Category Archives: Tommy Greene

Wish List for 2014

Featured Cards: 1992 Donruss #94, Tommy Greene; 2013 Leaf Memories 1990 Buyback Autographs #474, Terry Mulholland; 2005 Topps Total #423, Cory Lidle; 1922 American Caramel (E120) no #, Jimmy Ring; 2007 Upper Deck/Majestic Phillies Alumni Night #9, Jamie Moyer; 2013 Topps Emerald #647, Ben Revere

Given that we’re already entering the last week of January and that most of the major card releases for the next few months are already in some stage of production that makes alterations impossible, stating a wish list of Phillies baseball cards for the coming year is probably a futile gesture. However, I’m nonetheless determined to plow through with the idea. So, here’s my wish list of items I’d love to see from Topps or Panini at some point this year, or, failing that, at some point within the next couple years.

1. Combo Cards
These could either be inserts or subsets — I don’t care. However they’re issued, there are plenty of awesome combo cards of just Phillies that haven’t been produced for some unknown reason, and all of them make much more sense 1992 Donruss Greene HLthan producing a dual autograph booklet of Carlos Ruiz & John Kruk. Although autographed and/or memorabilia versions of the cards would be awesome, “plain,” unadorned versions of these cards would be completely acceptable. To whit: Cy Young Award winners with John Denny, Steve Bedrosian, Steve Carlton, and Roy Halladay; any combination of the five living ex-Phillies who’ve thrown a no-hitter; a proper MVP-trio card of just Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, and Mike Schmidt; a ROY-trio card of Dick Allen, Scott Rolen, and Ryan Howard; an NLCS MVP card of Gary Matthews, Curt Schilling, Cole Hamels, and Manny Trillo; & a Ruben Amaro, Sr. and Ruben Amaro, Jr., because why the hell not!

2. Autograph Cards
A couple years ago, I posted my original list of former players I’d love to see appear as a Phillie on autograph card. Since making that list, Juan Samuel and Terry Mulholland finally appeared on one. 2013 Leaf Memories Buyback Mulholland AutoHowever, the six other noteworthy former Phils are still in desperate need of one: Tony Taylor, Cookie Rojas, Dallas Green, John Denny, Art Mahaffey, Tommy Greene, & Rick Wise. To that list, I’d like to add: Brad Lidge, who despite a perfect season in 2008 and retiring as a Phillie has never received a Phillies autograph card; Charlie Manuel, for obvious reasons; Dave Cash, three-time all-star while with the club; Pedro Feliz, the only starting member of the 2008 World Series club without an autograph card as a Phillie; Jamie Moyer, for sentimental reasons; & Matt Stairs, for the same reason as Moyer, only more so.

In addition, there are a few other Phillies who have appeared on autograph cards, but in my opinion could use at least a few more. Curt Schilling and Jim Thome immediately come to mind, but believe it or not, I would also include Rollins as he, comparatively speaking, has not been as well represented on autograph cards as some of the other players on the team over the years. I know that in the future, after his retirement, any autographed cards of Rollins will certainly picture him as Phillie, but I don’t want to wait for those.

3. A Simple, Comprehensive Base Set
2005 Topps Total LidleYes, I’m beating a dead horse with this one, but I really would like to see a base set, from Topps, along the lines of one of the great sets from the 1993 season. Hell, I’d be happy with something that looked like one of the Topps Total sets from the mid ’00s at this point. This set would feature minimal parallels (just one or two), no foil stamping (fine, put it on the parallels if you absolutely must have foil), simple gloss, full-color fronts and backs, and every player on the team. Given that the parallels are limited, I am willing to allow a crazy number of inserts — hell, the manufacturers were already issuing those en masse by 1993, so it’s only appropriate and fair.

4. A New Retro-Inspired Design
I really like the Gypsy Queen line — although it really would’ve been nice to see Topps completely embrace the idea of the original set in the manner I laid out in the early days of this blog — but based on what I’ve seen in the previews of this year’s set, it’s probably time to retire it1922 E120 Ring (and Allen & Ginter, truth be told) and resurrect and/or borrow from some other pre-WW II set. However, the well is admittedly running dry, and there aren’t too many good candidates left. However, the 1922 American Caramel Series of 240 (E120) was an interesting design that hasn’t been revived as a set, and it has the added bonus of being a set where it actually makes perfect sense to make a sepia version! There’s even an historical precedent for parallels with different backs, seeing as many different companies in the early ’20s appropriated the E120 set and used their own advertising on the back. Other than that, the 1895 Mayo’s Cut Plug might work nicely, and, if it’s done properly — that is, a similar style of artwork is used or photos are given a treatment and airbrushed to appear similar — the 1912 T207 Brown Border might be an interesting experiment.

Failing all that, it would be interesting to see a new card design that attempts to look like a set from the pre-WW II era but doesn’t actually look like a previously-issued set. Get some art design experts on it, and I’m sure they could cobble something really nice together.

5. A Standard-Sized SGA Phillies Set
During the 2007 UD Majestic ALumni Night Moyermid ’00s, the Phillies did a great job of working with various card companies to produce exclusive SGA sets. The quality of the sets varied greatly. Some, such as the 2002 Nabisco-Acme Phillies set, were hideous while a couple others, especially the Fleer 2003 Ultra All-Vet Phillies Team, were amazing. Most of the sets, however, fell well between these two extremes. Outside of the Fan Appreciation Day postcard sets, the club hasn’t really issued a set of this type for some time now. It would be nice to see them do so again — especially if it results in the only standard-sized Phillies card for some lucky player on the team — such as Rick White’s appearance in the 2006 Topps Phillies Fan Appreciation Day set.

And finally…

6. Topps Returns to Sanity With the Parallels
2013 Topps Emerald RevereLook, I am fully aware that a significant number of collectors love parallels, and truth be told, Topps loves them for their own reasons. However, 17 different parallels (counting the printing plates) for the 2013 Topps flagship set was way too fucking much. I’d be happy if Topps just cut the number in half (much happier if they whittled it down further, but I’m trying to be realistic).

So that’s my wish list of Phillies baseball cards. I’m going to send a message via Twitter to Topps and Panini and let them know that they are welcome to steal from my list (not that I expect either of them to do anything at all with my suggestions). Anyone else have something they’d like to add? Even if you’re not a Phillies fan/collector, I’d love to see other ideas of what people would like to see on a baseball card.

Hiatus Over

Featured Cards: 1995 Score #163, Curt Schilling; 1993 Topps #291, Tommy Greene; 1996 Stadium Club #425, Gregg Jefferies

As I said in my last post, over two weeks ago, there are a number of reasons for my going into an unplanned hiatus on this site. None of them were bad reasons; it was just the type of thing that sometimes happens to someone who has multiple interests and related projects that are each capable of consuming weeks of spare time. In particular, a new project fell into my lap a few weeks ago: the sorting and cataloging of a 20,000+ card baseball card collection given to me by an old high school friend.

The work still isn’t finished, and it probably won’t be for at least another couple months. However, I am having lots of fun tearing through this particular project. The reason for this is that since the early ’90s, I have focused almost exclusively upon collecting Phillies cards. Going through this collection made me realize that I miss the effort and attention to detail it takes to properly collate a complete set. Furthermore, I have come to realize that by solely collecting Phillies cards — a decision I do not regret making, by the way — I  missed out on just seeing some of the ways in which other teams are presented on cards. Seeing how a particular design flows across an entire set, with varying border color schemes and different logos, can give you a slightly different appreciation for a particular design. A design might not work particularly well for the color schemes of one particular team, but seeing it across the entire set and all of Major League Baseball can sometimes give you a greater appreciation for a particular design.

Failing that, I’ve managed to see some really odd sights I never witnessed before: such as Mickey Morandini in a Blue Jays uniform, thanks to the 2001 Topps set. I swear, he looks absolutely miserable in the portrait on the back of the card.

More than anything, going through these cards — which cover roughly 10 years starting in the early ’90s — has given me an even greater appreciation for cards that do not use foil. Looking over the 1999 UD Retro, 1993 Topps, 1992 Upper Deck and even the 1992 Triple Play (don’t laugh) just makes me realize just how unnecessary foil is. It was a wonderful marketing gimmick over 20 years ago, but now it’s just an obnoxious, unnecessary piece of flair that Topps somehow feels the need to include with each of its base sets. I would love nothing more than to see Topps put out a base set that looks more like it’s 1992 and 1993 offerings than the foil-encrusted sets they’ve been issuing ever since. (Although, the gloss and higher quality printing on the back is nice — Topps can keep doing that.)

Unfortunately, there are no complete sets in the collection. However, there are plenty of nearly complete sets in there. I haven’t made up my mind yet as to whether I will attempt to complete them. Even if I should choose to do so, I don’t think I will undertook the effort on all of them; there will definitely be an element of pick-and-choose at play. Should I choose to do so, there are plenty of duplicates and I will be more than happy to become active in trading rather than spending the money on whichever sets I decide to complete.

In the meantime, additions to the Phillies Online Database will resume tomorrow. The one bad thing about this hiatus is that I am now really behind on listing the newest sets, and it will likely take me a few weeks just to catch up on all the cards that have come out in the past month. However, I will continue mixing things up, as I always have — I might even follow through with my plans to take requests. If you have a Phillies checklist you’d like to see posted, please leave a comment on this post stating which set it is, and I will make a special effort to include it in the coming weeks.

Two New Autos for the Collection

Featured cards: 1993 Fleer #489, Tommy Greene & 1993 Fleer #103,
Ricky Jordan

In an ideal world — which I won’t detail because I’m purposefully keeping my personal politics and belief system out of this particular blog — I’d obtain all my Phillies autographs in person. Alas, it’s not even close to ideal — in fact, the distance between the two approximates that between the Earth and Oort Cloud — so I rely on certified autograph issues and PSA/DNA-certified autographs far more than I care to. However, I sometimes get lucky, and this past weekend was one such occasion. I made a trip up to Philly to visit some friends, and before leaving I discovered that Ricky Jordan and Tommy Greene were signing at the Havertown location of BC Sports. I planned accordingly, and I now have autographed cards for both of them.

Although I don’t care a whit about the resale value of things, I went ahead and paid the extra $5 each to have BC Sports place their hologram on the back of the cards and receive a certificate of authenticity. I view the tiny BC sticker as a form of decoration that makes the cards appear far more official, thus less out of place alongside all my other certified autographs of players from the early-to-mid ’90s. Unfortunately, since I live over three hours from the Philly area, my ability to do this sort of thing is extremely limited (BC Sports holds similar signing events fairly frequently). However, I’ll hold out some hope that my next visit up there coincides with a similar opportunity to expand the autograph collection.

Although Jordan had an autograph card in the 1996 Leaf Signature Series Extended Edition, he was pictured as a Mariner and therefore the card is of no interest to me. With no certified autograph card for either Phillie at this time, I no longer need to wait for Topps or some manufacturer-to-be-named-later to ever issue one. Therefore, I am completely free to resume my cathartic ranting against Topps in my next post.