Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014: Looking Back

It was kind of a bad year to be a Red Sox fan.  The BoSox finished in last place for the second time in three years, though the other year they won the World Series, so it is not so bad.  It was kind of a rough year for my collection too.  Not as many trades as I would have liked and a ton of cards left on my wantlist right now.

Nevertheless, there were some highlights.

This was a very bad year for pack pulls.  I probably bought more boxes with no Red Sox in them than in any other year.  It was particularly disappointing since 2013 was so good.  Anyway, here they are.  I could not decide between these two:

2014 Panini Prizm Red, White, & Blue David Ortiz
One of three retail-only parallels from a special pack bought from Target, this is the first time one of those packs worked for me.

2014 Topps Update SP Mookie Betts
Easily one of my favorite players of the year and one of the most exciting to look forward to next year.  This was a great pull for me.

I will have to break this one up between two people who sent a number of packages to me this year.

Zippy Zappy Edition
1961 Fleer George Pipgras
I have never owned a card from this set before and Pipgras is such a unique player to be depicted in a Red Sox uniform due to his very short stint in Boston.

Mark Hoyle Edition
1973 Topps Dwight Evans RC
Mark sent me a ton of great cards, but the rookie card of Dwight Evans blows them away.  Just a terrific card.

2012 Topps Commemorative Rings Babe Ruth
Gotta love the Babe.

2014 Bowman Chrome Blue Refractor Mookie Betts
Yes, another Mookie.  Yes, he is that exciting.  I still can't believe I managed to trade so little for this card.

1991 Score Pepsi Carlos Quintana
Who else would be excited about a Carlos Quintana card?

2013 Panini Hometown Heroes Sportdiscs
Varitek re-emerged in this set and it took me awhile to find some of these.

2014 Stadium Club David Ortiz
What else?  One of the few Stadium Club Red Sox cards I have actually managed to get, this shot is terrific.

So that's it for now.  Hopefully next year will be a little bit better.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Wantlist Hit

I made a trade to get the last of the 2013 Topps Heritage cards I needed.  Here is the 2013 Heritage Dustin Pedroia short print.
I am not sure Dustin would be proud of this shot.  It definitely showcases his receding hairline.  He has more hair on his face than on his head. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

"O" No, Another Red Sox Trade

I recently made a trade with Ryan who writes that Orioles blog.   He had opened a blaster of Topps Update and had better Red Sox luck than I have, pulling a Red Sox insert, so we organized a trade.  This is the one:
1.  2014 Topps Update World Series Heroes Jonathan Papelbon.  Papelbon was of course the closer in the 2007 World Series for the Red Sox and struck out Seth Smith to end the Series.  This was his reaction, a classic moment for Red Sox fans. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014


I got this card in the mail today from a forum trade:
This is the 1989 Bowman is Back insert of Xander Bogaerts.  This was a card on my wantlist due to the retro design with a modern flare.  Also, Xander is one of my favorite newer players for the Red Sox.  Hopefully he will have a better season next year.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Very Random Trade with an Indians Collector

I sent a bunch of Indians cards to a forum member and received the following batch of Red Sox cards in return:
1.  2014 Topps Allen & Ginter Xander Bogaerts.  A card off of my wantlist.  I am looking forward to a better season from the X-Man.

2.  2005 Absolute Memorabilia Blue Edgar Renteria.  Renteria was a player I really wanted Boston to sign after the 2004 season.  They did, but unfortunately he was pretty bad.

3.  2008 Bowman Chrome Refractor Mike Lowell.  2007's World Series MVP.

4.  2010 Bowman 1992 Throwback David Ortiz.  I have a goal currently of reaching 500 David Ortiz cards.  I am about 13 away.  Any help would be appreciated.

5.  2010 Bowman Topps 100 Josh Reddick.  I really liked Reddick, particularly for a walkoff game-winning single against Mariano Rivera in 2011.  Unfortunately he was traded to Oakland for Andrew Bailey, a trade which did not work out for Boston.

6.  2011 Bowman Topps 100 Garin Cecchini.  I suspect Cecchini is on the trading block.

7.  2011 Bowman Topps 100 Jose Iglesias.  I loved watching Iglesias at short, but with Xander around, he was not going to stick around.

8.  2012 Topps Blockbusters Josh Beckett.  This was a trade that worked out for both teams as Boston also got Lowell and the Marlins got Hanley Ramirez.

9.  2012 Topps Gold Sparkle Clay Buchholz.  Buchholz is the only holdover in the rotation from 2013.
10.  2012 Topps Gold Sparkle Adrian Gonzalez.  In his brief tenure with the Red Sox, Gonzalez won a Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, was an All Star, and came in second in the Home Run Derby.

11.  2012 Topps Gold Sparkle Kelly Shoppach.  Shoppach was supposed to be the next great Red Sox catcher in the mid 2000's, but with Varitek still playing well, he was expendable and was traded to the Indians in the Coco Crisp trade.  He returned in 2012 but was shipped to the Mets for Pedro Beato midseason.

Friday, December 12, 2014

A Holiday Zippy Zapping

Kenny from apparently Torren' Up Cards now, recently sent me a random package of cards. 
1.  2013 Sega Card-Gen Jonny Gomes.  I liked Jonny Gomes and it is disappointing that he was traded. 

2.  2013 Sega Card-Gen Dustin Pedroia.  Excellent looking photo here of Pedroia turning the double play.

3.  2005 Portland Sea Dogs Hanley Ramirez.  Yep, Hanley is back.  Pretty excited.

4.  Nomar Garciaparra flip book.  I remember when these came out and even think I saw this Nomar.  But I never picked it up.  I love this item.  A terrific oddball item to my collection.

Thanks Kenny!  I know I owe you some stuff.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Some Needed Topps Base from S.Mack Talk

I was recently contacted by Jimmy over at S.Mack Talk about a trade.  He is apparently a huge Shane Mack fan, a player who spent a brief and injury-riddled, but somewhat productive period with the Red Sox in 1997.  He offered to send me a bunch of Topps base cards I needed for my Red Sox collection for a couple of inserts.
1.  2014 Topps Update David Ross.  I love this shot of the backup catcher showing off his World Series Championship ring.

2.  2014 Topps Update Edward Mujica.  After a shaky start, Mujica started to settle in a little bit.  That will be big next year as he will be expected to be a major part of the bullpen.

3.  2014 Topps Update Allen Craig.  Craig is tradebait right now as having both him and Daniel Nava on the same team is a little superfluous, though Craig has the better history.

4.  2014 Topps Will Middlebrooks.  Middlebrooks is definitely at a crossroads.  He has failed to impress in each of the last two seasons after an explosive rookie season in 2012.  I will always remember him fondly for his two-homer game in Kansas City at the game my wife took me to in May, 2012 though.

5.  2014 Topps Mike Napoli.  Nap had another strong season in 2014 but missed a bunch of time with injuries.  He did take to first base seemlessly.

6.  2014 Topps Update Kelly Johnson.  Likely the only card Kelly Johnson will have with Boston.  He was acquired from the Yankees for Stephen Drew at the July trading deadline, then dealt to the Orioles for Jemile Weeks at the August trading deadline.  Although it is pretty cool to have a Red Sox card of him.

7.  2014 Topps David Ortiz.  Seriously, I need more Ortiz cards.

8.  2014 Topps A.J. Pierzynski.  Another short-lived Red Sox player.  Pierzynski was signed prior to the season then traded to the Cardinals in late Spring.

Thanks Jimmy!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Random Trade

The following four cards arrived as a trade from the forums:
1.  2008 Stadium Club 1st Day Chris Carter.  Carter was acquired from the Nationals for Wily Mo Pena.  He is obviously not the same Chris Carter that currently plays for the Astros.  Carter played a total of 13 games over two seasons with the Red Sox and then 100 games for the Mets.  He has not been seen in the Majors since.

2.  2008 Upper Deck Superstar Scrapbook David Ortiz.  I think I need more Ortiz cards.  Hmm...

3.  2009 Topps Legends of the Game Tris Speaker.  I did a lot of thinking about whether to consider this a Red Sox card.  Speaker is wearing a Cleveland Indians uniform here.  But the back focuses exclusively on his time with the Red Sox in 1912.  I decided since there were no logos, the back would control.  But I am not thrilled about it.

4.  2010 Topps 206 Bronze Victor Martinez.  V-Mart re-upped with the Tigers this year after a monster season.  I liked him a little when he was in Boston but I never quite got over the fact that he forced Jason Varitek out of the starting lineup.  It was better for the team though and Varitek took it graciously.  Another sign of a true leader.

Monday, December 8, 2014

LCS Buys

I was in my hometown over Thanksgiving weekend and stopped by the local card shop that I used to visit all the time when I was growing up.  He had a few things for me:
1.  2013 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Autograph Fred Lynn.  This was the last of the 2013 autographs that I needed from this set.  I loved the Fan Favorites set and wish Topps would make it its own set again.

2.  2013 Topps Blue Sparkle David Ortiz.  This card does not show up very well, but it is a nice-looking card in person.

3.  2013 Topps Archives Day Glo Will Middlebrooks.  Speaking of not showing up well.  This border is bright orange and barely shows at all here.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

1st Allen Craig

A one-card trade brought me this blue Allen Craig parallel.  Craig was hurt for most of the time he was in Boston this year after coming over with Joe Kelly in the John Lackey trade.  Craig managed to hurt the Red Sox a little in the 2013 World Series, coming up with a big hit off of Koji in Game 3 and eventually scored the winning run on the Will Middlebrooks obstruction play.  His time in Boston will likely be brief as I suspect he will be traded.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Welcome Back to Boston Hanley Ramirez and Welcome Panda

Yes, this printing plate is mine.  I bought a bunch of Hanley Ramirez cards when he was in Boston's minor league system.  I was pretty excited about the guy.  Then he was traded.  While I love that Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell were instrumental in helping Boston win the World Series in 2007, I was disappointed that it cost them Hanley Ramirez.  It was worth it, it was just disappointing, especially when Ramirez was winning the Rookie of the Year in 2006 and neither Beckett nor Lowell were playing particularly well.  It paid off in 2007.  Now, Hanley is back and I am excited to see what he can do.  Hopefully he stays healthy.

Boston also signed Pablo Sandoval.  I advocated acquiring him several years ago, so I am happy they got him.  Sandoval will play third base and may eventually replace David Ortiz at DH.  Ramirez looks to be moving to left field.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Varitek Pickups

Jason Varitek has a bit of a tenuous hold on the title of Largest Player in My Collection.  Nomar Garciaparra has been showing up in a bunch of sets lately and is only trailing Varitek by about 20 cards.  Since Varitek does not appear in any sets, it would not be difficult for Nomar to catch up.  But the most serious threat is actually from non-Red Sox player Sandy Alomar Jr. who has skyrocketed to just below Nomar at this point.  And since I have been much more actively seeking Alomar cards, it is likely that he will take over some time soon.

On one of my Sandy Alomar binges over at COMC, I decided to add a couple of Jason Varitek cards:
1.  2009 Upper Deck Ballpark Collection Teammate Timelines Jason Varitek/Jonathan Papelbon.  Okay, so Papelbon appears here too.  Still, this only cost a couple of bucks and it is a double jersey card of two very important members of the 2007 World Champions.

2.  2009 Upper Deck Signature Stars Clover Blue Jason Varitek.  I love the camo chest protector.  Nice touch.  This is a nice, rarer card.  I used to love to get cards like this for my Varitek collection.

So that means I have 875 cards of Jason Varitek.  There are still cards I need out there, but it is unlikely that Varitek will remain in first place.  Too bad.  He had a good run.

Monday, December 1, 2014

2014 Topps Update Blaster Pt. 2

My second blaster produced some more Red Sox cards, including two brand-new players to my Red Sox collection and a couple cards of a great young player:

1.  Joe Kelly.  Tough to believe but Joe Kelly pitched a great game AGAINST the Red Sox in the 2013 World Series.  He is one of the few definite pitchers for the 2015 rotation.

2.  Mookie Betts.  The MLB debut card features Betts in Yankee Stadium.

3.  Mookie Betts.  THIS one is the image variation, one of my best pulls of the year for my Red Sox collection.

4.  Yoenis Cespedes.  I was excited about the Cespedes trade.  Unfortunately it appears short-lived as Cespedes may be traded this winter.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Stadium Club Break Results from Nachos Grande

I recently participated in the Stadium Club break over at Nachos Grande.  I had hoped for an autograph, since there would be six of them.  Unfortunately no luck with that one, but some nice photos and an Ortiz insert would be coming my way:
1.  2014 Stadium Club Mookie Betts.  Betts is one of the only rookies Boston called up who actually met expectations.  With the two new signings the Red Sox made, Betts's future is in doubt a little bit.  He will be in the mix for the right field/utility spot, or he could be traded.  Let's hope it is the former.

2.  2014 Stadium Club Koji Uehara.  Happier times.  This is after the last out of the World Series.

3.  2014 Stadium Club Luminous David Ortiz.  The best card from the lot is this die-cut insert of Big Papi.

4.  2008 Upper Deck Supreme Blue Josh Beckett.  Chris threw in some random cards as well.  This was the only one I did not have.

5.  2014 Stadium Club David Ortiz.  I love this card.  The selfie with Barack Obama after winning the World Series was a great moment and captured wonderfully here.

Thanks Chris!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Topps Update Blaster Pt. 1

I have picked up a couple of 2014 Topps Update Blasters recently and have had some good luck.  At least for number of Red Sox cards pulled.  This is counter to my luck the rest of the year in packs.  I like opening packs because of the risk, but this has been a frustrating year overall.

Here are the pulls from the first blaster:
1.  Brock Holt:  Holt was one of the few bright spots for Boston this year, helping to infuse a spark into the offense when he was called up.  Here he is bunting.

2.  Koji Uehara AS.  Uehara was one of just two All Stars for Boston this season.  He struggled down the stretch but will be back next season.

3.  Jonathan Herrera.  Herrera was acquired to be the utility infielder this season in a trade with Colorado that cost Franklin Morales.  Unfortunately, he could not hit at all.

4.  Jackie Bradley Jr.  Speaking of players that couldn't hit.  Bradley is exasperating because he is SOOOO good defensively.  He has always hit in the minors so hopefully he will come around, but it is looking less and less likely that it will be for Boston.

5.  Rubby De La Rosa.  One of the big pickups in the big trade with the Dodgers, De La Rosa is looking like a potential closer candidate in the future.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Stamps from Mark

Mark Hoyle continues to surprise me by sending me random packages of stuff.  Just recently he sent me this collection of 1983 Boston Herald stamps:
1.  Rich Gedman.  Geddy looks wasted in this shot.  He had a few great seasons from 1984-1986.

2.  Bruce Hurst.  One of the great, underrated pitchers of the 1980's.

3.  Luis Aponte.  I know next to nothing about Aponte other than that he was a middle reliever.

4.  Bob Ojeda.  Ojeda was one of many very good pitchers Boston developed in the 1980's.  Unfortunately two of the better ones, Ojeda and John Tudor, were traded away.

5.  Dick Radatz.  The Monster was one of the first great closers.

6.  Cy Young.  Of course, Young was one of the greatest pitchers who ever lived.

7.  Joe Cronin.  Cronin went from Hall of Fame baseball player to pennant-winning manager to general manager to American League president in his career.

8.  Jimmie Foxx.  The Beast was a pretty good mentor for Ted Williams and hit 50 home runs for the Red Sox in 1938.

9.  Marty Barrett.  The 1986 ALCS MVP.

10.  Dwight Evans.  I still think Dewey belongs in the Hall of Fame.

Thanks Mark!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Panini Hometown Heroes

I was thrilled when Panini released the Hometown Heroes set.  It was a set similar to the Fan Favorites sets from Topps, though without the intriguing designs.  Player selection was incredibly interesting with a lot of players who had not appeared in sets for years.  But it was hard getting cards.  I picked up a few random cards here and there but there were a lot that I still needed.  Until just recently when I worked out a deal for the rest of the base cards I needed, plus one parallel.
1.  2013 Panini Hometown Heroes Fred Lynn.  Lynn of course was the first player to win the Rookie of the Year and MVP the same season, which he did in 1975.  He was a terrific player for several seasons but declined after leaving the Red Sox.

2.  2013 Panini Hometown Heroes Dustin Pedroia.  Pedroia is putting together a Hall of Fame-worthy career and won the Rookie of the Year in 2007 and the MVP in 2008.

3.  2013 Panini Hometown Heroes Jim Rice.  Rice won the MVP in 1978 and is a Hall of Famer.

4.  2013 Panini Hometown Heroes Nomar Garciaparra.  Nomar will be eligible for the Hall of Fame for the first time this year.  He won the Rookie of the Year in 1997.

5.  2013 Panini Hometown Heroes Johnny Damon.  Nice to see new Damon cards with the Red Sox.

6.  2013 Panini Hometown Heroes Ellis Burks.  Burks was one of my early favorites.  He won the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger in 1990.

7.  2013 Panini Hometown Heroes Mike Greenwell.  Greenwell finished second in the AL MVP vote in 1988 to Jose Canseco.

8.  2013 Panini Hometown Heroes Pedro Martinez.  Pedro should get elected to the Hall in January.

9.  2013 Panini Hometown Heroes David Ortiz.  Like Pedroia, Ortiz is one of the few still-active players in this set.  Ortiz is 34 home runs shy of 500.
10.  2013 Panini Hometown Heroes Kevin Youkilis.  Youk was actually still active in 2013 but he was definitely a fan favorite with the Red Sox.

11.  2013 Panini Hometown Heroes Zip Code Carlton Fisk.  I still need to get the parallels for Jason Varitek.  This is my first parallel from this set.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Zippy Zapped Again

I received another package of cards from my personal favorite Yankees blogger Zippy Zappy.  He always loads up the prospects in his random packages, and this one was no different:
1.  2013 New York-Penn League Top Prospects Manuel Margot.  Margot had a breakout season this year at the age of 20.  He provides a lot of speed and a little pop. 

2.  2014 New York-Penn League Top Prospects Nick Longhi.  Longhi is another very young work-in-progress who should show a lot of power as he matures.

3.  2014 New York-Penn League Top Prospects Sam Travis.  Travis is a bit farther along and his power has already materialized.

4.  2013 Panini Prizm Perennial Draft Pics Garin Cecchini.  Cecchini made a brief appearance in Boston this season and looks poised to make a bigger splash next season.

5.  2014 Bowman Chrome Prospects Manuel Margot.

6.  2013 Topps Minors Keury De La Cruz.  De La Cruz had his breakout season in 2012 and followed that up with another solid season in 2014 though he has fallen a bit on the depth chart.

7.  2014 Topps Chrome Orange Refractor Dustin Pedroia.  Pedroia just won his fourth Gold Glove Award this week.  Very impressive.

8.  2013 Topps Minors Brian Johnson.  Johnson has proven to be a very impressive control pitcher in the minors, possibly looking at becoming another Doug Fister.

9.  2013 New York-Penn League Ty Buttrey.  Buttrey is another high-ceiling arm in the Red Sox system and looks poised to move quickly next season.

Thanks Kenny!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

2014 Donruss Series 2 Pickups

I have been pretty bad about posting lately.  I have several recent packages to catch up on, starting here:
 I was happy to see Donruss back this year, but it would be much better if they had an MLB license.  Anyway, here are some pickups from the second series.

1.  2014 Donruss Career Stat Line Clay Buchholz.  The Stat Line parallel set was something Donruss used in the early 2000's to serial-number cards.  Which is weird and unwieldy because each card possibly has a different print run.

2.  2014 Donruss Grady Sizemore.  This and his Topps Chrome card are likely to be his only cards with the Red Sox.  At least he had some, unlike players like Scott Podsednik, Alex Cole, Matt Stairs, and others.

3.  2014 Donruss Koji Uehara.  It was recently announced that Koji signed a two-year extension with Boston.

4.  2014 Donruss Xander Bogaerts.  Bogaerts had a rough season, but he showed some promise.  Hopefully he can fulfill that next season.

5.  2014 Donruss Clay Buchholz.  Buchholz could still be an effective member of the Red Sox rotation next season, but another year like 2014 may lead to him being shipped out.

6.  2014 Donruss David Ortiz.  Ortiz once again had a terrific season in 2014. 

7.  2014 Donruss Elite Koji Uehara.  I love this card, but an a little annoyed that it is the same shot as is on his Prizm card.  I hate reused photos.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Vintage and an A&G Blaster

A few new cards to add to the old collection late this week.
1.  1962 Topps Chuck Schilling.  No relation to Curt.  I love the 1962 Topps design.  Schilling was a decent middle infielder for Boston in 1961 but his career declined after that.  Still, he has a number of cool base cards.

2.  2014 Topps Allen & Ginter Jon Lester.  I want Boston to resign Lester this offseason.  I don't know how likely that is, but I would love to get him back.

3.  2014 Topps Allen & Ginter Pastime's Pastimes Dustin Pedroia.  Nice insert from a pack.  Pedroia has a lot more hair on his face than his head on this.

The A&G cards came from a blaster.  I have not been buying many packs this year and have not been doing too well from a Red Sox standpoint when I have.  This was a little better.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

A Canadian Package and More

I was recently contacted by Stephane, who offered up some Red Sox cards in exchange for some more Canadian-centric cards.  There were actually a few I needed so I agreed to a trade.  The first row here are the cards sent from Stephane:
1.  1990 Fleer Canadian Dwight Evans.  These cards are identical to the regular Fleer set except the back says they were printed in Canada.

2.  1990 Fleer Canadian Carlos Quintana.  This one makes me very happy.  Quintana was an early favorite of mine and adding a new one to my collection is always exciting.

3.  1989 Topps Big Dwight Evans.  I would like these cards more if they weren't so large, but that is the whole point of the set, so nothing much to say there.

Thanks Stephane.  Your cards will be sent out very soon.

The rest of the cards came in a couple of forum trades and are nice 2014 additions.

4.  2014 Finest Green Refractor Dustin Pedroia.  This coloring is almost hallucinogenic.

5.  2014 Finest David Ortiz.  I have decided to go on an Ortiz binge here recently.  I am going to be targeting Ortiz cards I do not have.

6.  2014 Topps Allen & Ginter Pastime's Pastimes David Ortiz.  And here is the second one.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Hey Look, a Trade

I pulled off a decent-sized trade where I sent off a bunch of Mariners cards:
1.  2014 Topps Allen & Ginter Mini Black Ted Williams.  Getting kind of tired of the same Williams photo all the time.

2.  2014 Topps Chrome Black Refractor Mike Napoli.  Unfortunately injuries slowed him down quite a bit.  He was having a decent year though.

3.  2014 Topps Heritage David Ortiz WS.  Ah, happier times.

4.  2014 Topps Archives 1987 All Star Wade Boggs.  I have mentioned before that Boggs was my first favorite Red Sox player.

5.  2014 Topps Archives Nomar Garciaparra SP.  With the number of cards Nomar has been getting lately, he may take back the top spot in the Red Sox player of whom I have the most cards.  Jason Varitek still leads him for now.

6.  2014 Bowman Inception Prospect Autograph Jon Denney.  Denney is one of many catching prospects in Boston's minor league system, but he may have some difficulty leapfrogging both Christian Vasquez and Blake Swihart.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Crusade Pt. 1

This is part one of a two part post that you can find on my other blog.  A seller on Ebay recently sold a bunch of random 1998 Donruss Crusade insert cards and I picked up a couple.

Here is the one for this blog:
1.  1998 Donruss Crusade Brian Rose.  This was available in the Leaf Rookies and Stars packs as an extended card.  Rose was once supposed to be a terrific pitching prospect for the Red Sox but he never really developed at the Major League level and was eventually dealt away to the Rockies in the deal that brought Rolando Arrojo and Mike Lansing to Boston.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

New Parallels

A couple of recent trades lead me to these cards:
1.  2014 Topps Power Players Gold Jonny Gomes WS.  I was not aware of the existence of these cards.  Apparently these were available as prizes in the Power Players game for Topps this year.  I managed to talk someone into trading this one to me.

2.  2014 Topps Chrome Refractor Koji Uehara.  It will be interesting to see if Uehara is back next year.

3.  2014 Topps Chrome Refractor Dustin Pedroia.  Hopefully Pedroia will recover fully and be back to full strength next season.

Monday, September 22, 2014

New Chrome with a Sizemore

When I found out that there was actually a Grady Sizemore Red Sox card in both 2014 Donruss and Topps Chrome, I knew I had to track them down.  Sizemore's time in Boston may have been brief, but as a team collector, I have to track down a card of every player that appears with a Red Sox logo on cardboard.  So here it is complete with a card of slightly better Shane Victorino:

1.  2014 Topps Chrome Shane Victorino.  This is just a terrific action shot in a set full of great photography, but it does not match up to...

2.  2014 Topps Chrome Grady Sizemore.  It is a good thing this is a memorable shot, because Sizemore's time with the Red Sox certainly was not.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Is the Season Over Yet?

Boston is not going anywhere this year.  About the only thing worth watching is the development of the young players and the emergence of Rusney Castillo.  It has been a trying season all year long and I have had some difficulty truly enjoying collecting the Red Sox.  I have been less active in trades and certainly have not been buying much.  But every once in awhile I manage to make an interesting deal.  This one qualifies:

1.  2014 Topps Gold Jarrod Saltalamacchia.  Production from the catcher's position is one of the biggest problems this year.  Saltalamacchia would not have been great, but he would have been better than Pierzynski at least.

2.  2007 Topps Ted Williams .406 #20.

3.  2007 Topps Ted Williams .406 #21.  A couple more of these.  I really wish they would have used different pictures.

4.  2010 Topps Update Gold Daniel Nava.  I like Nava but I suspect he will be squeezed out next year.

5.  2008 Upper Deck Timeline Jed Lowrie.  A card from my wantlist is always appreciated.

6.  2014 Topps Gold Junichi Tazawa.  Tazawa has emerged as a solid middle relief option.  Just don't use him as a closer, or against the Blue Jays.

7.  2012 Topps Archives Gold Jacoby Ellsbury.  It is still nice to add an Ellsbury once in awhile.

8.  2012 Topps Commemorative Retired Number Patch Carlton Fisk.  Unfortunately I already have this one, so I have a double to send off somewhere.

9.  1973 Topps Carlton Fisk.  Nice second year card of Pudge.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Some Completely Random Cards

I am a bit behind, so here is one package which was about as random as things can get.  Behold:
1.  2006 Upper Deck Special FX Red David Riske.  Only my second card of Riske who was acquired in the same trade as Coco Crisp and then dispatched for Javier Lopez.   I previously had a couple of these red cards.

2.  1987 Topps Leaders Bruce Hurst.  Hurst had become a second ace in 1986 to Roger Clemens.  He was an All Star in 1987 and eventually left to join the San Diego Padres.

3.  1995 Flair Frank Rodriguez.  I remember when Rodriguez was Boston's top prospect.  It did not work out well.  He struggled in 1995 and then was traded to Minnesota for Rick Aguilera.

4.  1998 Upper Deck Documentary Jason Varitek. Yay, a new Varitek card.  These have been a little rare lately.  Varitek remains the player of whom I have the most cards.  For now.

5.  1987 Fleer Limited Edition Marty Barrett.  Barrett was coming off of a terrific 1986 postseason in which he won the ALCS MVP and racked up a bunch of hits in the World Series.

6.  2014 Topps Jonny Gomes.  I miss Gomes.  He was a great clubhouse presence.

7.  1995 Flair Wave of the Future Vaughn Eshelman.  Eshelman was a brief flash in the pan in 1995 when he pitched shutout innings in his first start and won his first three.

8.  2008 Upper Deck Documentary Gold Jason Bay.  I liked the Documentary set for the number of cards, but the fact that they were a bunch of the same pictures over and over is kind of a turnoff.

9.  2008 Upper Deck Documentary Gold Jason Varitek.  Another Tek card.  

10.  2008 Upper Deck Documentary All Star Kevin Youkilis.  Youkilis had a terrific season in 2008 and finished third in the MVP race.

11.  2008 Upper Deck Documentary All Star Dustin Pedroia.  Pedroia won the MVP in 2008 after the Rookie of the Year in 2007.  For the first time, it is questionable whether he will be back in Boston in 2015.

12.  2014 Topps Gold Shane Victorino.  After a great season in 2013, Victorino only played in 30 games this season.  Boston's outfield is pretty full going into next season, who knows if Victorino will be back?

Monday, September 15, 2014


1.  2014 Bowman Prospects Purple Mookie Betts.  Of all of the rookies to spend time in Boston this year, Mookie has been by far the most productive.  He has been playing in the outfield thus far but will be spending some time at second base this week.  Hopefully this is a sign of things to come, but it is also possible that he will be traded.  Hopefully not.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

An Interesting Vintage and Oddball Trade

Here are the most recent pickups as the Red Sox continue to struggle:

1.  1979 Hostess Dennis Eckersley.  It is kind of lazy that a card with one year of stats with the Red Sox has an airbrushed cap on it.

2.  1957 Topps Pete Daley.  Easily my favorite card from the trade.  Corners are a little soft, but it is 57 years old, which incidentally is my parents' age.

3.  1988 Topps Tiffany Jim Rice.  Rice was starting to go downhill at this point.

4.  1988 Topps Tiffany Dwight Evans.  Evans was still going strong though.

5.  1979 Hostess Dwight Evans.  I love food issue cards.  I wish they still existed.

6.  1979 Hostess Jim Rice.

7.  1976 Hostess Dwight Evans.

The Daley is definitely my favorite, but I do love the oddballs.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Red Sox in Order

Tom from Angels in Order recently contacted me to set up a Red Sox for Angels trade.  Since my blog trades have been pretty sparse these days I jumped at the chance to gain a new trade partner.  He sent me a bunch of Red Sox and I sent him a bunch of Angels.  

Of course the Red Sox and Angels have a nice history together.  Boston was down three games to one in the 1986 ALCS when Dave Henderson single-handedly brought the team back in Game 5 and Boston rolled in Games 6 and 7.  Then Boston swept the Angels in the 2004 ALDS on their way to their first World Series win in 86 years, capped off by David Ortiz's walkoff home run in Game 3.  Boston also swept the Angels in 2007 in the ALDS on their way to another World Series win.  Manny Ramirez hit the game-winning blast in Game 2.  The Angels finally won a game against Boston in the postseason in 2008 but Boston still took that series 3-1.  Then the Angels swept the Red Sox in the 2009 ALDS.  So yeah, tons of history there.

Here are the cards that Tom sent:
1.  2014 Topps Upper Class Jacoby Ellsbury.  Despite his free agent defection to the Damn Yankees, I will always like Ellsbury.  Boston has just not had a lot of speed over the years.

2.  2005 Flair Manny Ramirez.  For some reason I did not have any of the base Flair cards.  I do have a Jason Varitek auto from that set, but no base.

3.  2005 Flair David Ortiz.  He hit two home runs tonight.  His batting average is down but he is still hitting them out.

4.  2005 Flair Curt Schilling.  A big postseason hero for the Red Sox in 2004 and 2007.  It will be interesting to see what cap he wears in Cooperstown if he gets in.

5.  1994 Donruss Jeff Russell.  Tom hit a bunch of my wantlist needs.

6.  1994 Pinnacle John Valentin.  Valentin was an underrated player for a few years in Boston, particularly in 1995 when he could have won the MVP.  I love the double dip shot here.

7.  2004 Leaf Second Edition Derek Lowe.  I have no idea why there was a Second Edition of Leaf in 2004.  There really did not need to be.

8.  1992 Conlon Phil Todt.  Todt was one of the few decent players Boston had in the 1920's.  He was one of the few Red Sox players blessed with power, hitting double digits in home runs three times when no one else in Boston was hitting any.  Todt was almost requested by the Yankees in a trade at one point but Boston management, after being burned so many times in trades with the Yankees said no.  Unfortunately the player offered in trade for Todt was Lou Gehrig.  Dammit.

9.  1988 Starting Lineup Talking Baseball Wade Boggs.  This is my first of these cards.  They are wider than I would like.  They are probably not cards I would seek out, but certainly don't mind adding them to my collection.
10.  1983 Donruss John Tudor.  Tudor was a gifted pitcher coming up with the Red Sox in the early 1980's when they were flush with pitching prospects.  Tudor, Bruce Hurst, Bob Ojeda, Oil Can Boyd, and Roger Clemens all came up within a few years of each other.  That could have been a terrific staff if they had not traded off Tudor and Ojeda.

11.  1983 Donruss Bob Stanley.  The Steamer was the Red Sox relief ace for a long time and held the team single season saves record until Jeff Reardon broke it in 1991 and the career saves record until Jonathan Papelbon broke it.

12.  1987 Donruss Rob Woodward.  There has never been an interesting fact about Rob Woodward.  Ever.  Although this did complete my 1987 Donruss team set.  Yep, Ron Woodward was the last card I needed.  Depressing.

13.  1985 Donruss Rich Gedman.  Gedman was coming off a great season in 1984 when he hit 24 home runs.  He was an All Star in both 1985 and 1986.

14.  1992 Stadium Club Dome Roger Clemens.  Hard to believe I did not have this card.

15.  1992 Stadium Club Dome Wade Boggs.  Same here.

16.  1991 U.S. Playing Card Co. Roger Clemens.  I wish they still made sets like this.  Oddball items showing all of the All Stars each season.

17.  1991 U.S. Playing Card Co. Jeff Reardon.  Another card from the same set.

18.  1992 U.S. Playing Card Co. Rookies Bob Zupcic.  Zupcic had a couple of full seasons in 1992 and 1993 then faded into obscurity.
19.  1992 U.S. Playing Card Co. Rookies Scott Cooper.  Cooper had a terrific throwing arm but made a lot of errors because Mo Vaughn was basically a brick wall at first.

20.  1993 Classic Mo Vaughn.  But at least Mo could hit.

Thanks for the cards Tom!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Prizm Trade

A couple of quick base cards came in from my Wantlist today:
1.  2014 Prizm Mike Napoli.  If he were healthy all season, he would be having a better season.  As it is, he has been pretty good.

2.  2014 Prizm David Ortiz.  Ortiz, on the other hand, is having a very good season, one of the few.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Red, White, & Blue

They have been hard to watch lately, but I am still working on picking up cards.  Today was a good one from a three pack of Prizm with three Red, White, & Blue Pulsar parallels.
1.  2014 Prizm Red, White, & Blue Pulsar David Ortiz.  Yay, I got one of the special parallels.  I think these would look even better with team logos.  But man, this is a nice card of Ortiz, who just hit his 30th home run tonight.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Dernell Stenson

Today was just a one-card mailday.
1.  1999 Bowman Chrome Gold Dernell Stenson.  Stenson is a tragic story.  He rocketed through the minor leagues with the Red Sox and then stalled in Triple A for four seasons.  I don't know why.  He was hitting, but it seemed he was constantly blocked.  Eventually he left as a minor league free agent and joined the Reds organization where he finally made his Major League debut in 2003.  He played in the Arizona Fall League after the season, unfortunately that is where his career, and life, ended.  Stenson was murdered for reasons that are still unclear.  He was bound, shot in the head and chest, and run over with his own car.  Four individuals were arrested and three were convicted.  A sad tale for a gifted young player.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Massive Vintage Package from Mark

Holy crap.  I just received the latest package from Mark Hoyle who has been firing off vintage Red Sox cards to me for some time.  He is easily one of the most generous trading partners I have found in the blogosphere.  This one though is really something:
1.  1962 Topps Ted Wills.  This is one of my favorite Topps designs.  I am not overly familiar with Wills, but one previous owner decided the card needed to be updated with his trade to the Reds.

2.  1963 Topps Russ Nixon.  I like this design as well.  Boston unfortunately did not have much luck with catchers for a long time.  Nixon was not very good.

3.  1965 Topps Felix Mantilla.  Coming off of a 30 home run season, Mantilla had been a utility player most of his career to that point.

4.  1966 Topps Jose Santiago.  Santiago hit a home run in his first World Series at-bat in 1967.  Here he is wearing something that is clearly not a Red Sox uniform.

5.  1967 Topps John Wyatt.  Wyatt was the "closer" for the Red Sox in 1967, though that was not really an official position at the time.

6.  1976 Hostess Denny Doyle.  Doyle was a huge pickup down the stretch in 1975 though he did have a bit of a hiccup on the basepaths in the World Series.

7.  1973 Topps Phil Gagliano.  I really have nothing to say about Gagliano.

8.  1969 Globe Imprints Reggie Smith.  I have argued before and I will argue again: Smith belongs in the Hall of Fame.

9.  1969 Globe Imprints Jim Lonborg.  Boston's first Cy Young Award Winner.  Unfortunately his Major League career was mostly downhill after that.
10.  1969 Topps Jerry Stephenson.  Stephenson was supposed to be a huge star, but he never really developed.

11.  1972 Topps Rogelio Moret.  Moret had a couple of huge seasons on the Red Sox staff in 1973 and 1975, splitting time as a starter and a reliever.

12.  1972 Topps Bobby Bolin.  I don't know much about Bolin either.

13.  1969 Topps Joe Lahoud/John Thibdeau.  Lahoud lasted a few years trying to break through the Red Sox outfield but was shipped off to Milwaukee in the Billy Conigliaro/George Scott trade that brought back Tommy Harper and Marty Pattin, among others.  Thibdeau never made it.

14.  1972 Topps Rico Petrocelli.  Petrocelli once held the AL record for home runs by a shortstop (40), but lost in that is the fact that he was a terrific defensive player.

15.  1972 Topps Carl Yastrzemski IA.  I liked these In Action cards.  I think Doug Griffin is the only one I still need.

16.  1968 Topps Tony Conigliaro.  This card is from the year after his tragic beaning that would eventually lead to the end of his career.

17.  1967 Topps Rico Petrocelli.  This is just a terrific-looking vintage card.  It is too bad Petrocelli is nearly forgotten by fans these days.

18.  1967 Topps George Scott.  Nice Boomer here with the All Star Rookie trophy.
19.  1961 Topps Don Gile.  Mark pays close attention to my wantlist, knowing that I want vintage Red Sox catchers.  Gile is another one, joining the Russ Nixon from earlier.

20.  1965 Topps Embossed Frank Malzone.  Another forgotten star, Malzone was a terrific defensive third-baseman who had some nice offensive seasons as well.

21.  1968 Topps Jim Lonborg LL.  Lonborg lead the AL in strikeouts in his award-winning season.

22.  1968 Topps Carl Yastrzemski CL.  Another nice Yaz card.

23.  1979 Kellogg's Dwight Evans.  I loved the Kellogg's cards.  Wish they would have continued.

24.  1972 Kellogg's Reggie Smith.  Another terrific card of Smith.

25.  1968 Topps Booklet Rico Petrocelli.  This is kind of an interesting item, a little mini comic book.

26.  1960 Topps Pete Runnels.  Runnels won two batting titles for the Red Sox, and might have won one more had Ted Williams not won it on the last day of the season.

So yes, another terrific package from the always reliable Mark Hoyle.  Thanks Mark!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Parallel Madness

I was visiting the in-laws and my parents in my hometown over the weekend and actually had the time to visit the local card shop.  Despite the fact that my visits are becoming more and more rare, the owner still puts aside Red Sox cards for me.  He no longer saves every single auto or relic, but he still saves the parallels and base.  And thus, I picked these up:
1.  2013 Topps Blue Sparkle Joel Hanrahan.  One of many bad trades for closers that Boston has made recently.  Hanrahan was inconsistent for the first two weeks and then had to get Tommy John surgery.

2.  2013 Topps Blue Sparkle Felix Doubront.  I am disappointed by how things worked out with Doubront.  I was really excited to see him develop and he just could not take the next step forward.

3.  2013 Topps Archives Day Glo Brock Holt.  Holt has been the team MVP this season.

4.  2013 Topps Update Emerald Jake Peavy.  Last year's big pickup at the trade deadline (for Jose Iglesias and others) was sent to the Giants recently for a couple of young arms.

5.  2013 Topps Update Emerald Dustin Pedroia AS.  Pedroia is having a bit of a down season, just like the rest of the team.

6.  2013 Topps Update Emerald Matt Thornton.  Thornton was recently traded from the Yankees despite having a very good season.

7.  2013 Topps Update Emerald Mike Carp.  Carp was DFA'd last week.  Another loss from last season's World Series winning team.

8.  2013 Topps Update Gold Clay Buchholz AS.  Whenever I see Buchholz's name as the starting pitcher, I cringe.  Just no idea what to expect.

9.  2013 Topps Update Gold Junichi Tazawa.  He has become a bit homer-happy lately, which has been very frustrating.