Featured Card: 2005 Uno National League #7 (Blue); 2005 Uno Philadelphia Phillies #Acqusition, Jon Lieber; 2010 Uno Philadelphia Phillies #8 (Red), Roy Halladay
While I try to collect as many different Phillies cards as possible, the fact is that there’s a lot of material out there that you can easily miss because it doesn’t pass through the typical hobby circles. Because of this, I try my best to monitor what’s happening in the toy world in regards to games licensed by both the MLBPA and MLB. I think I’ve done a decent job of this over the years, so I thought that this week it would be fun to highlight a few items that less hardcore Phillies collectors might have missed. In the case of one particular set that I’ll be featuring at the end of the week, it’s a Phillies card I only very recently discovered and actually isn’t the version of the Phillies Baseball Card Database that’s currently online (it will appear in the next version).
One of my favorite of such oddball items are the sporadic Uno baseball sets issued by Hasbro over the past 10 years. To my knowledge, there have only been three Uno sets containing Phillies. Two of them were completely Phillies-themed and issued inside customized tins to hold the cards: a 2005 set that Hasbro co-produced with Sababa Toys and a 2010 set co-produced with Fundex Games. Interestingly, though the sets are just five years apart, Jimmy Rollins is the only player to appear in both sets. The other Uno set to feature a Phillie was another 2005 set (some eBay sellers list it as a 2006 set), also co-produced with Sababa, that featured at least one member of every National League team; Pat Burrell was the sole member of the Phillies included in the set. Across all three sets, the same player appears on the same type of card, regardless of color. So, for example, Pat Burrell appears on the #7 card for red, blue, yellow and green, in the 2005 Uno National League set.
The really fascinating thing about such specialty-themed Uno sets is that they occasionally (not always) have cards unique to that version of Uno and that those cards even come with their own rules. In the case of the 2005 Uno Phillies set, that special card is an “Acquisition” card. Appropriately, the card features Jon Lieber in a Yankees uniform, with all Yankee insignia airbrushed away. Without getting into the supporting details, a player who draws this card has the “ability to make major moves and acquire a card that can improve his/her hand.” I never actually played a game with this particular deck of Uno cards, so I don’t know how much impact such a card actually has on a game, but the inclusion of such a “transaction” card was certainly a thoughtful attempt to customize the game play for baseball purposes. Sadly, the 2010 edition of the Phillies set (which is still available on Amazon, by the way) includes no such specialty cards and follows standard Uno rules, which is a shame because such a card could’ve been used for Roy Halladay, who appears on all the “8” cards in the set and whose picture clearly comes from the press conference where the Phillies announced his acquisition. Using an “Acquisition” card for Halladay would’ve allowed for the inclusion of another Phillie, notably Jamie Moyer or Joe Blanton.
Who knows when, or even if, the next Phillies-themed Uno set will appear. I’m not actually counting on the appearance of one, but I will certainly continue to sporadically search online toy and game vendors for “Uno Phillies” for the forseeable future.