2003 Fleer Ultra Phillies All-Vet Team

2003 All Vet Luzinski Front2003 All Vet Luzinski Back

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.

(no #)
Steve Carlton
Darren Daulton
John Kruk
Juan Samuel
Mike Schmidt
Larry Bowa
Greg Luzinski
Garry Maddox
Bobby Abreu
Tug McGraw
Curt Schilling
Dallas Green (manager)
Header Card

5 responses to “2003 Fleer Ultra Phillies All-Vet Team

  1. This has always been one of my favorite sets from this era, as it brings back great memories of the Final Innings weekend at the Vet. I attended two of the three final games and I have four of these sets in my collection. We had to do everything we could to protect the sets as it absolutely poured rain during the All-Vet team ceremony. And if I remember correctly, when Dallas Green was introduced during the closing ceremony after the final game, I believe he paused at first base and laid a single red rose on the bag.

    • I was at that last game too, and I was on the 700 level under the overhang and between that and the backpack I brought with me, it was pretty easy to keep my cards dry. I remember the gesture Green made, but I would have sworn it was a folded up Rose jersey and not a red rose. However, that very well could have been when they had the 20th anniversary reunion for the 1980 championship team.

  2. I was living in California at the time, and my biggest regret while living there was not flying back for the Final Innings Weekend. The game, IIRC, was on TBS so I did get to watch it live, but the postgame coverage of the ceremony had to wait a bit. Fortunately my brother kindly burned it onto a DVD and mailed it to me so I got to watch it a few days later. It was a great ceremony and really made me regret not going. (I have all the accoutrements of being there though, all bought on eBay–the final ticket, the lanyard for it, a couple copies of the program, the card set, and the Phil and Phyllis bobblehead!)

    By the way, although living in CA for 6 baseball seasons, I kept my Phillies and Reading Phillies attendance streaks alive, currently at 30 and 26 seasons, respectively. And 34 out of the last 36 for the big team. Unbeknownst to my wife, I always timed our summertime visits to coincide with a week when both teams were in town. (Well, maybe she knew but just humored me.)

  3. Oh yeah, and as for Dallas Green’s tribute to Rose, I can’t recall exactly, but I do think it was a folded jersey. There is a rose representing Rose in that All-Time Team painting that you can see at CBP (in the area where you would take an elevator to the suites or walk down to the Diamond Club–but you can see it through glass doors on the main concourse) or in the Phillies 125 years coffee table book (and that I think is also available for purchase now from the Phils). It’s the one with the all-time greats sitting around the CBP locker room, and there is a rose in a vase on the table.

    I thought it was odd of the artist not to paint Rose into the picture. I can’t see how MLB would somehow have the right to block that. Maybe he personally just didn’t like Pete. (Which I suppose I can understand.)

  4. So I may have imagined the red rose. But a wise man once said, “Never let the facts get in the way of a good story!”

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