- Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1986 Topps #54.
- Player Name, position, team: John Franco, pitcher, Cincinnati Reds.
- Major League Debut: April 24, 1984.
- Last Line of Statistics: 1985 stats (Reds): 67 G, 99 IP, 12-3, 27 R, 24 ER, 61 SO, 40 BB, 0 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 12 SV, 2.18 ERA.
- Any special information about player: Drafted by the Dodgers #5th, June 1981. Traded by the Dodgers to the Reds 05/09/1983. Bats: left. Throws: left.
- Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 20. This is his second Topps card.
- Blurb on the back: n/a.
- Commentary: The 1986 set is iconic. I've said this before. The font used for the team name that is framed neatly within the black portion of the card (which is also very susceptible to dings) is extremely unique, and is probably the best design element of the card itself. John Anthony Franco was a very successful reliever for the Reds. Although he didn't pitch for either the Cubs or the White Sox, I remember the Chicago sportscasters announcing the trade that sent him to the Mets for fellow All-Star closer Randy Myers after the 1989 season. But in 1985, Franco was the closer-in-training, finishing games when called upon (which probably explains the high win total for a reliever...even in 1980's standards). In 1986, Franco took over the closers' role for the Reds, appearing in 76 games, finishing 52 of them. He finished with a 6-6 record, a 2.94 ERA, 29 saves, 84 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 1.327 in 101 innings of work. He would even be named to his first All-Star Team that season. During his six years with Cincinnati, he would go on to save 148 of the 286 that he finished, earning a 42-30 record, a 2.49 ERA, strike out 367 of the 2196 batters he faced, and be named to three All-Star Teams. After the trade to the Mets, a team he would stay with for 14 very productive seasons and be named a team captain, he would end his career with the Astros in 2005, and retire second only to Lee Smith in All-Time Saves with 424. He is the all-time leader in this category for left-handed pitchers. He was inducted into the New York Mets Hall of Fame in 2012.
- Beckett value: $0.05-$0.15.
- How many cards of this player do I own?: 33 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1997 Topps #308. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. We're looking back at a card from 1997 here on the blog tomorrow.