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?
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers‘ self-titled debut was released in November, 1976, by Shelter Records. The first single, “Breakdown,” was a Top 40 hit, and has been covered in the studio by Grace Jones and Suzi Quatro, and by numerous artists in concert, including the Replacements and Foo Fighters. The band then released “American Girl,” which unbelievably did not chart in the United States until it was re-released in 1994. The song was used in several films, including FM, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and The Silence of the Lambs.
The Eagles were already a massively successful band—One of These Nights hit #1 in the United States—when Joe Walsh replaced Bernie Leadon in 1975. He had been invited to join Humble Pie following Peter Frampton‘s departure, but Walsh turned them down and later joined the Eagles. The first album with Walsh, Hotel California, was released in December 1976 and hit #1 just like its predecessor. Three more Eagles albums featuring Walsh topped the charts: 1979’s The Long Run, 1994’s Hell Freezes Over, and 2007’s Long Road Out of Eden.
TWJ contributor Patrick delivers again with this “fun card” of former Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto. Man, it’s difficult putting “former” before “Reds” in that sentence. We’ll miss Johnny Beisbol in Cincinnati, but I’m happy to see him going to Kansas City, one of the most exciting teams in the majors to watch. I caught a few minutes of last night’s game against Cleveland in between zzz’s, and it was good to see Lorenzo Cain and Edinson Volquez and the rest of that Royals squad on the field. Can’t wait to see them in the Fall Classic again this year.
How big of a deal is the Marlon Byrd trade for the Reds? Only time will tell, but considering that Byrd hit 49 homers and drove in 173 runs over the past two years, it’s bound to be an improvement over what the Reds have trotted out into left field recently. Add to that a very respectable .277 average, and the 329 strikeouts don’t seem like that huge of a deal.
Ryan Ludwick, who is still looking for a team for 2015, only played in 150 games over that span, with 11 home runs, 57 RBI and a .243 batting average. Chris Heisey, traded to the Dodgers earlier in the off-season, didn’t fare much better: 206 games, 17 home runs, 45 RBI, .228 batting average.
TWJ contributor Patrick stepped up quickly with a great “fun card” in the style of 1976 Topps Traded. I’m love these customs that Patrick is sending in, and hope you do too!
Thursday was an active day in baseball with several high-profile players changing teams, including Matt Kemp and Yoenis Cespedes. Unfortunately, the Cincinnati Reds did not land either of those sluggers to fill the emptiness that is left field. Despite failing to address the biggest need on the team, Walt Jocketty traded starting pitchers Mat Latos and Alfredo Simon, picking up four youngsters from the Miami Marlins and Detroit Tigers in exchange.
Eugenio Suarez, Jonathon Crawford, Anthony DeSclafani, Chad Wallach are the newest members of the Reds organization. Crawford was Detroit’s first-round draft pick in 2013 and posted a 2.85 ERA in 23 starts for the West Michigan Whitecaps in 2014. Wallach has baseball in his blood; his father is Tim Wallach, the five-time All-Star third baseman.
Thanks to TWJ contributor Patrick for whipping up these awesome customs. Hopefully the Reds continue to wheel and deal without “going all in” by sending Johnny Cueto packing.
It’s Saturday. Growing up, Saturday was the greatest day in the world, because we had tons of great cartoons (does anyone else remember Turbo Teen? Anyone???), no school, and lots of baseball to play. And of course, when you play baseball in the backyard, you gotta have a big ol’ hunk of Big League Chew in your cheek. Who could blow the biggest bubble?
One guy who seems to have a whole year of Saturdays is Brandon Phillips. The guy just loves to play baseball and he lives each day to the max like he doesn’t have a care in the world. I’m glad he’s still a part of the Cincinnati Reds organization.
Last month, Dick Allen Hall of Fame posted a couple of “what-if” cards featuring Joe Rudi and Rollie Fingers. Charlie Finley sold the two star players to the Red Sox, but Bowie Kuhn voided the deal. DAHoF photoshopped the Red Sox logo on his customs, but there were actually some photographs made, as the deal stood for three days. I used one of those photos for my “fun card” above.
Here’s what Fingers said about the deal in an interview a few years ago on Bleacher Report:
I was happier than a pig in s*** to get traded to the Red Sox. I wanted to get the h*** away from Charlie Finley. He was a pain in the neck. He sold me to the Red Sox for $1 million. I was in uniform, the Red Sox had just come into Oakland for a three games series. I just picked up all my stuff from out of my locker and went over to the visiting locker and had a locker next to Carl Yastrzemski. I was there for three days and at the end of the three days, (former MLB commissioner) Bowie Kuhn nixed the deal. So I picked up all my stuff and went back to the Oakland A’s clubhouse. Had I got in a ballgame, I don’t think that Bowie Kuhn could have done anything, though.
Fingers did get away from Finley the next year, signing a 6-year deal with San Diego beginning in 1977; he was traded to Milwaukee in December 1980.
…I have this beautiful 1976 Topps Cliff Johnson card available at the toppsmillion.com site. I will accept any offer for an older card. I’m trying to get back to 1952 eventually, but certainly don’t expect anyone to offer a ’52 for this ’76. Instead, I will take any ’75, ’74, ’73, etc., that you’re willing to offer. Just make the offer and when I log in I’ll accept (assuming another user with a ’76 Johnson doesn’t accept first).
Now, I do have an offer that I put out there (but don’t expect to be accepted) for a ’75 Bill “Spaceman” Lee. “Spaceman” was an interesting character…
Should this offer be accepted, I will update the blog and let my faithful
readers reader know, and the ’75 Lee will then be up for trade. But for now, it’s a 1976 Cliff Johnson…yours for the asking (as long as you’re offering an older card).
Have I rambled on enough yet?