I was happy to see that Topps Lineage included a member of the 1990 World Series Champions, and it was someone they hadn’t included yet this year. In Heritage, you could find a coin card of Eric Davis, and in Gypsy Queen I could find quite a few cards of Barry Larkin. But Lineage brought out a player who is better known for another team – Paul O’Neill, who won a batting title and was part of 5 other World Series (4 championships) with the New York Yankees. Naturally, Paul is featured as a Yank in this set as card #122, but that doesn’t matter to me – I’ll still collect his cards!
O’Neill isn’t in any insert sets and doesn’t have any autos/relics, so his cards are limited to parallels – Platinum Diamond, Diamond Anniversary, and 1975 Topps mini’s for the “collectible” parallels, plus a Canary Diamond and four colored printing plates. That’s 9 cards total, or 4 of those for us common folk.
There are a few guys from the ’90 Reds team included in the oddball sets Lineage pays tribute to:
1964 Topps Venezuelan – #167 – Brumley/Lou Piniella
1968 Topps Venezuelan – #16 – Piniella/Scheinblum
Sweet Lou’s rookie card made it into the first few series, and thus made it into the 1964 Topps Venezuelan set. Piniella may have the record for the most time in between his first Topps card and when he got his All-Star Rookie cup put onto his Topps card. Piniella had 3 different “rookie stars” subsets (’64, ’68, ’69) and his ASR designation came on his 1970 Topps card.
1975 Topps Mini
#217 – Piniella
Sweet Lou also garnered a card in the 1975 set, and thus had a miniature version in his pinstripes.
1988 Topps Rookies #12 – Randy Myers
1989 Topps Rookies #17 – Chris Sabo
1991 Topps Rookies #20 – Hal Morris
Randall Kirk got a card right after Casey Candaele and right before Mark McGwire. Sabo was between two lesser known players, but Spuds walked away with the Rookie of the Year award. For about a 6-month span when I was 8, there was no one I wanted to be more than Chris Sabo. But maybe Hal Morris takes the cake – he was on the 1990 WS team, and in fact was selected to the Topps ASR team in the same year! How many others can say that – that’s right – no one! But Benzinger caught the last ball in the game while playing Hal’s position, so I guess I’ll give Sabo the nod out of this trio.