Tuesday, April 30, 2013

One-Card Mailday 04/30

Today I received just one card but I am very happy with it.  I gave up some random Rangers cards to get this Wal-Mart blue bordered parallel of Dustin Pedroia from 2013 Heritage.
This is not exactly the most flattering picture of Pedroia.  It is kind of an awkward facial expression.  Ah well.  Like I said, I am happy with this.  Last year I got the Adrian Gonzalez in a pack but this year I have not had that kind of luck with Heritage.  

Underrated Player of the Year: 2012

In this series, I look at one player per year from 1991-the present who came out of nowhere or had a great year that no one really noticed or expected.

Franklin Morales was acquired during the 2011 season from the Rockies to provide some depth to the pitching staff.  He was a valuable left-hander out of the pen down the stretch.  But as good as he was in 2011, he was even better in 2012 and was an incredibly valuable pitcher all year long.

Morales went 3-4 with a 3.77 ERA and 76 strikeouts in 76.1 innings with 30 walks.  His numbers were certainly good, but it was his versatility that was most valuable.  When injuries decimated the starting staff, Morales started several games (9) and performed fairly well.  Morales also finished five games notching one save.  More often than not Morales provided innings out of the bullpen.  He was not the typical LOOGY pitching against one left-hander at the time.  He was definitely tough on left-handed hitters, but he was at least decent against right-handers as well.

Morales returned to Boston in 2013 but has been on the disabled list all season so far.

Monday, April 29, 2013

04/28: Red Sox 6 (18-7) Astros 1

The Red Sox swept the Astros in four games.  John Lackey returned to the mound again after spending a couple of weeks on the disabled list and looked sharp, pitching six innings of five hit ball, giving up one run, two walks, and striking out four.  The bullpen got the job done afterwards.  Much of the offense was provided by David Ortiz and Stephen Drew.  Daniel Nava made an excellent leaping catch to record the final out of the series.

PLAYER OF THE GAME:

DAVID ORTIZ 2 for 4, double, 2 RBIs

Pack Breaks 04/28: 2 Packs of Gypsy Queen, 1 Pack of Topps Chrome

I had to run into town yesterday for some stuff at Wal Mart.  I had some extra cash so I bought a couple of rack packs of Gypsy Queen and one of Topps Chrome.

Up first are the Red Sox.  These two cards both came in the same rack pack and I was thrilled with both of them.  First I got the mini black version of Dustin Pedroia, numbered to 199.  Then the white border parallel of Jacoby Ellsbury.  Both current stars and both pretty cool parallels.  I have not pulled a lot of Red Sox numbered to a lower number than this Pedroia, so that's pretty awesome.

Next is the tradebait.  The Chrome cards yielded a few different refractors.

Then a bunch of inserts from Gypsy Queen.  Is anyone collecting any of these?  I have a ton and keep getting duplicates.  I have not been able to move many at all.

Finally, I got a Willie Mays SP, a few random white-border cards, and a bunch of minis.  The Cobb card in the middle is the green parallel, numbered to just 99.  Damn card put my Pedroia to shame.
As usual, if anyone wants to trade, comment or email.  All of this is available though I am looking at possibly moving the Yankees and Stargell right now.  Just ask and I will let you know if they are still available.

Mailday 04/27

Here are a couple of quick packages that I got in on Saturday.  Both of these trades came from the forums.  I have been doing a little bit of blog trading but not a ton yet.

This first one is quite possibly the most random collection of cards ever.  We have a 1972 Topps card of Lew Krausse, nice vintage there.  Not in the best shape, but that's fine.  Then there is a 1995 Collector's Choice SE Gold Signature of Aaron Sele, one of my favorite pitchers in the mid 1990's when pitching for Boston was horrible.  I did not even know there was anything like this.  Finally, a Kellogg's card of Carl Yastrzemski from 1983.  I love the 3D Kellogg's cards and food issues in general.  I think I just gave up a couple of Rangers inserts for these.

Next up, some guy was trying to get rid of a ton of Red Sox inserts.  I actually did not have a lot of them so I jumped on the opportunity.  The next three scans are the cards I got in that trade.  I gave up some random Bowman refractors and stuff that has not been moving.
The Marco Scutaro is the Chrome parallel.  I am going back and picking up some more of these Ted Williams inserts.  I have four now with a bunch more coming in.  The Casey Fossum is the glossy parallel numbered to 200.  I had a Barry Bonds card like this Mo Vaughn a long time ago.  One thing that I have tried doing is to get Red Sox versions of every card in my non-Red Sox stuff that I can.  I like getting cards of Johnny Damon with the Caveman look.

The Will Middlebrooks is the orange version, for some reason the scan makes it look red.  That would be cool, but not terribly likely.  I am eagerly awaiting Jose Iglesias's return to the Major Leagues.  The Ted Williams is the holofoil version.  I finally got one of the Heritage purple refractors here.

Last, we have a David Ortiz parallel numbered to 50, he is just about to point to the sky after stepping on home plate after a home run.  And then we have another of the Opening Day blue sparkle parallels.  I like these quite a bit.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

04/27: Red Sox 8 (17-7) Astros 4

The Red Sox doubled up the Astros today with Felix Doubront winning his third game of the season.  He struck out eight and walked four and has gotten progressively deeper into games.  Still his walk and pitch rate remain a concern.  Daniel Bard made an appearance and walked the only two batters he faced on nine pitches.  Most of the pitches were not remotely close.  Also a concern.

PLAYER OF THE GAME:
DAVID ORTIZ (2 for 3, double, 3 RBIs)

Red Sox With No Cards Pt. 3: Rich Hill

In this series I take a look at players who played for the Boston Red Sox but, for some reason, never had a card produced of them with the team.
RICH HILL
Hill spent parts of three seasons with the Red Sox.  He was a reclamation project coming off of some injury troubles in 2010 and was signed as a low-risk signing to provide a left-hander out of the bullpen.    he only made it into six games in 2010 but was 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA and three strikeouts in four innings.  He continued to have injury problems.  

In 2011, Hill only pitched in nine games but again had a 0.00 ERA with twelve strikeouts in eight innings.  Again, injuries derailed his season but he pitched well enough that Boston kept him for another season.  Hill was healthy for a decent amount of time in 2012, managing to pitch in 25 games.  He struck out 21 in 19.2 innings against 11 walks.  His ERA was 1.83 and he was 1-0.  Certainly decent numbers but he was non-tendered to provide roster space and because of his injury problems.  Boston was interested in bringing him back but he ended up signing with Cleveland and has been healthy so far this season.

Hill never really pitched quite enough to warrant a baseball card.  But that is one of the reasons I miss Topps Total.  I am sure last season he would have made it into that set.  They did do a lot of middle relievers, even those who did not pitch a lot.

04/26: Red Sox 7 (16-7) Astros 3

Ryan Dempster picked up his first win of the season.  He has pitched well, he has just been victimized by poor run support and the occasional bullpen malfunction.  He has been impressive this season and was again in this game, striking out 10 batters and allowing only four hits and three walks.  The offense rolled with four home runs, two by David Ross, and one each by Will Middlebrooks and David Ortiz.  Middlebrooks and Ross went back to back.

PLAYER OF THE GAME:

NO CARD YET

DAVID ROSS: (4 for 4, 2 home runs, 3 RBIs, 2 runs)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Mailday 04/26: Diamonds

One package in today that was the final piece from last weekend's splurge.
I was very active in the giveaways that Topps did the last few years.  The first year I picked up a ton of vintage stuff that I needed.  The second year they tried to spice things up a bit by offering new giveaway-only cards.  I never managed to get one in the many cards that I redeemed and never managed to make a trade for one.  One day I knew I needed to get one.  So I finally got this very nice piece of Clay Buchholz.  The following year they did the occasional card and virtual rings.  I never got a single card.

04/25 Mailday: Trade Package from Swing and a Pop Up

I recently made a blog trade with Bert from the great blog Swing and a Pop Up.   I sent him a random assortment of Red Sox cards and some of his own set needs.  I have thousands of cards from my 20+ years as a collector just collecting dust and definitely enjoy packaging them together in exchange for Red Sox cards I need.  He sent me the following cards that I did not have:
I am going to go a little out of order here.  That 1977 Topps Steve Dillard was the card that started this trade.  Bert posted that he had doubles of it and wondered if anyone needed one.  Well I did so I responded and we built it up from there.  

I have several Topps Big cards but for some reason not many from 1989.  Bert sent me several, including the four in the scan above.  I do not typically go out of my way to pick up minor league cards, unless they are of a particular player, but never mind getting them in trades.  Michael Bowden, Aaron Bates, and Lars Anderson all spent some time with the big league Red Sox.  Bryce Cox never made it and is now out of baseball.


Some more minor league cards up first.  Yamaico Navarro made it to Boston before being traded to Kansas City and then Pittsburgh.  Chih-Hsien Chiang was having a monster season in AA in 2011 before being traded to Seattle in the Erik Bedard trade.  He has hit a bit of a standstill since.  Will Middlebrooks is of course with Boston now.  Then we have some random cards that I needed.  I like the John Burkett because there are not a ton of cards of him with Boston.  He did have a couple of nice seasons for them at the end of his career.  The Steve Avery is a parallel, Pacific did tons of parallels, so many it was hard to keep them straight.  This is a rookie year card of John Marzano, the longtime backup catcher.


I always liked these Score Young Superstars cards.  One day I will have to figure out which ones I still need.  Then we have some more 1989 Topps Big cards.  Marty Barrett was a good second-baseman for years, Rich Gedman was a two-time All Star and of course Jim Rice is in the Hall of Fame.  The Pepsi card of Tony Pena is probably my favorite card in the entire package.  These things are hard to find.  Then we have a vintage card of Jack Brohamer with a bad air-brush job.  Finally, some more minor league cards.  Brock Huntzinger is in AA with Boston.  Che Hsuan Lin made his Major League debut last season for the Red Sox but was lost to the Astros on waivers.  Caleb Clay is currently in Washington's system.


More minor league cards.  Oscar Tejeda is in Pittsburgh's system.  Ryan Dent is still around Boston.  Hunter Jones made a brief appearance in Boston in 2009 then was traded to the Marlins.  Daniel Bard is back up in Boston now.  David Pauley had a couple of appearances.  I kept waiting for Jon Still to develop because he had big power, but he never did.  Then we have some random cards of Tony Clark, Steve Crawford, and Todd Benzinger that I needed.


This is the last scan and features some more minor league cards, most of which I have discussed.  Reid Engle and Jason Place are both out of baseball.  Finally, the big stars from Boston in the late 1980's, Wade Boggs and Roger Clemens make appearances.

Mailday 04/25: Forum Trades

The high-end stuff was delivered to my office.  I forgot that I had something on ebay delivered there previously and that I had not changed my address back to my home address.  When I got home three more packages were waiting for me, two trades on the forums and one blog trade.  These are the two forum trades.

Up first is a small four card trade.  I gave up some of this guy's set needs and picked up the following.
Up first is yet another Adrian Gonzalez card.  I have been picking up a lot of these lately.  The Julio Lugo is another parallel from 2009 O-Pee-Chee.  I like getting Orlando Cabrera cards because of his role on the 2004 World Championship team.  Finally there is this nice Tim Naehring card that I was only aware of recently.  Naehring was one of my favorite players as a kid.

Then we have another trade that I gave up some set needs and got some nice inserts and parallels. 
The first two are a couple of A&G back minis of Kevin Youkilis and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.  The Mark Melancon card is the sepia parallel and is numbered out of 99.  Then we have the mini Topps card of Andrew Bailey.  Then yet another Adrian Gonzalez insert that I did not have.  Next up is the cloth sticker insert of Jacoby Ellsbury, this is the last insert card I needed from 2012 Archives.  I still need a bunch of the gold parallels and autographs.  The Gypsy Queen Ellsbury is the photo variation short print.  And finally yet another Gonzalez, this one the chrome refractor numbered to 563.

04/25: Red Sox 7 (15-7) Astros 2

The newest American League team came to Boston for the first time this offseason.  Clay Buchholz continued his hot start to the season, winning his fifth straight start with a microscopic ERA.  The offense came through with a four-run first inning.

PLAYER OF THE GAME:
DAVID ORTIZ: (3 for 4, 3 runs, 2 RBIs, home run)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

High End Mailday 04/25

I got a lot of stuff in today.  I had a busy weekend on ebay.  I probably will not be doing much buying for awhile after that one, but there was a lot of good stuff to bid on.  I don't do a lot of high-end buying, but I made an exception this weekend.  That will be very rare.

A bunch of these packages had some extra cards thrown in which I always appreciate.  This is the first scan of some extras:
I have most of these except for the Jeffrey Wendelken and Nathan Minnich, so I am happiest about those two.  The other three are tradebait.

As I mentioned those are throw-ins along with this card:
This is easily my best Clay Buchholz card.  I had a few jersey cards and one autograph previously but this is an autograph with three patch pieces, including a three-colored patch.  Excellent looking card.

The next card is another pitcher, Felix Doubront.  I showed off my Jonny Gomes Hometown Currency relic earlier.  Doubront is a player I targeted because I knew that he would have a foreign coin from Venezuela.  Here it is:

Up next is a triple jersey and autograph of Daniel Bard, who was just recently recalled by Boston.  This is from the Triple Threads set from 2011.  Unfortunately Bard has hit a few bumps in the road lately.

Here are some more throw-ins.  The Dustin Pedroia/Josh Beckett is new, everything else is tradebait.

Those throw-ins came with the following three cards:
Sorry for the scan, my computer did not want to save the cropped picture for reasons that make no sense to me whatsoever.  Anyway, I did not have a Jason Bay autograph card from his Red Sox time or a Coco Crisp autograph.  I love that Crisp card.  I had never seen anything like it before.  The Adrian Beltre manufactured bat barrel is pretty cool too.  I had a Robinson Cano that I got in a pack but sold it of course.  

Next is the #1 card on my Most Wanted list, the super-short-printed James Loney from last year's Topps Update.  This is likely to be Loney's only Red Sox card ever.

Next we have some more throw-ins that came with Loney.  These are all available for trade, I think.  I need to check on the Williams Chasing History to be sure.

Finally, my biggest Adrian Gonzalez card so far, a Triple Threads red patch card numbered to just 18.

Quite the mailday today.

Mailday 04/23

I forgot to bring my cards to work yesterday that I got, so I will make this post today.

Up first is another of those blue sparkle redemptions that were only available by wrapper redemption.  This time it is Dustin Pedroia, probably the best Red Sox card available.  I gave up an old Boog Powell parallel that I had for it.  Pretty good tradeoff.

Next is a pretty large trade that I made on the forums in which I gave up a bunch of Blue Jays inserts.
As you can see, lots of pretty good stuff here.  I really hope Boston re-signs Jacoby Ellsbury.  I love his speed.  He is currently leading the league in stolen bases.  I did not have any of the ruby parallels from last year's Bowman Platinum before this Ellsbury.  I picked up three black parallels from O-Pee-Chee with the Tim Wakefield, Kevin Youkilis and Jed Lowrie.  I have mentioned before that I am kind of going back to pick up a bunch of Adrian Gonzalez cards and this is another example.  The Ellsbury die-cut is my favorite from the package and possibly one of my favorite cards of him period.  I am getting a bunch of Will Middlebrooks stuff these days as well.  Finally we have bronze parallels of Jon Lester and John Lackey from 2010 Topps 206.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Random Awesome Photo: 1990 Upper Deck #461 Rob Murphy

This has always been a favorite photo of mine.  I got this card somewhat early in my collecting days.  I think I found it at Hobbytown, a local store with all manner of hobby products.  They had some boxes of common cards that one could sort through freely.  It was a big place for me to get cards early on because it was in the mall and my parents would let me spend about 15 minutes there looking through the boxes.  And since they were all commons, they were cheap.  

Anyway, this Rob Murphy card shows the lefty reliever doing something on a really primitive laptop.  My memory of computers from this time is fairly limited.  I was nine.  I remember the computers in the school lab but I do not think I ever saw a portable computer at the time.  So I have no idea what that thing is.

This is one of those cards that shows a player doing something outside of the baselines.  It is definitely an interesting shot.

04/24: Red Sox 6 (14-7) Athletics 5

Jon Lester is now 4-0 and Boston came back from a horrendous game last night to win the rubber game of the three game set with the Athletics.  Lester was a little wild and gave up some hits but the offense bailed him out.  Andrew Bailey struck out all three batters he faced to get the save.  Shane Victorino, David Ortiz, Mike Napoli, and Daniel Nava each drove in a run.  Stephen Drew drove in two with a triple.

PLAYER OF THE GAME:
ANDREW BAILEY (1 inning, 3 strikeouts, 0 hits, 0 walks, save)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

04/23 Colon-Oscopy: Athletics 13 Red Sox (13-7) 0

I don't even want to post this one.  It was just ugly.  Alfredo Aceves was terrible.  He gave up six runs in one inning with a couple of walks, a failure to cover first base, a throwing error, and two balks.  How could it be worse than that?  Well former Red Sox Bartolo Colon completely baffled them as they only had three hits.  Knuckleballer Steven Wright made his Major League debut but was hit pretty hard, giving up five runs in 3.2 innings.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

NONE
No one did anything remotely good.  Only three players had hits, all singles, and the pitching was awful.  

Maildays and Pack Breaks with Some Tradebait: 04/19-04/22

It has been a busy few days so I have not had a chance to scan some cards to show off.  But today things finally slowed down long enough for me to get that taken care of.

On Friday I got one package with one card.  This Documentary card of Daisuke Matsuzaka was supposed to be part of the big Documentary package earlier on but was not there.  I contacted the trader and he graciously sent the card right away.  

This was a big trade that I got in on Sunday.  I traded a bunch of old gold Topps parallels and got a lot of great stuff in exchange.  

The first five Bowman cards are gold signature parallels.  Sun Woo Kim and Jin Ho Cho both made the Majors briefly for the Red Sox with Kim going on to have some sustained success with the Expos/Nationals for a few years.  There was a time that Seung Song and Tony Blanco were the best prospects in the Red Sox system but neither one ever made it to Boston.  Casey Fossum was the big piece in the Curt Schilling trade for the Diamondbacks and had a couple decent seasons in Boston.  He never really developed after that though.  Tommy Hottovy made the Red Sox briefly out of the bullpen.  Then we have some nice parallels/inserts of Victor Martinez, Carlton Fisk and Dustin Pedroia.  I am going back and getting more cards of V-Mart these days as I did not get a lot at the time.  Fisk and Pedroia are favorites so I get a lot of cards of them anyway.

The above scan shows some more cards I got in the same trade.  The Jim Rice is the last of the 2013 Series 1 1972 minis I needed for the Red Sox.  Josh Reddick and Mike Aviles are both players that I just did not have enough cards of and I like the gold sparkles.  Then there is another Fisk card, this one numbered to 550.  I have never seen one of those Matsuzaka cards before so I had to have that one.  The David Cone and David Murphy cards are both parallels.  I did not have any parallels like them.  The Cone is numbered to 200.  

In the same package, but part of another trade is the below Ted Williams Spring Fever card.  I think this is the last Red Sox card I needed for that set.

Yesterday I was at Wal-Mart and wanted to buy something.  They were out of Gypsy Queen and I have most of the Topps and Heritage stuff so I ended up buying one of those boxes with a lot of different packs inside.  I had most of the Red Sox stuff that I ended up with except for a few.

First up from 2009 Topps Update is this Jonathan Papelbon All Star card and the Nick Green gold-bordered card numbered to 2009.  I did not even know I did not have the Papelbon.  The Green is great because it is a parallel that I did not have and of a player of whom I have very few Red Sox cards.

This is the most unusual thing in that repack box.  I received a pack with the Red Sox logo on it that was billed as a Fan Pack.  It included 25 cards from Upper Deck brands from 2007 to 2008.  All of the cards were very glossy, including the Masterpieces cards which typically have a very distinct texture.  In addition, the SP Legendary Cuts cards have silver foil instead of gold embossing.  I cannot quite figure it out but I suspect Upper Deck reprinted these cards as a special to be sold at stadiums or regionally.  Lots of good stuff in here as seen below.  This was worth the price of the box itself.  I also got a Yankees pack.



Finally I had a small trade package with two cards.  The Yamaico Navarro was #6 on my Ten Most Wanted list, so that was a big deal.

These last few scans are some tradebait accumulated in the bog box.  If you want anything and have any Red Sox to trade, please let me know.  All of the following are available.


Andrew Bailey and Mike Napoli Named Co-Players of the Week

Link.


Mike Napoli has been on fire lately.  Andrew Bailey had a pretty good week as the fill-in closer.  Joel Hanrahan may have some trouble getting his job back when he gets back from the disabled list.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Red Sox in Cooperstown Pt. 3: Jesse Burkett

JESSE BURKETT
Years with Boston: 1905 (.257/.339/.344, four home runs, 47 RBIs, 13 stolen bases, 13 triples)
Best Year in Boston: 1905 (.257/.339/.344, four home runs, 47 RBIs, 13 stolen bases, 13 triples)
(I don't have a Red Sox card)
Jesse "The Crab" Burkett was 36 years old when he was traded to Boston from St. Louis.  It was not a very good trade for Boston as they gave up future slugger George Stone to get Burkett.  Stone would go on to have a very good future while, and in particular a monster 1906 season.  Burkett meanwhile was decent in 1905 for Boston but was out of baseball afterwards.  He did finish in the top ten in home runs, triples, and runs scored.  The oufielder was clearly past his prime but still managed to have a decent season.

Burkett only spent one season in Boston.  He had a decent season but it did not have a lot of effect on his Hall of Fame merits.