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Still discovering junk wax treasures…27 years later

The above Tweet from Tanner, noted Jose Canseco superfan, started a frenzy among a small group of baseball card collectors. What in the world are those cards? Customs? Nope. Real deal. But where are the name plates?

As it turns out, a few Topps Gold cards from 1992 got out the door without the gold foil…and they ended up on eBay a few weeks ago. I snagged a handful, as did a few other Twitter users that were following the thread. I have never seen these before, and never knew they existed until Tanner’s Tweet. I am, however, happy to add them to my collection.

I am now the proud owner of six 1992 Topps Gold “missing foil” Reds cards…







That’s Barry Larkin, Paul O’Neill, Norm Charlton, Mariano Duncan, Hal Morris, and Chris Sabo.

Turning the cards over plainly shows that they are from the Gold parallel series, albeit without the gold on front…


I also picked up a Shawon Dunston card, who was another favorite player growing up.


It’s amazing (in a great way) that we can still discover things from the junk wax era today, and that we have ways to easily add them to our collections. Thank you Tanner for the heads-up!

Happy Reds birthday, Paul O’Neill!

Paul Oneill

February 25, 1963

Paul O’Neill won a World Championship and appeared in an All-Star game as a member of the Cincinnati Reds. He then won five more World Series and received four more All-Star honors as a member of the Yankees. Twelve voters named him on their Hall of Fame ballots in 2007, only 397 votes shy of induction.

I said I wasn’t going to buy any 2016 Topps packs

But I’m a weak, weak man.

2016 Topps

At least I turned my weakness into a nice little game with the family. Our first pack wars of 2016 commenced after Bible study tonight as we sat around the kitchen table. Each of us took two packs, picked two teams, two players, and three card numbers. If you pull a card on your list, you get three points. If someone else pulls a card on your list, you get one point. Inserts also counted for three points apiece. After the first round of two packs, the top two scorers opened the last two packs in the box.

Here are some of my favorite cards from the box, starting with the Reds second baseman (who they desperately tried to unload this offseason) and right fielder (who was also mentioned in trade rumors), Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce



I’m not overly impressed with the cards, as I have mentioned elsewhere, and the backs are boring. But I thought the fact on the back of Bruce’s card was somewhat interesting:


I don’t think Jay will be joining Johnny Bench, Frank Robinson, or Tony Perez in Cooperstown.

I also got a Reds insert, which is super duper cool…


I don’t remember Paul O’Neill pitching, but sure enough…


Those are the only Reds cards I pulled, and that’s why it’s the only box I’ll be buying. It’s tough being a team collector who loves opening packs. The value just isn’t there at all. But I did pull several other cards that I liked, including a couple of Salvador Perez cards, an Anthony Rizzo/Kris Bryant insert, Warren Spahn, Babe Ruth, Andre Dawson, Randy Johnson, Josh Donaldson, and Giancarlo Stanton.



Rizzo Bryant







And the “MLB Debut Medallion” that I pulled was Joe Mauer. I’m not a non-fan of Mauer, so I’m not entirely disappointed with this pull, and since there are no Reds on the checklist in series 1, I could have done a lot worse. That said, if anyone has a Reds manurelic from an older set, or if you want to make another offer for the Mauer coin, shoot me an e-mail.


I plan to send out some of the other cards that I don’t want to keep to team collectors, so if you’re not already on my PWE list, send me an e-mail with your name, address, and what team you collect. If you want to reciprocate with some Reds, that would be great, but not necessary. What goes around comes around eventually in the baseball card blogosphere.

Oh, and if you’re wondering who won our pack war, it wasn’t me…

pack wars

Cards from the Night Owl

I received an envelope today in the mail; but it was not filled with bills. My name was hand-written on the envelope, and when I looked at the return address I knew I would be thrilled with the contents inside. I received Reds cards from the Dodger fan Night Owl, and that’s always a treat…

First we have Bronson Arroyo, who promised in December 2011 to retired if he had another dismal campaign like that year. He has certainly improved, but I doubt we will see him in a Cincinnati uniform next season. Perhaps he’ll end up wearing orange and blue?

Next is outfielder Jay Bruce, a spectacular player, currently 3rd in the NL in home runs and tied for 5th in RBI. I’m glad he is singed long-term.

Fireballer Aroldis Chapman was the next to fall out of the package. I liked last year’s Triple Play cards, but this year is a bit…meh. I’m not impressed.

The pièce de résistance, however, was a 24-year old card…

1989 Bowman Paul O’Neill, the final card I needed for the 1989 Bowman Reds set. It’s nice to have this card finally, after purchasing a wax box of 1989 Bowman and coming up short a few months ago.

This made me wonder what other sets from the 1980s I’m one card away from completing.

1983 Topps – #101 Pete Rose Super Veteran
1984 Fleer – #640 Johnny Bench/Carl Yastrzemski Super Star Special
1987 Donruss – #433 Eddie Milner
1987 O-Pee-Chee – #305 John Franco
1988 Fleer – #627 John Franco/Steve Bedrosian Super Star Special
1988 Topps Traded – #92T Jose Rijo
1989 Upper Deck – #636 Herm Winningham error card

That’s just a quick scan of my 1980s Want List. I’m only 2 away from the 1989 Score set (Ron Oester and Jeff Reed are eluding me), and only a few away from several other sets.

Thanks for helping me complete that 1989 Bowman team set, Greg, and thanks for the 2013 cards too! They’ve all been marked off my want lists!

Now pitching for the Cincinnati Reds…Paul O’Neill???

It happened in Atlanta in 1987. Outfielder Paul O’Neill was called upon to throw two innings against the Braves in a 16-5 loss. To his credit, O’Neill was only responsible for three of those runs; not too shabby for a non-pitcher. In the bottom of the seventh, Dion James walked, Ken Oberkfell flew out, and Gerald Perry grounded into a double play. O’Neill didn’t fare quite as well in the bottom of the eighth, giving up a three-run dinger to Ozzie Virgil, but he did strike out Ken Griffey and Jeff Dedmon.

Johnny Bench spoke to O’Neill about his performance on the mound the next day. Watch the video to hear what he has to say…

You know, if I had seen this interview in 1987, I may have ended up being a Paul O’Neill fan. I always had the impression that he was kind of sour, but he displayed a bit of wit and a sense of humor, almost like he was having fun, during that chat.

(h/t to Can’t Have Too Many Cards for digging up that gem of a video. Now, someone find some footage of Dave Concepcion throwing from the mound in 1988!)

The newest member of the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame…

…will be announced at 4 pm today. Check out the official site and @redsmuseum on Twitter.

If it’s Jeff Brantley, I will be curled up in a fetal position somewhere. Don’t come looking for me.

My choices were John Franco, Reggie Sanders, or Paul O’Neill. All of them are absent from the list of attendees at this year’s Redsfest (but of course that can be updated after the announcement). Of all the names on the ballot, Brantley is the only one scheduled to appear (since he is a current broadcaster, not because he will be the fans’ 2012 inductee).

People, I really hope you did the right thing.

Fun Cards: 1985 Topps Traded Paul O’Neill

Paul O’Neill appeared in 5 games for the Reds in 1985, collecting 4 hits in 12 at-bats. In 1986, Donruss and Fleer both saw fit to include him in their base set. However, he only saw action in 3 games in 1986. The only card company to include O’Neill in 1987 was Fleer, in their year-end Update set. In 1988, he appeared on his first Topps card. Does anyone else remember when Beckett made those designations in the price guide? RC vs. FDC/FFC/FTC? If O’Neill had been included in the 1985 Topps Traded set, that would have been his XRC.

Rock the Vote for the @RedsMuseum

You can help choose the next #Reds Hall of Fame inductee! The ballot of eight names has been released, and you can vote up to 25 times (per e-mail address) for your favorite three. Who will it be?

  • Jeff Brantley – aka “Cowboy” to those who watch the Reds on Fox Sports Ohio. He’s a decent broadcaster, and was good on the mound, but to me he just doesn’t scream “Hall of Famer!”…even if it’s only a team HOF.
  • Sean Casey – aka “The Mayor.” Probably the favorite to win the fan vote, a very popular guy and deserving of recognition…eventually. I didn’t vote for him this time, as I think there are others more deserving.
  • John Franco – aka “he doesn’t have a nickname, not even on” I thought this guy was going to be a NBHOF back when he was with the Reds, but then he got traded to the Mets and I’m not sure what happened to him after that. He was definitley a premier closer his first five or six years in the league, and he’s got my vote for 2012.
  • Danny Graves – aka “Wildman really doesn’t like this guy.” I’m not sure why, but I found it amusing how Wildman Walker (a radio personality for the rock station WEBN in Cincinnati) would rant and rave about Graves when I first moved back to the area a few years ago. I’m not even sure what he did to enrage the Wildman, but it was fun to hear him go on and on and on about it. Graves actually does have a nickname on b-r…”Baby-faced Assassin.” How cute. He didn’t get my vote.
  • Hal Morris – no nickname. Morris came to the Reds in a trade with the Yankees for Tim Leary. While with the Yankees, Morris wore five different uniform numbers. With the Reds, he was #23. I was close to voting for Hal, as he was a really good hitter. But I didn’t.
  • Paul O’Neill – aka “The Warrior.” Who gave him that nickname, and who has ever heard him called that? It’s no secret that I am not a fan of Paul O’Neill, even before he went to New York. However, he got my vote for the Reds Hall of Fame. He was a big part of the 1990 World Champion team, especially in the NLCS against the Pirates. He kinda tanked in the actual Series. And really his stats may not merit induction…only 96 homers, .259 average for the Reds. But he did have that awesome kick to first base…man, I wish I could find that video on YouTube.
  • Reggie Sanders – aka “The Next Eric Davis.” That was the hype when he came up, that Reggie would be what Eric Davis was supposed to be. He may not have been that great, but he was pretty good. He is one of only seven guys in history to hit 300 home runs and steal 300 bases. Of course not all of that was with the Reds, but that’s where he got his start, and that’s why he got my vote.
  • Scott Sullivan – um…I’m stumped on this one, honestly. The ballot blurb says “Ranks second on Reds all-time list for most games pitched; first pitcher to lead Major Leagues in relief innings pitched in four straight seasons, 1998-2001; named Reds Outstanding Pitcher in 2001.” No way is this guy getting more than 25 votes…unless his mom has two e-mail addresses.

Where is Rob Dibble? Norm Charlton? Nothing personal against Sullivan, but he doesn’t hold a candle to either of those Nasty Boys.

If you want to vote, head on over to this site and punch your ballot. Remember you can choose three names and you can vote 25 times per e-mail address. If you don’t know who to vote for, let me encourage you to pick John Franco, Reggie Sanders, and Paul O’Neill (in that order).

Gypsy Queen – Paul O’Neill

I’m not a fan of Paul O’Neill. He always rubbed me the wrong way in Cincinnati, and I just stopped following him after he was traded to the Yankees. But this isn’t the first O’Neill custom I have created. He was a part of my 2009 Topps Reds Legends “fun cards” series. However, I have never made a custom of O’Neill as a Yankee, until now…

SLTB ’88: Paul O’Neill

An error card! MOJO! (Did I do that right?)

Paul O’Neill (misspelled O’Neil on this card) was a fella I never could like. I’ve been told that he was just quiet, and it came off as arrogance. The thing I remember most about O’Neill was that time that he kicked the ball back to the infield (click here, scroll down to 1991 to download the video).

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