Collectible of the Week: Early Bird Gift - Dick Perez, 2009 World Series Lithograph

The Phillies don't have any problem selling tickets these days, but for most of the 80s and 90s they searched for ways to get season ticket holders, and to encourage those customers to pay for their tickets as early as possible.  For years the team has employed sports artist Dick Perez to create unique, and appealing "early bird" lithographs for this purpose.  While Phillies fans are most familiar with Perez's work from 1983 Nostalgia Postcards and Pride of the Phillies posters he is recognizable to sports fans across the country and his artwork graces the walls of the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY and the Hall of Fame Club at Citizens Bank Park.

Over the years Perez has painted numerous Phillies stars for the early bird gift lithographs - Cole Hamels, Mike Lieberthal, and most recently 2010 Cy Young Award Winner Roy Halladay.  This week's collectible discussion will focus on the 2010 offering which depicted the team announcements before Game 3 of the 2009 World Series.  The Series switched back to Philadelphia on Halloween Night - October 31, 2009 and this lithograph shows Phillies manager, Charlie Manuel shaking hands with Yankees skipper Joe Girardi.  The 18"x25" poster is individually numbered XXXX/1200 and signed in pencil by Perez.

I had not seen one of these lithographs until last spring and picked it up for $20 on eBay, but recently saw a few pop-up over the past two weeks.  I have started getting my poster signed by members of the 2009 NL Champions - and have received a lot of good comments from fellow collectors at either CBP or  the card shows when I get it signed.  Be on the look-out for these - a great addition to any Phillies room.