Tag Archives: Cincinnati Reds

On This Date: The First MLB Home Run Derby

15 Jul
1985 Topps - Dave Parker

1985 Topps – Dave Parker

On Monday, July 15, 1985 (yes, exactly 28 years ago today), Major League Baseball staged its first ever home run derby at the Metrodome in Minneapolis.  Dave Parker of the Cincinnati Reds won the event, hitting a remarkable six home runs.  This was despite the fact that his National League team, featuring Parker, Dale Murphy, Steve Garvey, Ryne Sandberg, and Jack Clark, lost the Derby by a score of 17-16 to Jim Rice, Eddie Murray, Carlton Fisk, Tom Brunansky and Cal Ripken, Jr. of the American League.

For the ensuing 28 years, Major League Baseball has battled steroid and other performance enhancing drug problems.  Has anyone thought to blame the Home Run Derby?  No?  Well, maybe they should.

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Newsworthy – Barry Larkin, January 9, 2012

9 Jan

1988 Donruss - Barry Larkin

Barry Larkin did not have a mustache.  He does not have a name like Razor Shines or Rusty Kuntz.  There was never anything spectactular about his haircut.  Even if he grew a beard (and since he played for the Reds, he couldn’t), it could never have made him look badass.  Yet, somehow, despite all these glaring shortcomings, Barry Larkin is now a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

I wish the BBWAA would contact me when they are doing their annual voting.  I would help point them in the proper direction.  For example, Jack Morris had a fantastic mustache, and Lee Smith’s beard still haunts my dreams to this day.  Also, Fred McGriff’s nickname was Crime Dog.  Crime Dog.  These things need to be considered much more carefully.

Fantastic Fashions – Chris Sabo

30 May

1994 O-Pee-Chee - Chris Sabo

Chris Sabo isn’t known for winning a World Series in 1990 with the Cincinnati Reds (where he hit .563 for the Series), nor is he known for hitting 25 home runs and stealing 25 bases that same season.  He is also not known for being the 1988 National League Rookie of the Year.

He is definitely not known for being originally drafted by the Montreal Expos… but really, who would be?

Chris Sabo is known for his goggles.

Featured after signing with Baltimore before the 1994 season, the pair that Sabo sports on this 1994 O-Pee-Chee card are particularly fashion-forward.  Look at that tint colour… is that pink?  The bright white nose bridge… the transparent frames.  There is so much to take in here.

Interestingly, this vision-friendly fashion trend is also the name of a pretty funny Cincinnati Reds blog – Chris Sabo’s Goggles.  Check it out, if you’re a Reds fan.  There must be some of you out there.

Two Teams, One Player – Bill Gullickson

8 Aug

I’ve always liked seeing two cards of the same player in the same set, playing for different teams.  I’m not sure why, I guess I just always thought it was cool that there could be two cards exactly the same, except with a different team logo and updated photo.  This section will be the place that I share some of the ones I like and find interesting.  Welcome aboard.

Leading us off in this category is Bill Gullickson from 1986 Topps.  Gullickson won 162 games in his career, including an AL-leading 20 in 1991 with the Detroit Tigers, after he’d played a few years in Japan.

1986 Topps - Bill Gullickson

Here is Bill’s base 1986 Topps card, number 229.  He is doing his best to make that Expos clown cap look good.

1986 Topps Traded - Bill Gullickson

Here is Bill’s 1986 Topps Traded card, number 42T.  I like that it’s the same style photo as the Expos card – cap, team jacket, no baseball action anywhere in sight.  The stats on the back are the same, but the “Talkin’ Baseball” feature now has a Reds fact instead of an Expos fact, and it shows that he was acquired via trade on 12-19-85.

1986 O-Pee-Chee - Bill Gullickson

1986 O-Pee-Chee - Bill Gullickson (Back)

Now, here is the unique twist to the Topps/O-Pee-Chee days, when the two companies shared similar designs – the 1986 O-Pee-Chee base card, number 229.  This one features the same photo as the Topps base card, but with the Reds team name and some text indicating “Now with Reds.”  The card back, however, is the Expos card back, not the Reds back – except bilingual, of course.  It needs to be bilingual for us Canadians to understand it – we get confused when something is printed with in just one language.

See?  Damn cool.

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