Three-fourths of the Cubs’ infield was named to the National League All-Star team; the only omission was rookie first baseman Mark Grace. Vance Law made his first appearance as an All-Star, and finished with his highest RBI total and batting average of his career.
What if Topps had made All-Star cards for every player on the All-Star roster in 1988? Then we would have had cards like this…
Instead, from 1984-1990, Ozzie Smith ruled the shortstop position for Topps. And for good reason…he is, after all, the Wizard. Another Hall of Famer, Barry Larkin, took over in 1991. But Shawon Dunston, who made the team in 1988 and 1990, was shut out.
I have been sitting on this post for absolutely no reason other than laziness. I bought a handful of fifty-cent packs when I was in Orlando at the beginning of the month, and scanned a handful of them, even uploaded the scans, but just haven’t been motivated to post them. I have nothing else planned for today, so let’s see what I got…
First up is Eric Davis from the 1987 Fleer Star Stickers set. These cards are very similar to the 1986 set, but with a green border instead of maroon. Either way, the border clashes with the red jersey.
The 1988 Fleer Star Stickers went with a gray border sprinkled with colorful stars. This Don Mattingly is the best card I pulled from that pack.
Back to 1987, and a pair of Reds in a pack: the best centerfielder and the best relief pitcher of the second half of the decade. John Franco is criminally underrated.
I bought a couple of packs of 1990 Donruss. Don’t look at me like that. I did not have any Grand Slammers cards, and I wanted a couple. I pulled the Todd Benzinger from one pack, and Will Clark from another. If I had found another pack with Bo Jackson on top, I would have bought that one too.
I did not know the 1992 Fleer “The Performer” cards came in packs of their own. I assumed they were inserts. In a five-card pack, I pulled Nolan Ryan and Frank Thomas. And probably some ‘roiders, I can’t remember now.
Art cards will always be my weakness. I’m not sure why I picked up a pack of 1992 Score, but I was happy to pull these bad boys.
Also from the same 1992 Score pack.
There it is. I knew there had to be something cool showing on the top of a 1992 Score pack for me to buy it, even at only fifty cents. Jim Thome is the man.
Kirby Puckett from 1996 Pinnacle Denny’s. Not sure why I bought this one-card pack. Oh well, at least it’s a Hall of Famer.
Think this candy is still good from 1991?
Finally, a couple of 1990 Baseball Buttons. I already have several of these, so I probably shouldn’t have bought them, but it was only fifty cents.
Not really a “fun card” when you’re on the losing side, but Jake Arrieta was absolutely dominant last night as the Reds got beat down 16-0 in the pitcher’s second career no-hitter. The 2015 National League Cy Young Award winner is already making a case for himself this year, starting off 4-0 with a minuscule 0.87 ERA in 31 innings. TWJ contributor Patrick captured the 2016 highlight on a 1961-style card, and even though I’m a bigger Reds fan than Cubs fan, I do like Arrieta and hope he does well this year.
(May 11, 1939 – April 19, 2016)
Milt Pappas pitched for the Orioles, Reds, Braves, and Cubs, winning 209 games in 17 seasons. He was involved in the worst trade in Reds history when Cincinnati received him in a lopsided trade for Frank Robinson. Pappas was a three-time All-Star and pitched a no-hitter for the Cubs in 1972. His first wife disappeared in 1982; her body and the car she was driving was discovered five years later in a nearby pond. Pappas was found dead in his home today.
- Listen to Joe Perry’s New Solo Song With Terry Reid, ‘I’ll Do Happiness’ [Ultimate Classic Rock]
- Watch: Unreleased The Highwaymen Gig [The Daily Beast]
- 2016 TSR: An Interesting First Week Of The Season [The Shlabotnik Report]
- Custom Baseball Cards Highlights 2016 – Trevor Story [Jason’s Custom Trading Cards]
- Custom ’55T for Reds barrier-buster Escalera [Bob Lemke’s Blog]
- This Web App Identifies Unnecessary Words In Your Writing [mental_floss]
- Movie Mobiles: Recreating Famous Cars from the Silver Screen [Great Big Story]
- THIS is what I’ve been up to lately… [The Infinite Baseball Card Set]
Andrew McCutchen debuted as card #1 in the 2016 TWJ set yesterday, Tim Hudson showed up on a “Final Tribute” earlier today. For at least the first couple of weeks, two new cards will show up each day at TWJ cards on tumblr. Dallas Keuchel and Joey Votto are scheduled for later today, and then Corey, Dan, David, Ian, Ryan, Aramis, Rougned, and Matt will conclude the regular week. Jose, Barry, Madison, and Logan are scheduled for the weekend.
As a special preview, here’s a card that won’t show up on the tumblr feed until next week…Chicago Cubs third baseman and future Hall of Famer Kris Bryant…
Here’s the general plan: two cards from each team to start the season, then I stop counting. If the Yankees end up with only two cards in the entire set, so be it. The Reds might get 73 (because they will have at least that many players pass through the bigs this year). OK, I wouldn’t really do that to those who keep up with the daily posts at TWJ cards on tumblr, but you get the point. I’ll make sure each team gets at least two regular cards (not including “Final Tributes” or All-Stars or other special cards that might pop up during the year).
Other virtual card sets have made their debuts recently as well. The 2016 TSR design was released today, and Jason’s Custom Trading Cards has already shown off fifteen cards! If you are aware of other custom card sets, please leave a link in the comments section for everyone to enjoy!
(February 12, 1926 – March 23, 2016)
Recipient of the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick Award in 1991, Joe Garagiola, Sr. played nine years for the St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs, and New York Giants. He started his broadcast career with KMOX in 1955 calling Cardinals games, later work with NBC radio and television.
(February 25, 1919 – January 11, 2016)
Hall of Fame outfielder Monte Irvin passed away of natural causes at the age of 96. He was the first black player for the Giants, joining the team in 1949. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1973.
Beyond Bartman, Curses, & Goats: 108 Reasons It’s Been 108 Years
By Chris Neitzel
Windy City Publishers, 2015
It is difficult to imagine being a Cubs fan, disappointed year in and year out despite an immense amount of talent. I followed the Cubs briefly in the late 1980s and early 1990s thanks to daily coverage on WGN, and have visited Wrigley Field three times (so far). In 1989, I fell in love with the ballpark, and claimed the Cubs as my favorite team. It didn’t last long, as the Reds roared through the 1990 season and won the World Series. It was difficult to be in Cincinnati and not root for the Reds that year. Yet, I still have a special place in my heart for the lovable losers from Chicago.
Lifelong Cubs fan Chris Neitzel has released a new edition of Beyond Bartman, Curses & Goats to include the 2015 season and the heartbreaking National League Championship Series against the Mets. In this well-documented book, readers will learn about bad trades, daft drafts, and overwhelming competition. My personal favorite is “Reason 105: Hall of Fame Players, Hall of Fame Results…Not So Much,” and the curious coincidence of having so many great players with so little postseason success. From Ernie Banks and Billy Williams to Andre Dawson and Ryne Sandberg, the Cubs have boasted some of the greatest players in history, but do not have any recent World Series rings to show for it.
Neitzel hopes that the Cubs soon break their losing streak so that “further editions of this book will no longer be needed.” In the meantime, though, Cubs fans will get a kick out of his self-deprecating humor and solid research on the team everyone loves despite the losses.