Okay, hopefully this is the last huge post, because these things can be exhausting. I am mostly kidding of course. I love getting a huge package in the mail. It does take a long time to do a post about them, but there is a ton of great stuff in this package. Almost all of the cards are from my want list. There are a few others as well, but for the most part this crosses a bunch of stuff off my list. Still a long ways to go.
2. Sammy White. White was a decent-hitting catcher for the 1950's. By no means a star, he got the job done for a few years and was even an All Star one year. He was actually a pretty decent defensive catcher.
3. Frank Sullivan. Another largely forgotten key player from the Red Sox in the 1950's is Frank Sullivan, who was the team's top starter for several seasons. He lead the league in wins in 1955 with 18 and was a two-time All Star. Sullivan, who was 6'6", was traded for Gene Conley, who was 6'8", in one of the tallest trades ever.
4. Pete Daley. Daley was a backup catcher with some pop in his bat. He never really got a chance to start though. He was often stuck behind Sammy White on the depth chart.
5. Carl Yastrzemski. Yaz's 23-year career spent entirely with the Red Sox will likely never be equaled ever again, for any team. He holds the all-time record for most games played for just one team in his career (3,308).
6. Morgan Burkhart. Burkhart had a decent 25 games in 2000. Unfortunately he was never really given much of a chance any other time. He was signed out of an independent league and performed well in the minors.
7. Koji Uehara. I just love the photo here: Uehara's follow-through and the throwback uniform from the mid 1970's. Just a great photo.
8. Jon Lester. Lester did not quite last long enough to match Mel Parnell for most wins by a Red Sox left-hander. Parnell won 123 while Lester finished with 110. But Lester did have some great moments, his no-hitter in 2008 against the Royals and helping them to win two World Series championships.
9. Dustin Pedroia. There are going to be a number of Pedroia cards in this post. He is getting closer to 300 cards in my collection.
11. David Ortiz. This will be Ortiz's final season in the Major Leagues this year. Hopefully he can go out with a bang.
12. Carlton Fisk. Oddly, looking over Fisk's Baseball-Reference page, the only thing he ever led league in was triples in 1972, when he hit nine. That is pretty strange for a catcher.
13. Garin Cecchini. Boston has a tendency to keep players in the minors for too long. I am beginning to feel like Cecchini is another example of this. Recently, Boston lost him to the Brewers on waivers. That could be a nice sleeper pickup for Milwaukee.
14. Yoenis Cespedes. Unfortunately Cespedes was much better as a trade deadline pickup for the Mets than he was for the Red Sox. He never really got going in Boston for some reason and he only hit five home runs for Boston in 52. He played 57 games for the Mets, but hit 17 home runs.
15. Wade Boggs. I have mentioned that Boggs was my first favorite player several times. Boggs was arguably the best hitter in the league in the 1980's, winning five batting titles and racking up 200+ hits seven years in a row. He will finally have his uniform number retired by the Red Sox this year.
16. Roger Clemens. Despite winning three Cy Young Awards in other seasons for the Red Sox, Clemens's best Red Sox season was 1990 when he went 21-6 with a league-leading 1.93 ERA and 209 strikeouts. But because Bob Welch won 27 games, despite inferior numbers everywhere else, he won the award.
17. Johnny Damon. I never could get used to seeing Damon with the Yankees, even though he really did not spend much more time with Boston than New York. This card shows him with both teams side-by-side.
18. David Ortiz.
20. Erik Bedard. Another trade deadline bust, Bedard won only one game down the stretch after he was acquired by Boston, though he did strike out 38 in 38 innings. Boston gave up four prospects to get him, but Tim Federowicz turned out to be the only one to make an impact in the Majors, albeit as a backup catcher.
21. Dustin Pedroia.
22, Dustin Pedroia.
23. Dustin Pedroia.
24. Jed Lowrie. I always liked Lowrie and was not happy about the trade to Houston when it happened. It definitely did not work out for Boston as Lowrie turned in a good season and Mark Melancon struggled early in the season and Boston gave up on him much too soon.
25. Michael Bowden. This is a short-printed variation of the base card. Bowden is another player that never really seemed to be given a decent shot in the Majors. He has not appeared in the Majors since 2013.
26. John Smoltz. One of the rare Smoltz cards with the Red Sox. Smoltz did not do too well in his short stint with the Red Sox. In eight games, he was 2-5 with an 8.33 ERA.
27. Mike Lowell. Lowell was a very good hitter and a terrific defensive player in his time with the Red Sox. He had his best season in 2007 when he was an All Star and the World Series MVP. It was a terrific season that landed him in the Top 5 of the AL MVP race.
29. Daisuke Matsuzaka/Hideki Okajima. I hate to imply that the only reason Topps put these two together is because they are both Japanese pitchers for the Red Sox, but that does appear to be the case. Matsuzaka was a starter and Okajima a middle-reliever. It would have been hard to predict that Okajima would be the one of the two of them to be the All Star. Matsuzaka did finish fourth in the Cy Young vote in 2008.
30. David Ortiz. This should have been the dual card with Manny Ramirez, but I was sent the wrong card. I still like this one, but I would have preferred the dual card.
31. Jacoby Ellsbury/Dustin Pedroia. These two were likely paired because they were both young players developed by the Red Sox at about the same time and played up the middle. Both were contact-hitters with some speed and strong defense.
32. Che-Hsuan Lin. I always liked Lin coming up through the minors. He never really got much of a chance in the Majors either. He won the Futures Game MVP in 2008, but for some reason this is as close as he has ever had to a Major League card. Lin was the first Taiwanese player to play for the Red Sox.
33. David Wells. To say Wells was a little out of shape would be a massive understatement. But Wells managed to have a successful career despite his weight. Wells pitched into his mid 40's, fairly impressive given his body.
34. Abe Alvarez. Alvarez was an interesting story. Legally blind in his left eye, he wore his hat tilted to that side in order to balance the light. Unfortunately he did not make much of a Major League impact.
35. Luis Tiant. Tiant was Boston's big pitching star from the 1970's. I still think he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. Hopefully one of these years he will be put in by the Veterans' Committee.
36. Keith Foulke. Foulke put everything he had into helping Boston win the 2004 World Championship and was never the same pitcher again. He would have been a reasonable choice for MVP in either the ALCS or the World Series. He was that good.
37. Carl Yastrzemski. This is from the set celebrating some notable teams througout the years. I would love to see another set like it covering some of the more recent teams. Get the 2004, 2007, and 2013 Red Sox teams some love. Maybe the 1995 or 1997 Indians as well, for Sandy Alomar Jr.
38. Carl Everett. There are going to be a number of Everett cards in this post as well. For some reason I was missing a lot of Everett cards. It is not that I was actively avoiding them. I really liked Everett during the 2000 season, until the headbutting incident. Even that I thought was overblown. And I never dislike a Red Sox player so much that I refuse to get cards of them. So I guess the reason I had so many missing was just that I couldn't find them.
39. Jose Offerman. I really liked Offerman during the 1999 season, but for some strange reason he did not run nearly as often with the Red Sox as he had before. He may have been a better player if he used his speed more in Boston. The season before he came to Boston, he stole 45 bases. His first year in Boston he stole just 18. The next year: 0. What happened?
40. Trot Nixon. This is just an awesome shot of Nixon diving to catch a ball. Nixon was one of my favorite players in the early 2000's. I even had a replica jersey that my then-girlfriend gave me.
41. Darren Lewis. Lewis was an excellent defensive outfielder with some speed, but he could not hit at all. Particularly in his time with Boston, which lead to him being more of fourth outfielder in later years. But he was a starter in 1999 and he was awful, hitting .240/.311/.309 with two home runs and 16 stolen bases. But he was so good in the field that his WAR was 1.6.
42. Carl Everett. I like this action shot. Pacific was pretty underrated when it came to photography.
43. Dernell Stenson. I have discussed Stenson's death on a number of occasions. I have not given the details. They are pretty gruesome. Stenson died a terrible death, that was likely racially motivated. Very sad. If you want to look up the details, have at it.
44. Paxton Crawford. About the only thing notable about Paxton Crawford is that both of his names were surnames of former Red Sox pitchers: Mike Paxton and Steve Crawford. Neither of whom were terribly interesting players themselves. He also once cut his hand open after falling on a wine glass in the middle of the night. That story might have been a cover up for something else.
45. Carl Everett. And we are on Everett card #3.
47. Troy O'Leary. Here is another player with a number of cards in this post. And this is a player that I really liked. O'Leary was Boston's best outfielder for a few years and led the team in home runs in 1999 while driving in more than 100 runs. Sometimes I just miss the cards.
48. Carl Everett. #5.
49. John Valentin. Valentin will go down as one of the most underrated Red Sox players ever. He quietly put together an 8 WAR season in 1993, was a terrific defensive player that could play all over the field, and for his career had a higher WAR than well-known star and contemporary Mo Vaughn. Most of that was due to his strong defense, but he was a pretty good hitter too.
50. Wilton Veras. Veras is just one of many top prospects for Boston in the late 1990's who failed to make an impact at the Major League level for a variety of reasons. Veras was probably the biggest example.
51. Steve Lomasney. Here is another one. Lomasney's problems stemmed from injuries. He only ended up with one game in the Majors.
52. Carl Everett. #6.
53. Donnie Sadler. Sadler was a hyped player who turned into a utility infielder for a few years, but at least he had a Major League career for awhile.
54. Troy O'Leary.
56. Dernell Stenson. For a player who never played with Boston, I have a lot of cards of Stenson. That bothers me a little bit. I wish players who actually played for the team would receive more cards though.
57. Mo Vaughn. I am very surprised at the number of Mo Vaughn cards I was missing from some of these sets. Mo was my favorite player for a few years. I suspect a lot of it has to deal with the fact that he left the team on bad terms, so I did not have a lot of desire to fill in those holes when I was trying to get a current player (Nomar Garciaparra) above him in number of cards. At this point I don't worry about that. I could seek out more than 300 more David Ortiz cards to get him above Jason Varitek, but by the time I do, he will retire and I will have to focus on someone else. That is getting harder and harder with fewer sets out.
58. John Valentin.
59. Troy O'Leary.
60. John Valentin.
61. Mo Vaughn.
62. Mo Vaughn.
63. Steve Avery. Ah yes, Steve Avery. He was a reclamation project for the Red Sox at a time when they had some success with those (Tim Wakefield). But he was signed to a pretty expensive contract. Avery was pretty awful for Boston though.
65. Jeff Frye. Frye was a surprisingly good hitter for a player of his size. He could also steal some bases and play just about anywhere. His versatility made him a favorite player. He had a very good year in 1997 that went pretty much unnoticed.
66. Shane Mack. This was another reclamation project for the 1997 season that did not work out. At least Mack was only on a one year deal and did not cost as much. He actually wasn't bad, but due to injuries he simply did not play much.
67. Steve Avery.
68. Reggie Jefferson. This is a rare card showing him in the field. Jefferson was born to be a designated hitter. And the card even identifies him as a DH despite showing him in the field. He does look awkward though.
69. Mike Stanley. His defense was pretty bad as a catcher, but he was a pretty good hitter too. So Boston did the logical thing and made a first-baseman out of him. He did two stints with the Red Sox and was traded away to the Yankees in the first stint for Tony Armas Jr., who was packaged along with Carl Pavano to Montreal for Pedro Martinez, who the Yankees also wanted.
70. Bill Selby. Not much to say about Selby. He only played in 40 games with Boston in 1996, but wasn't too bad. Not particularly good either.
71. Troy O'Leary.
72. Tim Naehring. He was just getting to be really good when injuries prematurely ended his career. He was one of my favorite players for a few years.
74. Dwayne Hosey. Hosey was so good down the stretch in 1995 (.338/.408/.618) that he was handed the starting center field job in 1996. His previous success did not carry over though. He was the Rudy Pemberton of 1995-1996.
75. Troy O'Leary.
76. Carlos Rodriguez. Rodriguez had a decent season in 1994 as a middle infielder playing in place of Scott Fletcher when he was hurt. His success did not carry over into the next season either. He had virtually no power though.
77. Luis Alicea. He only played one season with Boston but he was actually pretty good (.270/.367/.375). Boston attempted to upgrade their offense at second the next season by acquiring Wil Cordero, who was something of a disaster in the field and later became a left-fielder. Sometimes you shouldn't fix something that isn't broken.
78. Mo Vaughn.
79. Greg Harris. Another underrated favorite player. Harris was a terrific setup man in 1993 and set a then-record by pitching in 80 games.
80. John Flaherty. Flaherty turned into a decent player, of course that was after he was traded away for catcher Rich Rowland. I don't really understand the reasoning behind trading one young catcher for another. Rowland was decent for a year. Flaherty was the better long-term player. Flaherty did return to Boston one year, but retired before Spring Training was over because he could not handle the stress of catching Tim Wakefield's knuckleball.
81. Roger Clemens. What else is there to say about The Rocket? Clemens should be a Hall of Famer.
83. Wade Boggs.
84. Joe Hudson. Yes, this is a minor league card, but it is my first card of Joe Hudson, who spent a couple of seasons in Boston's bullpen and was pretty decent, but never got a proper Major League card.
85. Bob Stanley. Most of Stanley's team records have been broken at this point. He once held the single-season record for saves (broken by Jeff Reardon, then Tom Gordon), career record for games (broken by Tim Wakefield), and career record for saves (broken by Jonathan Papelbon).
86. Jim Rice.
87. Stan Papi. This is the only Red Sox card I am aware of for Papi. I had to get it. Papi was actually a pretty terrible player for Boston, but he represents all that Boston got in exchange for the great Bill Lee. Yes, that is how badly manager Don Zimmer wanted rid of Lee. This was an awful trade. Lee won 16 games for the Expos in 1979 with a 3.04 ERA while Papi hit .188/.221/.282 in 50 games as a backup middle infielder. He was later traded for backup catcher Dave Rader. Yeah. An awful trade.
88. Darrell Johnson. Johnson was Boston's manager for the 1975 AL Champs. Johnson was pretty lucky though and his inadequacies as a manager were exposed the next season and he was dismissed. Johnson though is from Horace, Nebraska. That makes him interesting to me.
89. Bernie Carbo. Carbo was one of the stars of the 1975 World Series. His three-run pinch hit home run set the stage for the dramatic Carlton Fisk game-winning home run in Game 6.
90. Denny Doyle. Doyle was acquired partway through the 1975 season and helped spark Boston. The team came into the season with Doug Grifffin as the second-baseman. Griffin was solid in the field, but a zero with the bat. Doyle was also good in the field, but he could actually hit. Doyle did make two errors in Game 7 of the World Series though, which hurt the team.
And now I am tired of typing.