this post covers the 1980 philadelphia phillies and cards numbered 191 to 197 in the set. here are the fronts:
what team is this?: the 1980 world champion philadelphia phillies
why this team?: this was the first philadelphia baseball team to win a world series championship. ever. and the last of the 'original' sixteen franchises that were in existence when the world series began in 1903. they were 91-71 in the regular season (winning the national league east by one game over the montreal expos). they beat the houston astros in the nl championship series 3 games to 2, and won the world series by beating the kansas city royals in six games.
which players are featured?: bake mcbride, bob boone, dickie noles, manny trillo, mike schmidt, sparky lyle, and steve carlton.
why these players?: we've got the league mvp, the league cy young award winner, and five other guys. let's break it down.
bake mcbride was the phillies' regualar right fielder in 1980, the final season in which he would be a regular in the big leagues. mcbride hit .309 with a career high 87 rbi in the regular season, and then hit .304 with a home run and 5 rbi in the world series, doing most of his damage in the first two games of the fall classic.
bob boone's 1980 season is probably best remembered as the year that he dropped frank white's pop up, only to have it caught by pete rose near the first base dugout. that play occurred in the 8th inning of the decisive sixth game of the world series. during the regular season, boone (who had won two straight gold gloves coming in to the 1980 season) pretty much matched his offensive totals from 1979, although his batting average dropped by almost 60 points. he caught all 11 postseason games for the phillies, including four extra inning games, missing only one inning in the nlcs. boone hit .412 in the world series with 2 doubles and 4 rbi.
dickie noles was in his second big league season in 1980, in which he appeared in 48 games, 45 of them in relief. he had a record of 1-4 with 6 saves during the regular season, and made two scoreless relief appearances in the nlcs against the astros. in the world series, he made just one appearance, as he was called into relief in game 4 after starter larry christenson got knocked around by the royals. he gave up just one run (a solo home run by willie mays aikens) and struck out six in his 4.2 innings of work, but his appearance is best remembered for one pitch that he made to george brett. as the back of his 'memorable moments' card attests, noles threw a brushback pitch to brett in the fourth inning with the phillies down 5-1. although the phillies lost the game and the series was tied at two games apiece, some feel that noles' pitch was a turning point in the series. me, i'm not so sure, but the phillies wound up winning so i guess they can see it however they want.
manny trillo won a silver slugger award as the phillies' second baseman in 1980. he hit .292 and scored a career high 68 runs in 141 games that year. trillo hit .381 in the nlcs against the astros, but the royals held him to a .217 batting average in the world series.
mike schmidt set career highs in home runs (48) and rbi (121), and led the league in both of those triple crown categories - the first of four times that he would do so in his career. as a result, he earned the national league mvp award, as well as the gold glove and silver slugger awards, and he was voted to start the all-star game (although he missed the game with an injury). his 48 home runs were the most ever by a third baseman, and he hit his last two of the season when it mattered most - in a division-deciding series with the second place expos. schmidt hit 2 more home runs with 7 rbi in the world series, and was named the mvp of the fall classic.
sparky lyle was acquired by the phillies in september of 1980. luckily for kevin saucier, the deal was for a player to be named later, so he was able to pitch in the world series and get a ring before he became a texas ranger in november. as for lyle, he made 10 appearances for the phillies down the stretch, posting an era of 1.93 with two saves, but was ineligible for the postseason due to his late arrival in philly.
steve carlton was 24-9 in 38 starts during the regular season, with a 2.34 era. he led the league in wins and strikeouts (286), and was second to don sutton in era. still, his cy young award was not unanimous, as one voter put jerry reuss at the top of the ballot. carlton was named to the all-star team, but did not pitch in the game. i always found it odd that carlton's 1981 topps card featured the all-star banner, when it was jr richard who started the game for the national league. anyway, carlton made 2 starts in each the nlcs and the world series. the phillies won each of those games, and carlton earned the victory in three of them, including games 2 and 6 of the fall classic.
the stadium on the back is...?: veterans stadium. home to the phillies from 1971 through 2003.
did upper deck get it right?: with pete rose being ineligible, the only regulars not included in the set are larry bowa, greg luzinski, and garry maddox. and, i would suggest that bob boone is as deserving as any of those three to be included, so i think upper deck did ok with their player selection. besides, boone will show up later with the 1986 california angels. as far as pitchers go, dick ruthven would have been a good choice, but i don't have much of a problem with dickie noles. tug mcgraw would have been an obvious choice, but he passed away in january of 2004 - i assume prior to the finalization of the set checklist. kudos to upper deck for not giving us a tim mccarver card just because he was already part of the set. mccarver played in only a handful of games for the phillies after being signed to a contract in september of 1980, and did not appear in the postseason.
regarding the photos, the uniforms are all correct (as is steve carlton's perm) as far as what the phillies were sporting in 1980, although i would guess that the boone photo is from sometime earlier in the 1970's.
is this team timeless?: yes.