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What makes a good trading partner?

Votto All-Star

I use the word “trading” very loosely.

The first time I trade with someone, I generally ask, “What team do you like? I’ll send you a package full, and you can respond with Reds after you get it.” That initial trade sets the tone for our relationship. There are some that I have been “trading” with for close to a decade now. But they aren’t really trades after a while. Eventually, they become, “Hey, that’s something so-and-so would probably like,” or, “I saw so-and-so blog about needing that card.” The card is then purchased and packed and sent off without notice or expectation of anything in return. That’s the way I like to “trade.”

The guy who gets most of my Mariners cards is Steve of Tridents and Trading Cards. I have interacted with Steve quite a bit, mostly on Twitter (his handle is @cardboardjones), and he has sent me some really cool stuff through the years. His most recent mailing contained just two cards…but both were cards that I needed.

The first, up top, is a Joey Votto card that also features Aroldis Chapman and Brandon Phillips. All three repped the Redlegs at the 2013 All-Star Game in New York. I liked the card the first time I saw it, but haven’t seen it cheap enough to actually buy (because card shops price their Reds cards WAY too high around here). I received the emerald parallel last week, and it was quickly followed by the base version. It’s awesome to finally have it in my collection, even if 2/3 of the guys on the cards no longer wear the Cincinnati uniform.

The second card is a 2017 purple parallel Scott Schebler.


I rarely buy cards at Toys R Us, so I have very few purple parallel cards. All of my purple Reds have come from other collectors. And I appreciate them. I do not put parallels on my wantlist, nor do I chase them, but I do want them. I only add them after they are received, then cross them out. The only time I really consider purchasing a parallel is if the price is sooooo low I simply can’t pass it up. Which, in Cincinnati, never happens. So I am very grateful to add this card to my collection.

Back to the question, what makes a good trading partner? To me, a good trading partner is one who drops cards in the mail just because, or who picks up stuff at shows or antique malls or card shops that others will appreciate, with no expectation of a return package. Which isn’t really trading at all, is it?

Thanks for being a good “trading” partner, Steve!

Cards from GCRL

I recently sent GCRL a few Dodgers and double play cards, and he sent back a few Reds cards. Three I needed, and one I could never have enough off. The latter first…

Davis 1987

1987 Topps Eric Davis. A classic card, a card every kid in Cincinnati owned and wanted more of. Of course, since 1987 Topps was so abundant, it wasn’t difficult to stock up on these puppies. I can just imagine Kal Daniels standing next to Eric the Red, with #44 explaining, “This is a baseball, Kalvoski. If you hit it, they pay you lots of money and the people love you. If you go into a slump, Cincinnati will hate you and demand that you be traded.”

We go next to 1970, and another card crossed off my wantlist…

Jackson 1970

1970 Topps Al Jackson. The famous (infamous?) 1970 set with all the hatless and black-hatted dudes and hideous gray borders. Seriously, who thought this was a nice design? Jackson didn’t play in 1970; his career ended in 1969 after appearing in 33 games for the Redlegs. He also played for the Pirates, Mets, and Cardinals.

The third card looks like 1972, but is actually 2003…

1972 Morgan 2003

2003 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites Joe Morgan. These things are getting more and more difficult to keep up with. You can’t just look at the last year of stats on the back anymore; now you have to get out your magnifying glass and find the copyright date. I love retro cards, but maybe Heritage is enough? I don’t know.

Finally, speaking of retro…

Latos 1990

2013 Topps Archives Mat Latos (1990 style). I’m a 1990 Topps apologist. I think it is the best looking set of that year (not that the competitors were very good). Sure, it could have been better (check out Uncle Doc’s Redefine the Design post), but I liked it back then and I still like it today. I like the color coordination on Latos’ card with the red border. That was probably the thing that bugged me the most. Chris Sabo shouldn’t be on a purple-bordered card. He just shouldn’t.

All in all great selection of cards. Thanks Jim!

Happy Father’s Day! Fun Cards: 2013 Topps Ken Griffey Jr. & Sr.

Griffey Sr 2013 Topps

Griffey Jr 2013 Topps

Perhaps the greatest father/son combo in the history of baseball…Ken Griffey Sr. and his son, Junior. Happy Father’s Day to all!

Fun Cards: 2013 Topps Marvin Lewis

Lewis Topps

Before today’s Reds game, some of the Bengals players and staff took batting practice. Coach Marvin Lewis even got in the cage and took a few hacks. Maybe he and Dusty Baker can switch jobs? Couldn’t do any worse, could he?

Fun Cards: 2013 Topps Ted Kluszewski

2013 Topps Kluszewski

I’m kinda proud of this one. I took an old black and white photograph and colorized it in Photoshop. It’s not perfect, but I’m happy with it.

Ted Kluszewski doesn’t get enough respect in my opinion. The dude was a monster. In a four-year span from 1953 through 1956, Big Klu smashed 171 home runs and drove in 464 runs, all while holding a .315 batting average. He made the All-Star team those four years, and in 1954 he finished second to Willie Mays in MVP voting.

For perspective, consider some other great four-year stretches…

Of course, four years does not a Hall of Famer make. Injuries beset Kluszewski, and he finished his career with 279 home runs and 1028 RBI. Still, during that four-year stretch, he must have been fun to watch at old Crosley Field.

Fun Cards: 2013 Topps “Nasty Boys”

Nasty Boys Dibble Charlton Myers

There is a lot of hoopla surrounding the duo of Jonathan Broxton and Aroldis Chapman in the Reds’ bullpen, but they are not as exciting as the 1990 “Nasty Boys” bullpen featuring Norm Charlton, Rob Dibble, and Randy Myers. When the Reds traded John Franco in December ’89, I thought all was lost. But Myers’ personality was a better fit for the Cincinnati bullpen, and Lou Piniella was able to get the best out of his famous trio as the Reds went wire-to-wire and swept the Oakland A’s in the 1990 World Series.

Fun Cards: 2013 Topps “Dangerous”


Imagine yourself as a pitcher in 1975 and 1976. Now imagine yourself visiting Riverfront Stadium to play against the Cincinnati Reds and their dangerous lineup, including Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, and Johnny Bench. Strike a little bit o’ fear in your heart?

I imagine American League pitchers today have that same fear when facing the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (or whatever they are called now) and the powerful trio of Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, and Mike Trout. Even though Hamilton has struggled so far, I’m confident he will break out soon and the Angels will run away with the American League pennant, only to be shut down by the Reds in the World Series.

Fun Cards: 2013 Topps Barry Larkin


How weird will it be this summer when there are no living people inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame? Jacob Ruppert, Hank O’Day, and Deacon White all passed away in the 1930s!

Barry Larkin was the lone living player inducted last year; Ron Santo received support from the Veterans Committee to be inducted posthumously.

Fun Cards: 2013 Topps Chris Sabo

Spuds 2013 Topps

Nicknamed “Spuds” by manager Pete Rose, Chris Sabo was a hugely popular player in his rookie campaign of 1988. After Buddy Bell went down with an injury, Sabo won the starting job at third base in spring training and was named a reserve for the All-Star game, which was held in the Queen City that summer. Imagine the frenzy when he was called to pinch run for Gary Carter in the 7th inning and promptly stole second base. Sabes’ hustle was so impressive that he beat out Mark Grace to capture the National League Rookie of the Year award in 1988.

Fun Cards: 2013 Topps Jose Rijo

1990 World Series hero

Former Reds pitcher and World Series hero Jose Rijo has evidently gotten mixed up with the wrong sorts of people since his retirement. Last summer, he was charged with laundering money for a suspected drug trafficker, after that man allegedly ordered that a journalist be kidnapped and killed.

I prefer to remember him as the 1990 World Series MVP.

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