Fun Cards: 1989 Fleer Marty Brennaman, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and Joe Nuxhall (SuperStar Specials)
Randy Poffo was once a farmhand in the Cincinnati Reds system, but by the time he showed up at Riverfront Stadium in 1989 he had transformed himself into a wrestling superstar. “Macho Man” Randy Savage visited with Marty Brennaman and Joe Nuxhall in the broadcast booth near the end of the season. Players, fans, and umpires noticed and seemed amused at his presence. One person was not amused, though: Reds owner Marge Schott. She ordered Brennaman to remove Savage from the booth, even threatening his employment.
Brennaman obeyed but did not remain silent about her tactics. Never one to mince his words, Marty later told Schott, “Don’t you ever try to intimidate me again. And if you have something to say to me, say it yourself.”
By the way, I really miss Fleer.
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.
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.
I also received my very first 1975 Topps mini card…
…which coincidentally (or not?) featured a cartoon owl on the reverse…
There were several other cards in the package, including the late Ryan 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.
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…
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…
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!
Marty Brennaman, Cincinnati Reds
Joe Nuxhall, Cincinnati Reds
These are the guys who brought baseball to life through the radio broadcasts and over the television airwaves. Of course, I have a special place in my heart for Marty & Joe, the Reds radio broadcast team of my youth. We loved Marty & Joe so much that we would turn the volume down on the television during the game and listen to their call over the radio. Marty, a Ford C. Frick Award recipient, isn’t the same without Joe.
Bob Uecker, Milwaukee Brewers
Ernie Harwell, Detroit Tigers
Harry Kalas, Philadelphia Phillies
Jack Buck, St. Louis Cardinals
Jerry Coleman, San Diego Padres
Lon Simmons, San Francisco Giants
Russ Hodges, San Francisco Giants
Waite Hoyt, Cincinnati Reds
Joe Nuxhall was only 15 years old when he started his major league baseball career. “I was pitching against seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders, kids 13 and 14 years old… All of a sudden, I look up and there’s Stan Musial and the likes. It was a very scary situation.” 15 YEARS OLD. Crazy times, those 1940s. He only pitched 2/3 of an inning in 1944, and didn’t make another big league appearance until he was 23 years old.
After his playing days, Joe Nuxhall became a fixture in the broadcasting booth with Marty Brennaman. I was educated in the school of baseball by Marty and Joe, as were many in Reds Nation in the 1980s. When the game was televised, the TV was muted and Marty and Joe called the game from the radio across the room. They were an unbeatable team (Marty and Joe, not the Reds) and everyone in Cincinnati misses Joe dearly. He passed away in 2007 at the age of 79.