Tony Perez had a reputation as a clutch hitter in Cincinnati. On a team loaded with superstars, Perez often went unnoticed. How could he compete with such huge personalities as Johnny Bench and Pete Rose? But he kept hitting, day in and day out, and driving in runs. He drove in over 100 runs six times with the Reds, which is pretty impressive considering how many runs were already driven in by the likes of Bench and George Foster. Still, it took nine times on the ballot for Perez to clear the 75% threshold.
May 14, 1942
Seven-time All-Star. Four top ten MVP finishes. Tony Perez was a major part of the Big Red Machine, but was overshadowed by other superstars in Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, and Pete Rose. It took nine years for the BBWAA to figure out that without Perez, the Reds of the 1970s would not have been the powerhouse they were. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000 alongside his long-time manager Sparky Anderson and 1975 World Series rival Carlton Fisk.
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 love blind trades. I sent a handful of Tampa Bay Rays cards to @JDaniel2033, a Twitter friend in Indianapolis, and he sent back a handful of Reds. Lots of Barry Larkin and Hal Morris cards, Jose Rijo, and Hall of Famer Tony Perez were included among them. But he also sent a vintage Reds card that I needed:
Former Reds outfielder Bernie Carbo (who also played for the Cardinals, Red Sox, Brewers, Pirates, and Indians).
But he didn’t stop there. He also sent me a non-Reds card from 1972…
Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan!
There are a few players that are always welcome in my collection, whether they are wearing Reds uniforms or not, and that includes any of the Big Red Machine’s Great Eight.
Thank you for the awesome cards @JDaniel2033, and I will certainly be sending some more Rays your way whenever I come across them!
I dropped the ball on this one! I intended to post this “fun card” earlier in the week, and forgot about it until today as I was looking at the other cards I have created for the set. This hasn’t been a season full of highlights for the Reds, but dedicating a statue to Tony Perez would make the list even in a World Championship year. “Doggie” had an outstanding career for the Reds, Expos, Red Sox, and Phillies, and remains one of the most popular players from the 1970s Big Red Machine era. A seven-time All-Star, Perez finished his career with 379 home runs and 1652 RBI. It was not until his ninth year on the Hall of Fame ballot, in 2000, that he was finally inducted. He never had less than 50% support for the Hall.
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?
Two Hall of Fame managers, three Hall of Fame players, and one of Houston’s first star players make up the retired #24’s in the majors.
Whitey Herzog, St. Louis Cardinals
Herzog, whose full name is Dorrel Norman Elvert Herzog, led the Cards to the World Series title in 1982 and NL Pennants in 1985 and 1987. He finished with a .530 winning percentage for the Cardinals from 1980 to 1990. He was named NL Manager of the Year in 1985, edging out Pete Rose by one point, and finished 3rd for the award in 1987 behind Montreal’s Buck Rodgers and the Giants’ Roger Craig.
Jimmy Wynn, Houston Colt .45’s/Astros
Rickey Henderson, Oakland A’s
Tony Perez, Cincinnati Reds
Walter Alston, Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers
Willie Mays, New York/San Francisco Giants
I recently sent a few cards to Lifetime Topps, some to help out with his set-building conquests and a few Reds just because. He returned the favor with a nice package featuring a Hall of Famer (Tony Perez), a future Cooperstown resident (Barry Larkin), and some other current and former Reds. Here are just a few of the goodies he sent:
All of those cards are great, but my favorite card in the package, hands-down, was this 1984 O-Pee-Chee Dave Parker:
I miss the Cobra and his 20-minute home run trot.
Thanks for the cards Chuck!
I once read that if a time machine was ever invented, you could only use it to go back so far. You could not go back further than the date when the materials you used to create the machine were created. Makes sense to a point…but it kind of takes some of the fun out of science fiction. You can only go back in time so far.
The same is true with the Topps Million Card Giveaway, evidently. You can only go back in time so far.
I have a 1963 Marv Breeding card.
I was trying to go back to 1952. I started in 1987. I didn’t make it, but I still think I did well.
The thing is, I don’t want this card. Had I gotten back to the 50’s, I probably would have had whatever the card was delivered to me. But I think that dream is over.
What I want to do, if I can’t go back in time any further, is to turn this Breeding card into a 1960’s (or 1950’s…just sayin’) Reds card. It has to be a card I don’t have, which is almost every 1960’s Reds card. Seriously, I only have about 5 or 6 cards from the 60s. And none of them are named Pete Rose or Johnny Bench (although I do have a sweet ’68 Tony Perez).
I am also willing to consider offers for 1970 or 1971 Reds, as I am a bit short on those as well.
But I would like to stay in the 1960s.
So if you want to help out, leave a comment and offer up a trade for my 1963 Marv Breeding.