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Fun Cards: 1984 Topps Future Stars John Franco & Eric Davis

Franco Davis Cincinnati Reds

What if Topps made “Future Stars” cards in 1984? While the rest of the world was taking notice of the rookie card craze, Topps dropped the multi-player “Future Stars” cards after their 1982 release. But what could have been? What if John Franco and Eric Davis showed up on the same card in the 1984 set? I took the team leaders card and turned it into “Future Stars,” and created a back that included the players’ 1983 minor league stats. I did change the font on the front to match the regular base cards, rather than the “Arial Narrow” look of the team leaders.

Franco Davis Cincinnati Reds

This would have been a HUGE card in Cincinnati in the mid-1980s. Eric Davis rookie cards were highly sought after; there is no doubt in my mind this would have run in the $20-25 range in Cincy back in the day.

Fun Cards: 2020 Topps Shogo Akiyama

Shogo

We are three weeks away from the official release of 2020 Topps Series 1! A few images have been posted on Topps’ Twitter page, and I’m liking it more and more (even sans borders).

I thought I would take a crack at creating a card for the newest Cincinnatian, Shogo Akiyama. He was a five-time All-Star in Japan and has hit 20 or more home runs in each of the past three seasons for the Saitama Seibu Lions of the Japan Pacific League. Reds Country is excited to see him patrol the outfield at Riverfront Great American Ballpark!

One interesting dilemma I faced was the placement of the “RC” logo. Topps has not previewed any rookie cards for the new design yet. Will the “RC” be in the gray area, as I chose? Will it be incorporated elsewhere in the design portion on the left side? Or will it intrude upon the photo? I tried it in a few different areas, and I like what I settled on the best. Thus it is quite unlikely I placed it correctly.

Where do you think it should appear? (No, “not at all” is not an option…though that would be my first choice!)

Regrets…I’ve had a few

Redfest is quickly approaching. I won’t be going this year (for the third or fourth year in a row). I’m more interested in getting alumni autographs than current players, and while there are a couple of names on the list that have not been at the past 20 events, there aren’t enough to make me want to go. Besides that, I’ll be out of town that weekend.

Back in 2008, I attended one of my first Redsfests. And I experienced one of my biggest baseball card-related regrets. I even documented it on the blog…

Cueto no Votto

That Joey Votto card that I didn’t buy for $3 is difficult to come by these days. Last time I searched for it, I couldn’t even find it on eBay. There are a couple listed right now; the cheapest is $23.99 plus shipping, and that’s more than I generally pay for single cards.

I could have had the Votto for $3.

The Johnny Cueto? A couple bucks plus shipping on COMC.

Insert sad face emoji.

Fun Cards: 1988 Donruss Highlights Award Winners

Sabo Rookie of the Year

During a Twitter discussion earlier tonight, the topic of year-end highlights baseball sets came up. I immediately thought of the Donruss Highlights sets which were issued from 1985-1987. I’m disappointed this set did not continue beyond 1987, and wondered what a 1988 edition might look like. I tried to go with a gold border with silver in place of the red gradient. It is similar to the “Baseball’s Best” set, but not quite as orange. Since I don’t have the font Donruss used in 1988, I simply copied-and-pasted the nameplate from an actual 1988 release.

Here are the 1988 Award Winners: Chris Sabo, Walt Weiss, Kirk Gibson, Jose Canseco, Orel Hershiser, and Frank Viola.

Weiss

Gibson

Canseco

Hershiser

Viola

Fun Cards: 1989 Fleer Marty Brennaman, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and Joe Nuxhall (SuperStar Specials)

Marty Joe and Macho Man

Randy Poffo was once a farmhand in the Cincinnati Reds system, but by the time he showed up at Riverfront Stadium in 1989 he had transformed himself into a wrestling superstar. “Macho Man” Randy Savage visited with Marty Brennaman and Joe Nuxhall in the broadcast booth near the end of the season. Players, fans, and umpires noticed and seemed amused at his presence. One person was not amused, though: Reds owner Marge Schott. She ordered Brennaman to remove Savage from the booth, even threatening his employment.

Brennaman obeyed but did not remain silent about her tactics. Never one to mince his words, Marty later told Schott, “Don’t you ever try to intimidate me again. And if you have something to say to me, say it yourself.”

By the way, I really miss Fleer.

2019 Reds, 1987 Topps style: The Legends, and a Post-Game Concert

The rockingest pitcher the Reds ever employed, Bronson Arroyo; Barry Larkin admiring Barry Larkin; and Zedd, who I have never heard of before, and will probably never hear of again.

Arroyo

Larkin

Zedd

And that’s all of the “fun cards” I have from the 2019 Reds season. If I’m missing any that you are desparate to see, let me know and I’ll throw it together!

2019 Reds, 1987 Topps style: The Manager and His Coaches

I absolutely love David Bell‘s fire, and I hope that he is able to turn around the team’s won/loss record next year. This group features one of my favorite “fun cards,” the last one of the bunch, showing a Father’s Day embrace between first base coach Delino DeShields and his Texas Ranger son, Delino DeShields.

Also in this post: Nate Irving, the recently unemployed Turner Ward, Freddie Benavides, and J.R. House.

Bell and Senzel

Bell arguing with another ump

Discussing post-game dinner plans

Irving

Ward

Benavides

House

House

DeShields

DeShields and DeShields

2019 Reds, 1987 Topps style: The Outfielders

Had the Reds been a better team this season, I might have posted more about Yasiel Puig. Certainly one of the most entertaining players, pre-trade deadline. But the overall season was just so ho-hum, so was my blogging desire.

Also in this post: rookie Brian O’Grady, Philip Ervin, Michael Lorenzen, Scott Schebler, Graeter’s Ice Cream fan Derek Dietrich.

Puig

Puig and the Snake

OGrady

Ervin

Mikey Biceps

Schebler

Dietrich ice cream

2019 Reds, 1987 Topps style: The Infielders

One bright spot for the offense this year was Eugenio Suarez. He broke Andres Galarraga‘s record for most homers by a Venezuelan player, slugging 49 homers. He is only the fifth Reds player to hit more than 40 blasts in a season during Marty Brennaman’s career as a Reds announcer. The others were George Foster, Ken Griffey Jr., Greg Vaughn, and Adam Dunn.

I’ve got two Suarez “fun cards” to post. The only other infielders I have that were not previously posted are Jose Iglesias and Scooter Gennett, who was traded to the Giants at the deadline and then released less than a month later. I hope he lands somewhere.

Suarez

Suarez throwback

Iglesias

Gennett

2019 Reds, 1987 Topps style: The Catchers

The search for the next Johnny Bench continues. Not on the shortlist: Tucker Barnhart, Curt Casali, and Ryan Lavarnway.

Barnhart

Casali

Lavarnway

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