Sunday, May 30, 2021

Manny Martinez has some baseball cards he wants to sell

 Originally signed by the Oakland A's in 1990, outfielder Manny Martinez played 16 seasons of professional baseball, including stints in the major leagues for the Mariners, Phillies, Pirates and Expos. In 232 major league games he hit .245 with 8 HR, 53 RBI and 23 SB. Now a minor league manager in the Mets organization, he replied to my inquiry about baseball cards with this:

"I have two boxes that hold baseball cards, from way back. And I wanna sell." 

He included these photos:

If anyone is interested in buying Manny Martinez's old cards, let me know and I can connect you with him.

Meanwhile, here is a card of him from my collection: 

1977 Phillies Calendar

 This is an autographed calendar, as you can see. The owner of the calendar got the wives of manager Danny Ozark and announcer Harry Kalas to sign this. Virginia "Ginny" Ozark, originally from Lackawanna, NY, was married to Danny Ozark in 1949, and were married for 60 years when Danny passed away in 2009. Ginny died in May 2017. Harry and Jasmine Kalas divorced in 1987 after Harry's affair with Eileen Vawney. Jasmine died one month after Ginny, in June 2017.

Some months of the calendar featured action shots of the players, like this great photo of legendary slugger Mike Schmidt.
Others featured the players and their families around the city. My birth month featured the Luzinskis on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum.
Cute picture of little Phoebe Lonborg snuggling with a rabbit with her parents Jim and Rosemary. Though, as this was taken at a food market, she might have been snuggling with dinner.
Judging by the fan reaction in the background, I'm guessing the Atlanta runner was safe.
Larry Bowa and wife Shena relaxing in Independence Historical Park.
Here's something you don't see very often. The Phillies wore pillbox hats on a few occasions in 1976 to celebrate the National League's 100th anniversary.
The last page of the calendar features the Phillies' wives, including Ginny Ozark on the top right.
Check out the phone numbers on the seating chart. Alpha-numeric numbers were already somewhat rare by 1977.

Friday, May 28, 2021

1977 Pirates Press - TV & Radio Guide

 Here's something a little different. These days it's easy for fans to buy these. I'm not sure how widely available these were back in 1977.

Cover art "Chuck Tanner & The 1977 Bucs" by Dan Bridy. Bridy was a prolific illustrator, most notably of children's books. He passed away last year.

Much of the book featured extensive commentary and statistics of each Pirates player, from veterans to up-and-coming prospects. Most of the commentary is pretty dry, so it was funny to see in Jim Rooker's bio "Jim is a very sharp dresser thanks to his wife Betty who makes all his clothes".
This was an unusual bit of minutiae, which I guess was relevant for reporters covering the team.
Check out the board of directors. Yes, it's that Bing Crosby. He was a part-owner of the Pirates from 1946 until his death shortly after the 1977 season. Among other things, Crosby was responsible for the Pirates signing pitcher Vern Law.
Here are the home numbers for each team public relations director.
This list includes the fans' vote of Greatest Pirates ever, as voted in 1969. Gus Suhr over Willie Stargell really surprised me. Going into '69 Stargell was already a two-time all-star with five straight 20-HR seasons, and he added another that year, hitting .307 with 29 HR and 92 RBI. Suhr played ten years for the Pirates (1930-1939) and did not put up nearly as good numbers, though he did have three 100-RBI seasons.
Where to find the Pirates on the road, and where to find visiting clubs in Pittsburgh.
The only advertising is on the back cover. The illustration style is similar to the front cover, but the players are not wearing Pirates pillbox hats and that is clearly Yankee Stadium in the background.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

1978 Phillies yearbook

As you can probably tell by now this collection was somewhat Phillies-centric. Here's another one.

They were in some of the other publications too, but I found it cool that the credits include future Donruss artist Dick Perez and future Fleer photographer Bob Bartosz. I've interviewed them both for my blog.
The yearbook starts with a month-by-month recap of the 1977 season. The day I was born the Phillies dropped to fourth place as they lost to the Cardinals. They would eventually come back to win the division.
Lots of awesome full-page color photographs of each player on the team.
I thought this was a cool photograph with an angle of Veterans Stadium you don't usually see. Hazelton Day! Jim Lonborg is one of several players on this team that are not often thought of as Phillies - others I would include in that list would be Jay Johnstone, Jim Kaat, and future Mets managers Davey Johnson and Bud Harrelson.
I thought this was interesting - looks like Garry Maddox is on base but not wearing a helmet.
There were only a couple of prospects in this section. One of which was someone I had never heard of. Steve Waterbury pitched in one major league game for the Cardinals in 1976. Despite the hype in this writeup, Waterbury washed out very quickly - he went 5-12 with a 6.73 ERA in AA in 1978 to end his career.
So much great hair in this team photo.
You don't always get to see minor league photos from the 1970s, so here are a few.
Four pages of family photos. I love the 70's looks. A couple of future pro baseball players on this page - Garry Maddox Jr. and Ryan Luzinski.

"Bob Boone and wife Sue with their two handsome sons Brett and Aaron". They spelled Bret's name wrong. I certainly didn't expect to find the 2021 Yankees manager in a 1978 yearbook.

I thought this article about Phillies fans was interesting. Cool photos too. It tells an interesting story I had not heard before - that in Game 3 of the NLCS against the Dodgers, Burt Hooton got so unnerved by the fans' booing that he walked three batters in a row with the bases loaded. I decided to check it out for myself because I thought that would be fun to see. I found the video - the relevant action starts around 21:40. The umpire makes a bad call on what should have been strike three, and Hooton is visibly disgusted with the call, and clearly loses focus at this point, looking at the ump with disgust and waving his arms around after every pitch. Hooton clearly lost it at this point, but it's the ump, not the fans, that were the cause. It even looks like the ump is squeezing Hooton on some of these calls. Tommy Lasorda yells at the ump too. Hooton himself said a week later "I got heated up over what I thought were miscalls and lost confidence in myself." Sure, the fans were loud, but it's clearly the ump and not the fans that messed up Hooton. Oh, by the way, the Dodgers won the game.

Some old scouting reports and photos of the Phillies in their youth.
The back had player stats and some more great photos.

A nice bit on Phillies and the community. Somehow I don't think MLB players would be allowed to bike from Philadelphia to Florida for charity today.
What struck me on this page was the TV schedule. Only 72 games on TV, including just 17 home games. By the time I was following baseball in the mid-80s, all but a couple of games a year were on TV.
Think you have what it takes to be a Phillie? Why not stalk a Phillies scout at their home address.

The only advertising in the book is for Tastykake on the back and inside covers.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

1980 Phillies World Champions souvenir publication

 1980 World Champs. 

I have to admit I did not know a whole lot about the '80 Phillies before reading this. Seems that they were a very exciting team - the NL East race with the Expos went down to the last day of the season, with the Phillies and Expos neck-and-neck until Game 161.

This was followed by a wild NLCS with the Astros. The Phillies won 3 games to 2, and in all three wins were trailing until at least the sixth inning. The ten-inning Game 4 was a particularly wild one, with the highlights including an apparent triple play turned by the Astros that was overturned by the umpires, resulting in a twenty-minute argument, four double plays started by outfielders, and Pete Rose bowling over Bruce Bochy to score the winning run in the tenth.

You get color photos for the World Series highlights. I particularly like the day game shots in Kansas City. The World Series wasn't quite as dramatic as the NLCS, but two of the four Phillies wins in their 6-game triumph came in games where they trailed in the 8th.

The clincher! I do remember seeing highlights of Pete Rose catching a pop-up that was muffed by Bob Boone in the ninth inning.

There were several pages of photos from the parade and celebration in Philadelphia.

Woolworth sighting! Also Potamkin which is a big car dealership chain in NJ/NY/PA.

The last section has some nice photos accompanying the records set in this World Series, including several regarding how much money was brought in.