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Happy Reds birthday, Dave Van Gorder!

Van Gorder

March 27, 1957

Dave Van Gorder was a College Baseball All-American at the University of Southern California in 1978. Skippered by Rod Dedeaux, the Trojans were the 1978 College World Series Champions, and also featured Pro Football Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz on the mound.

Happy Reds birthday, Candy Sierra!


March 27, 1967

Candy Sierra must have made an impression on the Reds when he pitched two scoreless innings against them on June 6, 1988; two days later, they traded Dennis Rasmussen to the Padres to acquire him. He only pitched one more game in the majors, giving up two runs to the Giants in four innings pitched on June 10. Sierra spent the rest of 1988 in Nashville and 1989 in Chattanooga before returning to the Padres organization in 1990.

Happy Reds birthday, Clayton Lambert!


March 26, 1917

Only two players from Illinois College made it to the majors: Floyd Newkirk pitched one game for the New York Yankees in 1934, and Clayton Lambert pitched in 26 games for the Reds in 1946-47.

Happy Reds birthday, Mel Queen!


March 26, 1942

Mel Queen’s dad (also named Mel) played for the Yankees and Pirates. The younger Mel played for the Reds and Angels. Neither really had an enormous impact—son went 20-17, 3.14 ERA in seven years; dad went 27-40, 5.09 in eight years. The younger Queen also managed the Blue Jays for five games in 1997, and his brother-in-law also played pro ball: Jim Lonborg.

Happy Reds birthday, Dan Wilson!


March 25, 1969

Dan Wilson was a 1st round pick for the Reds in 1990 out of the University of Minnesota, and made his debut in September, 1992. One of the problems with having the greatest player at a position on your team is that no one who comes after will ever measure up. Wilson was dealt to the Mariners with Bobby Ayala for Bret Boone and Erik Hanson after the 1993 season; he was named to the American League All-Star squad in 1996.

Happy Reds birthday, Norris Hopper!

Norris Hopper Reds

March 24, 1979

Norris Hopper hit .329 in 307 at-bats in 2007, but injuries knocked him down in 2008 and he underwent Tommy John surgery. He stuck around the minors until 2012, but couldn’t make the climb back to the big leagues after surgery.

New Topps #TBT, and again, I only want one card


Ken Griffey is the one I want. He is joined by Derek Jeter, Ichiro Suzuki, Ivan Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, and Yoenis Cespedes. Other than Junior, I really don’t care to add any of the other cards to my collection. Maybe Ichiro, but not really. Griffey is the main focus.

I’m not dropping another $20 for one stinking card. I did that once already, and I’m stuck with some non-Reds that I really don’t need in my house. I tried to eBay them, but I guess I was asking too much. So here’s the deal: if you buy these cards, and want to trade Griffey to me for any two of the 1968-style #TBT cards from about a month ago, e-mail me. I will gladly take it off your hands (and may throw some extra goodies in the trade package for you).

1968 Topps TBT

Sound good? I hope so. Let me know.

UPDATE: I bought the card on eBay. So this offer is no longer on the table, but if you would like to swing a deal for Stargell, Dawson, Molitor, or Fisk, let me know. They are still available for the right offer.

A 1988 Donruss card I had never seen before?

1988 Donruss Dave Parker

As I was browsing through Dave Parker cards on COMC last night, I came across the above 1988 Donruss card of Parker, which I had never seen before. His regular issue Donruss card shows him with the Reds, but he was traded prior to the season to the Oakland A’s for Jose Rijo. In Donruss’ orange-bordered Baseball’s Best set, he is shown as a member of the A’s. But this was a regular, blue-bordered Donruss card showing the Cobra wearing the green and gold. Needless to say, I was floored.

After some eBay research, I discovered this sheet of cards comes from a book that Donruss issued for the A’s. I also found similar books for the Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, and Cubs. Each appears to have a handful of cards depicting rookies or newly acquired veterans. In addition to Parker, the A’s book also includes 1988 AL Rookie of the Year Walt Weiss. Goose Gossage is shown with the Cubs, Lee Smith and Brady Anderson with the Red Sox, and Jose Cruz with the Yankees. I never could have told you that Cruz wound up his career in New York.

I plan to start a PC of Parker’s non-Reds cards soon (all Reds cards go in my Reds book), but I don’t know if I’ll ever drop the money needed to acquire this particular card. It’s not crazy expensive, but it is 1988 Donruss, and paying more than a few pennies for 1988 Donruss seems like a total rip-off. But the fact that it has existed for almost 30 years without my knowledge—and in 1988, I knew everything there was to know about baseball cards—just blows my mind.

Happy Reds birthday, David Ross!


March 19, 1977

David Ross retired a Champion, hitting a home run in his final major league at-bat in the Game 7 of the World Series last year. What a way to go out! Despite only playing three years for Cincinnati, he played more games, had more at-bats, more hits, home runs, and RBI with the RBI than with any other team.

Happy Reds birthday, Geronimo Berroa!


March 18, 1965

Geronimo Berroa only played for one big league team before coming to the Reds for the 1992 season, but he spent time with four different organizations. He was drafted by the Blue Jay sin 1983, the taken by the Braves in the Rule 5 draft in 1988. He made his major league debut for Atlanta and played in parts of two seasons for them before his release in 1991. The Mariners was the next team to take a chance on him, but the Indians purchased his contract from Seattle before the 1991 season began. He spent the year in Colorado Springs, was granted free agency in October, then signed with the Reds. He only played 13 games for Cincinnati, while getting some decent playing time in Nashville. After his time with the Reds, Berroa also played in the bigs for Florida, Oakland, Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, Toronto, and Los Angeles. That’s nine teams in 11 major league seasons.

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