Category Archives: baseball

When a rookie card isn’t a rookie card (and technically isn’t even a card)

Davis 1984

Eric Davis rookie cards were hot ticket items in the Cincinnati area in the mid-1980s. It didn’t matter which 1985 issue you were talking about—Topps, Donruss, or Fleer—if you had a Davis rookie, you were a king on the playground.

But what if you had a 1984 Eric Davis? No, not a minor league card. A 1984 Eric Davis Reds card.

That’s what we have here. Not really a card, but still considered a card by most. Like the Fleer stamps and the Topps stickers, we have here a 1984 Borden sticker of Eric Davis. This regional issue is more difficult to obtain than Topps, Donruss, or Fleer, but it’s not all that much more expensive. It was issued on a perforated sheet with Mario Soto, Dave Parker, and Ron Oester, and featured coupons for Borden dairy products on the reverse.

1984 Reds Borden Davis Parker Oester Soto

Two different sheets were produced, the other displaying Tony Perez, Jeff Russell, Eddie Milner, and Gary Redus.

1984 Reds Borden Perez Russell Milner Redus

I have no idea how these were distributed back in the day. Stadium giveaway? Mail-in offer? Free at checkout with the purchase of a half-gallon of Lady Borden Ice Cream? Now, thirty-five years later, you have to wait until they pop up on eBay for a reasonable price.

The coupons don’t have an expiration date. I wonder if I can still redeem them at Kroger…

Borden coupon

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Fun Cards: 1988 American League All-Star Outfielders

Henderson

Henderson

The top three vote-getters among American League outfielders were Rickey Henderson, Dave Winfield, and Jose Canseco.

Winfield

Winfield

Canseco went on to win the AL MVP Award on the strength of the first-ever 40 home run/40 stolen base season.

Canseco

Canseco

Coming in second for the MVP Award was Mike Greenwell, who believes he should be retroactively honored due to Canseco’s admitted steroid use.

Greenwell

Greenwell

Kirby Puckett rounds out (no pun intended) the AL outfield in 1988.

Was anyone snubbed? The players would have added Cleveland outfielder Joe Carter to the roster ahead of Henderson, but since the fans get to select the starters, Carter stayed home.

Puckett

Puckett

Fun Cards: 1988 National League All-Star Shortstops

Wizard of Oz

Wizard of Oz

Say what you will about the ’90s shortstop revolution, I’ll take the ’80s defensive wizards any day. Ozzie Smith was the no-brainer fan pick, starting his sixth straight All-Star Game; he would start the next four straight before passing the mantle to Barry Larkin. Lark would end up starting five ASGs in his career, and being on the roster for seven more. The other backup in 1988, Shawon Dunston, was only named to two All-Star teams in his career, but man he had a rocket for an arm.

Larkin

Larkin

The players poll showed that those who shared the field with the Wizard agreed wholeheartedly with the fans’ choice.

Dunston

Trammell

Random Awesomeness (part 2019.11)

Random Awesomeness


Purchase BCCIV by the Black Country Communion!
 

Fun Cards: 1988 American League All-Star Shortstops

Ripken

Ripken

Alan Trammell was elected by fans to start the 1988 All-Star Game at shortstop, but did not play due to injury. Cal Ripken Jr. was a fine second choice.

Stillwell

Stillwell

Kurt Stillwell returned to Riverfront Stadium for the first time since the Reds traded him to the Royals for Danny Jackson over the off-season. By all appearances, he enjoyed seeing Barry Larkin again. Stillwell was added to the All-Star roster as an injury replacement for Chicago’s Ozzie Guillen.

Trammell

Trammell

Here are the results of the USA Today players poll:

Guillen

Guillen

Fun Cards: 1988 National League All-Star Third Basemen

Bonilla

Bonilla

Bobby Bonilla seemed to be the heir apparent to Mike Schmidt as the regular NL third baseman, and was given the starting job in 1988. He did log six All-Star Games between 1988 and 1995, but no one today would dare claim that his career measured up to Schmidt’s. To be fair, no one’s career measured up to Schmidt’s. Bonilla’s backups, Vance Law and rookie Chris Sabo, couldn’t claim it either.

Law

Law

Again, the voters and players agreed on the starter, and the managers and players were not far apart on the bench. Here are the players picks for third base in 1988:

Sabo

Sabo

Fun Cards: 1988 American League All-Star Third Basemen

Boggs

Boggs

Wade Boggs was the starting third baseman for the American League, with Carney Lansford and Gary Gaetti on the bench. I posted the Lansford and Gaetti cards a couple of years ago when they were initially made, but I had not yet decided to make new versions of the All-Stars who had cards in the actual Topps set. After I finished everything else earlier this year, I decided to go back and update the actual All-Stars as well.

Lansford

Lansford

How did the actual roster compare with the players’ opinions? See for yourself; here are the players’ picks:

I find the inclusion of Bell on the list amusing since he didn’t even play in the American League in 1988. He lost his starting job to Chris Sabo during spring training and was traded to Houston in June. In 1988, the Astros were still a National League team (as they should be still).

Gaetti

Gaetti

Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, eBay proves you wrong

Yearbooks

I recently purchased the 1985 Reds Yearbook, which contains 18 baseball cards. I had previously bought the 1984 edition, and the 1983 Yearbook is on its way to my house as I type this. With that purchase, I thought I had all the Reds Yearbook cards. Double check the wantlist…yup, they are all accounted for.

Except they aren’t.

Another eBay search reveals another Reds Yearbook that contains baseball cards. The 1982 publication appears to be the beginning of the perforated card phase. I found one reasonably priced and have ordered it, so soon my Yearbook card collection should be complete. I have once again updated the wantlist, and of course, I will post some scans when I have it in hand.

1982

Fun Cards: 2018 Stadium Club Lou Piniella

I posted a picture of Lou Piniella tossing second base on Twitter earlier tonight. That led to this response from Giants fan and friend Nick of the njwv blog

It was a great idea, and I couldn’t resist making a “fun card” (because I don’t expect Topps to ever do so, or MLB to even allow it if Topps wanted to).

Piniella

Sweet Lou managed the Reds at such a fun time during my teenage years. Chris Sabo, Eric Davis, Jose Rijo, Tom Browning, future Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, and so many more thrived under Piniella’s leadership.

We need Sweet Lou back in Cincinnati.

1984 Reds Yearbook (with perforated cards, in tact of course)

I initially thought I had the 1983 and 1984 Reds Yearbooks, and bought the 1985 edition earlier this week. As it turns out, I am also missing the 1983 book. So that will be next on my eBay-dar.

The 1984 Reds Yearbook was the edition after Johnny Bench and before Eric Davis. The cover of the 1984 book is not nearly as interesting as 1985, so I didn’t bother scanning it. I did, however, scan the cards so I could post them here.

1984 Reds Yearbook baseball cards

1984 Reds Yearbook baseball cards

The Reds welcomed Dave Parker to the fold in 1984 as the team’s first major free agent signing.

Parker

The Reds also brought Tony Perez back to Cincinnati as his career was winding down. For the Perez card, I am assuming the Yearbook editors used a 1970s photo of the Big Red Machine alum. Photoshop was not a thing back in 1984, and Perez hadn’t suited up for the Redlegs since 1976.

Perez

Pete Rose was acquired later in the season and was handed the manager’s job, but Vern Rapp started the season as skipper.

There was one player who started and finished the decade with the Reds with little interruption. Besides an injury rehab assignment in Chattanooga and Nashville in 1988, Ron Oester was Mr. Cincinnati throughout the entire decade of the 1980s.

Oester

I love batting cage baseball cards. Oester is watching Nick Esasky take cuts, patiently waiting his turn. And how about those no-name-on-back warmup jerseys? Pure ’80s gold right there.

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