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.