I had my doubts about Topps Now “Turn Back the Clock” cards when they were first announced. But honestly, I loved them as soon as I saw the first one. Not enough to buy them (unless there is a really cool Reds card), but the basic concept and design are better than I expected. Hopefully, Topps will go deeper than your standard Hall of Famers (such as Tom Seaver and Randy Johnson) and super popular players (like Dwight Gooden and Bryce Harper). But if they don’t, there are always custom card makers.
I created SIX different Topps Now TBTC cards for today…all Reds, of course. It was difficult to find era-accurate photos for some, but I did change up the team logo on each card to represent the proper era.
Did you know that Wally Post hit the first-ever home run in the first-ever game at Dodger Stadium? It happened April 10, 1962, in the seventh inning; the Reds won the game 6-3.
Would this have been a Topps Now card, if Topps Now cards existed in 1967? Probably not, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make a “fun card” of the underrated Vada Pinson.
Another one that probably would not have been on the Topps Now radar at the time, but in hindsight, it was an easy decision to include Don Gullett‘s debut in this virtual run-down of important events in Reds history.
Now we’re talking. When is the last time you saw a new Nick Esasky card in a Topps product? A grand slam and a triple in 1984 may have made the cut for a Topps Now card.
If I were a betting man (which I’m not), I’d say this would be Topps’ choice for a TBTC card today. I don’t know for sure, especially since Ken Griffey Jr. already has a card in the series, but this seems like a safe bet.
I don’t know if I will create cards for each day of the year. I’ve got a lot of stuff going on right now, and this is just a hobby. But I had fun coming up with these six cards for April 10!
Stay safe out there, and don’t forget to wash your hands!
January 6, 1951
Don Gullett played for three consecutive World Series winners: the Reds (1975-1976) and the Yankees (1977). The pitching staff of the Big Red Machine era is often overlooked, but Gullett was a fine starter, winning 91 games in seven seasons and twice finishing in the top ten for Cy Young Award consideration. Gullett pitched for the St. Lucie Legends of the Senior Professional Baseball Association in 1989, and returned to the Reds as a pitching coach from 1993 through 2005.
In 1975, Don Gullett was the ace of the Reds pitching staff, despite missing all of July and parts of June and August. His 15-4 record and amazing 2.42 ERA was good enough to garner some attention in Cy Young voting, coming in fifth. Gullett was lured to New York after the 1976 season but arm troubles prevented him from making it into the 1980s. Still, a 109-50 record and 3.11 career ERA is nothing to sneeze at.
The Cincinnati Reds’ first round pick in 1969, and Gullett provided some solid pitching for the team in the Big Red Machine era. He twice led the NL in win percentage, and after he went to the Yankees via free agency he led the AL in the same category. In 1975 Gullett received enough Cy Young votes to finish in the top 5. He was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in 2002 on the strength of a 91-44 record in Cincinnati (he was 109-50 overall when adding in his two years as a Yankee).
Gullett was also an excellent football player in high school. In one game for McKell High (South Shore, Kentucky), he accounted for 72 of his team’s points — scoring 6 touchdowns and kicking 6 extra points.