Thursday, July 2, 2020

Dragons Are Real

I needed a new baseball hat. 

I'd lost my only Dayton Dragons hat several years ago and I've wanted a new one since then. I had a coupon code for the Dragons online shop so I took a look through the hats and, lucky me, I managed to find the exact one I'd lost. 

While I was on the site, and to justify paying the shipping costs for them to literally send it 45 minutes down the freeway, I did a bit more browsing. I happened to noticed that all the team sets from 2017, 2018, and 2019 were on sale, some of which they were pretty much giving away. The discount from my coupon code took even more off of the already discounted sets (it came out to about $10 for the three sets). The sets and my hat arrived pretty quickly soon after.

I thumbed through the sets and had thought about doing a full post on each one but realized that'd be a lot of work and a lot of time to look up each player. So instead, I'll run through all three sets here and touch on the highlights of each one. I won't show every card, otherwise, we'll be here until next baseball season.

2017 Dragons

1- Jesse Adams
2- Brantley Bell
3- Michael Beltre
4- Cassidy Brown
5- Andy Cox

6- Aaron Fossas

Fossas is the nephew of former MLB pitcher Tony Fossas. 

The design of these cards is okay. I like the black and green but there's nothing in the background except for black. The player's name is easy to read in the scan but in real life, the green blends in with the black. Also, why is there a giant empty grey space in the middle of the card? I'm guessing it's for signatures as these are called "Signature Series" cards. 

7- T.J. Friedl

I've heard a lot about him and he could be in the majors in the next year or so.

8- Luis Gonzalez (no, not that Luis Gonzalez)
9- Ryan Hendrix
10- Brian Hunter
11- Andrew Jordan

12- Joel Kuhnel

Saw action with the Reds last year as a reliever appearing in 11 games.

13- Scott Moss
14- Patrick Riehl

15- Wennington Romero

Check out the awesome orange jersey!

16- John Sansone

17- Tony Santillan

One of the Reds top pitching prospects.

18- Jose Siri

Now with the Mariners organization. Had a Midwest League record 39-game hitting streak in 2017.

19- Jesse Stallings

20- Tyler Stephenson

The Reds first round pick in 2015 and was added to the Reds 40-man roster after the 2019 season.

21- Taylor Trammell

Started last year in Double-A Chattanooga and was part of the three-team trade in July 2019 that netted the Reds Trevor Bauer from Cleveland.

22- Hector Vargas
23- Bruce Yari
24- Luis Bolivar MGR
25- Darrin Ebert (Coach card)
26- Kevin Mahar (Coach card)
27- Daryle Ward (Coach card)
28- Gem (Mascot)
29- Heater (Mascot)
30- Checklist

So that's the 2017 set, the design leaves a bit to be desired but there's a ton of notable prospects in there.

Moving on now to 2018

2018 Dragons

These cards are not numbered so I'm going in order (alphabetical by last name) according to the TCDB checklist. I will number them for the sake of sanity.

1- Wendolyn Bautista
2- Michael Beltre

3- Luis Bolivar MGR

Each set came with manager and coach cards and in each set Luis Bolivar was the manager. This is the best of the three by far.

4- Tyler Buffett
5- Hendrik Clementia
6- Narcisco Crook

7- Jeter Downs

Part of the trade in the winter of 2018 that netted that ridded the Reds of Homer Bailey and netted them Yasiel Puig, Alex Wood, Matt Kemp, and Kyle Farmer (who is the only one of the four still with the team).

This set looks a lot more lively than its predecessor. I love the action shots, the green banner with the players name and uniform number. These cards are just fun to look at in general.

8- Seth Etherton (Pitching Coach)

9- Stuart Fairchild

I've heard his name mentioned during Spring Training games and so far he's made it up to Double-A Chattanooga. I could've sworn he saw action with the Reds last year but I was wrong.

10- Jose Garcia

11- Gem

I love how mascot cards are included in these sets.

12- John Ghyzel
13- Miles Gordon

14- Hunter Greene

And here we are ... Hunter Greene the Reds #1 pick in the 2017 draft. He missed the 2019 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery and with there being no semblance of a minor league season this year, it'll probably be 2021 before he's back in some sort of game action.

15- Heater

The other mascot.

16- Mark Kolozsvary
17- Morgan Lofstrom
18- Kevin Mahar (Bench Coach)
19- Montrell Marshall
20- Tyler Mondile
21- Dauri Moreta

22- Packy Naughton

That's a fun name to say.

23- Ryan Nutof
24- Sarkis Ohanian
25- Austin Oreweiler
26- Connor Ryan
27- John Sansone
28- Leandro Santana
29- Mac Sceroler
30- Cory Thompson
31- Daryle Ward (hitting coach)

That's the 2018 set. I really like the design, plus there's some more up and coming prospects like Jeter Downs and Hunter Greene. The mascot cards are super cool too.

Onwards to the last set ...

2019 Dragons

1- Mariel Bautista
2- Connor Bennett
3- Luis Bolivar MGR
4- Justin Bucko (Strength and Conditioning Coordinator)
5- Andrew Cleves (Trainer)

I'd just like to note that the mascot cards in this set were replaced by cards of the Strength and Conditioning Coordinator and the team Trainer.

6- Andy Cox
7- Jerry D'Andrea
8- Eddy Demurias

9- Mike Devereaux (hitting coach)

Yes, that Mike Devereaux who played in the majors for 12 years, most notably with the Orioles from 1989-1994. Now, he's the Dragons hitting coach. Did you know he finished in the top ten of MVP voting in 1992? A slash line of .276/.321/.464 with 24 homers and 107 RBIs will do that for you.

10- Alexis Diaz

Let's check out the design here. This is a really, really nice set. Gone is the nasty great box and it's replaced with a minimalist lower third with the players name, position and the Dragons logo. Plus we get a full bleed photo. Definitely my favorite set of the three.

11- Seth Etherton (pitching coach)

Another former major leaguer and a former Reds player as well. He pitched a grand total of 7 games for the Reds in 2003.

12- Dylan Harris
13- Miguel Hernandez

14- Morgan Lofstrom

Pretty cool card here of the catcher in action with all his gear on.

16- Carlos Machorro

I dig the orange uniform top with black undershirt. I might have to try to pull that off around Halloween sometime.

17- Pabel Manzanero
18- James Marinan
19- Juan Martinez
20- Shard Munroe

21- Reniel Ozuna

There were several night cards in this set and this is one of my favorites. It's such a bizarre card too, the stands are completely empty aside from one dude who looks bored to death.

22- Matt Pidich
23- Lyon Richardson
24- Carlos Rivero
25- Adrian Rodriguez
26- Eduardo Salazar
27- Ricky Salinas
28- Jay Schuyler
29- Michael Siani
30- Jared Solomon

According to TCDB, the Jared Solomon card is an uncorrected error card where his last name is spelled wrong.

31- Bren Spillane
32- Jonathan Willems

Whew, that was a lot of cards and a lot of typing! The 2019 set was light on players I knew but the design is definitely spot on.

These cards were definitely worth the ten bucks or so I spent on them. Minor league team sets are always fun to go through and I say if you can find discounted card sets on a team website like I did, go for it.

1 comment:

  1. Very cool. I should see if the San Jose Giants have their team sets on sale. And as much as I enjoy cards of coaches... I'd rather have the mascot cards.