Category Archives: Freddy Galvis

Friday Info Dump

2007 Ticket UtleyThose of you who followed this blog for long enough know that I regularly alternate between somewhat frequent posting for a few months with disappearing for a few weeks or months. So, going nearly three weeks without posting is really not all that noteworthy. However, I must state for the record that recent changes WordPress made to its image upload tool certainly aided and abetted in my most recent stretch of silence. In particular, they removed the ability to easily add frames and spacing to images, and I relied heavily on those functions when posting images of my cards to this page. Although I can still do so (as evidenced by this post), it takes a lot of time-consuming, manual HTML. While not completely to blame for the recent lack of posting, it certainly provided a lot of disincentive when time was at a premium. I will adapt — I’d much rather WordPress got its damn act together and reincorporated border and spacing options for images — but only because I hate the thought of transferring everything to a new site.

With that mini-rant out of the way, here’s comes a giant info dump of stuff covering the past few weeks…

I was both pleased and disappointed 2014 Topps Phillies Byrdwith the 2014 Topps Phillies Team Set. Based on the cards that overlapped with the offerings in the first series of 2014 Topps, there doesn’t appear to be any unique photos in this year’s team set — although we should withhold final judgment until we see both the second series and 2014 Topps Update Series. The lack of foil on the cards again confirms how unnecessary it is on the flagship product, so I like the look and feel of the Topps Phillies Team Set much better. Of particular interest, for now, are the Marlon Byrd and Freddy Galvis cards. Topps used an older picture of Byrd from his first stint with the team as opposed to digitally editing a newer photo — the opposite of what they did with Placido Polanco and Jim Thome in their second stints with the Phils. Aside from the completely natural look to the photo, the biggest giveaway is the number on his sleeve — 2014 Topps Phillies GalvisByrd wore “29” when he first played for the team. As for Galvis, this marks his first official Topps-issued MLB card (as opposed to his Bowman Prospects inserts, which we all know are not officially MLB cards, rookie or otherwise — wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more). Sadly, we don’t see his face, or The Rookie Card Logo. Without an explanation from Topps, I’m willing to bet that since the logo is jointly administered by MLB and the MLBPA, Panini gets credit for releasing Galvis’s official rookie cards back in 2012. Or, maybe, this is going to be a case where the is no “official” rookie card.

And now, for the blipverts portion of today’s post:

2014 Topps Museum RufWith the addition of his 2014 Topps Musuem Collection Autographs card to my collection, I now have 30 Darin Ruf cards in my collection, and 13 of them are autograph cards. In terms of combined cost and availability, his autograph cards may very well be the easiest to acquire of any current Phillie. There’s still one more Ruf autograph card on its way to my house: his 2013 Topps Supreme is currently enroute from Korea. One day, I’m sure I’ll look back on all his autograph cards in the same manner as I view Gavin Floyd’s or Marlon Byrd’s…

I’m still waiting for Phillies to start properly catering to the nostalgia of Gen Xers such as myself — i.e., for more than just one night per season. When it does, I fully expect to see the Phillies jersey from the ’70s & ’80s become a regular alternate home jersey for the club. I don’t care whether they use the home pinstripes or the road powder blues, so long as semi-regularly I see the classic maroon “P” on the front of the jerseys again…

2009 UD Signature Stars BlantonI was surprised to see Joe Blanton’s sudden retirement. I never imagined I’d be able to pull his jersey out of my closest this quickly. Yes, he really wasn’t good for the past couple years, and I attended a couple games he pitched against the Nationals which made me question my decision to get his name and number on my one and only (so far) alternate home jersey. However, I will always appreciate what he did for the Phillies in 2008 — especially in Game 4 of the World Series. In a related development, I’m very happy to see that I will need leave the Randy Wolf jersey on its hanger for just a little while longer (screw you, Mariners front office)…

I need to give proper credit to Uncle Chris, who provided me with the 2007 Phillies ticket featured at the top of this post. While I catalog them in the database and treat these types of tickets as cards, they are very low priority on my want lists. When I received this one yesterday, it came as a pleasant surprise — my uncle gave me no advance warning that it was coming in the mail…

2009 MLB Fan PakFinally, I will post an updated version of the Phillies Baseball Card Database sometime early next week. I want to properly incorporate all the information from Topps Heritage, Topps Gypsy Queen, Topps Museum Collection and (2013) Bowman Chrome Mini releases before posting it. However, I must admit that I’m glad to say that amongst the various updates is one delightful oddball set that recently came to my attention and that is now prominent in my wantlists: Enterplay’s 2009 MLB Fan Pak. More about that set in a future post.

Featured Cards: 2007 Phillies Season Ticket Holder Ticket Stubs (no #), Chase Utley; 2014 Topps Phillies Team Set #PHI-2, Marlon Byrd, & #PHI-15, Freddy Galvis; 2014 Topps Museum Collection Autographs #AA-DF, Darin Ruf; 2009 Upper Deck Signature Stars #125, Joe Blanton; 2009 MLB Fan Pak #56, Jimmy Rollins

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Whither Galvis?

Featured Card: 2009 Bowman Sterling Prospects #BSP-FG, Freddy Galvis

2009 Bowman Sterling Prospect GalvisI am still waiting on my 2013 Topps Series 2 Phillies team set to arrive in the mail. In the meantime, it did not escape my notice when I scanned the set’s checklist that it does not contain a Freddy Galvis card. Thus, Topps has still not issued a Freddy Galvis since his MLB debut at the beginning of 2012. Therefore, he still doesn’t have an officially MLB/MLBPA-sanctioned rookie card — because the Prospect insert cards distributed with Bowman sets do not count, for a semantic reason that continues to baffle me. (Interestingly, Beckett assigns “rookie card” status to a couple of his Panini cards last year, but I wonder just how many collectors will actually consider them legitimate rookie cards.)

He has now played in over 100 ML games. So, why no rookie card? Tyler Cloyd, Darin Ruf, and Steven Lerud (!) have all received multiple rookie cards, and Phillippe Aumont just received his first card. Yet, Galvis, who has spent more days on an MLB roster than those four combined, continues to be shut out. Is Topps enacting its own form of punishment for Galvis’s PED suspension last year? If so, why hasn’t it punished other players similarly, like Carlos Ruiz or J.C. Romero? These are just a couple of the many questions I would love to have someone at Topps answer for me. (Most of the other questions are completely unrelated to Galvis.)

Until Topps finally decides that Galvis is worthy of insertion into one of their sets, the only options to get Galvis cards are through the MLBPA-only sanctioned issues, the Phillies team sets, and his previous Bowman Prospect inserts. To date, I actually own three of those Bowman cards. However, I would love to see more standard-sized issues.

The Galvis-Stocker Simulacrum

Featured Cards: 2009 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions #100, Chase Utley; 2009 Bowman Chrome Prospects #BCP149, Freddy Galvis; 1993 Score Select Rookie/Traded ’93 All-Star Rookie Team #4, Kevin Stocker

As a Phillies fan, I don’t think I need to get into any real detail concerning yesterday’s news about Chase Utley. All I’m going to say about it is that my biggest fear this past off-season was that the Phillies were an old team and old teams have a very disconcerting track record of succumbing to injuries. Thankfully, the Phillies have a great starting rotation that is capable of carrying a team with a league-average offense. However, having both Utley and Ryan Howard on the DL to start the season means that there is no margin of error. An injury to any of their other starters puts the season on a course that frighteningly parallels the Titanic’s in 1912.

From the perspective of a Phillies collector, the ancillary news that Freddy Galvis will likely start the season as the team’s second basemen means that I am now attempting to acquire his 2008 Bowman Signs of the Future card at what I consider to be a reasonable price. While my policy of refusing to purchase autograph cards of any Phillies prospect until an appearance in a  regular-season Major League game seems imminent has saved me lots of money over the past 10 years, situations such as the current one show its one drawback. Back when the card came out, I could’ve easily purchased Galvis’s Signs of the Future for around 10 dollars. Now that I am interested in purchasing one, it looks like eBay sellers are trying to get roughly $50 per card. I don’t expect that to last, and I’ll exert as much patience as necessary. I know that price will not hold, and I hope to have the card in my collection sometime within the next month or so for much less than that.

Part of the reason why I can calmly wait is that I’ve had experience with this situation before. For those of you who didn’t collect Phillies card in 1993, it may be hard to believe that Kevin Stocker’s rookie cards were incredibly hot at the end of that season. In particular, no card was hotter than the Stocker card you see here. Shortly after it appeared in dealer’s display cases, this insert was booking at around $50 (nearly $80 in today’s cash). Even though I my desire to maintain as complete a Phillies baseball card collection as possible probably crosses over into the realm of obsessive-compulsive disorder, I never once considered buying the card at anywhere near that price. Luckily for me, a dealer near where I went to high school in Maryland quickly got the card and immediately priced it at full book value. Unfortunately for him, this was pre-Internet and his store wasn’t quite close enough to Philly to properly cash in on the Stocker rookie-craze. It sat in one of his cases for three years (I know this because I checked whenever I came back into town every three months or so) until I finally offered him $10 for it — which I believe was paying double book price at that time. He apparently never bothered to update the price of the card during the three-year interval. After initially trying to get me to pay more, I flatly stated to him that I had waited three years, pointed out what the card was then booking at*, reminded him my offer was double book price, and finally said if he wouldn’t take it, then I would return in three months with a lower offer. Luckily, that brought him to his senses and I walked out of the store feeling like I had a won a major victory, even though I still grossly overpaid for the card.

In my mind this Stocker card and the Galvis 2008 Signs of the Future card have a lot in common. Part of the reason I never bought into the Stocker rookie card hype was that I knew his minor league stats, and there was nothing in them to suggest that he would ever come close to repeating his 1993 Major League numbers. The reason I’m not buying Galvis’s first autograph card is that there is nothing in his minor league numbers to suggest that he will have the type of career that justifies paying $50 for the card. I can be patient. I’ve been in this position before, and I suspect that I’ll be in it again.

* The 2011 Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards lists the card at $1.00.