Did you know that Tony Perez spent as many years in a Cincinnati Reds uniform — the second time! — as he did with the Expos or Red Sox?

And three times as long as he was with the Wheeze Kids Phillies?

Well, you did if you’ve spent any time studying the back of Doggie’s 1987 Fleer baseball card.

Here, look:

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See there — three seasons with the Expos, three with the Red Sox, just one with the Phils, and finishing up with three on the Riverfront.

And, sure, there were those ten years before Perez ever went to the Expos.

You know, the ones when he was the heart and soul of the Big Red Machine?

Cincy fans remember those years, for sure, and they also remember the dark day in December of 1976 when the Reds traded their legendary first baseman to Montreal in exchange for Woodie Fryman and Dale Murray.

Many mark that moment as the end of the Machine.

And Reds fans also remember the warm, nostalgic day seven years later, when Big Dog came home a couple months after his Phillies lost the 1983 World Series to the Orioles.

Some of the old melancholy returned nearly three years later when Perez announced his retirement, toward the end of the 1986 campaign.

The real bummer, for card collectors, was that his in-season decision gave the card companies plenty of time to not include Perez in there 1987 base sets.

Lucky for us, Fleer did it anyway.

Here, then is what the front of Tony Perez’s only career-capper looks like:

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Not the most poetic of poses, sure, but at least he’s in the right uniform.

Once again, and for all time.

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Perez cards are decidedly old-school at this point, but for a look at the *really* vintage market, take a gander these T206 dandies that sold recently on eBay:

198! Fleer #196 JOHNNY BENCH Cincinnati Reds NM-MT

$1.99
End Date: Saturday 12/17/2022 17:00:28 EST
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Rudi Johnson 198 Fleer 2004 Cincinnati Bengals

$2.25
End Date: Wednesday 12/14/2022 11:07:38 EST
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MARK CARREON NEW YORK METS #198 - FLEER NM-MT 1990

$1.56
End Date: Monday 12/26/2022 20:55:17 EST
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JOHN TUDOR BOSTON RED SOX #198 - FLEER NM-MT 1983

$1.62
End Date: Sunday 12/11/2022 10:12:14 EST
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