Mar 15, 2010

Phillies Project Update: As the Clock Turns

Progress continues on the ever-advancing Phillies project detailed in this space about one year ago. Soon, I shall need another shelf in the bookcase just for Phillies cards. Here are some examples of recent pickups.

1984 Topps John Denny: How many times did a Phillie win the Cy Young award in the 1980s? If you guessed four, you would be correct. Two by Hall of Famer Steve Carlton (1980, 1982), one by beard hall of fame member Steve Bedrosian (1987), and one by John Denny in 1983. It was an unlikely career year. He had a career high in wins (19), ERA (2.37), ERA+ (152), K (139), and cut his BB/9 in half from his career average up to that point.

1978 Topps Jay Johnstone: A sometimes-overlooked member of the division winning Phillies of the 1976-1977. He hit 15 HR in only 363 AB in 1977. He also went 7-9 (.778 AVG, seriously) in the 1976 NLCS in the 3 game sweep at the hands of the Big Red Machine.
1984 Topps Tony Perez and Joe Morgan: Speaking of the Big Red Machine, the 1983 "Wheeze Kids" of the Phillies decided to have a virtual reunion, bringing in Perez and Morgan to join with the already present Pete Rose. Morgan wasn't a star anymore, but he was still a useful player at this point of his career (116 OPS+ mostly due to 89 BB and 16 HR). Perez was a non-power hitting bench first baseman and was clearly reaching the end of his career.
1984 Topps Al Holland: He was the closer of the 1983 pennant winning team with 25 saves, 100 K in 91 IP and a 1.01 WHIP. He was one of three Phillies relievers with >90 IP in 1983 (Willie Hernandez and Ron Reed). Would that ever happen in today's game?
1982 Topps Gary Matthews: He replaced Greg Luzinski in LF after the departure of the Bull. He was a different type of player: average fielding stats and a #2/#6 hitter's profile who could draw walks and and hit the occasional HR.

The journey continues...

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