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Fun Cards: 1984 Topps Future Stars John Franco & Eric Davis

Franco Davis Cincinnati Reds

What if Topps made “Future Stars” cards in 1984? While the rest of the world was taking notice of the rookie card craze, Topps dropped the multi-player “Future Stars” cards after their 1982 release. But what could have been? What if John Franco and Eric Davis showed up on the same card in the 1984 set? I took the team leaders card and turned it into “Future Stars,” and created a back that included the players’ 1983 minor league stats. I did change the font on the front to match the regular base cards, rather than the “Arial Narrow” look of the team leaders.

Franco Davis Cincinnati Reds

This would have been a HUGE card in Cincinnati in the mid-1980s. Eric Davis rookie cards were highly sought after; there is no doubt in my mind this would have run in the $20-25 range in Cincy back in the day.

Fun Cards: 1984 Topps Tony Fernandez

(June 30, 1962 – February 16, 2020)


Donruss and Fleer both included the late Tony Fernandez in their 1984 releases, but Topps completely missed the boat (unless I’m overlooking something). I intended to make this card a few weeks ago when Fernandez passed away but I just had too much going on at the time.

Fernandez was a great ballplayer, probably the third-best shortstop for a time in the American League behind Hall of Famers Cal Ripken Jr. and Alan Trammell. He was an All-Star three times in the 1980s for the Jays, in 1992 for the Padres, and again in 1999 for the Jays. He also played for the Mets, Reds, Yankees, Indians, and Brewers.

Fun Cards: 1973, 1975, and 1984 Topps Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Bruce Springsteen 1973 Topps

Bruce Springsteen seems to be one of those guys that you either love or hate. He’s got some of the most recognizable classic pop/rock songs in the world, from “Born to Run” to “Dancing in the Dark” to, of course, “Born in the USA.” Often misunderstood, his songs are used by politicians (and they usually receive a cease and desist letter from his attorneys).

One of my favorite songs from the Boss, however, is his take on the legendary Christmas song, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”

Whether you enjoy Springsteen’s music or not, hopefully you’ll enjoy these “fun cards” of the Boss and his backing bad, the E Street Band.

Clarence Clemons 1973 Topps

David Sancious 1973 Topps

Danny Federici 1973 Topps

Vini Lopez 1973 Topps

Garry Tallent 1973 Topps

There was a bit of a shakeup in 1975, with three new members of the E Street Band…

Max Weinberg 1975 Topps

Steven Van Zandt 1975 Topps

Roy Bittan 1975 Topps

A big addition came in 1984, though his studio debut with the band came a little later…

1984 Topps Nils Lofgren

I probably won’t be posting any more before Wednesday, so let me just take a second to say to all readers of The Writer’s Journey, MERRY CHRISTMAS AND THANK YOU FOR READING!

Fun Cards: 1984 Topps Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora

Jon Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi’s self-titled debut album was released in 1984 and contained the single “Runaway.” It was named the eleventh-best rock album of 1984 by Kerrang! magazine, beating Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell and Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Couldn’t Stand the Weather. Van Halen’s 1984 was the obvious winner.

Richie Sambora

The album also contains a song called “Shot Through The Heart.” Wait a minute, wait a minute…stop singing “You Give Love a Bad Name.” It’s a different song altogether.

Not quite as catchy as the hit song from Slippery When Wet, is it?

Goodbye, Vern Rapp

(May 11, 1928 – December 31, 2015)


Former Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals manager Vern Rapp passed away today. Rapp managed the Reds in 1984 prior to Pete Rose’s return to the Queen City.

Fun Cards: 1984 Topps Jeff Jones


The Cincinnati Reds gave Jeff Jones a chance in 1983. In sixteen April games, Jones collected 10 hits in 44 at-bats before returning to the minor leagues. He never played another major league game. Donruss was the only major baseball card company to feature Jones in their 1984 set.


Jones’ biggest minor league season was 1982, when he broke the record for home runs in the Midwest League with 42; that record still stands today. He also drove in 101 runs and batted .301. Jones left the Cincinnati organization following the 1983 season, playing out his career in the Cubs’ organization in 1984 and 1985.

I love getting mail

I received a couple of packages this week from fellow baseball card bloggers, which is always a nice surprise when you don’t know it’s coming.

The first came from 2 by 3 Heroes, one of several White Sox collectors in the blogosphere. Most of my ChiSox go to another guy, but every once in a while I’ll send a few Jeff’s way. He reciprocated by sending me a massive amount of 2014 Panini Golden Age cards. By massive amount, I mean over 100. A handful of my favorites…


That is Harry Wright (one of the original Red Stockings of 1869), Frank Robinson (who never should have left the Reds), Vada Pinson (one of those “on-the-bubble” guys for the Hall of Fame), Butch Patrick (Eddie Munster from The Munsters), and Catherine Bach (Daisy Duke of The Dukes of Hazzard fame).

A nice set, featuring not only sports stars but also entertainers and historical figures from America’s past. This is a set that I would never buy a pack of because of the wide range of subjects, but am more than happy to add these cards (and several others in the stack) to my personal collection.

The next package came from fellow Reds fan Matt of Red Cardboard fame. The generosity of Reds fans never ceases to amaze me, and the cards from Matt were quite awesome. Lots of parallels, shiny goodness, and inserts of current and former Reds like Drew Stubbs, Travis Wood, and Johnny Bench


There were several other drool-worthy (to Reds fans) cards in the envelope. My favorite card in the package, however, was not a parallel nor an insert, nor was it the least bit shiny.


That Bruce Berenyi autograph is the seventeenth autographed 1984 Topps (including Traded) Reds card in my collection. If you count the leaders cards and the Bench retirement card, that leaves me with only sixteen unsigned Reds cards. I realize I will never get the Bench signed, and will likely never obtain Tony Perez or Dave Concepcion‘s signatures, but I’m not going to let that stop me from trying to get the rest of them signed. And those 1984 Topps cards sure look pretty with the players’ scribbles on them.

Thank you Jeff and Matt for the cards! I will be sure to continue sending some your way as well.

Anyone else who is reading that is not already on my “PWE” list, send me an e-mail with your name and address and what team(s) you collect. Every once in a while I rid myself of cards that I don’t want, and you could be on the receiving end!

Horror Fun Cards: 1984 Topps Isaac Chroner and Malachi Boardman

1984 Children of the Corn Stephen King Isaac Chroner

1984 Children of the Corn Stephen King Malachi Boardman

Purchase Stephen King’s Children of the Corn!

Horror Fun Cards: 1984 Topps Freddy Krueger

A Nightmare on Elm Street Freddy Krueger Topps Horror Custom Card

Purchase A Nightmare on Elm Street Collection (All 7 Original Nightmare Films + Bonus Disc)!

It’s October…that means it’s time to watch horror movies until your eyes bleed!!! The plan is to have a different horror “fun card” every day this month. I don’t have them all made yet, but I have a good start and several other ideas rolling around in the noggin. Hopefully I’ll be able to create them all and post a new card every morning.

I don’t plan to write anything about the posts. This, being the first, is an exception, just for the simple fact of explaining. I love Halloween. It is my absolute favorite holiday, and I don’t even like to limit it to the month of October. I watch horror movies all year, and love reading about monsters and murderers and goblins and ghouls. It’s morbid, I know, but it’s who I am. So I hope you enjoy seeing the horror “fun cards” as much as I enjoy creating them.

Happy Halloween!

TTM Success: Eddie Milner

A very long wait for this return. I sent three cards to former Reds outfielder Eddie Milner in October 2012, and 438 days later two of them were returned to me. Unfortunately I did not receive back his 1985 Donruss issue, so I will have to purchase another to fill that hole in my team set from the year.

The cards that Milner did return were a 1983 Topps…

1983 Topps Milner

I think this 1983 Topps may have been one of the first cards I ever received as a kid. And I mean this actual card. It has never left my collection, except for the 438 days it spent with Milner himself.

I also received back a 1984 Topps…

1984 Topps Milner

I had given up on these cards coming back, and had already replaced the 1984 card prior to Redsfest so I could get it signed for my 1984 Topps project. Which I did. And now I have two.

My son that didn’t attend Redsfest will add this to his collection.

I still have four outstanding autograph requests from 2011, three from 2012, and one from 2013. I recently sent out four more, and plan to do more soon.

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