Category Archives: baseball cards
The three best pitchers in the National League in 1988 were Orel Hershiser, Danny Jackson, and David Cone. No ifs, ands, or buts. But at the break, it was not so clear-cut. Pittsburgh pitcher Bob Walk had ten victories at the break along with a 2.47 ERA, while Hershiser sat at 13 wins/2.62 ERA, Jackson at 10/3.28, and Cone at 9/2.52. However, the latter three ended the season with at least 20 wins, while Walk was only able to muster two more victories in 1988.
Still, at the break, Walk was in the mix for best pitcher in the National League. and he was rewarded with a trip to Cincinnati for the All-Star Game.
Jose Canseco was on top of the baseball world in 1988, on his way to the first ever 40-40 season. He led the American League in homers, RBI, slugging, and OPS+, along with a .307 batting average. He was practically unstoppable at the plate.
In the late 1980s, Canseco was simply the epitome of cool.
While 1988 was long before variant chase cards were common, wouldn’t this have been a cool card to pull in a pack?
Ladies and gentlemen, your starting shortstop for the National League All-Stars, Zack Cozart…
Collecting baseball cards is supposed to be fun. I have no intention of selling cards for a profit. While I respect the abilities of Aaron Judge and Mike Trout, and don’t mind having a card or two in my collection, they are not my focus and I won’t be chasing their rookie or other high-priced cards. Even among my team (the Reds, in case you didn’t know), I don’t chase the high-priced parallels, autographs, relics, or whatever newfangled collectible Topps throws out there. For me, if it’s not fun, I don’t care.
This blog is also supposed to be fun. And most of the time it is. But then I get an idea for a big project and in the beginning, it is fun. But over time, it becomes more work, and the fun is sucked away. And so I abandon the project. That’s the case with the Reds birthdays. Until Sunday, I posted a “happy birthday” every day this year. And I had a subject for every day this year. But it’s not fun anymore, so I won’t be continuing those posts.
I have other projects going on that are not related to the blog. At the moment, those projects are still fun. I’m still here, and I will continue posting book reviews and “fun cards” and other things that interest me. Posts will not be daily here, but I am still always reachable via e-mail and Twitter.
July 8, 1890
Ivey Wingo was the catcher for the 1919 World Champion Cincinnati Reds. When he retired in 1929, Wingo was the all-time National League leader in games caught. To this day, he holds the record for most errors committed by a catcher, post-1900.
Other July 8 Reds birthdays:
Rosario Rodriguez (1969)
Bobby Ayala (1969)
Jerome Walton (1965)
George Culver (1943)
Glen Gorbous (1930)
John Powers (1929)
Jim Bluejacket (1887)
Johnny Siegle (1874)
Hank O’Day (1859)
July 6, 1920
Jay Avrea’s pitching career last only two games; in 1950 he pitched in two games for a total of 5.1 innings.
I had writer’s cramp from writing Chris Sabo‘s name in on All-Star ballots in 1988. Back in the day of printed ballots, teams had to submit their players to the league far in advance. Buddy Bell was expected to be the Reds’ starting third baseman, but his spring injury and Sabo’s unexpected success changed things.
The fans at the All-Star game in Cincinnati began chanting Sabo’s name, and National League manager Whitey Herzog wisely inserted the rookie third baseman as a pinch runner in the seventh inning. He promptly stole second base off Jeff Russell and Tim Laudner.
The Oakland A’s were a powerhouse in the late 1980s, with Bash Brothers Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire sending baseballs into the stands. Meanwhile, third baseman Carney Lansford put the ball into play on his way to a half-season .331 batting average. Unfortunately, he forgot how to hit in the second half and his average plummeted to .279.
Lansford was often an underrated player during his career, with only one All-Star appearance to his name, but that’s what happens when you play third base in the same league as Wade Boggs and George Brett. He led the AL with a .336 average in the strike-shortened 1981 season, and ended with a very respectable .290 average.
Three-fourths of the Cubs’ infield was named to the National League All-Star team; the only omission was rookie first baseman Mark Grace. Vance Law made his first appearance as an All-Star, and finished with his highest RBI total and batting average of his career.