Robin
This statue of Robin Roberts guards the first base gate at Citizen’s Bank Ballpark.

A Wolf
Former Phil and Phungo Phavorite

A Vegetarian
Prince coming in from BP. Might be Prince’s first appearance in Phungo.

and A Jimmy
J-Roll has never been featured on a Phungo Card. He is always batting lead-off – I think I am not quite ready to take a picture when Jimmy is at the plate. Rollins was also spotted at the Red Bull Flugtag earlier on Saturday.

Other Observations
It was a really windy night – blowing left to right – I would have thought anything to Left would have gotten knocked down, but both Escobar’s and Werth’s Homers were drilled deep. The Bank may have held Fielder’s sky-high homer on another night – same with Howard’s.

The Brewer’s were fairly well represented in the crowd. It is a holiday weekend and I am sure a few fans made the trip to Philadelphia for the series. Most common shirt I spied last night was Ryan Braun, with Prince Fielder not getting as much love as I would of thought.

Every Phillies home game is a sell-out, but there are levels of sell-outs. some are mobbed and some feel like Sell-outs in name only. Surprisingly last night was closer to the Mobbed variety. Lots of college students have returned to town and there was a Penn State promotion which added to the festive evening.

I only caught the tail end of the Brewer BP and they had the reserves swinging that bats. Rookie Lorenzo Cain looked pretty sharp lacing several hard hit liners and popping a long homer to left. Mat Gamel also hit the ball hard several times. Craig Counsell had the most consistent BP knocking several balls sharply up the middle.

Good Guy Awards
Mat Gamel and Willie Randolph were both spotted signing autographs for fans.

Looking Back
For a previous Game Report check here for the Rangers and Orioles (2010/08/21)
For the last Phillies Game Report click here for a game featuring the San Francisco Giants (2010/08/17).

Looking Ahead
The Labor Day Baseball Bonanza continues with the tricky Night Game followed by a Day game as team Phungo travels to Baltimore to see the Orioles host the Rays.

Wrapping Up My Cards From The National

It only took just over two weeks, but here are the rest of the cards that I purchased at the National.  This is a random group.

First up is a Robin Roberts signed Hall of Fame plaque card.  Robin is a former Oriole, and a HOFer, so that makes this double awesome to me.  He is wearing a Phillies hat on his plaque, so that makes me like it a little less cool, but it was still a great pickup. Unfortunately, Robin passed away earlier this year, but fortunately, the dealer hadn’t yet bumped up the cost after his death, so I grabbed this for only $10.

I can’t recall if I have ever mentioned that I collect signed HOF plaque cards.  But I do.  I certainly don’t focus on it the way I do on Orioles autographs, but if I can find them for a decent price, I always like adding them to my collection.  There have been some amazing players in the history of baseball and I have no delusions about ever having a complete collection of these things, but I like to add one here and there as it might work out. 

I had to pick up this Showalter auto for only a buck.  Haha.  Even if it’s smudged and he’s wearing an eyesore of a uniform, it was still worth it.  I would’ve paid $2-3 for his autograph on a D’backs or Rangers card, but since he was just named the O’s manager the week before the show, I was happy to add this to my collection.  

Somehow, I never was able to get Juan’s autograph while he was coaching/managing for the O’s.  He was a tough autograph compared to most coaches I have seen.  I don’t particularly collect managers’ & coaches’ autographs if they never played for the O’s, but at under a dollar, it seemed right to add him to my collection.  And talk about a snappy looking card, I can barely describe the gloriousness of this bumblebee color scheme.

Completely moving away from the Orioles, I found this great Josh Johnson autograph for only a couple dollars.  This “Clear Path to Greatness Signatures” card is one of those cards that you can see through.  Clear Path/see through, get it? In retrospect, I should’ve taken a picture of this in my hand so you could tell that it was clear. 

Anyway, Josh is one of those players that I don’t collect, but I have a fantasy baseball crush* on since he helped me bring home the title in my most competitive fantasy league last year.  This is a sticker autograph but the clear sticker/clear card combination makes it pretty hard to see. 

*If you don’t play fantasy sports, I would describe a fantasy crush as a fixation on a certain player who has performed very well for you and/or helped you win a title.  You tend to try to keep these players or draft them again, even as the get older and less productive.  Don’t let me down Josh.

Top 22 From The Card Show

Here are the top 22 cards that I brought home from the card show last week. I came with $30 and left with 22 cards so we are averaging $1.36 per card. Some of these are outrageous deals and some are probably just about right at a little more than a dollar a card.

These are organized using my own personal favoritism and not by “best deal” or any other category.


We begin with “The Old Professor.” Casey’s last few Topps cards tended to have him sitting and holding a bat and his 1965 Topps card is nearly identical and was probably only taken a few seconds from the 1964 photo. The condition isn’t the greatest but he’s always a sentimental favorite.

1964 Topps #324 Casey Stengel


I’m sure for a lot of you would put this card at the top. I’m a big Whitey Fan and of all the cards I paid the most for this one.

1966 Topps #160 Whitey Ford


It’s sad to say that I almost passed on this card because of my annoyance with Morgan’s announcing career.

1967 Topps #337 Joe Morgan


Fergie had eight seasons with 20 or more complete games including seasons with league leading totals of 30 and 29 complete games.

1967 Topps #333 Ferguson Jenkins


Robin gets the recently deceased bump here.

1965 Topps #15 Robin Roberts


Back to back Orioles…I’ve seen this card recently highlighted on another blog but dang if I can remember which one it was. One has to wonder what Brooks is doing with his glove in this card. Is he going to block the sun from his eyes? Or catch another ball being thrown at him?

1976 Topps #95 Brooks Robinson


Casual fans are probably asking Earl Battey? WTF? He’s a personal favorite of mine that I’ve highlighted before. Just look at that big mitt!

1967 Topps #15 Earl Battey


I was so excited to find this because I love these dou cards and their wonderful titles like “Buc Belters.” When I got home, found out I already had this particular one and so it’s ranking fell a few spots.

1966 Topps #99 Buc Belters Willie Stargell/Donn Clendenon


This one jumps from the high teens to the top 10 by being my first 1954 Bowman card. Plus, Boyd was the first black player for the White Sox.

1954 Bowman #118 Robert Boyd


Ever since this post I’ve been a Humberto Robinson collector…well…at least an aspiring Humberto Robinson collector. This is actually my first card and it’s probably the best condition ’59 Topps that I own.

1959 Topps #366 Humberto Robinson


Matt F. like Rickey. Matt F. thinks he is one of the top 10 players ever to play baseball. Matt F. one day wants to own a Rickey rookie card but until then this will have to do.

1981 Fleer #574 Rickey Henderson


In 1965 Rocky played every game and never made an error. He became the first American League outfielder with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage for an entire season.

1968 Topps #99 Rocky Colavito


Here’s the 2nd part of my earlier comment that I’ve been seeing Johnny Podres cards all over.

1960 #425 Johnny Podres


Rico missed the whole 1968 season fighting tuberculosis.

1970 Topps #145 Rico Carty


Thinking about it I find it amazing that more players don’t have a break down on the field.

1962 Topps #90 Jim Piersall


I wonder what the record is for home runs in a final season. Dave hit 35 home runs in his last season for the A’s in 1986 and that’s got to be close to the record.

1973 Topps #23 Dave Kingman


Mike was actually drafted by the Orioles twice. Once in 1987 out of high school and again in 1990 as a 1st round pick after he graduated from Stanford.

1991 Score #383 Mike Mussina


Where does the hair end and the side burns begin?

1980 Topps #540 Pete Rose


This is a really, really, really solid prospect card. Not quite the Paul Molitor/Alan Trammell level of greatness but three good players.

1981 Topps 259 Juan Berenguer/Hubie Brooks/Mookie Wilson Mets Future Stars

Condition poor but that can be overlooked for a card of the Kansas City A’s. I love cards of now defunct teams. Plus, Bob was the first black player in team history.

1955 Topps #132 Bob Trice


Mr. Raines is currently the manager of the Newark Bears in the Atlantic League. His hitting coach? Ron Karkovice!

1981 Topps #479 Bobby Pate/Tim Raines/Roberto Ramos Expos Future Stars


You might not remember but Nomo played for the Royals for about three seconds in 2008…I’m slowly trying to get the entire “Nomo as a Royal” collection together…so far I know of two base cards, both from Triple Threads.

1995 Topps Traded #40T Hideo Nomo

Bizarro World

I wouldn’t have thought I would come across cards today showing Robin Roberts as a Cub and Harvey Haddix as a Met? Did I wake up in a bizarro world today?

Roberts as a Cub? In his last season, Roberts pitched in 11 games for the Cubs after being released by the Astros.

1990 Swell Baseball Greats #11 Robin Roberts

Haddix as a Met? Well, he never played for them as a player but was a pitching coach for them…along with Reds, Red Sox, Indians, and Pirates.

1990 Swell Baseball Greats #73 Harvey Haddix

Cards from the Old Man Part 21: The LAST card!

This is the twenty-first in a series of posts about cards I received from the old collector in our town who had library card catalogs full of cards from the 1950’s-1970’s. You can see those original posts here and here if you missed them.

You may recall my May contest, posted on May 1st, was to guess the year and player of the final “Cards from the Old Man” card. Only three people, Night Owl, madding, and omegawax guessed the right year, 1959. No one guessed the right player.

Well, here he is.

Robin Roberts died 4 days after that contest post and I didn’t post anything about it. I had been thinking about him because I knew this card post was coming so it was sad to hear the news of his passing.

Robin Roberts had a very nice 19 year career. Hall of Fame nice according to the BBWAA who elected him to the Hall of Fame in 1976. Roberts pitched in 676 games, posting a 286-245 record. He had a 3.41 ERA to go along side his amazing 305 complete games (36th all-time) and 45 shutouts. He even found time to earn 25 saves along the way. He threw 4,688.2 innings, striking out 2,357 (40th all-time). Roberts won 20 or more games 6 times, including a career high of 28. He threw 300+ innings 6 times, the same 6 years he won 20 or more games. He had 20+ complete games 8 times, including a staggering 30+ complete games twice.

Roberts made 5 All-Star appearances and made it to one World Series with the 1950 Phils. Unfortunately, the Yankees swept that Series 4-0. Roberts had a masterful performance in his one start, pitching a 10 inning complete game in Game 2, losing 2-1 in the 10th on a Joe DiMaggio homerun.
Roberts was the Sporting News Player and Pitcher of the Year in 1952 when he posted a 28-7 record with 330 innings pitched and 30 complete games. He repeated the SN Pitcher of the Year honors in 1955.
RIP Robin Roberts.
I’ve enjoyed writing this series and I wish I had a 100 more of these great old vintage cards to show off. Unfortunately, my friend ended up with most of the cards through trading and the fact that he was willing to go to the old man’s house more than once.

Robin Roberts Memorial Posts

2010 Phungo BFI Jim Bunning & Robin Roberts

As mentioned a few days ago the photo from the above Phungo Card was taken prior to 2009 World Series Game 5. The Phils won that game, which was the final game pitched by Cliff Lee as a Phillie.

If you click the link from that post you can see the original picture from which this Phungo Card was created. Due to be taken at a distance under night game conditions the photo is a bit blurry. Thanks to creative reducing and cropping, I can make a photo that is somewhat cardworthy.

I believe this is the first 2010 Phungo Black Frame Insert I have posted. As with 2009 the cards feature a Solid Black Frame and Grey Lettering. The Phungo signature on the bottom right of the card has been altered slightly from 2009. Other than that the cards are basically the same.

Robin Roberts Card Postings

Since Roberts passed away on Thursday several articles have been written by various bloggers. I have collected many of those links here.

Capewoods Collections has featured the largest collection of Roberts cards I have seen posted so far. The title card is a special card from the 1959 set which we here at Team Phungo are frequently writing about. The remainder of the cards are retro cards created after the Hall of Fame Pitchers playing days. There is a Fleer SI auto card featured here that I have had my eye on for a while.

The Phillies Room has featured Roberts cards in several recent posts. The intial Post featured a 1961 Topps Card. For a collection of Jim’s Robin Roberts related posts click here. Jim’s most recent post features Roberts 1960 Topps card, and he has added Roberts 1956 Card to the top of his sidebar.

Steve over at White Sox Cards even went as far as creating a custom card marking Robin Roberts short stint with the Chicago Cubs at the end of his career.

The Great Orioles Autograph Project posted a really nice TTM auto card.

While Orioles Card “O” the Day posted the 1963 Roberts Card which is the first card to feature him and Oriole.

While checking out the 1963 Card Posted by Kevin I realized the black and white inset photo matches the one from Roberts 1960 Phillies card.

1960 Topps #264 Robin Roberts (From the Phillies Room)
1963 Topps #125 Robin Roberts (From Orioles Card “O” the Day)

Robin Roberts Related Pages and Articles

Hall of Fame
SABR Bio Project

Vintage Fridays: Robin Roberts, 1963 Topps #125

I really wish that I didn’t have to spend so much time on this blog providing obituaries for the men who made baseball in Baltimore what it is today. I suppose it goes with the territory when your favorite team is in its 57th year of existence, and when the glory days of that club are several decades in the past. Still, it’s been an uncommonly rough year for ex-Orioles. By my count, six have passed away in the first four months and change of 2010. That’s not even counting former radio man Ernie Harwell and longtime traveling secretary Phil Itzoe. The world is moving on.

I don’t have much to say about Robin Roberts, who died yesterday after a remarkable 83 years on this Earth. Within the past year or two I contemplated mailing him one of the few cards I own that shows him in his O’s uniform, but I heard that he charged a few bucks for his autograph and put it on the back burner. Woulda, coulda, shoulda. Ultimately, there’s nothing I can say about the Hall of Famer that would compare to the excellent and heartfelt eulogy that Joe Posnanski delivered in his blog yesterday. Please give it a read.

One Phillies Ace is Gone… Another Lives On

Today baseball lost another great… Robin Roberts.

He was the ace of the Whiz Kids Phillies and the man who won the 10 inning pennant clinching classic to defeat the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1950 giving the Phillies their first pennant since 1915.

Twice he was selected as “Pitcher of the Year” by the Sporting News. He won 20 games six years in a row, including a 28 win season in 1952. He won 286 games (one fewer than Bert Blyleven) and got elected to the baseball Hall of Fame in 1976.

And he was a tremendous basketball player as well. He played for Michigan State and coached a barnstorming team during the off season as a player.

One great Phillies ace is gone.

Another one took the mound and Roy Halladay gave Roberts as fitting a tribute as I can think of:

A dominating start… 7 innings, 1 earned run, 9 strikeouts to only 3 walks, to raise his record to 6-1 and lowering his ERA to 1.45.

And he did it while wearing the blue caps, reminiscent of the Whiz Kids.

Someday Halladay might join Roberts in Cooperstown.
But today, he is carrying on a tradition.

Rest in Peace.

I hope the field named after you in Springfield Illinois does a tribute soon.

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Robin Roberts (1926-2010)

Robin Roberts, the greatest right-handed pitcher in Phillies’ history passed away today at age 83, at his home in Florida.

Roberts pitched for the Phillies from 1948 to 1961, compiling a record of 234-199. With the Phillies, he made 472 starts and completed 272 of them. He won 20 or more games each season from 1950 to 1955, also leading all NL pitchers in games started those years.

He also pitched for the Orioles from 1962 to 1965, before finishing his major-league career in 1966 with the Astros and Cubs. In 1967, he pitched for the Phillies’ double-A club in Reading, PA.

Roberts was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1976, and returned every summer since then for the ceremonies.

RIP Robin Roberts

I just read that former Oriole and Phillies great, HOFer Robin Roberts passed away today.

I featured this card and a fairly lengthy post about Robin back in January, so I don’t want to repeat much of what I said then. Click on the link if you want to see what I wrote about Robin’s amazing career.

Robin was a great TTM signer, all you had to do was include $10 and he would sign your card. He was even nice enough to include his signed HOF induction card along with your item. Let’s face it, $10 isn’t bad at all for a HOF player. Think how many guys with short, relatively inconsequential careers charge that much or more for their scribble.

SCN shows that Robin signed 93% of requests sent to him over the years, and that he signed as recently as April 30. It’s good to know that Robin was a nice guy to the end. Some players today could learn something from the way he interacted with his fans. Robin will truly be missed.

Group Break – Nachos Grande

2005 UD Classics
#125 Ryne Sandberg

#81 Richie Ashburn
#83 Robin Roberts
#48 Jim Bunning

These are just four of the cards that I recieved in a recent Nachos Grande group Break. The Break involved the 05 UD Classics and 1998 UD Collectors Choice as well as a handful of miscellaneous packs.

I really enjoy the 05 UD Classics such as the ones featured above. The 1998 portion of the package included a heavy dose of Curt Schilling and Scott Rolen as the star cards from a rather down era for the Phils.

If your interested in another break that is being run by Nachos Grande check out the current break featuring five different boxes from 1995-2005.

Final Card: Robin Roberts

Here is the final baseball card for 19-year veteran pitcher Robin Roberts (#530). I just received this card a few days ago, filling a prominent gap near the top of my list of retiring veterans.

Roberts was signed by the Phillies in 1948, and after only 11 games in the minors, he was brought up to the Phillies on June 18th. He ended up being the #4 starter in his rookie season, and by 1950 he was the team’s ace, a position he held through the 1960 season.

Roberts led the Phillies to the 1950 World Series, and won 20 or more games every year from 1950 to 1955. This was quite a feat, since most of those Phillies teams had so-so records.

In Robin’s final season with the Phillies (1961), he dropped off to a 1-10 record, and was sold to the Yankees after the season. By the following May, the Yankees released him, but he was picked up by the Orioles.

Roberts was in Baltimore’s starting rotation during the years when Wally Bunker and Dave McNally were getting their start.

He was released in July 1965, and picked up by the Astros a week later. Robin started 10 games in 1965 and 12 games in 1966 before getting his release on July 4th, 1966. He played the remainder of that season with the Cubs, and in 1967 with the Phillies’ double-A team in Reading, PA before retiring.

Philly Card Show Report – 2010 03 13 – Vintage Phillies

Extremely busy with work, catching up on trades, and enjoying the first weekend of the Madness.

During the latest edition of the Philly Show, I pretty much focused on vintage. Including admission I threw down $81 – I will hit the highlights over the next week or so.
First off is the Phils
1950 Bowman #30 Eddie Waitkus

Anytime you get a bargain Eddie Waitkus card you pick it up. I will dedicate an entire post to Mr Waitkus at some point – but for now I will just mention that this card went for $3 and I was happy to have picked it up.

1957 Topps #214 Phillies Team
1957 Topps #15 Robin Roberts

It must be Robin Roberts week here at Phungo, this is the 2nd consecutive post to feature a Roberts Card. The Team Card went for a dollar. Roberts was $5, a little bent up, but looks good otherwise. I doubt I a anywhere near finishing the Robin Roberts Phils Topps Run, but this card makes me one closer.

60s High Numbers and Other Stars
1965 Topps #310 Johnny Callison
1964 Topps #482 Phillies Rookies (John Briggs, Danny Cater)

I also picked up a bunch of 60s era Phillies High Numbers and Star Cards. Both of these came out of the three for a buck bin.

Other than the Phils, I picked up about a dozen cards for my Topps ’59 set and a bunch of Vintage HOF cards. In the three for a buck bin I found about 25 Star cards and High Numbers from 1957-1974. For between $1-$8 each I added a handful of 1952-1962 cards of commons, stars and Hall of Famers.

I will try and feature some of the other cards in the coming weeks.

Swag from Sports Locker

James over at Sports Locker was good enough to contribute the above Robin Roberts Patch Card to the Phungo Collection. I am sure that you are all familiar with Sports Locker, but I just want to nudge everyone to check in over there to keep up with goings on and information regarding the National which is being held in Baltimore this year. James has taken the blogosphere lead in publicizing the event to collectors, and I am hoping to make it down to the show this year.

He pulled from a 2010 Topps pack. I believe that these may have come in the Target Blasters this year and represent each All-Star Game. This card commemorates the 1953 All-Star Game which was played a Crosley Field in Cincinnati.

Here is a close up of the patch showing the Old School Cincinnati Redstockings character.

You can sort of make out Cincinnati, 1953, and All-Star Game all on the patch.

Robin Roberts pitched 3 innings of shutout ball during the 1953 All-Star game which was one of 5 All-Star games started by Roberts.

The NL took the game 5-1 with Pee Wee Reese contributing 2 RBIs and while collecting the games only extra-base hits.

Thanks again to the good folks over at Sports Locker for adding this fine patch to the Phungo Collection.

A look back at the Originals – 1961 Topps Phillies

It is Topps Heritage Week all over the across the TradingCardBlogs (TCB) and I thought we would take a look back at the original vinage 1961 set. I am sure that somebody else will have a more comprehensive look at the set – Here I will focus on some Phils cards from the 1961 set.

1961 Topps #20 Robin Roberts

Robin Roberts is the only member of the 1961 Topps Phillies that would eventually enter the Hall of Fame. I am not particularly fond of the 1961 set, but the minimalist design has grown on me recently. The bulk of the 61 Phils cards in the Phungo collection have the same blue and yellow color scheme within the name and team sections as the Roberts card above. Some of the cards have the colors reversed (yellow player name/ blue team), while others are Yellow Green and Yellow Red.


#491 Philadelphia Phillies Team (click to enlarge) #259 Dallas Green (b-side) (click to enlarge)

I do like the team cards in 1961 Topps. Posting the flip side of Dallas Green’s card – I severely doubt that the Fightin’ Blue Hens getting any props in the 2010 Heritage set.

Rookie Cards

#202 Al Neiger #144 Jim Coker

This is what the rookie cards look like sans annoying new MLB rookie card logo.

Special Cards
#479 Jim Konstanty MVP #219 Gene Mauch

1961 Topps has quite a few special cards sprinkled throughout the set.

In 1961 Topps issued a subset of the last 10 MVP winners from each league. From what I have seen Heritage augments this concept a little by including Post Season Series MVPs in this years set. This is probably a good idea, or else Topps ran the risk of producing a subset dedicated to steroid use (Bonds, A-Rod, Giambi, Tejada)

Gene Mauch is featured on one of the Manager cards which have their own design. Other subsets included World Series Cards, All-Stars, League Leader Cards and a highlights series similar to “Baseball Thrills” from the 1959 Topps set.

#522 Dick Farrell

In his review of 2010 Topps Heritage, Dave over at Fielder’s Choice has come out with the most positive endorsement of photoshop on baseball cards. Personally I find it phony but do enjoy spotting the continuity errors that crop up when cards are modified.

With the advent of Photoshop gems like this Dick Farrell card, which is about 99% Phillies card with a smidgeon of Dodger influence accenting a bottom corner could be “a thing of the past”.