Happy Reds birthday, Juan Francisco!

Francisco

June 24, 1987

Juan Francisco hit some towering home runs during his brief career, but they were too few and far between. He hit double digits in longballs twice, but his failure to hit for average hampered his ability to stay on a big league roster.

“Francisco…that’s fun to say!”

Fun Cards: 1988 Topps All-Star Danny Jackson

I have not purchased a single pack of 2017 baseball cards so far. I bought the Reds lot in a series 1 group break, and just placed an order for series 2 and Bunt on eBay last night. A few other 2017 issues have trickled my way via fellow collectors, and I appreciate each kind gesture.

In perusing the series 2 inserts last night, I got an idea pertaining to the 1987-style All-Star cards, which I promptly Tweeted.

By my count, there are only nine actual 1987 All-Stars among the 2017 Topps Series 2 1987 All-Stars: Ryne Sandberg, Rickey Henderson, Don Mattingly, Dave Winfield, Ozzie Smith, George Brett, Cal Ripken, Darryl Strawberry, and Mark McGwire. No Larry Parrish, no Sid Fernandez, no Mark Langston, no Hubie Brooks. But this year is done, mistakes have been made, so why not fix it next year?

I fired up the laptop and hammered out a Danny Jackson in the 1988 Topps All-Star style. DJ didn’t actually play in the game, but he was selected to the team based on a stellar first half.

Jackson 1988 All-Star

But I didn’t stop there. I decided to take a stab at the card back as well…

Jackson 1988 All-Star

What do you think? Each player gets a card in the style of the All-Star subset from any given year. I already have four more “fun cards” created that I will post next week, and I might run with this idea a bit and create cards for some of the other All-Stars from 1988. Anyone in particular you would like to see?

Happy Reds birthday, Dave Bristol!

Bristol

June 23, 1933

Dave Bristol played 10 seasons in the Reds’ minor league system; in five of those seasons, he doubled as his team’s manager. After his playing career ended in 1961, he continued moving up the Reds’ minor league managerial ranks until he finally reached the big league club in 1966. He stayed with the major league Reds for four seasons, and though he finished with a better-than-.500 winning percentage, his team never finished higher than third place. Bristol also managed the Brewers (1970-72), Braves (1976-77), and Giants (1979-80).

Happy Reds birthday, Dave Tomlin!

Tomlin

June 22, 1949

The Reds traded Dave Tomlin to the Padres after the 1973 season for Clay Kirby. He spent four years in San Diego before he was traded to the Rangers for Gaylord Perry. Before h threw a pitch in Texas, though, the Reds purchased his contract and he spent more years in Cincinnati. He later played for the Expos and Pirates.

Happy Reds birthday, Bryan Price!

Price

June 22, 1962

Bryan Price is inexplicably in his fourth season as manager of the Cincinnati Reds. His ineptness as skipper has been on full display since his first season. While he was initially a welcome change to Dusty Baker, it is clear he was not the right option to lead this team. He was a fantastic pitching coach, and I hope when the Reds finally sever ties with him, he is able to fill that role for another team again.

Happy Reds birthday, Jackie Collum!

Collum

June 21, 1927

Jackie Collum showed signs of brilliance early in life. As a 10-year old sixth grader, Collum played second base for Newburg High School in Iowa. His older brothers were pitchers on the team. After they graduated, he moved to the mound, and for a time was the only pitcher on the high school roster. In one double header, Collum pitched and won the first game left-handed, then pitched and won the second game right-handed. In three years with the Reds, Collum went 23-22 with a 3.70 ERA.

I’ve Been Everywhere, Man

Well, not quite everywhere. I love visiting other teams’ ballparks and watching games there. This past weekend, my wife and I took a quick trip to California and caught the Angels hosting the Royals in Anaheim. Unfortunately, the Dodgers were out of town (in Cincinnati, actually), and we only had a few days in the Golden State. I was disappointed Mike Trout was injured, but I saw him play in the All-Star Game a couple years ago in Cincinnati, so it’s all good. We also took a stroll down Santa Monica Pier and spent Saturday at Disneyland. It was a pretty cool weekend.

Angels

Here is a list of all the current MLB teams, when I visited their stadium, and which stadium. I’m hoping to add another team and stadium next summer.

 

Baltimore 2010, 2011 Camden Yards
Boston 1991 Fenway
New York Yankees 1991 old Yankee Stadium
Tampa Bay 2016 Tropicana Field
Toronto
Atlanta
Miami
New York Mets 1991 Shea Stadium
Philadelphia
Washington 2010 Nationals Park
Chicago White Sox 1989, 1992 old Comiskey, new Comiskey
Cleveland 1988 Cleveland Municipal Stadium
Detroit 1988 Tiger Stadium
Kansas City
Minnesota
Chicago Cubs 1989, 1992, 2001 Wrigley Field
Cincinnati many Riverfront, Cinergy, Great American Ballpark
Milwaukee
Pittsburgh 1988, 2011 Three Rivers Stadium, PNC Park
St. Louis 2014 Busch Stadium
Houston
Anaheim 2017 Angels Stadium
Oakland
Seattle
Texas
Arizona
Colorado
Los Angeles
San Diego
San Francisco

Obviously, I need to make a few more trips out west.

Angels

Happy Reds birthday, Gary Varsho!

Varsho

June 20, 1961

Gary Varsho is only pictured on four baseball cards as a Cincinnati Red, and I’m not sure two of those really count. He has two cards in the 1993 Bicycle Playing Cards set, but both show him wearing blacked-out Pirates gear. The only two cards actually showing Varsho in Reds duds are 1993 Kahn’s (which I don’t have) and 1994 Pacific (which I also don’t have).

Happy Reds birthday, Paul Bako!

Bako

June 20, 1972

Paul Bako played in the majors for 12 years, and spent time with 11 different teams. He reached career highs in 2008 with the Reds, his second-to-last team, in games played, plate appearances, runs scored, home runs, and RBI.

Happy Reds birthday, Juan Castro!

Castro

June 20, 1972

Juan Castro played in part of 17 seasons in the majors, including two stints with the Reds (2000-2004 and 2006-2008). He also played for the Dodgers, Twins, Orioles, Dodgers again, Phillies, and Dodgers a third time. He was also a part of the Rockies organization for a few months in 2008, but spent that entire time in Colorado Springs.

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