Some team sets are easy to acquire and others take lots of time, patience and sometimes quite a bit of money. With most modern issues, it’s pretty easy to get a complete team set, thanks predominantly to eBay. However, occasionally a set does surface that causes me some fits and requires a lot of time and patience on my part to put together. Case in point: the 2007 Upper Deck Phillies Alumni Night Vintage Phillies insert set.
The basic set was easy enough: the Phillies gave out a complete of them to everyone in attendance on its Alumni Night that year. However, unlike nearly all the other team issues and one-night giveaways over the years, this set contained a 10-card insert set of Phillies alumni: Robin Roberts, Tony Taylor, Dick Allen, Dallas Green, Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Garry Maddox, Greg Luzinski, Dave Hollins & Rico Brogna. However, only one Vintage card was included with each set. (It’s also my understanding that some autographed cards of Adam Eaton, Green, Jamie Moyer and at least one other Phillie were randomly inserted in a few of the sets, but I’ve never encountered one and don’t intend to try to track one down.) So, when I purchased my set off of eBay that summer, I didn’t think I would ever actually track down all 10 of the Alumni inserts.
Well, thanks to some patience, willingness to buy nearly 10 sets off of eBay over the years (in particular, those that listed the Vintage card that came with the set), the generosity of Jim over at The Phillies Room, and a little dumb luck last week, I finally have that insert set completed. Here is the missing card for the collection: # VP-9, Dave Hollins. Outside of making a few obvious selections (Schmidt, Carlton and Roberts), I cannot fully comprehend what the rationale behind the selection process of the remaining seven Phillies might have been. Clearly, all 10 were still living at the time of the sets release, which probably explains the exclusion of Richie Ashburn. And while I understand the inclusion of Luzinski, Allen and Green, the addition of Maddox and Taylor strike me as the type of thing you do when filling out a set. Instead, that role is handled by the inclusion of Hollins, and most inexplicably, Brogna.
I sort of get Hollins — even though he’ll never make the Phillies Wall of Fame, you need someone from the 1993 squad, but Brogna? I’m not trying to denigrate him, as he was a fan favorite for a couple years. However, no one ever thinks of him as a great player and I sincerely doubt he’ll ever been considered for the Phillies Wall. Furthermore, I can quickly name at least a dozen other Phillies that would have been better additions to the set — and none of them would be Wall of Fame nominees either.
Anyway, the important thing is that the set is now complete and I can go focus on some other things now — such as trying to get a friend of mine to go to Citizens Bank, purchase the new team issue set and send it to me.