Category Archives: baseball

Fun Cards: 1990 Topps BIG Brandon Phillips

Brandon Phillips Pawtucket Red Sox

Brandon Phillips played his first 15 big league seasons in Ohio, starting with the Cleveland Indians for four years and then eleven more with the Reds. He reached the All-Star Game three times with Cincinnati and won three Gold Gloves, but his skills were diminishing and his attitude started rubbing people the wrong way near the end. After exercising his no-trade clause when Cincinnati tried to deal him to Arizona and Washington before the 2016 season, he finally relented and accepted a trade to the Braves. On the last day of August 2017, the Braves traded him to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Orange County of Southern California on the West Coast in the United States of America.

Despite hitting .285 with 13 homers and 60 RBI in 2017, Phillips was unable to secure a big league contract for the 2018 season. Last month, he signed a minor league deal with Boston and performed well in 6 games for the class A Lowell Spinners. He was then promoted to the AAA Pawtucket Red Sox, but in 8 games has only collected 5 hits, hitting .172. The Paw Sox have a nice selection of photos from Dat Dude’s time with the team on Facebook.

Will he make it back to the bigs when rosters expand, or is Pawtucket his last hurrah?

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Fun Cards: 2018 TWJ Joey Votto

Votto

Joey Votto was named to the National League All-Star team for the 6th time. He will join first-timers Scooter Gennett and Eugenio Suarez as the Reds’ representatives in Washington DC on July 17.

As bad as the season started, Cincinnati has really started turning it around. The bullpen is better than expected, and the starters aren’t half bad either. Hopefully the Reds can move Matt Harvey for some MLB-ready talent and start off 2019 on the right foot.

Fun Cards: 1988 Topps Eddie Milner

On Monday, I said Leon Durham was the last Reds “fun card” from the 1988 roster. Guess what? I was wrong.

Milner

The late Eddie Milner was a 21st round draft pick for the Reds in 1976. He clawed his way to the major leagues, debuting in 1980. He only played a handful of games in 1980 and 1981, but by 1982 he was a mainstay on the roster. Sadly, Milner battled substance abuse during his time in the bigs. In 1987, Cincinnati traded the outfielder to the Giants for Frank Williams and a couple of minor leaguers. He only stayed in San Francisco for a year, and signed with the Reds again in 1988. He collected nine hits in 51 at-bats during his final big league season.

Milner

Is that it? Did I include everyone from the Reds 1988 roster? I think the only player left out is Pat Pacillo, who had a Reds card and was traded to the Expos with Tracy Jones, but never appeared in a big league game for Montreal. Since Topps didn’t make “Pro Debut” cards in 1988, I think I’m safe in excluding him from this series. Which means I’m done!

I love the 1988 design and intend to do more with it at some point. After all, there are always “Music Fun Cards” that can be made!

Fun Cards: 1988 Topps Pat Perry

Perry

Pat Perry came to the Reds in late 1987 for the infamous “player to be named later.” In this case, Scott Terry was the later-named baller. Perry was with the Reds for less than a season, however, as he was sent to the Cubs in exchange for Leon Durham.

Perry

And with that, I thought I was finished with the 1988 Reds roster. But I was wrong, once again. One final card (?) tomorrow…

Fun Cards: 1988 Topps Leon Durham

Durham

Leon “Bull” Durham was a popular player in Chicago. Twice an All-Star, once a Silver Slugger, but with Mark Grace’s arrival he became expendable (much like Buddy Bell when Chris Sabo burst on the scene in 1988). The Cubs decided to take the Bull to market, and got pitcher Pat Perry in return. He only played 21 games for the Reds in 1988, and in 1989 returned to St. Louis, where his career began in 1980.

Durham

This is the final 1988 Topps Reds card. But… not the final 1988 card. Come back tomorrow for one more…for now.

Fun Cards: 1988 Topps Bill Landrum

Landrum

After two years in Cincinnati, the Reds traded Bill Landrum to the Cubs in exchange for Luis Quinones. He only played seven games in 1988, and in 1989 found himself in Pittsburgh. Landrum returned to the Reds in his final big league season, 1993.

Landrum

Fun Cards: 1988 Topps Luis Quinones

Quinones

Luis Quinones came to the Reds via a trade with the Cubs for pitcher Bill Landrum. He stayed until signing with the Twins after the 1991 season.

Quinones

Fun Cards: 1988 Topps Van Snider

Snider

The Reds acquired Van Snider from the Royals for Jeff Montgomery, and after two uneventful seasons in the Reds’ system, he was dealt to the Yankees with Tim Leary for Rod Imes and Hal Morris. Snider entered law enforcement after his baseball career and spent time with the Mayfield Heights Police Department.

I thought this was the final player to complete the roster for 1988. After reviewing the list, however, I realized there are two more. So that will finish out the week nicely. Come back tomorrow for another guy who didn’t get a Reds card in 1988 Topps or Topps Traded.

Fun Cards: 1988 Topps Tim Birtsas

Birtsas

Tim Birtsas arrived in Cincinnati as a part of the Jose Rijo/Dave Parker trade with the A’s. Fleer included him in their year-end Update set, but Score and Topps both focused on the big-name players in the trade. Birtsas played three years with the Reds and contributed a 3.86 ERA to the 1990 World Championship team.

Birtsas

Fun Cards: 1988 Topps Ron Roenicke

Roenicke

Ron Roenicke bounced around quite a bit during his 8-year big league career, wrapping it up with 14 games in Cincinnati in May 1988. After finishing the season with the Reds’ AAA club, he moved on to Texas’ minor league system, but never again saw action in the majors as a player. From 2011-2015, Roenicke served as the Brewers’ manager.

Roenicke

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