Category Archives: Robin Roberts

Odds and Ends

2004 Topps Heritage TN Roberts FrontUpon reading about the A.J. Burnett signing yesterday, I searched the database and saw that there haven’t been any multi-team Phillies cards that also picture Burnett. That’s somewhat hard to do in this day and age of player movement — given the length of his career and the some of his achievements. So, his first Phillies card, whenever that comes out, will be the first one in my collection showing him — unlike, say, Roy Halladay, who appeared on a Topps Heritage Now & Then insert with Robin Roberts back in 2004…

Actually, with a little more hunting, I discovered that the best multi-team Phillies card from 2004 (if not ever) is the Bazooka 4-on-1 Stickers featuring Halladay, Brett Myers, Curt Schilling, and Pedro Martinez. I should probably add that to my Want List. If someone else can come up with a better multi-team card showing only players who, at the time of the card’s release, previously, currently, and would eventually play for the Phillies, I’d love to hear it…

Also yesterday, Panini came through with the first, and so far only, redemption card I’ve sent back to them. It took them five months, but at least they came through. I have a rather longish planned post in which I talk about my experiences with redemption cards, but until then, I’m glad to see that I can feel cautiously optimistic about the next time I decide to purchase a Panini redemption card off of eBay — especially since this particular autograph card didn’t resort to stickers…

2014 Topps PapelbonIf you are building your own 2014 Topps Series One set and have holes that need to be filled, please send me an email containing the numbers you need — I have plenty of duplicates, including parallels and inserts, and would love to complete my Series One set (or other holes in my Phillies collection) via trade rather than having to purchase them off of eBay. I have posted both my want list and what I have available for trade.

Penmanship and the Modern Ballplayer, Part I

Featured Cards: 2008 Upper Deck Heroes Autographs Beige #138, Mike Schmidt; 2003 Topps Fan Favorites Autographs #FFA-RR, Robin Roberts; 1999 Fleer Greats of the Game Autographs (no #), Curt Simmons; 2007 Topps Heritage Real Ones Autographs #ROA-JL; Joe Lonnett; 2003 Topps Heritage Real One Autographs #RO-EM, Eddie Mayo; 2004 Topps Originals Signatures (no #), 1987 Topps Kent Tekulve

As we all get older, it gets progressively easier to assume the role of the grumpy old man who keeps yelling at kids for playing their music too loud or for cutting across his lawn. For sports fans, the equivalent is talking about how players from the previous generations were better and/or respected the game more than today’s breed of athlete. That’s why I was somewhat surprised many years ago when Mike Schmidt made his comments about the Steroid Era. Rather than make the easy (grumpy old man) statement epitomized by players such as Bob Feller, Schmidt admitted he likely would have used steroids, given the money players could earn and the pressure to produce the best numbers possible. It was the reasoned, deeply considered realization of a former player who, while acknowledging the emotional aspect of the controversy, was honest with himself about the choice he might have made if he played during the late ’90s.

His honesty regarding steroids gives him some leeway in regards to his comments this past October regarding the signatures of today’s ballplayers. Yes, it’s easy to say that he sounded like a grumpy old man when he asked, “Since when did the signatures of today’s celebrity athletes become worse than your local physician’s scrawl on a prescription slip?” But, he had a point. Today’s autographs are an absolute mess, and while I’ll almost certainly continue to collect Phillies autographs, I have grown frustrated with the degradation in the quality of player’s signatures, in particular, over the past 10 years.

Schmidt, while discussing the specifics surrounding his question, mentioned the signatures of the athletes of his childhood, noted, “I was 12 years old in 1962. I’m looking at these cards now… I was given the autographs 50 years ago of these famous golfers and I still have them. I can read them. You could read them.” The same is true of the Phillies of the time — take a look at the following autographs.

I’d like to note, based on the year these certified autograph cards were issued, that these men were still impressively signing in a legible manner well into their senior citizen years. Roberts was 76 when he signed that card; Simmons, 70, Lonnett, 79; and Mayo, 89. Please take the time to remember this as you see some of the autographs later in this series of posts. Also note that Simmons’s signature is unusually “sloppy” for players of this period, but it’s still recognizable.

Thankfully, players from that era all the way through the the ’90s were, for the most part, just as conscientious when it came to signing their names. As players up through that time started taking part in certified autograph releases, it was obvious that many of them continued to take a certain amount of pride in their penmanship. Somewhat paradoxically, however, many of them actually started signing after the rise of the certified autograph issue in the mid ’90s, which was when the noticeable decline in the quality of signatures of today’s ballplayers really began to take place.

Later this week, the 1996 Leaf Signature Series sets: a harbringer of what was to come.

2004 Topps Heritage Then & Now

Set Type: Insert
Card dimensions:
2½” x 3½”
Additional Information: Inserted in packs of 2004 Topps Heritage.

Jim Thome (w/ Mays of Braves)
Robin Roberts (w/ Halladay of Blue Jays)

1951 Bowman

Set Type: Primary
Card dimensions: 2116” x 3⅛”
Rookie Cards: Russ Meyer, Bubba Church, Dick Whitman, Milo Candini, Ken Silvestri, Ken Johnson
Additional Information: The largest, in number of cards, of the original Bowman sets. Bowman essentially reused the entire design with its 1952 offering, with the exception of replacing the black text box containing the player’s name with a facsimile picture and the use of plain black text on the back.

Topps replicated the design of this set when it released the 2005 Bowman Heritage set. While the primary set was standard-sized, Topps also issued a parallel mini-set that used the same dimensions as the original Bowman offering.

Robin Roberts
Del Ennis
Jim Konstanty
Eddie Waitkus
Andy Seminick
Dick Sisler
Russ Meyer
Stan Lopata
Mike Goliat
Curt Simmons
Willie “Puddinhead” Jones
Bill Nicholson
Ken Heintzelman
Granny Hamner
Bubba Church
Eddie Sawyer (manager)
Jimmy Bloodworth
Richie Ashburn
Bob Miller
Dick Whitman
Milo Candini
Ken Silvestri
Eddie Pellagrini
Ken Johnson
Jocko Thompson

1949 Eureka Sportstamps

Individual Stamp dimensions: 1½” x 2”
Additional Information: The stamps, featuring only members of the National League — as well as the commissioner of baseball and the president of the National League — were issued as a complete set along with an album for housing them. According to the 2011 Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards, the stamps were issued on team sheets measuring 7½” x 10” and the album issued
with the set provided short player biographies. Beckett refers to this set simply as “1949 Eureka Stamps.”

Beckett’s Phillies portion of the checklist is in error, starting with Richie Ashburn at #127 and including Sawyer at #145. I have confirmed that the checklist printed by SCD in the Standard Catalog (the one shown below) is the correct one — as evidenced by the fact that Robin Roberts is listed as #143 in Beckett and the sample scan above clearly shows he is #144.

Eddie Sawyer (manager)
Richie Ashburn
Bennie Bengough (coach)
Charlie Bicknell
Buddy Blattner
Hank Borowy
Ralph “Putsy” Caballero
Blix Donnelly
Del Ennis
Granny Hamner
Ken Heintzelman
Stan Hollmig
Willie “Puddinhead” Jones
Jim Konstanty
Stan Lopata
Jackie Mayo
Bill Nicholson
Robin Roberts
Schoolboy Rowe
Andy Seminick
Ken Silvestri
Curt Simmons
Dick Sisler
Ken Trinkle
Eddie Waitkus

2005 Topps Heritage Then & Now

Set Type: Insert
Card dimensions:
2½” x 3½”
Additional Information: Inserted in packs of 2005 Topps Heritage.

Robin Roberts (w/ Hernandez of Nationals)
Bobby Abreu (w/ Yost of Senators)

1993 Upper Deck/B.A.T. All-Time Heroes

Set Type: Primary
Card dimensions: 5¼” x 2¼”
Additional Information: Issued in partnership with B.A.T., a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting former MLB personnel, these cards were loosely based on the historic 1909-1911 T202 Hassan Triple Folders. According to the 2011 Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards, production was “limited to 5,140 numbered cases of 12-card foil packs.” Beckett lists this as “1993 Upper Deck All-Time Heroes,” while SCD lists it in the Standard Catalog as “1993 UD All-Time Heroes.”

Johnny Callison
Dave Cash
Del Ennis
Robin Roberts

2003 Fleer Ultra When it Was a Game

Set Type: Insert
Card dimensions: 2½” x 3½”
Additional Information: Inserted in packs of 2003 Fleer Ultra.

4 WG
10 WG
25 WG
36 WG
Richie Ashburn
Jim Bunning
Mike Schmidt
Robin Roberts

2012-01-30 Phillie Filler of the Day

Featured Card: 2005 Donruss Signature Series HOF Quad Autograph #HOF-72, Mike Schmidt, Robin Roberts, Jim Bunning, & Steve Carlton


As of today, I officially became the owner of this little beauty. According to Beckett, only 38 were made. I do not believe that there’s another Phillies autograph card I would want more than this one. To my knowledge, there are no other cards bearing the signature of four different Phillies HOFers.

2012-01-19 Phillie Filler Special

Featured Card: 2010 Topps Update Series #US-100[b], Robin Roberts

When putting together the most recent installment of my 2011 Phillies Cards in Review, I was stunned to realize that it was the first time I had featured a Robin Roberts card on this blog. Seeing that I committed a grave injustice, I decided it was necessary that two posts were necessary for today. I decided to run with this particular card because it’s almost certainly the best Phillies card issued of him since his retirement. A major reason why that’s the case is that I literally cannot think of another card of his that uses this photo, which is an amazing shot given the lack of decent in-action photos from the ’50s. In fact, I’m glad that Topps never attempted to use this photo in an Archives or Fan Favorites release as it would have looked woefully out of place in any of their vintage designs, none of which used action photos like this one.

I finish throwing this post together, I see that he is not the only notable Hall of Famer who has been woefully neglected. More double-posting may be needed in the near future.