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2009 Topps Bill Plummer

At the request of Johngy’s Beat, here is a 2009 Topps “fun card” of former Reds backup catcher Bill Plummer. I don’t know much about Plummer, mainly because he was stuck behind a Hall of Fame backstop during his Cincinnati days. While searching for photos to use, I also discovered a bassist named Bill Plummer, who released a very trippy psychedelic album in 1967 called Bill Plummer And The Cosmic Brotherhood. Just listen to this stuff:

Now that you are thoroughly tripped out, here’s a second Bill Plummer 2009 Topps card, with a different pose and a facsimile autograph to boot!

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any “action” shots of Plummer, either behind the plate or batting. That’s the curse of playing backup to Johnny Bench.

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So long, kid.

I’ll miss you.

Is there a Tulo fan out there?

I’m pretty sure I saw a blog devoted to Troy Tulowitzki cards out there some time back, but can’t find it now. If anyone can direct me to it, or direct the blogmaster to this post, I would appreciate it. I recently got a couple of Tulo cards, and they need a good home…

I have a few 2009 Topps U&H cards that would like to find a good home, in fact. As always, I’m looking for Reds, preferably from 2009 or 2010 sets. Hit me up at jasontcarter at gmail.

59, 78, 138, 154, 193, 201, 219, 250, 259, 295

Man, this Kool Aid sure tastes good!

Thanks to OMGreds for the link to Better Off Red from which I lifted the photo.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I hope you got all you wanted
and needed this year,
and I hope 2010 is better
than 2009 for each and every one
of my friends!

2009 Topps Kurt Stillwell

Don’t ask me why I’m such a big fan of Kurt Stillwell, because I really don’t know. I just remember being upset with the Reds when they traded him to the Royals for Danny Jackson. Stillwell got his revenge in 1988 when he came back to Cincinnati for the All-Star Game. If I recall correctly, he got a pretty good reception from the crowd during player introductions. Stillwell was the 2nd overall pick in the 1983 draft (behind Tim Belcher, who coincidentally came to the Reds in the Eric Davis trade). The only great player taken in the 1st round in 1983 was Roger Clemens, who went on to destroy his own greatness with steroids.

Again, I’m not sure why I’m such a big Stillwell fan, but I am. He’ll never be inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame or receive any other high honors for his playing ability, but he’ll always be one of my first favorite players.

2009 Topps Mario Soto

My favorite pitcher to ever pitch for the Reds, Mario Soto was a force to be reckoned with in the early 1980s. Four times he finished in the top ten for Cy Young voting, coming in second behind John Denny in 1983. Soto could have been a 20-game winner that year if he had an offense behind him, but the Reds were pretty terrible in ’83. In 1983 and 1984, Soto led the NL in complete games, a foreign concept to pitchers today. A three-time All-Star (including a start in 1983), Soto won 100 games over his 12-year career for the Reds. I’ve had the honor of meeting Soto and getting his autograph at the past two Redsfest events.

You might remember that in 1989 Soto was featured in a Dodgers uniform in the Score set. Though he never faced a batter during a regular-season game for the evil blue ones, he was traded halfway through the 1988 season to LA. A similar thing happened in 1995 when Jack Morris was pictured in a Reds uniform, having never played a game that counts for Cincinnati.

Soto was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in 2001.

One more card to go and I’ll be done with the 2009 Topps Reds “fun cards.” Anyone care to guess who the subject of that card will be?

2009 Topps Ken Griffey, Jr.

His smile set the world on fire in 1989 when he was selected to be the first card in Upper Deck’s inaugural set, so it’s only fitting to have a smiling Griffey Jr. in my Reds 2009 Topps “fun cards” set. He was traded to the White Sox midway through the 2008 season, and signed with the Mariners as a free agent in 2009. Griffey recently re-inked with Seattle and may play his final big league season in 2010. I know many of you are sick of Junior, but I will be sad when he says goodbye.

In his 9 seasons with the Reds, Griffey hit 210 home runs, including the 400th, 500th, and 600th of his career; he only the fourth player in baseball history to legitimately hit 600 home runs (Jim Thome may be the next–and possibly the last–36 longballs from the mark). His career since 2000 can only be seen as disappointing when viewed in light of his first 11 years in the big leagues.

2009 Topps Wally Post

Another popular player from the 1950s Reds teams, Wally Post made his mark in 1955 when he smacked 40 home runs. No, in this day, 40 isn’t a huge number. But back in Post’s day…it wasn’t much either. At least not in ’55. Post was sixth in the National League with those 40 dingers. Willie Mays (51), Ted Kluszewski (47), Ernie Banks (44), Duke Snider (42), and Eddie Mathews (41) all had more round-trippers than Wally. The next year, 1956, Post hit 36 out of the park, good for 5th on the NL list. That same year, three other Reds (Frank Robinson, Big Klu, and Gus Bell) also finished among the top ten home run hitters in the senior circuit.

Despite his phenomenal numbers those two seasons, Post never went to the All-Star Game. He was voted to start in 1957 along with six other Redlegs. The commish stepped in and said, “The fans are stupid and they can’t vote no more.” Post was removed from the team, while Gus Bell was sent to the bench; Hank Aaron and Willie Mays were awarded starting spots in their places.

Retiring in 1963, Post was ushered into the Reds Hall of Fame in 1965.

By my calculations, there are only three more cards to post after this Post (yeah, bad pun). One started his career in the 1970s with the Reds, one made his big league debut in the 1980s for the Reds, and the third started in the 1980s also, but not with the Reds. If you look at the names to the left and think about who some of my favorites are, it shouldn’t be difficult to figure out the final three.

2009 Topps Gus Bell

Buddy Bell was a pretty popular guy in Cincinnati. One of the main reasons? He was Gus Bell’s kid. Gus played nine seasons in Cincinnati, and all four of his All-Star selections came while wearing the Reds uniform. He was a pretty decent hitter with a .281 lifetime average, topping 25 home runs three times in his career. After being drafted by the Mets in the 1961 expansion draft, Bell only played a handful of games with New York, after which he was traded to the Milwaukee Braves for another former Red, Frank Thomas (no, not the Big Hurt).

Gus Bell was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in 1964, the same year he retired from baseball. I believe his son, having only played about two and a half seasons in Cincinnati, is not eligible for the same honor.

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