The National League was absolutely loaded with starting pitchers in 1988. At the end of the year, it was a three-man race for the Cy Young Award, but at mid-season the field was wide open. Dwight Gooden got the starting nod. You would not have convinced me in 1988 that he would never be on another All-Star team.
Next up was Houston’s Bob Knepper, the only Astro on the team. I shook his hand during the All-Star workout the night before. I didn’t have anything to get signed with me, and he was the only one that acknowledged my existence.
David Cone is another one of the borderline Hall of Fame cases. I wouldn’t vote for him, but there are a lot of Coneheads who believe he was snubbed by the voters.
I never would have guessed that Kevin Gross was an All-Star. He did have 10 wins at the break, though, and 2.47 is a pretty good ERA. He just doesn’t register as an All-Star in my brain.
Mark Davis got a hefty raise after his 1989 Cy Young season, but he never pitched like he did in 1988 and 1989 again.
As names go, “Walk” may be one of the worst for a pitcher. “Homer” beats it, but “Walk” is not far behind. Fortunately, Bob Walk never appeared in the top ten for walks.
Orel Hershiser spent 18 years in the majors, winning 204 games for the Dodgers, Indians, Mets, and Giants. 1988 was his greatest season, winning the Cy Young Award, the NLCS MVP, and the World Series MVP.
Just as Tom Kelly chose his closer for the American League roster, Whitey Herzog named his closer Todd Worrell to the National League team. Worrel actually got into the game and retired the side in the top of the 9th: George Brett, Cal Ripken Jr., and Don Mattingly.
Greg Maddux made his first of eight All-Star teams in 1988, but didn’t pitch in the game. Am I the only one who thinks eight is way too low of a number for one of the greatest pitchers ever?
Danny Jackson was one of three Reds on the roster, but didn’t get to play in the game. There should be a rule that all players from the host city get to play. Jackson only made one more All-Star roster; while with the Phillies in 1994, he faced Scott Cooper, Kenny Lofton, and Will Clark without getting an out. He allowed two inherited runners and one of his own to score.
I have not purchased a single pack of 2017 baseball cards so far. I bought the Reds lot in a series 1 group break, and just placed an order for series 2 and Bunt on eBay last night. A few other 2017 issues have trickled my way via fellow collectors, and I appreciate each kind gesture.
In perusing the series 2 inserts last night, I got an idea pertaining to the 1987-style All-Star cards, which I promptly Tweeted.
— Jason T. Carter (@REALjtCarter) June 23, 2017
By my count, there are only nine actual 1987 All-Stars among the 2017 Topps Series 2 1987 All-Stars: Ryne Sandberg, Rickey Henderson, Don Mattingly, Dave Winfield, Ozzie Smith, George Brett, Cal Ripken, Darryl Strawberry, and Mark McGwire. No Larry Parrish, no Sid Fernandez, no Mark Langston, no Hubie Brooks. But this year is done, mistakes have been made, so why not fix it next year?
— Jason T. Carter (@REALjtCarter) June 23, 2017
I fired up the laptop and hammered out a Danny Jackson in the 1988 Topps All-Star style. DJ didn’t actually play in the game, but he was selected to the team based on a stellar first half.
But I didn’t stop there. I decided to take a stab at the card back as well…
What do you think? Each player gets a card in the style of the All-Star subset from any given year. I already have four more “fun cards” created that I will post next week, and I might run with this idea a bit and create cards for some of the other All-Stars from 1988. Anyone in particular you would like to see?
January 5, 1962
Danny Jackson is one of five Reds pitchers to finish second in Cy Young Award voting; he matched Orel Hershiser win-for-win and loss-for-loss in 1988, but Hershiser rode the wave of breaking Don Drysdale‘s scoreless inning streak to the best pitcher trophy.
Jackson departed Cincinnati after the team won the 1990 World Championship. In three seasons, he was 35-25 with a 3.61 ERA. He started his career with the Royals, and after leaving the Reds he pitched for the Cubs, Pirates, Phillies, Cardinals, and Padres.
I’m slowly getting my Reds cards organized and slipping the cards into binders. I was dangerously low on Ultra Pro pages, so I decided to take a trip to a new card shop today. Saw a lot of cool stuff there…some crazily overpriced, but some very good prices as well. I was going to add the micro sets from 1991-1993 to my purchase, but by the time I finished browsing I forgot them. I ended up getting a box of pages and the 1997 Reds Kahn’s stadium giveaway set. I never knew that Mike Morgan played for the Reds.
After the card shop, I still had some time to kill, so I hopped over to the Florence Antique Mall. My friends, if you have never experienced the wonder of an antique mall, I urge you to do so at your earliest opportunity. I could spend an eternity there just looking at all the cool stuff. And if your antique mall happens to have a baseball card dealer, you just might stumble on some gold. I was able to pick up six different 1960s cards for a quarter each. I decided to display Don Nottebart because of the uniform…look closely at the “C” both on the hat and the jersey…there is no “point.” It’s just a round “C.” The Reds wore these uniforms for several years, but it wasn’t until about a year ago that I discovered them. I just don’t pay close attention to things like that.
I also picked up the final 1984 Fleer Reds card that I was missing…the one and only Kelly Paris.
Oddballs are a passion of mine as well. I found a ton of oddballs, but limited myself to just a few, including this 1989 Fleer box bottom Danny Jackson.
I’m also a bit nostalgic for the 1988 Bengals, the team that went to the Super Bowl and lost to the 49ers for the second time. My favorite player on the team was Ickey Woods, and anytime I see an inexpensive Ickey I’ll grab it. I almost passed on this 1991 Pro Set card until I noticed the writing…what team does he play for???
Yes, the Spanish edition of 1991 Pro Set! I never owned any cards from “La Tarjeta Oficial De La NFL” before today.
All in all, very happy with my purchases at the antique mall, and I will be returning to the card shop (maybe this weekend?) to grab those micro sets.
Another notable omission from this year’s Redsfest is Danny Jackson, who had a Cy Young year in 1988 (23-8, 15 complete games) but was overshadowed by Orel Hershiser’s scoreless innings streak. Jackson never had another year like 1988 for the Reds, but was a part of the 1990 World Championship team. He went 6-6 that year with a respectable 3.61 ERA. It was Jackson’s 2nd of 3 World Series appearance, also playing for the 1985 Royals and 1993 Phillies. He was roughed up in his only appearance in the 1990 Series, giving up 4 runs in less than 3 innings, including a home run from Jose Canseco.
Despite Jackson’s spectacular 1988 season (and a very good strike-shortened 1994 season for the Phils), he finished his career with a 112-131 record and 4.01 ERA. No, he shouldn’t ever be considered for the Reds Hall of Fame, but it would be nice to see him at the Redsfest sometime.
Of course, I’ve always held a bit of a grudge against Jackson, because he was the player traded for Kurt Stillwell. I’m still bitter about that.