Up for bid is...
This week's spotlight collectible is a vintage Phillies logo ball signed by 18 members of the 1975 team. In many ways the 1975 Phillies with a 86-76 record were (at the time) a disappointment after finishing in second place, and compared to the teams that succeeded them ('76, '77 and '78 NL Eastern Division Champions, '80 WS Champions) they were, er, less memorable. Starring two future Hall of Famers in Steve Carlton and Mike Schmidt, and stars such as Dick Allen, Greg Luzinski, Larry Bowa and Dave Cash these Phillies were definitely "on their way." While many fans will point to 1976 as the pivotal season for this core group of players - it was during the 1975 season that those players took on Dave Cash's "Yes We Can" attitude and began their assent.
As I have mentioned before, I am always on the look out for partially signed team balls that can be filled out with additional living team members. They are great because they take some of the work (and expense) out of collecting a team ball. I hit TTM (through-the-mail) pretty hard during the offseason, and love sending out team balls to get signed. It's a good way to get free autographs, and a ball like this would make a great project for November - March. When considering a partially signed team ball purchase I make a mental pro/con list. Here are my thoughts on this item:
- There are 18 total signatures - that is a real good start
- One of those signatures belongs to Hall of Famer Steve Carlton - $40 savings
- Five of those signatures belong to deceased members of the team (Cox, Oates, Beringer, Twitchell and Hoerner) - I would never get another chance to get these guys if I started from scratch (obviously)
- Condition looks good, signatures look strong
- Notable team because of the things I mentioned above
- Good TTM stats for members of this team on Sports Collectors Net, so there is an opportunity to add to the existing base
- Of the 18 signatures, the ball does not currently have any of the following key ones:
- Danny Ozark - MGR (deceased)
- Mike Schmidt - HOF - $60-70 at a show
- Dick Allen - $40-50 at a show
- Tug McGraw - deceased
- The cost - considering the omissions listed in the first con, I would never be able to get the "full" team to sign (and hate not having the manager on a ball) - and it would cost at least an additional $100 to add Schmidt and Allen (must haves).
- It would probably be worth a chance to contact the seller and offer $50; that is more along the lines of a "fair price" for this ball.
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