Category Archives: baseball cards

Fun Cards: 1988 Topps All-Star Bob Walk

Bob Walk Pittsburgh Pirates 1988 All-Star Topps

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.

Bob Walk Pittsburgh Pirates 1988 All-Star Topps

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.

Fun Cards: 1988 Topps All-Star Jose Canseco

Jose Canseco 1988 Topps All-Star

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.

Jose Canseco 1988 Topps All-Star

In the late 1980s, Canseco was simply the epitome of cool.

Jose Canseco 1988 Topps All-Star

While 1988 was long before variant chase cards were common, wouldn’t this have been a cool card to pull in a pack?

Fun Cards: 1985 Topps All-Star Zack Cozart

Ladies and gentlemen, your starting shortstop for the National League All-Stars, Zack Cozart

Cozart

Trying to keep it fun

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.

Happy Reds birthday, Ivey Wingo!

Wingo

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)

Happy Reds birthday, Jeff Shaw!

Shaw

July 7, 1966

Jeff Shaw is one of six Reds relievers to lead the National League in saves since it became an official statistic in 1969. The others were Wayne Granger, Clay Carroll, John Franco, and Jeff Brantley.

Other July 7 Reds birthdays:
Dave Burba (1966)
George Suggs (1882)

Happy Reds birthday, Jay Avrea!

Avrea

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.

Fun Cards: 1988 Topps All-Star Chris Sabo

Sabo

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.

Sabo

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.

Fun Cards: 1988 Topps All-Star Carney Lansford

Lansford

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

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.

Fun Cards: 1988 Topps All-Star Vance Law

Law

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.

Law

Manager Whitey Herzog put Law in the game in the ninth inning, but not at third base; Law replaced Cubs teammate Ryne Sandberg in the field at second base.

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