Phanatic of the Month Bobbles Are Plentiful

Photo via Philly Chit Chat

Photo via Philly Chit Chat

The third series of the over-sized, "Phanatic of the Month" bobble heads is in full swing. Maybe you're aware, maybe you're not...

This third edition has successfully evolved the series from the themes of the past few years, finding fresh poses that have kept it interesting for collectors. So far we have seen Phoebe caring for an infant Phanatic, a weight-lifting Phanatic and tomorrow (10/1/16) the latest bobble will be released with a design celebrating the Phillies 1980 World Series championship.

Although the bobbles have been well received by the hard-core collectors, their hefty $75 price tag (a $25 increase over the 2nd Series) has kept them from crossing over as a must-buy for the casual fans. On a recent visit to the Citizens Bank Park Majestic Store I saw the evidence of this failure: a large inventory of previous month's bobbles stacked against the wall.  I was surprised Merchandising Director Scott Brandreth put himself in this position again.  After all, he cited the increased production run from 100 to 1,000 each month as the key contributor to buyer apathy - the scarcity could no longer command the premium price tag...eventually leading the team to sell remaining inventory for as low as $10 apiece.  Yet, here it is - 150 bobbles each month at an even higher retail price.

I really appreciate the series, and am pulling for it to be successful.  I know it has to be profitable to continue in the coming years.  But, $75 is too much for me to handle, so I'll sit on the sidelines until they start getting serious about moving inventory...

Update: The third series has a production run of 150, not the previously stated 1,000.  Also, I received some additional information related to pricing. The $25 increase was to bring the Phillies into alignment with other team's mascot series bobble heads.  Evidently they were "grandfathered" in at $50 for Series 2.

Physical Tickets Nearing Extinction

In the latest blow to the niche, ticket collecting market,  it was reported earlier this week the Phillies are urging season ticket holders to opt into electronic tickets when (if) they renew for 2015.  In another two or three years, it may not be an option - which sucks.  

Electronic tickets have become commonplace in professional sports over the past few years - with the Eagles switching over for last season's playoff game.  I've accepted that you no longer need to go to the stadium box office to buy tickets, regularly leveraging the "print at home option" myself.  And, while I agree with John Weber, Phillies VP of Ticket Sales and Operations, that virtual tickets are immensely convenient, I can't help but feel like something about the experience is being lost. 

I've questioned what is, and what is not a collectible in the past - but, as far as I'm concerned nothing rekindles memories of an event, or says "I was there" like a used ticket stub.  In the new virtual world we would never have to worry about forgetting our tickets back at the house - but, we would also not have Opening Day, No-Hitter or World Series keepsakes.  In the new world there would be no "phantom" series tickets to collect, or artwork to admire, display or have autographed.  For a little while longer,  as a ticket collector, I'll opt-out of the new world...

Memories from Millwood's No-Hitter

On April 27, 2003, Kevin Millwood pitched his way into Phillies history with a no-hitter at Veterans Stadium.  As Sunday Game Plan ticket holders, I was there with my dad to see it all unfold.  We have been to dozens of games together over the years, and experienced some pretty cool things - but, this game was one of the best.

A lot of people hunted down the enterprising program vendors who took stacks of booklets to sell on the main concourse.  The program that day had Jim Thome on the cover - and unfortunately, it was generic and not even specific to the Phillies series against the Giants.  Because of this, "no-hitter programs" are really not available.  Instead Phillies collectors tend to scoop up game tickets or autographs on a no-hitter celebration photo (like I did).   

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...

Phillies TTM: Who's Signing

I don't generally do themes for these TTM posts, but based on recent successes, one jumped out at me: Guys With Short Phillies Careers, and Long TTM Response Times.  OK, maybe it needs a little work, but you get the idea.  Here are some recent responses from guys who have great success track records...

Doug Jones


Jones stepped in to close for the Phils after Mitch Williams was run out of town... er, moved to Houston following the 1993 season. His short career in red pinstripes was successful, as he saved 27 games and earned a spot on the NL All-Star team.  He is a good signer through the mail, but does tend to build up a stack before responding, so be prepared to wait if you write...

129 East Navilla Place  Covina, CA 91723

Bruce Chen

After coming to the Phillies in the Andy Ashby trade, Chen pitched in parts of the 2000 and 2001 seasons.  Throughout his career he has been a reliable signer in care of his home club.  The rash of returns he recently registered were sent during the season.  Keep an eye on where he lands this off-season, and try him in camp again next Spring.

Photo via

Photo via

Larry McWilliams

I can vividly remember seeing McWilliams pitch for the Phils during the 1989 season - and continued mimicking the odd delivery in our driveway games the rest of the summer.  (Sounds like the makings of a nice little request letter...) Similar to Jones and Chen, he seems to wait until he has a nice pile, but generally comes through with a successful request...

4102 Beckley Court  Colleyville, TX 76034

For more Phillies TTM addresses, check out our TTM database...

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

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

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

Philly Show Finds

After spending anytime on my blog, you'll come to realize I am a true collector of paper!  Posters, programs, photos, cards... I just can't fight the urge to look (and often buy).  On top of that, I love collecting unique items from the 1970s and 1980s that represent a "point in time".  With that in mind, here are a few finds from the Philly Show...

Bullies-era Flyers Coloring Book


Anything "Bullies" is collectible, but this children's activity book stood out on the dealer's table.  Graphics on the cover and in the book are awesome - and totally '70s.  I have no idea whether or not it is rare, but I haven't seen it on ebay before.  Either way, very cool item.

Tug McGraw 40th Birthday Party Memorabilia

A "new to me" piece of memorabilia related to The Tugger's 40th birthday held at Veterans Stadium August 30, 1984.  The piece most recognized from the event is the Dick Perez print (surrounded by all of Tug's Topps cards) - the first of several SGAs with this design.  This is a simple folded card, measuring 12" high and printed on card stock.  It reads like an invitation to the party.  







Tug McGraw Promotional Card

Another item that I had not previously seen - a 5"x7" promotional card featuring a drawn image of former Phillies relief pitcher, Tug McGraw.  While these have an old feel, I believe they are probably from the 1990s - used at McGraw personal appearances.  The dealer told me he had bought these, along with the birthday card (above) and a few other items as part of a large collection.  Cool, unique - that just about sums up Tug...


2013 Phillies Winter Sale Recap

Saturday was the annual Phillies Holiday Sale at Citizens Bank Park.  Billed as an "all-day shopping event", the Sale is good opportunity to buy some cheap holiday gifts.  I've been going with my brother since the Phillies moved to CBP in 2004, but from talking to some of the more senior collectors in line, it is a tradition that reaches back to the mid-1980s.

It was another less-than-desirable list of game used jersey options, but I didn't let that get me down.  Here is the quick rundown of my purchases:

Jim Thome Signed Photo Frame


Thought this was a cool item - plastic frame that is perfect to hold either the photo card I have in there now, or a 4"x6" photo.  On the bottom is an autograph in blue Sharpie.  From reading online, frames signed by Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley were available later in the day.  Each were $5.

Placido Polanco Game-Used Alternate Helmet


I have a few red helmets, but for some reason, they never seem to put out the alternate ones.  For the past three years I have said, 'My day will be made if f I get an alternate helmet."  Well, needless to say, my day was made with this purchase.  It has a lot of evident game use, and unlike my red helmets, still has the padding intact.

Placido Polanco "Game-Used" TBTC Hat


No, I'm not some Placido Polanco super-fan, just someone who can't pass up a good deal.  This hat was from the Phillies 2011 Turn Back the Clock game when they dressed in 1984 style uniforms.  Though the MLB Authentication listing classifies this as game-used, P.P. did not play in the game - so, I'll call it "kinda game used."  It is also autographed.  For $20, it was a decent pickup...

Programs, etc.

Some of the best stuff available at the sale is found in the media room.  Here is the abbreviated version:

  • Bought one of each 2013 program. For $1 each, this are a low-guilt purchase.  
  • Autographed photo cards.  There was less variety (and notability) than in the selection offered last season - nothing too special to report.
  • One of the more interesting things I got were the 12"x18" vinyl flags of various players (pictured left). Thought I would keep them as possible autograph pieces in the future.  $1 and $2 each.

"Cliff Lee"? Game Issued Shoes


When we go in for the Sale, my brother and I always remind each other to "look for the unusual."  Shoes fit squarely in that category.  This season there was a whole table full of 'em.  I leapt when the ballgirl reading through the numbers written on the shoes said, "33."  Authentication only specifies game issued -  so, no "official" link to Cliff Lee, but it's fun to imagine they were his, anyway...

Phillies TTM: Who's Signing

It has been a week or two, but with a little time on my hands thought I could check in on the TTM world...

Pete Rose 

Pete Rose signed card

Pete Rose signed card

Charlie Hustle is a hot/cold TTM signer.  It has been about a year and a half since he was actively signing, but it seems like the door is open again.  $35 fee for balls and flats 8x10 and smaller.  If you need him on any projects, it's a great opportunity to add for a reduced price.  Don't delay...

If you write: c/o Hit King, Inc  5668 Ness Avenue  Las Vegas, NV 89118

Bill Giles

Here is an interesting one... I have never gotten into collecting the autographs of front office members, but few in Phillies history have played as important role as Giles.  Whether you like him or not, his influence has been felt in Philly for decades.  If you're into the "unique", you might want to drop him a line.

If you write: c/o The Phillies  Citizens Bank Park  One Citizens Bank Way Philadelphia, PA 19148

Charles Hudson signed card

Charles Hudson signed card

Charles Hudson

If this were 1983, we would be talking about the promising future of young fireballer, Charles Hudson.  Of course, it's 30 years later, so... I have successfully written to Hudson in the past at this address, and will likely be sending to him again (soon) to continue work on my 1983 team photo.  

If you write: P.O. Box 368  Oakwood, TX 75855

For more Phillies TTM addresses, check out our TTM database...

Ryne Sandberg Rookie Autograph

I did not do any bidding in Wednesday night's internet sale by Hunt Auctions, but I did scroll through the lots.  One item in particular, lot # 1126 - "1981 Phillies, Partial Team Ball," caught my eye.  It wasn't an extremely rare or valuable piece, but rather, it was interesting because it showed how current Phillies Manager, Ryne Sandberg signed his name as a rookie.

Check out the side by side of then and now:

Comparison of Ryne Sandberg autographs: 1981 vs. 2013

Comparison of Ryne Sandberg autographs: 1981 vs. 2013

Veterans Stadium Seat Tree Ornaments

Vet Stadium Seat Ornament

Vet Stadium Seat Ornament

While browsing the internet yesterday, I stumbled across a very cool Veterans Stadium-themed collectible: Vet Stadium seat Christmas ornaments.  

Growing up going to Phillies and Eagles games at The Vet during the late-80s/early-90s, made me love the place.  I would often defend it to outsiders as "a dump (yes), but our dump."   And when they started selling it off during the Winter of 2003, I was first in line to pick up a pair of blue seats.  Since then I have bought a few pieces here and there - always on the lookout for new additions.  What I've learned is it doesn't have to be expensive to be a quality collectible.

These blue, Vet Stadium seat ornaments offered by Cardz and Starz (Vineland, NJ) approximately measure 2"x2"have all the makings of a good value pickup.  At a price of three ornaments for $15, you could buy a set and split them up as nice holiday gifts for other Philly sports fans - or keep them all for yourself (guilt free).  One thing is sure, you won't find too many others who have this decoration adorning their tree.

Purchasing details:

  • Three (3) ornaments for $15 (Free shipping) 
  • Order by emailing:
  • They also have a limited number of Camden Yards and Busch Stadium seat ornaments available
  • PayPal payment is being accepted, as well check or money order. *Note: If paying by PayPal, you will be charged $2 additional for processing.





Hunt Auctions - November Live Auction Preview

Online bidding for Hunt Auctions', 10th Annual Louisville Slugger Museum Live Auction ends tomorrow night.  The marquee lots have been reserved for Hall of Famer, Bill Mazeroski's personal collection, but as with previous editions, this year's event puts many desirable Phillies-themed items on the block.  I have already shared a few on Facebook this week, but here are a couple more to keep your eye on... 

Carlos Ruiz, 2010 Alternate Home Jersey

Game Used Carlos Ruiz Jersey

Game Used Carlos Ruiz Jersey

This is an underperforming beauty.  I'm not sure whether it is Ruiz's tenuous standing as a Phillie, or if the shine has truly rubbed off this former All Star, but there doesn't seem to be much interest in this log, to-date.  At this point, it would take a lot for the jersey to climb back into the pre-auction range of $400-600.  To be fair, it was probably a stretch to begin with...

Current bid: $138

Link to the lot


1964 Phillies Pin Display

"Go!  Phillies Go!"

As a collector of 1964 Phillies I've been familiar with these pins for years - often seeing them at flea markets or card shows.  The bold, blue font screaming 1960s camp, and of course, the classic logo make it a very desirable (and, low-cost) collectible. What makes pieces like this so attractive is the fact that they aren't supposed to be around anymore.  This cardboard store display would look great in any 1960s-era collection. 

Current bid:  $80

Link to the lot

1964 Phillies Pin Store Display

1964 Phillies Pin Store Display

Bobby Wine, 1980 Game Uniform

Bobby Wine, 1980 Game Uniform

Bobby Wine, 1980 Road Uniform

Maz isn't the only former player to be in the mood to clean out his closet - joining him is long time Phillie, Bobby Wine, whose own personal collection is up for bid.  There are several items from "The Wine Collection" worth mentioning, but I chose this one because of the significance the uniform has to the Phillies' 1980 Championship season.  The deep blue of this "powder blue" uniform would look awesome on display, and is still well within the pre-auction range $1,500-2000.  Some lucky collector may get a deal out of it...

Current Bid: $720

Link to the lot

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!

Success! Finally, an AFL TTM Return...

Ken Giles signed photo

Ken Giles signed photo

Last month I wrote about the endless opportunities that the Arizona Fall League affords TTMers.  Shortly after publishing the post I sent requests out to several Phillies minor leaguers prospects participating in the League.  

With AFL play winding down, and no returns to my name, I had just about written this year off as a loss.  All that changed today as I finally logged my first success - fireballer, Ken Giles.   Though he is not widely included in Phillies top prospect lists, Giles opened a lot of eyes this Fall - much like Cody Asche did last year...

Weekend Show Report

The Phillies Collector booth at the Granite Run Mall

The Phillies Collector booth at the Granite Run Mall


Where to begin? 

Well, it's been a busy seven days as I have worked toward launching the new site.  Although it's been a work-in-progress over the past month or so, I was under the gun to have "the new, and improved" Phillies Collector site looking good for the big "relaunch" on Saturday.  

The Poppel Show was a big day for me - and for the first time, put me on the other side of the table, as a vendor.  I was there to promote The Phillies Collector site, and the services it offers: A listing of upcoming Philly sports signings, an ever-growing list of TTM addresses and of course, the blog.  I was pleased to meet so many current readers, and a number of potential new ones, too.

Though much of my time was spent behind the table, it wasn't all work on Saturday.  I also had an opportunity to add to a few current autograph projects, too... 

Dave Hollins - 1993 Team Ball

1993 Phillies Team Ball

1993 Phillies Team Ball


Though he has been away for a year, or two, Hollins is no stranger to the Poppel Show.  Previously I had him sign my 1993 team poster, and the championship celebration photo.  I would have had him sign the team ball, too - but I forgot it at home!  I didn't leave it this time, and asked him to squeeze a signature in under Pete Incaviglia.


Mitch Williams - 1993 Team Celebration Photo

This is one of my favorite autograph projects.  If you remember back a few months, I really filled it out during Alumni Weekend.  Mitchy Poo's autograph was a little "fatter" than I would have hoped for - but, didn't bring my own silver pen, and was at the mercy of the promoter.  Immediately after signing it, Williams threw the pen over his shoulder and said, "We need another one!" 


Pedro Feliz - 2009 World Series Team Ball

2009 Phillies Team Ball

2009 Phillies Team Ball

I didn't pony up to add Brett Myers to my 2008 ball, and though I thought it was overpriced, figured I should take the opportunity to add Feliz to my 2009 ball.  I haven't focused as much attention on this ball recently, but Pedro was a key player, and I would have eventually paid for him somewhere along the line...