Blog Archives

Just in time for Opening Day (part 1)

Mr Red

Happy Reds Opening Day! As I type this, my Redlegs trail the Washington Nationals 1-0 while waiting to bat against Brandon Kintzler, who replaces future Hall of Famer Max Scherzer in the bottom of the 7th. The Reds still have nine outs to cross the plate a couple of times and pull out a victory in their first official game of 2018. Fingers crossed!

cjbosu2000

For the second time in less than a month, @cjbosu2000 hits a home run with a package full of Reds cards. Inside were Hall of Famers Johnny Bench and Ken Griffey Jr...

Bench

Griffey

Prospects Tyler Stephenson and Jesse Winker (who got the start today)…

Stephenson

Winker

Speedster Billy Hamilton

AG Hamilton

1987 Hamilton

And my first 2018 Gypsy Queen cards, Scooter Gennett and Adam Duvall

Scooter

Duvall

Again, thank you for the cards Chuck! Good luck to the Tribe this year…maybe we will see a World Series featuring two Ohio teams this year!

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I don’t like the Cardinals, but they have some cool fans

A few weeks ago, I sent Levi (@levi_vm some Cardinals cards that were cluttering up my house, and he sent some Reds cards back. I was sick when they arrived, wasn’t Tweeting much, so this is the first mention I have made of them. Sorry it took so long.

This package, while small, was a heavy hitter. Starting with a couple of retired Reds, including Hall of Famer Johnny Bench

Bench

…and Reds Hall of Famer Jose Rijo.

Rijo

This is now my second autographed Rijo card. I still want to get his signature on a 1990 World Series baseball that I have had on my shelf since 1990. But I’m not willing to spend a fortune on an autograph, so it will probably remain unsigned forever.

Moving to the current Reds roster, Levi sent over a 2016 Optic Billy Hamilton black (I think) parallel. It looks black in-hand, but when scanned looks more purply.

Hamilton

Two Jose Peraza cards also fell out of the package, both from 2016. First is the Optic Rated Rookie.

Peraza

Next is an Immaculate jersey relic. I love this card.

Peraza

Finally, the package was rounded out with a 2017 Finest Cody Reed autograph.

I don’t know a whole lot about Reed, but I know the Reds need good pitching. I hope he is up to the challenge. The offense looks great, but the pitching staff is highly questionable. I still think the team could have competed this year if they had signed one of those free agent starters, but as usual, they went the cheap route and let them all slip away. Rebuilding is just an excuse to avoid spending money.

Thanks for the cards, Levi! A definite surprise that brought a smile to my face last week when received, even though I didn’t acknowledge them right away!

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!)

Fun Cards: “Baseball Immortals” Johnny Bench

Bench

Johnny Bench was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989, receiving 431 of 447 votes. That’s an impressive 96.42%. At the time of his induction, that was the third-highest percentage in history, behind only Ty Cobb (1936, 98.23%) and Hank Aaron (1982, 97.83%). Currently, however, it is only the twelfth highest percentage, with Ken Griffey‘s 2016 election at 99.32% topping the list.

Bench’s name is often mentioned in discussions about the greatest catchers of all-time. Some claim Yogi Berra was better, but if I were the general manager, I would pick Bench every day. He was a fantastic defensive catcher, and busted home runs like no other backstop. Bench won the Rookie of the Year award in 1968, was twice named the NL MVP, three other times finished in the top 10, was named to 14 All-Star teams, and won 10 Gold Gloves.

Topps Throwback Thursday on the way

Bench

I bit the bullet and purchased the Topps TBT cards that were offered up last week. 1968-style Johnny Bench, Nolan Ryan, Paul Molitor, Willie Stargell, Andre Dawson, and Carlton Fisk.

Stargell

I got an email yesterday that they are on the way! The initial plan was to hang on to the greatest catcher ever in my Reds collection (still happening), and offer up the rest on eBay to try to recoup the cost. The problem is, I hate eBay. Absolutely loathe using the site. Selling is worse than buying. So here’s how you can help me out…

Take the extras. Ryan is already spoken for in a Twitterfied trade, but the other four are up for grabs. Let me know what you’re willing to part with (either Reds cards or green cash), and we’ll see if we can work something out. Send me an e-mail or a Twitter message or a smoke signal or something.

2015 Reds, 1990 Score style: “Franchise Four” Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Barry Larkin, Pete Rose

Alright, so technically these are not 2015 Reds…but it is certainly a 2015 highlight for this dismal Reds season. Announced before the 2015 All-Star Game in Cincinnati on Tuesday, Hall of Famers Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, and Barry Larkin, along with should-be Hall of Famer Pete Rose, took the field to a thunderous ovation as the Franchise Four of the Cincinnati Reds.

Bench

Morgan

Larkin

Rose

I was fortunate enough to be in attendance for Tuesday’s festivities. I have to say, if you ever get a chance to attend the MLB All-Star Game, it is worth it. I had an amazing night.

Antiquing for baseball cards and more

Rose Bench etc

I picked up a nine-pocket page of baseball cards at the Antique Mall yesterday. At least six of those cards (pictured above) I did not already have in my collection. Two of them (the Pete Rose cards) I have never even seen before. The Johnny Bench card comes from the 1976 SSPC set, while the Redsfest cards are variations on cards I already owned. In 2008, baseball cards were given away at Redsfest at various booths, but they did not have the sponosrs’ logos on the cards like these do. I’m not sure if there are variations for all nine cards, or just Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips, and Joey Votto. In any case, I was happy to add the cards to my collection.

Starting Lineup

My wife also spied a couple of Starting Lineup figures for me—one of my favorite players, Chris Sabo, and Nasty Boy Rob Dibble—and the price was right to add them to my collection as well. I will be breaking them free of their packaging as soon as I get my mancave cleaned up a little bit, and put them on display with the rest of my SLU collection.

Antique Malls are awesome for finding deals on baseball cards and memorabilia.

Cards in the mail from GCRL

I love trading baseball cards with other bloggers, especially when neither has any clue what the other is sending. I recently sent GCRL a PWE with a few Dodgers (can’t even remember what exactly I sent now, to be honest). He returned the favor by sending a handful of Reds cards my way.

One card is very timely, as the MLB draft is on everyone’s mind at the moment…

Bench

Not only is it a card of Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench, it’s also my first 2014 Topps Heritage Reds card. I bought a pack of Heritage not too long ago, but didn’t pull any Reds at all. I was disappointed, but I knew I could flip most of them to other team collectors and would probably get a handful of Reds in return.

The next two come from another set that I didn’t have yet—and actually hadn’t even built a wantlist for yet—2014 Bowman.

Cueto

Phillips

If you can’t read the names on the cards because of the infuriating foil, that’s should-be All-Star Johnny Cueto, the ace of the Reds’ staff this year, and second baseman Brandon Phillips, who really doesn’t deserve the midsummer classic this year (unless he gets really hot this month).

There were a handful of other older cards in the envelope, from Aaron Harang to Marcus McBeth, but I’m just going to show one more…1992 Stadium Club Bill Doran. The photo on the front is nothing to get too excited about, but I love the backs of the old Stadium Club cards…

Doran

I wish Topps could find a way to work old cards back into their designs, similar to the Turn Back the Clock cards of 1986-1990, or MVP cards of 1975, or even on the back of the card like the old Stadium Club. Yeah, they have Heritage and Archives to bring back the old designs, but they don’t show actual cards from those years.

Thanks for the cards GCRL!

If anyone else would like to be put on my PWE mailing list, I’m building a database of who collects what teams and players. Just send me an e-mail with your favorite teams or players and your mailing address!

Cards in the mail from THE Tim Wallach fan

Robinson

Whenever I come across a Tim Wallach baseball card, I know what to do with it. No, not throw it away. Just because it’s not “worth anything” to me, doesn’t mean it’s not worth something to someone else…especially this guy. I’ve sent Mr. Stackhouse a few PWEs and he’s good about sending some Reds back my way, even though I never ask for them. (Speaking of sending cards out, I need to get rid of a few more non-Wallach cards. See the bottom of the post for info on how you can help out.)

Bench

This package was full of awesome Reds cards that I didn’t have, including three Johnny Bench issues. One was an insert from the current Topps release, 50 Years of the Draft.

Votto

These red-bordered cards look really good with Reds players on them, especially Reds players who might end up in the Hall of Fame someday like Joey Votto. Maybe they don’t work for the Padres or Giants, but they absolutely do work for red-themed teams. Perhaps Topps should consider using team colors instead of a white border in the future?

Cueto

Alright, so the colored borders don’t always work. 1964 isn’t supposed to look like this. But I always enjoy adding Johnny Cueto cards to my collection.

Bruce

This Jay Bruce is the first of the 1971 minis I have received. I really like them, and the smaller size doesn’t bother me at all like it does other bloggers.

There were a lot of other great cards in the package, from Jack Hannahan to Eric Davis to Chris Sabo to Dave Parker. Thanks for the cards, Mr. Stackhouse!

Now for sending out other non-Wallach cards, if you would like to be added to my list of bloggers to send stuff to, drop me an e-mail with your favorite team and/or player and your address. As finances allow, I would like to start to whittle down my non-Reds collection via PWE send-outs. Even if you think you’re already on my list, send me your details again just to be sure. I won’t mind.

Fun Cards: 2013 Topps “Dangerous”

Dangerous

Imagine yourself as a pitcher in 1975 and 1976. Now imagine yourself visiting Riverfront Stadium to play against the Cincinnati Reds and their dangerous lineup, including Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, and Johnny Bench. Strike a little bit o’ fear in your heart?

I imagine American League pitchers today have that same fear when facing the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (or whatever they are called now) and the powerful trio of Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, and Mike Trout. Even though Hamilton has struggled so far, I’m confident he will break out soon and the Angels will run away with the American League pennant, only to be shut down by the Reds in the World Series.

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