Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Featured autograph - Tony Phillips

I don't know if the 2011 version of the Cleveland Indians are going to be a first-half wonder or if they are going to continue to stick around the top of the AL Central - I compare the Indians team to the 1995 Angels, which finished the season 78-67 in the AL West.

After not really knowing what you are going to get from the Angels in previous years - the team started to come together in 1995 with a mix of some young talent and older veterans.

The 1995 Angels had traded for Tony Phillips early that season
- while the Angels lost an undersized but gritty outfielder in Chad Curtis, Phillips was the Angels' lightning rod at the top of the lineup.

While the Angels ultimately suffered a late-season collapse that was painful to watch - Phillips played in 139 games for the 1995 Angels he slugged 26 home runs, walked 113 times, scored 119 times and had a .394 on-base percentage.

After spending the 1996 season with the Chicago White Sox, Phillips was picked back up by the Angels during the 1997 season - he would end his final Halos stint under dubious circumstances after being arrested for trying to buy some free base cocaine.

Phillips threw out the first pitch before Monday's Angels-Oakland A's game and I was able to get his autograph [on the 1995 Fleer Flair pictured] - after he visited with players / coaches on the field during batting practice.

I got him on a second Angels card [1996 Topps] - when he actually made his official appearance to sign autographs on the concourse behind the rocks in center field.

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