Making Guesses About 2015 SGAs

As teams across the Major Leagues have begun releasing tentative promotional schedules, the Phillies have sat idle.  After stating via their official Twitter account that details on 2015 promotions would be released in December, the team, which will undoubtedly need to use stadium giveaways and theme nights to attract fans to Citizens Bank Park, has gone radio silent.
 
Of course, a lot of things have changed since that November morning: Franchise icon Jimmy Rollins was traded to Los Angeles; their 2014 home run leader Marlon Byrd is now a Red; and, the future of roster staples Cole Hamels and Ryan Howard hang in the balance.  My guess is these situations have caused at least some delay in announcement – and there may have even been situations where planned SGAs were completely scrapped.  One day over the recent holiday season I caught myself daydreaming about how the promos may develop…

  • Cole Hamels (100 Career Wins) Commemorative Ball (Replacing the Rollins Hit Record)
  • Bobble Heads: I think this is the year we see a Domonic Brown bobble… I’ll bet on him and either Ben Revere or Ryne Sandberg serving as another.
  • Cody Asche bat day
  • Chase Utley t-shirt

With notable names scarce, I can also see the Phillies leaning heavily on both the Phanatic and their team logo in additional SGAs.  These could be logo beach towels and backpacks or a Phanatic cereal bowl/spoon set.  Another scenario may be the inclusion of an alumni giveaway.  Though infrequent over the past decade, a John Kruk figurine was handed out in 2013 and Roy Halladay was honored with a second Phillies SGA bobble last summer.  If they were to take this path, we could maybe pencil in a Darren Daulton figurine as a late-season promo.
 
It will be interesting to see how these predictions play out… Hopefully sooner than later, too!

Recent eBay Buys

2009 Clearwater Threshers SGA Bobbles

2009 Clearwater Threshers SGA Bobbles

If you ask my wife, I've been very active on eBay recently... Maybe, it's true.  The stack of broken down boxes waiting for the trash pickup is a little larger than usual.  My excuse: There have just been too many good deals to pass up!  

Actually, though she doesn't understand the idea of "collecting", my wife is generally OK with my often obsessive eBay habits.  In fact, she even exclaimed, "Oh, cute!" when I unpackaged my latest purchases: Three Clearwater Threshers, 2008 World Series Champions SGA bobble heads - Cole Hamels, Jayson Werth and Pat Burrell.  

securedownload.jpeg

These bobble heads were originally scheduled to be handed out at Threshers games over a number of dates during the Summer of 2009.  The full promotion included nine players: Cole Hamels and the regular starting eight from the Phillies Championship team, concluding with a dual bobble of closer Brad Lidge with Carlos Ruiz.  However, the promotion was doomed!  After the first two dates had passed, the Tampa Bay Rays protested that the giveaways infringed on their "territorial rights" and forced its cancellation.  This all means that only the figurines for the first two games were actually handed out as intended (Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley).  

I have been aware of these since 2009, but haven't seen too many come up for a decent price.  It would be interesting to know how they ended up in circulation after the promotion was cancelled.  The three I bought at least get me started toward completing this unusual set.  Guess I have a reason to keep scrolling through the eBay listings now...

Update: I received a message from Brian Fauerbach  on Facebook letting me know that besides the Rollins and Utley that were handed out as planned, the Threshers only ended up ordering bobble heads of Werth, Burrell, Hamels, Victorino and Howard.  Unfortunately, they never produced the dual Ruiz/Lidge  bobble.

January Phanatic of the Month

I busied myself by reading the tweets from Citizens Bank Park this morning as a line, estimated by one buyer at around 60 people, formed early.  Was it another memorabilia sale? Opening Day tickets (wink, wink)?  No, they were waiting for the January Phanatic of the Month Bobble Head to go on sale.  Soon after 10 a.m., my go-to bobble expert, @DrBobblesWorld posted a picture of the prized figurine (at left) to let us bystanders in on the fun.

This month's theme was "New Year's Phanatic" - which on January 2nd, makes sense.  Phanatic is dressed a lot classier than I was on New Year's Eve, complete with top hat.  Interesting features in this month's release is the "New Year's Ball" which has the ability to move up and down a pole and the Phanatic's hands which also move.

Overall, the design is pretty nice again this month, though I have to agree with fellow Phillies collector, Pat Adair (@DroppedStrike3) that "Baby New Year Phanatic" would have been entertaining, too.  There's always next year...

2014 Phanatic MVP Club Figurine Preview

2014 Phanatic MVP Club Bobble Head

2014 Phanatic MVP Club Bobble Head

While the Phillies have been somewhat quiet in terms of improving their on-field product, their Marketing and Sales departments have been working overtime to salvage Citizens Bank Park's reputation as a summertime destination.  For the first time in years, Opening Day six-pack plans were made available in October!  Several promotional dates have been announced, and recently the 2014 Phanatic MVP bobble head design was released on Phillies.com.

These mini-figurines are available for free to members of the Phanatic MVP Club (open to children 14 years and under).  I actually bought a membership for my 5-year old as a way to get him interested in the team.  I'm sure he will be thrilled with this season's design placing the Phanatic in a familiar scene - dancing on top of the Phillies dugout.  It may not be "much" different than just having him stand on a standard base - but, I give the team credit for putting a theme around it.

I recommend this as a gift for young Phillies fans in your life.  Details on how to enroll are available on Phillies.com.

Photo credit to Phillies SGA, shared earlier this week via Twitter.

December Phanatic of the Month Wuz Here

BafMhh4IYAAIbGT.jpg-large.jpeg

I've written with increased urgency each successive month since the Phanatic of the Month releases began last Spring.  Each month it has gotten tougher and tougher to secure the prize as the figurine's popularity (and eBay prices) have swelled.  

Well, December is here and I am left without this month's bobble head.  I have to admit: most of this problem is my own doing.  I punted the store stakeout on Sunday morning in favor of the annual family trip to the Christmas tree farm - choosing to grab on on the secondary market later.  Considering the bobble's sold out within minutes of the door opening, it was likely the best decision I could have made.  Tales from survivors set the scene as a "Black Friday-like" scramble... not my idea of fun.

Phanatic.Orn-280uw.jpg

With figurines tough to come by, it took a full 24-hours before I even saw what one looked like.  Call me a grinch, but the December design didn't really impress me much.  Unlike previous month's creations, this design puts us in familiar territory: the Phanatic in a Santa suit.  Even the inclusion of a Christmas tree has been done before.  Maybe it's more an inditement of the tired "Phanta Claus" theme, and not this particular bobble head - but, I am very indifferent on it.

If time doesn't tame prices on the secondary market, I'll just buy this ornament and call it "December"...

Thanks to fellow collector, Pat Adair for use of the December Phanatic of the Month photo.  Make sure to check out his blog  and give him a follow on Twitter (@DroppedStrike3)...

VSM Sports Card Outlet - Vintage Card and Memorabilia Auction

"New Kid on the Block", VSM Sports Card Outlet in Lancaster will be hosting a live auction at their store on Saturday, November 23rd.  The event is VSM's second auction, and is currently open to internet bidders.  

I spent a little time browsing the listings last night, and was impressed with both the variety of products offered, and the current bid prices.  With several days leading up to the floor bidding, prices are sure to increase - but, there are opportunities to add to your collection without busting the bank.  Here are a few Philadelphia-sports themed items that are available:

Lot# 29: Richie Ashburn, 1952 Bowman

1952 Bowman, Richie Ashburn

1952 Bowman, Richie Ashburn

I am not a big collector of vintage cards, but any baseball fan has to appreciate the design of the 1952 Bowman set.  With a current bid (as of 11/21) of $5, this beauty is very reasonable for either the beginning vintage collector, or someone like me who is looking to upgrade a card in their current collection.  Link to the auction lot.

Lot# 55: 1970s-era Phillies Bobble Head

1970s-era bobble head   

1970s-era bobble head

 

Here is a bobble head that I have in my personal collection. Mine was purchased on ebay - for a lot more than the current bid of $5.  I like this bobble head because of that 1970s campiness.  While my collection is all over the place, I have seriously considered turning my focus purely over to memorabilia from this era.  Link to the auction lot.

Lot# 356: Bobby Clarke Autographed Hockey Stick

Sticking with the "vintage" theme, this lot features a Bobby Clarke signed, full size hockey stick.  While I've personally had to stay away from collecting sticks (lack of space), I have seen some huge collections of them before.  If I was going to add a signed one, it would definitely be a Clarke.  Link to the auction lot.

Bobby Clarke signed stick

Bobby Clarke signed stick

 

If you go:

Location:  Locust Grove Mennonite School - 2257 Old Philadelphia Pk, Rt 340, Lancaster, PA 17602

Time: 10AM

November Phanatic of the Month Bobble Head

November Phanatic of the Month Bobble Head (via @DrBobblesWorld) 

November Phanatic of the Month Bobble Head (via @DrBobblesWorld) 

In what is becoming a monthly phenomenon, the November Phanatic of the Month was released to a frenzied crowd last Friday morning.  And once again, the oversized bobble heads were sold out on the first day! It is getting harder and harder to remember those early Spring months when they were available for a week (or more)...

The "William Bradford" Phanatic, shows the mascot dressed in traditional Pilgrim wear, complete with a Phillies-logo traveler's hat.  While it is not surprising that the Phanatic is shown eating a turkey - it did make me laugh that "a live" Tom is watching him from behind (better watch out little buddy, you may be next!).  Move over cornucopia, a new Thanksgiving Day centerpiece is here!