It is true that I have resurrected my player collection, but the Red Sox remain my primary collection. It's nice to have something on the side once in awhile. But it is much easier to add to my Red Sox collection. Just look here:
1. 2013 Select Mike Napoli. I bought this along with a bunch of Alomars recently from one seller. I liked the design of the new Select set, though I would like it better if they had an MLB license.
The next trade knocked off four cards from my wantlist, including one from my Top 10.
2. 2013 Panini Hometown Heroes Calling the Shots Terry Francona. Nice to see managers getting a little love. Francona goes down as one of the best managers in Red Sox history.
3. 2013 Panini Hometown Heroes Wade Boggs. Anyone have any more of these? I need a bunch still for the team set.
4. 1987 Donruss Bob Stanley. Yes, the Steamer. I am still missing a few cards from 1987 Donruss.
5. 1975 Topps Luis Tiant. This is the big one of the day. A rare action shot for 1975 Topps, which did not have many for the Red Sox. That's why I wanted it.
1. 2014 Donruss Signatures Mike Napoli. My first Napoli auto. The weirdest thing about this is that it lists Napoli as a catcher. Napoli did not play a single inning at catcher last year and is not likely to play a single inning there this year.
2. 2013 Panini Hometown Heroes Nicknames Roger Clemens. The cartoon character that is bigger than the picture of the player is a bit off-putting. Still, a nice card of The Rocket.
I have been very busy lately. I have a two-day custody trial next week. Believe me, I do not look forward to that. I would much rather handle a jury trial on a murder case than a custody trial. Anyway, here are the latest pickups. No central themes here, just a whole bunch of Red Sox cards:
For the first pickup, we have a forum trade. I traded a 2014 Topps short printed Yadier Molina for these:
1. 2011 Topps Gold Mike Cameron. I was disappointed with Cameron's performance in Boston. He was supposed to come in and provide veteran leadership and steady defense in center field. This was when Jacoby Ellsbury was considered a liability. Unfortunately, Cameron was injured a whole lot.
2. 2014 Topps Red Hot Foil Shane Victorino. Victorino on the other hand was so much more than he was expected to be last year. He will likely be the leadoff man and right fielder this year.
3. 2014 Topps Target Red Jon Lester. Lester is 23 wins from becoming the winningest lefty in Red Sox history. They just have to lock him up beyond this season because unless he has an exceptional year, it won't happen this year.
4. 1971 Topps Ken Brett. This is why I made this trade. Can't go wrong with vintage. Ken is George's older brother. He had the raw talent but never really put it all together though he was once the youngest pitcher to ever pitch in a World Series (1967, 19 years old) despite only pitching one game in the regular season. Brett could also hit a little and had 10 career home runs, despite being a pitcher.
5. 2014 Topps Target Red Matt Thornton. I have been getting a number of Thornton cards lately, despite no longer being with the team.
6. 2014 Topps Wal Mart Blue Mike Napoli WS. Napoli is the only player who has not completely shed his beard from last year. He still looks like a lumberjack.
Up next, I bought four packs of Heritage one day because they did not have any blasters available:
7. 2014 Topps Heritage John Farrell. My first manager card of Farrell. I was a little disappointed Boston did not have a manager card last year for Bobby Valentine. For completion's sake of course.
8. 2014 Topps Heritage Felix Doubront. Early Spring Training results look favorable for the southpaw. Hopefully he can finally put it all together this year.
9. 2014 Topps Heritage Xander Bogaerts w/ Jonathan Schoop (Orioles). The next big star for the Red Sox.
Then I had another forum trade which cost me just a couple of Wal Mart parallels:
10. 2013 Topps Tribute Dustin Pedroia. Nice action shot of the follow-through here. It should be another big year for the second-baseman.
I usually try to avoid buying lately, what with a new car and house and everything, but for $13.00 I got the following 27 cards:
11. 2006 Upper Deck Epic Epic Events. I liked these inserts. I don't really understand the purpose of showing him in his then-current Dodgers uniform in the little picture in the bottom. Nomar was a favorite player for a long time.
12. 2010 Topps Chrome Refractor Marco Scutaro. Scutaro was a nice, steady player for a few years. Solid defense and a good bat.
13. 2012 Topps Gold Sparkle Ryan Sweeney. A bust in Boston, and he even busted his hand punching a water cooler which lead to him not being traded at the trading deadline. He has found new life with the Cubs. All he cost was Josh Reddick. Ouch,
14. 1982 Topps/Coca Cola Jerry Remy. The Rem Dawg will be returning to the booth this year after a tough year last year.
15. 1982 Topps/Coca Cola Chuck Rainey. Rainey had a nice rookie year in 1979 but it was downhill after that.
16. 1997 Leaf Fractal Matrix Bronze X-Axis Rudy Pemberton. Pemberton was a big splash in 1996, hitting .512 with 10 RBIs in 13 games. He was so impressive that he was handed the starting right field job in 1997, which he promptly lost by hitting .238.
17. 2009 Topps Update Propaganda Posters Dustin Pedroia. I had not seen any of these before this one. I really like this idea.
18. 2013 Topps Update Gold Jake Peavy. Peavy recovered from an injury when he cut himself fishing with his son. Smart.
19. 2013 Topps Chrome Purple Refractor Mike Napoli. I'm hoping for a big year in his second year with Boston.
20. 2011 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions Mini Ryan Lavarnway. I suspect Lavarnway will be traded. Boston has a lot of young catchers and Lavarnway has been unable to distinguish himself.
21. 1997 Circa Rave Reggie Jefferson. This is a nice card, an early low-numbered parallel. There were only 150 of each. At the time, they were massively valuable because of their scarcity. Now 150 is just not a big deal.
22. 2012 Topps Mound Dominance Jon Lester. I have no idea why it took so long to track down this card. This commemorates his no hitter against the Royals in 2008. One year after winning the final game of the 2007 World Series which was the year he returned from a battle with cancer.
23. 2008 Topps Co-Signers Silver Bronze Mike Lowell. Another cancer survivor. Lowell had a monster year in 2007, culminating with winning the World Series MVP.
24. 2008 Upper Deck Timeline Jed Lowrie. Modelled after the 2004 Upper Deck Timeless Teams set. I still do not understand why Boston traded both Lowrie and Scutaro before the 2012 season.
25. 1994 Upper Deck BAT Jimmie Foxx. A nice card of the Beast. That action shot gets used a ton.
26. 1987 Donruss Roger Clemens. The year after he won the All Star MVP, AL Cy Young, and AL MVP. 1986 was a good year for the Rocket.
27. 2006 Topps '52 Debut Flashback. Interesting premise. This is basically the same picture from Rocket's 1985 rookie card but on a 1952 Topps design. Pretty cool.
28. 1996 Pinnacle Starburst Jose Canseco. Canseco was actually having one of his best seasons ever in 1996 before he missed a lot of time at the end of the season. Before going on the DL late in July, he was hitting .308/.420/.637 with 28 home runs and 77 RBIs. He did not come back until the last half of September.
29. 2008 Upper Deck Timeline David Ortiz. The base card for Big Papi.
30. 2008 Topps Co-Signers Silver Blue David Ortiz/Manny Ramirez. I love these dual-player cards for Co-Signers, especially from 2008.
31. 2012 Topps Wal Mart Blue Mike Aviles. Aviles had a decent year in 2012 as the starting shortstop, good defensively and had some power. Not good at getting on base though.
32. 1988 Broder's Classic Superstars Wade Boggs. If anyone has any information on these Broder's issues, I would like to know about them. I know I read that they did not have an MLB license at one point so they were illegal. It's tough to find any information about them.
33. 1988 Broder's Blue Border Series 2 Wade Boggs.
34. 1988 Broder's Big League All Stars Series 1 Wade Boggs.
35. 1988 Broder's Big League All Stars Series 2 Wade Boggs.
36. 2006 Upper Deck Epic Epic Events Johnny Damon. Oddly this card shows Johnny in his Yankees uniform at the bottom and highlights his two homer night against the Yankees in Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS. A fond memory for me, even though Damon later defected to the Yankees.
37. 2009 Topps Heritage Chrome Jon Lester. I always liked these Chrome Heritage parallels, though I don't usually go out of my way to get them.
Next is a card I have been trying to find for a decent price for several months:
38. 2012 Bowman Bowman's Best Die Cut Jackie Bradley Jr. My first JBJ in awhile. It is looking less and less likely that he will start the season as the center fielder. I am not thrilled with that, unless Grady Sizemore has a terrific season, then I might get over it. But I want JBJ to play.
Finally, yesterday I bought a few more Heritage packs:
39. 2014 Topps Heritage Daniel Nava. We might see a few more Nava cards this year after his terrific season last year in which he hit .303/.385/.445.
40. 2014 Topps Heritage A.J. Pierzynski. And my second A.J. card with the Red Sox.
I'm looking for something new and exciting so I decided to resurrect my old single player collection. I have kind of kept it going a little bit at a time over the last couple of years but now I thought I would really bring it out. Anyway, when I was a kid and just getting into baseball, I started a single player collection of Sandy Alomar Jr. Sure he's retired and he was never really a huge star, at least other than 1990 and 1997. But that's part of the charm. So here I am, resurrecting my Sandy Alomar Jr. collection. If anyone has any, please feel free to email me.
P.S. Don't worry, the Red Sox are still my major focus. I just wanted to branch out a bit.
Just one card to show off today. Last night I had to go to Wal-Mart to pick up some random items and decided to pick up a rack pack of Topps. I have not been thrilled with my pack breaks much this year. Not a lot of Red Sox to show for them, and even fewer inserts/parallels. I figured at five bucks it would not be a total loss if I didn't get anything. Toward the bottom of my new stack though, I pulled this:
1. 2014 Topps Green Matt Thornton. Now that's what I like to see. These parallels come one per rack pack, so they are not exactly rare, but it's nice to finally pull something for the Red Sox. Thornton of course did not make the World Series roster last year and will be with the Yankees this year, but it's nice to see Topps putting in some middle relievers in the flagship set.
When I was first getting into baseball cards, Donruss was my favorite brand. I do not really know why that was at this time. I am sure I had my reasons. The 1989 set was my personal favorite. Again, don't ask for reasons. I was little. Donruss has had kind of a shaky history in the hobby. During the 1980's through the mid 1990's it was very active, but disappeared in 1999. Then it returned in 2001, kept going until 2005 and was gone again. Panini has resurrected the brand recently and this is the first season we have an actual Donruss set since 2005. It also marks the return of Diamond Kings. Of course being a Panini brand, Donruss does not have an MLB license, which is unfortunate.
Anyway, I got a trade worked out recently where I got a bunch of the 2014 Donruss singles. Behold:
1. 2014 Donruss Nomar Garciaparra. Panini has been putting a bunch of retired players in their sets, so it is no surprise that Nomar gets a card here. He will first become eligible for the Hall of Fame next year and has a borderline case.
2. 2014 Donruss David Ortiz. Hurry up and extend him already.
3. 2014 Donruss Team MVPs Dustin Pedroia. I love this one. They used a variation of the 1989 design for this card. Great-looking card.
4. 2014 Donruss A.J. Pierzynski. My first A.J. card even though this is a Texas uniform that the logo was air-brushed out of. I am a little wary of A.J. as catcher this year, though it is just for one season so it can't be too bad.
5. 2014 Donruss Shane Victorino. Likely going to be the leadoff hitter this year.
6. 2014 Donruss Jon Lester. Hurry up and extend him already.
7. 2014 Donruss Dustin Pedroia. One player with no contract concerns thanks to his deal last year.
8. 2014 Donruss Mike Napoli. I am looking forward to seeing what Napoli will do this year. He was arguably the best defensive first baseman in the league last year and had a decent year with the stick too.
Just a note: I know I owe some people some packages. Things have been hectic trying to get some civil trials out of the way recently. I will get stuff out soon.
Jack warned me it may be a little bit before he could get these out because he was dealing with blizzard conditions. I totally understand that. I figured I would know if he survived by if I got the cards. Luckily Jack appears to be okay.
1. 2014 Topps Gold Will Middlebrooks FS. My first gold parallel of the new year. Do you realize I do not have a single team set of gold cards ever? Weird.
2. 2014 Topps Clay Buchholz.
3. 2014 Topps Joel Hanrahan. This is one of my favorite pictures on a Red Sox card this year so far, along with Shane Victorino and Jonny Gomes (which incidentally I still don't have).
4. 2014 Topps Jon Lester WS. Lester is one of the best postseason pitchers of all time. Look it up.
5. 2014 Topps Jon Lester.
6. 2014 Topps Shane Victorino. I now have three versions of this one. Never get tired of the shot.
One of these days I will get back to posting a little more regularly, and possibly even to posting about other things than my maildays. Things have been busy at work. I'm preparing for a trial right now which could settle on Monday. Maybe. There have been a few trades trickling in, mostly through the forum, but now and then through other means.
Here are the recent pickups:
The gold cards all came in one trade:
1. 2011 Topps Gold Jed Lowrie. Boston has had a bad track record with trading for closers lately. Jed Lowrie is the first such mistake as they traded him to the Astros for Mark Melancon. Melancon struggled in Boston before being traded while Lowrie finally broke through as an every day player. He still has trouble staying healthy, but he is a solid player when he is.
2. 2012 Topps Gold Daniel Bard. Bard will be attempting to resurrect his career with the Rangers next season. It's been a rocky road since Boston tried to stretch him out into a starter. Such a shame.
3. 2012 Topps Gold Erik Bedard. I was underwhelmed by this trade when it occurred. Boston gave up four minor leaguers to get him. Stephen Fife and Tim Federowicz have been the only ones to make the Majors and they have not been real impressive, yet.
4. 2012 Topps Gold Clay Buchholz. Hopefully he can stay healthy next season. The rotation needs him. Especially if he pitches as well as he did in the early part of 2013.
5. 2013 Topps Update Gold Stephen Drew. He still does not have a job. I would not mind seeing him back in Boston, but not at the expense of Xander Bogaerts and Will Middlebrooks.
6. 2010 Topps Gold John Lackey. What a great comeback season he had last year. Hopefully it continues.
The two blues were acquired in another trade.
7. 2014 Topps Wal Mart Blue Will Middlebrooks FS. Middlebrooks had a rough 2013 but he seems ready to go for 2014. If he fails, Garin Cecchini is ready for a shot.
8. 2014 Topps Wal Mart Blue Jonny Gomes WS. Gomes had a number of great moments in 2014, from hitting two walkoff home runs to his three run home run that eventually won Game 4 of the World Series. He's a great teammate too.
The following four red cards came from Jimmy who contacted me about a trade recently on the blog. He sent these:
9. 2013 Topps Target Red David Ortiz. Just give him his contract extension already. He deserves it. He is the Red Sox.
10. 2013 Topps Target Red Ryan Dempster. Dempster shockingly retired earlier this year.
11. 2013 Topps Target Red Jonny Gomes. Nice to add a couple Gomes cards recently.
12. 2013 Topps Target Red Joel Hanrahan. Yet another failed closer trade. Boston gave up on Melancon too early and he really broke through for the Pirates. They also lost Stolmy Pimentel in the trade. Hanrahan save three games and then broke down. Ouch.
Two more packages to go:
The next two cards were picked up from Robert from $30/week Habit. Robert, I will have something in the mail for you soon.
13. 2014 Topps Before They Were Great Jim Rice. Nice thick card stock here. This is a neat card.
14. 2014 Topps Upper Class Dustin Pedroia. His wrist should be healed so he should have a little more power this year.
Thanks Robert! After my trial, I will get something together.
The next seven are from another forum trade.
15. 2008 Topps Wal Mart Dick Perez Josh Beckett. Beckett had some great seasons for Boston, but his salary was too high to keep him around. I have some fond memories of him, but it was time to move on.
16. 2014 Topps 1989 Mini David Ortiz. Another Big Papi.
17. 2014 Topps Upper Class Jim Rice. Couldn't they find another picture here?
18. 2014 Topps All Rookie Cup Team Jim Rice. See? Here's another picture.
19. 2014 Topps Wal Mart Blue Junichi Tazawa. He is finally getting some cards.
20. 2014 Topps Wal Mart Blue Clay Buchholz. Another Buchholz. I now have over 100 different cards of Clay.
21. 2013 Topps Emerald Ryan Sweeney. Sweeney was acquired in yet another bad deal for a closer. He and Andrew Bailey were picked up for Josh Reddick, who has become a good player, and Miles Head. Sweeney did very little in his time in Boston.