Friday, October 19, 2018

All-Time One-Year Wonder: Designated Hitter

I'm going to do something a little different with the One-Year Wonder posts. I have decided to go position-by-position and see if I can determine who the best player at each position would be who only spent one year with the Red Sox. This requires a lot of time and research. I am not naming every single player who spent just one season with the Red Sox at each position, but just the better-known players. At the end of the post, I will pick the single best player for each position.

DESIGNATED HITTER
ORLANDO CEPEDA - 1973
Spoiler alert: Cepeda is the only Hall of Famer in this post.  He was a Rookie of the Year winner with the San Francisco Giants in 1958, made seven All Star teams, and won the MVP in 1967 with the Cardinals.  Cepeda was 35 years old when he signed with the Red Sox as a free agent prior to the 1973 season.  That season, the American League decided to experiment with a designated hitter to hit in place of the pitcher in the batting lineup.  The Red Sox signed Cepeda specifically to play that position.  Cepeda was not the first designated hitter to bat, that distinction went to the Yankees' Ron Blomberg, but Cepeda took to the position like a fish to water.  He played all 142 games at DH and hit .289/.350/.444 with 20 home runs and 86 RBIs.  The DH experiment was a success.  The Red Sox released him prior to the 1974 season and the Royals picked him up, but it was clear he was about done.  He wears a Giants cap on his Hall of Fame plaque.

TED COX - 1977
As readers will see, there are not a ton of guys in this post.  And so, just for fun, I decided to allow Ted Cox to appear.  Mostly because he is the only player in Red Sox history whose name rhymes with the team name.  Cox was a highly-touted prospect with the team, but ultimately busted.  His career lasted five seasons with four teams, and he never played in more than 83 games.  He was a rookie in 1977 and came up to the Red Sox toward the end of the season.  He hit well enough, with a line of .362/.393/.500 with three doubles, a triple, a home run, and six RBIs in 13 games.  Cox was traded, along with Bo Diaz, Rick Wise, and Mike Paxton, to the Indians after the season for Dennis Eckersley and Fred Kendall.  

TOMMY HELMS - 1977
Longtime Reds second-baseman Helms spent a very brief amount of time with the Red Sox as a 36-year-old trying to hang on.  Helms had been a two-time All Star with the Reds in 1967 and 1968 and was the Rookie of the Year in 1966.  He started the 1977 season with the Pirates, his third Major League team, playing in just 15 games before being released.  The Red Sox picked him up and he played in 21 games, primarily at DH but also appeared second and third.  Helms hit .271/.328/.356 with a homer and five RBIs.  He was released by the Red Sox prior to the 1978 season and his career was over.

JOE RUDI - 1981
The Red Sox almost acquired Joe Rudi once before.  In 1976 they bought him and Rollie Fingers from the Oakland Athletics, but Commissioner Bowie Kuhn intervened and nullified the sales.  Fingers never made it back to Boston, but Rudi did very close to the end of his career.  Rudi was a three-time All Star on the great A's teams of the early 1970's and finished second in the AL MVP vote twice.  The Red Sox acquired him and Frank Tanana in a deal with the Angels for Fred Lynn prior to the 1981 season in a bad trade.  Rudi made it into just 49 games with the Red Sox and hit a paltry .180/.239/.352 but did hit six home runs and drove in 24.  He returned to Oakland the next season, but was clearly done.

JIM LEYRITZ - 1998
I remember being pretty excited about the Red Sox acquiring Leyritz.  He had always been a pretty good hitter and was fairly versatile during his time spent mostly with the Yankees.  He was capable of playing catcher and the corner infield positions.  Boston picked him up in a trade from the Rangers along with Damon Buford for Aaron Sele and others.  The hope was that he would be able to platoon at catcher with Scott Hatteberg and at DH with Reggie Jefferson.  But then Jason Varitek developed and Leyritz was left with just DH.  He hit well, with a line of .287/.385/.519 with eight home runs and 24 RBIs in 52 games, but he was not happy with the lack of playing time and asked to be traded.  Boston complied, sending him to San Diego for a few young players who never panned out.  Leyritz had some big postseason moments with the Padres later in the year. 

BUTCH HUSKEY - 1999
The Red Sox were searching for a little more offense at the trading deadline, after losing Mo Vaughn in the offseason, and swung a deal with the Mariners for the hulking Butch Huskey.  Huskey's name was very appropriate at 6'3" and 240 lbs.  Huskey came up with the Mets and hit 24 home runs a couple years prior, but was horrible defensively.  Playing in the American League masked that issue.  Huskey did hit for power with the Red Sox, but little else, finishing with a line of .266/.305/.484 with seven home runs and 28 RBIs.  The team did find offense out of cast-off Brian Daubach, making Huskey superfluous.  He played for the Twins and Rockies the next year, but that was it for his Major League career.

GARY GAETTI - 2000
The longtime Twins third-baseman had been bouncing around a little bit, playing for the Angels, Royals, Cardinals, and Cubs, but still had some power.  Gaetti was 41 and still trying to hang on when he signed with the Red Sox.  He started at DH on Opening Day, but made it into just five games with Boston.  He was hitless in eleven plate appearances, walking once, but did get an RBI.  Gaetti had been a two-time All Star with the Twins and hit 30 or more home runs three times in his career, but he was clearly done by the time he made it to Boston.  

CALVIN PICKERING - 2001
Though he never played much, Calvin Pickering was somewhat legendary for his power.  Pickering was huge at 6'5" and 280 lbs.  He hit more than 25 home runs three times as a minor leaguer, coming up with the Orioles system.  He was brought up late in the season multiple times, with multiple teams, and always hit a few home runs.  The Red Sox picked him up off of waivers from the Reds in September of 2001 and he made it into 17 games, hitting a pretty decent .280/.379/.480 with three home runs and seven RBIs.  He later had a decent stint with the Royals, hitting seven home runs.  

CARLOS BAERGA - 2002
There was a time when Carlos Baerga was a huge star.  Playing second base for a young and rising Cleveland Indians team, Baerga had multiple 200 hit seasons and was a three-time All Star.  Mysteriously, he started to struggle in 1996 and bounced around a little.  He was out of baseball after 1999.  In 2002, he decided to try to come back and hooked on with the Red Sox.  He played primarily at DH but also appeared at second and third base.  Baerga made it into 73 games with the Red Sox and hit reasonably well, with a line of .286/.316/.379.  He hit just two home runs and drove in 19 runs.  Baerga was a positive clubhouse presence and was able to parlay his year into becoming a role player for the Diamondbacks and Nationals for a couple more years.  

JEREMY GIAMBI -2003
Theo Epstein took over the Red Sox prior to the 2003 season and set about undertaking a Moneyball philosophy, concentrating on players with high on-base percentages.  One of the players he targeted was Yankees' star Jason Giambi's little brother who had a .414 OBP with the A's and Phillies in 2002.  Giambi entered the season as the team's primary DH, adding a little extra wrinkle to the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry.  Unfortunately, Jeremy failed to produce anything close to what he did the previous season.  In 50 games, he hit just .197/.342/.354 with five home runs and 15 RBIs.  He was eventually replaced by David Ortiz, a terrific move.  Giambi never appeared in the Majors again.

THE BEST ONE-YEAR DESIGNATED HITTER
This was not at all close.  Cepeda was the only one to play a full season with the team and the only one to hit more than eight home runs.  Baerga and Leyritz were okay for what they were, but Cepeda had the only truly impressive season.  Now, this could all change if J.D. Martinez somehow leaves the Red Sox after this season, but that does not seem all that likely.  I hope. 



This is Greek symphonic black/death metal band Septicflesh.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Lin Mailday: Red Ink

A couple of days ago I mentioned that a couple of rare autos have popped up on Ebay.  This was the second one:
This is the Red Ink Framed Auto from Allen & Ginter.  This is the last of the A&G auto variations I needed.

Tzu-Wei Lin will appear in Topps Update, though only with an autograph.  I am not sure how to feel about that.  I am thrilled that he has new cards, but I was hoping that they would not all be autographs.  I wanted to see him in the base set or an insert since they have a set celebrating players from around the world (An International Affair).  Gift Ngoepe appears in that set, despite playing just 41 total Major League games so far.  Lin should have been in this insert like he was in the A&G insert set World Talent.  At least he has new cards coming.

There was a Lin sighting in the dugout of Game 4.  With Eduardo Nunez coming out of Game 3 early, maybe the team is bracing for the possibility that he will have to come off the active roster.


Here we have a selection from Finnish black metal band Azaghal.  It does not matter that I can't understand a word they are saying (because it is in Finnish, not because I can't hear the lyrics), the band is one of my favorite black metal bands.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Red Sox Team of the Decade: 2000-2009

This was one of the most successful decades in franchise history, really second only to 1910-1919.  The decade featured two World Championships (2004, 2007), two seasons in which they made it to Game 7 of the ALCS (2003, 2008), and two seasons in which they made it to the ALDS (2005, 2009).  A number of star players spent a long period of time with the Red Sox during this decade. 

CATCHER - JASON VARITEK
Who else?  Varitek was the primary catcher throughout the vast majority of the decade, only missing half the 2001 season with injury and relinquishing the starting position to Victor Martinez in the latter half of 2009.  During that time, he was a three-time All Star (2003, 2005, 2008), and probably should have gone in 2004.  He also won the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger in 2005.  Varitek hit more than 20 home runs twice and came close a couple more times.  This was one of the easiest decisions in this post.  

FIRST BASE - KEVIN YOUKILIS
For two years (2008-2009), Youkilis was one of the best hitters in the game.  Unfortunately, his prime was all too brief.  Youkilis came up to the Red Sox as a third-baseman in 2004 and spent a considerable amount of time at the hot corner through the 2005 season.  In 2006, he was moved to first base and responded by becoming one of the best defensive first-basemen in the game.  He won a Gold Glove at the position in 2007 and was an All Star in 2008 and 2009.  For those two seasons, he hit .309/.401/.559 with 56 home runs and 209 RBIs as the primary offensive force in the lineup.  That two-year stint was not his only time at first for Bosto, but is the primary reason that he is here.  His only real competition for this post is Kevin Millar who 52 home runs over three seasons with Boston.

SECOND BASE - DUSTIN PEDROIA
Well, you certainly can not ignore a player who won the MVP Award in coming up with a Team of the Decade.  Of course, that is not all that Pedroia did during the decade as he also won the Rookie of the Year Award, was a two-time All Star, and won the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger in 2008.  In his MVP season, Pedroia led the league in runs (118), hits (213), and doubles (54) while hitting .326/.376/.493 with 17 home runs, 83 RBIs, and 20 stolen bases.  He was a complete player.  Pedroia was only a regular for three seasons during the decade, but no other Red Sox player was a regular for even two full seasons at the position.  Mark Loretta is the only player to have been an All Star at the position other than Pedroia, but he only played one season with them.

SHORTSTOP - NOMAR GARCIAPARRA
Shortstop was a position with a lot of turnover throughout the decade, and a lot of disappointing performances.  And so we end up with Garciaparra who had three great seasons as the Red Sox shortstop, and two injury-plagued ones.  He won the batting title in 2000 with a .372 mark, the highest of his career.  He also had three 20 home run seasons and two 100 RBI seasons in the decade and led the league in doubles (56) in 2002.  Garciaparra was an All Star in three seasons during the decade (2000, 2002, 2003).  It is a shame that his Red Sox career ended so prematurely and bitterly.  The Red Sox spent the rest of the decade attempting to replace his production, but no one came close.  Julio Lugo played the second-most games at the position during the decade, but was a big disappointment.  

THIRD BASE - MIKE LOWELL
This is probably one of the toughest calls in this post.  The decision ultimately came down to Bill Mueller versus Mike Lowell.  Shea Hillenbrand was eliminated quickly, despite an All Star appearance in 2002.  Lowell was a member of the 2007 World Championship team and finished fifth in MVP voting that season after he hit .324/.378/.501 with 21 home runs and 120 RBIs while playing stellar defense at the hot corner.  He was an All Star that season.  He also had very good seasons in 2006, 2008, and 2009 hitting between .274 to .290 with 15-20 home runs and 73-80 RBIs each season.  Statistically, very close seasons.  He just edges Mueller due to playing one more full season.  But Mueller was a big part of the 2004 World Championship and won a batting title (.326) and Silver Slugger in 2003.  It just came down to games played, and Lowell had the slight edge.

RIGHT FIELD - TROT NIXON
This was not quite as easy a decision as I think a lot of Red Sox fans would like to admit.  Nixon wins it fairly convincingly, but he was injury-plagued throughout the decade and hampered by an inability to hit lefties well.  His best three years in the decade are actually not that much better than the three seasons J.D. Drew put up in the decade.  Nixon does have the significant edge in games played however and so he comes out ahead.  Nixon was a vastly underrated player who was one of the best hitters on the team from 2001-2003.  He hit more than 20 home runs and drove in more than 75 runs each of those seasons.  His best year was 2003 when he hit .306/.396/.578 with 28 home runs and 87 RBIs.  Drew though, put up the only All Star season from right field during the decade when he hit .280/.408/.519 with 19 home runs and 64 RBIs, but was a beast in June.  He won the All Star MVP award that season.  Both players had huge postseason home runs as well.  

CENTER FIELD - JOHNNY DAMON
This is probably the most open position in the post.  Do you go with Carl Everett, who was an All Star in 2000 after hitting  34 home runs and driving in 108 runs, both highs for the position in the decade?  Do you go for Jacoby Ellsbury, who set a team record for stolen bases with 70 in 2009, one season after stealing 50 more?  You probably do not take Coco Crisp who was somewhat ordinary for three seasons.  My pick is Johnny Damon, a two-time All Star in 2002 and 2005 who was basically the face of the 2004 World Championship team.  His best season with the team was that 2004 season when he hit .304/.380/.477 with 20 home runs and 94 RBIs while stealing 19 bases.  Damon was also a very good defensive center-fielder, albeit with a weak throwing arm.  He led the league in triples in 2002 with 11 and stole more than 30 bases with Boston twice.  

LEFT FIELD - MANNY RAMIREZ
This one is easy.  Ramirez was signed to a massive free agent contract with the Red Sox prior to 2001 and was an All Star ever season he was with the team.  Among the many highlights of his time in Boston was his World Series MVP Award, batting title in 2002 (.349), and home run lead in 2004 (43).  He was a prodigious power hitter who won five Silver Slugger Awards and finished in the Top 10 in MVP balloting five times.  For his Red Sox career, which took place entirely within this decade, he hit .312/.411/.588 with 274 home runs and 868 RBIs.  He was traded during the 2008 season for Jason Bay, who managed to be almost as good for a season-and-a-half to close out the decade.

DESIGNATED HITTER - DAVID ORTIZ
To think, Ortiz was actually non-tendered by the Twins.  Who would have thought that he would become this monster power hitter?  This is another extremely easy one as Ortiz was an All Star five times (2004-2008), a Silver Slugger four times (2004-2007), and finished in the Top 5 of MVP balloting five straight years (2003-2007).  During that time, he led the league in home runs in 2006 (a new team record 54), RBIs in 2005 and 2006 (148 and 137), and OBP in 2007 (.445).  He was not just a power hitter either as he hit over .300 three times in the decade.  He hit 259 home runs during the decade for Boston, second only to Ramirez.  

STARTING PITCHER - PEDRO MARTINEZ
The only Red Sox pitcher to win a Cy Young Award in the decade was Martinez in 2000.  That was an absolutely incredible season in which he was 18-6 with a miniscule 1.74 ERA and 284 strikeouts in just 217 innings.  It was one of the greatest pitching seasons of all time.  He probably should have won it in 2002 and 2003.  In 2002, he won 20 games and led the league in ERA (2.26), strikeouts (239), and WHIP (0.923).  Really, how did he NOT win it?  2003 was a down season in wins (14), but he led the league in ERA (2.22) and WHIP (1.039).  Martinez was an All Star in 2000 and 2002.

STARTING PITCHER - CURT SCHILLING
The Red Sox wanted to shore up their starting pitching in 2004 to try to make another run at the World Series after falling just short in 2003.  They acquired Schilling and got just the pitcher they needed.  He finished second in the Cy Young voting in 2004 after compiling a 21-6 record with a 3.26 ERA and 203 strikeouts.  He won two huge games in the postseason after an experimental procedure suturing his tendon to the skin, bleeding into his sock both games.  He had a rough season in 2005 but was good enough in both 2006 and 2007.  His final start of his career was winning Game 2 of the 2007 World Series against the Rockies.  His numbers were not terrific other than 2004, but he is a major part of the team's story in two World Championship seasons.  That is enough to get him on this team.

STARTING PITCHER - JOSH BECKETT
Another ace starting pitcher acquired in a trade by the Red Sox, Beckett was the top starter on the staff in the World Championship season of 2007.  He had a rough first season with the Red Sox, going 16-11 with a 5.01 ERA, but he adapted and finished second in the Cy Young race in 2007.  He had a record of 20-7 with a 3.27 ERA and 194 strikeouts.  He was an All Star that season and won the ALCS MVP.  2008 was a bit of a letdown, but he made the All Star team again in 2009 when he was 17-6 with a 3.86 ERA and 199 strikeouts.  Other starting pitchers considered for this team include Daisuke Matsuzaka and Jon Lester. 

PITCHER - DEREK LOWE
There are not many pitchers who have won 20 games in one season and saved 40 games in another.  Lowe is one of those rare pitchers.  Lowe was an All Star as a closer in 2000 when he led the league in saves (42), and as a starting pitcher in 2002 when he was 21-8 with a 2.58 ERA and 127 strikeouts in 219.2 innings.  Lowe pitched a no hitter as well in 2002 against the Devil Rays and finished third in the Cy Young race.  He was a 17 game winner in 2003 and won 14 in 2004.  Lowe won the clinching games in each of the postseason series in 2004.  

PITCHER - TIM WAKEFIELD
He may not have had any truly great seasons in this decade, but how can you not include a pitcher who spent the entire decade with the team?  During the decade, Wakefield compiled a record of 114-105 with a 4.40 ERA and 1,293 strikeouts.  He was a 16 game winner in 2005 and a 17 game winner in 2007 as a starting pitcher.  He had a 2.81 ERA as a jack-of-all-trades pitcher in 2002.  And he was an All Star for the first time as a 42-year-old starter in 2009.  The knuckleballer deserves to be on this team no matter what.

RELIEF PITCHER - MIKE TIMLIN
Timlin spent six seasons as the anchor of the Red Sox bullpen.  He pitched in 394 games during that time, leading the league in games pitched in 2005 (81).  He was most often a middle reliever, but did manage to save a few games here and there and was the team's closer for a little while in 2005, saving 13 games.  That was his best season as he was 7-3 with a 2.24 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 80.1 innings.  Timlin was a reliable bullpen arm and was integral to the team in the 2004 and 2007 World Championship seasons.  Manny Delcarmen was also considered for this team.

RELIEF PITCHER - HIDEKI OKAJIMA
One of the most reliable left-handed relievers for the team during this decade was Okajima.  He was actually an All Star in 2007, almost unheard of for a middle reliever, and was sixth in Rookie of the Year balloting.  Okajima was an incredibly deceptive reliever who racked up an impressive 2.72 ERA over 198 games and 192 innings pitched during the decade.  He struck out 176 and saved six games with a 12-4 record during that time.  Alan Embree and Javier Lopez were also considered for this team.

RELIEF PITCHER - JONATHAN PAPELBON
Papelbon holds the Red Sox all-time record for saves and was an incredibly successful closer in the latter half of this decade.  He put together one of the greatest rookie seasons for a closer of all time in 2006 when he saved 35 games with a 0.92 ERA, striking out 75 in 68.1 innings.  He finished second in the Rookie of the Year balloting.  He was almost as good over the next three seasons, saving 151 games for the team with a ridiculous 1.84 ERA over 268 games.  He struck out 346 batters in 298 innings in that time.  Papelbon was an All Star each season from 2006 to 2009.  He is an easy selection as closer for this team.  Ugueth Urbina and Keith Foulke were also considered for this team.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Tier One Bronze Ink

Surprisingly, a couple of rare autos popped up last week.  I had seen that these two had sold before so I was aware of them.  I did not expect them both to pop up again within a couple of days of each other.  Today, I received one of them:
This is the 2018 Topps Tier One Breakout Autographs Bronze Ink and it is serial-numbered to 25.  The bronze ink really pops and matches well with the design.

I am still disappointed that Lin is not on the ALCS roster.  I thought he had a chance when Mitch Moreland injured his hamstring in the ALDS.  I still think that Lin would have been a pretty good bet to be a late-inning pinch runner.  Alex Cora has mostly used Moreland as a pinch-hitter for Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez and then promptly pinch-ran for him using the alternate catcher, neither of whom can really run at all.  That would be a perfect spot for Lin.

And now for some music:


This is Landmine Marathon, an unfortunately short-lived death/grind band that sounded like a mix of early Carcass, Napalm Death, and Bolt Thrower.  They briefly achieved notoriety due to the aesthetic appeal of frontwoman Grace Perry.  I suspect Perry left the band at least partly due to constant objectification (Damn you Revolver).  I quite enjoyed the band.  They are still officially active but have not released anything new since 2012.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Another High Numbers Break

I had very good luck with this last time out, so I thought I would try it again.  Gotta do something to pass the time until I can finally see who will be in Topps Update this year (hopefully Tzu-Wei Lin will appear again).  There are still a number of cards yet to find from this set, and a lot of them are players not well-represented in my collection.

Here is my Red Sox wantlist from the set:

Base: Brian Johnson, Joe Kelly, Mitch Moreland, Carson Smith, Blake Swihart, Marcus Walden

Base SP: Eduardo Nunez

Chrome: J.D. Martinez, Eduardo Nunez

1969 Bazooka All Time Greats: Carl Yastrzemski

Combo Cards: Rafael Devers/Mookie Betts

Now & Then: Mookie Betts

Rookie Performers: Rafael Devers

And now for the break:
Austin Barnes (Dodgers: 1)
Mike Soroka (Braves: 1)
Tyler Naquin (Indians: 1)
Dwight Smith Jr. (Blue Jays: 1)  I had no idea about this second-gen Blue Jays player.
Braxton Lee (Marlins: 1)  
P.J. Conlon (Mets: 1)
Ryan Flaherty (Braves: 2)
Sal Romano (Reds: 1)
Brandon Drury (Yankees: 1)  I remember how much hype he got when he was traded to the Yankees.  That, uh, did not work out.

Tomas Nido (Mets: 2)
Denard Span (Mariners: 1)
Jorge Soler (Royals: 1)
Freddy Peralta (Brewers: 1)
Yonny Chirinos (Rays: 1)
Bartolo Colon (Rangers: 1)
Mitch Garver (Twins: 1)
Joey Lucchesi Rookie Performers (Padres: 1)  Holy crap, a Padres card.  And an insert to boot.
Ichiro (Mariners: 2)  This is the SP from the pack.  Not bad.

Cody Bellinger Award Winners (Dodgers: 2)
Giancarlo Stanton/Aaron Judge Combo Card (Yankees: 2)  Ugh.
Clayton Richard (Padres: 2)  Wow.  Two Padres cards.  No Diamondbacks yet though.
Ronald Torreyes (Yankees: 3)
Mark Leiter (Phillies: 1)
Isiah Kiner-Falefa (Rangers: 2)
Jake Odorizzi (Twins: 2)
Juan Soto (Nationals: 1)  This is probably the best card from the break.
Matt Duffy (Rays: 2)

Shane Greene (Tigers: 1)
J.D. Davis (Astros: 1)
Seth Lugo (Mets: 3)
Matt Albers (Brewers: 2)  Once a pretty good reliever for the Red Sox.
Brian Goodwin (Nationals: 2)
David Peralta (Diamondbacks: 1)  There we go.  A Diamondbacks sighting.
Marcus Walden (Red Sox: 1)  I was getting worried.
Sergio Romo (Rays: 3)

So, that was not a great break.  A lot of not-so-great players here.  The SP is nice, and the Soto rookie is terrific.  I am happy that I pulled the Walden card.  He is the player I most wanted since this is his first Major League card.  The 29-year-old journeyman finally made his Major League debut this year after being drafted in 2007.  

Here is the updated team totals:
NEW YORK YANKEES: 45
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS: 43
CHICAGO CUBS: 41
BOSTON RED SOX: 39
LOS ANGELES DODGERS: 39
CLEVELAND INDIANS: 33
SEATTLE MARINERS: 32
WASHINGTON NATIONALS/MONTREAL EXPOS 32 (30 NATIONALS/2 EXPOS)
ATLANTA BRAVES: 31
TEXAS RANGERS: 31
HOUSTON ASTROS: 30
CINCINNATI REDS: 29
CHICAGO WHITE SOX: 28
BALTIMORE ORIOLES: 27
MINNESOTA TWINS: 27
NEW YORK METS: 27
LOS ANGELES ANGELS: 26
MILWAUKEE BREWERS: 26
COLORADO ROCKIES: 25
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES: 25
TORONTO BLUE JAYS: 24
PITTSBURGH PIRATES: 22
DETROIT TIGERS: 21
KANSAS CITY ROYALS: 21
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS: 19
MIAMI MARLINS: 18
OAKLAND ATHLETICS: 18
TAMPA BAY RAYS: 18
SAN DIEGO PADRES: 13
ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS: 10
OTHER: 6

As usual, everything except the Red Sox card is available for trade.


Sunday, October 14, 2018

A Bunch of Inserts

It is a rare mailday without any Tzu-Wei Lin cards.  Here is a trade with a bunch of low-end inserts from 2017 and 2018.
1.  2018 Topps Instant Impact Rafael Devers.  Celebrating Devers's rookie year in which he hit 10 home runs and was an impact bat.  Devers had a rough first full season this year but still looks like the third-baseman of the future.

2.  2018 Topps Allen & Ginter Fantasy Goldmine Roger Clemens.  I really like the A&G insert sets.  I still have a bunch more of these over the last few years to find.  A&G is not one of my major priorities when it comes out which probably explains things a bit.

3.  2017 Topps Update Untouchables Pedro Martinez.  Martinez was the very definition of untouchable the first several years of his stint with Boston.

4.  2018 Topps Chrome Future Stars Andrew Benintendi.  You heard it here first:  Benintendi will be an All Star in 2019.

5.  2017 Topps All Time All Stars Wade Boggs.  Nice action shot here.  Boggs was an All Star for the Red Sox every year from 1985 through 1992.  He was also an All Star with the Yankees from 1993-1996.

6.  2017 Topps Allen & Ginter What a Day Carl Yastrzemski.  Here is another of those A&G inserts.  This one celebrates Yaz's three home runs in Detroit in 1976.

7.  2017 Topps Major League Milestones David Ortiz.  On top of his 500 career home runs, Ortiz had 600 doubles, putting him in rare company with Barry Bonds and Hank Aaron.

8.  2018 Topps Instant Impact Andrew Benintendi.  Benintendi finished runner-up to Aaron Judge in the AL ROY vote last season.



Saturday, October 13, 2018

The Biggest Lin Addition So Far

BOOM!
This is the Finest Red Refractor auto and it is serial-numbered 1/5.  This is the biggest Lin addition to my collection so far.  I paid a very pretty penny for it, but it is a massive addition to my collection.

I am down to just needing three more of these to get the Finest rainbow.  Of course they are all very rare cards: Orange Wave (SN25), Red Wave (SN5), and Superfractor (SN1).  Looking at past Ebay sales, only the Orange Wave has popped up there so far.

And now, I am up to 67 Lin cards.