On Monday, I said Leon Durham was the last Reds “fun card” from the 1988 roster. Guess what? I was wrong.
The late Eddie Milner was a 21st round draft pick for the Reds in 1976. He clawed his way to the major leagues, debuting in 1980. He only played a handful of games in 1980 and 1981, but by 1982 he was a mainstay on the roster. Sadly, Milner battled substance abuse during his time in the bigs. In 1987, Cincinnati traded the outfielder to the Giants for Frank Williams and a couple of minor leaguers. He only stayed in San Francisco for a year, and signed with the Reds again in 1988. He collected nine hits in 51 at-bats during his final big league season.
Is that it? Did I include everyone from the Reds 1988 roster? I think the only player left out is Pat Pacillo, who had a Reds card and was traded to the Expos with Tracy Jones, but never appeared in a big league game for Montreal. Since Topps didn’t make “Pro Debut” cards in 1988, I think I’m safe in excluding him from this series. Which means I’m done!
I love the 1988 design and intend to do more with it at some point. After all, there are always “Music Fun Cards” that can be made!
Pat Perry came to the Reds in late 1987 for the infamous “player to be named later.” In this case, Scott Terry was the later-named baller. Perry was with the Reds for less than a season, however, as he was sent to the Cubs in exchange for Leon Durham.
And with that, I thought I was finished with the 1988 Reds roster. But I was wrong, once again. One final card (?) tomorrow…
Leon “Bull” Durham was a popular player in Chicago. Twice an All-Star, once a Silver Slugger, but with Mark Grace’s arrival he became expendable (much like Buddy Bell when Chris Sabo burst on the scene in 1988). The Cubs decided to take the Bull to market, and got pitcher Pat Perry in return. He only played 21 games for the Reds in 1988, and in 1989 returned to St. Louis, where his career began in 1980.
This is the final 1988 Topps Reds card. But… not the final 1988 card. Come back tomorrow for one more…for now.
The Reds acquired Van Snider from the Royals for Jeff Montgomery, and after two uneventful seasons in the Reds’ system, he was dealt to the Yankees with Tim Leary for Rod Imes and Hal Morris. Snider entered law enforcement after his baseball career and spent time with the Mayfield Heights Police Department.
I thought this was the final player to complete the roster for 1988. After reviewing the list, however, I realized there are two more. So that will finish out the week nicely. Come back tomorrow for another guy who didn’t get a Reds card in 1988 Topps or Topps Traded.
Tim Birtsas arrived in Cincinnati as a part of the Jose Rijo/Dave Parker trade with the A’s. Fleer included him in their year-end Update set, but Score and Topps both focused on the big-name players in the trade. Birtsas played three years with the Reds and contributed a 3.86 ERA to the 1990 World Championship team.
Ron Roenicke bounced around quite a bit during his 8-year big league career, wrapping it up with 14 games in Cincinnati in May 1988. After finishing the season with the Reds’ AAA club, he moved on to Texas’ minor league system, but never again saw action in the majors as a player. From 2011-2015, Roenicke served as the Brewers’ manager.
Rob Dibble received the call to join the Reds in June 1988 and made a big impact in 37 games throughout the second half of the season. He struck out 59 batters in 59 1/3 innings, and Fleer and Score included the Nasty Boy in their year-end update sets. Topps, however, ignored the flamethrowing reliever since he didn’t play for the Yankees.
Randy St. Claire came to Cincinnati with Jeff Reed and Herm Winningham in exchange for Tracy Jones and Pat Pacillo. He only appeared in 10 games, and photos of the pitcher in a Reds uniform are next to impossible to find unless they appear on baseball cards. The photo I chose comes from the 1989 Upper Deck release.
St. Claire was released by the Reds in 1989 at the end of spring training and spent the next couple of years in the minor leagues before making it back to the bigs in 1991 with Atlanta.
Norm Charlton made his debut with the Reds on August 19, 1988, lasting only 2 and a third innings in a loss against the Cardinals. Charlton started ten games through the end of the season, then moved to the bullpen in 1989. During the Reds’ 1990 World Championship season, he split time between the starting staff and the Nasty Boys bullpen.