A co-worker of mine was recently ordered by his mom to do something with the old baseball cards which were still cluttering up the house. As such, the next day he came by my office and dropped off a handful of early 80's Topps Cardinals' cards. There were lots of familiar names like Ozzie Smith, Bruce Sutter, George Hendick, and then...this guy:
A couple of things: First, you can search far and wide but you'll never find a late 70's or early 80's Topps baseball card which is centered correctly. It's a fact of life. I have three 1979 Topps Ozzie Smith rookies and they all look like he's about to fall off the card.
Second, I consider myself a pretty decent Cardinals historian, and I even know a lot of the commoners who wore the birds on the bat before my lifetime. So with that out of the way, who in god's name is Mike Phillips? Granted it's a common name and it's not as if he's an active player but even Google is going to make me work for this one.
Looking at fail-safe Baseball-Reference, Mike Phillips actually played over ten seasons in MLB and appeared in 231 games with the Cardinals from 1977 through 1980. He was only worth 0.3 bWAR during this span (0.8 for his career in 1,886 plate appearances), and I couldn't uncover anything he did all that notable while with the Cardinals. However, on June 25, 1976, while with the Mets he hit for the cycle against the Cubs. I know the cycle is a rather arbitrary accomplishment but when the Cubs finish with 130 wins in 2016 I'm going to remember that good ole Mike Phillips and his filthy batting glove once owned them in the 70's and I'm going to smile.
If you have any Mike Phillips memories that you'd like to share in the comments section I encourage you to please do so.
Here's what happened at VEB on Monday:
- Step aside King K. Rool (sorry, Donkey Kong Country is the last video game I played with any sort of obsession), the Final Boss has arrived. Seung-Hwan Oh officially signed with the Cardinals on Monday for one year with a team option for the second year. Craig Edwards broke down the deal and what it means for the Cardinals' bullpen.
- Joe Schwarz took at look at Oh's pitching repertoire as only Joe can. He brought up an interesting point that, similar to the Mike Leake signing, Oh raises the pitching staff's floor rather than the ceiling and when it comes to building a bullpen I'm more than fine with that.
- Lil Scooter compiled a few videos of Oh pitching overseas so be sure to check out the Final Boss in action. And for what it's worth, it's not "Final Boss" but the Final Boss. Makes all the difference.
- Here you can read Red Baron's scouting profile of projected third string catcher Mike Ohlman. It's informative as always.
Hacking Scandal (sigh)
- Lastly, I wondered how the likely pending punishment for the Cardinals on account of the hacking scandal could impact their offseason plans.
A Tweet I liked
Presumably Oh's nickname will be "The Penultimate Boss" when he's a setup guy for Rosenthal.— bgh (@b_g_h) January 10, 2016