Sunday, March 6, 2016

One-Card Wonder Pt. 25: James Loney

James Loney was the only veteran Major Leaguer Boston acquired in the trade colloquially known as the "Nick Punto Trade".  For those who are not Red Sox or Dodgers followers and don't remember, Boston sent Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and Nick Punto to the Dodgers in exchange for James Loney and four minor leaguers.  The Dodgers picked up most of the salary for the four players they acquired, over 200 million dollars.  The minor leaguers Boston picked up were Ivan DeJesus, Jerry Sands, Allen Webster, and Rubby De La Rosa, all of whom were later traded away for Joel Hanrahan, Brock Holt, and Wade Miley.  The trade was mostly made to knock a bunch of money off of the books for Boston for years to come.

Loney immediately took over for the newly-departed Adrian Gonzalez, but was not expected to stick around.  He was a free agent after the year and he did not really perform all that well for Boston.  Loney only hit .230/.264/.310 with two home runs and just eight runs batted in in 30 games.  Not exactly impressive numbers.  Loney has been much better since signing on with the Rays after the season.

This card is one of the ultra short-printed variations from the 2012 Topps Update set.  There were a number of these cards, commemorating some of the big-name players who switched teams during the season, including all of the players that went to LA (including Nick Punto who never managed to appear on a card in a Red Sox uniform), Kevin Youkilis (who was also traded by Boston), and Jim Thome.  The cards were very hard to find and expensive.  It took quite a while for me to find this card at a reasonable price.  I never did, technically, I just decided to splurge on it to add to my collection.

None of these cards had parallels available and Loney was gone after the season.  He did not appear in any other sets with Boston.  This is the only card of Loney with the Red Sox, unless he goes back at some point, which seems unlikely.

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