Surprise mailday!

Morgan 1973 Kellogg

I opened my mail today. It actually arrived yesterday, or maybe Friday…I kind of lose track of time when I’m working. Bill…bill…junk mail…city newsletter…PWE with a strange Ohio address…wait, what? I didn’t recognize the return address or the sender, so I knew it wasn’t an eBay purchase. But a friend on Twitter asked for my address not long ago…I wonder?

I ripped the envelope open and the Joe Morgan card pictured above fell out. I shot a message off to @jklongwith, and sure enough he arranged for the card’s arrival. Jason and I have been friends on Twitter for a while, we are brothers in Christ, and I even got to meet him in person about a month ago at a youth rally in Lexington. He truly is one of the good guys in the hobby. I know, there are a lot of good guys, because this is a great hobby!

This is my first 1973 Kellogg’s card and a great early Reds card for “The Little General.” I’m glad to have it in my Reds collection. Thank you, Jason, for thinking of me!

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Fun Cards: 1984 Fleer Yasiel Puig

Puig snake 1984 Fleer Cincinnati Reds

Earlier this year, while he was still employed by the Cincinnati Reds, Yasiel Puig visited the Cincinnati Zoo and spent some time with the reptiles. Snakes and baseball…where have we seen that before? Let’s go back 35 years…

Hubbard snake 1984 Fleer

Glenn Hubbard‘s 1984 Fleer card showed him holding a ginormous snake while the Phillie Phanatic loomed in the background (I’ve actually never noticed the Phanatic there before now). And wait…isn’t that Barney Rubble on the left-hand side of the card? Wild!

I’m getting off-track. Back to the snake.

It wasn’t difficult to connect the dots. Puig needed a 1984 “fun card” holding the Cincinnati Zoo snake, too.

Unfortunately, the idea didn’t come to me when I first saw the photo several months ago. By the time I got around to creating this card, Puig had been traded to the mistake-by-the-lake Indians for Trevor Bauer. No problem. 1984 Fleer is pretty easy to manipulate…

Puig snake 1984 Fleer Cleveland Indians

Something has to be done with that Cleveland logo. It’s so boring. I really wish they would use the angular C from the 1970s. Or change the team name to the Spiders and come up with something new.

Now back to Barney Rubble. How wild is that???

Fun Cards: 1988 Fleer “SuperStar Specials” Ronald Reagan and Harry Caray

Ronald Reagan and Harry Caray 1988 Fleer

Before he was the President of the United States of America, Ronald Reagan was a radio announcer for the Chicago Cubs. He was stationed at WHO in Des Moines, Iowa, where he took basic descriptions transmitted by wire during the ballgame and created play-by-play accounts of the contest. It was during a trip with the Cubs in 1937 that he was discovered and offered a contract by Warner Brothers studios.

In 1988, Reagan returned to the Chicago Cubs broadcast booth, joining Harry Caray and Steve Stone for a late-season game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Cubbies lost 10-9 in ten innings.

Fun Cards: 2019 Reds, 1987 Topps football style: Aristides Aquino

Aquino

Alternate blogpost title: Yasiel Who?

Reds fans are still up in arms about the team sending Yasiel Puig to Cleveland, but rookie Aristides Aquino is helping to ease that pain by causing massive pain to opposing pitchers. He actually debuted for the Reds last August, striking out in his lone plate appearance.

2019 is going a little bit better. He crushed his first big league homer last Saturday. He hit his fourth homer in the second inning tonight, the third straight game he has sent one into the stands. The power is not a huge surprise, though, as he launched 28 longballs in Louisville this season before the Reds called him up.

Super Rookie? More like Super Duper Rookie.

Fun Cards Submission: 1978 Topps Ken Griffey Jr. by Lanny Ribes!

1978 Topps

Lanny comes through again with a fantastic Ken Griffey Jr. “fun card” on the 1978 design. I love the 1978 Topps design. It’s simple and clean but at the same time not the easiest to replicate. I’ve used the ’78 design at times for non-baseball cards, and it can be difficult getting the right letters for the team name. I have no idea what font is actually being used there.

Fun Cards Submission: 1977 Topps Ken Griffey Jr. by Lanny Ribes!

1977 Topps Griffey

Here’s another great custom card of Ken Griffey Jr., based on the 1977 Topps design, from the digital wizard Lanny Ribes, a.k.a. @DOCBZ17 on Twitter!

Fun Cards Submission: 1981 Topps Ken Griffey Jr. by Lanny Ribes!

1981 Topps Griffey

1981…the year the Reds had the best record in baseball but were excluded from the playoffs. I’m sure Bud Selig had something to do with that. Ken Griffey Jr. was still in middle school I think at this point.

Fun Cards Submission: 1973 Topps Ken Griffey Jr. by Lanny Ribes!

1973 Topps Griffey

Ken Griffey made his big-league debut for the Reds on August 25, 1973. Ken Griffey Jr. was just a tiny tot at the time, but in sixteen years he would be in the majors too, and eventually got a shoe deal with the “Swingman” logo. I didn’t even notice Lanny’s use of the “Swingman” until he pointed it out to me, but it works perfectly on this design.

Fun Cards Submission: 2018 Topps Ken Griffey Jr. by Lanny Ribes!

2018 Griffey

I was surprised when I made the list of Ken Griffey Jr. cards and which Topps designs he had appeared on, the largest chunk of missing years was the last nine. From 2011-2019, he was only in the 2013, 2017, and 2019 official sets. There may be some other customs out there, but I did not come across any during my sparse research for my post. Lanny Ribes hits us with a 2018 Topps design today, so you can check that one of the list.

I will go back and update that initial post every few days with links to online custom cards. If you know of any, even if there is another card in existence, let me know so I can add it to the list!

Fun Cards Submission: 1976 Topps Ken Griffey Jr. by Lanny Ribes!

1976 Griffey

Lanny takes us back to Junior’s dad’s Big Red Machine days on this fantastic 1976 Topps design. Ken Griffey Jr. was only seven years old when this design was first used by Topps. I wonder if he collected his dad’s cards?

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