Blog Archives

I’m trying to think of something nice to say about the Cleveland Indians

Sorry, I can’t come up with anything at all.

At least they have some fans that are willing to trade stacks of Reds for stacks of Indians. Last week I was introduced to @cjbosu2000 on Twitter, and we agreed to a blind trade. I shipped a padded envelope of Tribe up his way, and he sent some Reds south…

Reds cards

Most of the cards were very modern, but there were a handful of junk cards, including this needed Chris Hammond card…

Hammond

I was a big Hammond fan back in the day. I was certain he was the next big thing and “invested” in a stack of his Upper Deck rookie cards. Fortunately, my investment was small to begin with, so I didn’t lose that much. This Leaf card is one that I never got a hold of, though, so it’s nice to add it to my collection.

Most people in the blogosphere don’t care about those ancient junk wax cards, though. You monsters just want to see the shiny stuff. So take a look at these goodies from 2016, all of which I think will be new to my binders…

Platinum Votto

2016 Bowman Platinum Joey Votto

DK Frazier

2016 Panini Diamond Kings Todd Frazier

Archives Bruce

2016 Topps Archives Jay Bruce

Heritage Iglesias

2016 Topps Heritage Raisel Iglesias

Then, moving into 2017…

DK Votto

2017 Panini Diamond Kings Votto

Optic Votto DK

2017 Panini/Donruss Optic Diamond Kings Votto (purple parallel)

2017 A&G Larkin

2017 Topps Allen & Ginter Barry Larkin

2017 Fire Duvall

2017 Topps Fire Adam Duvall

2017 Gallery Finnegan

2017 Topps Gallery Brandon Finnegan (Maybe canvas parallel? Need clarifcation on these.)

2017 Heritage Storen

2017 Topps Heritage Drew Storen

2017 Opening Day Finnegan

2017 Topps Opening Day Finnegan

There were so many great cards in this package. Chuck has definitely earned a spot on my permanent “send his favorite team’s stuff to him when I get it” list. Thanks for the Reds goodies, Chuck!

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A one in a million trader

I don’t post the cards I receive in the mail very often anymore on here. I usually post them to Twitter then put them in the stack to be sorted. I think I will change that, because this blog needs some lovin’. So here is a trade recently completely with Beau of the One Million Cubs Project, who I met via Twitter (@onemillioncubs). I sent him a handful of Cubbies recently, and he loaded me up with Reds and Reggies.

Reggie Jackson is one of the non-Reds players that I collect, and Beau hit a few holes in my collection here. I don’t have an official wantlist, but I believe there are at least four cards in this lot that I didn’t previously have.

Reggie

Then there were the Reds. From Eric Davis to Tucker Barnhart to Pete Rose to Mario Soto, Beau scattered the selections throughout several eras of Cincinnati baseball.

Reds

And he sent over a few 2014 Allen & Ginters, which I don’t even have on my wantlists yet! I need to change that soon. I got a Joe Morgan, Frank Robinson, and a mini Billy Hamilton rooooooookie card…

BHAM

And it’s always cool to get an autograph, even if you’ve never heard of the guy. Tanner Rainey was a second round draft pick in 2015 and split last year between Dayton and Pensacola, so he’s not a washout yet. Hope this guy can get to the bigs and help out the Reds…they sure need it on the mound.

Rainey

Eric Davis is another guy I collect everything of, whether Reds or not. It’s hard to find a Reds card of Davis I don’t have (though there are a handful), but when you send me Dodgers and Tigers and Orioles and Cardinals cards…there’s a good chance I don’t have it yet. Like Reggie, I don’t have a wantlist up yet, but maybe I’ll be able to change that this summer? (HAHA yeah right)

Davis

But what is this? Yes, it IS a Reds card of #44 I didn’t already have! From Baseball Cards Magazine…

Davis

Beau posted this and several more Reds from Baseball Cards Magazine, and I knew I had to ask if they could be included in the trade. Fortunately no one else had spoken up yet. If you need any of the non-Reds from the panels, let me know and they are yours (except for Darryl Strawberry, he’s already spoken for). The other Reds besides Davis were Barry Larkin, Randy Myers, Scott Scudder, Rosario Rodriguez, and Joe Oliver (sharing a card with John Wetteland of the Dodgers)…

Larkin

Myers

Scudder

Oliver

All of those came on uncut panels with other players, but they will be freed and bindered at some point.

Thanks Beau for an awesome trade!

Fun Cards: “Baseball Immortals” Barry Larkin

Larkin

Barry Larkin‘s initial showing on the Hall of Fame ballot in 2010 was disappointing, but not overly surprising. What surprised me was how quickly his support rose; he received 86.4% of the vote in 2012 to gain induction into the Hall of Fame. Larkin was on the 1990 World Championship Reds, won the 1995 NL MVP award, was named to 12 All-Star teams, and collected three Gold Gloves and nine Silver Sluggers.

Fun Cards: 1988 Topps All-Star Barry Larkin

In the era of free agency, it is rare to find a player remain with the same team for his entire career, but there are a few Hall of Famers that refused to desert their devoted fans. Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Jim Rice, Tony Gwynn, and Cal Ripken are a few of the lifers in the Hall. Chipper Jones, Mariano Rivera, and Derek Jeter will join them in future elections. And, of course, there is the Cincinnati-born Barry Larkin, who was one of three shortstops on the 1988 National League All-Star roster.

1988 All Star Barry Larkin Cincinnati Reds

Yesterday, we featured Shawon Dunston, the hard-throwing shortstop of the Cubs. Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith (who was not a lifer) was featured in the actual 1988 Topps set. But Barry Larkin was forced to wait until 1991 to make his All-Star cardboard debut.

1988 All Star Barry Larkin Cincinnati Reds

As I said last week, I would love to see Topps actually do this next year, either as an insert set or in Archives. Give every 1988 All-Star a 1988 All-Star card. I have two more lined up this week, and am trying to track down usable “mugshots” for more. If you have any suggestions, I’m all ears.

Happy Reds birthday, Barry Larkin!

Larkin

April 28, 1964

One would think that it would be difficult to find a shortstop to replace the fan favorite Dave Concepcion in Cincinnati in the late 1980s, but Barry Larkin confidently stepped into the hole left by #13 and quickly established himself as one of the premier offensive and defensive shortstops in the majors. Twelve All-Star games, nine Silver Sluggers, and three Gold Gloves—a number that likely would have been higher had his career not overlapped with Ozzie Smith’s. Larkin was the 1995 NL MVP and waltzed into the Hall of Fame on his third ballot in 2012.

Reds junk from the Barves Junkie

Griffey

There has not been a new post on the Cardboard Junkie website in four months. But Dave is still quite active on Twitter as @CardJunk, and after telling him that I wanted to send him some Barves cards, he said he had some Reds set aside for me. His package arrived last week. Here’s some of the awesomeness contained inside:

Hamilton

Perez

A couple of “1st Home Run” inserts from 2015 Topps featuring Josh Hamilton and Tony Perez. I don’t recall seeing any of these last year, and if I did, I certainly didn’t notice that some were silver and some were gold.

red

Lutz

Leake

Cueto

Some parallel goodies. Red-bordered Jonathan Broxton from 2014, and man, Reds players sure look good on red-bordered cards. The emerald green borders look sharp too, but I bet Donald Lutz would look better in an A’s uniform on that card. The Mike Leake is a mini, alternate-colored bordered Gypsy Queen. And a black-bordered Johnny Cueto Heritage. Are there any sets that don’t have some sort of parallel anymore?

Pineda

Autographed goodness! Luis Pineda only played two seasons in the bigs, and only one for the Reds. But I got his scribbles now!

Hoffman

Future Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman never played for the Cincinnati Reds, but he spent some time in the organization before going to Miami Florida in the 1992 expansion draft.

Franco

Another fantastic reliever, John Franco, from the 1987 Topps sticker set.

Larkin

Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, from the 1987 Classic green border set. I already had the yellow border card from the travel edition, but the green border features a different photo and everything.

Perez

Nolan

Cline

Now we’re starting to get vintagey with a trio of ’70s cards. Tony Perez, 1976. Gary Nolan, 1972. Ty Cline, 1971.

Cardenas

Even more vintage. Leo Cardenas, 1968. This card is going to look fantastic with Leo’s scribbles on it. The only question is whether I wait until December at Redsfest or try to catch him at the Reds Hall of Fame this summer.

There was a ton of other stuff in the package…

Junk

…including a card that I didn’t even discover until I went to scan them last night. In addition to all the Reds goodies, Dave included a special 1/1 sketch card of one of my very favorite vampires…

Nosferatu

NOSFERATU!

A pleasant surprise slid in between two other cards in one of the hard cases. I absolutely love this sketch card!

Trading with a Rays fan in Indiana

Reds

I love blind trades. I sent a handful of Tampa Bay Rays cards to @JDaniel2033, a Twitter friend in Indianapolis, and he sent back a handful of Reds. Lots of Barry Larkin and Hal Morris cards, Jose Rijo, and Hall of Famer Tony Perez were included among them. But he also sent a vintage Reds card that I needed:

Carbo

Former Reds outfielder Bernie Carbo (who also played for the Cardinals, Red Sox, Brewers, Pirates, and Indians).

But he didn’t stop there. He also sent me a non-Reds card from 1972…

Morgan

Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan!

There are a few players that are always welcome in my collection, whether they are wearing Reds uniforms or not, and that includes any of the Big Red Machine’s Great Eight.

Thank you for the awesome cards @JDaniel2033, and I will certainly be sending some more Rays your way whenever I come across them!

The Card Chop Swap

I recently sent some Dale Murphy and Atlanta Braves cards to Steve of The Card Chop, and he responded with a package of Reds cards. Always happy to receive an envelope full of Reds, especially when I need every single one…

VottoPhilllips

Let’s start with this Joey Votto/Brandon Phillips “Back to Back” card from the new 2016 Topps flagship. I like this card. A lot of people are hating on this particular insert set, and while it’s not the most fantastic card ever, I still like it. Plus, Topps was smart by using two players that were pretty much guaranteed to still be on the Reds roster when the season opens. As opposed to this guy…

Chapman

…who will be sitting out the first thirty games serving a domestic violence suspension. I’m not sure how much the Reds will actually miss Aroldis Chapman this year, since he is a closer and expected to save games. The Reds probably won’t have very many games to save.

Bruce

And then there is this guy, who was almost a Blue Jay last week. Jay Bruce has been the subject of trade rumors since the All-Star break last year, and I still would not be surprised to see him in another city for opening day. He has a big contract that Cincinnati would love to get rid of, despite being one of the league leaders in homers and RBI just a few years ago…

Bruce

Bruce

Speaking of league leaders…

Hamilton

…when is Billy Hamilton going to get on base enough to lead the league in stolen bases?

Keeping with the league leaders theme…

Harang

Aaron Harang had the most strikeouts in 2006. That kinda blows my mind. He’s still looking for a job this spring, after finishing the 2015 season in Philadelphia. Another former Reds pitcher…

Arroyo

…is trying to rejoin his former skipper Dusty Baker in Washington. Bronson Arroyo considered returning to the Reds, but settled for a minor-league deal with DC.

Steve sent over a slew of 2006 Topps Reds that I didn’t have yet.

Reds

Ross

David Ross announced that 2016 would be his last season in the bigs, and Jason Heyward gave him a pretty “suite” retirement gift.

Phillips

Brandon Phillips is the only player from the 2006 Reds team that is still in Cincinnati in 2016. 2006 was before Votto and before Bruce. One of the players on that roster is now deceased. It seems like an eternity ago, when Ken Griffey and Adam Dunn still roamed the outfield at Great American Ballpark.

Steve sent several other 2006 Topps Reds, but I don’t remember half of them. I did want to show one other card in the package, going way back to 1995…

Larkin

Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, punched out of a Sports Illustrated for Kids magazine. I loved the 90s.

Fun Cards: 1986 Donruss “The Rookies” Barry Larkin

Larkin

Donruss created “The Rookies” boxed set in 1986, featuring some of the brightest young stars in baseball, including Bo Jackson, Jose Canseco, and Will Clark. The borders were green rather than the blue of the base set, but the scanned card appears more blue than green and I didn’t take the time to adjust it. Donruss missed a couple youngsters here and there, though, including Reds shortstop and future Hall of Famer Barry Larkin. Lark played in 41 games in 1986, hitting .283 with three homers and 19 RBI. The Reds were still deciding between him and Kurt Stillwell at the shortstop position; Larkin played three games at second base and 36 at short, while Stillwell played 80. For his first two big league seasons, Larkin wore uniform #15; once Stillwell was traded, Barry took #11 for himself.

2015 Reds, 1990 Score style: “Franchise Four” Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Barry Larkin, Pete Rose

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.

Bench

Morgan

Larkin

Rose

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.

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