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Happy Reds birthday, Brandon Phillips!

Phillips

June 28, 1981

I have never tried to hide that I am not a Brandon Phillips fan. I was ecstatic when the Reds finally worked out a deal to trade him before this year. I am glad he is playing well in Atlanta, and I wish him nothing but the best. Perhaps he can make one final All-Star appearance before he fades from our memories.

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All smiles on Opening Day

Smiles

A stack of random Reds arrived in my mailbox today from the Night Owl…a perfect way to start the season. Well, a win plus baseball cards would be the perfect way. Night Owl and the Reds just worked together and made my day today.

Opening Day is a holiday in Cincinnati. I didn’t have to work today, but didn’t feel like going down to the park for the game. I’ve been watching a few innings here and there of some out-of-market games, and have listened to some of the Reds-Phillies broadcast, and I’m enjoying it all in my comfortable recliner.

I also enjoyed going through some of the cards that Greg sent. In addition to the Brandon Phillips, Mariano Duncan, Ted Power, and Chris Sabo cards above, Greg delivered Joey Votto, Zack Cozart, Jay Bruce, Rob Dibble, and more.

Votto

Cozart

Cozart

Bruce

Dibble

Reds

Thank you for the cards Greg! And now, if I could just find some time to update my wantlists

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.

I said I wasn’t going to buy any 2016 Topps packs

But I’m a weak, weak man.

2016 Topps

At least I turned my weakness into a nice little game with the family. Our first pack wars of 2016 commenced after Bible study tonight as we sat around the kitchen table. Each of us took two packs, picked two teams, two players, and three card numbers. If you pull a card on your list, you get three points. If someone else pulls a card on your list, you get one point. Inserts also counted for three points apiece. After the first round of two packs, the top two scorers opened the last two packs in the box.

Here are some of my favorite cards from the box, starting with the Reds second baseman (who they desperately tried to unload this offseason) and right fielder (who was also mentioned in trade rumors), Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce

BP

Bruuuuuuuce

I’m not overly impressed with the cards, as I have mentioned elsewhere, and the backs are boring. But I thought the fact on the back of Bruce’s card was somewhat interesting:

Bruuuuuuce

I don’t think Jay will be joining Johnny Bench, Frank Robinson, or Tony Perez in Cooperstown.

I also got a Reds insert, which is super duper cool…

ONeill

I don’t remember Paul O’Neill pitching, but sure enough…

ONeill

Those are the only Reds cards I pulled, and that’s why it’s the only box I’ll be buying. It’s tough being a team collector who loves opening packs. The value just isn’t there at all. But I did pull several other cards that I liked, including a couple of Salvador Perez cards, an Anthony Rizzo/Kris Bryant insert, Warren Spahn, Babe Ruth, Andre Dawson, Randy Johnson, Josh Donaldson, and Giancarlo Stanton.

Perez

Perez

Rizzo Bryant

Spahn

Ruth

Dawson

Johnson

Donaldson

Stanton

And the “MLB Debut Medallion” that I pulled was Joe Mauer. I’m not a non-fan of Mauer, so I’m not entirely disappointed with this pull, and since there are no Reds on the checklist in series 1, I could have done a lot worse. That said, if anyone has a Reds manurelic from an older set, or if you want to make another offer for the Mauer coin, shoot me an e-mail.

Mauer

I plan to send out some of the other cards that I don’t want to keep to team collectors, so if you’re not already on my PWE list, send me an e-mail with your name, address, and what team you collect. If you want to reciprocate with some Reds, that would be great, but not necessary. What goes around comes around eventually in the baseball card blogosphere.

Oh, and if you’re wondering who won our pack war, it wasn’t me…

pack wars

Fun Cards Submission: 2016 Topps Brandon Phillips (Washington Nationals)

phillips 2016

Another fine submission from TWJ contributor Patrick of a player who appeared to be heading out of Cincinnati, Brandon Phillips nixed a deal with the Washington Nationals. Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on Phillips, but it seems that a player who is in the last part of his playing career would want to play for a contender. Add Dusty Baker into the mix as manager, and it looked like a perfect move for the second baseman who has fallen out of favor with a portion of the Reds fanbase.

Phillips considered waiving his no-trade clause, but the Reds were not willing to meet his demands. So he’ll play the next two years in the Queen City out of spite. Reds management has been fed up with him for a while, and more and more fans are turning against the former All-Star and Gold Glove infielder. Shame on the Reds for giving him that contract in the first place, and shame on them for not trading him a few years ago before he reached 10-and-5 status.

Sketchin’ the #Reds: @DatDudeBP

Brandon Phillips 1938 Goudey

I was fiddlin’ around with my colored pencils again last night, and Brandon Phillips became the subject of a 1938 Goudey “Heads Up” card.

2015 Reds, 1990 Score style: Brandon Phillips

007 Brandon Phillips

He has been to three All-Star games and has won four Gold Gloves, but 2014 was a down year for Brandon Phillips. The second baseman only played in 121 games, and his RBI total was cut in half, down from 103 in 2013 to 51 in 2014. Phillips needs to rebound in 2015 if the Reds hope to make the postseason.

Antiquing for baseball cards and more

Rose Bench etc

I picked up a nine-pocket page of baseball cards at the Antique Mall yesterday. At least six of those cards (pictured above) I did not already have in my collection. Two of them (the Pete Rose cards) I have never even seen before. The Johnny Bench card comes from the 1976 SSPC set, while the Redsfest cards are variations on cards I already owned. In 2008, baseball cards were given away at Redsfest at various booths, but they did not have the sponosrs’ logos on the cards like these do. I’m not sure if there are variations for all nine cards, or just Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips, and Joey Votto. In any case, I was happy to add the cards to my collection.

Starting Lineup

My wife also spied a couple of Starting Lineup figures for me—one of my favorite players, Chris Sabo, and Nasty Boy Rob Dibble—and the price was right to add them to my collection as well. I will be breaking them free of their packaging as soon as I get my mancave cleaned up a little bit, and put them on display with the rest of my SLU collection.

Antique Malls are awesome for finding deals on baseball cards and memorabilia.

Cards in the mail from GCRL

I love trading baseball cards with other bloggers, especially when neither has any clue what the other is sending. I recently sent GCRL a PWE with a few Dodgers (can’t even remember what exactly I sent now, to be honest). He returned the favor by sending a handful of Reds cards my way.

One card is very timely, as the MLB draft is on everyone’s mind at the moment…

Bench

Not only is it a card of Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench, it’s also my first 2014 Topps Heritage Reds card. I bought a pack of Heritage not too long ago, but didn’t pull any Reds at all. I was disappointed, but I knew I could flip most of them to other team collectors and would probably get a handful of Reds in return.

The next two come from another set that I didn’t have yet—and actually hadn’t even built a wantlist for yet—2014 Bowman.

Cueto

Phillips

If you can’t read the names on the cards because of the infuriating foil, that’s should-be All-Star Johnny Cueto, the ace of the Reds’ staff this year, and second baseman Brandon Phillips, who really doesn’t deserve the midsummer classic this year (unless he gets really hot this month).

There were a handful of other older cards in the envelope, from Aaron Harang to Marcus McBeth, but I’m just going to show one more…1992 Stadium Club Bill Doran. The photo on the front is nothing to get too excited about, but I love the backs of the old Stadium Club cards…

Doran

I wish Topps could find a way to work old cards back into their designs, similar to the Turn Back the Clock cards of 1986-1990, or MVP cards of 1975, or even on the back of the card like the old Stadium Club. Yeah, they have Heritage and Archives to bring back the old designs, but they don’t show actual cards from those years.

Thanks for the cards GCRL!

If anyone else would like to be put on my PWE mailing list, I’m building a database of who collects what teams and players. Just send me an e-mail with your favorite teams or players and your mailing address!

Reds’ Gold Glove History

Phillips Gold Glove 2013

Brandon Phillips was honored prior to Monday night’s game, receiving his fourth career Gold Glove trophy for defensive excellence in 2013. Hall of Famer Joe Morgan holds the record for Reds second basemen, winning the award five times from 1973-1977.

The Gold Glove was first awarded in 1957 to nine players in the major leagues. In 1958, the honor was split to recognize the nine best from each league. Over the course of the award’s history, twenty different Cincinnati Reds players have been recognized. Johnny Bench is a 10-time winner, more than any other catcher in National League history, but before he came along there was another Johnny who won twice in 1963 and 1964.

Only two Reds pitchers have ever won: Bronson Arroyo n 2010 and Harvey Haddix in 1958. Haddix won again in 1959 and 1960 with the Pirates. Bob Gibson and Greg Maddux dominated mound defense during their careers.

Second base and outfield are the positions that have yielded the most Gold Glovers for the Reds with five at each position.

Shortstop Roy McMillan was one of the first recipients of the Gold Glove in 1957, and he was recognized for three straight years. Dave Concepcion and Barry Larkin are the other shortstops that immediately come to mind when one thinks of great Reds shortstops, but there is one more that won in 1965: Leo Cardenas.

Here is a complete list of Reds Gold Glovers, along with the years they were recognized.

Pitcher
Bronson Arroyo (2010)
Harvey Haddix (1958)

Cardenas Gold GloveCatcher
Johnny Bench (1968-1977)
Johnny Edwards (1963-1964)

First Base
Joey Votto (2011)

Second Base
Brandon Phillips (2008, 2010-2011, 2013)
Pokey Reese (1999-2000)
Bret Boone (1998)
Joe Morgan (1973-1977)
Tommy Helms (1970-1971)

Third Base
Scott Rolen (2010)

Shortstop
Barry Larkin (1994-1996)
Dave Concepcion (1974-1977, 1979)
Leo Cardenas (1965)
Roy McMillan (1957-1959)

Outfield
Eric Davis (1987-1989)
Cesar Geronimo (1974-1977)
Pete Rose (1969-1970)
Vada Pinson (1961)
Frank Robinson (1958)

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