Monday, April 4, 2016

MLB Showdown, Conlon, and More

Keeping up with player selection being my current primary goal, I found a store with a ton of MLB Showdown and Conlon cards.  I had several holes in my collection from these two sets, both of which had a large number of lesser-known players.  Of course I picked up some other stuff as well.
1.  Frank Malzone.  This is the All Star card from the 1959 Topps set, a team set I am working on completing.  Malzone was one of the few bright spots for the Red Sox in the late 1950's and won three Gold Glove Awards.

2.  Pablo Sandoval.  Hopefully Sandoval will have a much better 2016.  His bat has come alive in Spring Training.

3.  Hanley Ramirez.

4.  Mookie Betts.

5.  Jay Payton.  Payton was one of three players acquired from the Padres for Dave Roberts.  Payton was expected to be the right-handed part of a platoon in 2005, taking over for Gabe Kapler, but he complained about his lack of playing time and was traded for Chad Bradford.

6.  Doug Mirabelli.  Mirabelli was part of the best catching tandem in the early to mid 2000's with Jason Varitek.

7.  David Wells.  It always surprised me that Wells came to Boston.  He had frequently made his disdain for Fenway Park pretty clear.

8.  Bronson Arroyo.  I was a little surprised I had so few cards of Arroyo.  He was a big part of the 2004 World Champions and had a good year in 2005.

9.  Matt Clement.  Until he was hit in the head with a line drive, Clement was having a successful season and was named an All Star in 2005.
10.  Matt Mantei.  This was the primary card that lead me to this store.  Mantei was one of several corpses of relievers Boston tried to revive for their bullpen in 2005 (John Halama, Mike Stanton, Mike Remlinger, etc.).  The Ice Man had previously been one of the best relievers in the game, but was ineffective for Boston in 2005.  This is only my third Mantei card.  He shared a Topps Total card with Blaine Neal.

11.  Johnny Damon.

12.  Rickey Henderson.  The greatest leadoff hitter in history spent only one season in Boston.  He was well past his prime.  It would have been interesting to see what he could have done during his prime.

13.  Sun-Woo Kim.  I always liked Sunny Kim.  He was one of the few Korean imports that Duquette signed that actually made it to the Majors.  I was not thrilled when he was traded away.

14.  Johnny Damon.

15.  Hideo Nomo.  Like Rickey Henderson, Nomo is one of my favorite players who played a single season with the Red Sox.  He was another player I liked quite a bit as a kid.

16.  Derek Lowe.  Lowe is one of just a handful of players to save 40 games in one season and win 20 games in another.

17.  Carl Everett.

18.  David Cone.
19.  Troy O'Leary.  Surprisingly he lead the Red Sox in home runs in 1999.

20.  Pedro Martinez.

21.  Jose Offerman.  After a decent season in 1999, Offerman was a wasted contract for a few years.

22.  Trot Nixon.  Nixon is one of my favorite underrated players from the Red Sox.  His seasons from 2000 through 2003 were surprisingly good.

23.  Tim Wakefield.

24.  John Valentin.

25.  Mike Stanley.

26.  Pat Rapp.  Rapp was one of two starting pitchers that were dreadful for the Red Sox in 1999.  Lack of pitching was the primary reason they did not make it far in the postseason.

27.  Mark Portugal.  Portugal was the other primary pitching problem.
28.  Trot Nixon.

29.  Butch Huskey.  Huskey spent just the second half of the 1999 season with the Red Sox after being acquired at the trading deadline.

30.  Rod Beck.  Just look at that glorious mullet.  Beck was awesome, it was a sad day when he died.

31.  Mike Stanley/Trot Nixon.

32.  Jose Offerman.

33.  John Wasdin.  Wasdin was acquired from the A's for Jose Canseco in 1997 and gave up so many home runs, he was given the nickname "Way Back" Wasdin.

34.  Bret Saberhagen.

35.  Darren Lewis.

36.  Damon Buford.
37.  Troy O'Leary.

38.  Tim Wakefield.

39.  Butch Henry.  Henry was part of a bad 1997 bullpen.  He had some moments, but was largely a disappointment.

40.  Tom Gordon.  He still holds the team's single season saves record.

41.  Rudy Pemberton.  Pemberton parlayed a terrific September in 1996 into a starting job in 1997, but then promptly came back down to Earth.

42.  John Valentin.

43.  Aaron Sele.

44.  Rudy Pemberton.

45.  Bill Selby.  Selby spent a brief amount of time with Boston in 1996, but managed to hit three home runs.  Unfortunately he did not make it back to the Majors until 2000 with the Indians.
46.  Tim Naehring.

47.  Tony Fossas.

48.  Andre Dawson.

49.  Lefty Grove.

50.  Asby Asbjornson.  This is what I love about Conlon.  A bunch of players who played very little or shown in unusual uniforms.  This is Asbjornson's first card despite playing in the 1920's.

51.  Fabian Gaffke.  Also getting his first card in 1992 Conlon is Fabian Gaffke who was a top prospect in the 1930's who missed.

52.  Wes Ferrell/Rick Ferrell.  One of just a few pairs of brothers who played for Boston at the same time.  The Conigliaros are the other ones that come to mind.

53.  Bill Wambsganss.  Wambsganss was a pretty decent second-baseman for the Indians who turned a triple play at one point.  He was a decent player for a bad Red Sox team in 1924.

54.  Pinky Higgins.  He holds the record with 12 consecutive hits, but as a manager, was partially responsible for Boston not integrating until 1959.
55.  Bill Carrigan.  A decent catcher, Carrigan also managed the Red Sox for two World Series championships.

56.  Jack Russell.  Russell was a talented pitcher, cursed to be on some historically bad Red Sox teams, leading to a couple of seasons when he lost 18 and then 20 games.

57.  Tris Speaker.

58.  Hugh Duffy.  This is another example of what is so great about Conlon.  Despite discussing Hugh Duffy's triple crown, he is depicted as manager of the Red Sox.  He was a manager when Ted Williams was a rookie.

59.  Harry Hooper.  One of the more anonymous Hall of Famers, Hooper was a big part of the Red Sox teams of the 1910's that won four World Series championships.

60.  Howard Ehmke.  Like Wambsganss, Ehmke was one of just a few bright spots for the Red Sox in the 1920's.

61.  Ernie Shore.  This card celebrates Shore's no-hitter that was started by Babe Ruth.  Ruth walked the first batter, complained about the call and punched the umpire then was promptly thrown out.  Shore relieved Ruth.  The first batter was thrown out trying to steal, and Shore set down the next 26 batters in a row.  Very close to a perfect game.

62.  Dutch Leonard.  Leonard holds the all-time single season record for best ERA in a season with an astounding 0.96 in 1914.


  1. I too love Showdown and especially Conlon for their player selection; both products have been exceptionally helpful with my Cubs All Time Roster collection. I wish more sets went deeper into the roster/past.

    It's truly a shame that Clement got drilled that year, seeing as he was never really able to fully recover from that. That's one of the scariest moments I've seen on a ball field.

  2. Quite the haul of Redsox. Really like the Showdown sets