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Fun Cards: 1988 Topps Norm Charlton


Norm Charlton made his debut with the Reds on August 19, 1988, lasting only 2 and a third innings in a loss against the Cardinals. Charlton started ten games through the end of the season, then moved to the bullpen in 1989. During the Reds’ 1990 World Championship season, he split time between the starting staff and the Nasty Boys bullpen.


Happy Reds birthday, Norm Charlton!


January 6, 1963

Nasty Boy Norm Charlton was a versatile pitcher for the Reds in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In his rookie season, he started all ten games he appeared in; the following season he started none but finished 27 of 69. During the Reds World Championship season of 1990, he played a dual role, starting 16 of 56 games.

Cincinnati fans loved this guy’s tenacity, which was on full display on June 24, 1990:

I wonder if Mike Scioscia sends him a birthday card?

2015 Reds, 1990 Score style: Nasty Boys (Highlights #1)

hl01 Nasty Boys

Rob Dibble, Randy Myers, and Norm Charlton—the Nasty Boys of the 1990 World Championship Cincinnati Reds—were on hand to throw out ceremonial first pitches on Opening Day in Cincinnati.

Fun Cards: 2013 Topps “Nasty Boys”

Nasty Boys Dibble Charlton Myers

There is a lot of hoopla surrounding the duo of Jonathan Broxton and Aroldis Chapman in the Reds’ bullpen, but they are not as exciting as the 1990 “Nasty Boys” bullpen featuring Norm Charlton, Rob Dibble, and Randy Myers. When the Reds traded John Franco in December ’89, I thought all was lost. But Myers’ personality was a better fit for the Cincinnati bullpen, and Lou Piniella was able to get the best out of his famous trio as the Reds went wire-to-wire and swept the Oakland A’s in the 1990 World Series.

The Reds I grew up with

A fiercely aggressive Eric Davis

I love how the whole team joined in. I saw Ron Oester, Pete Rose, John Denny, John Franco, Tom Browning, Dave Parker, and more for the Reds. I think that was Eddie Milner at the plate when the whole thing went down. Lots of recognizable Mets too…Gary Carter had a nice takedown of Davis, Keith Hernandez, Kevin Mitchell, and of course the guy who instigated it all, Ray Knight.

Then there is the hot-headed Pete Rose

Take that, Pallone.

A hard-nosed Norm Charlton

I’d like to find a YouTube video of Paul O’Neill‘s kick to first base, and anything Mario Soto. Watch these videos quick because you know MLB will make YouTube remove them as soon as they are aware they’re out there.

The Reds Hammered the Rockies!

July 16, 2010: Cincinnati Reds vs. Colorado Rockies at Great American Ballpark…

MC Hammer kicked things off in right field with a pre-game concert…

2/3 of the Nasty Boys, Randy Myers and Norm Charlton, threw out ceremonial first pitches…

The team honored its four 2010 All-Stars, (bottom to top: Arthur Rhodes, Scott Rolen, Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips)…

MC Hammer helped Dusty Baker deliver the lineup card to the umpire crew…

Bronson Arroyo pitched a great game (with help from Rhodes and Francisco Cordero at the end)…

But not everything went the Reds’ way. Jay Bruce hit a shot to center field, but was robbed by Dexter Fowler in a catch that was reminiscent of Eric Davis’ defensive prowess…

MC Hammer led the crowd in “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” during the 7th inning stretch…

After the game, the Reds commemorated the 20th anniversary of their last World Series win with twelve players from the 1990 team. Eric Davis got the loudest response…

Twelve players from the 1990 season, though not all started or ended the season with the team. Bottom to top: Paul Noce, Glenn Braggs, Chris Sabo, Billy Hatcher, Hal Morris, Randy Myers, Herm Winningham, Tom Browning, Ron Robinson, Norm Charlton, Keith Brown, and Eric Davis. Lou Piniella also appeared via a recorded message on the scoreboard, a nice touch in my opinion…

Hall of Fame radio broadcaster Marty Brennaman spoke with each of the players, from Paul Noce, who only made one plate appearance and got a hit (his last in the majors) in 1990, to Ron Robinson, who was traded (with Bob Sebra) to the Brewers for Glenn Braggs (and Billy Bates) in June of ’90, to Keith Brown, who was diagnosed with cancer in the 1990s but beat it. My favorite was Eric Davis, who proudly stated that while Lou Piniella did a good job managing the club, “It was Pete Rose’s team.”

MC Hammer performed again after the ceremony, including his two biggest hits, “U Can’t Touch This” and “2 Legit To Quit.” Videos to come…

2009 Topps Norm Charlton

Norm Charlton, another third of the Nasty Boys bullpen. We’ve already featured the Rob Dibble card, and Randy Myers is yet to come. Norm was the most under-appreciated of the three, but a very hard-nosed player on and off the mound. Case in point: June 14, 1990. Charlton plowed over Mike Scioscia in the seventh inning of a 10-6 Reds win, despite the third base coach Sam Perlozzo trying to hold him at third, and despite Charlton’s wardrobe (he had put on a jacket to stay warm after reaching base). I tried to locate a clip of that classic event on YouTube but, no. MLB is full of jerks.

Charlton only pitched a handful of seasons in Cincinnati, but he’ll always be remembered for his toughness. He also pitched for Seattle (three different trips!), Philadelphia, Atlanta, Baltimore, Tampa, and a second stop in Cincy.

This is the 24th of our 2009 Topps Reds fun cards. I’ve made 43 so far, so you’ll be seeing these at least for the next few weeks. I would like to get up to 50, but I don’t know where else to look for good photos. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Also, if there are particular players you would like to see, let me know that as well and I will do what I can.

2010 Reds Hall of Fame

I got the following e-mail today…

Reds fans will have the opportunity to choose the first member of the 2010 Reds Hall of Fame induction class when the Modern Player Ballot presented by kicks off this Saturday, Aug. 1.

The following 10 candidates were nominated to appear on the ballot:

Bret Boone
Jeff Brantley
Norm Charlton
John Franco
Danny Graves
Kevin Mitchell
Hal Morris
Paul O’Neill
Chris Sabo
Scott Sullivan

To be eligible and considered for the Modern Player Ballot, the player must have played in at least three seasons with the Reds, have played within the last 13 seasons and be in at least their third year of retirement. Eligible players from more than 13 years ago will be considered for the Veterans Ballot and selected by the Veterans Committee.

Fans can choose up to three players for induction when voting and the player with the most votes will become the first member of the 2010 induction class. Online ballots and candidate profiles will be available at and fans can vote in-person at Great American Ball Park, the Reds Hall of Fame and participating Skyline Chili locations. Voting will run through Sept. 2, 2009 and the winner will be announced later in the year.

Of the ten listed players, there are only four that I would consider for induction in the Reds HOF: Charlton, Franco, O’Neill, and Sabo. Brantley will probably get some votes since he’s a Reds broadcaster now, and Morris will get some support because he was fairly popular during his playing days here, but I don’t know how some of these guys even get on the ballot. Scott Sullivan? Seriously?

In the end, my three votes will go to Charlton, Franco, and Sabo. Because I just don’t like Paul O’Neill. I never have. He may be more deserving than Charlton, but if personal feelings can keep Jim Rice out of the National Hall of Fame until his last year of eligibility, then O’Neill can certainly wait around for some other sap to vote for him.

Go Reds! (And take the Bengals with you!)

Package from Stats on the Back

On Friday, I received a nice surprise in the mail from Mark at Stats on the Back…a box full of Reds! I worked all weekend so I haven’t had the opportunity until today to post some of the goodies found inside…

1986 Hall of Fame inductee Ernie “The Schnozz” Lombardi (from the 1991 Sporting News Conlon Collection set)…

2010 Hall of Fame inductee (fingers crossed) Barry Larkin (1991 Studio)…

1988 NL Rookie of the Year Chris “Spuds” Sabo (1989 Fleer Baseball’s Exciting Stars…I love oddballs!)…

Rob “Nasty Boy” Dibble (1990 Donruss Baseball’s Best)…

Norm “Nasty Boy” Charlton, misidentified as Tom “Mr. Perfect” Browning (1991 Fleer Ultra)…

And a couple of Reds in different uniforms…

Mr. Senior (1987 Fleer…wearing a nasty Braves uniform)

Mr. Junior (1991 Upper Deck…wearing his former Seattle uniform, which I like better than his current Seattle uniform, although neither is as cool as the classic Seattle uniform…with Cubs great Ryne Sandberg, who should have been a first-ballot Hall of Famer)

These were just a few of the many Reds (and former Reds) included in the box…a great addition to my collection and a large number that I needed! I don’t have time to update my checklists right now, but they will be taken care of soon!

Mark said he loved the 2009 Topps Retired Reds, and couldn’t wait for the Eric Davis card. Well, wait no more.

Each set contains an Orsino Hill card!

If that sentence left you scratching your head, you’re not alone. Browsing eBay tonight, I came upon an auction for 4 sets of 1987 Nashville Sounds, which was at the time the Reds’ AAA minor league team. I’ve already got one of these sets (picked it up for a quarter plus shipping several months ago), but since I only have one I wouldn’t pass up another seeing as how I specifically collect Chris Sabo and Rob Dibble cards in addition to Cincinnati Reds. So I clicked on the auction, even though it was more than I’m willing to spend. Don’t ask why, because there really is no good reason. But something about the listing caught my attention immediately.

I’ve seen enough listings on eBay to know that when you’re trying to push something that is hard to sell, you have to highlight the best parts of the product. “Chris Sabo’s first card” or “includes Rob Dibble and Norm Charlton” or even “three-time All Star Jeff Montgomery.” No, the seller decided to use the selling point that “each set contains an Orsino Hill card!”

I never knew Eddie Murphy’s sidekick played ball. I guess I’ll have to go back and look at my Nashville Sounds set again!

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