Tony Perez and I in 2002 – Sully Baseball Daily Photo at Noon for May 14, 2018

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Here I am meeting Tony Perez at the Hall of Fame event in 2002. Both of us are celebrating a birthday today. Only one of us are currently in the Hall of Fame as of this writing.

I am working on it.

Eduardo Perez 2007 Topps – Sully Baseball Card of the Day for March 24, 2017

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How good were the Reds in the 1970’s? I would argue that they should have been put out to stud.

Hal McRae begat Brian McRae, who had a fine big league career. Pedro Borbon begat Pedro Borbon Jr, who was a big league reliever and earned a save in the 1995 World Series.

Perhaps you heard that Ken Griffey’s son wasn’t a bad ballplayer.

Even Pete Rose Jr. had a brief stint in the major leagues.

Maybe I missed a few. I am also including Eduardo Perez, son of Hall of Fame first baseman Tony Perez.

Eduardo Perez was born in 1969, the year before the Big Red Machine took off. He grew up in the clubhouse of the Reds, playing with Griffey Jr and other future ballplayers.

His father was Cuban but he grew up in Puerto Rico and eventually landed at Florida State University as a player. The Angels selected him in the first round of the 1991 draft.

On July 27th, 1993, he made his big league debut against the defending Division Champion A’s. You couldn’t ask for a better first game. He reached base 3 times with a walk, a double and a homer, driving in 3 runs as the Angels prevailed 15-8. He would homer later in the week as well.

While his debut was eye popping, he did struggle in his first three seasons, going back and forth between Anaheim and the minors. Before the 1996 season, he was dealt to the Reds, sparking the inevitable comparisons to his dad.

Clearly he wasn’t the Hall of Fame run producer that his pop was, but in 1997 he had a productive year, posting a .796 OPS over 33o pate appearances and slugging 16 homers along the way.

Over his 13 years in the majors, Perez bounced around from organization to organization, landing in St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Cleveland and, as this card shows, the Mariners. He had a knack for pinch hit homers over his career, three times reaching double digit home run totals as a part time player.

Oddly he also had tremendous success over Hall of Famer Randy Johnson. I can’t help but wonder if Tony ribs Randy at Hall of Fame gatherings about his inability to retire his son.

When his career, that included a stint in Japan, wound down, Eduardo became a broadcaster and a coach. The fact that he is fluent in English and Spanish made him a fit for ESPN and ESPN Deportes as a commentator.

He also served as a coach for the Marlins and Astros over the years.

Was he an All Star? No. But nobody gets to the majors, plays for over a decade and even smacks a post season homer because of the influence their dad has. A lot of draft picks flame out with a far worse career than Eduardo Perez.

Maybe they should have just raised a team from the Big Red Machine’s off spring. Teams have done worse.

Sully Baseball Honors… The 1978 Tony Perez Topps Card

Doesn’t Tony look a little ticked off here? Maybe a little unhappy with his situation?
He’s not playing, has an expression of indifference and annoyance intertwined.

Maybe that was apt. This picture was taken during the 1977 season.
The year before he was clinching his second straight World Series title with the Big Red Machine. Sure his stats dipped a little bit in 1976, but they won the World Series crushing the Yankees.

They looked unstoppable.
And a year later he was sitting in Montreal.

At the time the Expos had never had a .500 season, let alone be the consensus pick to win the Division. And that season they moved into the behemoth that was Olympic Stadium.

He was a Spanish speaking Cuban learning English shipped from the best American team to a Canadian team in a city that speaks French.

No wonder he looks out of sorts.
He’s not even wearing his cap.

Probably he didn’t want to wear it.
Instead he’s looking out thinking “Really? I was traded for Dale Murray and Woodie Fryman?”

Not exactly an action shot, is it?

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