Happy Reds birthday, Norris Hopper!

Norris Hopper Reds

March 24, 1979

Norris Hopper hit .329 in 307 at-bats in 2007, but injuries knocked him down in 2008 and he underwent Tommy John surgery. He stuck around the minors until 2012, but couldn’t make the climb back to the big leagues after surgery.

New Topps #TBT, and again, I only want one card

Griffey

Ken Griffey is the one I want. He is joined by Derek Jeter, Ichiro Suzuki, Ivan Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, and Yoenis Cespedes. Other than Junior, I really don’t care to add any of the other cards to my collection. Maybe Ichiro, but not really. Griffey is the main focus.

I’m not dropping another $20 for one stinking card. I did that once already, and I’m stuck with some non-Reds that I really don’t need in my house. I tried to eBay them, but I guess I was asking too much. So here’s the deal: if you buy these cards, and want to trade Griffey to me for any two of the 1968-style #TBT cards from about a month ago, e-mail me. I will gladly take it off your hands (and may throw some extra goodies in the trade package for you).

1968 Topps TBT

Sound good? I hope so. Let me know.

Return of the Jedi: The Original Topps Trading Card Series (Volume Three) edited by Gary Gerani (2016)

ROTJ

Return of the Jedi: The Original Topps Trading Card Series (Volume Three)
edited by Gary Gerani
Abrams, 2016

The third installment of Abrams’ Star Wars trading card books focuses on the third (now sixth) movie in the franchise, Return of the Jedi. As with the first two books, product designer Gary Gerani recounts the process of reading the screenplay and selecting photos from LucasFilm’s library for use on the cards. It is clear from his writing that by the time they were readying this product for release, he had become quite a fan of George Lucas’ space opera.

Each Return of the Jedi Topps card is reproduced in this volume, with the front and back of each receiving its own page. This is a change from the Empire Strikes Back book, in which the horizontal cards were shown with the front and back on a single page. Gerani occasionally writes a sentence or two about specific cards, but for the most part they are allowed to stand on their own. As with the previous two volumes, bonus cards are again included with this third volume.

Return of the Jedi

I was not even ten years old when Return of the Jedi was originally released, and while I have a handful of the vintage cards from this series, I never came close to completing the entire set. To have all of the cards presented here in one volume, in a much more affordable format than tracking down the originals, is a fantastic way to relive my formative collecting years without breaking the bank.

Star Wars fans young and old will love all three Original Topps Trading Card Series books.

Learn more about Abrams.

Purchase Return of the Jedi: The Original Topps Trading Card Series (Volume Three) edited by Gary Gerani.

Happy Reds birthday, Lee May!

Lee May The Big Bopper

March 23, 1943

Lee May was nicknamed “The Big Bopper of Birmingham,” a name given to him by teammate Tommy Helms. The Sporting News called him the Rookie of the Year, but Tom Seaver took home the MLB award. May was a popular player in Cincinnati, hitting 147 home runs in seven seasons and being inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in 2006.

Happy Reds birthday, Bo Diaz!

Bo Diaz

March 23, 1953

This is a popular week for catchers to be born! Bo Diaz was an All-Star for the Reds in 1987, hitting .270 with 15 home runs and 82 RBI. He was the National League Player of the Month in July, hitting .351 with 5 homers and 23 RBI. Had he played at that pace the entire season, he would have hit 34 longballs and drove in 156 runs. I remember reading the blurb in the Cincinnati Post about Diaz’s death in 1990 after he was killed while adjusting a satellite dish on his roof. Diaz was inducted into the Venezuelan Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006

Happy Reds birthday, Mike Remlinger!

Remlinger

Mach 23, 1966

Mike Remlinger pitched for the Reds during my baseball dark ages, from 1995-1998. He was a reliever for most of his career, but in Cincinnati he started 44 games, including 28 in 1998. His 8-15 record that year prompted the Reds to send him packing with Bret Boone to Atlanta for Rob Bell, Denny Neagle, and Michael Tucker. He caught fire in 1999 for the Braves, going 10-1 with a 2.37 ERA.

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher (2016)

Princess Diarist Carrie Fisher Star Wars

The Princess Diarist
by Carrie Fisher
Blue Rider Press, 2016

This book sat on my desk for over a month before I decided to finally open it. I purchased it after the author’s passing, and avoided any reviews or even descriptions of what was contained within these pages, other than that it contained the late Carrie Fisher’s found diaries, her “recollection of what happened behind the scenes on one of the most famous film sets of all time, the first Star Wars movie.” If you are not aware of the contents of The Princess Diarist, be warned: there are spoilers ahead. Go back now if you plan to read this book and don’t want to know anything about it (assuming you have not already read other reviews).

Want to continue? Read on… Read the rest of this entry

Happy Reds birthday, Scott Bradley!

Bradley

March 22, 1960

I remember Scott Bradley as a catching for the Mariners, but he played his final five major league games in Cincinnati in 1992. The Reds traded him to the Mets in July, but he didn’t make it out of Tidewater. In 1993, he caught on with Atlanta’s AAA affiliate in Greenville, and in 1994 he found himself in Colorado Springs before calling it a career.

Happy Reds birthday, Cory Lidle!

Cory Lidle Reds

March 22, 1972

Cory Lidle was tragically killed in a plane crash just days after pitching in the ALDS for the Yankees in 2011. In 24 games for the Reds, in 2004, Lidle was 7-10 with a 5.32 ERA.

A 1988 Donruss card I had never seen before?

1988 Donruss Dave Parker

As I was browsing through Dave Parker cards on COMC last night, I came across the above 1988 Donruss card of Parker, which I had never seen before. His regular issue Donruss card shows him with the Reds, but he was traded prior to the season to the Oakland A’s for Jose Rijo. In Donruss’ orange-bordered Baseball’s Best set, he is shown as a member of the A’s. But this was a regular, blue-bordered Donruss card showing the Cobra wearing the green and gold. Needless to say, I was floored.

After some eBay research, I discovered this sheet of cards comes from a book that Donruss issued for the A’s. I also found similar books for the Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, and Cubs. Each appears to have a handful of cards depicting rookies or newly acquired veterans. In addition to Parker, the A’s book also includes 1988 AL Rookie of the Year Walt Weiss. Goose Gossage is shown with the Cubs, Lee Smith and Brady Anderson with the Red Sox, and Jose Cruz with the Yankees. I never could have told you that Cruz wound up his career in New York.

I plan to start a PC of Parker’s non-Reds cards soon (all Reds cards go in my Reds book), but I don’t know if I’ll ever drop the money needed to acquire this particular card. It’s not crazy expensive, but it is 1988 Donruss, and paying more than a few pennies for 1988 Donruss seems like a total rip-off. But the fact that it has existed for almost 30 years without my knowledge—and in 1988, I knew everything there was to know about baseball cards—just blows my mind.

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