Category Archives: Shane Victorino

2010 Hero Decks Philadelphia (Phillies) Baseball Heroes, 2nd Edition

2010 Hero Deck Victorino

Set Type: Primary
Card dimensions: 2½” x 3½”
Manufacturer: Parody Productions
Additional Information/14,000 Phillies Commentary: A revised and updated version of the 2006 Hero Decks (Phillies) Baseball Heroes playing card set. Aside from the player selection for the spades, the most easily discernable difference between the two sets is the back of the cards, which previously depicted a baseball against a red background. Otherwise, the hearts, diamonds and clubs are basically the same cards that appeared in the 2006 version of the set, with the text on the card slightly realigned. However, a few cards which bore a nickname in the previous version, such as Willie “Puddin’ Head” Jones, no longer show the monikers, and Grover Cleveland Alexander’s name is somewhat oddly revised as Pete “Grover Cleveland” Alexander — Pete should be in quotes as a nickname. Th final notable difference is that Charlie Manuel replaces Jim Fregosi as the sole manager (Joker) in the deck.

As for the spades, the Phillies run of success understandably made Parody Productions reconsider the players representing the ’90s through the present. Schilling was demoted from his position as Ace, where Halladay was inserted — yes, he had a historic 2010 season, but at the time this may have been jumping the gun a little. Abreu was demoted from King, the position Parody typically reserved for the best position player/2nd best pitcher of that particular suit’s era, with Howard promoted to the spot. Along with some other reshuffling of positions, the revised suit also includes (in addition to Halladay) Cole Hamels, Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth, while removing Mike Lieberthal, Lenny Dykstra, Randy Wolf and Brett Myers. For the most part, I don’t have any real issues with the lineup change, but it’s a shame that Lieberthal had to go, given the amount of time he spent with the team. It seems to me that Parody could’ve bumped Daulton into the hearts with other players from the ’80s to save Lieberthal’s spot.

Roy Halladay
Darren Daulton
John Kruk
Chase Utley
Scott Rolen
Jimmy Rollins
Pat Burrell
Shane Victorino
Jayson Werth
Bobby Abreu
Cole Hamels
Curt Schilling
Ryan Howard
Steve Carlton
Bob Boone
Pete Rose
Juan Samuel
Dick Allen
Larry Bowa
Greg Luzinski
Garry Maddox
Bake McBride
Larry Christenson
Jim Lonborg
Tug McGraw
Mike Schmidt
Robin Roberts
Andy Seminick
Don Hurst
Tony Taylor
Willie Jones
Granny Hamner
Del Ennis
Richie Ashburn
Johnny Callison
Jim Konstanty
Chris Short
Curt Simmons
Jim Bunning
Grover Cleveland Alexander
Jack Clements
Fred Luderus
Nap Lajoie
Pinky Whitney
Dave Bancroft
Billy Hamilton
Cy Williams
Chuck Klein
Gavvy Cravath
Sam Thompson
Eppa Rixey
Ed Delahanty
Charlie Manuel (manager)
Harry Kalas (broadcaster)

So Long, Shane

Featured Cards: 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter’s #160, Shane Victorino; 2008 Upper Deck Phillies World Series Champions #PHILLY

The recent lackluster play of the Phillies over the past few weeks is one of many reasons why I have taken a short break from the almost manic updates to the Phillies Online Database. The last five seasons greatly spoiled me, and though I knew that the streak would eventually come to a depressing end, the suddenness of the Phillies collapse this season took me completely off-guard. I knew that regression to the mean was a quickly rising probability with any rapidly-aging club, and I was prepared to see the Phillies’ record decline quite a bit this year. However, the season has far exceeded any worse case scenario I envisioned as realistic back in March.

So, the Phillies are now doing what any team in their position should try to do: retool for next year. Sadly, that means trading long-standing members of the team like Shane Victorino. It might be hard to recall now, but Shane almost wasn’t a Phillie. After taking him in the Rule 5 Draft, the Phillies decided that they didn’t want to put him on the Major League roster, which meant they had to offer him back to San Diego. The Padres refused, which meant the Phillies got to keep him anyway. The rest was amazingly fortunate history. The Phillies run over the past five years does not happen without Victorino, and while trading him was the sensible move for the team now, that doesn’t make it any easier to say good-bye.

Shane provided a few moments that have become indelibly etched in my mind, but the biggest one, by far, was captured on the 51st card of the 2008 Upper Deck World Series Champions Box Set. I don’t remember anymore if he was already being called “The Flyin’ Hawaiian” before this moment, but regardless of when it was applied to him, there’s no picture that better captures the spirit with which he played while with the Phillies.

I’m sad to see him go and equally sad for what his departure in such a manner represents. Of course, I will root against him whenever he’s facing the Phillies, and seeing him in Dodger blue will take getting used to — even though that might only be a two-month cameo. Nonetheless, like Pat Burrell before him, I wish Shane nothing but the best of luck in the future, and am grateful for his role in shaping the Golden Age of Phillies Baseball.

2011 Bowman Platinum Dual Autograph Relics

Set Type: Insert
Card dimensions: 2½” x 3½”
Manufacturer: Topps
Parallels: Red Refractors, serial numbered to 10; Superfractors, serial numbered “1/1.”
Additional Information: Inserted in packs of 2011 Bowman Platinum. Base cards serial numbered to 89. All cards, both base and parallels, bear the serial number on the front of the card.

DAR-IV Raúl Ibañez & Shane Victorino

2012 Topps Museum Collection Signature Swatches Autographed Triple Relics

Set Type: Insert
Card dimensions: 2½” x 3½”
Parallels: Gold, serial numbered to 25; Patch, serial numbered to 5
Additional Information: Inserted in packs of 2012 Topps Museum Collection. The print runs for each of the base cards varies by player. The Victorino print run is listed in parentheses after his name in the checklist below, but because the Pence card is distributed via exchange card, the print run for his base card is unknown at this time.

All the cards, both base and parallels, bear the serial number on the front of the card and contain jersey and/or patch swatches for each of the players shown. These swatches, with the exception of the Patch parallel, bear what appear to be a random selection of patch, road jersey, home jersey and alternate jersey swatches. The Patch parallel, as the name suggests, contains two patch swatches on the card.

Hunter Pence
Shane Victorino (59)

2012 Topps Museum Collection Signature Swatches Autographed Dual Relics

Set Type: Insert
Card dimensions: 2½” x 3½”
Parallels: Gold, serial numbered to 25; Patch, serial numbered to 5
Additional Information: Inserted in packs of 2012 Topps Museum Collection. The base cards are serial numbered to 70. All the cards, both base and parallels, bear the serial number on the front of the card and contain jersey and/or patch swatches for each of the players shown. These swatches, with the exception of the Patch parallel, bear what appear to be a random selection of patch, road jersey, home jersey and alternate jersey swatches. The Patch parallel, as the name suggests, contains two patch swatches on the card. All the Pence and Hamels cards were made available via exchange cards.

Cole Hamels
Hunter Pence
Shane Victorino

2012 Topps Museum Collection Primary Pieces Four-Player Quad Relics

Set Type: Insert
Card dimensions: 2½” x 3½”
Parallels: Gold, serial numbered to 25; Patch, serial numbered to 5; Red, serial numbered to 75
Additional Information: Inserted in packs of 2012 Topps Museum Collection. All the cards, both base and parallels, bear the serial number on the front of the card and bear jersey swatches for each of the players shown. The Patch parallel, as the name suggests, contains a patch swatch for each player on the card. Topps did not issue Patch parallels for either of the PPFGR-GHPT (Ryan Howard) or PPFGR-RRTC (Jimmy Rollins) cards.






Chase Utley (w/ Pedroia of Red Sox, Cano of Yankees, & Uggla of Braves)
Ryan Howard (w/ Gonzalez of Red Sox, Pujols of Cardinals, & Teixeira of Yankees)
Cliff Lee, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley & Shane Victorino
Roy Halladay (w/ Ryan of Astros, Sabathia of Yankees, & Seaver of Mets)
Jimmy Rollins (w/ Ramirez of Marlins, Tulowitzki of Rockies, & Castro of Cubs)
Cliff Lee (w/ Verlander of Tigers, Hellickson of Rays, & Kimbrel of Braves)

2012 Topps Opening Day

Set Type: Primary
Card dimensions:
2½” x 3½”
Parallels: Blank Backs, serial numbered “1/1”; Blue, serial numbered to 2,012; Black, Cyan, Magenta & Yellow Printing Plates — each serial #ed “1/1.” All parallels serial numbered on back of card. Topps distributed the Blank Backs parallels exclusively on eBay via The Topps Vault.

Inserts: Elite Skills, Fantasy Squad, Mascots, Opening Day Stars

Roy Halladay
Chase Utley
Shane Victorino
Domonic Brown
Vance Worley
Jimmy Rollins
Ryan Howard
Roy Oswalt
Carlos Ruiz
Hunter Pence
Cliff Lee
Cole Hamels

2011 Phillies Cards in Review: Set of the Year

Almost just in time for the first set of 2012, I finally reach the pinnacle of my 2011 Phillies Card Year in Review series. I know that all the cool kids like to start their annual reviews sometime at the end of October when 1/6 of the year still remains, but waiting as long served two purposes. One, I had the opportunity to look over literally everything that arrived in 2011. I absolutely love, for example, when critics name their best books of the year when there are two months of books left unreleased. Yes, I know all about advance review copies, but that’s ignoring my point. How can you be certain if something is the best of the year if there are two frakking months left it in it? The other purpose is that drawing this series out gave me something to write about as I killed the weeks between the last of the 2011 sets and today’s release of 2012 Topps.

Seeing as I already have my order in for a team set of the first series, I better get started on my choice for the set of the year. So without further preamble, the winner is:

2011 Topps Gypsy Queen

I don’t believe I’ve hid my love for this set. I talked approvingly about it back at the start of this blog, and my while positive first impression came with a few reservations, the set really grew on me — so much so that I included a large number of cards from the set in the other categories in my review of the 2011 cards. Although I stand by my belief that Topps should have issued a set closer to the look and feel of the original Gypsy Queen cards, the treatment they applied to the photos on the cards gave the set a truly unique feel compared to all their other sets to date. I saw more than a few baseball card blogs complain about Topps issuing yet another retro set, but here’s the thing: unlike Topps’s Heritage offerings and all the various insert where they’ve reused designs from their past, the overwhelming majority of collectors cannot afford even one of the original Gypsy Queen cards. For most of us, this is going to be as close as get to them.

My love for the set, however, extended far beyond the look and feel of the cards and their photos. One of the other things that made this set really unique was that all the inserts — whether they were plain, simple inserts or contained memorabilia and/or autographs — maintained the basic card design of the base set. Even if all the card didn’t have “Gypsy Queen” in the same arched word-art at the top of each card, you would have recognized immediately, without a moment of doubt or hesitation, whether or not an insert came from the Gypsy Queen set. To me, this made it both fun and compelling to chase down as many of the various inserts as possible. It was a rare set in which you could mix the inserts alongside the base cards in a binder and they wouldn’t have looked out of place.

In fact, you could theoretically do the same thing with the mini framed inserts, if you were of a mind to somehow excise them from the frame in which Topps encased them.

Admittedly, putting together a true master set of 2011 Gypsy Queen Phillies will be impossible — there were just too many autograph and/or memorabilia cards with ridiculously small print runs. However, I really feel like Topps at least attempted to strike a balance because there were actually a significant number of those cards that I could afford. In fact, to the best of my knowledge, Topps also created much easier to find auto and/or memorabilia cards for all the players whom they created an auto/memorabilia card printed on an extremely limited basis. In particular, I’m referring to the autographed memorabilia cards with print runs of just 25 they created for Utley, Victorino, Howard and Halladay. For each player, you could much more cheaply acquire some sort of Gypsy Queen autograph or memorabilia card. You really can’t say that for any of the other sets made issued in 2011.

With that, I’m finished with this series. I don’t expect everyone to agree with my reasons for choosing Topps Gypsy Queen as my set of the year, but I’m comfortable with the decision. Topps has already announced plans for a second Gypsy Queen set this year, and I sincerely hope that all the elements that made the 2011 set so wonderful return in the upcoming issue.

Cards Featured
Base Cards: #342, Placido Polanco; #47, Jimmy Rollins; #27, Roy Oswalt; #139, Raul Ibañez; #2, Roy Halladay
Mini Parallels: #346, Shane Victorino; #2[b], Roy Hallady (SP variation)
Certified Autograph: #GQA-SV, Shane Victorino; Framed Mini Relic (image was cropped): #FMRC-CU, Chase Utley

2011 Phillies Cards in Review: Memorabilia Card of the Year

The major impediment to selecting my autograph card of the year reared its ugly head when I looked over my 2011 memorabilia cards: I just didn’t purchase that many this year. I think a lot of this had to do with the fact that during 2011, Topps saved most of its Phillies game-used cards for its high-end products. At least, that’s where they seemed to focus their truly creative memorabilia card offerings. Unfortunately, like all their high-end product, these cards were printed in such small numbers that they were too cost prohibitive for me to really obtain any of them. Otherwise, I assure you that one of the Utley-Rollins-Howard or Halladay-Lee-Hamels joint memorabilia cards from Triple Threads would have made it into this post.

Beyond that, there was another issue at play: the game-used cards in Topps’s more mainstream sets (i.e., Topps, Heritage, Allen & Ginter’s, and Gypsy Queen) were rather pedestrian and relatively basic, thus providing little excitement. Topps didn’t even provide the courtesy of offering a double-swatch card in any of these sets, like they had in its 206 set the year before. To add insult to injury, Topps’s insistence on using an absolutely identical generic card design for multiple different types of memorabilia swatches comes across as monotonous and… well, here’s the word I’ve applied to Topps many times since the start of this blog… lazy.

Literally, the only difference between the two cards is the memorabilia swatch on the front. The backs are identical — right down to the card number on the back. As boring as that looks, just imagine what it looks like to place all three of Victorino’s Allen & Ginter’s Mini-Framed Relics cards next to each other (the three different types are bat, batting practice jersey, and road jersey).

The primary upshot of all this — at least, in regards to picking my favorite — is that there were very few contenders for the Phillies memorabilia card of the year. So few, in fact, that I was prepared to just hand the award to Jayson Werth’s Gypsy Queen jersey card. I thought it would be a nice gesture to a player who such an integral part of the team’s current run of consecutive postseason appearances. That, and I liked the fact that what was very likely his last appearance on a Phillies card — at least, last appearance that roughly coincided with his tenure with the club — was a memorabilia card. Unfortunately, as I pulled the cards accompanying this particular post, I noticed the following:

Discounting parallels, Topps only issued three cards in 2011 depicting Werth as a member of The Fightins. Their archives contain four years worth of photos showing him in a Phillies uniform, and yet they still decided to use the exact same photo for his last two cards depicting him as a Phillie. For that reason alone, I felt compelled to rescind my decision to make his Gypsy Queen jersey card the Phillies memorabilia card of the year. I absolutely refuse to award Topps for its utter laziness — yes, there’s that word again.

As a result, I am not actually bestowing any card with the honor of being selected as the Memorabilia Card of the Year. The sad fact is that it was an uninspired year for game-used cards. Nothing I added to my collection in 2010 stood out in a manner worth noting. I certainly hope for something better this coming year, but at the same time, I’m not really expecting improvement from Topps. As I said numerous times before, their MLB-sanctioned monopoly gives them no incentive to improve their product — so why should they? In fact, as their competition decreased over the past decade, so did the quality of their product. Unfortunately, there are no signs that MLB intends to end the status quo at any time.

It’s almost enough to make me wish I was collected football cards instead.

Featured Cards: 2011 Topps Heritage Clubhouse Collection #CCR-PP, Placido Polanco; 2010 Topps 206 Mini Framed Dual-Relics Piedmont #DR-SV, Shane Victorino; 2011 Topps 60 Relics #T60R-JR[a], Jimmy Rollins (bat); 2011 Topps 60 Relics #T60R-JR[b], Jimmy Rollins (jersey); 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen Relics #GQR-JWE, Jayson Werth; 2011 Topps Heritage Clubhouse Collection #CCR-JW, Jayson Werth; 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen Framed Mini Relics #FMRC-RH, Ryan Howard

2011 Phillies Cards in Review: Autograph Card of the Year

It’s come to my attention that 2012 Topps Series One hits store shelves in just one week, which means if I’m going to finish my 2011 Phillies Year in Review posts before they arrive, I better get about completing them. When I started this little endeavor, picking my favorite autograph card of the year seemed like an obvious category. However, it turns out that I did not actually collect very many 2011 autograph issues. The primary reason for this is the sheer expense of so many Phillies autograph cards — i.e., the small print runs and popularity of the players most likely to receive such treatment makes the cards somewhat expensive. Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Shane Victorino seemed to dominate the Phillies autograph issues this year — with Victorino easily being the least expensive of the bunch. Furthermore, this past year, there just weren’t any cards like the 2010 Topps 206 Brian Schneider or the 2010 Topps Allen & Ginter’s Placido Polanco. In 2011 Domonic Brown was just about the only Phillie, other than Victorino, whom you could inexpensively acquire on an autograph.

Now, those aren’t the only reasons why I picked up so few 2011 autograph issues. The other is Topps’s unceasing fetish for issuing autograph cards of players who won’t, and this is if they’re lucky, step foot onto a Major League field for another 2-3 years — if ever. (The Justin De Fratus card may ultimately go down as Topps’s luckiest autographed Phillies rookie card ever.) Yes, I could easily and cheaply pick up autograph cards of Larry Greene, Domingo Santana, and Sebastian Valle, but thanks to the likes of Elio Serrano, Jorge Padilla, and Sean Gamble, I decided approximately a decade ago that I would never again purchase the autograph card of a prospect until it appeared, at an absolute minimum, that his debut appearance in an actual game in a Phillies uniform appears incredibly likely and/or imminent. Because of that, I didn’t pick up my first Joe Savery autograph card until three years after it was issued. This also led to my spending some time in December searching for a 2008 Bowman Draft Signs of the Future Freddy Galvis card before ultimately deciding to wait out and see if he will ever actually appear in a Phillies uniform in anything other than a Spring Training game.

For all those reasons, I find myself in a position where it turns out that in one form or another I’ve already discussed and/or posted my favorite autograph cards from last year. Rather than write all about them again, I’ll just link to my original post about each of the year’s nominees and just announce a winner. But before I do so, there is one card I want to write something about first: the 2011 Topps Lineage 1952 Autographs Victorino card. I know I’ve already written plenty about how much I feel that while Topps really screwed the pooch with the Lineage offering, the inserts helped save the set. However, what I have avoided addressing until now is the butchering of Victorino’s autograph insert. The reason for it was quite simple: Topps decided that they would just use an autograph sticker for this particular card, rather than have Victorino sign the actual cards. As a result, the white box containing his autograph is ridiculously oversized. It would be great if I could place it alongside all the other 1952-style autographs that Topps has issued over the past 10 years, but it looks comically grotesque next to them.

Thankfully, I have plenty of other Shane Victorino autograph cards in my collection, which makes it a lot easier to for me shrug off this travesty and accept it for what it is.

Now that I’ve gotten that therapeutic rant out of my system, here is my list of runner-ups for the 2011 Phillies Autograph card of the year (each linked to the post where I originally posted the card):

Cliff Lee, Topps 60 Certified Autograph, # T60A-CL(b)
Bob Miller, Topps Lineage Reprint Autographs, #RA-BMI
Justin De Fratus, Bowman Prospect Autographs, #BPA-JD

And our winner is…

Roy Halladay’s Topps Gypsy Queen Autograph

I really try to avoid reposting a card twice, but if there was ever a card that deserved it, it was this one. Given the cost of Roy Halladay autograph cards, chances are very good that this will be the only one in my collection, and as such it will always remain one of its centerpieces. There are a couple other Halladay Gypsy Queen autographs in different formats, and while I would love to have both of them, I don’t think either would have the same impact as this one did on me when I received it in the mail. In fact, there are very few cards at all (by that, I mean Phillies cards of all types) that would bring the same level of enjoyment that this one did when it officially became a part of my collection.

Featured Cards: 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen Certified Autographs #GQA-DB, Domonic Brown; 2010 Topps Allen & Ginter’s Framed Mini Autographs #AGA-PP, Placido Polanco; 2003 Donruss Team Heroes Authentic Signatures #390, Elio Serrano; 2001 Topps Heritage Autographs #THA-RW, Randy Wolf; 2011 Topps Lineage 1952 Autographs #52A-SV, Shane Victorino; 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen Certified Autographs #GQA-RH, Roy Halladay