1980 Topps Cincinnati Reds team set
While putting my Reds cards in binders a few days ago, I realized I had the complete 1980 Topps Cincinnati Reds team set. The last card I needed was Manny Sarmiento, and it was received a few months ago from a fellow blogger. I decided that a special post was in order, as this is the oldest complete team set I have for the Reds. Twenty-six cards in all to represent the 1979 NL West champs. I also included the 1980 Burger King Tom Seaver card since there is a photo variation. George Foster was also included in the Burger King release, but the photo is the same as the base 1980 card, and I don’t have it yet. I’ve typed enough…on to the cards…
#500 Tom Seaver • #516 Hector Cruz • #550 Ken Griffey • #606 Cincinnati Reds CL/John McNamara MG • #622 Mario Soto • #650 Joe Morgan • #677 Art DeFreites/Frank Pastore/Harry Spilman • #714 Fred Norman • Burger King Pitch/Hit/Run #10 Tom Seaver
Most of the Big Red Machine position players were the same, with Driessen replacing Tony Perez at first base and Knight replacing Pete Rose at third. Foster led the team in home runs and RBI while Knight and Collins both posted a .318 batting average. Morgan would leave the Reds after the 1979 season, signing with the Houston Astros as a free agent. Geronimo’s playing time would be cut significantly in 1980, and he was traded prior to the 1981 season for German Barranca.
The pitching was quite different, however. Starters Jack Billingham, Gary Nolan, Don Gullett, and closer Rawly Eastwick were all gone by 1979. Seaver, LaCoss, and Hume were the big names on the mound in ’79, with a young Soto working out of the bullpen.
There are a couple of almost connections to the 1990 World Champion teams. Griffey played part of the 1990 season with the Reds before his release and signing with the Seattle Mariners to play with his son Ken Griffey Jr. Collins bounced around a bit in the 1980s and came back to Cincinnati from 1987-1989, but ended up with the Cardinals in 1990. Ron Oester, whose rookie card was produced in the 1979 set, was left out of the 1980 issue. 1990 would be Oester’s last in the majors.