1976 SSPC #36 – Dan Driessen (Reds)

1976 SSPC #36 Dan Driessen

Dan Driessen… was a first baseman who played 15 years in the Majors, nearly 8 of those as the Reds’ starting first baseman.  He was named to the 1973 Topps All-Rookie team — not that you’d know, because those players did not get Rookie Cups on their 1974 cards.

In 1976, Dan Driessen… was still a year away from being the Reds’ starting first baseman, a job he would get when Tony Perez would leave as a free agent was traded to the Expos in December, 1976 (thanks to JT for the correction).  His biggest moment of fame in 1976 was when he became the National League’s first designated hitter;  it happened during the Reds 4-game sweep of the Yankees in the World Series.  1976 was the first year the DH was used in the Fall Classic.

I digress… I couldn’t help but notice Cesar Geronimo in the background.  With 21st century eyes it’s odd to see him wearing #20, which has since been retired for Frank Robinson.  The number appears to have been in regular circulation until 1997, which I find very curious.  I view retired numbers as the ultimate tribute, and numbers should only come out of circulation if it’s unthinkable to do otherwise.  Letting nine other guys wear the number over the course of 30 years doesn’t fall into the “unthinkable” category.

I realize this was a case of “making up for past mistakes”, but the grumpy old man inside of me is bitterly muttering about how teams used to hold these things as sacred, goddamn kids ruin everything, mutter mutter mutter.

Other than Geronimo, some of the other Reds to wear it (according to baseball-reference.com) were Dick Simpson, Eddie Milner, Danny Jackson, and Jeff Branson. Chris Stynes was the last Red to wear #20.

Shea-o-meter: It’s far from a definitive view, but between the light poles in the background and the green outfield wall with a couple of trees behind it, I’m going to list this as “Pretty sure it’s Shea”.
Shea:  34
Pretty sure it’s Shea:  7
Can’t tell:  6
Not Shea:  5

1976 SSPC #36 Dan Driessen back

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3 thoughts on “1976 SSPC #36 – Dan Driessen (Reds)

  1. Perez was actually traded to the Expos to make room for Driessen, or so the story goes. It may have been more of a financial move, but they played it up as a move to get Driessen more playing time. He wasn’t a bad player by any stretch, but he wasn’t Perez either. That was the first major transaction in the dismantling of the Big Red Machine.

    Driessen was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in 2012. I still scratch my head on that one.

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