Category Archives: baseball cards

Fun Cards: 1989 Fleer Marty Brennaman, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and Joe Nuxhall (SuperStar Specials)

Marty Joe and Macho Man

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.

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Fun Cards: 1990 Topps Doug Dascenzo (“Secret Weapon”)

1990 Topps Doug Dascenzo

Who was the best pitcher in Cubs history? Greg Maddux you say? Fergie Jenkins? Mordecai Brown? Rick Reuschel?

You’re wrong.

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.)

Fun Cards: 1974 Topps Judas Priest “Rookie Rockers”

1974 Topps Judas Priest

The 2020 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees have been announced, and heavy metal icons Judas Priest appear for the second time. They were previously nominated in 2018.

The other nominees are Pat Benatar, Dave Matthews Band, Depeche Mode, The Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Kraftwerk, MC5, Motörhead, Nine Inch Nails, The Notorious B.I.G., Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Todd Rundgren, Soundgarden, T.Rex, and Thin Lizzy. Fans can vote via Google…just type in “Rock Hall” or one of the nominees, and the ballot appears. You can select up to five nominees.

I expect NIN and B.I.G. to get in, and probably Soundgarden. Past that, it’s a toss-up. I would love to see Priest and Motörhead make it in, but the Hall is notoriously anti-metal.

2019 Reds, 1987 Topps style: The Legends, and a Post-Game Concert

The rockingest pitcher the Reds ever employed, Bronson Arroyo; Barry Larkin admiring Barry Larkin; and Zedd, who I have never heard of before, and will probably never hear of again.

Arroyo

Larkin

Zedd

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!

2019 Reds, 1987 Topps style: The Manager and His Coaches

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.

Also in this post: Nate Irving, the recently unemployed Turner Ward, Freddie Benavides, and J.R. House.

Bell and Senzel

Bell arguing with another ump

Discussing post-game dinner plans

Irving

Ward

Benavides

House

House

DeShields

DeShields and DeShields

2019 Reds, 1987 Topps style: The Outfielders

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.

Puig

Puig and the Snake

OGrady

Ervin

Mikey Biceps

Schebler

Dietrich ice cream

2019 Reds, 1987 Topps style: The Infielders

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.

Suarez

Suarez throwback

Iglesias

Gennett

2019 Reds, 1987 Topps style: The Catchers

The search for the next Johnny Bench continues. Not on the shortlist: Tucker Barnhart, Curt Casali, and Ryan Lavarnway.

Barnhart

Casali

Lavarnway

2019 Reds, 1987 Topps football style: The Pitchers

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.

In this post: Amir Garrett, Luis Castillo, Raisel Iglesias, Tanner Roark, Alex Wood, David Hernandez, Lucas Sims, Michael Lorenzen, Kevin Gausman, Matt Bowman, Trevor Bauer.

Garrett

Castillo

Iglesias

Roark

Wood

Hernandez

Sims

Mikey Biceps

Gausman

Bowman

Bauer

Goodbye, Ric Ocasek

(March 23, 1949 – September 15, 2019)

Ric Ocasek

The Cars frontman and producer extraordinaire Ric Ocasek was found unresponsive in his Manhatten townhouse today. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of death has not been released.

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