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2019 Reds, 1987 Topps style: The Outfielders

Had the Reds been a better team this season, I might have posted more about Yasiel Puig. Certainly one of the most entertaining players, pre-trade deadline. But the overall season was just so ho-hum, so was my blogging desire.

Also in this post: rookie Brian O’Grady, Philip Ervin, Michael Lorenzen, Scott Schebler, Graeter’s Ice Cream fan Derek Dietrich.


Puig and the Snake



Mikey Biceps


Dietrich ice cream

Fun Cards: 1984 Fleer Yasiel Puig

Puig snake 1984 Fleer Cincinnati Reds

Earlier this year, while he was still employed by the Cincinnati Reds, Yasiel Puig visited the Cincinnati Zoo and spent some time with the reptiles. Snakes and baseball…where have we seen that before? Let’s go back 35 years…

Hubbard snake 1984 Fleer

Glenn Hubbard‘s 1984 Fleer card showed him holding a ginormous snake while the Phillie Phanatic loomed in the background (I’ve actually never noticed the Phanatic there before now). And wait…isn’t that Barney Rubble on the left-hand side of the card? Wild!

I’m getting off-track. Back to the snake.

It wasn’t difficult to connect the dots. Puig needed a 1984 “fun card” holding the Cincinnati Zoo snake, too.

Unfortunately, the idea didn’t come to me when I first saw the photo several months ago. By the time I got around to creating this card, Puig had been traded to the mistake-by-the-lake Indians for Trevor Bauer. No problem. 1984 Fleer is pretty easy to manipulate…

Puig snake 1984 Fleer Cleveland Indians

Something has to be done with that Cleveland logo. It’s so boring. I really wish they would use the angular C from the 1970s. Or change the team name to the Spiders and come up with something new.

Now back to Barney Rubble. How wild is that???

Come on Topps, you can do better

As I mentioned yesterday, I bought a Topps TBT card on eBay. I knew what I was getting, and have no complaints about the transaction; however, that doesn’t mean I’m entirely happy with the card itself.

Look at the back of the card…

2019 Topps TBT Puig

I could ask, “Could it be more generic?” But I don’t want Topps to see that as a challenge.

I would like to see more on the TBT cards. At least a line of stats? How the player was acquired? Does he have a dog, and if so, what’s his name? Perhaps, if you want to relate the design selection to the text on the back, who the player’s favorite wrestler is?

A few months ago, Barry Larkin appeared in a Topps TBT set.

Larkin Topps TBT

Great photo (from 1988…check out the All-Star Game patch on his sleeve). Good concept of showing team captains on a Star Trek design. But the execution on the rear…

Larkin back

When was Larkin captain? Why? List a couple of career highlights. Mention his 2012 induction into the Hall of Fame. Something. Anything.

There have been four Reds cards included in the TBT series so far this year: Puig, Johnny Bench, and Larkin twice. I did not purchase Bench or the second Larkin. Partially because of the price, partially because of the lack of execution on the card back.

You really can do better, Topps. I believe in you.

(PS — For those who are curious, Larkin was named captain before the 1997 season. He was the first Reds captain since Dave Concepcion‘s retirement in 1988. Speaking of Concepcion, it sure would be great to see him included in a Topps product again.)

Don’t you love unexpected surprises?

2019 Topps TBT Yasiel

I ordered this Topps TBT card a few weeks ago on eBay. I received an email a few days ago that I should be receiving the card by May 22. I was surprised when I opened my mailbox today and found it. This is my first Yasiel Puig Cincinnati Reds card. The transaction was smooth, the seller shipped fast, he even used blue painters tape instead of Scotch tape to secure the card (in a penny sleeve) in the Ultra Pro Semi-Rigid Lip Sleeve. This seller (watzhisname) is a pro, and I will not hesitate to order from him again in the future.

But wait…there’s more?!?!?

Bench 2018 Topps Archives

Also with the Puig card was a 2018 Topps Archives Johnny Bench ’77 style…the only Reds card I did not yet have from that set. Is good ol’ watzhisname a TWJ reader, or was this just dumb luck? Does it really matter? I can now cross another team set off the list.

Obviously I left watzhisname positive feedback, and encourage you to check out his items for sale to see if anything fits into your collection.

If you are reading this watzhisname, thank you for the smooth transaction, the fast shipping, and the bonus card!

Yes, Cincinnati, there is a Santa Claus…

…and he works for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Reds completed one of the biggest trades in recent franchise history when they acquired Yasiel Puig, Alex Wood, Matt Kemp, and Kyle Farmer from Hollywood for a couple of prospects and Homer Bailey‘s contract. was quick to update the first three’s mugshots, too.

New Reds for 2019

Puig has already updated his Twitter emoji and Snapchatted a selfie wearing a black Reds hat over the weekend.

Merry Christmas everyone! Thank you to all my friends in the blogosphere and on Twitter that have traded cards and communicated with me in 2018. I’m looking forward to a great 2019 on the field and on the blog!

Here are some reasons I don’t like Topps Heritage…

Topps posted a bunch of photos of 2014 Topps Heritage on their Facebook page yesterday. In general, I like Topps Heritage. But there are some things that I definitely don’t like.


I like Derek Jeter. I don’t like that his card is a “high-numbered base card” in the 2014 Topps Heritage set. The same goes for Yasiel Puig, Miguel Cabrera, and Max Scherzer. Seriously, is there any reason to buy a pack if all of the superstars are in the high numbers?

SandbergI am glad that Heritage includes managers in the set. It’s neat to see Ryne Sandberg, Don Mattingly, John Farrell and other former big leaguers still involved in the game.

I don’t like that there are only seventeen managers who will get cards in the set. Where is Bryan Price? No, he never played major league baseball, and he has never had a baseball card. But he (and the other twelve non-card managers) still skippers a team and should have a card if seventeen other managers have a card.

PuigBack to Puig. He wasn’t an All-Star last year. Maybe he should have been, but he wasn’t. Maybe he will be this year, but we really don’t know yet.

I don’t like that Topps took it upon themselves to either correct last year’s manager or predict the future, whichever is the case here.

This isn’t the first time a non-All-Star has been called an All-Star by Topps. One of the most egregious examples is Tony Bernazard from the 1987 Topps set; Bernazard was not an All-Star in 1986, or 1987…or ever.


First things first, I don’t like Tim McCarver. But this isn’t a post about Tim McCarver. This is a post about 2014 Topps Heritage. And I don’t like that they cut up a 1981 Fleer card and put it in a 2014 Topps set.

JacksonTopps used a Fleer product in their set.

Let that sink in.

First things first, I absolutely love Bo Jackson. He was one of the most exciting baseball players and one of the most exciting football players. He was an all-around athlete and was fascinating to watch. Jackson was born in 1962. His baseball career started in 1986 and ended in 1994. I don’t like that he is included in the 2014 Topps Heritage set, which is supposed to be an homage to the 1965 issue.

I like the concept of Topps Heritage. I don’t like the execution.

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