Category Archives: Antonio Bastardo

Japanese Phillies

Featured Cards: 2006 Konami #80, Ryan Howard; 2012 Sega Card-Gen #338, Antonio Bastardo

2006 Konami Howard FrontI think deep down I’ve always suspected that MLB trading cards were made exclusively for the Japanese market — especially given the influx of Japanese players into MLB over the past 15-20 years. However, I didn’t want to think too seriously on the subject because I knew what confirmation of this potentially meant to me as a Phillies collector. However, a few weeks ago I saw a post at Funner Here displaying a 2010 Kellogg’s Japanese Chase Utley card, thus breaching that admittedly barely fortified wall. Once that occurred, I knew that I needed to start tracking down Japanese Phillies and adding them to my collection as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, information about them is about as easy to find as it is to actually find them for sale. However, after performing a litany of internet searches that I really don’t feel like enumerating here, I have already managed to 2006 Konami Howard Backadd a few to my collection and am adding a list of others to my want list. Now that I know about them, I just want to acquire as many as possible. This strikes me as funny because I don’t normally succumb to such sudden desires.

However, I think this has happened for a few reasons. Although the fact I am an omnivore in regards to my collection and this element can never be overlooked, the most important reason for my desire to grab as many as possible comes from the fact that their rarity (at least here in the US) provides more uniqueness to my collection. It’s the oddball and hard to find items that I think most collectors love adding to their collections, and I am certainly no different in this regard. In addition, the fact they are partially in a foreign language and not intended for the US market makes them exotic. I own the Phillies from the two United Kingdom sets Topps made in the ’80s, some of the Spanish Topps cards2012 Sega Card-Gen Bastardo Front from 1994 and nearly all the Spanish Pacific cards from the ’90s, but they didn’t feel exotic because they were just so readily available here in the US. Despite the differences, they didn’t feel all that different from the mainstream American issues; in other words, they weren’t special in the way that the Japanese cards were.

So, the hunt is on and more Japanese Phillies posts are on their way over the coming days (yes, I am expecting more such cards in the mail soon). So, if you know of any way I can obtain a 2010 Kellogg’s Japanese Chase Utley or a 2007 Kellogg’s Japanese Ryan Howard, please let me know post-haste. I most have more Japanese Phillies!

2012 Topps

(Originally posted on February 15, 2012. Checklist updated and 14,000 Phillies commentary added on June 20, 2012)

Set Type: Primary
Card dimensions:
2½” x 3½”
“Official” Rookie Cards: Michael Schwimer, Joe Savery, Justin De Fratus
Full Parallels: 14K Gold Embedded, serial #ed “1/1” on front of card; Black Border, serial #ed to 61 on back of card; Blank Backs, serial numbered “1/1” on back of card; Gold Sparkle; Black, Cyan, Magenta & Yellow Printing Plates — each serial #ed “1/1”; Platinum, serial #ed “1/1”; Target Red; Toys R Us Purple; Wal Mart Blue; Wood, serial #ed “1/1.” The 14K Gold Embedded parallels were available only by redeeming the code on the back of the Golden Giveaway Code cards. Topps distributed the Blank Backs parallels exclusively on eBay via The Topps Vault.

Partial Parallel: Silk Collection, additional information given below Primary checklist
Inserts: 1987 Minis, Career Day, Career Day Autograph Relics, Career Day Autographs, Career Day Relics, Commemorative Retired Number Patch, A Cut Above, Gold Futures, Gold Futures Autograph Relics, Gold Futures Autographs, Gold Futures Relics, Gold Standard, Gold Standard Autograph Relics, Gold Standard Autographs, Gold Standard Relics, Gold Team Rings, Golden Greats Commemorative Coins, Golden Moments (Series One), Golden Moments (Series Two), Golden Moments Autographs, Golden Moments Dual Relics, Golden Moments Relics, Golden Moments 24K Gold-Infused, Golden Moments Die-Cut Giveaways, Historical Stitches, In the Name Jumbo Letter Relics, Mound Dominance, Mound Dominance Autograph Relics, Mound Dominance Autographs, Mound Dominance Relics, Own the Name Jumbo Letter Relics, Retired Rings, Solid Golden Greats, Timeless Talents, Timeless Talents Dual Autographs, Timeless Talents Dual Relics, World Series Champion Gold Commemorative Pins
Additional Information: The Target Red, Toys R Us Purple, and Wal Mart Blue parallels are so-named because they were available only in specially marked packs at each respective retailer. Although the Ryan Howard card (#280) was issued in Series One, the SP variation was only made available in Series Two. Howard’s SP variation does not appear in any of the parallel sets.
14,000 Phillies Commentary: I take a lot of pleasure in pointing out that this set marks Michael Schwimer’s first ever appearance on a standard-sized baseball card. I haven’t made an exact count, but since the Phillies drafted him in 2008, Topps has produced Bowman prospect insert cards (which Beckett and Topps both insist do not count as real rookie cards) for roughly two-dozen Phillies “prospects” — the overwhelming majority of whom don’t/won’t even make it to Lehigh Valley. Yet, here’s Schwimer with a real rookie card in the Topps set. It almost makes up for the fact that Topps clearly decided to not issue a Freddy Galvis card in Series One or Series Two just so he can be part of the rookie hype for the Update & Highlight series later in the year.








Placido Polanco
Roy Oswalt (Active NL Wins Leaders, w/ Hernandez of Nationals & Wolf of Brewers)
Michael Martínez
Roy Oswalt (Active NL ERA Leaders, w/ Lincesum of Giants & Carpenter of Cardinals)
Domonic Brown
Carlos Ruiz
Hunter Pence
Roy Halladay
Roy Halladay (2011 NL Wins Leaders, w/ Kennedy of Diamondbacks & Kershaw of Dodgers)
Cole Hamels
Ryan Howard (2011 NL RBI Leaders, w/ Kemp of Dodgers & Fielder of Brewers)
Justin De Fratus
Michael Stutes
Ryan Howard
Ryan Howard (SP; horizontal layout, back to camera, wearing alternate home jersey variation)
Antonio Bastardo
Roy Halladay & Cliff Lee (2011 NL ERA Leaders, w/ Kershaw of Dodgers)
Vance Worley
Jonathan Papelbon
John Mayberry, Jr.
Chase Utley
Jim Thome
Cliff Lee
Shane Victorino
Kyle Kendrick
Joe Savery
Michael Schwimer
Joe Blanton
Jimmy Rollins
José Contreras
Juan Pierre

Silk Collection Partial Parallel
Serial #ed print run 50. The cards are actually unnumbered. However, Topps’s marketing material included a checklist of the parallels and assigned them card numbers. Those numbers are used in the checklist below. Like the Silk Collection cards in all previous Topps issues, the silks are actually encased in clear plastic within a standard-sized 2½” x 3½” frame. Card numbers SC1 through SC100 were issued in Series One packs while card numbers SC101 through SC200 were issued in Series Two packs.

Hunter Pence
Roy Halladay
Cole Hamels
Ryan Howard
Antonio Bastardo
Vance Worley
Cliff Lee
Jimmy Rollins
Chase Utley
Shane Victorino
Jim Thome

A Couple More Random Items

Featured Cards: 2008 Bowman Chrome Prospects #BCP87, Matt Rizzotti; 2009 Topps Heritage #515, Antonio Bastardo

I’m fairly certain that John Mayberry will be the Phillies solution to their first base problem while Ryan Howard recovers from his injury. Given the numbers he put up during his limited playing time this year, having him temporarily man the position certainly makes sense. Nonetheless, given that he’s ready for promotion following two good seasons in Reading, I can’t help but root for giving Matt Rizzotti a real chance to step in. On the other hand, he has no real future in the organization and his value won’t get any higher. As much as I enjoy seeing players developed from within the organization stick around and contributing, it makes for more sense for the Phillies to use him a trade bait to address other needs for the 2012 season.

2011 isn’t over yet, but Topps has announced release dates and preliminary checklists for its remaining issues this year. Based on the information available, it appears that Topps will not issue a single Antonio Bastardo card this year. I understand that the current economics of baseball card manufacturing mean that many players won’t appear on a card in a given year, but the fact that Bastardo held a position of such importance in the bullpen this year should have at least warranted him a spot in the Update Series set. My only guess as to why he didn’t get one is that Michael Stutes, who did receive a card, hasn’t had an official (that is, one bearing the MLBPA-approved logo) rookie card yet, while Bastardo received a few back in 2009. Nonetheless, it really would have been nice to see him on something other than a team-issued card. I can’t help but wonder if Upper Deck or some other manufacturer, had they possessed a license to produce cards, would have found a way to include him in a set.

Because it’s still only October, it feels too early to do a baseball cards year-in-review post. However, given that the remaining sets are a couple prospect-driven Bowman products, I may end up writing the post much sooner than later.

The Magnificent Bastardo

After Antonio Bastardo recorded a perfect 9th for his third career save, I felt the need to post “The Magnificent Bastardo!” as my Facebook status. It was no surprise to me when my partner, TeenLitGirl, asked me what it meant — she had missed the game, due to working late, and had probably never heard of him. As a result, another planned post goes out the window while I handle a more timely topic.

Believe it or not, I was never a Seinfeld fan, so when I initially saw someone online refer to Antonio as “The Magnificent Bastardo,” the cultural reference went right by me. Instead, I just focused upon how his last name bore a rather unfortunate resemblance to a derogatory term and the fact someone had decided to insert “magnificent” in front of it. Eventually, the reference was (obviously) explained to me, but every time I was Bastardo’s name, my mind immediately went to that phrase. Even though it was his third career save, it was his first while actually serving as closer (albeit, pro tempore), so I felt that stating it on Facebook was appropriate.

Even though this is now his third season in the majors, The Magnificant Bastardo has only appeared on three non-team-issued cards thus far. This one, his 2009 Bowman Sterling card, #BS-AB, serves as both his first card and his only certified autograph issue. It also correctly bears the MLB-approved “rookie card” designation logo, which will be a rant for another post (believe it or not, I am actually tracking all the posts I hope to compose at some point) — something that cannot be easily said for other current Phillies, most notably Domonic Brown.

Are we looking at a potential future closer in the making? His minor league numbers for the post two year, as well as his progression in the majors thus far, suggest this is a definite possibility. Aside from the desire to see another home-grown star, I’m hoping the Phillies properly groom Bastardo for the role and grows into it because I just love typing/saying, “The Magnificent Bastardo!”