Set Type: Primary
Card dimensions: 2½” x 3½”
Manufacturer: Parody Productions
Additional Information/14,000 Phillies Commentary: One of many different team-themed playing card decks produced by Parody Productions. Set was sold at various retail outlets as well as on the Hero Decks website. The four suits divide the Phillies into different eras: Spades depict players from the 19th century through the 1940s; Diamonds, the ’50s & ’60s; Hearts, the ’70s and ’80s, and Clubs, players from the ’90s through the present. The cards contain all original artwork, rather than pictures, and display the years played for the Phillies, notable nicknames, and a brief summation of the player’s accomplishments. The playing cards were not licensed by either MLB or the MLBPA. SCD’s 2011 Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards does not list this set, despite the fact it lists a number of other Hero Decks issued the previous year. A revised second edition was issued towards the end of 2010.
Quite frankly, I don’t know how Parody Productions gets away with issuing these sets, but clearly they have found some sort of loophole that allows them to do so without any licensing whatsoever. My guess is that the artwork is what allows them to do this. Although the artwork is cartoonish in the manner most frequently used by political cartoonists, it is otherwise quite good and the players are readily recognizable — as are the Phillies uniform logos throughout the years. This set may in fact be the easiest way to obtain cards of a few select pre-War Phillies who rarely appear on modern sets depicting retired/deceased players — most notably, Eppa Rixey, Napoleon Lajoie and Jack Clements.
It was interesting to see Dick Allen placed with the ’70s and ’80s era Phillies, even though he really should have been included with the ’50s & ’60s stars. To Parody Production’s credit, Allen is depicted in the proper uniform based on his grouping — take that, Topps! Otherwise, the Phillies’ history means that the eras are easily delineated, and even the choice of Aces for each grouping seems rather cut-and-dry. Quite honestly, I cannot think of one Phillie who should have been in this set who wasn’t — hell, it even has Pete Rose in it (something made much easier by the lack of licensing). However, the selection of Fregosi as the lone manager was something of a head-scratcher; quite frankly, either Harry Wright, Gene Mauch, Danny Ozark, or Dallas Green would have been a much better, more defensible choice. The 2010 second edition rectifies this, but more on that at the appropriate time.
Jim Fregosi (manager)
Harry Kalas (broadcaster)