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What a hot dog

Leo Cardenas 1966 Kahns

The Reds have had a loooooong relationship with Kahn’s. In 1987 the team started giving away team baseball card sets sponsored by the hot dog makers, and that tradition continues today. But the relationship is older than that. In the 1960s Kahn’s included baseball cards on their packaging! There are at least ten Reds in the set.

I scored a 1966 Kahn’s Leo Cardenas card last week at the antique mall. The dealer had a few Kahn’s cards, but I didn’t want to drop too much money and I have a special connection to Cardenas. My son and I ran into him at the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum several years ago and he stood and chatted with us for several minutes. No autograph, no picture, just a friendly chat. He’s actually not a hot dog at all, but a humble man who understands how fortunate he is and appreciates his fans.

Unfortunately, the Kahn’s part of the card was removed, but it is in otherwise good shape. It’s the oldest Kahn’s card I have in my collection now, but I may pick up another one next time.

Giving credit where credit is due…

That will teach me to rely on my faulty memory. I posted this earlier, attributing the awesome assortmant of Reds cards to @vossbrink, who is a pretty awesome person. He quickly pointed out that the cards did not come from him, so I checked my messages again. The cards actually came from another awesome person, @ShaneKatz73! Sorry about the confusion. What follows is the original post, slightly edited.


New friend @ShaneKatz73, who blogs at Off The Wall, impressed me with a box of Reds he recently sent my way. There was a little bit of everything in this package from the 1960s all the way to today. As a fan of oddball cards, I was not at all surprised to find several non-standard cards in the box. Here are a few of my favorites…


From 1967, a Topps poster insert. This puppy measures 5×7 and is a great addition to my collection. I’m a big fan of Leo Cardenas, and he’s a big fan of baseball fans. My oldest son and I ran into him once at the Reds Hall of Fame…not a scheduled event, he was just there hanging out. He took the time to shake our hands and gave my son, who was a soccer player at the time, a little advice: “Always eat your breakfast!”


A beat-up 1979 Kellogg’s Bill Bonham, without its lenitcularness.


A 1982 Drake’s Big Hitters Johnny Bench. I have had the 1981 Drake’s set since I was a little kid, and was aware of other Drake’s sets, but don’t think I’ve ever seen one until recently. Shane sent over several different Drake’s samples for me.


A 1989 Topps BIG Manny Trillo…Manny Trillo played for the Reds? Sure enough, Trillo finished his big league career with 17 games in Cincinnati in 1989.


A 2012 Topps Heritage Clubhouse Collection Aroldis Chapman game-used jersey card. I’m not a relic or autograph chaser, to the point that I don’t even put them on my checklists. But I’m always happy to see them show up in blind trade packages.


A 2018 Topps sticker Scooter Gennett. I love Topps stickers, and for the past three or four years I have liked the sticker designs better than the base card designs.

Shane also threw in a slew of Allen & Ginter and 1980s Fleer minis…

AG minis

…and some Topps Heritage Minors and Topps Pro Debut, including three Billy Hamilton cards!


Overall, this was just a fantastic package and really fun to go through.


Shane also dove into some of my not-yet-official-non-Reds-player-collections…

Bo Knows

A 1987? 1988? 1989? 1990 even? Bo Jackson unlicensed Broder-type card. I love these things, but they are so difficult to nail down exactly what they are or where they came from.


A 1978 O-Pee-Chee Buddy Bell. I don’t think I even have the Topps version of this card yet, that’s how far behind I am on organizing these.


A 1991 O-Pee-Chee Premier Dave Parker! A rare celestial Cobra from late in his storied career.


…and a big stack of Reggie Jackson cards!

I really have to get some wantlists started for these non-Reds collections.

Thank you for the cards Shane, and sorry again for my earlier confusion! If anyone wants to dispose of any Red Sox cards, contact @ShaneKatz73 on Twitter!

Reds’ Gold Glove History

Phillips Gold Glove 2013

Brandon Phillips was honored prior to Monday night’s game, receiving his fourth career Gold Glove trophy for defensive excellence in 2013. Hall of Famer Joe Morgan holds the record for Reds second basemen, winning the award five times from 1973-1977.

The Gold Glove was first awarded in 1957 to nine players in the major leagues. In 1958, the honor was split to recognize the nine best from each league. Over the course of the award’s history, twenty different Cincinnati Reds players have been recognized. Johnny Bench is a 10-time winner, more than any other catcher in National League history, but before he came along there was another Johnny who won twice in 1963 and 1964.

Only two Reds pitchers have ever won: Bronson Arroyo n 2010 and Harvey Haddix in 1958. Haddix won again in 1959 and 1960 with the Pirates. Bob Gibson and Greg Maddux dominated mound defense during their careers.

Second base and outfield are the positions that have yielded the most Gold Glovers for the Reds with five at each position.

Shortstop Roy McMillan was one of the first recipients of the Gold Glove in 1957, and he was recognized for three straight years. Dave Concepcion and Barry Larkin are the other shortstops that immediately come to mind when one thinks of great Reds shortstops, but there is one more that won in 1965: Leo Cardenas.

Here is a complete list of Reds Gold Glovers, along with the years they were recognized.

Bronson Arroyo (2010)
Harvey Haddix (1958)

Cardenas Gold GloveCatcher
Johnny Bench (1968-1977)
Johnny Edwards (1963-1964)

First Base
Joey Votto (2011)

Second Base
Brandon Phillips (2008, 2010-2011, 2013)
Pokey Reese (1999-2000)
Bret Boone (1998)
Joe Morgan (1973-1977)
Tommy Helms (1970-1971)

Third Base
Scott Rolen (2010)

Barry Larkin (1994-1996)
Dave Concepcion (1974-1977, 1979)
Leo Cardenas (1965)
Roy McMillan (1957-1959)

Eric Davis (1987-1989)
Cesar Geronimo (1974-1977)
Pete Rose (1969-1970)
Vada Pinson (1961)
Frank Robinson (1958)

Reds Hall of Fame Fan Appreciation Day on Saturday

The best team-specific museum in the world is hosting Fan Appreciation Day this coming Saturday, featuring discounts on admission, door prizes, and free autographs. There are also activities for kids who attend. The autograph schedule is below; visit the Reds Hall of Fame for more information on all activities.

OToole autograph

Autograph schedule:

2012 Redsfest: Leo Cardenas

Cardenas Redsfest

One of the happiest guys I have ever met is Leo Cardenas. He is always smiling, and always a pleasure to talk to at Reds events.

1978 TCMA

1975 Topps

Redsfest 2011: Leo Cardenas

I have never been disappointed in Leo Cardenas. Every time we have met him, whether at a function such as Redsfest or just running into him while visiting the Reds Hall of Fame, he has greeted us with a smile and talked to us like there was no one else as important in the whole world.

I already have all of my Cardenas cards signed, so we made a few customs. But he also had some cards with him, and was gracious enough to pull one out of his own stack and sign it for Derek. This is now Derek’s oldest baseball card.

One last thing…this was in the Hall of Fame lounge that is open to fans who bought a membership pass to the museum. You’re not supposed to ask for autographs back there…and we didn’t! Cardenas offered (just like Harmon did last year)…I promise!!! 🙂

Two in a row for the Redlegs!

July 17, 2010, was Hall of Fame induction night for the Reds Hall of Fame. Chris Sabo, Pedro Borbon, and the late Tony Mullane are the newest members of the club, and several Reds Hall of Famers were on-hand to welcome them. They all hung out at the Museum before the game for photos with the fans…

Here is Joshua (my son) with the 1966 NL Rookie of the Year, Tommy Helms…

Here we are with Big Red Machine centerfielder Cesar Geronimo…

We’ve met Leo Cardenas on at least three other occasions. He is always super nice and has a great smile for everyone.

Big Red Machine second baseman and National Baseball Hall of Famer Joe Morgan!

The greatest catcher to ever play in the majors! I’ve been racking my brain, trying to think of another time that I’ve met a National Baseball Hall of Famer, and I can’t come up with one. I think this is a first for me, and I got to do it twice in less than a minute! They really are larger than life.

One of the 2010 Reds Hall of Fame inductees, Pedro Borbon…

One of the reasons I am still a baseball fan today, Chris Sabo…

After the photo festivities, the skies decided to open up and pour for a while. Luckily, the rain stopped and the on-field ceremony took place, honoring Sabo, Borbon, and Tony Mullane, whose descendants were in attendance.

Most of the Hall of Famers who were present for the photo sessions stayed for the ceremony, and a few others showed up as well.

First row, l-r: Jim O’Toole, Jim Maloney, Tommy Helms, Leo Cardenas, Wayne Granger, Gary Nolan.

Second row, l-r: George Foster, Mario Soto, Jerry Lynch, Johnny Bench, Jack Billingham.

Third row, l-r: Eric Davis, Tom Browning, Cesar Geronimo, Barry Larkin.

Borbon threw out two ceremonial first pitches; this is the second one….

Spuds also threw out a ceremonial first pitch…

And then the game was underway, featuring the return of Edinson Volquez.

Joey Votto(matic), my other son’s favorite player…

Drew Stubbs went deep twice tonight…

The Reds only had five hits in the game, four of them home runs, winning the game 8-1. A great start to the second half of the season, a great return for Volquez.

2009 Redsfest!

Tonight my son and I went to the 2009 Redsfest, and we had a blast! We came away with autographs of Mario Soto, Leo Cardenas, Jim O’Toole, Chris Dickerson, Joey Votto, and Tom Browning. We also had fun visiting the different booths set up by the Reds Hall of Fame and other local organizations. Check out some of the photos below…

It’s no secret that Mario Soto is one of my favorite players of all-time, and he was the first table we hit at 4:00 when the doors opened. Joshua was armed with a 1986 Donruss card that he wanted signed…

…and I decided I wanted to get my 1986 Texas Gold card signed…

The next booth we hit was the Reds Hall of Fame, where Leo Cardenas and Jim O’Toole were signing…

Also hanging out in the Reds Hall of Fame area were some guys dressed kinda funny…

These guys actually play games by 1800s rules during the summer. We are planning to attend a game or two in 2010 (I didn’t find out about them until late 2009). Check out for more information.

Chris Dickerson was in the “kids only” line at 5:15, but we didn’t bring any Dickerson cards with us.

Luckily, he was one of the special cards printed up by Topps just for the Redsfest, so Joshua got him to sign this limited edition card for him…

We got a whole set of these cards. I thought it was cool that they used the 2010 Topps design this year. Last year they used the 2008 design. I’ll post the rest from this year soon.

At 6:15 they had a special introduction at the main stage introducing several of the players, past and present, that were appearing at the Redsfest this year. Especially cool was the introduction of the 1990 World Series team, including now-Cubs manager Lou Piniella, Eric Davis, Barry Larkin and others. I’m uploading these introductions to Youtube and I will post them to the blog later.

Then it was time to wait…and wait…..and wait…….for Joey Votto. He was scheduled to sign at 8:15. We got in line around 7:00, and just barely got through in time.

(Joshua’s card)

(My card)

After we got our Votto sigs, we spied Tom Browning off in a corner signing some stuff. So we ventured over there and snagged a couple from Mr. Perfect…

(Joshua’s card)

(My card)

I thought it was cool of Browning to take time to sign these things even though it wasn’t his “official” time to do autographs. He was very friendly to everyone who asked as well.

The 2009 Redsfest was a lot of fun, and I look forward to going again next year!

Check out omgReds’ report on the event!

2009 Topps Leo Cardenas

I’m in a bit of a bad mood, but seeing that Leo Cardenas was the next up in my Cincinnati Reds set cheered me up a little. Leo (or, as he was known back in the day, “Chico”) always seemed to have a smile on his face, and still does. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him twice. Once was at last year’s Redsfest when we got his autograph. The second time was at the Reds Hall of Fame earlier this year. He wasn’t there in any official capacity; he was just hanging out talking to people. Joshua (my 10-year old) was with me, and Leo told him, “Always eat your breakfast, that will help you have energy throughout the day for sports, playing, and everything else” (paraphrased). Joshua hasn’t skipped breakfast since that day. Even if we’re running a little late, he’ll always grab a breakfast bar or Pop Tart on the way out the door, “because Mr. Cardenas told me to always eat breakfast.”

Cardenas was a 3-time All-Star for the Reds, and again for the Twins in 1971. Besides the Reds, he played for the Twins, Angels, Indians, and Rangers.

I have a new fun card set in the works also. I’ll give you a hint as to the subject: Angels, Royals, White Sox. That’s all I’m saying about it for now. You’ll see those posts starting soon.

My Redsfest Adventure

Today my son and I went to the 11th Annual Redsfest held at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati. We took a stack of cards with us, knowing that we wouldn’t be able to get them all signed, but I think we did pretty good. The event started at 4 p.m., and we went straight to the Reds Hall of Fame booth, where Leo “Chico” Cardenas and Clay Carroll were signing autographs.

We then walked over to the kids-only line where Jeff Keppinger was signing, and Joshua was able to get his autograph as well. After that session, there was a break and all the players went up to the main stage for introductions. We walked back to the Hall of Fame booth and got back in line for “Mr. Perfect” Tom Browning.

After Browning, we took our own break and went to get some pizza and a drink. $3 per slice, and $3 per 20-ounce, so we each got a slice and split a drink. Highway robbery, I tell ya! After eating, we went to get in line for Mario Soto.

Jay Bruce was signing at the same time, but the line was too long to get both. Bruce may become one of my favorite players, but Soto already is one so it was a no-brainer to get the signature of one of the best pitchers from the early 1980s. After Soto, we walked back over to the kids-only line where Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto were sitting. We had forgotten to take any Volquez cards, so Joshua got in line for Cueto.

This is why I hate glossy cards. The signature is not as clear on Cueto’s card as it is on all the others from the pre-2000s. But, this was the only option we had for Cueto (don’t have his A&G card or anything from Heritage, if he was even in the set).

There were also some card dealers at the Redsfest, so we picked up a few other cards, including several Chris Sabo issues that I didn’t have (for only a nickel each!) and this hobby-set-exclusive of Cueto for $3…

I could have picked up a Votto as well (and probably should have), but just didn’t want to spend another $3 on just one card.

In addition to all the dealers, there were also several booths for free Reds cards made just for the Redsfest. They are modeled after the 2008 Topps set, but have different photographs. Not only that, they also do not have facsimile autographs, glossy finishes, or foil…man, I wish all cards could be made like these!

I’m not sure if we’ll go back next year or not, but I really had fun tonight and am very happy with the autographs and new cards that I got.

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