Mike Leake‘s career started pretty well with the Reds. He won his first five major league decisions, and in his first six seasons he put up a 62-47 record with a 3.87 ERA. He was not quite as successful in San Francisco or St. Louis, and was traded near the end of the 2017 season to Seattle. So far in 2019, he is 2-3 with a 4.91 ERA. He did not get a decision in his most recent start as the Mariners lost in Cleveland on Star Wars day.
There has not been a new post on the Cardboard Junkie website in four months. But Dave is still quite active on Twitter as @CardJunk, and after telling him that I wanted to send him some Barves cards, he said he had some Reds set aside for me. His package arrived last week. Here’s some of the awesomeness contained inside:
A couple of “1st Home Run” inserts from 2015 Topps featuring Josh Hamilton and Tony Perez. I don’t recall seeing any of these last year, and if I did, I certainly didn’t notice that some were silver and some were gold.
Some parallel goodies. Red-bordered Jonathan Broxton from 2014, and man, Reds players sure look good on red-bordered cards. The emerald green borders look sharp too, but I bet Donald Lutz would look better in an A’s uniform on that card. The Mike Leake is a mini, alternate-colored bordered Gypsy Queen. And a black-bordered Johnny Cueto Heritage. Are there any sets that don’t have some sort of parallel anymore?
Autographed goodness! Luis Pineda only played two seasons in the bigs, and only one for the Reds. But I got his scribbles now!
Future Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman never played for the Cincinnati Reds, but he spent some time in the organization before going to
Miami Florida in the 1992 expansion draft.
Another fantastic reliever, John Franco, from the 1987 Topps sticker set.
Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, from the 1987 Classic green border set. I already had the yellow border card from the travel edition, but the green border features a different photo and everything.
Even more vintage. Leo Cardenas, 1968. This card is going to look fantastic with Leo’s scribbles on it. The only question is whether I wait until December at Redsfest or try to catch him at the Reds Hall of Fame this summer.
There was a ton of other stuff in the package…
…including a card that I didn’t even discover until I went to scan them last night. In addition to all the Reds goodies, Dave included a special 1/1 sketch card of one of my very favorite vampires…
A pleasant surprise slid in between two other cards in one of the hard cases. I absolutely love this sketch card!
I recently sent a few Pirates cards over to Bob Walk the Plank, and he responded with some awesome Reds certified autographs. Mike Leake (who now wears a Cardinals uniform) Chris Denorfia (who was released last week after spending the spring with the Yankees), and Tony Cingrani (who is actually still a Red). I did not have any of these cards already, so they are definitely appreciated! Thank you Matt!
Emotionally, this was one of the most difficult cards to make because I have been a Mike Leake fan and supporter since his rookie campaign in 2010. I definitely did not want to see Leake traded, but understood the business side of it. He’s a free agent, and he’ll likely make some dough this off season as a solid #2 starter. In his rookie year, Leake won five decisions before receiving a loss, and he was able to keep his ERA under 4.00 until the last game of the season when he was roughed up by the Giants.
While I would love to see Leake return to the Reds as a free agent, I don’t believe the team will be active in the free agent market at all. It seems that they are content to field a losing team in 2016.
Mike Leake went six and a third innings in his San Francisco debut yesterday, allowing only two runs, but ended up on the losing side as the Rangers’ Martin Perez held the Giants to only one run. Leake now wears uniform number 13 for the Giants, but has not yet updated his Twitter handle to reflect the uniform number change.
TWJ contributor Patrick went with the 1972 style for this Traded card. I love the 1972 set, and used it a few years ago to make cards for most of the Reds team. This is another great submission, though I hate seeing Leake wearing a different uniform.
It’s usually July before I give up on the Reds, but I couldn’t tell you what their current record is this year. Maybe .500? No idea. Hang on, I’ll look it up…
18-21. Tied for 3rd place with the Bucs. Yikes. Eight games out of first. Smh.
Mike Leake has been one of my favorite pitchers since he debuted in 2010. He has never been the ace of the staff, and probably never will be. But he’s a go-getter and wants to win every game. His ERA so far this year is only 3.62, which really isn’t awful at all. In five full seasons, he has only finished with an ERA over 4.00 twice; his lowest was 3.37 in 2013. Unfortunately he doesn’t get a whole lot of run support behind his effort, so his record is 2-2 this year.
Leake isn’t scheduled to pitch again until Friday night against the Indians in Cleveland. The Tribe is even more pathetic than the Reds have been so far this year. The Battle for Ohio should be a real blast. [/sarcasm]
Throughout the offseason, trade rumors ran rampant in Reds country. Brandon Phillips, Homer Bailey, Aroldis Chapman, and Mike Leake were the names most often mentioned, but all four have survived. Leake had a hot start in his rookie season, but then became inconsistent. When he’s on, he is nearly unbeatable. Unfortunately, he’s not always on.
I chose the 1988 Donruss design for this “fun card,” turning up the green tint on the border to coincide with the Reds’ St. Patricks Day uniforms worn on Monday. I couldn’t find a good match for the name font…Donruss used some funky letters back in the day.
I was curious how the autograph would look on the sparkly card, and I gotta say it looks pretty fantastic.
Whether Leake is a starter or reliever next year, I hope he is still wearing a Cincinnati Reds uniform.
Photoset: Cincinnati Reds vs. Colorado Rockies (May 26, 2012 @ Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati, OH)
Saturday night’s ballgame against the Colorado Rockies was a slugfest, featuring home runs by Chris Heisey, rookie Devin Mesoraco, and a pinch hit shot by Ryan Ludwick. Starting pitcher Mike Leake only lasted only 3.2 innings, giving up three Colorado runs, but the bullpen came in to shut down the Rockies and preserve the Reds’ win. The Reds’ pitchers combined for eleven strikeouts, winning everyone with a ticket stub a free pizza from LaRosa’s and a free ice cream cone from United Dairy Farmers. Not a bad deal, if you ask me!
Here are some photos from the game…
Phillips…sliding with style!
Heisey’s first home run of the season
Keep your eye on the ball…all the way out of the park
The strikeout flames
Leake hitting a double
Vottomatic on the basepaths, watching BP’s hit fall before taking third