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Fun Cards: 2018 Stadium Club Lou Piniella

I posted a picture of Lou Piniella tossing second base on Twitter earlier tonight. That led to this response from Giants fan and friend Nick of the njwv blog

It was a great idea, and I couldn’t resist making a “fun card” (because I don’t expect Topps to ever do so, or MLB to even allow it if Topps wanted to).


Sweet Lou managed the Reds at such a fun time during my teenage years. Chris Sabo, Eric Davis, Jose Rijo, Tom Browning, future Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, and so many more thrived under Piniella’s leadership.

We need Sweet Lou back in Cincinnati.

1983 Donruss and the search for a Hall of Fame rookie card

pack 1

pack 2

I picked up two rack packs of 1983 Donruss last night at the Redsfest for $1 each. I thought surely they were just in the wrong place on the table, but no…$1 each. And with a Reggie Jackson Diamond King showing on top, how could I resist?

Of course, the only real reason to buy packs from 1983 is to find a rookie card of Wade Boggs, Tony Gwynn, or Ryne Sandberg. So did I do it? Find out after the jump…

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A couple of great Pepsi MAX commercials

Starring Mike Schmidt, Rickey Henderson, Ozzie Smith, Lou Piniella, and more, these commercials brought a smile to my face. Though I wish they had gotten someone other than C.C. Sabathia for the first one. To be honest, I didn’t even know who it was until someone called him C.C.

Gypsy Queen – Lou Piniella

Many of Gypsy Queen’s photos are action shots, and I have tried to use action photos as well on my custom “fun cards” of Gypsy Queen cards. But with managers, the most action you normally see is arguing with umpires. Lou Piniella was a little more expressive at times, such as when he tossed a base during a game. I remember watching this game on television as it happened, and then seeing the replays for days and weeks and months…now decades later. It’s hard to believe that was 21 years ago!

Trade with Thoughts and Sox

I received a package from AdamE today, featuring three distinct periods of Reds history.

First, there was the Big Red Machine. Struggles preceded their mid-70s domination, and in 1970 they lost to Baltimore in the World Series…

But behind the hustle of Pete Rose

…and the addition of the fiery Joe Morgan following the 1971 season…

…the Machine was well underway to becoming the best team in baseball. Of course, their back-to-back championships in 1975 and 1976 are still the peak of the modern franchise, but it wasn’t their last trip to the Series.

In 1990, led by manager Lou Piniella, the Reds once again took center stage and wiped out the heavily-favored Oakland A’s in a 4-game sweep.

I’m 99.9% sure this card is supposed to depict Sweet Lou, as the back makes reference to Marge Schott and her dog, Schottzie, and the fleas and the “presents” that Schottzie was known to leave on the artificial turf at Riverfront Stadium.

The third era represented in this trade package is the current era. Drew Stubbs, the team’s current center fielder, is a guy who is primed to have a break-out season. With all the attention on the big-money boys Joey Votto and Jay Bruce, Stubbs can quietly do his thing and contribute in a big way without a big fuss.

Thanks for the cards, Adam! I’ll have a package of BoSox out to you shortly!

Take me out to the ballgame…

What a night! The Reds squeaked past the Cubs in a 4-3 extra inning thriller, we saw a future Hall of Famer make his first ever major league start (dream big, Matt!), we got some free baseball cards (very cheaply made, but still pretty nice looking), George Foster signed some autographs (and smiled nice and big when he saw my son), chatted with Leo Cardenas (super nice guy), and I purchased season tickets for last year (how stupid does that sound?). Whew…let’s start at the beginning.

Yesterday was my kids’ last day of school. I decided to treat them to an afternoon at the Reds Hall of Fame. As we were leaving, one of the employees asked if I was interested in buying the season ticket book from last year for $35. While that sounds like an insanely stupid thing to do, these season tickets are special. You see, the cover of the book looks like this…

But that’s not the best part. The best part is when you open the book. Inside you find…

Nearly every game has a different portrait of a Reds Hall of Famer! The only exceptions are Opening Day, the 3-game series against the Red Sox in June (which commemorates the 1975 World Series), the ticket for July 19 (when they held the induction ceremony for the 2008 inductees), and the ticket for September 16 (which instead commemorates Tom Browning’s 1988 perfect game).

In those panels above, you see Larry Kopf, Barry Larkin, Brooks Lawrence, Ernie Lombardi, Red Lucas, and Dolf Luque in the top; Jose Rijo, Eppa Rixey, Frank Robinson, Edd Roush, Tom Seaver, and Cy Seymour in the bottom. And while Pete Rose doesn’t have his own ticket, he is included in the painting for the Red Sox series.

So I went to the Hall of Fame today to purchase one of these books (of which they only had four remaining) for $35. The guy that was working yesterday was not working today. The guy who was working today did not know how much the books cost. I informed him that I was told $35, but I didn’t know the name of the guy who told me that. So he calls down to the box office and asks…and they tell him $30. So… to make a long story short (too late, I know), I saved $5 by waiting a day to buy them!

Oh, and that’s not all….

George Foster was at the Hall of Fame today signing free autographs (1 per person). Yes, we already got his sig last year, but that was last year and I have more Foster cards now that were crying out for a Sharpie kiss! So both Joshua and I took a card and voila…

We also ran into Leo Cardenas (former big leaguer, Reds Hall of Famer) in the HOF lobby when we got there. Dummy that I am I didn’t think about pulling out the camera that was strapped over my shoulder to get a photo of him and Joshua, but perhaps another time. He told Joshua to always eat his cereal and milk before playing a ballgame in the morning, and that would help his performance. Joshua smiled and nodded and thanked him very much. Leo is a stand-up fella. (We didn’t know he would be there, and really wasn’t in any official capacity, or I would have gotta his Hancock as well!)

On to the game…

Well, not quite yet. Tonight was baseball card night at the ballpark, and the first 30,000 fans got a free set of Reds Kahn’s baseball cards. They’re pretty snazzy looking if you ask me…

And now, on to the game…

The lineup card exchange was kind of special, though I’m not sure anyone else noticed…

That’s Lou Piniella, the manager for the Cubs, and Billy Hatcher, the first base coach for the Reds. For those who don’t remember, 19 years ago (has it really been that long!?!?!) Piniella managed the Reds to a World Series win over the Oakland A’s (cue Queen “We Are The Champions”). Billy Hatcher was a major contributor to the ballclub that year as a player. So the lineup exchange was something of a reunion for the two of them. They stood there and talked and laughed for several moments before returning to their respective dugouts.


Matt Maloney was making his major league debut for the Reds on the mound, and he did a heck of a job.

The opposing pitcher was former Cincinnati hurler Ryan Dempster. He was one of those guys that I thought was going to become a superstar, and while he had a great year last year, he never quite became the ace I thought he would be back in his Marlin days.

Like I said, Maloney did a great job in his first big league start. The outfielders didn’t have to chase very many balls, though Jay Bruce underjudged this one…

Maloney’s solid performance was helped by some great defense. Chris Dickerson made at least two diving grabs…

But when Cubs catcher Geovany Soto spanked one, it was all over for the rookie.

When Maloney left the game, he had a one-run lead. Thanks to the Reds’ overpaid relievers, he wound up with a no-decision.

But in the bottom of the 11th, Adam Rosales drove Jay Bruce in for the Reds’ 29th win of the season.

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