Category Archives: Hunter Pence

2012 Topps Archives

Set Type: Primary
Card dimensions: 2½” x 3½”
Parallels: Blank Backs, serial numbered “1/1” on back of card; Gold Foil; Black, Cyan, Magenta & Yellow Printing Plates — each serial numbered “1/1.” Topps distributed the Blank Backs parallels exclusively on eBay via The Topps Vault. These parallels are only for card numbers 1-200, and do not include the high-number, retired played SPs numbered 201-240. Although Beckett’s online guide states that all the cards in the set also have Gold Foil parallels and Printing Plates, I haven’t seen any on the open market for the SPs at the end of the set.

Inserts: 1956 Relics, 1958 Combos, 1967 Stickers, 1968 3-D, 1969 Deckle Edge, 1977 Cloth Stickers, 1982 In Action, Fan Favorites Autographs, Framed 1983 Mini Autographs, Reprints
Additional Information: Topps replicated four different designs for use in the bast portion of the set: 1954 Topps for card numbers 1-50; 1971 Topps for card numbers 51-100; 1980 Topps for card numbers 101-150; and 1984 Topps for card numbers 151-200. Card numbers 201-240 are SPs replicating other Topps designs and featuring retired players. In the checklist below, the year of the Topps set being replicated is listed in parenthesis after the retired player’s name. Each of the retired player SP cards also appeared in the Fan Favorites Autographs insert set.
14,000 Phillies Commentary: Last year, I really hated the primary Lineage set, but loved the inserts. In fact, I wrote a twopart rant in which I stated, “What Lineage should have looked like was the Fan Favorites sets from 2003-2005. Randomly start putting today’s players on card designs from the past 60 years.”
I doubt anyone from Topps actually read this blog, but I’m glad to see that’s almost exactly what they did. 2012 Topps Archives is what 2011 Topps Lineage should have been. I have some minor quibbles regarding the card stock and Gold Foil parallels — not to mention unnecessarily making SPs out of the retired players in the high-numbers — but outside of that, I loved nearly everything about the set and its inserts. In fact, I have acquired every card except for the Framed 1983 Mini Autograph Schmidt card, which I will likely never actually own due to its scarcity.

There was on thing about the set that left me scratching my head, however. Why did they put McBride in the 1975 design as a Phillie? Don’t get me wrong — his card might very well be my favorite of the SPs. However, he didn’t join the team until after the 1977 season started. Because of this, there is no 1977 Topps card picturing McBride as a Phillie. This would have been an awesome opportunity to create a card that never was. Actually, there are a number of similar Phillies cards I would have loved to seen: a 1975 Topps Tug McGraw; 1983 Topps Darren Daulton; 1980 Topps Bob Walk; 1994 Topps Fernando Valenzuela; or even a 1964 Topps card showing Jim Bunning in an actual Phillies uniform.  Cards that never were (but should have been) are a perfect fit for a set such as this — it’s a shame that Topps hasn’t quite figured out that one yet.

Cole Hamels
Carlos Ruiz
Roy Halladay
Hunter Pence
Jimmy Rollins
Mike Schmidt
Cliff Lee
Ryan Howard
Chase Utley
Shane Victorino
Vance Worley
Mitch Williams (SP; 1992)
Bake McBride (SP; 1975)
John Kruk (SP; 1993)
Von Hayes (SP; 1987)

2012 Topps Museum Collection

Set Type: Primary
Card dimensions:
2½” x 3½”
Parallels: Blank Backs, serial numbered “1/1”; Blue, serial numbered to 99; Copper, serial numbered to 299; Green, serial numbered to 199; Red, serial numbered “1/1.” With the exception of the Blank Backs, all parallels bear the serial number on the front of the card. Topps distributed the Blank Backs parallels exclusively on eBay via The Topps Vault, and they are serial numbered on the back of the card.

Inserts: Archival Autographs, Canvas Collection, Dual Jumbo Lumber Relics, Jumbo Lumber Relics, Momentous Material Dual Jumbo Relics, Momentous Material Jumbo Autograph Relics, Momentous Material Jumbo Relics, Museum Collection Autographs Gold, Museum Memorabilia, Primary Pieces Autographed Quad Relics, Primary Pieces Four-Player Quad Relics, Primary Pieces Quad Relics, Signature Swatches Autographed Dual Relics, Signature Swatches Autographed Triple Relics.
14,000 Phillies Commentary: As with nearly all other high-end Topps products, the base set is nothing more than a vehicle for the autograph and memorabilia inserts that really drive sales. Packs of cards cost $55-$60 and were guaranteed to contain one autograph/memorabilia card. At least Topps put together a very attractive, simply designed base set for this issue; the same cannot be said for a lot of its other high-end issues.

Cole Hamels
Cliff Lee
Roy Halladay
Hunter Pence
Steve Carlton

2012 Topps Stickers

Set Type: Primary
Sticker dimensions: Approximately 11316” x 2⅝”
Additional information: The Utley sticker was also included as an six-sticker insert in the album designed for holding the stickers. The front and back of the album version is identical in every way to the regular sticker. However, it was perforated so that it could be separated from the other stickers on the insert. The backing to the album version also appears to be slightly thicker.



Phillies Logo (shares backing with Cubs logo, sticker #152)
Roy Halladay
Shane Victorino
Hunter Pence
Jimmy Rollins
Chase Utley (regular sticker)
Chase Utley (sticker included with album; perforated on top and right edges)
Ryan Howard
Carlos Ruiz
Cliff Lee
Phillie Phanatic

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

2011 Phillies Cards in Review: Base Card of the Year

Okay, dealers are already posting 2012 Topps cards on eBay but the official street date is still tomorrow. So, my plan to wrap this up in time for the 2012 cards is still nearly on track, and I really hope to have the final installment online tomorrow. I’ll even act like I haven’t already purchased a “master” team set off of eBay that I’m already looking forward to receiving and that I haven’t spent time drooling over the idea of getting my hands on some of the 1987 Mini inserts. Without further ado, here are my picks for the best Phillies base cards of 2011. But first, a…

Dishonorable Mention: Topps #359, Roy Halladay Post-Season No-Hitter Checklist

I really wanted to like this card more than I did — a lot more. Unfortunately, Topps didn’t feel that the second post-season no-hitter in baseball history deserved anything more than serving as a checklist. Far more often than not, the backs of Season Highlight subset cards from past years past usually contained something about the game on the back of the card — even if it was just the box score. Yet, Topps just couldn’t bring themselves to do that. I know that I shouldn’t complain too much — after all, Topps did commemorate the event, and it does appear that the picture on the card is from Halladay’s gem against the Reds. However, this was really half-assed, and Halladay and Phillies collectors deserved far better.

Fifth Runner-Up: Bowman #172, Cole Hamels

I’m a sucker for cards picturing pitchers hitting, and this card is no exception. The card gets extra bonus points because Hamels is wearing the alternate home uniform and he appears to be admiring his shot — something that pitchers rarely get to do. Given he’s never hit a home run, it’s likely he needed to start hauling ass less than a second after the shutter on the camera slammed close. However, there are two things holding this card back: the black borders, while a nice design statement, are historically notorious for chipping and making wear look worse than it really is; and, under most conditions, text done in foil can be hard to read, but placing it on a back background makes it nearly illegible under most lighting.

Fourth Runner-Up: Topps Opening Day #90, Chase Utley

First, I just need to state for the record that it is a complete an utter coincidence that I chose to post this on the same day that The Phillies Room did a post highlighting the series of photos that were taken on the same day as the photo in this card. I planned out this post last night and had every intention of using this card before Jim made his post. Second, the reason for choosing the Topps Opening Day version over the regular Topps is that it has no foil. Seriously, someone needs to do an intervention with Topps. The fact that using foil is an option is not reason in of itself to do so. I think the Opening Day set wonderfully illustrates this. The card just looks cleaner without the foil. Finally, the reason I chose this card is the fact that you it’s not a type of photo you will see often. Over the past six seasons, the Phillies have played just four day games at Fenway, which gives Topps very little opportunity to get photos of Utley in front of the Green Monster. Although, as the post at The Phillies Room demonstrates, Topps did seem to want to make up for that this year by issuing six different cards using this shot or similar photos.

Third Runner-Up: Gypsy Queen #270, Brad Lidge

I picked this card for nearly the same reason I picked the Utley card before: the details in the photo make it clear that it’s not the type you would see often. In fact, thanks to the fact that Lidge is wearing road grays, the Red Sox third base coach is wearing home whites in the background and the Robin Roberts memorial patch on the right sleeve of Lidge’s jersey, we can determine that this photo was taken on the same day as the one on Utley’s card. I will admit that while Jim’s post at The Phillies Room didn’t influence my selections for this post, it did influence the order. Seeing those six Utley cards together made the card feel a little less special than Lidge’s, and as a result I did flip-flop their order in this post. I think that was more than fair.

Second Runner-Up: Phillies Team Issue II (no #, uniform no. on back), Hunter Pence

You would expect the Phillies to occasionally employ better photos than those used by Topps, and the photo on Hunter Pence’s very first Phillies card is a great example of this. Most in action shots involve players hitting, pitching/throwing or fielding. You just don’t get many photos of players running the bases, and even rarer still is the photo where the player is as dirty as Pence is in this shot. The only really flaw in the Phillies Team Issue sets is that they are so much larger than standard cards, thus making them harder to store. Otherwise, getting your hands on these sets is a requirement for any serious Phillies collector because, frequently, they are the only place where you will find cards of players like Brian Schneider, Dane Sardinha and Mike Zagurksi. Yes, the borders can be somewhat basic, but at least there’s no unnecessary foil on them.

First Runner-Up: Phillies Fan Appreciation Day Postcards (no #), Wilson Valdéz

What I said about the Phillies Team Issue sets applies to their Fan Appreciation Day Postcard sets: you would expect the Phillies to employ photos that Topps would have a hard time acquiring. This card is yet another example of that. To be fair to Topps, Valdéz’s pitching performance is not the type of thing to warrant a special highlight card, and even if it was, it was highly unlikely they would have had a photographer at Citizen’s Bank Park on the evening and at the time Valdéz took the mound. However, it should be noted that Topps did acknowledge the event on his Update Series card. However, as I said, the Phillies were in a far different situation, and commemorating the event in their Fan Appreciation Day Postcard set is exactly the type of thing I’ve come to expect from the club. They didn’t disappoint. In addition to the rarity of Valdéz’s accomplishment, we got to see someone on the mound with a dirty uniform — pitches’ uniforms rarely get that dirty.

Now, for our winner. The 2011 Phillies Card of the Year is…

Topps Opening Day #52, Placido Polanco

As I progressed through this Year in Review series, I actually had no idea what cards I’d be writing about for this category. As a result, I inadvertently used this card as an illustration for my post on the Parallel Series of the Year. If I had known or suspected that I would choose it as the Phillies Card of the Year, that never would have happened. Obviously, the card made quite an impression on me, and as I look at closely, I can see why: although the card is for Polanco, Joe Blanton is in the background stealing the show by holding his junk. Okay, he’s holding a towel in front of his junk, but at first glance it certainly looks like he’s doing more than just supporting the team with his presence in the dugout. In fact, now that I’ve made the connection, I literally cannot look at the card without thinking, “He’s holding his dick!” (An incredibly apropos reference to a segment in Lewis Black’s Luther Burbank Performing Arts Center Blues album.) It’s a shame Blanton is stealing the show, because like a couple of the other cards in this post, action shots like this one are rare.

However, there’s yet another reason for loving this card — one I didn’t appreciate until just before I started writing about it. Take a good look at the rest of the background. Based on the hats and clothes of the fans in the stands and the partial web address on the dugout, this photo was taken at Fenway as well. In fact, like the Utley and Lidge’s photos, it was also taken on June 13, 2010. When you examine the play-by-play of the game, it’s clear that the play shown happened in the bottom of the fifth, when J.D. led off the Boston half by hitting a foul pop-up to third.

With that, my 2011 Phillies Cards in Review is nearly done. Tomorrow, I will choose my Set of the Year.