The MLB All-Star ballots are live! This seems later than normal, but I think that is better as the players have had time to settle into their routines and fans can make informed decisions.
Unless, like me, you vote a straight-team ballot. That’s right, I voted all Reds in the National League, even though only one (Scooter Gennett) should be a starter, and maybe one or two (Eugenio Suarez and maybe Joey Votto) should be reserves. But I’m a Reds fan through-and-through, and they all get my support at All-Star time.
In the American League, however, I took a closer look at the stats. Here’s how my starting lineup looks in the AL:
Sure, Zack Cozart is a homer pick. I want him to get another donkey. And I avoided Yankees because they’re Yankees. Other than that, I think it’s a pretty solid lineup. Shoehei Ohtani needs to be used as both a DH and a pitcher somehow.
What do your ballots look like?
The Reds went on an absolute tear this past week, winning six straight games and catching the attention of awards-giver-outers. Second baseman Scooter Gennett was named the NL Player of the Week for May 7-13, hitting .591 with four homers and 10 RBI. I decided to resurrect this design I toyed with earlier this year. It’s kind of a pain to outline the player, so it won’t be used often.
Of course, I prefer the textured look, so I also blasted this with a little sandstone filter:
The Reds’ bullpen was also honored this week. The bullpen that I have been criticizing all year combined for a 0.95 ERA and struck out 32 batters from May 7-13.
I still don’t like relief pitchers.
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…
…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.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
Shane also dove into some of my not-yet-official-non-Reds-player-collections…
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!
Happy Reds Opening Day! As I type this, my Redlegs trail the Washington Nationals 1-0 while waiting to bat against Brandon Kintzler, who replaces future Hall of Famer Max Scherzer in the bottom of the 7th. The Reds still have nine outs to cross the plate a couple of times and pull out a victory in their first official game of 2018. Fingers crossed!
Speedster Billy Hamilton…
Again, thank you for the cards Chuck! Good luck to the Tribe this year…maybe we will see a World Series featuring two Ohio teams this year!
Second baseman Scooter Gennett! This one makes me happy because second base has been a sore spot for me for a few years now. Not a fan of Scooter’s predecessor, I’m happy that there is a different guy playing to the right of Joey Votto in the Reds infield.
Now on to the card itself…
I was not a fan of the 2018 Topps design when I first saw it. Several other collectors said they changed their minds when they had them in hand, but…nope. I still don’t like it. The design itself is not awful, but I think Topps should shoot for more than “not bad.” My main beef is the lack of borders. Second is hiding the first letter of the player’s name under the waterslide. What’s the point?
And then, when you flip it over…
The name isn’t hidden at all, showing that it doesn’t have to be hidden on the front!
The empty space to the right of the social media box and write-up doesn’t bother me as much as most, but it would probably look better centered on the card rather than all the way to the left. The lack of stats on the back doesn’t bother me either; that’s what baseball-reference.com is for, right?
So after opening two 72-card hangers, I’m not buying any more packs this year from Topps. Only three Reds out of 144 cards…not great. I did get two Aaron Judge cards, though!
So send me your Reds, I’ll send you your favorite team. Drop me an e-mail and let me know what team you collect…I love doing blind trades!