Set Type: Primary
Card dimensions: 2½” x 3½”
Additional Information/14,000 Phillies Commentary: Distributed to all fans attending the last Phillies game to take place in Veterans Stadium, which places the print run at approximately 60,000. The set showcases the members of the “All-Vet Team” as voted on by the fans during the 2003 season. The All-Vet Team was comprised of a starting lineup, a left-handed starter, right-handed starter, reliever, and manager. For those who don’t recall the voting, Pete Rose was on the ballot for first base, and given that it was very unlikely that MLB would allow Rose to participate in the Final Innings events at Veterans Stadium, there was a lot of discussion about how the Phillies would handle the situation if he was voted onto the team. Personally, I think his presence on the ballot was purely a PR stunt by the Phillies and no matter how many votes Rose received, he was never going to win. So, for all practical purposes, the voting was solely between John Kruk and Dick Allen. As further evidence for my theory, I cannot imagine how the Phillies and Fleer would’ve handled this set had Rose won.
Putting that aside, it’s clear that the Phillies supplied in-house photos to Fleer to create this set. As best as I can determine, none of the photos in it ever appeared on any baseball card before or since, and Fleer created a new design for the cards rather than recycle one they previously used. These two things truly add to the uniqueness of it. I wish that the Tastykake and MAB Paints logos on the bottom of the front were on the back and/or displayed on the header card, but they did sponsor the giveaway so one cannot complain too much about it.
Dallas Green (manager)