Author Archives: JT

Happy Reds birthday, Joe Hague!


April 25, 1944

The Reds have employed several former Longhorns, including Greg Swindell, Drew Stubbs, Brooks Kieschnick, Sam LeCure, and today’s birthday boy, Joe Hague. Hague appeared in 88 games over two seasons for the Reds, batting .228 with four homers and 21 RBI.

How He-Man Mastered the Universe by Brian C. Baer (2017)

HeMan Masters of the Universe

How He-Man Mastered the Universe
by Brian C. Baer
McFarland, 2017

The story of He-Man is well-known to children of the eighties, but author Brian C. Baer is able to dig even deeper into the beloved franchise in his recent book, How He-Man Mastered the Universe. Baer examines every aspect of the Masters of the Universe, from the toys to the cartoon to the movie to the reboots and more recent collectible action figure releases. The author looks at the groundwork laid for the success of He-Man by the marketing behind Star Wars, and the influence He-Man had on many subsequent pop culture franchises such as Transformers, G.I. Joe, and the modern Marvel Cinematic Universe.

What impressed me most about Baer’s book is the attention paid to the big screen adaption of the Eternian hero in 1987. The toys and original cartoon have been widely covered over the years, with little more than a passing mention to the live-action film. A good bulk of Baer’s book, however, is devoted to how He-Man was brought to life by Dolph Lundgren. He breaks down the movie with an in-depth review, discusses the financial woes that hamstrung the ending, and even includes conceptual drawings for He-Man, Man-at-Arms, Teela, Skeletor, and She-Ra, who unfortunately was written out of the script.

Baer also discusses the New Adventures of He-Man cartoon that aired in the early 1990s, the 21st century reboot by Mike Young Productions, and the new line of toys that came with that. Baer wraps up How He-Man Mastered the Universe with a look at what many of the film’s actors are doing today, as well as others who were involved with He-Man through the years.

How He-Man Mastered the Universe is a highly enjoyable book; children of the eighties and He-Fans in particular will love it.

Learn more about McFarland.

Purchase How He-Man Mastered the Universe by Brian C. Baer on Amazon or directly from the publisher at or via the order line at 800-253-2187.

Happy Reds birthday, Pat Zachry!

Pat Zachry Cincinnati Reds

April 24, 1952

Pat Zachry is one of seven Reds to win Rookie of the Year honors, along with Frank Robinson, Pete Rose, Tommy Helms, Johnny Bench, Chris Sabo, and Scott Williamson. Zachry inexplicably was forced to share the award with San Diego’s Butch Metzger, despite being clearly superior.

Happy Reds birthday, Todd Jones!


April 24, 1968

Todd Jones appeared in a career-high 78 games in 2004, splitting the season between the Reds and Phillies. He was an All-Star for the Tigers in 2000, leading the AL with 42 saves and finishing 5th in Cy Young voting.

Happy Reds birthday, Jim Bottomley!


April 23, 1900

Jim Bottomley is in the Hall of Fame, but you won’t find a lot of people that think he should be. A 1974 selection of the Veterans Committee, Bottomley’s numbers are generally not in the upper echelon, and several players outside the Hall boast better cases for Cooperstown. Frankie Frisch was a member of the Veterans Committee, and he was accused of championing the cases of several former teammates who were not necessarily among the best in baseball, including Bottomley, Jesse Haines, and Chick Hafey.

Happy Reds birthday, Chuck Harmon!

Chuck Harmon

April 23, 1924

Chuck Harmon became the first African American to appear in a game for the Reds when he pinch hit for Corky Valentine on April 17, 1954. In the same game, Nino Escalera also debuted for the Reds; Esccalera was also black, but was Puerto Rican, not African American. Harmon was an excellent athlete, and also tried out for the Boston Celtics when the NBA was integrated for the 1950-51 season. After failing to make the Celtics, Harmon finished the season as a player-coach for Utica of the American Basketball League. According to Wikipedia, that made him one of the first (and possibly the first) African Americans to coach an integrated professional basketball team.

Happy Reds birthday, Rheal Cormier!

Rheal Cormier

April 23, 1967

Rheal Cormier wrapped up his 16-year career pitching for the Reds. In 2006 and 2007, Cormier pitched 27 games in relief with a 5.29 ERA.

Goodbye, Erin Moran

(October 18, 1960 – April 22, 2017)

Erin Moran Joanie Cunningham Happy Days

Erin Moran, who played Richie Cunningham’s little sister Joanie on Happy Days, was found dead today in Indiana. She was 56 years old. Happy Days was one of my favorite television shows growing up. Her TV brother and the Fonz have both posted brief thoughts on Twitter:

No word yet how Chachi is handling the news.

Happy Reds birthday, Lew Riggs!


April 22, 1910

Lew Riggs was a member of the 1940 World Champion Cincinnati Reds, though his time was limited to only 41 games that season. In 1936, Riggs was a National League All-Star.

Happy Reds birthday, Bob Schmidt!


April 22, 1933

Bob Schmidt spent just a part of the 1961 season with the Reds; he was traded in December that year to the Senators, giving Topps plenty of time to reflect the change on his 1962 card. Schmidt is pictured with the Reds on a 1962 Salada coin and in the 1980 TCMA 1961 Reds set, neither of which I own.

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