1984 CINCINNATI REDS Five key Reds players, three of them veterans of the "Big Red Machine", line up in front of their dugout for this color photo Photograph Signed:

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1984 CINCINNATI REDS Five key Reds players, three of them veterans of the "Big Red Machine", line up in front of their dugout for this color photo Photograph Signed: "Eric Davis", "Pete Rose", 'Tony Perez", "Dave Concepcion", "Tommy Helms", John Franco". Color, 10x8. The 1984 season was not one of the Cincinnati Reds' best; they went 70-92 and finished fifth in the NL West. PETE ROSE (b. 1941) replaced Vern Rapp as manager in mid-season, in an unsuccessful bid to turn the season around. Rose would soon be betting on baseball, disobeying a long-standing league policy. The team was probably not helped either by new owner Marge Schott, whose many ethnic slurs and praise of Adolf Hitler would land her in constant trouble, and lead to an eventual suspension and her sale of the franchise. The teams problems notwithstanding, this is a fine collection of signatures. First baseman TONY PEREZ (b. 1942), shortstop DAVE CONCEPCION (b. 1948) and of course multi-position all-time hits leader Rose, were core members of the "Big Red Machine" that won consecutive World Series in 1975-1976, considered one of the greatest teams of all time. Perez, a 7-time All-Star, is enshrined in the Hall of Fame (2000). Rose, a 17-time All-Star. got more career hits (4,256) than anyone in baseball history. His gambling habit, however, would eventually lead (1988) to his suspension from baseball, and his absence from the Hall of Fame ballot. ERIC DAVIS (b. 1962), a rookie when this picture was taken, would soon become a star, becoming in 1987 only the seventh player to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in the same season. Injuries shortened his highly promising career. JOHN FRANCO (b. 1960), a rookie in 1984, would emerge as one of the game's best closers. The 6-time All-Star led the NL in saves in 1988 for the Reds and in 1990 and 1994 for the New York Mets. TOMMY HELMS (b. 1941), the NL Rookie of the Year with the Reds in 1966 and a member of the 1970 pennant-winning team, was back with Cincinnati as a coach when this picture was snapped. (He had been traded to Houston in 1971 in the transaction that brought future Hall of Famer Joe Morgan to the Reds.) He would replace Pete Rose as manager after the Rose's 1988 suspension. Fine condition. 

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