Monday, September 26, 2016

Red Sox with No Cards: 2004

2004.  The year Boston won it all for the first time in 86 years.  Afterwards, a number of commemorative sets were released and a lot of players who likely would not have received any cards, did.  Players like Curtis Leskanic, Dave McCarty, Ricky Gutierrez, Adam Hyzdu, Lenny DiNardo, Terry Adams, Mark Malaska, Phil Seibel, and Joe Nelson all had very few cards released, but they still were better off than these players.

The left-handed Anderson had been a starting pitcher for a few years with the Pirates, while the Pirates were pretty much terrible.  He was 24-42 with the Pirates with an unsightly 5.17 ERA.  Control was always an issue.  He bounced around a little bit before 2004 and started the season with the Cubs.  He was traded to Boston in July for a minor leaguer.  Anderson pitched in just five games for the Red Sox, six innings total.  He walked three and struck out three and had an ERA of 6.00.  Anderson did not return to the Majors after his stint with the Red Sox.

Astacio had been a promising pitching prospect with the Dodgers at about the same time another pitcher named Pedro had been starting to make his mark with the team.  Astacio had some good years, including winning 14 games in 1993.  Later, he was traded to the Rockies, where his ERA ballooned, but he managed to win 17 games one year and struck out more than 200 batters.  He pitched well enough, though it is hard to be a good pitcher in Colorado.  He then spent some time with the Astros and Mets before finding himself in Boston as a 35 year old trying to stick around.  Astacio pitched in just five games for the Red Sox, with a 10.38 ERA.  He started just one of the five games.  He struck out six and walked five in 8.2 innings.  After the season he spent some time with the Rangers, Padres, and Nationals.


After an impressive Spring Training in 2004, Crespo made the Red Sox as a utility infielder.  He did not perform particularly well at the Major League level.  Crespo had been in the Majors for the Padres in 2001 and 2002 and hit .203 with four home runs in 80 games.  Crespo made it into 52 games with the Red Sox into July before being sent to the minors.  He hit just .165/.165/.215 in 79 at-bats with two doubles and a triple.  He stole two bases.  Crespo filled in at shortstop, second, and all three outfield positions.  Crespo does have a team-issued postcard and some minor league cards, but no standard cards with the Boston Red Sox.

For a couple of seasons in the late 1990's, Bobby Jones was a regular starting pitcher with the Rockies, in the same rotation as Astacio.  Jones had a 6.33 ERA in 1999 though, with a 6-10 record, and was traded to the Mets for another struggling starter Masato Yoshii.  He bounced around after that, never making it into more than 16 games in the Majors again.  Jones had been signed by the Red Sox in 2003 and played in the minors for them in 2004.  He pitched in three games for Boston in April, pitching 3.1 innings with an ERA of 5.40.  He struck out three, but walked eight.  He continued bouncing around after that, but never made the Majors again.

A backup catcher for several seasons, Sandy Martinez originally came up with the Blue Jays, though he started in the Dodgers organization.  Martinez also spent some time with the Cubs, Marlins, Expos, and Indians before coming to the Red Sox as catching depth in September after a cash deal with Cleveland.  Predictably, Martinez was a much better defensive catcher than a hitter.  He played in just three games with the Red Sox in 2004 with four at-bats.  He did not record a hit and struck out twice.  He had a passed ball as a catcher and six putouts.  Martinez continued to bounce around after 2004, but never made it back to the Majors.

The winner for the most obscure player on this list is Earl Snyder, whose entire Major League output consisted of 19 games over two seasons, 18 of them for the Indians in 2002.  He played just one game for the Red Sox in 2004.  Snyder had a good year in Pawtucket, hitting 36 home runs and driving in 104 while hitting .273/.323/.558.  He played his only game for Boston in mid-August, playing third base and registering a single and a strikeout in four at-bats.  He left as a free agent after the season and continued to hit well in the minors, but never was called up again.  Snyder does have cards issued with Pawtucket.

Of these players, Cesar Crespo played the most for the Red Sox.  None of the other players even played in more than five games.  Pedro Astacio is the most well-known player, having had a 15 year career in the Majors with some success.  If I had to pick one player I would have liked to have seen on some cardboard wearing a Red Sox uniform, it would likely be between Crespo and Astacio.  I would probably pick Astacio.


  1. I wonder if these guys got rings or a payoff share. Maybe Crespo.

  2. I am pretty sure they did. I am pretty sure I recall one of the 2004 World Series rings being sold at one point. I think that it was Jimmy Anderson's ring that was being sold.