On Monday, Jay Bruce added his name to a short list: players who have smacked 200 home runs and collected 1000 hits while wearing a Cincinnati Reds uniform. Hall of Famers Johnny Bench (389/2048), Frank Robinson (324/1673), and Tony Perez (287/1934) top the list, while Reds legends Ted Kluszewski (251/1499) and George Foster (244/1276) sit comfortably ahead of the right fielder on the Reds all-time home runs list. Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr. were both within 100 hits of the milestone, while Barry Larkin retired just two home runs shy and Vada Pinson was 14 homers short. Joey Votto will likely join the group next year (unless he goes on a tear and rounds the bases ten more times this season), and Brandon Phillips may add his name to the list eventually, but today is Jay Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuce’s day.
I dropped the ball on this one! I intended to post this “fun card” earlier in the week, and forgot about it until today as I was looking at the other cards I have created for the set. This hasn’t been a season full of highlights for the Reds, but dedicating a statue to Tony Perez would make the list even in a World Championship year. “Doggie” had an outstanding career for the Reds, Expos, Red Sox, and Phillies, and remains one of the most popular players from the 1970s Big Red Machine era. A seven-time All-Star, Perez finished his career with 379 home runs and 1652 RBI. It was not until his ninth year on the Hall of Fame ballot, in 2000, that he was finally inducted. He never had less than 50% support for the Hall.
Jay Bruce connected for his 200th career home run last night against the San Diego Padres.
Todd Frazier got the start at third base for the National League squad in the 2015 All-Star Game. He was 0-for-3 at the plate, grounding out to third base each time he came to the plate. The Cincinnati crowd cheered him on though, and he made us proud by hustling each time he came to the plate. This was Frazier’s second All-Star Game.
Aroldis Chapman pitched the ninth inning for the National Leaguers, striking out the side. Twelve of his fourteen pitches were 100 mph or faster. Chapman has been selected to four consecutive All-Star Games.
Alright, so technically these are not 2015 Reds…but it is certainly a 2015 highlight for this dismal Reds season. Announced before the 2015 All-Star Game in Cincinnati on Tuesday, Hall of Famers Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, and Barry Larkin, along with should-be Hall of Famer Pete Rose, took the field to a thunderous ovation as the Franchise Four of the Cincinnati Reds.
I was fortunate enough to be in attendance for Tuesday’s festivities. I have to say, if you ever get a chance to attend the MLB All-Star Game, it is worth it. I had an amazing night.
For the first time since 1990, the host of the Home Run Derby is the champion. Ryne Sandberg won the competition at Wrigley Field in 1990; Todd Frazier took the title last night. Congratulations to the Toddfather, who has secured his place as my favorite Reds player this year.
I also created a special card for the TWJ set to commemorate last night’s victory, and to preview the All-Star design that should maybe possibly debut tomorrow. The regular set should resume on Thursday.
Have fun watching the game tonight; I know I will!