Yesterday was National Bobblehead Day, and the Cincinnati Reds celebrated by announcing the bobbleheads scheduled for giveaways during the 2019 season. All six bobbles will feature Hall of Famers who spent time with the Reds.
- Ernie Lombardi – May 18. “The Schnozz” was a Veterans Committee selection in 1986. A slow-running catcher, Lombardi twice led the NL in batting average.
- Joe Morgan – June 1. “The Little General” was a first-ballot selection by the BBWAA in 1990, receiving 81.8% support. He led the NL in offensive WAR every year from 1972-1977, and won back-to-back MVP trophies to go with his back-to-back World Series rings in 1975 and 1976.
- Barry Larkin – June 15. Larkin was a 12-time All-Star, 9-time Silver Slugger, and 3-time Gold Glover, and he won the 1995 NL MVP. It took three tries, but the BBWAA finally elected him in the 2012 Hall of Fame vote.
- Tony Perez – July 27. Perez appeared on nine Hall of Fame ballots before finally getting the call in 2000. He was inducted with his Big Red Machine manager Sparky Anderson and 1975 World Series rival Carlton Fisk.
- Johnny Bench – August 17. When Bench’s name appeared on the BBWAA ballot, there was no doubt that he would be inducted. The question was how many would vote for him. As it turns out, only 16 voters declined to check Bench’s name.
- Ken Griffey Jr. – September 7. Junior is different than all the others on this list because he is more known for his time with the Mariners. But he has always been a hometown Kid, and I’m glad to see him included.
I love all these players, but already have bobbleheaded likenesses of at least four of them, so I am not sure if I will try to attend any of these games. If I do, it will likely be for Lombardi…wait…nope…gotta work that day. Maybe Griffey? Nope…working that day too. Maybe I’ll try to swing a shift trade with a co-worker.
Since I already have the other four in one fashion or another, I doubt I will attend those games. It costs a lot of money to go to a big league game, even at the cost-friendly Great American Ballpark. I will peruse the rest of their promotional schedule and pick another game or two to attend.
If I had my druthers, I would have chosen Bid McPhee, Edd Roush, Eppa Rixey, and Tom Seaver. The team is celebrating the diversity of uniforms throughout the year, why not show some more diversity of uniforms through the bobbles? I already know the answer. Bench and Griffey will sell more tickets than Roush and Rixey, and it’s always all about the money.
I’m anxiously awaiting the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum’s giveaway announcement. I have not been a member for a couple of years, but if the giveaways appeal to me, I may join again in 2019.
April 6, 1908
In addition to his Hall of Fame career, Ernie Lombardi also has one of the greatest nicknames in baseball history: “The Schnozz.” The catcher won two batting titles, hitting .300 ten times and .306 for his career. The back of his 1982 TCMA card notes, “What made this achievement even greater was the fact that Ernie was a pitifully slow runner and infielders often would play him on the edge of the outfield grass, thereby reducing his margin for hits.” He was named to seven All-Star teams and won the National League Most Valuable Player award in 1938. Lombardi was the catcher for both of Johnny Vander Meer’s back-to-back no-hitters in 1938. He never garnered much support for Cooperstown from the BBWAA, but the Veterans Committee saw fit to honor him posthumously in 1986, when he was inducted with Willie McCovey (BBWAA) and Bobby Doerr (VC).
1986 Hall of Fame inductee Ernie Lombardi was somewhat of an obsession of mine in the late 80s/early 90s. How could a guy be so good, but be kept out of the Hall of Fame for so long? He wasn’t inducted until 1986, but his last game was in 1947!
This was actually drawn on a small piece of paper, not an index card like most of my sketches. There was no Photoshop touch-up, this is a straight scan.
If you happen to enjoy looking at black-and-white sketches of Hall of Famers, check out Every Hall of Famer by Summer Anne Burton. She is posting her sketches in order of induction, and is currently up to 1953.
I’m almost finished “bindering” all of my Reds cards, I’m not quite sure what year to stick these three cards in because there is no copyright date or release information on them. Can anyone help?
It looks like most eBay sellers indicate the Baseball Immortals set was released in 1981…but I know that can’t be the case for Lombardi, who wasn’t inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1986.
An off-site trade that was arranged with a fellow member of the Baseball Fever brought some interesting Reds cards into my collection.
Some of my favorite cards when I started collecting were the “Baseball’s Immortals” and “Baseball’s Greatest” sets. They were the cheapest way to obtain Hall of Famers and other former superstars, and educated this (at the time) young baseball fan of the game’s great past.
Baseball Hall of Famer: 1963 (Veteran’s Committee)
Reds Hall of Famer: 1959
Baseball Hall of Famer: nope
Reds Hall of Famer: 1962
Baseball Hall of Famer: 1986 (Veteran’s Committee)
Reds Hall of Famer: 1958
Baseball Hall of Famer: 1962 (Veteran’s Committee)
Reds Hall of Famer: 1960
Baseball Hall of Famer: 1953 (BBWAA)
Reds Hall of Famer: nope (only played
9 regular season games for the Reds, all in 1939)
I’m still pumped about Joey Votto‘s victory over the evil Albert Pujols (who is not really evil, but it sounds good, doesn’t it?) in the 2010 NL MVP vote. Of course, Votto was not the first Cincinnati player to win the award. The Reds Hall of Fame site has a good article recapping past winners from the Queen City – Ernie Lombardi, Bucky Walters, Frank McCormick, Frank Robinson, Johnny Bench (x2), Pete Rose, Joe Morgan (x2), George Foster, and Barry Larkin.
There was also a former Red in the spotlight this week with Josh Hamilton winning the AL MVP award. That got me to thinking – how many former Reds were MVP winners? Unless I’m missing someone, you have to go all the way back to Frank Robinson in 1966, who won with the Orioles (after taking home the prize with the Reds earlier in his career). Before that you have to go back to Jim Konstanty and his 1950 win with the Phillies.
There are also a number of guys who won an MVP before their time in Cincinnati: Ken Griffey Jr., Terry Pendleton, Kevin Mitchell, Dave Parker, and Don Newcombe among them. And who could forget Rollie Fingers, who was almost a Red, but wouldn’t sign because of the “no facial hair” rule at the time.
1938 MVP, dependable catcher for the Reds, affectionately known as “The Schnozz.” Oh yeah, and Baseball Hall of Famer (inducted by the Veterans Committee in 1986, back when the VC actually inducted deserving players). Unfortunately, he was not alive to enjoy the honor, passing away in 1977. He is one of four Reds honored with a statue outside Great American Ballpark.
After his playing days, Lombardi attempted suicide in 1953, in a way very similar to teammate Willard Hershberger, who killed himself during the 1940 season.
On Friday, I received a nice surprise in the mail from Mark at Stats on the Back…a box full of Reds! I worked all weekend so I haven’t had the opportunity until today to post some of the goodies found inside…
1986 Hall of Fame inductee Ernie “The Schnozz” Lombardi (from the 1991 Sporting News Conlon Collection set)…
2010 Hall of Fame inductee (fingers crossed) Barry Larkin (1991 Studio)…
1988 NL Rookie of the Year Chris “Spuds” Sabo (1989 Fleer Baseball’s Exciting Stars…I love oddballs!)…
Rob “Nasty Boy” Dibble (1990 Donruss Baseball’s Best)…
Norm “Nasty Boy” Charlton, misidentified as Tom “Mr. Perfect” Browning (1991 Fleer Ultra)…
And a couple of Reds in different uniforms…
Mr. Senior (1987 Fleer…wearing a nasty Braves uniform)
Mr. Junior (1991 Upper Deck…wearing his former Seattle uniform, which I like better than his current Seattle uniform, although neither is as cool as the classic Seattle uniform…with Cubs great Ryne Sandberg, who should have been a first-ballot Hall of Famer)
These were just a few of the many Reds (and former Reds) included in the box…a great addition to my collection and a large number that I needed! I don’t have time to update my checklists right now, but they will be taken care of soon!
Mark said he loved the 2009 Topps Retired Reds, and couldn’t wait for the Eric Davis card. Well, wait no more.