Eric Davis rookie cards were hot ticket items in the Cincinnati area in the mid-1980s. It didn’t matter which 1985 issue you were talking about—Topps, Donruss, or Fleer—if you had a Davis rookie, you were a king on the playground.
But what if you had a 1984 Eric Davis? No, not a minor league card. A 1984 Eric Davis Reds card.
That’s what we have here. Not really a card, but still considered a card by most. Like the Fleer stamps and the Topps stickers, we have here a 1984 Borden sticker of Eric Davis. This regional issue is more difficult to obtain than Topps, Donruss, or Fleer, but it’s not all that much more expensive. It was issued on a perforated sheet with Mario Soto, Dave Parker, and Ron Oester, and featured coupons for Borden dairy products on the reverse.
I have no idea how these were distributed back in the day. Stadium giveaway? Mail-in offer? Free at checkout with the purchase of a half-gallon of Lady Borden Ice Cream? Now, thirty-five years later, you have to wait until they pop up on eBay for a reasonable price.
The coupons don’t have an expiration date. I wonder if I can still redeem them at Kroger…
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!
May 21, 1955
Another former Red that struggled with substance abuse, Eddie Milner passed away in 2015. Never an All-Star, but a fan favorite in the 1980s.
(May 21, 1955 – November 2, 2015)
Speedy outfielder for the Cincinnati Reds (1980-1986, 1988) and San Francisco Giants (1987), Eddie Milner passed away yesterday. He collected 145 stolen bases in his career, including 41 in 1983 and 35 in 1985.
(Editor’s note: This news comes from Milner’s Reds teammate Tom Hume‘s Twitter page. I have not yet corroborated it with any other news sources, and neither the Reds nor Giants have not issued any statements as of this posting.)
A very long wait for this return. I sent three cards to former Reds outfielder Eddie Milner in October 2012, and 438 days later two of them were returned to me. Unfortunately I did not receive back his 1985 Donruss issue, so I will have to purchase another to fill that hole in my team set from the year.
The cards that Milner did return were a 1983 Topps…
I think this 1983 Topps may have been one of the first cards I ever received as a kid. And I mean this actual card. It has never left my collection, except for the 438 days it spent with Milner himself.
I also received back a 1984 Topps…
I had given up on these cards coming back, and had already replaced the 1984 card prior to Redsfest so I could get it signed for my 1984 Topps project. Which I did. And now I have two.
My son that didn’t attend Redsfest will add this to his collection.
I still have four outstanding autograph requests from 2011, three from 2012, and one from 2013. I recently sent out four more, and plan to do more soon.
My oldest son and I braved the winter storm to attend Redsfest Friday night, and loaded up on autographs! I was able to obtain four players that I did not previously have, and got three more cards signed for my 1984 Topps Reds team set autograph project!
If you want to see the scans of the autographs and some photos from the event, click on through…
A lot of cards. I sent some Dodgers over to Garvey Cey Russell Lopes a few weeks ago as a part of what turned out to be a blockbuster trade. In yesterday’s mail, I got a big ol’ box back with a ton of Reds inside. Here are just a very few of the highlights…
Tom Seaver’s first Reds card! Score! There were a couple more Seavers in the box as well. I actually didn’t have very many Reds cards of Tom Terrific, as I didn’t start following baseball until after he was in the American League. I never got to see him pitch. But he will always be the guy who received 98.84% of the Hall of Fame vote for the highest percentage in history, only five votes shy of unanimity.
Eric the Red, who was once considered by many Cincinnatians as a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame, before injuries struck and he started hopping teams. In addition to Eric the Red, I also got…
Eric the Orange! One of those teams he hopped to in the 1990s. Let’s see, the Reds traded him to the Dodgers, he also played for the Tigers, Orioles, Reds again, and the Cardinals. Oh, and he ended his career in 2001 with San Francisco. But in my eyes, he’ll always be the center fielder for the Cincinnati Redlegs.
Chris Sabo…but wait, he is wearing a White Sox uniform! I only had a couple of post-Reds Sabos in my collection already, and neither of them were White Sox cards. So I am more than happy to add this to my Sabo binder!
I will never ever ever complain about getting a Ted Kluszewski card, even if he is pictured with the Angels. 🙂 The Big Klu has become one of my favorite all-time players in the past year. The more I read about him, the more he moves up the list. Did you know he played football for Indiana University, and the Reds just happened to see him hitting one day while they were training in Bloomington? They didn’t sign him on the spot because that would jeopardize his college career, but they struck a deal with the athletic director to call them if any other baseball teams expressed an interest in him. The Tigers were scheduled to come down one day, but the Reds beat them to the punch because of a phone call.
The 1982 Reds Leaders…OK, so 1982 was not a good year for the guys. But I didn’t have this card yet, and as luck would have it, there were two in this box…so one for the Reds collection, one for the Soto collection. How awesome is that?
Tom Hume rookie card! No way!
Eddie Milner “XRC”! Double no way!
OK, so neither Hume nor Milner were big names outside of Cincinnati, but while they donned the Reds uniform they were dependable and somewhat decent players. Milner had some personal problems later on in his career, while Hume went on to join the Reds’ coaching staff. A couple of solid additions to the collection.
As I said, this is only scratching the surface. There were loads of other good cards in this box, from Cesar Geronimo to George Foster to Joe Morgan to Pete Rose and on and on and on. A big thanks to GCRL, who definitely filled several holes in my ever-growing collection of Cincinnati Reds!
These cards really “Rock Me.”