Another slow day baseball-wise, so I’m continuing my fond (or not-so-fond, whichever the case may be) look back in time. I’ve decided to combine 1974 and 1975 into one entry, to speed things along.
By 1974, the price of the Phillies magazine/program had gone up by a whole dime, from 50 cents to 60 cents. Instead of the fun pop-art cover of 1973, we now have something that looks like it could have been created by the semi-talented child of a member of the Phillies’ front office:
Another change from 1973 is the appearance of an advertisement on the front of the magazine. Really, they couldn’t have squeezed this one inside somewhere? I hope the team squeezed mega-bucks out of Gino’s for such prime placement.
Gone is the Phillies Family Album with its delightfully corny photos. Darn! But looking at the player photos is still fun. Mike Schmidt has now decided to grow the mustache that we all are so familiar with:
Judging by this picture, no one told Jim Lonborg it was photo day. He looks like he has a very bad case of bed-head:
According to the accompanying text, Lonborg suffered one of those classic freak injuries, breaking his toe by stubbing it against a hotel bed in Pittsburgh. A good attorney should be able to find a lawsuit in there somewhere. 🙂
The ’74 Phillies were an improvement over the previous season – they finished in third place in the NL East with a 80-82 record. Four of the five primary starters remained the same from 1973, the only change being Ron Schueler in place of Ken Brett. Seven of the eight position players also remained unchanged, with Dave Cash taking over second base from Denny Doyle.
Things continued to look up in 1975. The Phillies would go 86-76 to finish second in the division. Ticket prices remained unchanged, as well as the price of the magazine/program, which was graced by improved artwork:
The cover still contains advertising, this time for the brand-spankin’ new AMC Pacer, everyone’s favorite “fishbowl” car. Lauded at the time as a “car of the future,” it is, in my opinion, one of the ugliest vehicles ever.
1975 saw the arrival of some new faces, such as outfielders Garry Maddox and Jay Johnstone, catcher Johnny Oates, and relief pitcher Tug McGraw. Dick Allen returned to the Phils after a five-year hiatus with several other teams.
1975 also saw the arrival of the regrettable man-perm to the Phillies. This look was sported by not one, not two, but three members of the squad:
I wonder if they ever look back upon this, and think to themselves, “What was I thinking?”
Bad hairdos aside, things would continue to improve for the Phillies, who would win the NL East the next three seasons (1976-1978). Due to unknown reasons, there were no programs from 1976 or 1977 in my husband’s trove of stuff. So next time I’ll jump ahead to 1978.
Lacking much in the way of compelling blog topics lately, I’ve decided to borrow an idea from Jenn at Phillies Phollowers, and take a look back at the past. Hope you don’t mind, Jenn!
For this first installment, I’ve unearthed a Phillies magazine/program from 1973. The cover is appropriately pop-art-ish:
And look at that bargain price – only 50 cents!
Paging through, it’s interesting to note the various advertisements for tobacco products (Salem/Camel/Winston, Dutch Master/El Producto, Kent/Newport/True, Marlboro) and alcohol (Seagram’s whiskey, Jacquin’s vodka, Cutty Sark, Schmidt’s beer). In contrast, a more recent copy of the magazine/program contained a single ad for Bud Light.
Going to a Phillies game back then was affordable family entertainment, based on these prices:
A family of four would have paid only $17 for box seats! Today, $17 won’t even get one person into the ballpark – the lowest priced seats are $20. Using an online inflation calculator, one can see that the ticket prices have increased much more drastically than just inflation alone would explain. I suppose part of that can be explained by the fact that the Phillies of the early 70’s were not very good, averaging just over 18,000 fans per game, whereas the current Phillies have made it to the playoffs three straight seasons, and averaged over 40,000 fans per game the past two seasons. Good old “supply and demand”.
Another interesting feature is the “Phillies Family Album,” a collection of obviously staged photos on the last few pages. Here’s a sample:
In case it’s hard to see, they are:
Susie and Billy Wilson (what are they looking at? certainly not the camera);
Rosemary and Jim Lonborg (probably hoping that seagull doesn’t poop on them);
Terry and Kay Harmon (bet she’s wondering why the other two wives got first billing and she didn’t).
The Phillies’ rotation that year included Steve Carlton, Wayne Twitchell, Ken Brett, Jim Lonborg, and Dick Ruthven. Position players included Bob Boone, Willie Montanez, Denny Doyle, Larry Bowa, Greg Luzinski, Del Unser, Bill Robinson, and in his first full season, Mike Schmidt.
I’d never seen a photo of Schmidt without his mustache before – it looks a little odd!
Neither Schmidt nor the Phillies fared too well in 1973. Schmidt ended the season with a .196 batting average, and the Phillies finished last in the six-team NL East with a 71-91 record.
In upcoming posts, I’ll take a look at 1974, 1975, 1978, and 1979. Not sure why there is a two year gap – these all came from my husband’s formative years, so I’ll have to ask him what happened to 1976 and 1977.
Today marks the one-year anniversary of this blog. Last year, in a fit of extreme boredom, I decided to unleash my random thoughts upon the unsuspecting MLBlogs community. My very first blog was actually rather cringe-worthy (wherein I mostly complained about the month of February), so I won’t force you to read it again by reposting it here. 🙂
Since then, I’ve electronically “met” a lot of great baseball fans, not only of the Phillies, but other teams as well, even the dreaded Yankees (sorry Jane!). I’m looking forward to another year of great blogging, and I hope you are too!