Congratulations, Big Donkey! The Reds announced yesterday that Adam Dunn would be inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in 2018. Dunn beat out Aaron Boone, John Franco, Danny Graves, Scott Rolen, and Reggie Sanders for the honor. Dunn was a second round draft pick for the Reds in 1998 and debuted for the club in 2001. From 2001-2008, Dunn slammed 270 home runs for Cincinnati, which ranks fourth in franchise history behind Johnny Bench, Frank Robinson, and Tony Perez, and just ahead of Joey Votto.
I love the oddball sets of the 1980s, from the 33-card boxed sets you could find at Kmart, Toys R Us, and just about everywhere else, to the cards you had to cut out from Kraft Macaroni & Cheese boxes. But these cards absolutely drove me insane: the big Donruss All-Star cards from 1983 through 1987. Sure, there were plenty of great players included in these issues, but they were too big for a binder and difficult to store. I still haven’t figured out exactly what to do with them.
The 1983 version was horizontal, such as this Reggie Jackson:
Donruss flipped the card right-side-up in 1984 and kept them that way the rest of the run, as this 1985 Don Mattingly shows:
But they were still too big at 3.5×5. There were also the “pop-up” cards featuring the starters from the game, such as this 1986 Jack Morris:
In 1988, Donruss finally wised up and shrunk the cards back down to regular size and they fit nicely into standard baseball card pages.
Patrick recently dropped off a box full of Reds cards, including a ton of Dave Concepcion cards I didn’t have yet. You can see some of the bounty in the image above. One of the cards that really caught my eye was the 1985 Donruss Highlights…
This comes from the year-end set Donruss put out in 1985 (they also issued a Highlights set in 1986 and 1987). The front is pretty standard, an almost-too-dark-to-see photograph and a slightly altered design. But what really hit home with this card was the write-up on the reverse…
We all know that 3,000 hits is pretty much an automatic induction to the Hall of Fame, as long as you played cleanly. But Donruss seems to make a pretty big deal out of Concepcion’s 2,000th hit. The writer was so impressed with Davey’s hit record that he wrote…
The BBWAA did not agree, and so far neither has the Veterans Committee. I have always been a supporter of Concepcion for Cooperstown, but I will admit that statistically he does not measure up. Do I think his inclusion would diminish the importance of the Hall? Absolutely not. If nothing else, it would further celebrate the great Reds teams of the 1970s and show that the Hall is not entirely about statistics. Some players have more to them than numbers, something that might push them into legendary status even though a simple glance at their career line on baseball-reference.com does not seem as impressive as others.
Should Dave Concepcion be in the Hall of Fame? I still say yes, and hope the Veterans Committee one day agrees with me.
I was going to wait until the season started to send off a request to Tom Foley, as he serves as Third Base Coach for the Tampa Bay Rays. But I found a home address and decided to go ahead and send it. In a matter of twelve days, I had three autographed Foley cards: 1984 Topps, 1985 Donruss, and 1985 Fleer.
This marks the twelfth 1984 Topps Reds card and the eighth 1985 Donruss Reds card for which I have obtained autographs. Most have been TTM, while a couple have been obtained in person.
I also have four 1985 Fleer Reds cards, but I don’t even have all the 1985 Fleer Reds cards unsigned yet.
Former Reds pitcher Joe Price signed and returned all three cards I sent to him. The cards were mailed to Price on Monday, and they came back today…wow! What a fantastic turnaround time! Four days!
I love the look of signatures on these cards…Donruss photos can be a little dark, but the design is iconic to me.
Last Saturday, I posted my “Most Wanted!” list at the behest of Night Owl. And in less than a week, one of those cards needs to be replaced, as I received in the mail today…
John of Johngy’s Beat said he would like to see a “virtual” 2009 Topps card of Bill Plummer, former backup catcher for the Redlegs. I made two, and as payment for services (?) rendered, he sent me the 1985 Donruss Mario Soto Diamond Kings card.
Thank you, Night Owl for the suggestion. Thank you, Johngy’s Beat for the card!
Now to figure out what to replace that “Most Wanted!” slot with…