Monday, November 3, 2014


There are a couple of reasons why I wanted to create a card for a guy that wasn't exactly "missing in action" for the 1972 set:
First up, I just happened to come across a nice, usable image for him.
And secondly, he happens to be the "other guy" on a famous rookie card from the 1968 Topps set, #247, better known as Johnny Bench's rookie card.
The player is Ron Tompkins.
Take a look at my card design first:

Ed. Note: Thanks to Mark Tompkins, I've "fixed" my error and now have the correct player shown. Thanks Mark!

And for those of you who need a little refresher, here's the 1968 Bench rookie, with Tompkins forever tagging along:

Tompkins never actually suited up for the Reds in his career, and he actually never suited up for ANYONE until his action in 1971 for the Chicago Cubs: 35 games, all in relief, good for an 0-2 record with a 4.08 earned run average and 20 strikeouts.
And besides five games with the Kansas City Athletics in 1965, those 35 games in '71 would actually be the only games Tompkins would play on the Major League level.
He'd never play in another Major League game again after 1971.
After six years in the Kansas City organization, Tompkins bounced around a bit between 1968 and 1972, playing for the Reds, Braves and Brewers minor league Triple-A affiliates, before finally getting some big league time with the Cubs in 1971.
But come 1972 Tompkins would play-out his pro career with two more season in ht e Minors, playing for the Cubs' Triple-A team Wichita before calling it a career.


  1. Wow...who knew? As a lifelong Reds fan, I had never heard of him or what became of him.

    They should have put Hal McRae on the same card as JB and saved a card for someone worthwhile. McRae's 1968 card mate on no. 384 was a guy named Bill Henry who never amounted to anything from what I can find. But there was also another Bill Henry who was on card no. 239 that year also and he played for the Reds in the early 60's. If you really want your head to spin, read about the guy who posed as Bill Henry for almost 20 years until he died in 2007.

  2. I read Ball Four and it mentions a Bill Henry in there. As far as this "Missing in Action" card goes... Brilliant!

  3. The only problem with your 1972 card is that the picture is NOT Ron Tompkins.

    1. Oh man! I knew this day would come. Sometimes I trust people tagging certain images too much! Thanks for the heads up. Looks like I have a revision to make once I get a good image of Tompkins.

    2. Hey Mark! Thanks again! I went and corrected my mistake. Correct player shown now above! BTW- Any relation to Ron?

    3. Yes, he's my father. In fact, I spent the evening with him at a MLB Alumni Assoc. meeting. Got to chat with former players Randy Jones, Jim Leyritz, Norm Sherry, Jocque Jones, Kurt Bevacqua and others. Thanks for fixing the error. Below is an interesting clip of a home movie showing the 1971 Cubs playing, including Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, my father, and for some reason, Jessie Jackson.

  4. I think that was Hal Breeden, brother of Cubs player Danny Breeden, but 56 was not a regular season number.It must have been a spring training pic



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