How to Catalog?

Featured Card: 1995 Phillies Blue Cross/Blue Shield Dickie Noles (no #)

1995 Phillies Issue Noles FrontIn addition to the various eBay searches I performed for hard-to-find Phillies items I know are missing from my collection, I am always performing additional searches to uncover items not listed in my database of Phillies cards. Occasionally, I get lucky and come up with something like this Dickie Noles card. Based on the design and the copyright line on the back, this belongs with the 1995 Phillies Team Issue set. However, this was never distributed with it. Best guess, and I feel it’s a fairly solid one, is that it is a special item the Phillies printed for use by Noles, who by that time was already employed by the team as an employee assistance professional. In this role he performs quite a but of community outreach and talks openly about his own past addiction and recovery from it.

Thus, my conundrum is how to 1995 Phillies Issue Noles Backproperly catalog it in my database of Phillies cards. I’ve already stated where it belongs based upon its design, but given it was never distributed with the 1995 Phillies Team Issue, that isn’t the proper designation. At the top of the post I listed how I plan to include it in my database, but I don’t know how comfortable I am with it. Furthermore, I know for a fact that during the early-to-mid ’90s the Phillies issued somewhat similar cards for both Dallas Green and Tug McGraw — should I have a more inclusive, less specific set name to handle those cards as well? Although I know those other cards exist, I don’t possess any additional information about them that will allow to me assign year or the name of the sponsor (if any).

I would greatly appreciate any additional information about this card, as well as the similar ones made for Green, McGraw and any other former Phillies players who may have used them. If you have any of that information, please feel free to leave it in the comments section.

10 responses to “How to Catalog?

  1. steveinphilly

    This is the first time I’ve seen one that, while clearly in the style of the current year’s set, had a different sponsor/logo on the back. Maybe the McGraw and Green ones were the same though? I have seen the front of the McGraw one, but the guy selling it wanted $75 for it because it was signed and I passed without looking at the back. Most alumni cards like this have the same back as the regular set, at least as far as I have seen. The three I have like this are all from 1992: Jay Baller, Dave Cash and Garry Maddox. All are signed, so I think they were issued specifically for the players to sign and give out.

    (Although looking up Baller now, I see he pitched for the Phils between July 30 and August 31, so perhaps in retrospect his was actually an update card–I’m not certain why I included him as an alumnus and not in the list of 10 updates that I have…. Anyone know whether he was included in the regular update set? I do see that Don Robinson, who definitely was in the update set, was signed on May 22 but released July 16, which was 14 days before Baller came up from AAA. So I’d be surprised if Baller was specifically in the update set as it was certainly printed before July 16. I imagine it was a late season addition to it, or maybe just printed for Noles’s use like the Maddox and Cash ones were.)

    In any event. my preference is to just put them in as a subset of the main team issue set (like I do with update cards that they used to sell before they want to the Series 1, Series 2, Series 2.1 type format of today), noting that it (a) was not included in the set that was sold at the stadium, and (b) included a different logo.

    The McGraw and Green ones are a little harder to classify since you probably don’t know what year they were issued. But don;t they have any copyright info on the backs? The Maddox and Cash ones do say 1992 on them.

    • I actually haven’t seen the backs of the Green or McGraw cards — I only saw them on eBay and didn’t put a bid on them (the asking price was a bit too high). The Phillies are continuing to do something similar with Phillies Alumni cards for use by the former players at signing events — I’ve seen a few that have popped up this year for Gary Matthews and Tommy Greene. For this reason alone, I really think it is impossible for anyone to properly catalog everything that the Phillies have produced.

  2. So here is another for the history books: a 1990 Greg Luzisnki team issue. I wish I had seen it 3 months ago when it was live on eBay:

    • Thanks for pointing this one out — I really need to come up with a way to search eBay more efficiently in an effort to find this items when they pop up there.

  3. You need to do some more posts–I keep adding comments to this one! :->

    There is an article in this week’s SCD ( about what I would call a “micro-variation” found in the 1956 Topps set, 57 years later! You can see it when you compare these two 1956 Wally Westlake cards:


    Look closely at the top of outline around the hat. In the second one, there is a definite space between the top border of the card and the hat’s outline, so you can see some blue. In the first one, the hat outline blends into the card border. Clearly this was not some sort of printing error but was a deliberate, super-minor re-placement of the image. Anyway, if you want to add another card to your 17,000+ count, there you go!

  4. I believe you are right on with your theory on the Dickie Noles. I know for a fact that the Phillies have been printing up special cards through their community outreach department on and off for the past 20+ years. The cards are used for the ALS Phestival and other events in which former Phillies will be made available to fans. The Tug Mcgraw, Dallas Green, and Greg Luzinski are from 1990 and have the 1980 10th year reunion logo on the back and are dated 1990. I was able to obtain about 22 alumni cards from Phillies recently. The Ashburn and Schmidt they use as of this year are from the 1995 set with a facsimile signature on the front, no sponsor. The Carlton they use is from 1990 but does not have a Tastykake logo on the back.

    In 2010, the Phillies started making the new style Alumni cards, you may have seen the Tommy Greene one Jim(Phillies Room) posted awhile back. I have 19 of the 2010-2012 alumni cards. The Phillies no longer have the Tommy Greene one, not sure if they’ll produce it again in the future. I would guess they’ll produce a Curt Schilling, Brad Lidge, and a few other Phillies from the 1993 team this year for alumni weekend but dont know for sure. Below is a list of the alumni cards I have and the year they were produced.

    Steve Carlton – 1990
    Sparky Lyle – 1992
    Mike Schmidt – 1995
    Richie Ashburn – 1995
    Larry Anderson – 2010
    Bob Boone – 2010
    Ricky Bottalico – 2010
    Larry Bowa – No Date – Has his Wall Of Fame plaque on the back
    Jim Bunning – 2011
    Marty Bystrom – 2010
    Dave Cash – 2011
    Larry Christenson – 2010
    Darren Daulton – 2010
    Jim Eisenreich – 2010
    Wayne Gomes – 2012
    Al Holland – 2011
    Gary Matthews – 2010
    Tim McCarver – 2012
    Kevin Stocker – 2012
    Tony Taylor – 2011
    Del Unser – 2012
    Mitch Williams – 2010
    Rick Wise – 2011

    If i were to categorize these kinds of cards, the Noles, Mcgraw, and other Phillies of the past, I’d list them as team issued alumni cards. I would bet that the Noles is going to be the only card with the Blue Cross Blue Shield printed on the back as they likely sponsored some of his appearances where he touched on his substance abuse and recovery from it. Good topic you have going here. Hope I was able to help a little bit.

    • Thank you for the giant list and the background information — it was very helpful. However, my 1995 Team Issue set contains Ashburn and Schmidt — are the cards you mentioned different from the ones actually in the set?

      It’s a shame that the Phillies won’t supplement their team issue sets with these alumni inserts — just like they did with the 2007 Upper Deck Majestic Phillies Alumni Night — or even put out a special limited edition alumni set every year.

  5. Re that 2007 Alumni Night full set, if you recall, everyone got the current team and one of the alumni. Someone on eBay was selling a full set including the complete run of 10 alumni, so I was able to pick up the full set, something that would have taken ten attendees and perfect collation to get otherwise.

    Agreed, it would be nice if the Phils issued these alumni cards. I guess they suppose that relatively few of us care about them.

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