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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)

Fun Cards: 1976 Topps Brandon Phillips “Bubble Gum Blowing Champion”

It’s Saturday. Growing up, Saturday was the greatest day in the world, because we had tons of great cartoons (does anyone else remember Turbo Teen? Anyone???), no school, and lots of baseball to play. And of course, when you play baseball in the backyard, you gotta have a big ol’ hunk of Big League Chew in your cheek. Who could blow the biggest bubble?

One guy who seems to have a whole year of Saturdays is Brandon Phillips. The guy just loves to play baseball and he lives each day to the max like he doesn’t have a care in the world. I’m glad he’s still a part of the Cincinnati Reds organization.

Bubble Gum Blowing Champion

This is, of course, based on the Kurt Bevacqua card from the 1976 Topps set. What a great card. And there is even video of the championship between Bevacqua and Johnny Oates!

Fun Cards Submission: 1973 Topps Brandon Phillips & 1974 Topps Jonathan Villar

BP

TWJ contributor Patrick sent over a couple of great “fun cards” over the weekend, but I just haven’t had the time to post them yet. First up is a 1973 Brandon Phillips, using a photo from the series against the Houston Astros when Jonathan Villar slid into his backside at second base.

Villar

Next up is a 1974 Jonathan Villar, using that same photo in true Topps form.

Thanks for the “fun cards” Patrick!

Fun Cards Submission: 1969 Topps All-Star Brandon Phillips

Phillips 1969 Topps

Brandon Phillips beat out the Cardinals’ Matt Carpenter for the starting spot on the National League team, and it was either a very tight race or MLB wanted us to believe it was with the hype they put on it over the last few days of voting. I love the 1969 Topps All-Star design. There were three Reds featured on the 1969 design: Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, and second baseman Tommy Helms.

Thanks to TWJ contributor Patrick for another fantastic “fun card.”

Fun Cards Submission: 1973 Topps Brandon Phillips

1973 Topps BP

If voting ended today for the All-Star Game, Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips would be starting in the National League infield. Votto has a 1,044,742-513,371 lead over the Giants’ Brandon Belt at first base, while Phillips is leading the Giants’ Marco Scutaro 1,019,240-801,754. Other Reds on the board are Todd Frazier (5th place at third base), Shin-Soo Choo (5th place in the outfield), and Jay Bruce (15th place in the outfield).

The starting lineup, if voting ended right now, would be: Buster Posey, Votto, Phillips, Troy Tulowitzki, Pablo Sandoval, Justin Upton, Bryce Harper, and Ryan Braun.

Seriously? Braun? Come on, people! Don’t let the terrorists cheaters win!

Thanks to TWJ contributor Patrick for the above 1973 Topps Brandon Phillips, a tribute both to the best second baseman in the NL and the awful photography of the 1973 Topps set!

Fun Cards Submission: 2013 Topps Brandon Phillips (World Baseball Classic)

BP for USA

Has anyone heard if Topps is planning to include WBC cards in Series 2 or U&H this year? I’m sort of torn on whether they should. It was pretty cool to see the Olympic cards in 1985 and 1988, but any that came after that were not as exciting. I remember there were some WBC cards a few years ago, can’t remember if they were Topps or not, and I was not very impressed with them.

Patrick sent over this card of Brandon Phillips playing for Team USA. To be honest, I haven’t followed the WBC at all. The statistics are being posted on wordlbaseballclassic.com.

What if the Hokey Pokey really is what it’s all about?

BP teaching the ump the Hokey Pokey

In defense of Tony LaRussa

I can’t believe I just typed those words. The man is indefensible, and yet I am going to set out a defense for him in regards to Brandon Phillips‘ perceived snub from the All-Star Game.

I’ll admit that I was taken aback when I saw BP’s name missing from the roster. I am first disappointed in the fans for voting in Dan Uggla and his abysmal .235 batting average. Phillips is hitting .050 better than that, has more hits and RBI in fewer games and is practically even on home runs. In a decision between BP and Uggla, BP wins without a doubt.

Who should be the National League second baseman

But Phillips was also passed over for the reserves. Who got the nod at second base in the National League? Houston’s Jose Altuve. Many will point to the rule that every team must be represented (a rule that I wholeheartedly agree with, by the way). That must be the reason Altuve was selected over Phillips, right?

Wrong. Look at the stats. While BP has more homers and ribbies than Altuve, the young man in Houston is leading Cincinnati’s slick fielder in every other category: runs, hits, doubles, triples, stolen bases, batting average, on-base percentage, slugging, and OPS. Altuve deserves the nod over Phillips.

Truth be told, if any second baseman was truly snubbed, it was Arizona’s Aaron Hill, who leads the position in slugging and OPS and has a bit more pop than Altuve; however he does trail the Astros’ second sacker in hits and batting average.

So, for once, Tony LaRussa did the right thing. I hope I never have to say those words again.

As for the Johnny Cueto snub…that’s a whole ‘nother story.

Photoset: Cincinnati Reds vs. Colorado Rockies (May 26, 2012 @ Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati, OH)

Saturday night’s ballgame against the Colorado Rockies was a slugfest, featuring home runs by Chris Heisey, rookie Devin Mesoraco, and a pinch hit shot by Ryan Ludwick. Starting pitcher Mike Leake only lasted only 3.2 innings, giving up three Colorado runs, but the bullpen came in to shut down the Rockies and preserve the Reds’ win. The Reds’ pitchers combined for eleven strikeouts, winning everyone with a ticket stub a free pizza from LaRosa’s and a free ice cream cone from United Dairy Farmers. Not a bad deal, if you ask me!

Here are some photos from the game…

Mr Red

Mr. Red

starting pitcher Leake

Leake

Tulowitzki

Troy Tulowitzki

Helton

Todd Helton

Vottomatic

Joey Votto

Phillips

Brandon Phillips

sliding with style

Phillips…sliding with style!

Heisey goes deep

Heisey’s first home run of the season

Heisey admiring his moonshot

Keep your eye on the ball…all the way out of the park

rookie catcher Mesoraco

Mesoraco

strikeout flames

The strikeout flames

Leake on the mound

Leake

Leake at the plate

Leake hitting a double

Votto on the basepaths

Vottomatic on the basepaths, watching BP’s hit fall before taking third

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