Scott Mathieson: On The Comeback Trail

August 12, 2009

In June 2006, the Phillies called up one of their top pitching prospects, a flamethrowing 22 year-old righthander named Scott Mathieson, to make a few spot starts for an ailing rotation.  He made three starts and one relief appearance, compiling an 0-2 record and a 5.48 ERA before being sent back down to the minors.  He was recalled in August and made four more starts, even recording his first major league win.  Then on September 2, he started the second game of a doubleheader.  On his sixth pitch of the evening, he felt a pop in his right elbow, an injury which required Tommy John surgery.

2005 Bowman Chrome Draft #126 Scott Mathieson


After recovering from his Tommy John surgery, Mathieson was able to pitch in 7 minor league games during the 2007 season.  Then he heard another pop.  Doctors misdiagnosed Mathieson’s second injury and recommended nerve surgery.  In early 2008, after attempting to rehab from the nerve surgery, he underwent his second Tommy John surgery.  After another long and arduous recovery, Mathieson stepped back on the field for the Gulf Coast League Phillies on June 25, 2009.  Since then, Mathieson has progressed to single A Clearwater and then to double A Reading. Over the three levels, Mathieson has compiled a 2-0 record, a 0.45 ERA, and 21 strike outs over 20 relief innings.  He has also been lighting up the radar gun at 98 miles per hour.  With all his recent success, Mathieson has lined himself up for a chance to help an injured Phillies bullpen when September callups are made.  Here’s hoping that this young man, who has endured so much in pursuit of his dream, continues his return to form.  For more information on Mathieson, check out these recent articles.


Fun With ’80s Oddballs

August 11, 2009

A few days ago a set of 47 1985 Phillies Tastykake cards arrived at my house, trapped in the same shrink wrap that has housed them for the last 24 years.  I believe these sets were a stadium giveaway at some point during the season. Tastykake and the Phillies teamed up for a set each year from 1982 through 1990.  Nowadays, they only team up to unleash commercials with the very catchy “Nothing goes better with Phillies baseball than Tastykake” song featuring the Phanatic and a giant butterscotch krimpet dancing around Citizens Bank Park.

When I set the cards free, I found a treasure trove of extreme close-ups.  I wonder what these guys were thinking about when these shots were taken?

1985 Phillies Tastykake #16 John Denny

scan0016John Denny still looks pretty happy about his 1983 NL Cy Young Award.

1985 Phillies Tastykake #21 Jerry Koosman

scan0017Jerry Koosman must have been joking around with Mike Schmidt about who has the more expensive rookie card.

1985 Phillies Tastykake #38 Garry Maddox

scan0019Garry Maddox is probably thinking about barbeque cook-offs.

1985 Phillies Tastykake #30 Steve Jeltz

scan0018Steve Jeltz hopes his Jheri curl looks good.

1985 Phillies Tastykake #8 Manager and Coaches

scan0013The manager and coaches thought this picture had a chance to look somewhat natural.  Nope.

1985 Phillies Tastykake #11 Infielders

scan0015Schmidt obviously wanted to show off his guns.  Look at those forearms!

1985 Phillies Tastykake #42 Future Phillies: Schu/James

scan0020This is the only one of the six future Phillies cards to feature two players who would eventually stick in the majors.  Of the other 10 players featured, I only recognize the names Mike Maddux and Rich Surhoff, both of whom are part of the Phillies’ long history of picking the wrong brother.

1985 Phillies Tastykake #10 Catchers


1985 Phillies Tastykake #24 Darren Daulton

scan0012These two cards are the real reason that I bought this set.  These two cards fill two early holes in my Daulton collection.  Now I only need his 1985 Portland Beavers minor league card to complete the cards from his pre-major league days.  These two cards bring me up to 189 Darren Daulton cards.

I really like this set, enough that I am thinking about purchasing another set to send out for TTMs.  The cards are huge and I think they would look great with a nice black sharpie.  One of my problems with TTM is that sometimes the card is too small for a good signature.  These definitely do not have that problem.  Check out Mike Schmidt next to Burrell’s 2009 OPC card:

scan0022The TTM project probably won’t happen for awhile, so now I just need a way to store these giant things.

C’Mon Topps!

August 5, 2009

Really?  Topps is back to its lazy picture selection.  Check out this auction for the Pat Burrell Topps Chrome Gold Refractor.  Does that picture look familiar at all?  How about now:

2009 Topps Allen & Ginter #334 SP


Burrell has been on the Rays for about 2/3 of the season by now, I would think Topps could have sent a photographer out to a Rays game to snap another picture.  Instead, Topps copped out and decided to use the exact same picture in two consecutive releases.  Absolutely absurd.  I was really looking forward to this release and now I might not buy any at all.  For shame Topps, for shame!

The Push for 1,000 and Trade Me Your Pat Burrells!

August 3, 2009

A few days ago, I received my 975th different Pat Burrell card in the mail.  If you’re familiar with the early days of this blog, you might recognize it.  After almost two months of waiting, this card finally arrived from the guy who purchased the Frank Thomas cards.

2003 Playoff Portraits Materials Bronze #24B 087/100


I have to say that this card is pretty high up on the weirdest cards of the decade list, at least for me.  This is the front, with a nice artistic rendering of a picture of Pat.  The card is textured with brush strokes, to mimic a painting.  None of that is really all that uncommon, but this is:


There’s a jersey bit on this card…on the back.  I don’t get it.  I guess Donruss didn’t want to squish the picture on the front, but it’s not even really worth putting a jersey on this card.  What’s even worse is that there is also an autograph parallel, similar to this card, with the sig on the back in the same cut-out.  What a terrible idea, all in the name of squeezing the jerseys and autographs into the set!  Anyway, that’s card #975 in my Pat Burrell collection.

Now, despite, the blahness of that card, I’m very excited about reaching 975 different cards because it means I’m closing in on the 1,000 card mark.  To get me there a little faster, I’m going to run my very first contest!  I will be updating the 2003-2006 Burrell wantlists over the next few days so that everyone will know exactly which cards I do not have.  Here are the prizes for the contest:

Anyone who sends me a new Pat Burrell card will receive five cards of their favorite player in return, if my collection cooperates.  If I don’t have those cards, I will do my best to find something you will enjoy.

Anyone who sends me a new Pat Burrell serial numbered cards will receive three serial numbered cards of their favorite team (once again, collection willing) plus the five favorite player cards.

Anyone who sends a new jersey or bat or wall or jockstrap will receive two hits of their favorite team plus the serial numbered cards and the base cards of their favorite player.

Anyone who finds a new autograph, will receive one or two autographs plus everything from the relic level prizes.

And the grand prize, which will go to whomever sends me card #1,000, will be everything above plus another autograph from your favorite team.  The grand prize will be awarded regardless of the level of card received.

In Case You Haven’t Seen This Somewhere Else…

August 2, 2009

…Head over to Trader Crack’s Blog for a chance to win a cut signature!  There’s a pretty good chance for an awesome signature.  Good luck to everyone!

2009 Topps Heritage Wantlist

July 25, 2009

Now that I seem to have a few more readers, I’ve decided to update and repost my 2009 Topps Heritage wantlist to see if I can get a little further along.  Also, you can find this and any future wantlists by clicking on the Patsearcher Wantlists Blog over on the right hand column.

Base set: 16, 18, 22, 23, 31, 36, 39, 43, 49, 60, 67, 71, 75, 79, 81, 94, 114, 126, 140, 149, 171, 177, 185, 194, 201, 207, 210, 212, 226, 254, 264, 268, 276, 278, 293, 300, 307, 309, 314, 333, 334, 339, 349, 364, 378, 383, 384, 386, 389, 391, 397, 407, 417, 418, 427, 428, 430, 431, 432, 433, 435, 436, 437, 439, 440, 441, 442, 447, 448, 449, 450, 451, 454, 458, 460, 461, 462, 463, 464, 465, 466, 467, 468, 469, 471, 472, 473, 474, 476, 478, 480, 481, 482, 483, 484, 486, 487, 488, 491, 493, 494, 495, 496, 499, 500

Baseball Flashbacks – 4, 6, 8
Mayo – Pujols, Matsuzaka, Ortiz, Pedroia, Wright, Longoria, Sizemore, Hamilton, Santana, M. Ramirez, Braun, Howard, Lincecum, Guerrero
New Age Performers – 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15
News Flashbacks – 1, 3, 4, 8, 10
Then and Now – 4, 5, 7, 9, 10

Hobby Shop Adventures: Pitchout Sports Cards (Part 1)

July 23, 2009

On a recent trip to the Jersey shore, I returned to the card shop of my youth.  Growing up, my family had a beach house in Avalon, NJ.  Every weekend my mom would give me $10-20 to head over to Pitchout to pick out whatever I wanted.  The shop was only about two blocks away and I spent at least one afternoon a weekend there, looking through cards and talking baseball with the owner.  It was my favorite way to kill a few hours in the early afternoon.

The shop is certainly the smallest card store I’ve ever been in, with standing room for about eight people max.  However, it will always hold a special place in my heart for being the place I really became a collector.  Most importantly for this blog, this shop is most likely the place I purchased my first Pat Burrell card and the place that rekindled my desire to collect last August.  Before last summer, I hadn’t been to Avalon since my family sold our house in 2004 and I hadn’t really collected since 2003.  Last Friday marked only my second trip to the store since I had stopped collecting.  I picked up some great cards, including an oddball Phillies set that I have been looking for FOREVVVVER (Squints-style).  More on that set in part two.  But first, the best thing I found at the shop is my very first Mark Reynolds autograph:

2007 SP Authentic By the Letter Rookie Signatures #116 06/75


Beginning with my enrollment at UVA last year, I have been half-heartedly collecting both Mark Reynolds and Ryan Zimmerman, two famous recent graduates of the UVA baseball program.  Reynolds is having a tremendous year, even if he is on pace to break his own single season strikeout mark of 205, which he set last year.  Reynolds is just hitting his power stride, having already connected for 25 home runs this year after only 28 longballs all of last season.  Reynolds has even attracted the attention of eminent blogger Mario at Wax Heaven.  Reynolds is definitely a player on the rise, and I am proud to call him a fellow Virginia Cavalier, even if it doesn’t appear that he graduated.

Like just about everyone else who has ever commented on the letterman autos, I am not a big fan.  The letter doesn’t even fit inside the opening, and it cramps the signature.  It took me a minute to realize that the autograph faces the opposite way of the words running down the righthand side.  I just don’t really see the point of the letterman if it’s not game used.  Nonetheless, I’m very excited to have found a Reynolds autograph for a reasonable price and I hope to continue to add to my Mark Reynolds collection.  Stay tuned for Part 2 of this edition of Hobby Shop Adventures.