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Reds from Tennessee

I suppose one might say that folks in Tennessee are lucky. Since they have no MLB team, they are free agents when it comes to fandom. As such, the Tigers are the fortunate beneficiaries of @robbyt86‘s fandom. And I am the beneficiary of his non-fandom of Reds, as evidenced by our recent trade. I will only hit a few highlights here because it would take probably a month full of posts to show off everything Robert sent my way.

Let’s start with the cards everyone loves to hate…Donruss.

Donruss

I know I’m an odd duck, but I prefer Donruss to Topps over the past few years. I think the 2018 product looks great, and can’t wait to get it in-hand. Topps has been getting further and further away from what drew me to collecting in the first place, and Donruss just piles on the nostalgia more and more each year.

Then there are the cards that I hate to love…parallels.

parallels

I do not put parallels on my wantlists, but I love it when they show up in my mailbox. I normally just add a note to my list in parenthesis, then hit it with the strike-through. Robert packed the package full of colorful borders, including a strangely appealing purple-bordered Bronson Arroyo. Why do those Toys R Us parallels look so fantastic?

Also in the envelope was the complete team set of 2003 Shoebox Collection.

Shoebox

Reprints of rookie cards of several Reds legends, except for Ken Griffey. Topps reprinted Senior’s 1981 card, instead of his 1974 RC. Strange.

Robert also helped me finish off my 2015 Topps Reds set.

Negron

The only base Reds card I was missing from 2015, Kristopher Negron, has now joined his comrades. Hmmm…Reds, Comrades? Maybe I should rethink that wording.

What a great trade full of legends like Johnny Bench

Bench

Legends in the making like Joey Votto

Votto

And legends of the future like Tyler Stephenson

Stephenson

Man, I can’t wait for Opening Day!

Gapper

Thanks for the fantastic trade, Robert! (And thanks for getting those Tigers out of my house!)

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The want lists were updated while strains of Zeppelin filled the air

xmas

That’s a good bit of my Christmas loot there. A brand new record player, a stack of vinyl (including Van Halen, Lynyrd Skynryd, and Led Zeppelin), and several stacks of baseball cards. I have not scanned any of the cards I scored today yet, but earlier this week I received cards from Night Owl and TWJ contributor Patrick, and had a few minutes to scan them.

2015

Greg from Night Owl Cards helped fill several needs from the 2015 Topps and Donruss sets. I love the Donruss design; I know a lot of people aren’t crazy about them, but I love how they pay tribute to the heritage of 1980s designs.

2014 hamilton

The Owl also sent over some other needs, such as the Billy Hamilton Heritage “Rookie Stars” (above) and the 2013 Hometown Heroes Eric Davis (below)…

Davis

I also received my very first 1975 Topps mini card…

Carroll

…which coincidentally (or not?) featured a cartoon owl on the reverse…

Owl

There were several other cards in the package, including the late Ryan Freel.

Freel

It was just before Christmas three years ago that Freel took his own life. A very sad story. Freel was a huge fan favorite in Cincinnati because of his hard-nosed play.

2014 and 2015

Patrick also hooked me up with quite a few 2014 and 2015 Topps cards. I have gone from having only a handful of 2015 Reds to needing only two for the whole team set. So if you have an extra Daniel Corcino (209) or Kristopher Negron (547) laying around, shoot me a message.

Patrick also gave up a couple of hard-to-find gems. First, from 2015…

Gapper and Rosie

Rosie Red and Gapper dancing on a special All-Star Game card that was available during the FanFest, and I believe a few were handed out at RedsFest as well.

And then, from 2006…

Nuxy

The ol’ left-hander, Joe Nuxhall, from a set that I’m not familiar with. I tracked down a Chuck Harmon card from this same set online, but no full checklist or information about how they were distributed. I love getting cards that I know nothing about, because that just means I have something else to learn.

The Reds want lists have been fully updated to the best of my knowledge. You might have noticed that there are some non-Reds things in some of the stacks pictured at the beginning of this post. I got some nice stacks of Shawon Dunston, Chris Sabo, Kurt Stillwell, and Doug Dascenzo as well from my family for Christmas. I will eventually update those want lists at All-American Baseball Cards and fire that blog up again. I haven’t posted since January there, but I think I have a way to overcome the monotony of what I was writing. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for 2016 on that.

Thank you again Greg and Patrick for the cards you sent! I hope you had a very merry Christmas, and that 2016 is awesome!

Friday morning at #Fanfest (and don’t forget to #voteCueto before 4pm)

fanfest duke convention centerThe All-Star Game Fanfest has come to Cincinnati! My youngest son and I took a trip down the Duke Energy Convention Center for a couple of hours this morning to check things out, and had a blast!

This is the first time Cincinnati has hosted the All-Star Game in 27 years, and the Queen City is going all-out for this event. Everywhere you look you can see hints of the Midsummer Classic, from mustache statues to banners to pillbox hats and more. We had fun walking around looking for mustaches yesterday, finding eight of the twenty-one statues scattered about the area.

In 1988, Terry Steinbach connected for a home run off Dwight Gooden that proved to be all the American League needed to win the game. Hopefully, the National League can find a way to defeat them in 2015.

At the Fanfest, we got to meet a couple of American League mascots…

IMAG0422

I know there were more mascots there somewhere, but we didn’t see any as we roamed the three floors of activities. Speed pitch machines, batting cages, and stealing bases with Billy Hamilton were some of the activities that we enjoyed while we were there.

We also stopped by the Hall of Fame exhibit, all the way from Cooperstown…

IMAG0428

Some very cool jerseys on display, including Mike Schmidt and Nolan Ryan, two of the superstars of the game when I was my son’s age. We had a nice chat with the Hall of Fame representatives about Pete Rose, Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey Jr., and Bob Gibson. They were friendly and really enjoyed talking about our national pastime.

We also stopped by the Topps booth, where we tossed some cornhole, and Derek picked up this sweet All-Star Game Gapper card…

gapper

We look at the autograph line for Rollie Fingers, and it was insanely long, so we skipped that. But Jim O’Toole‘s line was manageable, so we hopped in and snagged a couple signatures from the Reds great…

IMAG0437

fanfest

I’m looking forward to going back next week for some more Fanfest fun, and I can’t wait for the game Tuesday. It’s going to be a blast!

Updated wantlists, thanks to Night Owl

I recently sent Night Owl a card of Hideo Video Nomo, and he returned the favor by sending a few Reds cards my way. He also subtly reminded me that I needed to update my wantlists, as three of the cards he sent came from sets that I didn’t have listed yet!

The first card is an upgrade of a card I already had from my birth year: 1975 Topps Bill Plummer.

1975 Plummer

Anytime I get a card as old (or older) than me, it’s a good day. 1975 was such a great year: the baseball card set is one of the all-time greats, the World Series was one of the most memorable (and the Reds won it!), and I was born. How could it be any better?

Then he hit me with an Eric Davis card that I had seen on around the blogs from 2013 Archives.

Davis 1987 Topps 2013 Archives

The card design is 1987, the photo is from 1988 (check out the All-Star Game patch on his sleeve), and the on-deck batter is Paul O’Neill (I’m 99.9% sure of this). I love how Topps decided to use the Tiffany-type cardstock reminiscent of the Traded sets instead of the gray cardboard. When I first saw this card on the blogs, my blood pressure started going up because I remembered how hard it was to get Eric Davis cards in Cincinnati in the 1980s and was worried that it would be just as difficult to track this sucker down. He was cardboard gold. Thanks for sparing me a trip to the doctor, Greg.

Next was a mascot card of Gapper from the 2013 Opening Day series.

2013 Opening Day Gapper

I sometimes wonder if Mr. Redlegs, Rosie, or Mr. Red ever get jealous of Gapper’s Topps contract. I also wonder why the Reds need four mascots.

Finally, N.O. sent me another insert card from 2013 Opening Day, Jay Bruce “Ballpark Fun.”

2013 Opening Day Ballpark Fun Bruce

This is, in my opinion, the proper use of foil on a card. It’s an insert card, a special card, a celebratory card. Normal, everyday, run-of-the-mill cards should not be littered with foil. But for these kinds of cards, go all-out!

My wantlists have been updated, and my new cards have been crossed off. Thanks for the cards, Night Owl, and as soon as I find some more of those “CardToons” Dodgers cards, I’ll send them your way!

Redsfest 2011: Gapper

I have to give you the backstory on this one. I took Derek to the local library to meet Gapper at the beginning of the season. Sadly, Gapper was sick, and Mr. Red Legs showed up. It was still cool to see Mr. Red Legs acting out “Casey At The Bat” as one of the librarians read to the kiddos.

But we were there to meet Gapper.

Ever since then, Derek has been waiting to see Gapper so he could get his hat signed by him.

On Saturday, he got it.

Now to track down Rosie and the new Mr. Red…

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