Author Archives: JT
Fun Cards: 1989 Fleer Marty Brennaman, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and Joe Nuxhall (SuperStar Specials)
Randy Poffo was once a farmhand in the Cincinnati Reds system, but by the time he showed up at Riverfront Stadium in 1989 he had transformed himself into a wrestling superstar. “Macho Man” Randy Savage visited with Marty Brennaman and Joe Nuxhall in the broadcast booth near the end of the season. Players, fans, and umpires noticed and seemed amused at his presence. One person was not amused, though: Reds owner Marge Schott. She ordered Brennaman to remove Savage from the booth, even threatening his employment.
Brennaman obeyed but did not remain silent about her tactics. Never one to mince his words, Marty later told Schott, “Don’t you ever try to intimidate me again. And if you have something to say to me, say it yourself.”
By the way, I really miss Fleer.
The greatest pitcher in Cubs history is none other than Doug Dascenzo, the scrappy 5’7 centerfielder who made four relief appearances over two seasons and never gave up an earned run. He stared down eighteen batters, and only three got a hit. He struck out two (Willie Fraser and Joe Redfield) and walked two in five innings.
Sadly, Dascenzo declined to pitch any more at the major league level after the 1991 season. “Any time I go out and touch the mound, we’re getting beat by 10 or 15 runs and we’re losing a game in the standings,” he told the Chicago Tribune in 1992. “I don’t want any part of that. I want us to be beating someone else’s brains in.”
For the record, the Cubs were outscored 59-23 in the four games Dascenzo took the mound, but he was not responsible for any of those runs.
He did toe the rubber two more times—in the minor leagues. In 1995 for the Marlins’ AAA Charlotte Knights and in 1997 for the Padres’ AAA Las Vegas Stars. It was in his last appearance that the opponent finally crossed the plate on him, but I have been unable to locate the name of the hitters he faced in that game.
Tip of the hat to @onemillioncubs who dug up that awesome photo and posted it on Twitter a few days ago. The picture is actually from 1991, so it is a bit anachronistic, but I like the 1990 Topps design. (I’m not being facetious.)
And that’s all of the “fun cards” I have from the 2019 Reds season. If I’m missing any that you are desparate to see, let me know and I’ll throw it together!
I absolutely love David Bell‘s fire, and I hope that he is able to turn around the team’s won/loss record next year. This group features one of my favorite “fun cards,” the last one of the bunch, showing a Father’s Day embrace between first base coach Delino DeShields and his Texas Ranger son, Delino DeShields.
Had the Reds been a better team this season, I might have posted more about Yasiel Puig. Certainly one of the most entertaining players, pre-trade deadline. But the overall season was just so ho-hum, so was my blogging desire.
Also in this post: rookie Brian O’Grady, Philip Ervin, Michael Lorenzen, Scott Schebler, Graeter’s Ice Cream fan Derek Dietrich.
Gavin (of Baseball Card Breakdown fame) has created a new blog dedicated to the 1991 Pro Set MusiCards set. I had toyed with a similar idea last year, but glad I never went forward with it. I would have probably flamed out about card #12 and I’m sure Gavin’s posts will be far better than anything I could have written. Blogs are a lot of work, and my interests have shifted to other areas. While I still collect cards, the hobby has taken more of a backseat now and my focus is elsewhere.
What interests me most about Gavin’s site are the custom cards. I love creating “fun cards,” and I’m not alone. Gavin is one of the best out there. So far, he has created custom Pro Set MusiCards of Paw, George Harrison, J.J. Cale, and Neil Young, as well as some non-Pro Set cards for the blog. I can’t wait to see what else he comes up with.
Gavin is also running a contest to promote the blog. Follow his instructions on this post for a chance to win some pretty awesome baseball cards. If I win, I’m definitely going for the Sadaharu Oh card.
One bright spot for the offense this year was Eugenio Suarez. He broke Andres Galarraga‘s record for most homers by a Venezuelan player, slugging 49 homers. He is only the fifth Reds player to hit more than 40 blasts in a season during Marty Brennaman’s career as a Reds announcer. The others were George Foster, Ken Griffey Jr., Greg Vaughn, and Adam Dunn.
I’ve got two Suarez “fun cards” to post. The only other infielders I have that were not previously posted are Jose Iglesias and Scooter Gennett, who was traded to the Giants at the deadline and then released less than a month later. I hope he lands somewhere.
I started making these early in the season, then took a several-month break because the team was so frustrating. I tried to start back up after the All-Star break, but it was really hard to get motivated to do the full roster.
I’m not going to make an individual post for each card like I usually do. It was not a fun season, and I have no interest in re-living it. Instead, I will post by position, starting with pitchers. I think I got all the big names, but if I’m missing any let me know and I’ll throw it together.